Todd Szegedy Yearning For Whelen Modified Tour Spring Sizzler Victory At Stafford Speedway

The tall container of milk that sits in victory lane awaiting the winner annually of the Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor Speedway is something Todd Szegedy has been close enough to almost reach out and touch.

Todd Szegedy

But it’s sipping that milk that the Ridgefield driver wants so desperately to do.

Szegedy has three second place finishes in his career at the Spring Sizzler but he has yet to find victory lane in the heralded event.

He gets another chance to change that on April 28.

“The Spring Sizzler is very high on my list of races that I would like to win,” Szegedy said in a release from Stafford. “Before my career is over, I want to have a Sizzler trophy. We’ve not always had the best of finishes at the Sizzler, but we’ve come close a couple of times. The key for the Sizzler, or any race, is that you have to be there at the end. I feel like if I can be among the top-5 cars with 20-laps to go, I can be a contender to win the race.”

Szegedy finished second in the event in 2003, 2007 and 2009.

Szegedy, the 2003 Whelen Modified Tour champion, has four victories in the division at Stafford.

Szegedy is coming off a strong, albeit abbreviated run, in the exhibition UNOH Battle at the Beach, which was run on a temporary track at Daytona International Speedway in February.

Szegedy won the pole for the event and led the first 126 laps before mechanical issues dropped his Mike Smeriglio owned car out of the event. Steve Park, driving another Smeriglio owned ride, went on to win the event.

“I think we have some good momentum going into the year after Daytona,” Szegedy said. “Even though we didn’t get the finish that we deserved down in Daytona, I was very happy with how well we ran. After the race was over, you say coulda, woulda, shoulda, but we lost a bolt on a lower control arm and sometimes that stuff is unavoidable. But any time we have a mechanical failure, we learn from it and we make changes to make it better.

“I can guarantee you that we won’t have that problem again and that’s because I have the best team on the Tour. I think that with how well I ran and with Steve Park winning the race in one of our backup cars, that just shows how much all the hard work that the guys put in over the winter paid off. We had 2 cars that ran awesome in Daytona, we have great positive guys on the team, and I think we’re going to have a really strong year.”

No driver in the division has been more consistently in the hunt for the series title over the last seven years than Szegedy. During that span he has finished fifth or better in the standings every year. He was fifth in 2006, 2009, 2010 and last year. He was third in 2008 and second in 2011.

“Our goal for the season is to be more consistent and run strong every week,” said Szegedy, who has 17 career Whelen Modified Tour victories in 167 starts. “I feel like the team has never been stronger than it is right now and we just need to finish races.”

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