Cassandra Cole To Build On Rookie Season In SK Light Modified At Stafford

(Press Release from Stafford Motor Speedway)

Cassandra Cole (Photo: Stafford Speedway/Cassandra Cole Facebook)

After racing Legend Cars from 2014-2016, Westbrook native Cassandra Cole made her debut in the SK Light division at Stafford Motor Speedway last July. Cole made 9 starts over the final 11 races of the 2017 season in her #09 MAWC Accounting machine, posting a best finish of 10th on August 4th. Cole used her time to get acclimated to a new style of car and racing and the team managed to get her #09 car faster week by week and by the end of the season, Cole found herself in the top-2 on the speed charts during practice sessions.

“I feel confident coming into this season,” said Cole. “I gained a lot of knowledge last year and learned a lot every event. We gained some speed each week and our main goal was to have fun, not wreck the car, and try to be faster than we were the previous week. We’re going to keep on trying to learn and we’re going to run for points so we need to be consistent and not wreck the car, but that’s what everyone wants to do. It seems like last year we were always in the wrong place at the wrong time. I feel like we’ll have a better shot at getting into the top-10 this year because last year I wasn’t that confident with the car. We’d be happy with top-10 finishes this season but we’d really love it if we could get into the top-5 or even in the top-3 on the podium. A podium finish would be awesome because then I’d be able to give a shout out to all my sponsors who have helped me get to this point.”

In making the move from Legend Cars to the open wheel world of SK Light racing, Cole had to learn a new car, how to race against new competition and also contend with racing around the half-mile Stafford layout for the very first time.

“It took me a while to get confident with passing cars with the difference in size between a Legend Car and the SK Light,” said Cole. “Learning how to keep your forward momentum up in the SK Light car was a big thing for me. With the Legend Car you can just floor it and the car will go but with the SK Light you have to keep the speed up and be smooth through the corners. It also took me a couple of weeks to get used to the track. I definitely didn’t have it down the first couple weeks but towards the end of the season I felt more confident with the car and we ended up having the fastest time in a couple of practice rounds in the last two Friday night races.”

Cole and the #09 team hooked up with Keith Rocco for their rookie campaign with Rocco helping to supply the team with car setups. Cole says that working with the 3-time Stafford SK Modified® track champion was a blessing and helped shorten her learning curve with how to get an optimal car setup for Stafford.

“It’s awesome having Keith to work with,” said Cole. “He definitely knows what he’s doing and he has an answer for everything. When something is wrong with the car, you name it, and he has it figured out. Thanks to Keith, our setup was always on point when we showed up to the track so there wasn’t much we had to change on the car. This winter we’ve been putting a lot of upgrades on the car. It’s a lot of little things that will all add up in the end.”

With her 9-race rookie season under her belt and Keith Rocco once again helping out with the car setups, Cole is excited to get her 2018 season started.

“I’m very excited to get started this season,” said Cole. “I’ve been going to On Track Karting every week to get my racing fix. That’s how I’ve been spending my off-season and I’m counting down the days to the Spring Sizzler. I have to thank MAWC Accounting, The Garage Door Guys, Tri-State Glass Co., Downey Septic and Excavation, my Dad, my brother, and my Mom for all their support and Keith Rocco Racing for giving me a fast setup every week. The competition is going to be super stiff this year. Bryan Narducci is moving up and he’s fast, Marcello Rufrano is fast, there’s a lot of fast cars and I think Stafford has the best of the best SK Light drivers. If you’re good at Stafford, I think you can be good at any track. I have lot of confidence knowing our car is fast and it’s all going to come down to me being able to get through traffic and being more confident passing cars.”

The 2018 SK Light season will begin at the 47th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler® on April 27-29. Tickets for the “Greatest Race in the History of Spring” are on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $40.00 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating is priced at $42.00 for all ages. As always, Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available. All tickets are good for both Saturday and Sunday admission. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Discount Spring Sizzler® tickets will be available beginning in March at participating NAPA Auto Parts stores.

For more information contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at

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  1. Another Rocco disciple. Legends to SK Lights. A familiar story. This is why Street Stocks and LLM’s struggle with car counts. Those divisions are part of the show but not a required stepping stone any more. They’re divisions that people race in because the division suits them. The SK Lights even with those pathetic pay outs just get stronger and the modified guru’s like Rocco and Owen get more business. Good for them cause better handling cars mean less wrecked equipment. And when you think of it, it’s amazing how few wrecks there are in the SK Lights with all the new people coming through.

  2. Ben & Eileen Dover says

    How few wrecks??? Are you nuts??? You either need to go watch then or get some new glasses!!! It’s brutal especially with no spotters!!!

  3. I guess since the frequency of wrecks is subjective there is no wrong answer. I’ll stick with my observation that is based on the inexperience of the drivers in the division and a good deal of viewership of Stafford divisions over decades and not be rude in the process.

  4. Viva race fan says

    It’s really nice when you family can afford to put a sub par driver in a up and moving division. But always want to see all drivers do well. Good luck and we can always use a better car count . Johnny O is a fun kid to watch. I don’t know all the players in SKL but that series has really stepped up there speed and it’s now a must watched race. Youth has really changed our spot in a great way. So let’s enjoy the changing of the guard. See you all soon.

  5. Sub par. That’s another one of those subjective judgements that is more in the eye of the beholder. If you compare Cassandra to Narducci who came into the Lights regionally like gangbusters you can say ya she’s sub par. But if you compare her to all the new faces that have come into the lights over the last few years she’s absolutely par. 11 starts, a 10th place finish. Par. Actually par with a gold star.
    The overwhelming majority of new drivers in any division aren’t sub par, they’re inexperienced. And they stay inexperienced until they do enough laps that they become experienced and do better………or not. But you have to wait to let them get experience before you can judge them as sub par. And if you are judging them as sup par because they are too young or too old or don’t have an enclosed trailer or because it’s a woman well that’s completely subjective and pretty much of no value.
    I’ve watched her. She’s tentative. Taking what she can get and mostly trying to avoid trouble. She;s had some modest success. Very par for a first year driver and especially one making a first time move from legends to full sized cars.
    A women in any divisions just flat out adds another dimension of interest to any race. Nichole Chambrello wins in the Street Stocks and the crowd including myself goes wild. Casandra is announced and the young ladies in the crowd perk up and clap like crazy. I love the Lights and if she’s there I always check back to see how Cassandra is doing hoping for the best. She also may inspire other women to give it a try and that’s always good. It’s not fair and completely sexist but my view any woman that straps in and takes on the boys starts out way above par and can never sink below par no matter what she does.

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