Digging Deep With Denise: Visiting With Todd Douillard

“Digging Deep With Denise” is a semi-regular question and answer feature with local racers and racing personalities produced by RaceDayCT’s Denise DuPont

Todd Douillard – My family are all Motor Heads … 

Todd Douillard has been racing in the SK Light Modified division at Stafford Motor Speedway since 2013. He has scored seven top fives and thirty-two top tens. His 2021 race season came to an abrupt end on May 7th with a hard crash. Douillard was running sixth in the SK Light race when the back end of the #16 SK Light came around and hit the armco barrier with only three laps to go. The car was severely damaged. Since then, Douillard has been working on his SK Light so he can get back out racing. The crash may have taken Douillard temporarily off the track, but it has not dampened his racing spirit.  He is helping Dylan and Chris Kopec prepare the #16 SK Modified for Stafford Speedway competition, both on and off the track. And when he can, Douillard works on his own car to get back out racing.

What made you get interested in racing?

“My family are all Motor Heads. My uncle, Fred Silliker, owned modifieds at Riverside Park (Speedway). He made the move from owning cars to helping Chris Kopec. Chris moved to racing a modified for Flamingo and that was when I really wanted to get a modified. . I started helping Flamingo Racing when I was in high school.

“I raced Go-Karts for one year and then the division running at Stafford (Speedway) closed after running for one year. I then ended up buying a full bodied car which I never raced. A couple weeks later a Flamingo car (SK Light) became available. I worked out a deal with Eric Sanderson where I was able to buy one of his cars (SK Mods).”

Which type of racing do you like the best?

“Modifieds are all that I ever wanted to do. So, that is all that I know about. I worked with the Flamingo Race Team on the modified tour when they won the championship with Ryan Preece. Then I ran my own modified and I worked with the Kopec’s.”

Would you say racing is your hobby?

“Racing is more of a lifestyle for us. It is what we do and we base our lives around it always figuring how to get here. It is our life.” 

What is your goal for 2021?

“I want to take the car that I got from Kopec’s and just get back to being competitive. The last couple of years, I was just doing my own thing. Now with a new car I am starting over. Owning the team, I need to build up everything to be able to be competitive and run upfront again. There are a lot of expenses and I have found that at times I need to be working to get something at the same time I am working on the car,  I have been doing side jobs and stuff just to get a little bit of extra money. The last couple of weeks have been crazy because of the wreck at the beginning of the year and just putting the car put back together. And we are trying to do all that while we getting ready for our first baby.”

On April 29th, Todd Douillard and Sarah Balicki revealed the gender of their expectant baby through a Modified’s tail pipe, blue smoke – It’s a boy! Congratulations Todd and Sarah.

“It would be really nice if a big sponsor came around.”

What racing accomplishment is most memorable to date?

“Running with Flamingo. I got to be around Mike Stefanik, who is one of the best drivers ever. When I was first getting into the sport, he was the driver for Flamingo. He actually took me aside and gave me a bunch of pointers. He told me to remember: “There are always a lot more lows in this sport, so you just have to keep going. Sometimes it just does not happen overnight. You just have to keep going at it.”

What are the challenges as a driver on the Stafford Speedway track?

“This is one of the toughest fields in racing that you have to really work at it to qualify. A lot of teams come here and there is no junk here. Everyone brings top notch equipment to this track. The competition is a challenge here. You have to be on your A game every week. And that is the difference between making it or going home.”

Have you always driven your own car?

“I have always driven my own or a car owned by the family. Now the family has older cousins coming up the ranks of Go-Karts on Monday nights at Stafford. So, some of my family just wanted to back away and just do that. We had a couple of big wreck and my family wanted to back away a little bit. After a big wreck, they told me I could have everything that we had for the race team and going forward I had to take over the reins of the race team – fix and prepare the car. That was when I moved my car to Chris Kopec’s garage and he has really helped a lot. He has told me all the ropes on putting the car together and how to set it up.”

SK Lights at Stafford do not have a spotter, do you think having a spotter would help the division?

“That is always a double ended question, I guess. Because we have really good racing in the field and some spotters might a make wrong judgement call. Those decisions could go either way with or without a spotter, I only ran a couple of times with a spotter at Thompson (Speedway) so I do not have a good argument whether or not to have a spotter.” 

If you had to do it all over again, would you?

“Yes, I would not change it for the world.” 

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