Monthly Archives: February 2020

Manchester,CT’s Logano wants to keep up the winning ways

Joey Logano of Manchester, CT (Credit: AP photo.)


Joey Logano of Manchester, CT wasted no time establishing himself as a 2020 front runner, winning last Sunday’s race at Las Vegas and climbing to within three points of NASCAR Cup Series driver standings leader Ryan Blaney – his Team Penske teammate. It sure is a positive sign for the three-car Penske group which swapped driver and crew chief pairings this season.

This week’s Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway (3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) presents a very real Sunday challenge for the 2018 Cup champion. He has three Xfinity Series victories but is winless in 13 NASCAR Cup Series starts. In fact, his 57 career laps led at the track is the second lowest laps led total to Dover International Speedway (26 laps led) among tracks the series races in the first half of the season.

Although Logano hasn’t spent much time out front, he has earned encouraging results of late. The driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford has six top-10 finishes in the last seven races and four top-5 finishes in the last four. His best finish – runner-up to Kyle Busch – came last year.

“Auto Club Speedway has been a great race track for me in the past,’’ Logano said following his Las Vegas victory. “Yet to get a win; that’s the part that stinks. There’s a big goose egg in the win column over there and I got to try to get to the other side of that.’’

Note: If your track, tour or event is not posted on this blog send your press releases and flyers to:

Olson Apartments Renews Stafford Speedway SK Light Contingency

Source: Scott Running/Stafford Speedway PR

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(Stafford Springs, CT)—Olson Apartments of Feeding Hills, MA have renewed their commitment to Stafford Speedway’s SK Light contingency program for the 2020 season.  Entering their fifth consecutive season as a contingency partner, Olson Apartments will provide a weekly $75 bonus to the third place finisher in each SK Light feature event this season.  Stafford’s SK Light drivers will have 22 opportunities this season to take home the Olson Apartments bonus.

“We’ve enjoyed supporting the SK Lights at Stafford and we’re looking forward to another new season,” said Mark Olson, Owner of Olson Apartments.  “I really enjoy being able to not only support the drivers but walking through the pits and being able to meet and talk with drivers from all 5 divisions, not just the SK Lights, is a lot of fun for me. I’m looking forward to some more exciting open wheel racing this season.”

“We’re happy to once again welcome Olson Apartments back to the SK Light contingency program for 2020,” said Stafford CEO Mark Arute.  “Olson Apartments has been a great partner to work with the past few years and we thank them for their contributions to the SK Light division.”

Olson Apartments serves the Agawam and West Springfield areas with 1 and 2 bedroom apartments and have been offering “Professional Service With A Personal Touch” since 1977.  For apartment availability and more information, please call Mark Olson at 413-786-6462 or visit Olson Apartments online at

“We offer efficiency as well as 1 and 2 bedroom apartments in the Agawam and Springfield areas,” said Olson. “Please give me a call at 413-786-6462 to discuss details and availability or check our website.”

The SK Light division promises to be wide open in the chase for wins this season.  Bryan Narducci and Teddy Hodgdon, who combined to win 13 of the 20 SK Light races last year, are both moving into the premier SK Modified® division for 2020.  There are 4 returning winners from last season in the form of Alexander Pearl, Mark Bakaj, Noah Korner, and Wesley Prucker. Also returning will be Bob Charland, Joey Ferrigno, Chris Matthews, and David Webb, who are each former SK Light winners.

The race for Rookie of the Year should also be a fantastic duel throughout the 2020 season with 14 rookie drivers signed up. Several drivers, including Nikki Chambrello, Steve Kenneway, George Bessette, Jr., and Travis Hydar will all move up from Stafford’s Street Stock division with Bobby Jones, Matt McDougall, Anthony Forino, Todd Taylor, Peter Bennett, Bert Ouellette, Derek Debbis, Josh Carey, Evan Bourgeois, and Jake Hines rounding out the rookie class.  

