Rick Lanagan: Can’t Spin Out his Enthusiasm for Stafford

Rick Lanagan: Can’t Spin Out his Enthusiasm for Stafford

After starting fifth, Rick Lanagan (background, spinning) was making a charge toward the front during the late model feature at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway. Then Lanagan saw his progress slide away with a spin after contact from a car behind him. It allowed eventual race winner, Al Saunders (40), to sneak by him on the bottom.

“We were bottled up in turns three and four,” said Lanagan, 37, of Broad Brook, Connecticut. “Another car got underneath me, but there was no damage.”

Lanagan drove his car to pit road to have his team look over the car.

“It was okay, so I got right back to the rear of the pack,” Lanagan said.

He then started moving forward again, finishing ninth in the 21-car field.

“All I needed was a couple more cautions,” said Lanagan, jokingly.

Lanagan has 14 wins to his credit in three full-fendered classes at Stafford. He knows the track like few others do.

Growing up in Stafford Springs, Connecticut, he spent much of his childhood at the track. He cheered for his uncle, Bob Cote, who had raced at Stafford Motor Speedway. Lanagan worked in the track’s food concession stands when he became old enough for Stafford to hire him. Then, he drove a tow truck and served as a firefighter at the track.

“Since I first went to Stafford Motor Speedway, all I wanted was to be a driver,” Lanagan said.

Rick Lanagan even tried announcing. He traded places with the track announcer one night, with the announcer jumping into his street stock.

“I got a taste of announcing, but realized I belonged on the track,” said Lanagan. “I worked my way up through the divisions, but I never had the chance to get behind the wheel of a modified. If I did, I would jump on it.”