TONY MEMBRINO, JR. HOPING TO GET BACK INTO CHAMPIONSHIP CONTENTION IN TWIN 15-LAP SK LIGHT DOUBLE DUTY FEATURES
(Stafford Springs, CT)---This Friday night at Stafford Motor Speedway, the SK Lights will take their turn at a Double Duty night with twin 15-lap feature events. After three consecutive second place finishes, Tony Membrino, Jr. had a disappointing 16th place finish last Friday night, which dropped him from second place and 20 points behind to fourth place and 42 points behind in the SK Light standings. But with two races on tap for this Friday night, Membrino has his sights set on winning and getting himself back into championship contention.
“It’s a big opportunity for us,” said Membrino. “I’m looking forward to it, especially because we’ve been running so well lately. It’s been a while since I’ve ran two races in one night. I still have the championship in the back of my mind, but we kind of got knocked out of the picture for the time being last week, so I can focus on going out and winning races and doing what I have to do to get the job done. My game plan is to go out and win every race. I was trying to drive a little more conservatively with the big picture in the back of my mind, but I’m not concerned with the points any more. I’m going for wins and let the points fall where they may. If they fall in my favor, great. These races can either help you or hurt you. If you’re the point leader, you have a chance to extend the lead, or they could have a bad first race and not even make it out for the second race. Certain people are going to look at it certain ways, you just have to play the hand you’re dealt. The hand we have is we’re 40 points out of the lead, we have a fast car, 1 win, and we’re hungry for a lot more wins. Our crosshairs are aimed at the front of the field.”
While it has been several years since Membrino has had to drive in two races on the same night, he is sticking to his normal race strategy. Membrino is also looking forwad the challenge of whoever can make the best adjustments in between races.
“I think the last time I did double features was in a DARE Stock a couple of years ago,” said Membrino. “I think it was a make up from a rain date and those were both 15 lap features. That’s what we’re doing this Friday night, so I don’t think we’ll approach it any differently. The only difference is that the night isn’t over after the first race. I have to get on my stuff and get the car ready for another feature. Sometimes a driver gets out of the car and they wish they just had 5 more laps or 10 more laps, and now I have 15 more laps. It will be interesting because you race one week and you take your notes from that night back to the shop and you adjust and come up with a game plan for the following week. Now, you get off the track and you’ll be going back out on basically the same track you were on in the first feature. It will make it interesting to see who can adjust from the first feature and how consistent you can be from the first feature to the second feature. Usually within the last 10 laps or so, we’re where we need to be for the most part. I think some other people might take it a little differently and be in more of a hurry to get to the front. I try to feel out where I am on the track and I try to pick my way through one lap at a time and end up wherever we end up. I’m definitely going to try to get to front as quick as we can and hopefully check out and take down another W or maybe even get two in a row.”
In addition to picking up his first career victory this season, Membrino has already far exceeded the results of his rookie season. With only a handful of races left in the 2012 season, Membrino is looking to extend his good fortunes and be in the championship race at the end of the year.
“It’s been a huge turnaround for us compared to what we had last year,” said Membrino. “Last year we were about getting seat time and feeling the car out where now we’re running up front consistently. If we’re not wrecked in the infield or something isn’t wrong with the car, we’re in the top-3 or top-5 every week, so it’s a huge difference and it’s a positive note for us. The more experience I get, the more confident and comfortable I get, and I’m getting better and better every week with giving my guys feedback. I think it’s been a combination of all those things between car, driver, and a little bit of luck that has really worked in our favor this year.”
Tickets for this Friday night’s SK Light / DARE Stock Double Duty event are available and on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $20.00 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 will be priced at $22.50 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.