The first Olson Apartments contingency bonus of the 2020 season will be up for grabs during Stafford Speedway’s 49th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler on April 24-26.  Tickets for the “Greatest Race in the History of Spring” are on sale now by calling the Speedway Box Office 860-684-2783 or online at

For more information, visit, checkout Stafford Speedway on Facebook or Twitter, or contact the track office at 860-684-2783.

Note: If your track, tour or event is not posted on this blog send your press releases and flyers to:

Odds and Ends-Ridgefield’s CT Anthony Alfredo joins RCR Racing in the Xfinity Series and another big year for several Modified Touring Series in the Northeast



Anthony Alfredo joins Richard Childress Racing for select NASCAR Xfinity races in the No. 21 Chevrolet Camaro, under the guidance of crew chief Andy Street, for the 2020 NASCAR season

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Anthony Alfredo to make season debut with RCR – After waiting a long two weeks, Ridgefield, Connecticut’s Anthony Alfredo will get to make his NASCAR Xfinity Series season debut with Richard Childress Racing. Alfredo is splitting time with Myatt Snider in the No. 21 Chevrolet as the two drivers work with crew chief Andy Street in 2020. Alfredo will be making his series track debut as well this weekend at Auto Club Speedway.

Pavement Modified races in the northeast are very popular among the race fans

On the subject of of Modified Touring pavement series we’ve seen some 47 events now scheduled between early April and the Halloween Weekend at the end of October during 2020. Those events include the sanctions of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Tri Track Open Modified Series, Modified Racing Series, Opens at the Stafford Motor Speedway and Race of Champions out of central and western NY State.

We are still awaiting the anticipated announcement of the reopening of the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on the Connecticut shore-line in upcoming spring which could include a $70,000 Modified open backed by Dick Williams and the Racing Guys along with three more American Modified Racing Series promoted by engine builder Bobby Carrita out of Swansea, MA. Those four races could make it a total of 51 pavement Modified races for the race fans in New England, northeast and down south

Sources: RCR Racing and Lou Modestino’s Track Talk blog on the pages of The Enterprise of Brockton, MA and The Patriot Ledger of Quincy, MA.

Trans Am Kicks Off The Season At Sebring


Celebrate the Trans Am season opener with 15% off your Race Day Flex or Weekend Tickets to the Trans Am Memorial Day Classic, held here at Lime Rock Park on May 22-25, 2020. This FLASH SALE will last through Sunday, March 1, ending at midnight.

Lime Rock Park, Lakeville, CT 203.435.2572
Note: The Trans Am Series will be kicking off the New England Sports Car season at Lime Rock Park over the Memorial Day Weekend in late May 2020

Trans Am Kicks Off The Season At Sebring, Large Fields Expected

Chris Dyson Confirmed To Race Throughout Season

SEBRING, Fla.—The 54th Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli season will launch this weekend (Feb. 28 – March 1) at the same track that hosted the first-ever Trans Am race as the series returns to Sebring International for the season-opener.  With nearly 60 fire-breathing machines fielded by a deep roster of talented drivers backed by strong teams, the 2020 Trans Am season will open with two races on Sunday, featuring five classes of competition. Sunday will see the combined TA, Xtreme GT, SuperGT and GT race on Sebring’s notoriously bumpy 3.74-mile circuit on Sunday morning ahead of the TA2® powered by AEM race in the afternoon.  The entry list features drivers from 21 states, hailing from as far as Abu Dhabi and Canada.

The 2020 season will see Trans Am race across 12 states on an all-star roster of North American tracks, and will close at the Circuit of The Americas in November, followed by the Trans Am Awards Ceremony set to be hosted at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Austin, Texas. “We are extremely excited to start our 54th Trans Am season,” said President of Trans Am Race Company John Clagett. “It’s been a really productive off-season to continue to build our paddock and our audience. We are looking forward to some exciting announcements and some tremendous racing. The grids for all the classes continue to grow and we cannot wait to see what the future holds for our series.” 

