All posts by Michael Jaworecki

Following First Career Win, Nickolas Hovey Looking to Go Back to Back in Midstate Site Development Street Stock 30 at Stafford

(Stafford Springs, CT)—With Stafford Speedway’s Street Stock division preparing for their biggest race of the season, the Midstate Site Development 30 scheduled for Friday, July 16, a theme has developed among the Street Stock feature winners.  Victories in the first 6 races of the season were split among three division veterans in Travis Hydar, Frank L’Etoile, Jr., and Chris Meyer.  But the last 2 races leading into the 30-lap extra distance event have seen first time Street Stock winners between Adrien Paradis, III, and the most recent feature winner Nickolas Hovey.  Hovey is the reigning R.A.D. Auto Machine Street Stock Rookie of the Year and the 15 year old driver of the #16 Busy Bees Learning Center Chevrolet will be looking to go for 2 wins in a row in the MSD 30.

“I think we have a good shot at going back to back,” said Hovey.  “Obviously we’re going to be starting further in the back by winning so the 10 extra laps will give us enough time to race our way towards the front.  Drivers will either show a little extra patience or with the extra money on the line, they might be a little more aggressive in this race.  Winning this race would mean a lot for us.  Not so much for the extra money but just being able to win 2 in a row.  I have to give a big thank you to my Mom and Dad, Chris’ Automotive, R & G Sealcoating, Iron Horse Equipment, Busy Bees Learning Center, Critical Signs, Airtime Dumpster Rental, and Heidi’s Creations for all their support.”

Hovey’s first 30-lap experience last season turned out to be a disappointment as he was out of the race by lap 10.  With more experience and a boost of confidence after winning his first race, Hovey feels good about being a contender in this year’s MSD 30.

“Last season we lost the clutch about 10 laps into the race so we didn’t finish,” said Hovey.  “I’ve never raced anything over 20 laps at Stafford so this will all be uncharted territory.  At the end of the last race we were still turning laps that were only a tenth or two of a second slower than our fastest laps so we should be pretty good.  The key for me will be to save something for later in the race because sometimes I tend to use my equipment up early in the race by killing the brakes or wearing the tires out.”

Hovey has proved to be a very quick study when it comes to Street Stock competition at Stafford.  Hovey arrived at Stafford as a 14 year old rookie with zero experience at the Connecticut half-mile.  In 14 starts last season, Hovey was regularly in the top-10 with 12 top-10 finishes but only 2 top-5 finishes.  Hovey has showed no signs of a sophomore slump this season as he opened the year with back to back podium finishes before a crash relegated him to a 16th place finish on May 14.  Hovey has finished each subsequent feature event in the top-9 and he finally earned his first win after a second and two third place finishes this season.

“Winning that race was a big relief,” said Hovey.  “We’ve been close in a lot of races this season. We’ve just been missing a little bit whether it’s something with the car or my experience.  Last year we had a lot of speed but it was a matter of me being a rookie and having a lack of experience at Stafford.  I think we came into this season with a lot more speed than I anticipated and we’re still missing a little bit but we’re definitely very close.  There’s always room to make the car quicker.”

“Nickolas had been beating himself up for a couple weeks because he hadn’t won yet and I told him it takes some people a long time to win race and if you hang around enough at the front, wins are going to come,” said Walt Hovey, Nickolas’ father and crew chief on the #16 car.  “I expected him to win because he’s been running well enough to win but nothing takes away from just how good it feels to get that first win.  It was pretty special because a lot of hard work has gone into his car and Nickolas is a good study of the sport.  To see his effort paying off is pretty special.  When he pulled into victory lane, I wanted to run over and jump in the car with him but I had to stand back and watch his reaction because it was such a special moment for him.”

In less than 2 full seasons Hovey has gone from a rookie driver with zero experience to feature winner, which he attributes to simply having more seat time and not only learning about what his car needs, but learning about the competition and how to race them as well.

“I think it’s a combination of experience and car setup,” said Hovey.  “Last year, my father had never raced at Stafford before so we were just trying to find something with the car setup that worked to fit my driving style and I think this season we’ve really hit on something.  As the year has gone on I’ve gained more experience driving through the field due to the handicapping and I’ve spent more time racing at the front of the field and that’s really helped me.  When I first started last year I wasn’t even full throttle in the car yet.  I think I’ve run enough races between Stafford, Thompson, and Waterford to know what the car is going to do but I’ve still got a few more things to learn about the track and my competitors.”

The MSD Street Stock 30 is set for this Friday, July 16.  The Street Stocks will be joined by the SK Modified®, Late Model, SK Light, and Limited Late Model divisions and tickets for the MSD Street Stock 30 are available online at StaffordSpeedway.com/tickets and will also be available at the gates day of show.  General Admission tickets are $20.00 for adults, $5.00 for kids 6-14, and free for kids 5 & under.  Reserved seating is priced at $25.00 for all ages and pit passes are $35.00 with a valid 2021 Stafford Competition License and $40.00 without a Stafford license.  Following the conclusion of feature racing events, there will be a fireworks presentation.  If you are unable to attend the event, tune into the live stream on FloRacing, the official streaming partner of Stafford Speedway. 

