DANNY CATES LOOKING TO BUILD UPON 2012 AND CAPTURE FIRST SK MODIFIED® FEATURE VICTORY AT STAFFORD SPEEDWAY
(Stafford Springs, CT)---For Danny Cates, the 2012 season at Stafford Motor Speedway marked a new chapter in the Chaplin, CT native's career. After making his SMS debut in the 2011 CARQUEST Fall Final SK Modified® feature, Cates moved from Thompson to Stafford for the full 2012 season and he recorded 8 top-5 and 11 top-10 finishes on his way to finishing fifth in the points standings. With an average finish of 10.2 during the 18 race season, Cates had a good year, but he says it was a struggle for he and his team.
“The season was a little more difficult than I expected it to be,” said Cates. “It was a struggle for us to get the car dialed in for night time. Some nights the car was a rocketship and other nights the car was a little off. Towards the end of the year, my crew chief Steve McCarthy and I got some things figured out and the car was pretty good. We were pretty disappointed that we didn’t get a win, but the season was a lot of fun, I haven’t had that much fun at the track in a long time.”
Cates and his #26 Lindon Tree Services team have been busy during the off season, going through their car and getting their engine refreshed in preparation for putting their car into victory lane in 2013.
“We’re coming back with the same car, we’re going through the car and we’re replacing what needs to be replaced,” said Cates. “We’re also refreshing the motor. We have great power from T/A Engines but last year I think we waited a little bit too long into the season to refresh the motor. It’s amazing just how much of a difference a little bit of a refresh can make in the engine.”
Cates’ best finish of the 2012 season was a second place effort in the second twin-75 lap feature that made up the CARQUEST SK 150 and he was leading the CARQUEST Fall Final feature before contact eliminated him from the race. With a change that he and McCarthy made on his car for the final race of the 2012 season, Cates is looking to build on these strong finishes and knock down the door to CARQUEST Victory Lane as early as the season opening CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler at Stafford.
“We’re focused on winning some races this year,” said Cates. “We hope we can get the first win right out of the box at the Spring Sizzler. We figured we’d try something different on the car at the Fall Final last year with the extra practice session, but that got rained out and we left the change on the car for Saturday. The car worked really well on Saturday and we were leading the race on Sunday when we got hooked on the backstretch, so I was really happy with the car. I think it was the most comfortable I felt in the car all season long. I think if we can get that first win done and out of the way, we can be more competitive this year and challenge for victories on a regular basis. All in all we had a good year last season. The first race of the season, we started 30th and we finished 4th, so when the car was on we were contenders and I feel like with Steve, my Dad, Bob, Keith, Jay, and Mikey, we can be among the fastest cars at the Sizzler and our first win is a realistic goal for us this year.”
The 2013 SK Modified® season kicks off with the 42nd Annual CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler on April 26-28. Tickets for the “Greatest Race in the History of Spring” may be ordered by calling the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $38.50 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating is $42.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax.
For more information on the 42nd Annual CARQUEST TECH-NET Spring Sizzler®, or to order tickets, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.