Trans Am rivals Ernie Francis Jr. (No. 98 One South Florida Wealth Advisors Ford Mustang) and Chris Dyson (No. 20 Plaid Ford Mustang) return to the TA lineup for another championship bout this year after fighting all the way to the finish for the 2019 title. Francis Jr. emerged on top, claiming his sixth national Trans Am series championship across three classes. “We are really excited to return to the Trans Am Series in 2020,” said Dyson. “It will be our third season competing for the full National championship, and we feel better prepared than ever. I’m confident that we will have a competitive season, and the aim is to be finishing every race trouble-free. We have shown plenty of pace and consistency and we know how to win. We have grown as a team the past two seasons and we are ready to roll.” Francis Jr.’s thirst for victory has not been quenched and the 22-year-old will start his fourth-consecutive TA championship chase outfitted with a new orange and black livery backed by a new team partner. “We couldn’t be happier coming back to the Trans Am series to defend our TA title,” said Francis Jr. “We are also proud to announce a new title sponsor One South Florida Wealth Advisors along with a new livery for the 2020 season.”  

While Dyson and Francis Jr. are looking to continue their championship duel, there are several contenders looking to join that fight. The high-horsepower field will see 2015 Sebring TA winner and 2016 Trans Am champion Amy Ruman (No. 23 McNichols Co. Chevrolet Corvette), 2012 Trans Am Champion Simon Gregg (No. 59 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro), 2019 Northern Cup TA winner Adam Andretti (No. 43 ECC/Anchor Bolt & Screw Dodge Challenger) and Tomy Drissi (No. 8 Lucas Oil Chevrolet Camaro) all looking for a new Crystal Sensations hardware this weekend to launch their 2020 campaigns. In preparation for his fourth decade in motorsport competition, Gregg visited Sebring International Raceway earlier this year to shake off the winter rust. “It is a new decade and I am getting pumped up for the first Trans Am race just around the corner,” stated Gregg, driver of the No. 59 Chevrolet Corvette. “Sebring should be a good start to the season although having already been down there in January for a club race it will be my second time running there already this year.” 

Seventy-five-year-old Trans Am great Kerry Hitt will return behind the wheel of his No. 19 Advanced Composite Products Inc. Cadillac CTS-V for another season of TA Master Class competition. The roster of contenders in TA2® powered by AEM continues to get more crowded with IndyCar veterans, NASCAR legends, IMSA greats and youthful rookies filling out the entry list with a strong 29-car field for the stand-alone TA2 ® race on Sunday. Reigning TA2® champion Marc Miller will not return to defend his title, leaving the door wide open for championship challengers like Rafa Matos, Cameron Lawrence and Thomas Merrill. Last season, Matos opened the year with a pair of wins at Sebring and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, but missed rounds at WeatherTech Racing Laguna Seca and Circuit of The Americas saw the former IndyCar pilot come home third in the 2019 championship standings.

 Matos partnered with Silver Hare Racing for a full-time championship effort in 2020. Wheeling the No. 7 Silver Hare Racing Chevrolet Camaro, Matos is looking forward to opening a new chapter in his Trans Am history “I finished last season with Silver Hare Racing at Daytona,” said Matos. “We had a great Daytona weekend, the team was fantastic and I was very impressed with everyone’s positive attitude.  The owners, Maurice and Laura (Hull), are doing it properly, they have a passion for the sport. The new Camaro looks so fast, and with our Prefix Engines under the hood, I can’t wait to find new roads to victory lane!”  But, a new team and a new whip for Matos might not be enough to edge out returning two-time TA2® champion Lawrence from swiping the open title. Following a two-year hiatus from the Trans Am Series, Lawrence will join Peterson Racing, Matos’ former team, for a full-season in the No. 8 3-Dimensional Services Group Chevrolet Camaro, the same car Matos drove to a championship in 2018. Lawrence competed in the Trans Am Series with Miller Racing from 2012 to 2015, where he clenched two back-to-back Trans Am Championships, and returned to the Trans Am Series in 2017 for a full-season campaign with Class Auto Motorsports.