For more information, visit www.staffordspeedway.com, checkout Stafford Speedway on Facebook or Twitter, or contact the track office at 860-684-2783.

BILLY WHITTAKER FORD PARTNERS WITH SPENCER SPEEDWAY

– Billy Whittaker Ford F-50 $5,000-to-Win Friday, July 30, 2021 Highlights Spencer Schedule – 

Williamson, N.Y. – (July 13, 2021) – Billy Whittaker Ford has partnered with Spencer Speedway for the 66th season of racing at the Williamson, N.Y., speed plant. The season is set to begin Friday, July 16, 2021 and Billy Whittaker Ford will be on hand with displays and a tent in the “midway” to greet fans at the races. 

In addition to being a part of the entire 2021 season at Spencer, Whittaker Ford will be the title sponsor for the Billy Whittaker Ford F-50, 50-lap $5,000-to-win race for the Race of Champions Modified Series on Friday, July 30, 2021.

 “Partnering with Spencer Speedway is a great fit for our business,” stated Billy Whittaker. “Personally, I have a history and have raced at Spencer and we want to be good members of the community. Of course we want to get our name out there as much as possible but we are also looking forward to four great events at Spencer. There is a long standing tradition of racing in this community and we are looking forward to being a part of carrying that tradition on.” 

Discount tickets for the July 30, 2021 Billy Whittaker Ford F-50, will be available at Billy Whittaker Ford in Williamson, N.Y., and will go on sale soon. 

Billy Whittaker Cars and Trux and Whittaker Ford, has proudly been serving the Central New York region with new and top-quality premium used vehicles. Any Whittaker dealership offers specialized customer service and selection for vehicles bringing a unique touch to ever transaction. Customers deserve the best and the team at all of the Whittaker family of dealerships will provide customers with a variety of services that work for them. When you’re looking for a new vehicle, visit Whittaker Ford in Williamson, N.Y. 

Along with a Whittaker display this Friday, July 16, the Sportsman Modified Series will take part in a 35-lap $2,000-to-win feature, while the Super Stock Series will race for 25-laps and $1,000-to-win as part of the 66th season opener at Spencer Speedway. 

Where: Spencer Speedway, Williamson, N.Y.

When: Friday, July 16, 2021

Tickets: $15 General Admission; $12 Senior/Military (65-years and older. Military with proper identification); Children 15-10 years of age will be admitted for $10. Four Pack $45 (Two Adults, Two Children). Children under the age of 10 will be admitted Free for this event.

Directions: The track is located just fifteen minutes east of Rochester, N.Y., at 3020 Route 104, Williamson, NY 14589

What: 66th Annual Season Opener; Race of Champions Sportsman Modified Series, Race of Champions Super Stock Series, Wilbert’s Four Cylinders and Wilbert’s Super Six Division.

More Information: www.rocmodifiedseries.com 

The Race of Champions is a sanctioning body presenting Modified and Stock Car racing on asphalt and dirt surfaces throughout the Northeast, with events in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey with primary marketing partners Hoosier Racing Tire, VP Racing Fuels, Waddell Communications, Image X Graphic Deisgn, Sherwood Racing Wheels, DirtTrackDigest.com, FX Caprara and Billy Whittaker Ford. The 71st annual Race of Champions weekend will take place in 2021 at Lake Erie Speedway in North East, Pennsylvania and is the second longest consecutive auto-racing event in North America, second only to the Indianapolis 500.

For more information, contact Race of Champions Media at media@rocmodifiedseries.com

Follow us on Twitter; Instagram and Facebook; @RoCModSeries or visit our website: www.rocmodifiedseries.com

JUSTIN BONSIGNORE LOOKS TO PARK IN VICTORY LANE AT THE MAGIC MILE

By Souza Media/Kyle Souza

Photo Michael Jaworecki/Myracenews

HOLTSVILLE, N.Y. — Two-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Justin Bonsignore returns to the track in NASCAR action for the first time in nearly one month this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Set to compete in the Whelen 100 at the ‘Magic Mile’, Bonsignore will drive the No. 51 Phoenix Communications machine for Kenneth Massa Motorsports hoping to score his second career points paying win at New Hampshire.

Bonsignore’s first victory at the 1.058-mile oval was in 2016, and he also won the non-points Whelen All-Star Shootout at the track in 2018. With the restrictor plate racing that New Hampshire offers — including drafting and tight packs of cars racing for the win late — Bonsignore knows it’s going to be a tough task to win. He will enter the race just three points behind points leader Patrick Emerling in the title chase.

“Definitely excited to get back going,” Bonsignore said. “It was a nice month off to regroup and get ready for the rest of the year. It’s pretty wide-open from here to the end of the year — but the break was good for everyone to get organized for the final push that we hope will separate us from the rest of the pack. New Hampshire is like our Daytona 500. We’re anxious and excited to see where we stack up and we need to be in position towards the end to have a shot at it.”

Saturday’s race day schedule will include quick turnarounds for race teams — with just one practice session from 10-11 a.m., followed by Mayhew Tools pole qualifying at 11:30 a.m. The Whelen 100 will take the green flag at 12:45 p.m. The race will air live to a national audience on NBC Sports Gold and their TrackPass platform.

For more information on Justin Bonsignore, visit JustinBonsignore.com and follow his athlete page on Facebook.