Story By: SCOTT RUNNING / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – As he prepares for his second season of SK Light competition at Stafford Speedway, Hampden, MA native Mikey Flynn has his eyes set squarely on contending for the championship behind the wheel of his #54 Hampden Engineering car.
Flynn is coming off a rookie season that saw him post six top-5 and eleven top-10 finishes in 17 starts, including three second place finishes. Flynn posted six top-10 finishes in his final 7 starts of the season and is looking to carry that momentum into a 2019 championship run.
“Our first couple weeks were a struggle but we seemed to flip the switch in late July and early August,” said Flynn. “We rattled off three second place finishes and by the end of the year we were really strong. With our experience from last year we feel like we can make a run at the SK Light championship this season. The last couple races we ran helped boost our confidence and showed that we could be contenders and win races. Kenny Barry has been helping us tremendously and all the guys over at SPAFCO are really good and we have a good piece so we’re ready to challenge for the championship. I have to thank my Mom and Dad, Kenny Barry, and all my sponsors, Hampden Engineering, Ballyheigue Farm, Hub International Insurance, Gio’s Pizzeria, Place Motors, and VP Racing Fuels for their support.”
Flynn, a graduate of Stafford’s Wild Thing Kart Series, is looking to add another championship to his 2010 Tiger Championship at Stafford and World Karting Association Junior Champ title he won in 2013 at Pomfret Speedway. Flynn and his #54 team are set to challenge for the SK Light championship with a new SPAFCO car that they purchased last summer. Flynn’s team purchased the former #89 car that Matt Swanson drove on the Whelen Modified Tour and debuted it at the season ending NAPA Fall Final where he started 12th and finished 8th.
“We bought a new car, which was Matt Swanson’s #89 car that he ran on the Whelen Modified Tour,” said Flynn. ”We took that car out for the Fall Final last year and it seemed pretty good. After working out some of the kinks we got faster each time out on the track. We were working our way up to the front during the race and liked the way it handled so we’re pretty excited for what it can bring next year.”
As Flynn chases the championship in 2019, he will be in search of his first career Stafford SK Light win. With Flynn’s results from last season he feels confident that he can be a legitimate championship contender despite the tight competition he expects to see from the SK Light field.
“The competition is going to be really tough this year so I think the experience I gained last season is going to help us a lot,” said Flynn. “I’ve been busy working out and working on the car to get better because that’s what you have to do against guys like Teddy Hodgdon and Bryan Narducci. The level of competition in the SK Lights gets stronger every year. You have to bring your A-Game every week because there’s about 6-8 cars that can win on any given night. We were happy to finish second last year, but that’s not my style. We don’t come to the track to finish second, so it was a little frustrating but that’s how you learn and grow. If we can get the season started off on the right foot and keep the car off the wrecker, I think we can get a couple of wins. We almost won several races last year and were in contention with a couple laps to go and it was like a game of inches for us. Hopefully those second place finishes will make this season that much sweeter when we can win a race and hopefully the championship.”
In addition to working out in the gym as well as working on his #54 car, Flynn tries to get as many laps as he can around Stafford Speedway in the virtual world of iRacing to help stay sharp for when he takes to the track for real when the 2019 season kicks off with the 48th Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler on April 26-28.
“You obviously can’t take the car out on the track every day so during the off-season I like to do iRacing,” said Flynn. “It’s the best thing I have where I can practice and it’s realistic enough to get a feel and learn some stuff to apply to the car in real life. There’s some Cup drivers who got started with iRacing and a there’s lot of drivers who take the opportunity to use iRacing so obviously it works. I try to do a race a day to help keep my focus up and get ready for the season and it’s a great way to stay sharp during the off-season.”