Lawrence’s lengthy history in the Trans Am Series positions him in first for all-time TA2® class wins. Lawrence’s teammate and team principal Doug Peterson will drive the No. 87 3 – Dimensional Services Group Ford Mustang, and is a two-time TA winner at Sebring (2013-14).  “I’m excited to join Peterson Racing for a full-season championship effort in the Trans Am Series,” said Lawrence. “I’m very appreciative of Doug Peterson for this opportunity and the support of 3-Dimensional Services Group as our primary sponsor for the season. Doug has assembled a strong team at Peterson Racing, combined with the support of a long-time partner, Howe Racing Enterprises, and I look forward to getting behind the wheel of our 3-Dimensional Services Group Chevrolet Camaro next month at Sebring International Raceway.” 

Starting the 2019 season as a Trans Am West Coast driver then shifting to the National series mid-season, Thomas Merrill and Big Diehl Racing merged with Mike Cope Racing (MCR) for 2020 in hopes to create a powerhouse partnership to contest for a full season in TA2®. Merrill will pilot the familiar No. 81 Diehl-Merrill Racing Ford Mustang with the continued support from Concept Part Solutions. “We’re thrilled to partner with MCR for the 2020 Trans Am season,” expressed an excited Merrill. “The 2019 season could not have gone better for us and MCR with two wins in two races, and that bodes well for us as we go into 2020.” Scott Lagasse Jr. and Misha Goikhberg both look to be strong factors in the TA2® championship once again. The youth movement to TA2® also continues this season with 18-year-old John Paul Southern Jr. (No. 61 Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro) and 15-year-old Florida-native Jett Noland (No. 99 Mike Cope Race Cars Ford Mustang) entered for Sebring. “I am very excited for the opportunity to get behind the wheel of one of Mike Cope’s TA2® race cars,” said Noland.

“Everyone in the paddock knows the Cope name is synonymous with speed. I can’t wait to get down to Sebring.” The new XGT class is focused on 2016 and earlier FIA GT3 and slots in between the Trans Am and TA2 ® classes. The new class adds a European dimension to the Trans Am scene, with two Audi R8s, an Aston Martin and a Porsche set to take the green on Sunday. Showtime Motorsports will be fielding two Audi entries in the class debut. Team Principal Ken Thwaits had a great showing in 2019 in a partial season which included a victory at CoTA driving his No. 5 Franklin Road Apparel Audi R8 GT3 Ultra. The SuperGT and GT classes will share the track with the top TA and XGT classes, as the category is expected to see continued growth in 2020. With 11 SGT cars slated for Sebring, the top three championship finishers in the SGT class are expected to return in 2020.

Mark Boden is seeking his fifth career and fourth-consecutive SGT victory at Sebring in the No. 46 Beverage Flavors International Porsche 991 GT3 Cup. Tom Herb (No. 16 Fall-Line Motorsports Porsche 991 GT3 Cup) and Tim Kezman (No. 44 Lemons of Love Porsche 991 GT3 Cup) also return to challenge for top honors. Aaron Pierce will play iron man this weekend, driving in back-to-back 60-minute features in both the SGT (No. 26 Logical Systems/ Sam Pierce Chevy Chevrolet Corvette) and TA2® (No. 2 Sam Pierce Chevrolet Chevrolet Camaro) rounds. The GT class will see Ford and Porsche battle the championship-winning Aston Martin with Billy Griffin (No. 14 Griffin Auto Care/Sheehan’s Towing Ford Mustang), Tim Horrell (No. 45 Breathless Racing Porsche GT4 Clubsport) and 2019 champion Steven Davidson (No. 22 Davinci Plastic Surgery Aston Martin Vantage) all entered in the production-based category for Sunday’s sprint.  The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli will join the SVRA Sebring Vintage Classic in a thrilling weekend mixing great race cars from the past and present. Each of the five Trans Am classes will have testing sessions on Friday to open on-track activities.

