STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT: History was made last Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway when 16 and 2 months old Andrew “High Roller” Molleur won the SK modified Feature on 5/31/19. He would be the 86th driver to ever win a SK race at Stafford since the start of the division in 1982, and on only his 5th start. It would be this young up and coming stars 299th career feature win. Molleur has found success in just about every thing he has got behind the wheel of so far. He had a great cart record and a very successful Legend car career. He was also among the youngest to cross the finish line first in SK Lites at both Stafford and The Waterford Speedbowl. At 14 he ran regularly in a tour type modified in the MTS series where he battled for rookie of the year.
Last year at 15 he debuted at the iconic Stafford Fall Final on the famed NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, thought by many as the highest level of modified racing competition. Molleur plans on returning to the Whelen tour top tier national NASCAR series. Andrew exclusively released, through this interview to Mod Squad, that he will be running in Wednesday’s Whelen Tour race at Thompson with the top modified drivers in the country. Andrew started racing at age 4, he has raced and won all over the country. Molleur has set some records along the way. He stared in carts and quarter midgets and has also been successful in Bandolaros, Legends, SK Lite, SK Modifieds and has ran well in full blown 2,600 lb 600 plus horsepower Tour Modifeds.
We asked Andrew of the 299 feature wins (let that sink in at age 16) how does Friday's SK win stack up? “You know, I always say 'Oh this one is on top this was the best one' but in all honesty, this SK win was by far the top. It was such a special moment for not only my Dad and I, but for Ken Barry and I as well. We work very well together and have been for 4 years now and I can’t wait to see what the future holds. I will say winning the Bubby Brouwer Memorial 49 at the Speedbowl last year was awesome! But this one is definitely #1” (Above photo form victory lane celebrations for the Bubby Brouwer Memorial at The Waterford Speedbowl 2018)
Last season Andrews team wanted to run SK Modifieds at Stafford but he was not old enough per Stafford’s age requirements so he ran in the very competitive SK Lite division. He won four races against some of the top division drivers in the country. “Unfortunately last year I was not old enough to run an SK at Stafford, but I think I most definitely needed a full season in SK Lights before jumping into the SK mods.” Molleur commented about last years SK Lite season at Stafford. The #35 Andrew runs at Stafford is a SPAFCO Race Chassis house car that is owned and looked after by Ken Barry of SPAFCO. Molleur and his team have been a very loyal SPAFCO customers and the relationship goes both ways.
SPAFCO had seen the talent and potential early on in this young gun and wanted to build a long term relationship with him to help him grow and progress. SPAFCO works with multiple young drivers and being located in CT it makes it very convent for all drivers and teams for parts as well as support. Current Tour driver Matt Swanson worked with SPAFCO in the past. SPAFCO is also working with Sami Anderson in her #21 SK Lite at Stafford as she made the jump into SK Lites weekly from Street Stock competition and she is really progressing. Her #21 was the SK Lite Molleur ran last season. “I think he [Andrew] did an amazing job. For a Rookie driver to hold his cool and not make a mistake with three of the best there this year breathing down his neck on a restart with four to go is pretty good in my book. We’ve been working hard to give him the car to do it and when we got it he did his job and put it in victory lane. Now it’s on to getting another one and prove that we as a team can do it week in and week out” Ken Barry/SPAFCO Race Chassis told us
Andrew Molleur is no stranger to SK Modifieds though, in 2017 he made a handful of starts at The Waterford Speedbowl. And ran a full season in 18 at Waterford in an SK. Andrew recalls his first SK modified race. “My first time in an SK I was racing Todd [Owen] for the lead I was in 2nd and he was leading and on the restart with 5 to go the break caliper on the RR [right rear] broke and it ended up giving me a RR flat ending our night….” Later that year in his 4th or so SK start was the Waterford season finale 80 lap SK event. If up until this point this young mans ability to wheel a car did not turn your head this race would. He finished 2nd to 2018 Waterford SK Champion Kyle James and ahead of the rest of the 28 car field that include names like Ronnie Williams, Keith Rocco, Todd Owen Stephen Masse, Matt Galko, and Dylan Izzo to name a few. He drove this race like a pro for 80 laps, restarts and all. Rolling the high side, side by side for many laps but not afraid to throw it in low when needed. We have been told by many drivers that they do not worry about running near Andrew as he is clean and has very good control, they have said they worry more about some guys out there that have been racing most of their lives....That says a lot.
