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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour



Stafford Motor Speedway is proud to announce that Dr. Dick Berggren, acclaimed racing personality, will serve as the Grand Marshal for the NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour 150, Sunday September 28.

Dr. Dick Berggren is known for his pit road reporting and announcing duties covering the upper levels of NASCAR including the Sprint Cup, Nationwide, and Camping World Truck Series. Berggren began his TV career in 1981 and he has covered every type of racing imaginable for world class networks such as CBS, ESPN, Fox, SpeedChannel, TBS, and TNN. 2012 was Berggren's final year covering the NASCAR circuit but he continues to work with and follow his passion of local short track racing through his magazine “Speedway Illustrated” which often features some of Stafford’s own. Berggren began his passion for auto racing not as an announcer but as a driver, driving Supermodifieds, Modifieds, Late Models, and Sprint Cars. Berggren also has a deep connection with Stafford Speedway. The Connecticut half-mile track was where Berggren first caught the racing bug as a young boy. Berggren is best known at Stafford as being one of the creators of the “greatest race in the history of spring”, The NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler. Lew Boyd, Bruce Cohen, and Berggren created the Spring Sizzler in 1972 as a way to hold a premier auto racing event in the spring when at the time all the major events were held in the summer and fall months. Berggren even won a race at Stafford during his driving career, taking the checkered flag in a Late Model Tiger feature event that was held on May 17, 1968. These roots as well as his relationship with the late Jack Arute, Sr. makes being the Grand Marshal of the NAPA Fall Final an honor for Mr. Berggren.

“I saw my very first race at Stafford Speedway when I was 8 years old and Stafford is what has taken me through my whole life,” said Berggren. “Stafford has been one of my favorite tracks since the days of the quarter-mile paved track on the infield and the half-mile dirt track outside that. My parents found that they could get whatever they needed from me by promising trips to Stafford. I had to pay my own way so I had a paper route and I did all sorts of things to earn money because I needed a quarter to buy a copy of Illustrated Speedway news and I needed to have an extra dollar in order to buy one of Shaney Lorenzen’s 8x10 pictures of the drivers. The Fall Final is on the other end of the Spring Sizzler, but it’s still a long running major event. I was thrilled when Mark Arute asked me to be the Grand Marshal. Stafford has meant so much to me for so many years and to be the Grand Marshal at one of Stafford’s major events is a big deal. Stafford is special because of my relationship with Jack, Sr. and Bill Slater to start with. When we first ran the Sizzler, they were so kind to us and they were very supportive. I see what Mark and Lisa have done with the track now and Stafford is better than it’s ever been from a perspective from being a clean, solid place that has good racing that people can bring their families, enjoy a night of short track racing, and go home with a smile on their faces and tell their friends and neighbors this is a wonderful place to go. It’s the Jack Arute way, do everything first class.”

Since Berggren retired from his television duties, he has been busy with a host of projects. His main focus has been on getting the North East Motor Sports Museum up and running and he is also working on a book project that is titled “History of Auto Racing in New England.”

“It’s very important to not only me but for a lot of folks that there’s a building that can house the artifacts, photography, books, and all that sort of thing from auto racing past,” said Berggren. “I’m also working on a book that will have a chapter dedicated to Stafford’s dirt and NASCAR days which ranged from 1959 to 1966. Andy Fusco has dug deep into that period’s history and I was actually there in the grandstands for most of those races. The book has 13 other chapters and the boys and I are putting this together for Christmas.”

The North East Motor Sports Museum is a proposed 20,000 square foot facility that will be located either on the grounds of New Hampshire Motor Speedway, or New England Dragway. When the museum has been completed, it will be home to an extensive collection of race cars, trophies, helmets, engines, motorcycles, books, photographs, newspapers, videos, magazines and memorabilia that represents a cross-section of the rich North East racing history. For more information about the museum, please visit www.nemsmuseum.com.

The Whelen Modified Tour cars will qualify for the NAPA Fall Final 150 on Saturday, Sept. 27 before hitting the track for 150 laps on Sunday, Sept. 28. The famous NAPA Pit Party, a meet and greet with drivers and teams, will take place from 11:00am to noon on Sunday, Sept. 28. Saturday will also see qualifying heats for Stafford’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions plus the Legend Cars as well as feature events for the SK Lights, Ltd. Late Models, DARE Stocks, Legend Cars, and Rusty Wallace Racing Experience. The Whelen Modified Tour will be joined on Sunday by the SK Modified® and Late Model feature events.

Tickets for the 42nd Annual NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final Weekend are priced at $38.50 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 is priced at $42.00 for all ages. All NAPA Fall Final tickets are good for admission on both Saturday and Sunday and ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Visit your local participating NAPA Auto Parts Store for discount ticket offers.

For more information on the 42nd Annual NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final Weekend, 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: September 18, 2014

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