D.J. BURNHAM READY TO CHALLENGE FOR LIMITED LATE MODEL CHAMPIONSHIP AT STAFFORD IN 2013
(Stafford Springs, CT)---After winning four races and finishing fifth and third in his first two seasons of Limited Late Model competition at Stafford Motor Speedway, East Hartford native D.J. Burnham is ready to take his game to the next level in 2013. Although Burnham won three times last season, he says that number could have been even higher if not for mechanical issues with his #54 Burnham Motorsports Toyota.
“I think we definitely should have won a couple more races last year,” said Burnham. “We had some electrical issues with the ignition and we broke a lot of stuff on the car when we were running up front. We changed everything that was electrical in the car last year, plugs, wires, distributors, switches, and we found out through process of elimination that it was a $2 ignition switch that was our problem. One night a sway bar bolt broke while we were running up front and I had to fall to the back. I don’t even know how I finished that race, the car was completely sideways in the corners. We found something on the car that worked pretty well towards the end of the year, and we feel like we got all the bugs worked out of the car, so we think we’ll be more prepared for this year.”
With the electrical gremlins behind him, Burnham had a monster final third of the 2012 season, scoring 1 win and 4 second place finishes during the final 6 races. Burnham is looking to take that experience and build on it for the upcoming 2013 season as he chases after the track championship.
“Our plan is to get a couple more wins than we had last year and be on the podium more,” said Burnham. “Last season, we had a good first part of the year and we had a good final part of the year, so we’re going to be focused on the middle part of the year this season. Overall, our goal is to be more consistent. Last year it seemed like we ran up front for a couple of weeks and then we would struggle for a couple of weeks before we found something that would make the car better again. I’m still learning about how to drive the car and I found something with my driving style at the end of last year and I found the difference between if the car was loose or tight and what to tell my brother in the pits so he could make the correct adjustments on the car.”
With defending Ltd. Late Model champion Cory Casagrande moving up to the Late Model division for the 2013 season, Burnham and his team have their eyes on being the team to replace Casagrande as champions.
“I think it’s pretty wide open now,” said Burnham. “Cory was definitely one of the top contenders and he was my favorite driver to race with. I think he and I could race side by side all day long and he was one of the strongest cars in the field. I wish we could have made the move up to Late Models with Cory this year, but we didn’t have the money to buy an engine. We definitely would like to make that move up in the next couple of years though.”
While Burnham doesn’t have any sponsors yet for the 2013 season, he has a small crew consisting of family and friends that he feels will help him not only reach but go above and beyond his goals for the 2013 season.
“We don’t have any sponsors yet, but I have to thank my grandmother Pat, my dad Dave, my mom Donna, my brother Brian, John Bergenty for painting the car, Mike from Magnus, Don Wood from R.A.D. Automachine, Daren Clark, Jay Moore, and Paul French,” said Burnham. “We’ve been working on the car every night in the garage since the season ended and the car is just about ready to go, we just need to put the body on and letter it up. My brother did a fantastic job on the car, it looks really great and he knows every nut and bolt that is on that racecar.”
Burnham and the rest of the Limited Late Model field will kick off the 2013 season 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 or by CLICKING HERE. 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.