Saturday begins with practice at 11:00 a.m. ET, followed by qualifying for each of the classes beginning at 4:55 p.m. Sunday features two 60-minute races with the mixed class of TA/XGT/SGT/GT taking the green at 11:10 a.m. followed by a massive TA2® powered by AEM field lining up at 1:25 p.m. ET.


Source: Kyle Souza/TMSP PR

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By: Kyle Souza 

THOMPSON, Conn. — Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park today announced that Liquid Death Mountain Water will be the sponsor of the 46th annual Icebreaker weekend, April 3-5, and has also joined as a sponsor for the entire 2020 season. 

Liquid Death puts water, the healthiest beverage on earth, into aluminum cans, the most sustainable container on earth. With a mission to get people to drink more water, Liquid Death is creating one of the first sustainable alternatives to plastic bottled water – while making it fun and entertaining with their name choice. 

Thompson Speedway’s Icebreaker is the annual beginning of the New England racing season, with a practice session on Friday, and two days of racing, headlined by the second race of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season. The Whelen Modified Tour event will be titled the Liquid Death 150 and will take place on Sunday afternoon, airing live on NBC Sports Gold’s TrackPass platform and tape delayed on NBCSN. 

Following the Icebreaker, Liquid Death will continue with the track for the duration of the 80th season of racing. 

“We’re really happy to welcome Liquid Death to the racing family at Thompson,” Terry Eames, General Manager of Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, said. “We’re looking forward to our partnership with them and hope everyone has the chance to try some of their product during the season. The Icebreaker is quickly approaching, and we are preparing for another successful event.” 

Liquid Death products are available on their website,, and on Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer. Their product is also carried in thousands of locations throughout the United States — and starting in March — will be available at Whole Foods Market nationwide. Liquid Death will be available for purchase during Icebreaker weekend. 

As part of their initiative, Liquid Death’s motto is #DeathToPlastic, where a portion of every can sold goes to the nonprofits 5 Gyres and Thrist Project, who are helping to fight plastic pollution and bring clean drinking water to those in need. 

“We’re stoked to be partnering with Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park as they kick-off their racing season,” Hamid Saify, VP of marketing for Liquid Death, said. “We couldn’t think of a better race than the Icebreaker to introduce fans to our ice-cold tallboys of thirst-murdering mountain water. #DeathToPlastic.” 

A full division lineup for the Liquid Death Icebreaker will be released next week. 

Camping for the Liquid Death Icebreaker weekend is open and can be purchased by visiting the reservations tab of the website or calling 860-923-2280 during business hours. Camping spots for the Icebreaker are $50, and 50’ long by 20’ wide. Reservations do not guarantee any specific spot. 

Cancellations must be received 24 business hours in advance of the event in order to receive a full refund. Fans should note that online registration closes on March 27th at 4 p.m., and after that, all registrations must be made on-property for $75.

Race teams are encouraged to note that the Icebreaker practice on Friday is a separate pass for entry compared to the Saturday-Sunday ticket. Practice on Friday is just $20 admission, while a paddock pass for Saturday-Sunday is $60. Anyone wishing to enter just the grandstands for Saturday-Sunday can purchase a general admission ticket at $55, with seniors, veterans and active military $50. Kids 12 and under are free in the grandstands, general admission. 

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park will run six NASCAR events during the 2020 racing season, beginning with the Icebreaker and ending with the Sunoco World Series. In between, three NASCAR Weekly Racing Series events (June 3, July 8 & August 5) and the annual NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Bud 150 (August 19) will take place on Wednesday nights. 

For more information on Liquid Death, visit them at and on social media. 

