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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour




Stafford Motor Speedway has lined up an impressive field of current and former open wheel champions for its 3rd Annual CARQUEST Champions For Charities Event, which will take place on Friday, June 28th this season. During the coming weeks, SMS will offer a profile on each of its championship winning drivers and the charity they will be racing for and this week's CARQUEST Champions For Charities spotlights falls on Richie Pallai, Jr., the 2009 Spring Sizzler SK Modified® Champion, who will be racing to help support the Animal Center of Newtown in memory of Sandy Hook victim Catherine Violet Hubbard. The Animal Center and the Hubbard Family have announced that they plan to build the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary, which will be a place where all creatures, great and small, can know the touch of a kind hand and be safe from harm.

"For this year's CARQUEST Champions For Charities, I wanted to do something for Sandy Hook as well as doing something for animals," said Pallai. "I love animals and Catherine was an animal lover, so racing for the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary is a win-win. It was obviously unfortunate circumstances that this opportunity came about from, but the money we raise will be going to a good cause to take care of animals and most importantly it will be in Catherine's memory."

The Animal Center of Newtown is an all-volunteer, non-profit rescue organization dedicated to helping animals through compassionate, no-kill programs. Created in 2004, The Animal Center runs its rescue programs entirely through a volunteer foster network. Catherine Violet Hubbard was one of the victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy last December, and since Catherine had a love of animals, the Animal Center and the Hubbard family announced plans to build an animal sanctuary in Catherine's name. Pallai is also an animal lover, and when searching for a way to honor the memory of the Sandy Hook victims while also helping animals, the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary was a perfect fit.

For his fund raising duties, Pallai has several items that he will be giving away for a donation to the Catherine Hubbard Animal Sanctuary. Pallai has Sandy Hook memorial decal that he will be giving away throughout the season for a minimum $5 donation and he will carry the decal on his #39 CARQUEST Filters Whelen Modified Tour car all season long. In addition to the decals, Pallai has custom CARQUEST Filters hats that he will be giving away, and fans can stop by Pallai's #39 car and make a donation in person at the CARQUEST Belts & Hose Pit Party during CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler on April 28.

"We'll be giving out the Sandy Hook decals along with some custom CARQUEST Belts and Hose hats and tee-shirts at the CARQUEST Belts & Hose Pit Party and all of the proceeds will go to the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary," said Pallai. "I've had a lot of help with the decals and I have to thank Lisa Morgillo, Lianna Berndt, Michael Tiberio, and Lisa Arute for their help in getting the decals printed and Tom Abele of 32 Signs for printing the stickers. Every hat and tee-shirt that we sell will be lettered with CARQUEST Belts and Hose and I have to thank them for making it possible for us to have hats and tee-shirts to sell at the Pit Party this year, we're hoping we can raise a lot of money. The Animal Center hopes to have the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary up and running within 5 years and hopefully the money we raise this year will help them get a good start to building the sanctuary."

After finishes of 7th and 9th in the first two CARQUEST Champions For Charities race, Pallai has his sights set on a better finish this year on Stafford's Mini-Mile behind the wheel of a Wild Thing Kart Senior Outlaw machine.

"We all want to win this race for our charities and we give it our all, but if there's one race that we can't win, this would be it," said Pallai. "This race is all about raising money for a lot of good causes and us drivers going out there on the track and having a good time. There's no pressure, we don't have to get out of the car and debrief with the crew, and everyone is smiling and having fun. Just like any other kind of racing, it definitely helps to have a good kart and a good setup because the karts are really bumpy going around the mini mile. Hopefully we raise the most money this year and we'll be able to get a good starting spot for the race."

In addition to his CARQUEST Champions For Charities duties, Pallai will be taking part in his fourth season on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. After recording three top-10 finishes in four races with a new chassis last year, Pallai is eager to get his 2013 season started.

"We're all really excited about the 2013 season," said Pallai. "We bought a new chassis towards the end of last year and we had 3 top-10 finishes in the 4 races we ran with the new car. I feel like we're stable in the motor and chassis department and this is the first off-season that we haven't had to do anything major to the car. We have the confidence that we can run with the big boys this year and we're planning on running the full schedule this year."

The starting lineups for the CARQUEST Champions For Charities 15-lap feature will be determined by how much money each driver raises for their selected charity. The starting grid will be set with the drivers who have raised the most money starting up front. Fans are encouraged to get involved in the event by donating to their favorite driver or favorite charity. To make a donation to The Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary on behalf of Richie Pallai, and for more information on the event, please refer to the CARQUEST Champions for Charities donation page located at www.staffordspeedway.com. Stay tuned to www.staffordspeedway.com for more driver spotlights and exciting information regarding the CARQUEST Champions for Charities event, which will take place on Friday, June 28.

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: March 14, 2013

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