Modified Driver Todd Szegedy To Sit Out 2016 Racing Season

Todd Szegedy (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Todd Szegedy (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

In May Todd Szegedy will turn 40 years old and he’s decided he won’t be celebrating that milestone squeezed in around a racing schedule.

Szegedy, of Ridgefield, told RaceDayCT Wednesday exclusively that he will sit out the 2016 racing season.

Szegedy is walking away from a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour ride with Bob Garbarino’s legendary Mystic Missile team. He’s also stepping away from a part-time ride with Lowell, Mass. car owner Kevin Stuart in selected Valenti Modified Racing Series and Tri-Track Open Modified Series events.

“It’s something that I feel like I need to do,” Szegedy said. “I need to take some time off. I want to do some traveling and I might have some opportunities to go overseas and do some vacationing. I’ve dedicated every spring, summer and fall since 1983 to racing. I just feel like I need some time off.

“I’m not burnt out by any means, but I want to do some other things. I love racing, I love the Modifieds, I love the art of driving a racecar in general. I have a blast at it. By no means am I retiring, I just felt like I need some time off to do some other things and see where it takes me. It might drive me nuts not racing, but it’s something I need to do.”

After parting ways with Whelen Modified Tour team owner Mike Smeriglio following the 2013 season, Szegedy returned to the division full-time in 2015 to drive for Garbarino and finished fourth in the series standings with one victory, eight top-five’s and 11 top-10’s in 15 events last year.

Szegedy said his full-time work with Montanari Fuel of Ridgefield doesn’t allow for much time for relaxation away from the racing season.

“My focus will be enjoying the spring, summer and fall,” Szegedy said. “With my job, there’s not opportunity for much time off. Once the race season is over the busy season starts with the oil company. So I can’t take off in the middle of the winter or go on vacation and relax. Hopefully if I do want to go back racing at some point they’ll be a seat open for me. The decision is tough. I know both cars I’m capable of winning in and I’m walking away from two great rides, but it’s something I need to do.”

Garbarino said it’s unclear what Szegedy’s decision means for the future of his team.

“I don’t know where it leaves me,” Garbarino said. “I’m not worried about it. We’ll see what happens. I don’t have anything that I’m working on at the moment. It might be time for me, you never know. There’s a lot of frustration these day with that whole thing, so I don’t know. I’m not doing anything right now. I’m going to let some time go by and see what happens and see how I feel about it.”

Stuart said he is looking for a driver to field part-time in selected Whelen Modified Tour events, Valenti Modified Racing Series events and Open Modified shows.

Szegedy won the Whelen Modified Tour series championship in 2003. He drove eight consecutive seasons for Smeriglio from 2006 to 2013, finishing fifth or better in the standings in all but one year. He was sixth in the standings in 2013. Doug Coby replaced Szgedy in the Smeriglio ride prior to the 2014 season and has won consecutive championships with the team.

Overall Szegedy has 19 career Whelen Modified Tour victories in 202 starts dating back to the 2000 season.


  1. Jason Thompson says

    Bob Call Woody Pitkat!

  2. Al Johnson says

    Todd,, God-Speed.. Hope to see you back soon…

  3. Pete Kelly says

    This is hardly breaking news of Todd leaving the 4. The murmurs of this parting have been around for a couple months now. So this is not new news to Bob. I doubt Todd’s decision will affect Bob’s racing future. Bob is the type of man that will not let others define who he is and what he does. I feel he has had time already to say goodbye, but maybe there’s still a flicker to that fire in his belly that restrains him at this point. Since “moneyman” Lia is not available for the seat with his equipment at Barkers readying for ’16, what driver out there can bring something to Bob? I love silly season- Ted – Woody – Matt … Ready – Set – Go! My suggestion to Bob is to celebrate his racing roots, grab a hot-shoe, run a more relaxed schedule, pick and choose, maybe Tri-Track like Art B. and enjoy!!! Be in a “good place” when you finally choose to walk away from a love – your terms! – no sour taste!

  4. I would call Paul Kusheba. Up and coming sk driver from Waterford. Kid keeps the wheels on his low budget operation and stays up front competitively.

  5. ModFan Homtracks says

    Can’t wait for the 2016 race season! Good luck to Todd. Loved watching you since you came up from SK’s. Best race ever was you winning the 21 means 21 “consi” at Stafford from the rear, then winning the feature from the rear. I think these teams need the next best up and coming open wheel driver to drive and that kid is Ronnie Williams. That kid can wheel a race car, he’s an aggressive but clean driver and he is very likable, his interviews show his class and intelligence. Guys, put him in your race car and stay up front.

  6. Nothing wrong with stopping to smell the roses and enjoy some down time. Good for him. I highly recommend Italy if he is looking for travel ideas. That said, Woody is a logical choice. Hossfeld is another. Emerling and Dowling are other young kids on the rise. Whomever the pick, it will be somebody capable of winning day one. I wouldn’t expect a name out of left field.

  7. I sure would like to see Ronnie Silk in the Missile.

  8. Andy Boright says

    Why worry, it’s not like the tour is seeing a massive loss of teams & talent?

  9. How about Les Hinckley? If there was ever a driver that deserved a shot at a tour ride it is him. A proven wheelman…………….

  10. Well, the low car counts leaves plenty of drivers looking for a ride. Should not be a problem.

  11. Ron silk…. the guy won a Damn championship. How doesn’t he have a ride?

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