Strong Third Place Finish Keeps Stefanik In
Thick Of Points Battle
Mike Stefanik drove the Diversified Metals Chevrolet to a solid third place
finish in the Whelen Modified Tour’s Paul Graff Trucking 100 at Holland
International Speedway. Stefanik led the first 10 laps of the event and
charged back up to Ted Christopher’s bumper to make a run for second in the
closing laps. Stefanik ran out of time in his bid, but crossed the checkers
with a solid third place finish.
“The faster car won the race tonight. We were right there, but we
had to settle for third,” Stefanik said. “It was a little frustrating, but
the racing was pretty good. Teddy and I had a pretty epic battle. We swapped
the spot a few times -- Teddy got by me and I got back by him. Then the
caution came out and there was some confusion about how many laps were left
in the race because there was something wrong with the scoreboard.”
Stefanik started the event from the pole after qualifying
fourth fastest and redrawing the coveted front row position. Todd Szegedy
drove by Stefanik for the lead at lap 11 using the bottom groove. “He just
drove to the front,” Stefanik said of Szegedy.
Stefanik wasn’t about to use up the car early in the event
and settled in the top-five. He remained a factor up front throughout most
of the race distance, but hoped to make a final bid following a lap 90
“Our car was really tight for like two laps and Teddy just drove
right by us and we fell back to a distant third,” he explained.
The finish was Stefanik’s fifth top-five of the season, and
keeps him on top in the point battle for the championship. Stefanik
currently leads race-winner Tony Hirschman by 21 points.
A lot can happen. This season is not quite half way over. To
only have a 21 point lead is miniscule,” the eight-time NASCAR Champion
said. “There’s a lot of racing left to do. I know we can gain or lose a
hundred points in a night. Tony and I are even – that’s how I look at it.”
The Whelen Modified Tour heads to Riverhead Raceway on August
5th for the next event on the 2006 schedule.
Penny Aicardi/NASCARTouring.com/WMT PR
August 4, 2006