(Stafford Springs, CT)—After making the move into Stafford’s Late Model division in 2013, Feura Bush, NY native Michael Scorzelli is continuing to close in on his first victory at the Connecticut half-mile. Heading into the August 22 feature event, Scorzelli has recorded back to back second place finishes, matching his career best finish from his rookie season.
Scorzelli’s rookie season started off slow, but he picked up the pace in the second half of the 2013 season, scoring 6 of his 7 top-10 finishes as well as all three of his top-5 finishes in the last 9 races. Scorzelli lost out to Cory Casagrande in the race for the SPAFCO Rookie of the Year title, but he finished 8th in points and with his consecutive back to back second place finishes this season, Scorzelli is currently sitting in 6th place in the points standings and he is only 8 points out of a top-5 position in the standings.
“We’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Scorzelli. “After the 60-lapper a few weeks ago, we tore the whole car apart and we went through the car and replaced the entire brake system and Bob Fill made a couple of changes on the chassis. With those changes we’ve found a lot of speed in the car and it’s definitely rotating through the center of the corners better. I can’t say I’m frustrated that we haven’t won yet but rather we’re very thankful that we’re going good and we have the speed that we have right now.”
Scorzelli’s success belies the fact that he is only in his second full season of Late Model competition at Stafford. Another unique aspect of Scorzelli’s success is that his wife Michalina also serves as his crew chief and that together, they are both learning something new each and every time Mike takes the #18 Syracuse Utilities Chevrolet out onto the track.
“I think last year we didn’t expect to do as well as we did and this year we expected to better than we’ve done,” said Scorzelli. “I’m better as a driver and I’m getting to know the guys that I’m racing against better and they know me and I’m learning the track. Stafford is a tough track to get a handle on. I learn something every time I go out there. We try to never miss a practice because I learn something every time. Having my wife as the crew chief is the best thing ever. Most wives get mad at you when you go racing and my wife gets mad when we don’t go racing, so how could I ask for anything better? She is learning just as much as me every week and she sets the sway bars, the tire pressures, and she has found some things in the front end of the car that have helped us find some speed. Her son built the motor in the car and she doesn’t even let him touch the car which works for me because whatever she is doing is working.”
With the combination of his wife and himself continuing to learn things about their car, Scorzelli has no doubt that he can end up in victory lane.
“I think we’re fast enough to win a race right now,” said Scorzelli. “I just want to keep running the way we have and the win will come. As long as we stay out of trouble and stay fast, the good finishes will come and hopefully a win will be in there somewhere. There’s a dozen cars that are fast enough to win in the Late Model division at Stafford so who knows when that win will come for us. A win for us would be huge. To win a race at Stafford Speedway against the level of competition we have in the Late Model division, it would be the highlight of my racing career.”
The Late Models have 6 races left on the 2014 schedule before the season comes to a close. If Scorzelli and his team can continue their strong efforts, they just might find themselves celebrating in NAPA Victory Lane before the end of the year.
-Stafford Motor Speedway Press Release