NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour News & Notes - Stafford * Title Chase Tightens As Tour Returns To Stafford * Home Tracks: Christopher Contends For SK Title * Five Questions: Chuck Hossfeld Title Chase Tightens As Tour Returns To Stafford The...
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour News & Notes - Stafford
* Title Chase Tightens As Tour Returns To Stafford
* Home Tracks: Christopher Contends For SK Title
* Five Questions: Chuck Hossfeld
Title Chase Tightens As Tour Returns To Stafford
The fourth and final trip for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour to Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway in 2008 will take place on Sunday, Oct. 12.
The CARQUEST Fall Final, the track's traditional season-ending show, was originally scheduled to be held on Sept. 28. Rain forced the race weekend to be postponed.
The 150-lap race will be the 15th of 16 dates on the 2008 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule. With just two races remaining, the points championship is still very much a contest. Matt Hirschman narrowed Ted Christopher's lead to just 55 points with his second win of the season last week in the Chemung 120.
Although Hirschman's string of top finishes now has him closer to the lead than at any point this year, he does not feel any pressure with just two chances left at what would be his first series crown.
"I'm not putting any pressure on myself," Hirschman said. "After New Hampshire I wasn't satisfied because we didn't have the opportunity to beat him [Christopher] on the track. The only way we're going to have a chance at the championship is to beat him on the race track, and now two races in a row we've done that, so I'm very satisfied with what we did at Martinsville and Chemung."
Behind by 55 points, Hirschman would have to finish an average of six spots ahead of Christopher in the last two races as well as hold off the five drivers behind him in the points standings that are mathematically still alive.
"We'll see what the numbers are after the next two races," Hirschman said. "We'll just approach them like we did the last two and try to knock some more off."
Despite a shrinking lead in the season standings, Christopher will enter the Fall Final as a favorite to reach Victory Lane and bolster his points lead. The veteran is the track's all-time winningest driver with more than 100 total victories, including the Tech-Net Spring Sizzler on April 27. Although his points lead is the smallest it's been since he took it from Hossfeld in mid-August, Christopher has finished no worse than 14th with top 10s in the last three outings.
In addition to the two front-running championship contenders, there are a number of other drivers to watch this weekend at Stafford. Chuck Hossfeld busted a slump last week with a top five at Chemung and has a win at Stafford under his belt in 2008. One of Jimmy Blewett's two wins this year came at Stafford and Ryan Preece, although he has not reached Victory Lane at the track, has had significant success there this year with a pole and 136 laps led.
"We've always had a strong car there, and going into the race, our goal is to do what we did at the Spring Sizzler," Preece said. "We want to try and get the pole and try to dominate the race. That's definitely something I want to do and its always been a goal of mine since I was a little kid to win at Stafford. We've come so close before."
Mike Stefanik captured the 2007 Fall Final to extend his series record for wins at Stafford to 19. Stefanik, who has registered wins in 20 of his 23 seasons in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour prior to this year, has yet to reach Victory Lane in 2008.
The two-day show will feature practice and qualifying on Saturday with the race set to go green on Sunday at approximately 3 p.m. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will be joined at Stafford for the weekend by the NASCAR Camping World Series East, which is scheduled to start its 150-lap race at noon.
The Race: CARQUEST Fall Final
The Place: Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway
The Date: Sunday, Oct. 12
The Time: 3 p.m. ET
Track Layout: 0.5-mile oval
Race Purse: $90,143
2007 Winner: Mike Stefanik
2007 Pole: Eric Beers
Schedule: Saturday, Practice: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Time Trials: 3:30 p.m.
NASCAR Legend Bobby Allison Set For Stafford Appearance
The rainout of the CARQUEST Fall Final's originally-scheduled date changed many plans, but it couldn't keep NASCAR legend Bobby Allison from making his first appearance at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway.
Allison was set to be honored as part of the season-long celebration of 60 Years of Modified Champions on Sept. 28 at Stafford. The event was rained out, but Allison found a spot in his schedule to make it for the rain date.
Allison, a resident of Mooresville, N.C., captured the 1964 and 1965 NASCAR Modified Division titles prior to his rise to stardom in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Allison went on to register 84 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories, which ranks third in the division's history. He was a three-time Daytona 500 winner, six-time Most Popular Driver and the 1983 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion.
In addition to Allison, NASCAR will also recognize the accomplishments of 1949 champion Fonty Flock. Flock was the second NASCAR Modified Division champion following Red Byron's title in the inaugural season of NASCAR racing in 1948. One of NASCAR's early stars, Flock led the series in wins during the first season with 15, but lost the title to Byron by just 2.75 points. He secured the NASCAR Modified title the following year by outdistancing his brother, Tim.
Pre-race ceremonies are scheduled to commence Sunday at 11:30 a.m.
News & Notes
The Race ... The CARQUEST Fall Final will be the fourth and final race for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at Stafford in 2008. This date was originally scheduled for Sept. 28, but was rained out.
The Procedure ... Starting Positions 1-28 will be determined from time trials. The remaining five spots will be filled through the provisional process. The race is 150 laps (75 miles).
The Track ... A half-mile flat oval, Stafford Motor Speedway began as a horse-racing track in the 1870s. After seven decades as a horse track, the half-mile dirt oval started holding auto races following WW II. Stafford became a NASCAR track in 1959 and was paved for the first time in 1967.
