Not only does Pasteryak have his father to go to for advice, he also has his uncle to turn to as well. Carl Pasteryak is also a competitor on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. His elders might give Chris plenty of input, but they refrained from telling him what to do over the radio during the race.
“They tell me a lot. It’s constant,” said Chris Pasteryak. “They were pretty good during the race though. My Dad’s spotter is Matt Morganstein. He’s a real good spotter and that helps more than anything. It keeps me clam and coming out of the SK, I’m pretty wild.”
CHRIS PASTERYAK GETS TO TRY OUT FAMILY CAR by Mike Twist
Second Generation Driver Makes Modified Tour Debut
Editor’s Note – This past week at Waterford Speedbowl, two second generation drivers made their NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour debuts. Speed51.com spent time with both Chris Pasteryak and his father Charlie, as well as Matt Hirschman and his father Tony. We found out a little bit about each new driver, how their races went and what their experienced fathers thought after the checkered flag waved and the dust settled.
Chris Pasteryak is used to good finishes at Waterford Speedbowl (CT). He runs as a regular in the SK Modified division there and is currently second in that division’s point standings. He hasn’t finished outside of the top 10 at Waterford since early May.
Pasteryak was also chasing the handling of his racecar.
“It was loose from lap one. We came in to tighten it up,” said Pasteryak. “When it gets loose, it gets a lot looser. It’s tough to hang on to it. I was being really cautious.”
Pasteryak entered the race in the family car – the #5 machine usually driven by his father Charlie, who was very impressed and proud when the race was finished.
So when Pasteryak finished 20th in the big race of the night at Waterford this past weekend, he was disappointed. After all, he’s a racer. But looking just a little bit deeper shows that Pasteryak is judging himself much too harshly. Why? Because the race was a 150-lap NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event and it was his first ever start in the division.
When you finish on the lead lap in a race like that, a top 20 really is an accomplishment.
“I finished. Not much more than that,” said Pasteryak. “I kept it forward the whole time. I’m not happy that I finished 20th, but I’m happy that I finished.”
“Maybe it wasn’t a great night by some people’s standards, but it was what we wanted to do,” said Charlie Pasteryak. “We came here to finish and that’s what we did. We didn’t care where we finished as long as we finished. That’s one step. We still have a lot of steps in front of us.”
The Tour race came after Chris ran the SK Modified feature and finished eighth.
“I’m pretty proud that he ran two races at the Waterford Speedbowl and we rolled both cars into the trailer at the end of the night,” said Charlie Pasteryak. “That’s pretty good at this place. You can’t say that very often.”
The debut of Chris Pasteryak could be the first step of a transition from father to son in the #5 car.
Chris' uncle Carl (L) and father Charlie (R)
Chris Pasteryak. (51 Photos)
Mike Ewanitsko was all smiles at Stafford. (Mary Hodge Photo)
Role Reversal: Chris talks with Charlie before a race last season at Thompson (T), Charlie gives Chris some pointers this past week at Waterford. (B)
“This is my Dad’s deal and if he’s happy, I’m happy,” said Chris Pasteryak. “He wants to run Loudon and the Thompson 300. Obviously, he’ll run the next race at Stafford because he has already qualified. He’s going to run another race at Thompson because I’ll be racing here every Saturday night with the SK.
“I’ll probably get in the car for the next race here, for the Friday night show at Stafford. We won’t run more than seven with me no matter what, but we’ll probably do at least three or four just to get some laps.”
“There are a lot of steps to go,” said Charlie Pasteryak. “We’re going to make three or four more races this year here and maybe run for rookie of the year next year.”
Charlie has set a blueprint for the change of drivers as well.
“We’ve got very good crew people all around his age and we’re trying to build a team around him and not around me,” said Charlie Pasteryak. “They’re young people and they are going to make mistakes, but they are learning. He has his guys. My guys are getting old and have been around this. Now they want to do different things. We’re trying to do it right and get him his guys who he can count on.”
The 24-year-old Pasteryak got his start in racing just like many other national and regional drivers of his age did.
“I ran a Legends car. Mainly here [at Waterford]. But we also went to Beech Ridge, Oxford Plains, Seekonk, Riverside before it closed and Riverhead. I pretty much stayed around New England, but we went down to one race in Hardeeville, South Carolina.
“I don’t talk to him [on the radio],” said Charlie Pasteryak. “I let him run his own race. He’s got a very good spotter in Matt Morganstein.”
By not talking, Charlie Pasteryak got the chance to really observe his son on the track and he is very impressed with what he saw.
“He’s probably 10 times the driver that I ever was,” said Charlie Pasteryak. “He has much more patience, he sees better. He’s very patient and I don’t have that.”
Stay tuned for the next Speed51.com Father and Son Modified article as we catch up with Matt and Tony Hirschman for their thoughts on Matt’s Waterford debut.
When Charlie was behind the wheel of the #5 at Waterford, he was in street clothes and he was only moving the car.