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   The Chrome Horn - Valenti Modified Racing Series




With the Lincoln Tech 80 Valenti Modified Racing Series event on the horizon at Stafford Motor Speedway, Todd Owen is looking forward to having a repeat performance of last year’s race. Owen, an SK Modified® regular at Stafford, finished second behind Keith Rocco after starting from the 20th position. But Owen won’t be driving the same #29 he piloted last season; instead he will be behind the wheel of Jack Bateman’s #17 for the Lincoln Tech 80.

“I’ll be driving Jack Bateman’s #17 car, so it’ll be a different car than the car I drove last year,” said Owen. “I drove Jack’s car at Thompson, and I really enjoyed it until we had some motor issues. I think we led like the first 17 laps of the race before we had the motor problem. I’m looking forward to coming to Stafford with Jack’s car.”

Owen finished second in last year’s Lincoln Tech 80 and was running in the top-5 in the Shark Cycle 80 when his power steering belt broke and he retired the car. With his success in the VMRS races combined with his track experience, Owen likes his chances when the green flag falls on this year’s Lincoln Tech 80.

“I look forward to all the MRS races at Stafford because of the fact that us regulars have experience over some of the guys who come to Stafford,” said Owen. “It gives you a little bit of an advantage, but there’s definitely some heavy hitters like Keith [Rocco] who run here weekly.”

Another aspect of the VMRS races that Owen looks forward to is the qualifying system. The VMRS cars qualify through 12 lap heat races with the cars who make the most passes in the heat race starting up front for the 80-lap feature event. Last year Owen crashed in his heat race, which relegated him to a 20th place starting position. Owen was able to charge through the field, but once he got up to second, he couldn’t get around Keith Rocco for the race lead. So the question becomes do you go hard in the heat race, or do you take it easy in the heat to save the car for the 80-lap feature?

“You have to save your stuff because you only get one set of tires,” said Owen. “They have a plus/minus system so the more cars you pass in the heat, the higher you start in the race, so you can’t afford to hang back and save everything. I think you just try to pass as many people as you can and make sure you’re there. If you start up front, you try to save as much as you can and if you get one spot it probably isn’t going to do you a whole lot of good. It’s kind of tough, if you have the low draw, you can ease your way into the show, but with the plus-minus you want the high draw to start in the back and there’s more chances to pass cars. I think it’s a pretty good deal, the way they do it, it works out pretty fair. I’m hoping for a higher number to start towards the back and pass some cars to get a better starting position. Last year I started in the back and when I finally got up to second, I think I just ran out of car plus Keith [Rocco] was going pretty good. You can’t start last and pass all those guys and have enough tire at the end of the race to try to compete for the win.”

Tickets for the 2nd Annual Lincoln Tech 80 are available and on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $27.50 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating will be priced at $30.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. As always, Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available.

For more information on the 2nd Annual Lincoln Tech 80, or to order tickets, 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: June 21, 2012

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