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Stafford Motor Speedway
Stafford Motor Speedway News
Todd Szegedy Feels good About Chances of Winning
Apr 26, 2011 - updated Apr 26th, 2011 10:21pm
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For Immediate Release Contact: Scott Running
4/26/11 (860) 684-2783
TODD SZEGEDY FEELS GOOD ABOUT CHANCES OF WINNING
40th ANNUAL CARQUEST TECH-NET SPRING SIZZLER AT STAFFORD
(Stafford Springs, CT)---As Stafford Speedway readies to let the green flag fly on the 40th Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler this weekend, 2003 Whelen Modified Tour champion Todd Szegedy has to be counted among the favorites to take home the checkered flag. Being a former SK Modified® driver at Stafford, Szegedy has track experience on his side, and he was among the fastest cars that participated in an open test session with his #2
Wisk sponsored Ford.
“The practice was awesome,” said Szegedy. “That was the fastest I’ve ever gone at Stafford. We didn’t have the transponders on the cars, but by the stopwatches we were right around 18.0 seconds and we had several people call us who said they had us timed at 17.9. I think we might have had a few tenths of a second on the guys who were at the test, and I know the car felt good. I think we’re going to be really good for the Sizzler.”
The 2011 Whelen Modified Tour season marks a reunion for Szegedy with crew chief Phil Moran, who was Szegedy’s crew chief when he won the WMT championship in 2003. The reunion of Szegedy and Moran paid instant dividends at the season opening race, as Szegedy was fifth fastest in time trials and was among the front runners in the race before getting caught up in a wreck. Despite finishing 22nd at Thompson, Szegedy feels good about his team and his chances at Stafford.
“Having Phil come back on board with us was huge,” said Szegedy. “We always communicated well together and we won a championship together. We were really good at Thompson, I think we were a little tight in qualifying, but we were fast in the race. We had the fastest lap of the race at one point, I don’t know if we ended up with the fastest lap at the end of the race, but we were definitely one of the top-5 fastest cars. We have a really strong team right now, we have so many good things going for us right now. I have a great owner, a great crew chief, and a great crew, so we have a good core in place, and that is really important to have in place.”
Although the final finishing position didn’t indicate how well Szegedy ran in the season opener, all factors point in the direction of Szegedy having a good run at Stafford. In 10 career Spring Sizzler races, Szegedy has
finished second three times and he has 6 top-5 and 7 top-10 finishes. With the Sizzler being 200-laps long, Szegedy says that falls right into his comfort zone.
“I like the longer races, I think they play into my driving style,” said Szegedy. “I like being able to get into a rhythm and see what the car has.
There is less urgency than the shorter races, but you still have to drive hard right from the green flag. We’ve had a couple of seconds in the Sizzler, and with the car and team we have, we feel like we’re going to be contenders to win the Sizzler. You have to be in position to win late in the race and you have to make the right changes on your pit stops. You only want to pit once or maybe twice during the race, so you really have to make the right changes on the car.”
Before the teams take to the track for the race, they first must qualify. Qualifying up front certainly helps your chances of winning the race, but Szegedy feels like qualifying up front is not an absolute necessity.
“Qualifying in the top-10 is definitely important, but I’ve qualified as far down as the teens and twenties and still been able come back up through the pack,” said Szegedy. “I think that if you are among the first 10 cars that go out during qualifying, you’re at a disadvantage. Even with the tire scrub session we have, I still think that you want to be somewhere about 15th or 20th to go out and take time. It seems like the track picks up speed after about 20 cars have gone out. Pole position is more of a possibility if you are able to go out late rather that being among the first cars to go out. I think there are a number of guys who are going to be fast this weekend and I’ve always said there’s about 10-15 guys who can win on any given Sunday with the right circumstances. If we are able to go out and win the Sizzler, it would be a big deal. It would definitely be a race that I could check off my list of races that I want to win. We have a lot of momentum already on our side with the team that we have and a win this early in the season would only add to that momentum and give us a nice boost for the rest of the season.”
Szegedy will begin his quest for a CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler trophy on Saturday, April 30 with Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the Whelen Modified Tour cars, along with heat and consolation races for Stafford’s weekly divisions. Saturday will wrap up with feature events for the SK Light, Limited Late Model, and DARE Stock divisions. The Sizzler continues on Sunday, May 1 with the CARQUEST Belts & Hose Pit Party followed by Stafford’s SK Modifieds® and Late Models joining the Whelen Modified Tour in feature action.
Tickets for the “Greatest Race in the History of Spring” are on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $35.00 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 $38.00 for all ages. As always, Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available.
For more information on the 40th annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler®,or to order tickets, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783
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