Stratton Racing Back Together As Father/Son Two-Car Team Again

Story By: MANDEE PAUCH / STRATTON RACING – BENNINGTON, VT – Despite a rocky first night back as a two-car team, the Stratton family is excited to be back together again at Albany-Saratoga Speedway.

After a year on the sidelines, the veteran driver, Hector Stratton, dusted off his helmet and strapped back behind the wheel of a modified this past Friday night at the dirt oval in Malta, NY.

The night, however, didn’t start off as planned for Hector.

“We didn’t get out in time for warmups,” Hector said. “I got home from work and the only used part on the entire car, the fuel cell, was leaking. So, I had to take it to the track without a fuel cell and had someone bring one there for us to put it in.”

After feverishly working to get the car put back together, Hector was able to make it out in time for his heat race.

“We started ninth and finished seventh,” noted Hector. “We had it set up a little loose because we didn’t know what to expect.”

After making some adjustments on the car, Hector rolled off on the outside of the eleventh row.

“The car was a lot better for the feature,” he said. “I was up to about 16th and the spark plug wire fell off, so I only got to make five laps. Something like that hasn’t happened before, I think something must have hit it to knock it off.”

Regardless of the obstacles that were thrown his way Friday night, Hector is excited to be back behind the wheel once again.

“I was looking forward to it and enjoyed it,” added Hector. “When you have issues like that and have two cars, you’re running around everywhere, so the first night back was really crazy. If neither of us had issues it probably would have been a lot more enjoyable, but you have to take those nights with the good nights. I think it’ll be alright once we get a few weeks in on the car and get working with it.”

Hector would like to thank everyone who helped get the car to the track and a special thanks to his son, Hunter, for this opportunity.

Hector’s teammate and son, Neil Stratton, rolled off on the outside of the second row in his heat race.

“We went into the first turn and the car on the outside of the front row spun right in front of me, so I spun to avoid them,” he said. “We caught a little damage from that. Then another car went to pull into the infield and shoved me to the bottom, so I got caught up in that and had to stop so the yellow came back out. We were able to get back up to sixth. Typically, they handicap six every week. I felt comfortable where I was, so I didn’t push it.”

Unfortunately, this week they ended up handicapping five cars out of the heats, so Neil missed the handicapping by one spot.

Neil and the team felt the car was in good shape but decided to make some minor changes prior to the feature which showed to be a good move.

Neil rolled off on the outside of the ninth row for the main event.

“We got up to around 10th or 11th and had a bunch of cars right there so I was biding my time,” added Neil. “I saw a lapped car backing up to us. A couple cars went to go around him, another car moved him up into the middle lane. I saw an opening, so I went underneath the car. As I was under him, he started turning down halfway through the corner, so I started backing out of it. At that time, it was either the yuke tire or the car, so we made contact with the lapped car and broke the shock off. We went in and tried getting a new shock on, but we went down two laps trying to fix it, so we didn’t go back out.”

Despite all obstacles thrown their way, the Stratton Racing team is happy to be together again and are eager to get back to the track this Friday at Albany-Saratoga for take two.

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