Jamie Tomaino Named Grand Marshal of Stafford Speedway's 40th Annual CarQuest Fall Final
(Stafford Springs, CT)---Stafford Motor Speedway has named 1990 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Jamie Tomaino as the Grand Marshal of the 40th Annual CARQUEST Fall Final on Sept. 30. Tomaino joined the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour for its very first race in March 1985 at Thompson, and he has participated in all but 5 of the 557 races in Tour history since that first race, making him the Ironman of the Tour. Tomaino’s first career Whelen Modified Tour victory came at Stafford in the 1986 Fall Final, and he will have the honor of sending the field on its way with the most famous words in motorsports for the 150-lap CARQUEST Fall Final feature event.
“I’ve never been a Grand Marshal before,” said Tomaino. “I always thought in order to be a Grand Marshal, you were done racing. But the more I thought about it, I remember Darrell Waltrip and Richard Petty saying gentleman start your engines from inside of their racecars.”
In addition to being a stalwart of the Whelen Modifed Tour, Tomaino has been making the trek across the George Washington Bridge and up I-95 to Stafford Speedway since the early 1980s. In addition to running the Whelen Modified Tour events at Stafford, Tomaino was a weekly modified competitor for the 1985 and 1986 seasons, taking three wins. Tomaino says that he chose to race at Stafford to help make him a better driver.
“The first time I raced at Stafford was 1979 or 1980,” said Tomaino. “I was a regular every Friday night at Stafford in 1985 and 1986. I’ve probably crossed the GWB more than a thousand times back and forth to Stafford, which is quite a bit. I remember when I first started racing, gas was only $.25 or $.35 a gallon and now its $4.50. One of the reasons why I chose to race at Stafford every week when I was younger for two years was to help make me a better driver because Stafford is such a challenging track.”
While Tomaino being named the Grand Marshal of the CARQUEST Fall Final, it is only fitting that his first career Whelen Modified Tour win came in the Fall Final 26 years ago. Tomaino’s memory of his first Tour was spot on as he recalled beating Jimmy Spencer to the checkered flag.
“I had to beat Jimmy Spencer to win that race,” said Tomaino. “I haven’t won many Tour races, but 1986 was a real good year for us both at Stafford running Friday nights and on the Tour. If I was going to win a race at any track that year, it was going to be Stafford and we beat Spencer to win that race. Back then, as far as drivers go, he was a good one to beat.”
While Tomaino would like for nothing more than to take another victory in the CARQUEST Fall Final, he acknowledges that a victory is an unlikely scenario, but he still has the passion and desire to keep on trying to win races.
“What else am I going to do?” said Tomaino. “I’m 56 years old and this is the only thing I’ve ever done. I don’t have the finances behind me like three quarters of these guys, but neither does Wade Cole and a couple of other guys and they don’t quit. You just do the best you can with what you have. It’s all about the love of the sport. I probably couldn’t explain what it would be like to win. The odds are definitely stacked against me, I’m older and I don’t have the team I used to when I was younger. It’s pretty much a family operation now with my son and my daughter running my team, so for us to pull off something like that, it would be a gigantic upset like the Cleveland Browns winning the Super Bowl. We give 100% every race, unfortunately we know we’re between the top-10 and top-15 cars, but on any given day anything can happen, you never know.”
Tickets for the September 29th & Sept. 30th 40th Annual CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend are priced at $38.50 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 will be priced at $42.00 for all ages. All CARQUEST Fall Final tickets are good for admission on both Saturday and Sunday. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax and Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available.
For more information on the 40th Annual CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend, 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.