Mike Stefanik, NASCAR Busch Series Driver of the #90 CTS in 2000 (courtesy of Wiki Commons)
In September 2003 NASCAR announced their “NASCAR Modified all-time Top 10″ drivers. Mike was ranked at number two after Richie Evans. Mike was born on the 20th May, 1958 in Wilbraham, Massachusetts and made his debut in the Whelen Modified Tour in 1985 capturing two top five and four top ten places in the six races that he competed in.
Between 1989 and 1998 Mike won four championships in the NASCAR Whelan Modified Tour. He became the first driver to win two NASCAR championships in two consecutive years after winning the Busch East Series championship in 1997 and 1998, giving him both the Modified championship and the Camping World East championship. Lee Petty is the only other driver to win two championships in one year.
The following season, in 1999, he moved up to the Craftsman Truck Series and racing for Dale Phelon. That year he finished nine times in the top ten position and achieved the “Rookie of the Year” award. After just one year with Dave Phelan’s team they left the series and mike moved back to the Modified and Busch North Tours in 2001. He went on to win three more NASCAR Modified Tour championships in 2001, 2002 and 2006. The 2006 championship gave him a tie with the late Richie Evans with nine overall championships in NASCAR-sanctioned competitions. Mike made twenty six NASCAR Nationwide Series starts from 1992 to 2000 and made twenty five NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts from 1998 – 1999. In 1997 and 1998 he became the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion.
He was voted as NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Most Popular Driver in 1997, 1998 and 2001. In 1998 he was the winner of the Coors Light Pole Award and in 2007 and 2008 season he was the winner of the Coca-Cola Power Move of the Race Award winner . He is a three-time Modified track champion; he has one Pro Stock track title and one Limited Sportsman track championship prior to his NASCAR touring series career. He is the only non-Sprint Cup Series Driver in NASCAR history to reach the 70-win achievement.
Mike lives with his wife, Julie, together with their two daughters, Nicole and Christine in Coventry, Rhode Island. Julie has been of unprecedented help to her husband during his career. She has supported him behind the scenes in co-ordinating travel arrangements and administration whist bringing up their two children. Racing is not new to Julie, her father, Sonny Koszela, owned a racing team and racing parts business. “She understands racing,” Mike said. “She’s been around racing her entire life. She’s probably my toughest critic, too. If I have a bad race, I know it will be a long ride home. “She’s a great mother, a super partner and she’s irreplaceable in my life.”
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