Inside Line with Kurt Vail week 3

Jeff Gordon winner in Phoenix

Congrats to Stafford’s own Charles Lewandoski, the Polish Rocket, for an impressive 21st place finish in Phoenix last weekend. Stay abreast of all of Chalew’s racing stats here on my blog as we follow his career in the Nationwide series. Congratulations to my daughter Hannah who filled out the survey last week and was the only one to pick the winner, Jeff Gordon. Fill out the survey this week and win a gift certificate to Express Wireless and Rockville Lanes, hit this link now—>Vegas Race Poll .

This week Rick Casagrande was gracious enough to invite me up to Casagrande Motorsports to check out there new Limited Late Model car that will be racing at Stafford Motor Speedway this season. I caught up with Cory Casagrande while I was up there and he answered a few questions for me. I also stopped by Bosco’s Market & Deli to get a sponsor’s perspective on things. Local business owners should seriously consider sponsoring a local driver here in Stafford. Please watch the video below and hit this link and tell me who’s going to win this weekend—–> Vegas Race Poll .


Charles Lewandoski (Chalew) Interview

Charles Lewandoski


I was fortunate enough to get in touch with Stafford’s own Charles Lewandoski via cell phone today. He was gracious enough to answer a few questions for me. He will be driving for Nationwide series race team TriStar Motorsports. We will be following him throughout the year and monitoring his progress. It’s great to see one of our local kids get an opportunity to showcase his skills on a national level. Here’s what he had to say after I asked him a few questions. 

Me: “You have raced in 3 Nationwide series events in the past, how many races are on your schedule this year?”

Chalew: “There are 34 races in the Nationwide series and we have ten races scheduled but in racing everything changes by the hour.The team will be working hard every week so that we have the opportunity to race in more.”

Me: “What is your schedule like this week?”

Chalew: “We traveled all day today. Thursday is NASCAR tech day. Friday we have two practice sessions and Saturday morning (Pacific time) is qualifying. Saturday afternoon is the race. I will be spending a lot of time at the track with the team.”

Me: “At Phoenix, how fast will you be going when you hit top speed?”

Chalew: “It’s similar to New Hampshire, I would say about 150 mph, maybe a little faster. The average race speed is around 120 mph.”

Me: “What would you consider a successful week in Phoenix?”

Chalew: “We have great people and great cars but we are not a (Sprint) Cup affiliated team and they win a majority of the races. I’m looking to avoid trouble and keep the car in one piece. I haven’t spent regular time in a Nationwide car so the practice sessions on friday are very important. I’d be happy with a top 20 or top 25 finish.”

Me: “What would you like to say to the people of Stafford that will be rooting you on?”

Chalew: “Thanks for your support. Every car I drive has a state of Connecticut flag on it.”

I’d like to thank Charles again for taking time out his busy schedule to talk to me. Here’s the tv schedule for this weekend, make sure you tune in and give him your support.

Friday Feb 25 on Speed

1:00pm Nationwide practice    2:30pm Sprint Cup practice          

4:00pm Nationwide practice    6:00pm Sprint Cup practice

Saturday Feb 26 on Speed

2:00pm Nationwide Qualifying      3:30pm Sprint Cup Qualifying

on ESPN2

5:30pm Nationwide race    Basha’s Supermarket 200

Sunday Feb 27  on FOX

3:00 Sprint Cup race    Subway Fresh Fit 500

Don’t forget to do your picks this week!  hit this link and make your picks for Sunday’s race. Stay tuned for this week’s video and blog for “The Inside Line with Kurt Vail”.

Charles Lewandoski of Stafford racing this weekend @ Phoenix

Charles Lewandoski #19


Stafford Springs native Charles Lewandoski to qualify for Nationwide Series race in Phoenix this weekend. More to come….

Charles Lewandoski to Drive #19 for Tri-Star at Phoenix

Charles Lewandoski will be making his first start of the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series season this weekend in the Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway.  While it will be Lewandoski’s first race of the new season, it will be his second-ever appearance at Phoenix as well as his second run for Tri-Star Motorsports of Denver, North Carolina.

BACK IN THE DESERT:  Charles Lewandoski made his debut for the Tri-Star team in November of 2010 at Phoenix International Raceway.  A 40th-place finish was the result that day in the desert, but the 25-year-old turned many heads and impressed the Tri-Star organization that has led to a multi-race plan for the 2011 season.

BOATING IN ARIZONA: will back Charles Lewandoski’s #19 entry for Tri-Star Motorsports in Phoenix. is the foremost supplier of premium discount marine electronics and marine accessories on the Web.  NME offers GPS Fish Finders, Raymarine Fish Finders, Garmin Fish Finders, Furuno Marine Radars, Marine GPS Chart-plotters and VHF radios and more first-rate products and extremely competitive prices.  Whether taking family and friends out for the afternoon on a fishing trip or taking the boat out for a relaxing ride, has all the supplies to make the trip complete.   

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LAST TIME OUT:  Tri-Star Motorsports’ #19 Chevrolet finished 13th after finishing 30th in the NASCAR Nationwide Series season-opener last week at Daytona International Speedway.

ABOUT “CHALEW”:  Charles Lewandoski has three career NASCAR Nationwide Series starts, with one coming in 2008 and two in 2010.  He also has one career start in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.  He is the 2006 NASCAR K&N East Series “Most Improved Driver,” who spent parts of three seasons in that series after graduating from the Late Model ranks in New England.  Lewandoski, a Stafford Springs, Connecticut native, currently resides in Cornelius, North Carolina.

Bashas’ Supermarkets 200
February 26, 2011
Phoenix International Raceway
Avondale, AZ
5:30pm ET
Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN), Sirius 128

Twitter:  @chalewandoski