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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour



by Polly Reid

Ryan Preece of Berlin, CT in the Eric Sanderson owned Diversified Metals/R.B. Enterprises Ford scored big today turning a 17.924 second lap setting a new track record at Stafford Motor Speedway and will lead the 28 car field to green for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler Sunday afternoon. Preece bested the time of 19.965 set by Bobby Santos two years ago at this event.

Corey LaJoie of Concord, NC clocked in second fastest with Eric Berndt of Cromwell, CT third, Mike Stefanik of Coventry, RI fourth and Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville, NY fifth.

"To get the record here, we won the SK Championship here last year, it's the first time here with the 16 together, I mean we knew we would have something good, but this is pretty cool. Sly and the whole team, they've been working really hard, we've been geling really well, we've just been having fun and when you have fun, usually good things happen. Hopefully we can keep having fun, win some races because that's what counts."

Excited about getting three poles in the last three races would be an understatement. "I knew what the track record was, I have since before I was in the 3 car, it feels good to do this." Preece scored the pole at the season opening NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Thompson two weeks ago which is right where he left off in the season finale taking the pole award at the World Series last October.
"This is great," said Sly Szaban, crew chief of the pole winning modified, "Everyone is flying high right now."

Third generation driver Corey LaJoie made use of the experience around him to help him adjust to the half mile CT oval. "It's not me, it's the car, it's a good car, it makes the learning curve much less steep," LaJoie said about his first trip to Stafford. "Ronnie Silk showed me around this morning, I followed him in practice. My dad is his godfather so we grew up pretty much like cousins, he's been helping me out all day. Little pointers here and there from Teddy (Christopher) and Mike Stefanik, they really helped me out, then I put together a lap I thought was pretty smooth - we backed up what we did in practice. Tomorrow, we'll see what we got." For LaJoie, it will be select events on the Tour - the next trip north could be one of the Thompson shows.

Donny Lia will roll off the grid sixth with Doug Coby seventh, defending NWMT Champion Ron Silk eighth, rookie contender Keith Rocco and Jimmy Blewett the top ten.

Grandstands open up at 10am tomorrow for the pit party at 11am. Action starts at 1pm with the SK division, late models then the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler which is scheduled to roll off at approximately 3pm.

  Source: Polly Reid / TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: April 28, 2012

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