(Stafford Springs, CT)---Stafford Motor Speedway has announced that modified great Jerry Marquis will serve as the Grand Marshal of the 44th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final. Marquis will send the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour to the green flag for their 150-lap race with the most famous words in motorsports.
Marquis has a long and storied career in New England Motorsports. Marquis has collected over 150 feature wins and 23 track championships during his career. Marquis is also a former NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion, wining the title during the 2000 season driving the #44 car owned by Mario Fiore and he is a 2-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series regional champion, winning the Northeast Region in 1991 and the New England Region in 1999. When it comes to his racing career just at Stafford Speedway, Marquis has some impressive numbers.
Marquis is a 3-time Stafford Speedway track champion, winning the Late Model Sportsman championship in 1980 and 1981 and he was the 1999 SK Modified® track champion driving for Rob Chowansky’s team. Marquis nearly pulled off a championship double during the 2000 season but he came up just short of Ted Christopher in the race for the SK Modified® crown while he won the Whelen Modified Crown. Marquis has won a total of 16 races at Stafford spread across the LM Sportsman, ProStock, K&N Pro Series East, SK Modified®, and Whelen Modified Tour divisions, including the 2004 Spring Sizzler. Marquis will be inducted into the NEAR Hall of Fame this year along with Ken Bouchard, Ricky Craven, Nokie Fornoro, George “Moose” Hewitt, Dwight Jarvis, and Randy LaJoie.
“It’s an honor to be asked to serve as the Grand Marshal and I kid with my wife now that this just means I’m at a point in my career where I’m old,” said Marquis. “But there’s so many drivers who have come through Stafford so this is definitely an honor. You work hard at racing and you have a lot of fun and meet a lot of people, but it’s always nice to be able to meet and talk with the fans when you go back to the track and they still recognize you and appreciate what you’ve done to put on shows for them. Being inducted into the NEAR Hall of Fame is a great honor for me and I have a lot of great memories at Stafford. I think my favorite Stafford memory was when we won the Modified Tour 300-lap race. I was running for Mario Fiore that year and having that team behind me, it was so much fun and those guys put me in position to win in more races than I can remember that season. I remember our final pit stop during that 300 I told all the guys that we’ve got this race in the bag because the car was phenomenal that day. We passed Mike Ewanitsko for the lead and it was a big accomplishment for me to be racing against Art Barry’s car and Mike was one of the hardest charging drivers that I raced against. Winning that race was a huge reward for us and I’ve had a very gratifying 34 years in racing.”
The 2016 NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final Weekend gets underway on Saturday, October 1st with practice sessions for Stafford’s Whelen All-American Series divisions, Legend Cars, TQ Midgets, Mr. Rooter Truck Series, and the Whelen Modified Tour. Action continues with Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the Whelen Modified Tour cars, along with heat races for all divisions with feature events for the SK Light, Limited Late Model, DARE Stock, Legend Cars, TQ Midgets, and Mr. Rooter Truck Series divisions wrapping up Saturday’s on track activities. The Legend Cars feature will be a national qualifier event. The NAPA Fall Final continues on Sunday, October 2nd with the NAPA Auto Parts Pit Party from 11am-12noon followed by Stafford’s SK Modifieds® and Late Models joining the Whelen Modified Tour in feature action.
Tickets for the NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final Weekend are on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets 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 ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Visit your local participating NAPA Auto Parts Store for discount tickets.