With 7 top-5 finishes in only 11 starts over the last 2 seasons, Danbury native Teddy Hodgdon has quietly established himself as a serious contender any time Monaco Modifieds or Open Modifieds take to Stafford Speedway. The 2019 SK Light track champion and driver of the #55ct Montanari Fuel Troyer car comes into the Saturday, September 23rd NAPA Fall Final with a 4-race streak of finishing in the top-4.
“Honestly I think just having the experience of the last 4 seasons of SK Light and SK Modified® competition translated a lot to the open car,” said Hodgdon. “Getting a great engine from Mike Pettit has also been a key to our performance. We went to New Smyrna in 2022 and finished third in the points and then coming to Stafford and getting some top-5 finishes in 2022 along with the consistency we’ve shown this year is just an evolution of what we’ve learned and what we’ve put into our program. Big thanks to Montanari Fuel, Chris Garcia, Pete Matton, Business Time Motorsports, Creative Racing, Don Barker, Pettit Racing Engines, Williams Race Gears, the Benedict Family, Robert Todd, all the crew guys Max, Kyle, Ray Smith and Lou DiLisio from the #28 SK team, my spotter Lucas, and of course my father, he’s the backbone of this whole operation.”
Hodgdon recorded a second place finish in the CBYD 81 back in May and he followed that performance up with a fourth place finish in the June Casella 80 and two third place finishes in the July GAF 80 and the August Lincoln Tech 80. Hodgdon is still looking for his first win behind the wheel of a full blown modified and thinks his chances of obtaining that first victory are very good come this Saturday, September 23rd for the NAPA Fall Final at Stafford.
“Absolutely, I think we’ve got a real shot at getting our first win this weekend at the Fall Final,” said Hodgdon. “We’ve been consistent, we’ve led laps, and we’ve had good short run and long run speed so now we just need to put everything together. At the last open race the pit stops kind of hurt us but we’ve looked at the tape and we’ve gone over everything with everyone. We’ve had good segments of every part of the race throughout the season and if we can put together a complete day, I think we should be right there. The Sizzler and the Fall Final haven’t been the greatest of races for me so far but this one feels totally different for me. I don’t think I’ve ever been as prepared for a race as I am for the Fall Final. We have a huge notebook of things we’re going to work on and I think we’ll be right there as long as we can keep our nose clean and complete all the laps. To win at the Fall Final would be the biggest win of my career for sure. All the top modified drivers are going to be at this race and to be able to beat them would be surreal.”
While Hodgdon may not have the experience that many of the drivers in the NAPA Fall Final field will have when it comes to racing a full blown modified car, he can lean on his years of SK Light and SK Modified® weekly competition to help give him and the #55 team a boost when they show up to race at Stafford.
“I think my SK Light and SK Modified® experience helps because you can see in the SK car just how much the track evolves each week,” said Hodgdon. “You can see through the year how the track reacts and what the car will give you which helps you get a knowledge bank in the back of your mind on how to predict how the car will react to the track the following week. Except for the tire scuff session, the Fall Final race format will be very similar to the open races at Stafford so we’ll take the same approach and try to not do anything differently than we normally do. The last open race we made some adjustments to the car that really helped put us over the hump to be a legitimate contender and we’ve got 4 good races under our belt, so if we can go from there, we should be alright.”
The NAPA Fall Final is set for Saturday, September 23rd and tickets are available now online at StaffordSpeedway.com/tickets and tickets will also be available for purchase at the admission gates. Tickets for the NAPA Fall Final are priced at $30.00 for adult general admission, $10.00 for kids ages 6-14, kids 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult, and reserved seating is priced at $35.00 for all ages. Pit passes are $45.00 with a valid 2023 Stafford Competition License and $50.00 without a Stafford license. If you are unable to attend the event, tune into the live stream on FloRacing, the official streaming partner of Stafford Speedway.
For more information, visit staffordspeedway.com, follow Stafford Speedway on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or contact the track office at 860-684-2783.