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Szegedy Looking Forward To Tour Return To Thompson

    When the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour made its last appearance at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway, in June, Todd Szegedy was the driver who claimed victory lane. Not surprisingly, Szegedy is looking forward to the Tour’s return to Thompson on Aug. 17 for the New England Dodge Dealers 150.
    “I really enjoy racing at Thompson,” said Szegedy. “It’s fast, there is plenty of room to race and the fans are great.”
    Szegedy, the 2003 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion from Ridgefield, Conn., made his return to the series this year after spending the 2005 season “down south” in North Carolina. A brand new team, owned by Mike Smeriglio, was formed over the winter and Szegedy was back with the series.
    “Mike has been a terrific car owner,” said Szegedy. “He’s always making sure we have everything we need. This is his first year in the series and I think he’s really enjoying it.”
    Although Szegedy’s victory at Thompson is his only win this season, he has been very pleased with the progress of the No. 2 Wisk/Snuggle Ford Racing team this season.
    “It’s so difficult to win in this series,” said Szegedy. “When you put a team together it can take time for things to gel. We have a good team so I’m not surprised we won a race so early. Any time you win on this Tour you’ve earned it. ”
    On the heels of a sixth place finish in the series last race, at Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, Conn., Szegedy is currently fifth in the standings. One of the keys to his success this season was being reunited with his crew chief, Phil Moran.
    “Phil was my crew chief when I won the championship in 2003, said Szegedy. “Being teamed up with him this year has been a big plus for me. We had some great years together and I’m glad to be back with him.”
    Szegedy and the rest of the starts of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will get the green at approximately 8:30 on Thursday, Aug. 17.


* Posted awards are $84,213 for the 150-lap race. Bud Pole qualifying is scheduled for 5:30 pm on Thursday Aug. 17 to determine positions 1-28. Four provisional starting positions (two owner & two driver) based on 2006 Whelen Modified Tour point Standings and one past champion provisional are available for a maximum starting field of 33 cars.

* The New England Dodge Dealers 150 will start at approximately 8:30 pm on Aug 17.

* The New England Dodge Dealers 150 is the third of five series events scheduled to be held at Thompson in 2006. Mike Stefanik was the winner of the Icebreaker in April. Todd Szegedy won the New England Dodge Dealers 100 in June.

* Thompson International Speedway has hosted more Whelen Modified Tour races than any other speedway. There have been 88 series events at Thompson since 1985 including the first series race on March 31, 1985.

* The following active drivers have recorded Whelen Modified Tour wins at Thompson: Mike Stefanik (14), Rick Fuller (8), Tony Hirschman (8), Reggie Ruggiero (5), Ted Christopher (5), Jerry Marquis, (4), Eddie Flemke (3), Charlie Pasteryak (1), John Blewett III (1) Chuck Hossfeld (1) and Todd Szegedy (1).

* The series qualifying record at Thompson is 18.505 seconds (121.515 mph) set by Bob Polverari in 2001.

* Last week at Stafford Motor Speedway James Civali joined Doug Coby as a series first time winner this season. Coby also won at Stafford in April. Civali currently leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings. Three rookies, (Civali, 3rd place Chris Pasteryak and fourth place Matt Hirschman) finished in the top four at Stafford.

* As of Aug 8: 31 teams have filed entries. To view the complete entry list and additional Whelen Modified Tour information, media members may log on to www.nascarmedia.com and click on “Regional Racing.”

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Top 10: 1. Mike Stefanik 1,410, 2. Ted Christopher 1,309, 3. Tony Hirschman 1,277, 4. James Civali 1,275, 5. Todd Szegedy 1,243, 6. Eddie Flemke 1,241, 7. Chuck Hossfeld 1,125, 8. Jerry Marquis 1,122, 9. Eric Beers 1,109, 10. Donny Lia, 1,102.

Up next: The Whelen Modified Tour will join the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour for the Made in America Whelen 300, a combination race featuring the two series, on Sept. 2 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. Ted Christopher is the defending winner.

Source:  Mark Mockovak/NASCAR/WMT PR
Posted:  August 15, 2006




















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