For more information on Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, visit, and follow the track on social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 


Source: Kyle Souza

Director of Public Relations & Marketing

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

205 East Thompson Road | Thompson, CT 06277

M: 508-642-2033



NEWS: By the Numbers: Construction of the Ricky Carmichael Signature Design for the 50th Running of the DAYTONA Supercross

Source: DIS-Communications

Note: The Monster Energy SuperX will be making a stop at the Gillette Stadium In Foxborough, MA on Saturday, April 18, 2020

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By the Numbers: Construction of the Ricky Carmichael Signature Design for the 50th Running of the DAYTONA Supercross

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 27, 2020) – Construction has begun in the tri-oval area between pit road and the start/finish line to create the course for the historic 50th running of the DAYTONA Supercross, scheduled for Saturday night, March 7.

For the 13th straight year, Supercross legend Ricky Carmichael returns as the course designer and Bomber Built, owned by three-time AMA 125cc National Motocross Champion Mark Barnett, is building the course. Carmichael is a five-time DAYTONA Supercross champion who retired from competition in 2007 as the most decorated rider in history with 15 AMA championships and 150 wins.

This year’s Ricky Carmichael Signature Design features a nod to the history of the DAYTONA Supercross and includes elements from past DAYTONA courses such as the over-the-wall jump, the DAYTONA tunnel jump and grass as a fourth racing surface; the DAYTONA logo will also be displayed in the center of the extended course.

Daytona International Speedway has been hosting the DAYTONA Supercross since 1971, making it the longest continuous supercross event in America.

Here’s a look at some of the numbers behind the construction of this year’s DAYTONA Supercross course:

400 –Truckloads of dirt

8,600 –Tons of dirt

12 – Trucks used to transport the dirt into the Speedway

2 – Days to bring all of the dirt into the track

40 – Obstacles on the DAYTONA Supercross course

725 – Approximate number of Tuff Blox

3,800 – Length in feet of the Supercross course

900– Man-hours (approximate) to set up the DAYTONA Supercross course

In addition, two crawlers, two front loaders, three bobcats, one roller and one grader are used to move the dirt during construction.

The supercross pits will once again be staged in the blue garages, located adjacent to the UNOH Fanzone through which fans can access the pits from noon to 6 p.m. – admission is included with your race ticket.

Also returning in 2020 will be the 11th annual MX vs ATV All Out Ricky Carmichael Amateur Supercross At DAYTONA. Scheduled for Sunday, March 8 and Monday, March 9, amateur supercross racers will have an opportunity to test their skills on the same course used in the DAYTONA Supercross. Following the MX vs. ATV Ricky Carmichael Amateur Supercross will be the Daytona Vintage Supercross (DVSX) and ATV Supercross, both of which will kick off Tuesday, March 10.

Daytona International Speedway will make history the following weekend with a racing doubleheader on Saturday, March 14.  Traditionally racing two days apart, the dirt-and-asphalt DAYTONA TT and DAYTONA 200, sanctioned by the American Motorcyclist Association and operated by the American Sportbike Racing Association (ASRA), will now run together on the second Saturday of the historic Bike Week At Daytona International Speedway festivities. Fans will be able to enjoy the 79th DAYTONA 200 during the day and stay into the evening to cheer on the athletes of American Flat Track at their season-opening DAYTONA TT.

Tickets for all Bike Week At DAYTONA events are now on sale at or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. General admission tickets for DAYTONA Supercross start at $45 and youth tickets (ages 6-12) are $15; kids five and under are free in general admission frontstretch seating. Back for the second year, fans can upgrade their Supercross experience with The Roost. Starting at $100, The Roost provides some of the closest access on the circuit and includes Trackside Access, which allows fans to also view the event while standing on the frontstretch of the Speedway’s famous tri-oval.

Fans can stay up to speed on the latest news by using #DAYTONASX, #RCSX, #BikeWeek and #DAYTONATT. Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on TwitterFacebookInstagramPinterestYouTube and Snapchat, and by downloading Daytona International Speedway’s mobile app, for the latest Speedway news throughout the season.


