WILBRAHAM, Mass. (WWLP) – Glen Reen out of Wilbraham will pull double duty this season at Stafford Motor Speedway in the SK Modifieds and Late Models. Reen is the defending champion of the Late Model division. Reen told 22News it was one of the highlights of his racing career.
“Been always chasing it. Always finishing second or third or fourth. Never seemed to have grasp it. It was nice to get to win it that’s for sure,” said Reen.
Reen feels there could be five or six drivers that could win every night in the Late Model division at the Connecticut half mile oval. The Late Model division saw seven different winners last season.
Reen told 22News that he believes the Late Model division will be tougher heading into the 2018 season when the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler comes at the end of April.
“Everyone’s going to do their homework and find out how to make the cars a little faster. Obviously next year (2018) we’re going to have a different tire. There’s only three people that have experience on that tire. Its going to be a learning curve for sure,” Reen said.
Reen clicked with the with Rob Russell Racing team from the first practice as he knew it was going to work from two years ago. The first year he was with the team, he blew a motor three races into the season. Reen felt that year he could’ve won the championship. The benefit he got out of it was he got to spend time with his Late Model team off the track before he got back on the track.
“They knew a lot of what I liked. What I needed. What I was looking for and then we came back. We won the first time out when we came back from the blown motor in both divisions which was awesome. That helped a lot,” said Reen.
Reen knew when he went out every week and raced and did their best. The points would fall into where they may. He went out every week and tried to win and that was the goal was to win races.
Reen told 22News that when you go to Stafford on a Friday night that the Late Models and especially the SK Modifieds are the toughest group of guys to win against on the east coast, “I would say the SK division at Stafford is more competitive then any other weekly track in the country. People want to be there and they want to be in the action. They may not like SK’s and they want to run a late model.”
Reen raced in the SK Modified division last season for veteran racer Dan Avery. Reen told 22News that he looks up to Avery like an uncle figure.
“He’s an awesome guy on and off the track and he’s always trying to teach me something. He’s got a strange way to teach you sometimes. Sometimes he let you fall and you figure it out and other times he will guide before you fall. Always looking forward to what he is going to teach me next but there is so much knowledge it’s unbelievable. Literally beyond grateful for everything he does for me. We have a great connection with everybody on the team. All of his guys all of my guys. My uncle Ralph, Dan and Scotty they all work together with everything. It’s just calling each other during the week and telling funny stories. Dan is working on his hot rod or he is doing this or that. They all help out and everything is pretty cool,” said Reen.
This year the SK Modified division will have contenders such as Keith Rocco, Rowan Pennink, Todd Owen and the list goes on.
“I think we’re going to be a contender in that division this year as well. We got our ducks in a row over the winter time. We made several changes. I think its going to be great for next (this) year. I really do. I am very excited for the SK’s and the Late Models.
Reen had a lot of downs in the SK Modifieds last season as the car would not handle for the life of it. By the time Reen and his crew figured it out the last couple of races, it was the end of the season. They made several changes over the winter.
In the Late Model division for Reen it was the complete opposite. He had a lot more ups then downs. One night he had a broken fuel pump that closed up the points battle a lot in the Late Models. Reen told 22News that you have to take the good with the bad. Even though he had some bad luck. He had a lot of good luck in the late models.
Reen had the chance to race against Stafford’s all time winningest driver Ted Christopher. Christopher passed away last September in a plane in North Branford, CT. Reen told 22News that he thinks it will be heavy hearts for a while.
“You’re never going to replace Ted (Christopher). That’s just the way it is but at the same time Ted would want us to go back and race. He would be mad if we were all upset and worried about him. He would want us to go out and win the race. That’s what he wants so that’s what were gonna do,” said Reen.
Reen’s goal for 2018 is to win both championships in the SK Modifieds and Late Models.
The NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler will happen at Stafford Motor Speedway on April 27-29.