For defending TSI Harley-Davidson 125 race winner Ryan Preece, the road to a second consecutive victory in the event looks on paper as though it might be an uphill fight. Preece qualified 13th for the race last Friday night, but despite his mid-pack start, he remains upbeat about his chances of coming through the field and getting to the front. Preece had to drive through the entire field to win last year’s TSI Harley-Davidson 125 after being involved in a lap-0 crash.
“I think it’s going to be a challenge, but if we have a car that can go to the outside and can drive forward, it shouldn’t be a problem,” said Preece. “It’s one of those things where I think we’re definitely capable of driving forward. Having track position is important because you don’t have to pass as many cars and I think there are a lot of cars who are starting deep in the field that can possibly win the race. I don’t think us starting 13th is going to hurt our chances of winning the race. If you think about it, that’s right around where I start every week in the SK.”
This year’s TSI Harley-Davidson 125 will have one major difference versus other NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour events at Stafford. With the starting grid having already been set in time trials last Friday night, drivers will be able to use the practice session before the race to fine tune their race setups instead of trying to strike a balance between finding a setup that will yield both a good qualifying effort and be fast in the long run during the race. NWMT practice sessions are normally held from 3pm-4pm for Stafford races but for the TSI Harley-Davidson 125, the practice session will be held from 5:30pm-6:20pm, which should give drivers a golden opportunity to dial their cars in for the conditions that they will be racing under later in the evening.
“I think the practice will be good for us because we’ve never really had a practice session at Stafford at night,” said Preece. “It will be nice to be able to dial the car in and not have to worry about speed. We can focus on making the car comfortable and having a car that can go to different spots on the racetrack and where other guys might be falling off, you’re still moving forward, which should be good for us.”
Two-time defending NAPA Spring Sizzler winner Bobby Santos, III will start the TSI Harley-Davidson 125 from the pole with Doug Coby alongside him on the front row, while current NWMT points leader Justin Bonsignore will start the TSI Harley-Davidson 125 from the 9th position. With the past four winners of the TSI Harley-Davidson 125 also going on to win the championship in the same season, and a practice session that will allow the drivers to focus on their race setups, the race for the checkered flag promises to be as hotly contested as ever.
Tickets for the TSI Harley-Davidson 125 are available and on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $33.00 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. The TSI Harley-Davidson 125 will be run on Military Appreciation Night, so anyone who presents a valid military i.d. (active or reserved) at the admission gates will receive a general admission ticket for only $10.00. Reserved seating is priced at $35.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Stafford Motor Speedway offers plenty of free parking along with overnight parking in self-contained Recreational Vehicles.
For more information on the TSI Harley-Davidson 125, 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.
– By Scott Running, Stafford Motor Speedway