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Stafford Kicks Off 2006
with 35th Annual Tech-Net Spring Sizzler


    STAFFORD SPRINGS, Conn. — With the spring season fast approaching, yet another season of competition is set to kick off at Stafford Motor Speedway with the 35th annual Tech-Net Spring Sizzler Presented by CARQUEST.

“The Greatest Race in the History of Spring” will officially begin Stafford’s 48th year of hosting weekly NASCAR events. The Tech-Net Spring Sizzler is the oldest and longest running race on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule.

The Sizzler tradition began in 1972 as the idea of Dick Berggren, Lew Boyd, and Bruce Cohen as a way to hold a prestigious race in the springtime during a time period where prestigious races always took place in the fall. After Fred DeSarro won the initial Sizzler in front of a standing room only crowd of over 10,000, Jack Arute, Sr. bought the rights to the race from Berggren, Boyd and Cohen in 1973, and it has since become the signature event of the half-mile, with some of the greatest names in modified racing tasting the fruits of victory. Since the inaugural Sizzler in 1972, there have been 20 different winners with 8 drivers winning the race multiple times.

Of those 20 winners, 6 drivers have won a Whelen Modified Tour championship. In 2003, NASCAR released a list of the top-10 modified drivers of all-time, and of those 10 names, 8 were Sizzler winners: Richie Evans, Mike Stefanik, Geoff Bodine, Tony Hirschman, Bugsy Stevens, Fred DeSarro, Jimmy Spencer, and Reggie Ruggiero. Other names who have driven to Sizzler victories include Ed Flemke, Maynard Troyer, Bob Polverari, Greg Sacks, Brian Ross, Ted Christopher, Jeff and Rick Fuller, Mike Ewanitsko, Jan Leaty, John Blewett, III, and Jerry Marquis. Mike Stefanik leads all drivers with four career Sizzler wins. Right behind Stefanik are Ted Christopher and Rick Fuller, who each have three Sizzler victories.

But perhaps the driver with the best overall record in the Spring Sizzler is Reggie Ruggiero. He is tied with Carl Pasteryak and Jamie Tomaino for the most career Sizzler starts with 22, and Ruggiero holds Sizzler records for the most career top-5 finishes with 12 and the record for most top-10 finishes with 14 to go along with his two career Sizzler victories. Many fans and race historians will agree that the 1981 edition of the Spring Sizzler was the greatest Sizzler in the event’s 34-year history.

Richie Evans had set a new track record in qualifying and led the early laps until he pitted for fresh tires, handing the lead to Maynard Troyer. Troyer held the lead until lap-71, when a faulty clutch handed the lead over to Polverari. Evans had charged back through the field to move into second place when the caution came out with only four laps to go.

Evans would stay glued to Polverari’s bumper over the final laps, but he came up just a few inches short of Polverari at the checkered flag. Stafford Motor Speedway Online has a complete race-by-race history of the Spring Sizzler at www.staffordspeedway.com . This year’s edition of the Tech-Net Spring Sizzler will feature seven divisions of racing, with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour headlining the weekend’s festivities.

The 2006 Tech-Net Spring Sizzler gets underway Friday, April 28 with a practice session for Stafford’s weekly divisions. The practice session will be open to the public at no charge.

Action continues on Saturday, April 29 with Bud Pole Qualifying for the Whelen Modified Tour cars, along with heat and consolation races for Stafford’s weekly divisions .

Saturday will conclude with feature events for the SK Light, Limited Late Model, and DARE Stock divisions.

The Sizzler concludes on Sunday, April 30 with the Tech-Net Pit Party followed by 300 laps of feature racing. Stafford’s SK Modifieds® and Late Models will join 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 35th annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler®, or to order tickets, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com .

                                      THE END

Source: Scott Running/NASCAR.com
Posted:  March 09, 2006




















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