Over the course of the past three seasons Nick Ladyga has become one of the fastest-rising drivers in Southern New England. The Voluntown, Connecticut native has climbed the ladder by tackling a different level of short track racing each year. He has raced Legend Cars, Late Models and most recently Connecticut’s top weekly division, the SK Modifieds. Despite little time in the difficult discipline, Ladyga is already aiming for the next level and taking to the road in 2016 with an upgrade to Tour-Type Modified competition.
“It’s a used motor, but it was fresh when my uncle Joe bought it, it only had one practice on it so it’s fairly new.” Ladyga told Speed51.com powered by JEGS.
In November the engine was in the family’s No. 38 Modified which Ladyga had run at both Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park and New London-Waterford Speedbowl. The team went south to New Jersey’s Wall Stadium Speedway for an open practice and planned to make their Tour Modified debut a week later at the Turkey Derby, until Murphy’s Law struck at the worst possible time.
“We ran the open practice before the Turkey Derby with the tour motor in the car and I had a lot of fun with it. We were pretty fast, second or third in times for most of the day. We were supposed to run the race, but my trailer ended up breaking and we didn’t get it fixed in time so we had to sit out the race.”
Now Ladyga has his sights set on making his Tour-Type Modified debut in 2016. His team is planning a modest number of races centered around the five-round Tri-Track Open Modified Series. But with the Tri-Track Series set to roll off in June, the team is considering an early alternative.
“I’m looking forward to running the Tri-Track Series, we might do one or two MRS (Modified Racing Series) races, and maybe an ROC race, too. Our first race might be an MRS race, we haven’t decided yet.”
Ladyga has displayed both speed and improvement in the multiple rides he has piloted the last three seasons, but has not won a feature race since 2013. In 2014, Ladyga took a big step up running an ACT spec Late Model primarily at Thompson and Waterford, sprinkled with one off appearances at Seekonk Speedway (MA) and Oxford Plains Speedway (ME).
After a good learning experience in 2014, Ladyga made a switch to the SK Modifieds in 2015. He posted multiple podium and top-five finishes while running part-time at Waterford and full-time at Thompson. Ladyga impressed many at the “Big T” finishing sixth in the track points and hanging with champion drivers such as Ryan Preece, Keith Rocco, Kerry Malone and Woody Pitkat.
Despite the move up, Ladyga wants to continue running the SK Modifieds in 2016, but he is in need of a set of wheels with the family car’s upgrade.
“I’d like to be able to team up with someone with an open seat, I can bring my motor. It’s a really strong piece, we had good success with it this past season running Thompson and Waterford with top three’s and top five’s, and up on the charts every weekend. It’d be great to continue running an SK this season.”
Ladyga already has some momentum built up this winter after solid top-10 performances in both the Atlantic City and Trenton Indoor Races for TQ Midgets. The team is planning a brief rest period, but will soon break out the Tour-Type Modified to continue the climb that started in Legends Cars three years ago.
-By Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com CT, MA, Long Island Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Nick Ladyga Facebook