(Stafford Springs, CT)—Over the past 5 seasons, the TSI Harley-Davidson 125 has become a championship predictor for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Since 2010, every winner of the TSI Harley-Davidson 125 has gone on to win the championship that season. Ryan Preece accomplished the feat in 2013 and he hopes that he can repeat that 2013 performance this Friday to build on the momentum of his victory last week, his first of the season with his new Ed Partridge owned #6 T.S. Haulers team.
“It’s definitely a good start to the summer,” said Preece. “Tommy [Grasso] has been working real hard and we’ve been trying to figure out our new Troyer car. We agreed when we tested [at Waterford] our old car would be better on the longer runs and to go out and win that race and give all the guys a win was pretty cool. We’ll have our new car for the Stafford and Thompson races and I think we’re going to have a strong car this Friday at Stafford. We had a really good car at the Sizzler and I feel like the car is going to be good again. I just want to keep the strong runs we’ve had going and keep on doing what we’ve been doing.”
As Preece chases his second career NWMT championship, he and Woody Pitkat are the only two drivers this season to have recorded top-5 finishes in each of the first three races of the 2015 season. With the top-3 drivers of Preece, Doug Coby, and Pitkat separated by only 2 points heading into the TSI Harley-Davidson 125, Preece knows the key to the race for the championship is all about being consistent.
“This season is going to be about the guys who can stay consistent and win races,” said Preece. “Both Woody and I have overcome some adversity this season already with him getting a flat tire at Waterford and I hit the wall at Thompson. We both made our way back into the top-5 and we were able to get good finishes. I think the guys we’re going to be battling this Friday are Woody and Bobby Santos. They’ve been really strong and I think they’ll be strong again this Friday night.”
The last time out at Stafford for the NAPA Spring Sizzler, Preece won the pole position with a near track record lap and he led the most laps before finishing third. While the Sizzler is 200 laps long, the TSI Harley-Davidson race is 75 laps shorter, but Preece says that the lap difference isn’t the biggest difference between the two races.
“I think it’s not really the laps but it’s more the racetrack,” said Preece. “As the year goes on, the track starts to lose grip and you start to struggle with the car getting loose getting in the corners. Usually whoever gets that figured out first usually is the dominant car through the NAPA Fall final. Stafford is a tricky track to get a hold of.”
Along with his duties behind the wheel of the #6 T.S. Haulers / East/West Marine car, Preece will join Ted Christopher, Keith Rocco, Justin Bonsignore, Woody Pitkat, and Rowan Pennink as drivers who will be pulling double duty this Friday between the Whelen Mod Tour and the SK Modifieds®. Preece enters Friday night with three consecutive podium finishes and he thinks that he and his #6 J.G. Poulin Drywall / Sullivan and Sons team are on the verge of breaking down the door to NAPA Victory Lane.
“We’ve been real consistent this year and we’re working on getting it better,” said Preece. “It seems like a lot of guys will have their cars good one week and then they’re struggling the next week on older tires where my car is just as good on old tires but we aren’t any better on stickers. We’re trying something different every week and we’re getting closer and closer. I’m excited for the rest of the season and I’m sure Mike Paquette will get us dialed in. We’re making gains and progress with the car and that’s what I’m most happy about.”
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. 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.
-Stafford Motor Speedway Press Release. Photo Credit: Rick Ibsen/Speed51.com photo