NWMT: Szegedy Joins Mystic Missile Racing; Title Trio Comes Together For 2015 Season

RaceChaser Staff Asphalt Modifieds, Featured, Northeast, Touring Series 0 Comments

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – official series release — Getty Images for NASCAR photo —

The Mystic Missile silo has been reloaded.

Following a lengthy offseason of uncertainness as to whether Mystic Missile Racing would return to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in 2015, the team has been retooled with the championship pedigrees of driver Todd Szegedy and crew chief Don Barker.

The No. 4 “Mystic Missile” Dodge team traces its roots in NASCAR modified racing to the early 1960s, and it has won three championships in the last decade with drivers Donny Lia (2007, `09) and Bobby Santos (2010).

When Lia’s third stint with the team ended shortly after the 2014 campaign, car owner Bob Garbarino was non-committal for much of the offseason as to what the team’s next step would be. With the 2015 season fast approaching, a plan has come together.

“It is a complete honor for me that I was chosen,” Szegedy said. “That car has so much history, and Bob has a lot of history.”

Szegedy brings to the team a résumé that includes 18 wins, 10 poles and 115 top 10s in 187 career starts. He won the tour title as a second-year driver in 2003 with the No. 50 team owned by Barker, and was twice the runner-up with Mike Smeriglio III Racing before his departure following the 2013 season.

The Ridgefield, Connecticut, native made six starts last year in a part-time role, five in the No. 15 of Rob Fuller Motorsports, highlighted by a runner-up finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September.

“You always want to have a full-time ride, but it was a non-stress year,” Szegedy said. “Rob and I got along very well and I was very thankful for the opportunity he gave me. I had a really good time.

“And I think staying involved in racing in general was also important. If I had just taken the year off, my chances of being in the No. 4 now would be a lot slimmer.”

While the veteran of 11 full-time Whelen Modified Tour seasons acknowledges that things don’t always go as planned, he enters the partnership with renewed enthusiasm.

“I’m very confident we can go out and win races right away and contend for a championship,” Szegedy said. “I have confidence in the team, in the crew chief and in Bob, knowing that he’s going to give me the equipment and the car that can go out there and win races.”

The addition of Barker to the team as crew chief for 2015 is one of the main reasons why Szegedy exudes confidence. Barker led Szegedy to the first 13 career wins, and five top-five points finishes.

“Don and I have a great history together,” Szegedy said. “Don has a lot of knowledge. We have a phenomenal race team here that is being developed.”

The new triumvirate will see its first action together with the season-opening Icebreaker 150 on Sunday, April 12 at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

“I just want to go racing, have a good time and be competitive,” Szegedy said. “I know that with Bob’s equipment and that team, I think it’s going to be a really good year, so I’m really looking forward to going racing.”

CREDIT: Jason Cunningham, NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications

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