Race Winners ... There have been 28 different race winners at Stafford, led by Mike Stefanik's 19 victories. Ted Christopher had the longest win streak in the history of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at Stafford with four-straight victories from Sept. 30, 2001 to Aug. 23, 2002. Christopher, Chuck Hossfeld and Jimmy Blewett won the first three races at Stafford in 2008.
Pole Winners ... There have been 34 different pole winners at Stafford, led by Stefanik's 14. Ryan Preece and Hossfeld captured the pole in the season's first two races at Stafford. Qualifying for the August race was rained out.
Home Tracks: Christopher In Contention For Stafford SK Title, Set For
Current NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season points leader Ted Christopher will have a chance to earn a championship this weekend when he contends for the Stafford Motor Speedway SK Modified title.
Christopher is the defending champion in Stafford's premier NASCAR Whelen All-American Series division. He will enter the final race of the season trailing Keith Rocco by 14 points.
In 16 starts this year, Christopher has a division-high four wins to go along with nine top-fives and 13 top-10s. Rocco, who finished fourth in the NWAAS Top 500 standings, has two wins and 13 top-fives on the season at Stafford.
The 40-lap SK Modified season finale is set to go green Sunday following the NASCAR Camping World Series' 150-lap race, which Christopher will also compete in. Christopher will begin his personal tripleheader driving for Ted Marsh in the NCWSE's season finale.
The Plainville, Conn., driver will put his slim 55-point lead in the season standings over Matt Hirschman on the line in the NWMT's 150-lapper following the SK feature. All told, Christopher is scheduled to race 340 laps in three consecutive races.
Five Questions: Chuck Hossfeld
How did you get started racing?
My dad took me to the races to watch. He was a fan to since he was a young kid, his dad would take him. My dad started taking me when I was a baby, so I've always been a fan of auto racing. When I got to be eight I got a go-kart to mess around in the yard a little and I started racing when I was 12. I started out in go-karts and then when I was 17 or 18, we got a race car and I've raced ever since.
What has been the highlight of your racing career?
The first thing that comes to mind is winning that race at Loudon this year because it was so close with Teddy [Christopher]. That is something I'll probably always remember. When I came around for the lap after the race had finished, I looked in the stands and there wasn't a person sitting. I really felt like it was a great show and I was proud to have won that race and be a part of something exciting for the fans.
After a dominant start to the season, your team went through a long drought. Do you feel the fourth place last week at Chemung got you guys back on track?
We're going to do everything in our power to finish out strong. We had five or six races where if we didn't have bad luck, we had no luck at all. There was one race at Thompson where I made a mistake that cost us and there were a couple races where we had a couple issues. At Loudon [September] we were leading the race and basically got crashed. I think we've been strong. Last week we finished fourth, which is good, but we're looking to win the last two races and win the poles to finish strong and end on a high note, which is what everyone on my team deserves.
You won at Stafford earlier this year. What will it take to get back to Victory Lane this weekend?
If our car is as good as it was in the race we won, then we're going to be real tough. Stafford is a bit of a track-position track at times. We have good pit stops with our team and we have a good crew chief. It will take a little bit of luck and everyone doing their job well, including myself. On the Whelen Modified Tour there are a lot of good drivers and good competition, so it will take everything to fall into place.
What does your job at Troyer Race Cars entail?
I guess a little of everything. I answer the phones and handle technical questions. I handle parts with shipping and receiving. Then there are times when I go out to the shop. We built a car a couple weeks ago
Most Popular Driver Voting Ends Soon
Time is running out for fans to vote for their favorite NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour driver. There are just three races remaining on the 2008 schedule and just more than three weeks left to make your vote count. Fans can log on to nascarhometracks.com and vote once daily from now until Oct. 19. The top vote-getter from online balloting will be named the 2008 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Most Popular Driver at the series' postseason banquet on Saturday, Dec. 13 at the Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino in Uncasville, Conn.
Last Time Out--Chemung
* Matt Hirschman registered his second win of the year. He won the Coors Light Pole Award, a 25-lap heat race and led start-to-finish in the 125-lap main. With the win Hirschman drew within 55 points of series leader Ted Christopher, who finished seventh in the race.
* Chuck Hossfeld recorded his first top-five finish since the Mason Farms 100 on July 12. He also won the second heat race.
* Rookie Erick Rudolph placed sixth, the best finish of his eight career starts.
* This was the first race at Chemung Speedrome since 2001, and just the second in series history.
Up Next: Xtra Mart World Series
The 2008 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship will be decided at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway when the season comes to a close in the Xtra Mart World Series on Sunday, Oct. 19.
With Ted Christopher holding just a 55-point lead on Matt Hirschman with two races remaining in 2008, the trophy is assured to be handed out at Thompson.
Neither Christopher or Hirschman have reached Victory Lane in the first four races of the season at Thompson, but Ed Flemke Jr., Ronnie Silk and Todd Szegedy have. Flemke captured the season-opening Icebreaker on April 6, Silk won consecutive races at the track on June 19 and August 14 and Szegedy was a victor on September 7.
Christopher has six career wins at Thompson and his best placing in this year's previous four trips was a runner-up to Silk in June. Hirschman has three top-10s at the track this year, including a runner-up to Silk in August.
Practice and qualifying for the Xtra Mart World Series will take place on Saturday, Oct. 18. The 16th and final race of the 2008 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season is set to go green on Sunday at approximately 3 p.m.