TODD SZEGEDY ON "CRUISE CONTROL"
AS HE CAPTURES FIRST 2014 VMRS WIN
Speedway’s Town Fair Tire 80
Belongs To Stuart Automotive Team
/ Polly Reid
already once this season, Todd Szegedy was not going to let this one get
away. The Ridgefield, CT driver committed low in turn one passing Ted
Christopher emerging as the new and final leader. With 22 to go he wheeled
the Stuart Automotive, Dunleavy sponsored, Kevin Stuart owned modified into
victory lane, scoring his first 2014 Valenti Modified Racing Series win in
the Town Fair Tire 80 at Stafford Motor Speedway.
Ted Christopher crossed for second, Keith Rocco third, Rowan Pennink and
Eric Goodale the top five.
“I knew Teddy was a little better off, he was a little tight in the center
which was messing my center up and I wasn’t able to get a good run so I sort
of set him up a little bit,” said Szegedy about the winning pass. “I knew
Teddy was going to be tough to pass, he always is, he knows what he is
doing. He came down on me a little bit going into one which is normal, it
was good hard racing, that’s what I expect and vice versa. He did everything
he could to hold me back, we just had a stellar car- the thing is
Szegedy rolled off third in the field of twenty-six cars and maintained
position dropping to fourth by the half way mark. Two cautions following the
half mark kept the field tight. Szegedy moved into second by lap 44 and
threatened to challenge the leader on the next restart. A timely caution for
Szegedy on lap 50 was the opportunity he was looking for. Patience combined
with determination - Szegedy dove low into turn one taking the lead from
Christopher and never looked back.
next task was to put as much real estate between himself, Christopher and
the rest of the field. “I just wanted to get away. I didn’t want to take the
chance of starting to lap cars and have Teddy on me because he’s the master
at using lap cars as a pick. I wanted to get as much distance as I could.
The car stayed underneath me, was real easy on the throttle, I conserved in
the beginning, I let the guys go that wanted to go hard, but I knew I
couldn’t let them go too far away. Generally, you know there is going to be
a caution and there was. The VMRS does get a lot of long green runs- you
don’t know when you’re going to get that caution so you need to keep
yourself in contention at all times, which I did.”
Szegedy dominated the final 22 green flag circuits - at one point having
built nearly half a straight away between himself and Christopher in second.
“I wasn’t sure what I quite had half way through the race but when we went
green on that last run there, the car was unbelievable. “ Szegedy who was
able to clear lap traffic without incident, appeared to be on ‘cruise
control’ as the laps ticked off on the scoreboard, Szegedy claiming his
first win of 2014.
Ted Christopher of Plainville, CT. returned to Stafford for normal weekly
racing adding to his schedule a VMRS race for a fuller night.
the wheel of the Joe Brady owned #00 modified, Christopher won his heat
race, drew to start on the pole, led 24 of the 80 laps and finished his
night in second. There was a lot of lapped traffic but Christopher did what
he does best at his home track –pass over or under and stay in the front
pack. On spot shy of a win, the team is still working towards a 2014
victory. “We are just still searching. We are just oo tight in the center. I
knew about half way through that was the down fall with it. But A third at
Thompson and a second here, the next spot we will see what we get.”
Berlin, CT driver, Keith Rocco, took the John Rufrano Wheeler Automotive #68
modified from eleventh to third to challenge the leaders but he was never
able to reel the top two in. There were a lot of fast cars out there and
Rocco used his home track experience to his advantage to be among the
leaders. “I think that we were just as good as the two cars in front of us”,
Rocco expressed at race end. “It seemed like no matter who got to the front
first. Everybody tried to save something for that last caution and then
everybody just gave it everything that they had. We were a little bit too
tight tonight but I want to thank everybody on my team.”
Goodale of Wading River, NY, led thirty-three laps only to find his top spot
stolen from him when the first caution came out on lap 43. Goodale had a
good car but it was no challenge for Christopher on the restart. The two ran
side by side but Christopher got the bite to pass. “We were really strong in
the beginning. We had a good car out there tonight which it showed early.
Then the caution came out on lap 43 and I did not get the best restart.
Teddy was able to get the edge on me and then we banged wheels pretty good
in turn one and two and the car was just never the same after that. We still
had a good car but it started to get tight after that. I was just hoping
that the laps were going to run out a little faster than they were. But my
crew does not give up. We have been getting better and better each time that
we come to the tracks so I feel pretty god about finishing fifth.”
Next Friday night, June 27th, the VMRS teams head to Lee USA Speedway a
smaller track with a little bit tighter corners which may be a challenge for
those drivers that perform best at the bigger tracks. But short track racers
that like the smaller bull rings it will be there space to excel.
See you at Lee USA Speedway next Friday or if you cannot make it, join
Denise, Polly and Jim back at TheCHromeHorn.com for live action from the
Notes from Stafford Motor Speedway Town
Fair Tire 80:
Szegedy remains the VMRS point leader as the series
heads to Lee USA Speedway next Friday night.
“It’s nice to get a win, that’s what the team comes here for, that’s what my
sponsors are here for- to win. I want to get into a rhythm and master
getting better at short tracks. That is a little bit of a weak area, I’ve
got a little bit of work to do there but I tell you what, we’re close.
Seekonk is one of my worse tracks and we ran very well there last time. I’m
starting to get the hang of these short tracks – it’s just a matter of time
before we start getting wins on them. It’s a good night for us, we
strengthened our points lead a little bit.”
What are your thoughts now that you are here in
“First, I have to thank Kevin Stuart for putting me in this race car, Bear
(Billy Calicchio) he put a set up underneath this thing that is
unbelievable,” said Szegedy. “We had an unbelievable car at Thompson and we
had an unbelievable car here. Doug Dunleavy, you see his name everywhere,
he’s out there sponsoring cars, he’s putting his name out there and it’s
great. I’ve to thank the Montanari’s for all being here, my girlfriend
Melissa, my sister, all my friends and family that are here, it’ nice to get
a win. I’ve also got to thank Mike Petit- big power in this thing, that guy
really made my career in the beginning and helped me get to where I am now
along with a lot of other people. It is definitely a good night for us.”
Source: Denise DuPont/Polly Reid / TheChromeHorn.com