Story By: SCOTT RUNNING / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – To find the hottest driver at Stafford Motor Speedway, one needs to look no further than the Limited Late Model division and driver Devon Jencik. Jencik has piloted his #23 Jenco Construction Chevrolet to three wins in his last 4 starts and his three victories also represent the first wins of his Stafford career.
“It feels really good especially after chasing Andrew Durand during my first year and then Alexandra Fearn during my second year,” said Jencik. “It’s good to finally be able to beat drivers like Alexandra and Jeremy Lavoie. At the beginning of the year we had an ok car and my goal was to get a top-5 or a top-3 finish. Now that we’re on this hot streak, my goal is to get a podium finish every week. Thanks to my Mom and Dad for all the money and support they’ve given me over the years, Jenco Construction, and Rob Russell Chassis.”
For Jencik and the #23 crew, their run of success has seemingly come out of nowhere. Jencik is in the midst of his third season of competition at Stafford and he came into the 2021 season with only 1 top-5 finish in 17 starts during his first 2 seasons. After missing the first two races of the 2021 season, Jencik made 7 more starts until he finished third July 23. That podium finish came one week after Jencik and his crew went through a major rebuilding effort after a hard crash and he followed that podium finish up with 3 wins over the next 4 races.
“It’s been a little bit of everything,” said Jencik. “We’ve had a couple setbacks this season. We bent the rear clip after the first race and then we destroyed the car about 5 or 6 weeks ago, so it’s been challenging and we’ve had to rebuild the car several times. I think the only thing we haven’t touched on the car is the fuel cell, so the car has been through a lot this season. After we wrecked the car we redid everything and found a little something there. We got a third place finish the next race and we’ve been able to ride that momentum to where we are right now.”
With Jencik missing the first two races of the season, he is nowhere close to championship contention. After his first start of the year, he was in last place in the points standings but he has climbed his way into the top-10 to currently sit 9th in the points standings and his plans for the remainder of the 2021 season are to win more races and build towards making a run at the championship in 2022.
“We have no chance at the championship so our focus is to race as hard as we can and win as many races as we can and hopefully build some positive momentum for next season,” said Jencik. “Even if we don’t win another race this season we know we have a car that is capable of winning races. I’m sure we’ll be making more changes to the car and we know we’ll have a chance at winning races next season. The goal for next season is to be a championship contender.”
Jencik will head into the 2022 season with not only the experience of 3 seasons of Limited Late Model competition, but a newfound confidence not only for himself as the driver, but for everyone on his team.
“Winning has changed a lot for us,” said Jencik. “Everyone has a lot more confidence now and we know we have a shot to win races. It helps myself and everyone on the team a lot knowing that I can win and the car can win. We just have to go out and put together a good performance.”
Jencik is now also sharing the track with his sister Ari, who made her Limited Late Model debut on August 13.
“It’s a little different now that we’re racing together at Stafford, but we’ve raced together before in the Truck Series,” said Jencik. “It’s great to be racing with Ari and she is just another competitor that I have to beat now.”
Jencik will see if he can continue his winning ways this Friday night, August 27 as part of the Back to SKool Kids Night event. Stafford’s SK Modified®, Late Model, SK Light, and Street Stock divisions will join the Limited Late Models in feature action with a Kids Big Wheel race also part of the Kids Night festivities. Call the office prior to Friday to register for the Kids Big Wheel Race. Tickets for the Back to SKool Kids Night are available now online at StaffordSpeedway.com/tickets and tickets will also be available for purchase at the admission gates. Tickets for the Back to SKool Kids Night are $20.00 for adults with all kids ages 14 & under admitted free of charge. 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.
Kids Take Center Stage Friday For Back 2 SKool Night
This Friday, August 27th will see Stafford Speedway’s five weekly racing divisions in action, but the stars of the show will be all kids in attendance for the Back 2 SKool Kids Night event. All Kids 14 & under are admitted free of charge for general admission seating and the night will be filled with back to school prizes, a bicycle raffle, and a Kids Big Wheel Race.
The Big Wheel Race is open to kids between the ages of 3 and 7 and kids must weigh less than 60 pounds. To register for the Big Wheel Race, call the Stafford track office at 860-684-2783. All participants must bring a helmet with them to the track and they will need to check in at the Stafford Collectibles Booth when they first arrive at the track.
Each kid will receive a raffle ticket when they come through the main entrance to be presented in the Kids Zone for a spin of the prize wheel where every spin will win a prize consisting of back to school supplies provided by Wild Thing Karts and Stafford Motor Speedway. Each kid will also be entered into a raffle to win one of two BMX bikes that are furnished by Maybury Material Handling. There will also be several Wild Thing Karts on display on the midway throughout the night.