By: Paul Arute
(Stafford Springs, CT)—After a two and a half year stint behind the wheel of a Legends Car, Westbrook, CT native Cassandra Cole is making the jump to full-size competition in Stafford’s SK Light Modified Division. Cole was set to make her Stafford Speedway debut last Friday before rain brought the event to a halt. Cassandra and the #09 SK Light team will run their first feature event this Friday as the SK Lights run their weekly 20-lap feature as part of the NAPA Auto Parts SK 5K event program.
“Over the winter we were kind of on the fence if we should stay with the Legend Car or move up to SK Lights,” explained Cole. “We ended up picking the Legend Car and we decided to try and be really competitive for one more year. With Waterford not opening, we really had nowhere to run so at the last minute we decided to sell the Legend Car and get an SK Light.”
The 19-year old Cole joins a long list of graduates from the Legends car ranks to make the move to the SK Light Modified division including SK Modified® drivers Chase Dowling & Stephen Kopcik along with 2016 SK Light Rookie of the year Joe Graf Jr. Additionally the most dominant driver and car of the season thus far with 3 wins, Cory DiMatteo, was also a Legend car veteran before making the jump to the SK Lights. Cole’s experience behind the wheel has her excited for the new opportunity in the SK Light division.
“I started racing in 2008 in quarter midgets and then sold the quarter midgets and got into dirt biking and quads,” continued Cassandra. “I raced those for a while and then decided to go back to asphalt racing and that’s when we got the Legend Car. I’m definitely going to take some of the things I’ve learned from Legend Cars over to the SK Lights like strategy and passing cars, but they’re two totally different animals. I think the biggest thing for me will be getting used to the size of the car and not having a spotter.”
Cole and the #09 team will not be making the move to the Stafford’s SK Light Modified division alone. The team has enlisted the help of one of the best SK Modified® drivers of all-time, The Kid, Keith Rocco. Rocco’s setup shop, Keith Rocco Racing, has seen a great season so far with all cars out of the KRR stable having great starts to 2017 including Cory DiMatteo in the SK Lights, Tom Abele, Jr., and Brendan Bock in the SK Modifieds®.
“We bought it as a rolling chassis from Chris Jones and Keith Rocco put it together for us and did all the work on the car,” explained Cole. “It definitely gives us confidence that Keith is one of the best in the business and we know he is going to give us a great car. Stafford this past Friday was the first time I had ever sat in the car or driven it. I didn’t get too many laps during practice but I got some seat time and got a small feel for the car. It’s definitely bigger than what I was used to with the Legend Car. I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel. We’re starting pretty late in the year so we’re just going to see what we can learn and do the best that we can. We really can’t run for Rookie of the Year since everyone else has already been racing so our focus for right now is to get seat time and try to figure out the car. We’d like to score some top-10’s or maybe even a top-5, you never know what can happen. I’m very excited, I can’t wait. It’s been really tough to wait another week. I’d like to thank all my sponsors, Michaud, Accavallo, Woodbridge & Cusano (MAWC) Accounting Firm, TriState Glass, Downey’s Septic & Excavation, and The Garage Door Guys.”
Cassandra Cole and the SK Light division are back this Friday for their regularly scheduled 20-lap feature as part of the NAPA Auto Parts SK 5k program. With $5,000 to win and over $30,000 in posted awards, the 100-lap big money NAPA Auto Parts SK 5K will be an event not to miss. Discount tickets for the NAPA SK 5k are available at participating NAPA Auto Parts stores. For a full list of the 71 participating locations throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont, please call the speedway office or visit us on the web at www.staffordmotorspeedway.com/participating-napa-auto-parts-stores. Tickets for the NAPA SK 5K are available and on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $30.00 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for kids ages 6-14, and kids 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating is priced at $32.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Stafford Speedway offers free parking with free overnight parking for self-contained RV’s available. There will also be a barbeque taking place on the midway with some great food available to race fans for only $10.
For more information on the July 7th NAPA SK 5K, 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.