Digging Deep With Denise: Visiting With Troy Talman

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

Troy Tallman –  The race is won at the shop!

Troy Talman of Oxford, Mass. comes from a long line of racers. His grandfather, John Tagg, raced at local tracks including Westboro Speedway from 1952 to 1962.  His uncle, Tom Tagg, began racing in 1980 in a Late Model at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H. Tom Tagg though, is best known for his victories at both Thompson Speedway and Stafford Speedway in the famous No. 3 Modified. Today Troy Talman, along with his cousin Brian Tagg, continue the family tradition racing at local tracks.  The Talman family also continues their tradition of sporting the No. 3 on Troy’s SK Modified. 

What are your plans for 2022?

“Run the full season in an SK [Modified] at Stafford [Speedway] and full season in a Sunoco Modified at Thompson Speedway.” 

Tracing back to your racing since 2014 when you broke your wrist?

“2016 was an off year for us. We did not do very much. In 2017 we went SK racing for Keith Rocco at Thompson. I won my second time out with the car. It was just a rocket ship. It was a lot of fun driving that car and it gave me a lot of confidence getting in one of his cars and doing what I did at Thompson. We finished the year in sixth place after missing one race.  I did that as well in 2018. I was in a battle for the Sunoco Modified championship with Keith Rocco going into the last race.  Then a wreck happened and I finished fourth. In 2019 I did my own stuff with the family car at Stafford and also drove for the McCarthy family from my hometown at Thompson. So, I have been driving SK’s pretty much from 2015 forward.”

Driving the Boehler Racing Enterprises Ole Blue Modified on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour?

“A lot of pressure comes with driving a [Whelen Modified Tour]. And that is especially true with the Boehler car. It was a great experience. I had some ups and downs. A top five finish at Monadnock, I look back at that proud. It was a really good experience but reflecting on it we really should not have done that jump from an SK Light Modified to the [Modified] Tour. But the opportunity was there so we jumped at it. You live and you learn. I probably needed more seat time before I got into it. But it was a great experience. The whole Boehler family, Mike, Greg, Scott… they are all great guys.

“I like driving an SK Modified more than a [Tour Type Modified]. It is more fun. I am able to do more hands on working in the shop. And it is less pressure than a [Tour Type Modified].

“Both of my grandparents passed away over the last couple of years. They were huge supporters that started this crazy racing family. They launched the racing careers of my cousin Brian and myself. They would be really proud to see where we are at today. I am actually lucky to be in this position, so I try not to take it for granted.

“My uncle, Tom Tagg, first got into racing in 1980 in a Street Stock or Late Model at Monadnock. He always has had the No. 3. He did the Late Models from 1980 to 1989 at [the former Riverside Park Speedway in Agawam, Mass.], Stafford and Thompson Speedway. He then jumped into a Modified in 1990. That Modified is what my Thompson Modified looks like, the white, the yellow and the blue. The car was the No. 3 after Fred DeSarro. Fred was my uncle and my mother’s favorite driver. He passed away in 1978 after injuries sustained during practice at Thompson. That was why Tom’s cars were the No. 3. Fred DeSarro was their favorite driver.”

Besides racing being a family tradition, why do you race?

“At a young age racing was all that I knew. Ever since I was a baby in a carriage I was going to the race track to watch my uncle. As a youngster I had the matchbox cars. I got into a Quarter Midget at Little T.

“I think it is the competitiveness to be honest. It is challenging. It is not easy. If it was easy everybody could do it. And racing is my hobby. It is very time consuming. It is like working two full time jobs. With all the work that needs to be done at the shop. I think that the old cliché is true: “The race is won at the shop’ You have to drive them, but the real work is done in the shop.”

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