Story By: SCOTT RUNNING / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – In just over 3 seasons of racing at Stafford, Bryan Narducci has already amassed quite a resume. Narducci has notched 14 career feature wins between the Limited Late Model and SK Light divisions and he nearly won the SK Light championship last season as a rookie.
Narducci will add to his Stafford resume this Friday, June 14 as he makes his Stafford debut in a Tour-type [open] modified piloting Tommy Baldwin, Jr.’s #7ny machine in the Twisted Tea Open Mod 80.
“I’m real excited,” said Narducci. “The #7ny is an iconic car in the racing world and so many top notch drivers have driven for Tommy. I’m excited to get back behind the wheel of a Tour type modified car with such great people behind me like Midstate Air Compressor, Compressed Air USA, Tommy, all his guys, and my Aunt and Uncle with the Florida Connection. I never thought I’d be able to one day say I would be driving one of Tommy Baldwin’s cars. I definitely can’t thank Tommy and all his guys enough for this great opportunity to drive the #7ny car.”
“Bryan is young but he’s had a lot of experience and he’s been around racing his whole life,” said Baldwin. “It’s pretty cool to give him a shot and see what he’s got and I’m looking forward to the race. It’s probably the safest race to put him in to get some real modified experience. He’s got a lot of laps at Stafford and he knows all the nooks and crannies so to speak so we thought this would be the best place for him to get started. It’s always nice to come to Stafford to race and get a young kid in the car. I’ve been friends with Bryan’s family for over 30 years so the whole deal is pretty cool.”
While the Twisted Tea Open Mod 80 will be Narducci’s Stafford debut behind the wheel of a Tour-type modified car, he is hoping the combination of his Stafford track knowledge and Tour type experience will pay dividends when the checkered flag falls on the Twisted Tea Open Mod 80.
“I drove John Fredericks’ #10 MRS car at Thompson last year and finished 7th and I ran it again at Seekonk for the open show and we were running 6th before we had a mechanical issue, so we had some strong showings last year,” said Narducci. “I think my track knowledge will definitely help make a difference. We race Stafford every week so we know what the track does as it gets later in the night after the heat races. Now that I have a little more experience with that type of car and I’ll be racing at Stafford where I have a lot of on track experience, I think we can be really good.”
As Narducci prepares for the Twisted Tea Open Mod 80, he has a modest goal in mind knowing the level of competition that he will face on the track.
“Hopefully we can run in the top-5,” said Narducci. “There’s a lot of good guys like Keith Rocco, Todd Owen, Matt Galko was real fast, Eric Goodale, and Tommy Barrett, Jr., so a top-5 would be a realistic goal for us. If I could get a top-5 in my first Open 80 start at Stafford, it would be real cool and it would be a nice ride home for sure knowing we did well.”
“We’re going there to win,” said Baldwin. “Bryan will get some good some experience and there’s a lot of good competition but the 7ny doesn’t show up to not win races. Bryan will do the best he can with what he’s got and we’ll see what happens in the race.”
With the Twisted Tea Open Mod 80 allowing teams to change two tires during the race, Narducci has a variable that could either help or hurt his chances at getting a top-5 finish. Narducci has virtually zero experience coming to pit road for new tires and any adjustments that the crew might want to make but with Baldwin’s crew having experience changing tires at the Monster Energy Cup level, Narducci’s pit road experience could help him pick up some spots during pit stops.
“With the exception of Seekonk last year, I’ve never really came down pit road before for a tire change or adjustments,” said Narducci. “I just have to make sure I get into the stall good and don’t stall the car leaving because that can really hurt your track position. With Tommy’s guys having Cup experience changing tires, I think we should be alright on pit road.”
Stafford’s five NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions will join the Open Modifieds in feature action on June 14. Tickets for the Twisted Tea Open Mod 80 are $30.00 for adults, $5.00 for kids 6-14, and as always 5 & under free. Reserved seating is priced at $32.00 for all ages. All tickets include 10% CT Admission Tax. General admission gates open at 5:15pm, with qualifying races beginning at 6:15pm and feature races to follow. Open Modified teams can still register for the June 14 Twisted Tea Open 80 as well as the July 12 Bud Light Open 80 by contacting the speedway office or completing the online form found in the TEAMS section of www.staffordspeedway.com.