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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour




As the Whelen Modified Tour makes its penultimate stop of the 2010 season at Stafford Motor Speedway for the 38th Annual CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend on Oct. 1-Oct. 3, Mike Stefanik has charged back into championship contention on the strength of 5 consecutive top-5 finishes. The seven-time Whelen Modified Tour champion comes to Stafford, a track that he has won at 20 times in his career, only 7 points adrift of championship leader Bobby Santos, III.

“Racing is a crazy game,” said Stefanik. “I don’t really follow the points, I usually find that out from Julie or the media. All I know is that we are 7 points behind Bobby Santos. I couldn’t tell you if we had 600 points, 800 points, or 1200 points. We’ve had some real strong finishes and we’re just happy to be in contention again, we haven’t been in the championship the last couple of seasons.”

While Stefanik and the #16 Flamingo Motorsports / Sanderson-MacLeod team have climbed the ladder back into championship contention, they have yet to reach victory lane this year. Stefanik’s best finish of the 2010 season has been a second place at both Bristol and Stafford, and he says the team is focused on winning.

“We’re not coming to Stafford to race for points, we’re coming to win the race,” said Stefanik. “I feel more pressure to win a race this year than the championship. We haven’t been in the championship race all year long until the last couple of races, so I would say that the championship is Bobby’s to lose and all the pressure is on the 4 team. I’ve been in that boat before, the first championship I won was nerve wracking, but now there’s no stress at all. Like I said, we’re just happy to be in it, but if we should be in position to win the championship this year, it would certainly be disappointing not to win a race.”

What better place for Stefanik to end his winless drought, which dates back to Martinsville of last season, than Stafford Motor Speedway? Stefanik has recorded 20 of his 70 career Whelen Modified Tour wins at the Connecticut half-mile facility, and he is also a former Late Model Sportsman as well as Modified track champion at Stafford. But the two drivers he is dueling with for the championship, Bobby Santos and Ted Christopher, also have stellar records at Stafford.

“It would be nice to get another win at Stafford, but the other two guys run well at Stafford too,” said Stefanik. “I think Bobby has been the class of the field this year at Stafford and Teddy is always good at Stafford, so it’s going to be a fun battle for sure. We’re coming to win and I’m sure those guys are coming to win. In the end, it could all come down to luck. We’ve been close to winning this year, but look at what happened to Tony Stewart at Loudon. If he had another half gallon of gas in the tank, he probably wins that race. We can’t do anything other than what we have been doing all year long to enhance our chances, so we’ll show up with a fast and well prepared race car, which the Flamingo guys always give me, and we’ll see what happens.”

Race fans can meet and greet with the three Whelen Modified Tour championship contenders as well as the rest of the Whelen Modified Tour competitors and Stafford’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series drivers at the CARQUEST Belts and Hose Pit Party on Sunday, starting at 11am.

The Whelen Modified Tour cars hit the track for the first time during CARQUEST Fall Final weekend on Saturday October 2nd with a practice session from 11:00am-12:30pm. Time trials to set the field will begin at 2:15pm on Saturday and the 150-lap race will take the green flag at approximately 3:15pm on Sunday.

Tickets for the 38th Annual CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend are now on sale at the Stafford Motor Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $35.00 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, $38.00 for reserved seats, and free for children ages 5 & under. Tickets are good for admission to the Saturday, October 2nd, and Sunday, October 3rd portions of the Fall Final. As always, Stafford Motor Speedway offers plenty of free parking with overnight weekend parking available.

For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.

  Source: Scott Running / Stafford Motor Speedway
Posted: September 22, 2010

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