Looking Back: Spring Sizzler History
Courtesy Stafford Motor Speedway
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Fred DeSarro won the Inaugural Spring Sizzler at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway in 1972 driving the famed 'ol Blue #3 for Boehler Racing. DeSarro won the Modified titles at Stafford in 1972 and '76, and was the 1970 NASCAR National Modified champion.
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Maynard Troyer’s 3rd consecutive Sizzler victory came in 1979. Troyer was the first driver to win the Sizzler three straight times and the feat has been matched only once by Ted Christopher (2008-10).
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Greg Sacks becomes the first driver to pit during the 80-lap Spring Sizzler and win the race in 1983. Sacks was the 1982 Modified champion at Stafford. He went on to be runner-up for the 1984 NASCAR Cup rookie of the year and scored his only Cup win in the 1985 Firecracker 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
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Richie Evans wins the first Spring Sizzler that was part of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. It was the third Sizzler win overall for the NASCAR Hall of Famer, following back-to-back wins in 1975-76.
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Reggie Ruggiero becomes the first driver to pit twice and win the 80-lap Spring Sizzler in 1987. Ruggerio, a five-time Sizzler runner-up, returned to Victory Lane at the event in 1993.
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With the absence of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at Stafford in 1988, the SK Modified division served as the premier division that year with Ted Christopher leading Bob Potter and Bo Gunning to the checkered flag. The podium of Christopher, Potter, and Gunning have combined for 180 SK Modified feature wins at Stafford and 16 SK Modified track championships as well as numerous wins and championships at other area tracks.
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Mike Stefanik won the first NAPA Spring Sizzler that was run as a 200-lap race, in 1990. It was the second of four Sizzler's won by Stefanik, the all-time tour wins leader at Stafford (20).
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Tony Hirschman Jr. rallied from a spin to win the 2005 Spring Sizzler. It marked Hirschman's only Sizzler victory, but helped propel him to the 2005 tour championship - his fifth title overall.
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In 2006, Doug Coby won his first Spring Sizzler on the tour. The 2000 track Late Model champion, Coby returned to Victory Lane in the 2012 Spring Sizzler. Coby has 12 career wins at Stafford and added a Sizzler crown in 2016 and 2019.
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Ted Christopher took home his sixth Spring Sizzler in 2010. Christopher, the track's all-time race winner, matched Maynard Troyer with his third Sizzler win in a row.
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Donny Lia started 2007 with five wins in the first eight races of the tour season, including his only career Spring Sizzler victory. Lia, who was second in the race in 2006, went on to win the championship. Including Lia, nine times the Spring Sizzler winner captured the Whelen Modified Tour title in the same season.
Rich Schultz/NASCAR via Getty Images
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Bobby Santos holds his milk jug as he kisses his wife Kristy after winning the 2014 Spring Sizzler. The victory capped a remarkable run by Santos, who grew up in nearby Franklin, Mass. Santos won the Spring Sizzler in three out of four years (2012, 2013-14) and had at least one tour win at Stafford every season from 2010-14.
Maddie Meyer/NASCAR via Getty Images
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A native of Stafford and second on the track's all-time wins list, Woody Pitkat won his first Spring Sizzler on the Whelen Modified Tour in 2015. Pitkat has track titles in both the Late Model (2006, 2012) and SK Modified Divisions (2013) at Stafford. Two of his three career tour wins have come at his home track.
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Ryan Preece, the 2011 SK Modified champion at Stafford, has gone to Victory Lane in the Spring Sizzler back-to-back years (2017-18) on the Whelen Modified Tour.