Story By: SCOTT RUNNING / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – After racing to the SK Light championship at Stafford Speedway last season, the 2023 season hasn’t gotten off to the start that Tyler Barry and the #18 Pro Systems Integration team would have preferred.
Several bad nights have left Barry 100 points, or two race wins, behind Brian Sullivan in the chase for the championship.
Barry recorded his first victory of the 2023 season on July 7th and he is looking to capture his second win of the 2023 season in this Friday night’s Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night 40-lap extra distance feature.
“We’ve been struggling all year long so far,” said Barry. “We haven’t been able to get the car to respond to adjustments that we’ve been making. We ran the last race of last season at Waterford and got into a wreck and we didn’t go through the car like we should have. Once we finally cut the car up that’s when we started to get the car going good again and we won our first race this year. I think we’re heading in the right direction. We tried a little something different with the car for the Monaco non-points race and it didn’t quite work out. I think we’ll have a pretty good chance in the Dunleavy’s race. We’ve done this race for a couple years now and we have a good notebook on what the car does on a long run so hopefully we can make the right adjustments and get a good finish, which hopefully will be another win.”
In order to get his #18 car where he will need it to be in order to challenge for the checkered flag, Barry will lean on the expertise that his father Ken has to offer.
“We obviously need more fuel in the car so there’s more rear weight in the car but after that, we just have to predict what the track will do at night so we can tighten the car up a little and adjust the air pressures because the tires will have more time to grow,” said Barry. “I’m not very good at the long run stuff but my Dad is very good with knowing what the car needs for longer runs so I’m glad to have him on my team and I’m sure he’ll have a good setup in the car for the race.”
In his first two seasons of SK Light competition at Stafford, Barry tended to struggle during the summer months before finding speed towards the end of the season. Barry won his first SK Light race in the season ending NAPA Championship night in 2021 and last season saw Barry race to a win and 3 second place finishes over the final 4 races, which helped him lock up the championship. With Barry’s victory three weeks ago, he is hoping that his summer struggles are a thing of the past.
“Normally in the middle of the summer we struggle a little so it was nice to get our first win in July this year,” said Barry. “Hopefully that means that we’ve got things figured out for this summer and then we can go back to our notes for the end of the year. Last year we had a really fast car over the last 5 or 6 races so we have a good setup for the end of the year and we’ve been in a situation where we need to get to the front. I think that will only help us get to the front and maybe get at least a top-3 finish in the points. If we can get the car back to where we had it last season with a lot of work in the shop, we should be pretty good.”
Sitting 100 points behind the leader, Barry is focused on winning races from now until the end of the season. With the Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night feature being the biggest race of the season, Barry says that winning this race would set his team up with momentum that they can carry through the end of the season.
“Right now we’re looking for more wins,” said Barry. “It’s all about getting more wins and if we can’t win races, then points don’t really matter to me. We’re seventh in the standings right now so it doesn’t matter to me if we finish seventh or tenth, we want to win more races. This would set the whole rest of the year up. The crew would be more pumped up for the rest of the year and if we could get two points wins in a row that would be huge for the whole team. Thanks to Pro Systems Integration, Sanford Plumbing and Heating, JS Construction, Lathrop Vending, Canterbury Mini Storage, the Grimala Family, the Summers Family, Summers Trucking, John Blewett, Spafco Race Chassis, Spearpoint Auto, Stebbins Stump Grinding, all the contingency sponsors who help out, and my crew guys Dave, Rob, Billy, my Mom and Dad, my sister, they all support me.”
The 7th Annual Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night and Kids Night is scheduled for this Friday, July 28. Stafford’s SK Modified®, Late Model, Limited Late Model, Street Stock cars and Kids Big Wheel race will join the SK Lights in feature action. Tickets for Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night are available now online at StaffordSpeedway.com/tickets and tickets will also be available for purchase at the admission gates. Tickets are priced at $25.00 for adults, kids 14 and under are free.. Reserved seating is priced at $30.00 for all ages and pit passes are $40.00 with a valid 2023 Stafford Competition License and $45.00 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.