JOEY FERRIGNO WINS SPAFCO RACE CHASSIS & PARTS
(Stafford Springs, CT)---Rookie drivers are either a first time competitor, or they are making a move from one division to another. For Joey Ferrigno, his rookie status would apply to moving from one division to another, but he didn’t take the usual route. After last competing full-time in Stafford Motor Speedway’s Limited Late Model division in 2008, Ferrigno took several years off before moving into the SK Light Modified division for the 2012 season. While Ferrigno wasn’t racing from 2009-2011, he was still leading laps at Stafford Motor Speedway as the pace car driver. Ferrigno’s return to full time racing was a successful one, as he posted a win to go along with 9 top-5 and 12 top-10 finishes to finish 5th in the SK Light standings and take home SPAFCO Race Chassis & Parts SK Light Modified Rookie of the Year honors.
“It was great to be racing again, I missed being on that side of the fence,” said Ferrigno. “At the beginning of the year we were hoping to get a couple of top-5’s and finish in the top-10 in points. We ended up getting a win, Rookie of the Year, and a top-5 finish in the points, so we had a great year. How many people have it on their bucket list to win a modified race at Stafford? I know it’s not the SK Modified® division, but now I can say that I’ve won a modified race at Stafford. It was a lot of fun and we had a blast. The one thing I did miss this year was the air conditioning in the pace car.”
After competing in Stafford’s DARE Stock and Limited Late Model classes, as well as racing on ice, Ferrigno says his biggest challenge was adjusting his driving style to the open wheeled SK Light Modified car.
“This year was a different driving style than anything I’ve ever driven before,” said Ferrigno. “Everything I’ve ever driven was sideways in the corners and with the SK Light it’s all about handling and momentum. It took a couple of weeks for me to get used to that and to figure how to get the car through the corner without breaking the back end loose. When this car gets sideways, all you have to do is put your foot back to the floor and the car will go wherever you have it pointed. It took a while for my brain to tell my foot it was ok to put the gas pedal back to the floor. Plus this car is four seconds a lap faster than anything I’ve ever driven before at Stafford.”
While Ferrigno’s season started off slowly, by the end of the season Ferrigno was a fixture at the front of the pack, finishing in the top-8 in 6 of the final 7 races of the season. Ferrigno points to his victory on July 27th as a turning point for his year.
“Definitely winning a race was great for us,” said Ferrigno. “We had a feeling that we were close to winning and then we went out and actually won a race. Being out front and knowing we were going to win that race was an awesome feeling and it was definitely a confidence boost for the rest of the season. It’s a totally different mindset when you know you are sitting in a race winning car. The second half of the season we were rarely out of the top-5. I’d like to think we can come back next season, but we need to pick up some sponsors for financial support. I have to thank Brothers Pool and the entire Morgillo family, RK Machine, and Pinto Manufacturing for their support this year. I also have to thank Paul French and his wife Lori, Paul is like a modified guru, I wouldn’t have gotten as far as I did this year without Paul’s knowledge. I also have to thank George, Lenny, Frank, Dean, Debbie, Megan, Mark Bakaj, DJ Burnham, and Gino from RH2 Radios. Last but not least, I’d also like to thank the Georgiades family, without them, I wouldn’t have gotten started in racing.”
Ferrigno will officially be crowned the 2012 SPAFCO Race Chassis & Parts SK Light Modified Rookie of the Year at the 43rd Annual Stafford Motor Speedway Champions Awards Ceremony on Friday, November 16 at the La Renaissance Banquet Facility in East Windsor.
Tickets to the 43rd Annual Stafford Motor Speedway Champions Awards Ceremony are $45 per person and can be ordered by calling the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at (860) 684-2783, or by downloading an order form from www.staffordspeedway.com and mailing the form to the track office.