* Stafford Closes Curtain On Season With Fall Final * NASCAR Legend Bobby Allison To Be Honored * Five Questions: Danny Sammons Stafford Closes Curtain On Season With Fall Final The fourth and final trip to Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway in...
* Stafford Closes Curtain On Season With Fall Final
* NASCAR Legend Bobby Allison To Be Honored
* Five Questions: Danny Sammons
Stafford Closes Curtain On Season With Fall Final The fourth and final trip to Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway in 2008 will take place on Sunday, Sept. 28. The CARQUEST Fall Final, the track's traditional season-ending show, will see the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour go green at approximately 3 p.m.
The 150-lap race will be the 14th of 16 dates on the 2008 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule. In the first three trips for the series to Stafford this year, Ted Christopher, Chuck Hossfeld and Jimmy Blewett have registered victories.
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.
Coming off a strong run at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway last week, Ryan Preece looks to be a contender again this weekend at Stafford. The 17-year-old won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Tech-Net Spring Sizzler at Stafford in April and has led a total of 135 laps there so far this year.
"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."
The two-day show will feature practice and qualifying on Saturday with the race on Sunday. 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.
As part of NASCAR's celebration of 60 Years of Modified Champions, two-time (1964, 1965) winner Bobby Allison will be honored in pre-race ceremonies.
The Race: CARQUEST Fall Final
The Place: Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway
The Date: Sunday, Sept. 28
The Time: 3:30 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 To Be Honored
As part of the season-long celebration of 60 Years of Modified Champions, two-time NASCAR Modified titlist Bobby Allison will be honored at the CARQUEST Fall Final on Sunday, Sept. 28 at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway.
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.
Prior to his NASCAR Modified Division titles, Allison also collected back-to-back crowns in the NASCAR Modified Special Division in 1962 and 1963.
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.
In the first three years of NASCAR Modified racing, Flock compiled 34 victories in just more than 100 starts. In the same season he captured the Modified title, 1949, he also finished fifth in the NASCAR Strictly Stock division standings.
Flock went on to register 19 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories before he retired in 1957. He passed away in 1972 at the age of 52.
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. 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 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. Christopher will have to make the quick switch from his SK ride over to the No. 36 Al-Lee Installations Chevrolet and put his 89-point lead over Matt Hirschman on the line in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour's 150-lapper.
Christopher Continues To Pace The Field ... With a fourth-place finish at Martinsville, current points leader Ted Christopher lost little ground in an effort to earn his first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship. ... The veteran has a slim 89-point lead over Matt Hirschman, but has been on the perch four weeks in a row and has failed to finish a race in the top 10 just three times in 13 outings this year.
Hirschman Continues To Close The Gap ... Since middle-of-the-pack finishes in the season's first two dates, Hirschman has consistently charged toward the top of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour standings. A string of six-consecutive top-10 finishes has the son of five-time series champion Tony Hirschman just 89 points out of first, the closest he's been this year.
Preece Comes Out A Winner At Martinsville ... Second-year driver Ryan Preece will go down as the overall winner of last Saturday's Made In America Whelen 300 at Martinsville. Preece, who crossed the finish line second, was awarded the race victory after initial winner Burt Myers was penalized following post-race inspection ... As the highest finishing NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour driver, Preece was already the youngest driver in series history to claim a victory.
NWMT Has Strong Showing In Combination Race ... The Made In America Whelen 300 was run as a combination race for the fourth year in a row with participants from both the NASCAR Whelen Modified and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tours ... Among the top 10 official race finishers, nine came from the NWMT, with Brian Loftin the only NWSMT representative among the group with a ninth-place effort.
Season Quick Recap
* Ted Christopher assumed the season points lead for the first time at Mansfield (Ohio) Motorsports Park when he captured the Whelen 150. He also won the Tech-Net Spring Sizzler at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway and the New Hampshire 100.
* Jimmy Blewett, Chuck Hossfeld and Ronnie Silk have won two races apiece in 2008.
* Ryan Preece was credited with his first career NWMT victory in the most-recent race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
* Matt Hirschman earned his first career NWMT victory at Spencer Speedway on July 12.
* Ed Flemke Jr. and Todd Szegedy have each recorded single victories in 2008, both at Thompson.
Five Questions: Danny Sammons
How did you get started racing?
My family has been involved in racing since I was born. My grandfather [Leonard Sammons Jr.] started the family newspaper which is focused on racing and my dad [Len Sammons] took it over. I was going to the races since I was probably one month old. I got into racing Quarter Midgets at age seven and have been racing ever since.
What has been the highlight of your racing career?
Winning two Late Model races and challenging for the track championship when I was 17 years old in Summersville, S.C. Also sitting on two poles in the Hooters Pro Cup Series and coming close to a couple wins.
How would you grade your team in 2008?
I think it's going really well. I'm happy with the team and what we've been able to accomplish with a low-budget team. With [owner] Ralph Solhem building everything himself -- everything on the car is handmade and built himself except for the motor. To be one of the few teams out there that is doing it that way and to get a few top-10s and a top-five at New Hampshire, I'm really happy with it, and I hope we can continue through the last three races.
What are your hobbies?
Racing is my main hobby as well as my profession. Everything in my life goes around racing. I work at the newspaper Area Auto Racing News, I work on racing every day, I work on by brother's Sprint Car two nights a week, and when I'm not racing myself, I'm attending my brother's races. Outside of racing I like to go to watch the Philadelphia Phillies and I try to get to a Duke basketball game at least once a year and catch their games on television.
What does your job at Area Auto Racing News entail?
I do a number of different things. I am the advertising director and event manager for the motorsports show and Atlantic City indoor race. We only have a staff of eight, so we all contribute in different ways. The Chemung 120 will be the third and final "qualifying format" race in 2008 following the Mason Farms 100 at Spencer Speedway and the Miller Lite 140 at Riverhead Raceway. The format will see time trials set the field for two 25-lap heat races. The results of the twin 25s will then set the field for the 120-lap main. Time trials are set for 4:30 p.m., immediately followed by the heat races. The main is scheduled to start at approximately 9 p.m.
* The New Hampshire 100 will be broadcast on a tape-delayed basis by SPEED on Sept. 24 at 1:30 p.m.
* The Made In America Whelen 300 will air on SPEED on Oct. 10 at noon and Oct. 11 at 3 a.m.
Most Popular Driver Voting
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.
Up Next: Chemung 120
The next-to-last race on the 2008 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour slate will take place at Chemung (N.Y.) Speedrome on Saturday, Oct. 4.
The Chemung 120 will mark just the second time in the 24-year history of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour that the series has contested a race at the .333-mile oval. Jerry Marquis reached Victory Lane in the only previous race on Aug. 10, 2001.
There are seven current NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour drivers that competed in the 2001 race at Chemung in Jimmy Blewett, Wade Cole, Ed Flemke Jr., Rick Fuller, Reggie Ruggiero, Mike Stefanik and Jamie Tomaino. Current part-time competitors Tony Ferrante Jr., Carl and Charlie Pasteryak and Rob Summers also participated in that race.
Ruggiero was runner-up to Marquis and Summers came home fourth in the 2001 race. The race also marked the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour debut for Blewett.