Whelen Motorsports

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour To Give Stafford Another Go

NWMT • June 10, 2013

Preece Returns To Home Track With Newfound Recognition

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 10, 2013) – Perhaps the third time will be the charm for the TSI Harley-Davidson 125 presented by G-Oil.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour was originally set to contest the second of four 2013 races at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway on May 24. An ominous rain forecast pushed the race date to June 7, only to once again meet the same fate. A third attempt to get the race in is now set for this Friday, June 13.

The postponements have not only affected the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, but Stafford’s weekly NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program as well. And one driver who has felt the effects of both, Ryan Preece, is set to return to his home track this Friday with some newfound recognition.

Preece, a 21-year-old from Berlin, Conn., was named last week to the 2013-14 NASCAR Next driver roster. He’s the first Whelen Modified Tour driver to be a part of the program, now in its third year. NASCAR Next is an industry initiative that helps to shine the spotlight on NASCAR’s rising stars.

Through the course of the next 12 months Preece and the 12 other drivers selected from NASCAR’s regional touring series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will participate in a variety of public appearances and training events designed to elevate and enhance their profile to complement their on-track accomplishments.

Although the latest postponement left Preece with yet another unplanned night off from racing at Stafford, it did allow him to participate in the NASCAR Next announcement that took place at Iowa Speedway on Friday. He would have been running in the Whelen Modified Tour and Whelen All-American Series events otherwise, and would not have been able to join his new NASCAR Next teammates in Iowa.

Preece made a day trip to Iowa for the announcement, headed back to Connecticut that evening, then went down to Long Island on Saturday and won the prestigious Richie Evans Hall of Fame 100 at Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway in Whelen All-American Series Modified action. Of the 13 newly-announced NASCAR Next drivers, Preece was one of five that registered a victory over the weekend.

As the focus returns back to Stafford this weekend, Preece will be looking for his first Whelen Modified Tour win of 2013 and will also look to maintain his lead in the season standings of Stafford’s premier SK Modified division, where he was the 2011 titlist.

RACE: TSI Harley-Davidson 125 pres. by G-Oil
PLACE: Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway
DATE: Friday, June 13
TIME: 9:15 p.m. ET
TRACK LAYOUT: .5-mile, banked asphalt oval
2012 WINNER: Doug Coby
2012 POLESITTER: Bobby Santos
EVENT SCHEDULE: Practice 2:30-3:30 p.m., Qualifying 6 p.m., Driver Autograph Session 7:30 p.m.
TRACK CONTACT: Scott Running, 860-684-2783, scottrunning@staffordspeedway.com
TRACK TWITTER: @StaffordSpeedwy

The Race: The 23rd Annual TSI Harley-Davidson 125 presented by G-Oil will be the third race on the 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule and the second of four events this season at Stafford Motor Speedway.

The Procedure: The maximum starting field is 31 cars, including provisionals. The first 26 cars will have secured starting positions based on two-lap qualifying. The remaining five spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race is scheduled for 125 laps (62.5 miles) and the race tire change rule is two tires, any position.

The Track: A half-mile, slightly-banked oval, Stafford originated as a horse racing track in the 1870s. After seven decades as a horse track, the dirt oval started holding automobile races following World War II. Stafford became a NASCAR track in 1959 and was paved for the first time in 1967.

Race Winners: There have been 31 different race winners at Stafford all-time, led by Mike Stefanik’s 20 victories. Doug Coby is the defending winner of the TSI Harley-Davidson 125, the second of his three victories at the track in 2012. Bobby Santos won this season’s first race at Stafford.

Pole Winners: There have been 40 different pole winners at Stafford, led by Stefanik’s 17. Ryan Preece holds the tour’s track qualifying record at 17.924 seconds (100.424 mph). Bobby Santos set fast time for this event a year ago, as well as the first trip to Stafford this year.

Returning to Action: The layoff between the last Whelen Modified Tour race on April 28 – also at Stafford – and this week’s rescheduled TSI Harley-Davidson 125 will be 49 days. That’s the longest in-season stretch between races for the tour since a 51-day span in 2006.