Andrew Booth

DIS Public Relations Director

Dawn Zinsmaster

DIS Public Relations Manager

Marvin Minkler Ready for Sophomore Street Stock Season at Stafford

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Marvin Minkler Ready for Sophomore Street Stock Season at Stafford

(Stafford Springs, CT)—Marvin Minkler came to Stafford Speedway’s Street Stock division last season as a rookie driver with virtually zero racing experience.  After posting three top-10 finishes in 15 starts last season, Minkler is ready to take his #71 CT Oil Kings Chevrolet to the next step and start posting some top-5 finishes.

“Last year was my first season without having any prior experience so I knew it was going to be a huge learning curve and there was tons of learning both on the track and in the shop,” said Minkler.  “Last year our goal was to get track time, finish races, and get some top-10 finishes, which wasn’t very often but we hovered around 10th all year.  This year we’d like to start getting some top-5 finishes and maybe then we can start to be in the conversation about getting a win, but I’m a realist and I know I have to crawl before I can walk.”

Minkler got a late start to last season, purchasing a car in March, less than 2 months away from the season opener.  With the late start, Minkler quickly got his #71 car together so he could race but as the season wore on, he found several things that weren’t right and has spent the winter fixing the car so it will be practically brand new when the curtain is raised on the 2020 season.

“We’ve updated everything on the car this winter,” said Minkler.  “I purchased the car in late March last season so it was a scramble just to get it on the track.  There were a lot of things that were bent so we’ve done a complete rebuild with a new rear clip, new rear end, and the car just got back from powder coating.  Not being a guy who grew up around cars, it’s been a lot of fun to get under the car and turn a wrench and learn what’s going on.”

In order for Minkler to meet his 2020 goals, he will have to contend with a new rules package for the Street Stock division that sees the cars add a Ford 9” rear end and the removal of restrictor plates from the engines.  With the new rules in place, Minkler feels like handling will become a big factor in determining who is running up front and winning races during the season.

“I think everyone has a lot to learn with the new package we have with the Ford 9 inch rear end and no restrictor plates,” said Minkler.  “The experienced drivers will probably adapt quicker than the newer drivers, so I’d look for a lot of the same faces from last season to be on the podium again this season.  With the plates on the car last season, there wasn’t a big threat of spinning the tires so I think this season will be more about having throttle control and drivers will have to work on the handling of their cars a little more than in the past.”

One area that Minkler needs to work on in 2020 is his consistency.  Minkler finished 11th or 12th in 9 of his 15 starts last season and with some extra consistency, those near top-10 finishes will start turning into top-10’s and get him closer to his goal of top-5 finishes.

“If we can get in the top-10 every week and be close to the top-5, that would be a good season for us,” said Minkler.  “I have to work on my consistency this season.  Last year, I’d have a really good lap time one lap and then I would fall off the next lap, which was a byproduct of being a rookie.  If I can be a little more consistent, we can run with the drivers who are up front rather than hanging with them for a couple of laps before fading backwards.”

Minkler is working on nailing down sponsorship this season to go along with CT Oil Kings  and he is very grateful to the Rent a Racecar team for all their advice and help maintaining his #71 car.

“Right now I’m working on sponsors for this season,” said Minkler.  “My car is kept at the Rent A Racecar shop and Paul Varricchio and all the guys at Rent A Racecar do a ton of work on the car and they help point me in the right direction so I’m very grateful for all their help.”

The 2020 Street Stock season begins in earnest with the 49th Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler® on April 24-26. Tickets for the “Greatest Race in the History of Spring” are on sale now by calling the Speedway Box Office 860-684-2783 or online at

For more information, visit, checkout Stafford Speedway on Facebook or Twitter, or contact the track office at 860-684-2783.

