While the snow fell across Connecticut Saturday morning, Chris Pasteryak laughed about his fashion choice for the day.
“I’m putting some shorts on and heading to the track,” Pasteryak said Saturday morning.
Though the Lisbon driver wasn’t heading to any snow blanketed facility in Connecticut.
The Modified veteran was instead heading to Hickory Motor Speedway in Hickory, N.C. for the season opener for the KOMA Unwind Southern Modified Race Tour.
The division, in its second season, is scheduled to run 10 events across North Carolina and South Carolina this season.
While a handful of Northern teams prepared for the northern season by running events at the World Series at New Smyrna [Fla.] Speedway in February, or last week’s NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour opener at Caraway Speedway in Sophia, N.C, Pasteryak sees the Southern Modified Race Tour as the perfect place to shakedown in preparation for the Valenti Modified Racing Series season.
“It’s good for us,” Pasteryak said. “They run basically the same kind of tire that we run on the [Valenti Modified Racing Series] and really close to the same tire that they run with the Tri-Track Series for those five races. So it’s a real good deal for a shakedown. We didn’t have the change car the whole bunch to come down here from the [Modified Racing Series] rules, so that was nice. And the racetrack being really similar to what we run a lot of up there works. And it’s a neat little tour.”
Pasteryak, a two-time Valenti Modified Racing Series champion, also enjoyed the opportunity to take in a racing history lesson with a visit to one of the most historic venues in stock car racing lore.
The one-third mile oval, which opened in 1951, once hosted NASCAR’s premier Sprint Cup Series regularly and has been the hometrack of numerous drivers who have gone on to super stardom in NASCAR.
“It’s at Hickory, which is cool,” Pasteryak said. “I had never been, my father had never been and my uncle had never been. To me Hickory is still pretty cool. It was always Easter Sunday the Grand National race was always on. So it’s a pretty neat place. It’s a bumpy little worn out racetrack that reminds me a lot of Lee [USA Speedway in Lee, N.H.], And it beats sitting at home in the snow.”
The 125-lap season opener for the series is scheduled for a 7 p.m start Saturday. The track was open for practice on Friday.
“We just kind of shook the car down, nothing fell off of it so that was good,” Pasteryak said of the Friday practice time. “We’re going to practice all day today and use it as a test session.”