Stafford Springs, CT — When the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour descends upon Stafford Motor Speedway on April 25-26 for the 44th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler, there will be a new driver/owner combination in the field. Riverhead native Tom Rogers, Jr. has teamed up with car owner Bill Darrow for what they hope can turn into a full-time effort on the Tour for the 2015 season.
“I was looking for some extra help because it takes a lot of guys to run a tour car and Tommy has a few crew guys and he’s also local right here in Riverhead,” said car owner Darrow. “We got a car from Flamingo and we have a Bruneau motor so I think we should be pretty good. It’s a race by race deal and we’d like to run all the races but we’ll see what happens.”
“I’m always looking to get out and race on the Tour,” said Rogers. “I had a couple of other deals that I was working on but between Billy and Mike Curtis, they asked me if I wanted to drive his car. Billy was looking for some crew help and I’m bringing about 80% of my crew from my #9 family car with me so this deal works out for everyone. I tested the car for Billy at Riverhead so Ronnie Silk could run it down at the Turkey Derby. It’s a new team but I think we’ll be competitive right off the bat. I don’t see any reason why we wouldn’t be competitive. We have some good equipment, my team is experienced on the Tour, Billy has Tour experience, and I was competitive when I had my own team. We need some sponsorship and we’re working on securing some sponsorship.”
With a proven chassis/engine combination behind them, the Rogers/Darrow combination may prove to be a formidable opponent at the NAPA Spring Sizzler. While Rogers only has 14 career NWMT starts, five of them have come at Stafford. Rogers has a best finish of 9th at Stafford, coming in the 2011 Sizzler and he also qualified on the outside pole and led the first 15 laps of the August Tour event the same season. Rogers has also made 2 career starts at Stafford in the SK Modified® ranks with a best finish of 5th coming in 2005.
“I really enjoy racing at Stafford, it’s one of my favorite tracks,” said Rogers. “Stafford to me is like an oversized Riverhead. Both tracks have different corners and you have to drive the car very similar at either track. The track is great and everyone at the track has been really great to me the couple of times that I’ve showed up to race there. We qualified outside pole back in 2011 and we led a handful of laps and ran in the top-5 for most of the race until a late race tire change.”
The 44th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler gets underway Friday, April 24 with a practice session for Stafford’s weekly divisions. The practice session will be open to the public at no charge. Action continues on Saturday, April 25 with Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the Whelen Modified Tour cars, along with heat and consolation races for Stafford’s weekly divisions and the U.S. Legend Cars. Saturday will wrap up with feature events for the SK Light, Limited Late Model, DARE Stock, and Legend Cars divisions. The Sizzler continues on Sunday, April 26 with the NAPA Auto Parts Pit Party followed by Stafford’s SK Modifieds® and Late Models joining the Whelen Modified Tour in feature action.
Tickets for the “Greatest Race in the History of Spring” are on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $38.50 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 will be priced at $42.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax.
For more information on the 43rd Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler, 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: Speed51.com