Note:If your track, tour or event is not posted on this blog send your press releases and flyers to:


Mike Christopher, Jr. of Plainville,CT learned his racing craft in the Legends and Sk Lights. (Credit: Mike Christopher photo.)




Event Promoter: Len Sammons


SYRACUSE, NY February 27, 2020 . . . The 2020 Indoor Auto Racing Series Championship Series fueled by VP Racing Fuels, TQ Midget, Champ Kart, and Slingshot championships will be determined on Friday and Saturday, March 13-14, 2020 inside the New York State Exposition Center in Syracuse. NY.

Tickets are available in advance at a range of different prices through links on and the venue box office the day of the events.

While much of the Syracuse weekend revolves around the torrid point championship chases, the entry of New Englander Mike Christopher, Jr., who will be making his first start in a TQ Midget, is noteworthy.

Christopher will race a team car to Scott Kreutter, which was built by Buffalo, NY’s Trey Hoddick.  Christopher’s uncle, the late Ted Christopher, won eight Indoor series feature events and two Series championships. “TC”, who the championship Cup for the TQs is now named, was driving for Hoddick before his death in a plane crash in September of 2017.

The race for the 2020 BELFOR Concrete Series TQ championship has become essentially a four driver race with the two features in Syracuse remaining.

Buffalo. NY area driver Andy Jankowiak, the Atlantic City race winner the last two years, leads the standings with 256 points.  Matt Janisch, of Nazareth, PA, who has been consistent in the first three races but hasn’t won, is just two points behind Jankowiak – a virtual dead heat.

Erick Rudolph of Ransomville, NY, a four time Series champion (2012, 2015, 2016, 2019), lurks just 14 points off the leader’s place. Rudolph, the 2019 DIRTcar 358 Modified champion, won one of the two races in January held in Allentown, PA. Tim Buckwalter, Douglassville, PA, a teammate of Rudolph, sits fourth just 21 points off the pace.

The point award differential between finishing first and second is ten points. The spread between first and last in a feature is 83 markers. With a complete show including a 40 lap feature both nights in Syracuse, one bad night by any of the front runners could torpedo their bid for the title.

Rudolph came into the 2019 inaugural running of the Syracuse event in a battle with Justin Bonsignore and others for the championship. Bonsignore, the 2018 champion, appeared to have the upper hand after winning on Friday’s inaugural event in the new building, but this hopes dissipated after he crashed heavily on Saturday night.

The large point spread and two complete shows in Syracuse could open the door for teenage sensation Briggs Danner of Allentown, PA who is 36 points out of the point lead. Anthony Payne, Fairlawn, NJ, who rides 44 behind the lead and Ryan Bartlett of Watertown, NY, who is 66 points out of the lead, also have a chance at the title should the leaders struggle.

The points chase in both the Slingshot and Champ Kart classes is more sharply defined. 

Scott Neary, Columbia, NJ is atop the leaderboard with a 35 point margin over Brett Bieber and Cody Kline. 

Kurt Bettler, winless in the four Series Slingshot races in 2019, outpointed Danny Buccafusca to win the title. An even dozen Slingshot hopefuls came into the finale with a mathematical chance to win the coveted title.

Tyler Brown has a 44 point bulge on Todd Crenshaw and a 54 point margin over Ron Midford, Jr. in the Champ Kart division. Brown, of Richfield, Pa., the hired gun of Jason Simmons’ multi-car race team out of Fulton, N.Y., won the Saturday night event in Syracuse last year. Brown has previously won Indoor Series events in Albany, N.Y.’s Times Union Center in 2012 and this year in Allentown, Pa. to start the 2020 season.

Six Champ Kart competitors were in contention for the Series crown last season with Brandon Rucszek winning the laurels ahead of Ryan Kendall and JJ Pacovich.

Corporate sponsorship at a variety of levels to meet every budget is available for the Syracuse event. Interested parties should contact Danny Sammons at 609-888-3618 or e-mail

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