(Stafford Springs, CT)—When the first green flag of the 2018 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season is dropped at Stafford Speedway, Tolland native Andy Marchese will be making his return to full-time racing in the Limited Late Model division. Marchese will be piloting the #5 car that is owned by DP Motorsports with sponsorship from NAPA Tolland, Big Haus USA, and Casagrande Builders. Marchese has made only 9 starts over the last three seasons in Stafford’s Late Model division, but he is looking forward to getting back into full-time competition.
“I got started in the Street Stock division and it took me a while to learn how to drive the car and I managed to win a couple races,” said Marchese. “I had an opportunity to move up to the Late Model division in 2015 and although I’ve raced a couple of times a year the last few years, I’ve basically been out of racing for the last 3 seasons. The Late Model was a massive step up for me. Between helping Kevin Gambacorta with his #23 car and going racing in Wild Thing Karts with my daughter Dominique, I didn’t have the time to fully commit to it. After this past season ended, an opportunity came up with DP Motorsports to run a full season in the Limited Late Model division so now I can get some seat time and experience and get back in the groove. Honestly I think the Limited Late Model division is where I belong, I was way over my head in the Late Model division.”
With his relative lack of racing during the last three seasons, Marchese is not setting any lofty expectations for himself. Marchese’s focus will be on getting track time and building his confidence behind the wheel back to the level it was during his stint in the Street Stock division.
“I’m not setting the bar real high for myself this year,” said Marchese. “My main goal is to get some seat time and experience to get my confidence back. I’m going to take things one race at a time and see how things go for me. It’s a big step for me to get into a Limited Late Model but I’m really looking forward to it and I’m excited to once again be a part of the full-time schedule on Friday nights at Stafford. I would like to thank DP Motorsports for giving me the opportunity to drive the car this season.”
Marchese began his Stafford career in the Street Stock division in 2011 and he raced Street Stocks from 2011-2014. The 2015 season saw Marchese move up the Late Model division where he ran a limited schedule totaling 9 starts during the 2015-2017 seasons. Marchese enjoyed his best season in 2014 while in the Street Stock division where he won 2 races and finished 7th in the points standings. The #5 car that Marchese will be driving in 2018 was formerly Al Saunders’ #04 car.
“I’m really excited about the the opportunity to race in the Limited Late Model division,” said Marchese. “With drivers like Alexandra and Ryan Fearn, Duane Provost, and Justin Bren, there’s a lot of talent but those drivers don’t have the level of experience like the guys in the Late Model division. When I moved to the Late Model division, I think I tried to run before I could walk. I hope I can be competitive with the Limited drivers and have some fun again this year. It’s Al Saunders old car, which has won races and also won a championship. If everything works out for us we can be a real good story this season. It would be awesome to win a race 2018. We have the right people and equipment in place and I think I’m at the level I should be at in the Limited Late Model division. It would really mean a lot to me if I could get back into victory lane.”
Marchese will get his first on track opportunity of 2018 at the 47th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler® on April 27-29. Tickets for the “Greatest Race in the History of Spring” are on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $40.00 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating is priced at $42.00 for all ages. As always, Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available. All tickets are good for both Saturday and Sunday admission. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Discount Spring Sizzler® tickets will be available beginning in March at participating NAPA Auto Parts stores.
For more information on the 47th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler®, or to order tickets, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.