(Stafford Springs, CT)—The Late Model division at Stafford Motor Speedway will see a former champion return to its ranks in the form of 2000 track champion Mike Quintiliano. Quintiliano ran 2 races last year with finishes of 16th and 17th and he has been hard at work since then, updating his entire #44 car to make a return to the track this season.
“The car is completely new now and we’ve put so much money into the car, hopefully we can have some good runs,” said Quintiliano. “We’re just getting finished up from redoing the entire car from last year. We have Valley Auto Machine power, the same crew coming back, and we have Rick’s Auto Body and Nap Chenard as our sponsors.”
Quintiliano’s last full-time season in the Late Model division was 2012, where he finished second in the points standings behind Woody Pitkat. The 2012 season was also the last time that Quintiliano parked his #44 car in NAPA Victory Lane, a situation that he is looking to rectify this year.
“We’re coming to win some races,” said Quintiliano. “There’s some really good competition in the Late Model division and we’re going to try our best to get some wins. It’s the same car we ran last year and I think we have everything that we need to have in order to win.”
As he makes his first starts of the 2015 season, Quintiliano will have zero handicapping value, meaning that he will have to start the feature events at the back of the pack. That factor, combined with a new rules package that was instituted for the Late Model division this season, may prove to be a tough hurdle for Quintiliano to overcome as he tries to record his first win since 2012. But Quintiliano is feeling confident about his chances and says that the prospect of having to start at the back doesn’t faze him at all.
“I’m not worried about that at all, I’ve been in the back a lot,” said Quintiliano with a laugh. “I don’t think we’ll have any problem with the new rules package. We ran those shocks in the past and we’re used to them. I see guys like Tom Butler, Tom Fearn, and Jim Mavlouganes are all having good runs this year and I ran with all those guys for so many years so I’m sure we can get the job done.
Quintiliano’s first race back at Stafford could be either this Friday, June 12th or the following Friday, June 19th.
“Right now we’re just waiting on some parts to get the car finished up,” said Quintiliano. “If they arrive in time, we’ll have the car ready for the 12th, otherwise we’ll plan on coming back the following Friday.”