July 19, 2013

Stone, Mueller headline Modified division at 500 weekend

PLATTSBURGH — Todd Stone and Jessey Mueller will lead a field of more than 20 DIRTcar Modifieds in the biggest two-day event in Airborne Park Speedway’s 60-year history this weekend.

The Modified portion of the inaugural American-Canadian Tour (ACT) International 500 consists of two 50-lap segments, with the first of two races occurring Saturday. The second will prelude to the $25,000-to-win ACT International Sunday.

The Twin 50s event, paying $3,000 to the winner, will be determined by a Monza-style format. The victor will be awarded one point, while each succeeding position will earn an additional point.

The driver with the lowest combined point total will collect the checkered flag. In the event of a tie, the competitor with the better finish in the final segment will be awarded the position.

Stone, the 2012 track champion, has solidified himself atop the point standings, winning feature races May 4, June 1, June 15 and July 6.

A veteran driver of Middlebury, Vt., Stone has familiarity with segment racing, finishing second in the prestigious Milk Bowl at Thunder Road International Speedbowl in 2003.

Stone and his team’s focus isn’t the numbers game, though. They’re trying to pull off the difficult task of winning each 50-lap race.

“I’m just going to do the best we can in every segment and try to win every one,” Stone said. “That’s what we tried to do when we raced the Milk Bowl before — get as far up in the segment as we could and try to win it.

“It’s 50 laps, and I think you need to take care of your car and make sure that it’s going to last 50 laps. We’re used to racing 30 laps and being done, so I think you need to get your car set up for the long haul.”

With a grueling two-day schedule taking its toll on equipment and drivers, Stone knows the importance of strategizing with his team.

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