Season preview

Race For Modified Title Is Wide-Open Host of Contenders to Vie for Championship DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 31, 2008) -- With Donny Lia, the 2007 champion, having moved on to the NASCAR Craftsman Trucks Series, a host of drivers have lined up to...

Race For Modified Title Is Wide-Open
Host of Contenders to Vie for Championship

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 31, 2008) -- With Donny Lia, the 2007 champion, having moved on to the NASCAR Craftsman Trucks Series, a host of drivers have lined up to take his place as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion in 2008.

Nearly six months of offseason preparation will be put to the test this coming weekend as the 24th season of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour -- and 61st of NASCAR Modified racing overall -- commences with the Icebreaker at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway on Sunday, April 6.

Toddy Szegedy, who was tabbed the media favorite in a preseason poll last week, leads a pack of strong title contenders in 2008. Szegedy, who won the championship in 2003, was the runner-up to Lia last year, and has finished in the top-five in more than one-third of his career starts -- with one win every eight outings.

With 27 career wins, and top-five points finishes in six straight seasons, Ted Christopher is a title contender year-in and year-out. Christopher finished third in preseason balloting behind Matt Hirschman, son of five-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Champion Tony Hirschman, and the third-place finisher in the 2007 standings.

In just 39 career starts, the younger Hirschman has already compiled 18 top-10s, and leads a strong contingent of 20-somethings that are poised to run up front in 2008.

The 2008 season will be special for fans and race teams, both on and off the track. NASCAR will celebrate '60 Years of Modified Champions' throughout the season as it recognizes the many accomplishments of its past champion. There is no better example of past and present success than Mike Stefanik, who will look to contend for his eighth NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour title in 2008.

Stefanik, who has also won two NASCAR Camping World Series East titles, is searching for his NASCAR-record 10th championship. One more championship would break the tie Stefanik has with nine-time NASCAR Modified champion Richie Evans.

Stefanik also holds the tour record with 68 wins, including the season finale last year at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway.

The Icebreaker, a 150-lap race, is scheduled to go green this Sunday at approximately 3:15 p.m., following a pre-race show that will include the honoring of past NASCAR Modified champions Evans, Lia and Frankie Schneider. For ticket information, please visit Thompson's official Web Site (thompsonspeedway.com).

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Ted Christopher , Donny Lia