Story By: SCOTT RUNNING / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – For Hampden, MA native, Mikey Flynn, driver of the #24 Ballyheigue Farm SK Modified® at Stafford Speedway, the 2023 season has been the best season of his 4-year career in the division.
Flynn came into the 2023 season with 1 top-5 finish and a best finish of 15th in the points standings. Through 14 races this season, Flynn has already notched 5 top-5 finishes and 9 top-10 finishes to sit in fourth place in the standings.
“I’d say without a doubt this has been my best year,” said Flynn. “It seems like for a while there every week we were in the top-10 and competing for wins. We’ve had a bad few weeks the last couple weeks, just not the luck that we wanted. We found a small issue with our motor that we’ve gotten fixed for this week and we can get back to where we were. Except for the last few weeks, our season has been unreal. To be fourth in points after our last 3 seasons in the SK Modified® division, it just shows how good our season has been without a win yet.”
The one thing that Flynn hasn’t yet put on his resume is a feature victory. Flynn recorded 4 second place finishes during his time racing SK Lights and he recorded his first SK Modified® second place finish back on July 13. Flynn is eager to notch that first win and having been so close to scoring that elusive first victory only heightens his hunger.
“I’ve been itching to get my first win and it’s literally right there and it will be a huge relief once I get that first one,” said Flynn. “It’s so close I can taste it and I think it’s just a matter of what week it’s going to happen. We started second last Friday night and we thought that would be a good opportunity but we ended up having the motor issue. I can feel it’s coming but we just have to keep our heads down and keep on doing what we’ve been doing so that we can take things to that next level. Honestly we’ve come so close so many times it will be a relief to get that first win. It will be awesome but it will be a huge relief.”
While Flynn would be happy to pick up his first win on any Friday night, with this Friday night being the 6th Annual TC 13 Shootout, Flynn would like for nothing more than for his first win to come this Friday night. Flynn narrowly missed qualifying for the TC 13 Shootout in 2020 when he finished 14th in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature and he has missed the last 2 TC 13 Shootouts due to his commitments attending Coastal Carolina University.
“We feel pretty good about this Friday night,” said Flynn. “We’ve worked out some kinks we had in the car, we’ve changed our setup around a little, and we’re looking good with tires, so we’re going to give it our all this Friday night. Mike Pettit has given us everything we need to succeed and knowing that you have an engine builder like Mike that allows you to get to the track every week is something that you can’t replace. That race is one of the premier races of the season, it’s right up there with the NAPA SK 5k. Everyone wants to win races like this. Being around Mike Christopher, Jr. and Bryan Narducci growing up I was lucky enough to get to know Teddy and seeing how he did things and how he was as a person just makes this race that much more special. I’m sure there are other people who were around Teddy much more than I was but I cherish the moments that I had with him and this race makes me think of those moments. I haven’t been able to race at Stafford for that race the last 2 years so it will be very special this year. I’m hoping we can be one of the qualified cars for the TC 13 and we can get in there and mix it up.”
In addition to chasing his first SK Modified® victory, Flynn would also like to maintain his position in the points standings so he can end the 2023 season in the top-5 but if he sees an opportunity to grab that first win, he won’t hesitate to go for it.
“Finishing races will be the key so that we can stay in the top-5 in points,” said Flynn. “If we’re in a position to win a race then we’re going to go for it because that’s why we come to the track every week. Other than that, we’re going to try to finish up strong and build up some momentum for next season. If we can finish in the top-5, that would be huge for us. We’ve had a great season and hopefully we can get that first win without wrecking all the hard work we’ve put in. Big thanks to Pettit Race Engines, Spafco Race Cars, Stash Butova, my Dad, my Mom, my Sister, Uncle Chris, Grandpa Ken, spotter Ray, Dave Day and Ballyheigue Farm, Hub International Contractor, Place Motors, Tech Titanz, Richard Greene Insurance Agency, and Gio’s Pizzeria.”
The TC 13 SK Modified® Shootout set for this Friday, September 8 and 40-lap SK Modified® feature will be paired with Stafford’s Late Models, SK Lights, Limited Late Models, and Street Stocks for a full night of Weekly Racing. There will also be a Kids Big Wheel Race as part of Maybury Material Handling Kids Night and Sept. 8th is also First Responder Night where all first responders with a proper I.D. can get a general admission ticket for $10.00. Regular tickets are priced at $20.00 for adult general admission, kids 14 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult, and reserved seating is priced at $25.00 for all ages. Pit passes are $40.00 with a valid 2023 Stafford Competition License and $45.00 without a Stafford license.