Of course, Stefanik has been around the NASCAR Modified ranks for a long time, but the aura of coming to Martinsville still brings a strong feeling to the Mod veteran.

“This was a big race for me when I was just getting into the Modifieds.  I used to come here just as a fan before I even started to run here.  It’s a long ride, 700 miles from home, but I remember coming here as a young driver in the series.  Martinsville is always a thrill to come to.  It’s a nice racetrack and it gets us out of the cold Northeast.”


There were a few slides and spins in qualifying, but the only driver to actually hit anything was Doug Coby, who ended up in the outside wall with his Curt Chase-owned #77.

“The car was tight on the warm-up lap and I sailed down into turn one [on his qualifying lap],” said Coby.  “The tire rolled off the rim.  It was weird.  I was in the middle of the corner when the thing went right to the fence.  I was still on the gas, I was actually on the gas when I was almost to the wall when I told myself that I needed to wait a second.  I knew that I didn’t want to be doing that right now.  I locked them up instead and just kind of slid into the fence.”

Stefanik On The Pole, Problems for Coby & Qual Results

Mike Stefanik set fast time for Saturday’s Whelen Made in America 300 at Martinsville Speedway.  The Coventry, RI-native’s speed was the only that cracked into the 100mph bracket at the tight Martinsville half-mile.  A pole at such a historic racetrack, especially one in a prestigious event such as the traditional Martinsville race should be one that Stefanik wouldn’t forget.  While he probably won’t forget this one for a while, when a driver has accumulated so many accolades in his career the way Stefanik has, it can be easy to lose track of previous trophies – even a pole at Martinsville.

“I think I’ve won one before,” said Stefanik.  “My wife just asked me that but I
honestly don’t know.  I think I have, but I don’t know.”

Stefanik will be plenty aware of Friday night’s pole winning effort when he takes the green flag on Saturday.  Even though he had an early qualifying draw, he set an early pace that wouldn’t be broken by the 49 competitors that took part in time trials.

“It always feels good to win a pole, especially here at Martinsville.  We went off awful early and had to wait for 50-some-odd cars to go.  I thought we’d be in the top-five or top-10, but then as the field kept going, we dodged a couple of the heavy hitters and we started getting our hopes up near the end.  I’m happy for the whole team.”
Mike Stefanik set fast time with his Flamingo Motorsports #16.  (51 Photos)
The #77 team elected to repair their primary car instead of rolling out their back-up mount. 

“The whole right front hit the wall,” said Coby.  “But they got it so it could roll and they are going to fix it.  We got the last provisional, so we don’t have to run the hooligan race.  It was s—t luck, but we’ve had a s----y year, so hopefully we can turn it around in tomorrow night’s race.”

After Friday night’s qualifying session, eight teams were awarded provisionals.  Dick Houlihan, Chuck Hossfeld, Matt Hirschman, James Civali and Coby were the Northern drivers to gain a starting spot, while Junior Miller, Bobby Hutchins and Jason Myers were the Southern Tour drivers who were given provisional starts.
Among the drivers who will need to advance through Saturday evening’s 50-lap last chance race are Ronnie Silk, Kevin Goodale, Jon McKennedy, Robbie Summers, Mike Andrews and Anthony Sesley from up North and Jay Foley, Brian Loftin, Michael Clifton, Brian Pack, Gene Pack and Kevin Powell from the South.


1. (16)Mike Stefanik, Coventry R.I., Chevrolet, 100.547
2. (2)Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield Conn., Ford, 99.974
3. (18)Donny Lia, Jericho N.Y., Chevrolet, 99.842
4. (4)Jerry Marquis, Broad Brook Conn., Dodge, 99.821
5. (3)Eric Beers, Northampton Pa., Chevrolet, 99.758
6. (48)Tony Hirschman, Northampton Pa., Chevrolet, 99.637
7. (41)Reggie Ruggierro, Rocky Hill Conn., Chevrolet, 99.621
8. (10)Eddie Flemke, Southington Conn., Chevrolet, 99.590
9. (12)Jimmy Blewett, Howell N.J., Chevrolet, 99.553
10. (15)Zach Sylvester, Lebanaon Conn., Chevrolet, 99.506
11. (6)Ron Yuhas, Groton Conn., Chevrolet, 99.433
12. (83)Tim Brown, Cana Va., Chevrolet, 99.219
13. (30)L.W. Miller, Dushore Pa., Pontiac, 99.162
14. (99)Jamie Tomaino, Howell N.J., Chevrolet, 99.100
15. (36)Ted Christopher, Plainville Conn., Chevrolet, 99.048
16. (0)Danny Sammons, Trenton N.J., Chevrolet, 98.945
17. (1)Burt Myers, Walnut Grove N.C., Chevrolet, 98.924
18. (20)Richard Savary, Canton Mass., Chevrolet, 98.903
19. (06)Steve Whitt, Forked River N.J., Dodge, 98.862
20. (21)Ken Barry, Griswold Conn., Chevrolet, 98.738
21. (46)Richard Houlihan, Bridgewater Mass., Chevrolet, 98.733
22. (79)Chuck Hossfeld, Buffalo N.Y., Pontiac, 98.697
23. (19)Ronnie Silk, Norwalk Conn., Chevrolet, 98.604
24. (57)Jay Foley, Stuart Va., Chevrolet, 98.579
25. (58)Kevin Goodale, Riverhead N.Y., Chevrolet, 98.574
26. (14)Bobby Hutchens, Lexington N.C., Chevrolet, 98.543
27. (23)Brian Loftin, Lexington N.C., Chevrolet, 98.522
28. (59)Matt Hirschman, Northampton Pa., Dodge, 98.446
29. (50)Michael Clifton, Walkertown N.C., Chevrolet, 98.099
30. (81)Brian Pack, Walkertown N.C., Chevrolet, 98.083
31. (28)James Civali, Meriden Conn., Chevrolet, 98.068
32. (73)Jon McKennedy, Chemsford Mass., 97.860
33. (47)Jimmy Storace, Kingston N.H., Chevrolet, 97.860
34. (98)Jamie Tomaino, Jr., Howell N.J., Chevrolet, 97.845
35. (17)Brian King, Gibsonville N.C., Chevrolet, 97.759
36. (44)Brandon Hire, Winston-Salem N.C., 97.729
37. (01)Robbie Summers, Vernon Conn., Pontiac, 97.664
38. (31)Gene Pack, N. Myrtle Beach S.C., Chevrolet, 97.628
39. (5)Randy Butner, Pfafftown N.C., Chevrolet, 97.613
40. (69)Junior Miller, Pine Hall N.C., Dodge, 97.578
41. (86)Mike Andrews, Ridge N.Y., Chevrolet, 97.518
42. (07)Frank Fleming, Mt Airy N.C., Pontiac, 97.382
43. (38)Ken Heagy, Calverton N.Y., Chevrolet, 97.282
44. (74)Jason Myers, Walnut Cove N.C., Chevrolet, 96.726
45. (11)Anthony Sesley, Matawan N.J., Chevrolet, 96.662
46. (33)Wade Cole, Riverton Conn., Chevrolet, 95.646
47. (9)Jake Marosz, Middletown Conn., Chevrolet, 95.641
48. (04)Kevin Powell, Winston Salem N.C., Ford, 94.463
49. (77)Doug Coby, Milford Conn., Pontiac, No speed

The Chase Racing crew goes to work repairing Doug Coby's #77.