We have really enjoyed watching Andrew grow and race. We have followed him closely over the past 5 years or so and have always been impressed. He is a natural, smooth and a clean driver behind the wheel. We can also say that off track he is one of the nicest, most polite young men you will meet. He always has time to talk to his fans and help out fellow drivers. He comes from a great, supportive family and team and it shows. There has never be any doubt in our mind of Andrew's abilities and natural talent. You watch him and he is just smooth and consistent. But, truth be told the previous week we were in the stands watching him race and he was hitting his marks, doing what he needed. But when other cars would get close he would give them lots of room and respect. Running Stafford in a SK against the names on that roster can be understandably intimidating. But I said "man the kid can drive…. BUT he is too nice, too clean and needs to get a little more aggressive and defensive. He has the potential to be one of the greats but just needs to kick it up a notch, maybe take the shine off the bumpers and nerfs a little and he will be right there." I said jokingly. Well it would seem I spoke a week too early as it seemed he did just that. Still a super clean and respectful run Friday but, Andrew was more aggressive, more defensive protecting his spot and appeared much more confident out there. On the other hand he also did not have too many options Friday as he would start on the outside pole of the stout 26 car field. It was either wheel the hell out of that car or get run over. He had numerous restarts to deal with and would battle the likes of Keith Rocco, Todd Owen, Troy Talman, Corey DiMatteo, Stephen Kopcik, Ronnie Williams, Michal Gervais while fighting to stay in the front of the pack. He took the lead on lap 12, he ran side by side with Rocco from 16 to lap 19. Owen soon next would challenge Molleur and also not succeed. On the last lap as the white flag flew Gervais would get side by side with Molleur as the entire stands were on their feet. As they came to the finish line Molleur would best Gervais by literally inches.
Mod Squad asked Andrew what went through his mind during that race. “Well once we were in third, I was pretty confident with the car we had. Then we ended up getting under the 03 [Talman] and set sail after that. I was really confident we had a top 3 car for sure. I could see Todd [Owen] closing in a little and then I started pulling on him again. And then when Keith [Rocco] pulled to my outside I didn’t give up, kept staying after it and eventually cleared him. The most frustrating part of the night had to be seeing the caution come out with 4 to go. But I had a great restart, was able to clear the 81 [Todd Owen]. And then fighting for the lead on the last lap with the 33 [Gervais] was intense, but we were able to pull it off by 0.013 seconds! I knew that once I crossed that line first that I was going to jump up on the roof in victory lane and smash a few water bottles together like Stone Cold Steve Austin” he said as he laughed out load. What he did not disclose is that there are videos floating on social media of him practicing this “Stone cold Steve Austin” Move earlier this year. (Photo By Marissa Mazzola)
We are not sure he thought he would have to perfect it so soon!
With this win Andrew makes history to be the youngest SK Winner ever. He is in good company on top of that list as he knocked the ever talented Chase Dowling from that spot. Andrew is less than 3 months younger than Chase was when he won his first SK race, almost exactly 5 years ago on 6/20/14. “Well I remember watching Chase win that race actually, and my dad always joked with me and said can you beat that record? And I laughed about it because I just didn’t think it was possible to beat guys like Keith and Todd etc, but I have so much respect for Chase, he drove my backup Legend car a few years back and I’ve always looked up to him as a driver and respected him a lot” Molleur would admiringly tell Mod Squad Racing Media.
What does the future hold for Molleur? Well this season he will be driving the SK at Stafford for Ken Barry, the SK at Thompson and Waterford for Dave and Kristen Jackson. He will be driving the #1 for Ted Anderson for Open/MRS/Tri-Track type shows, and the Whelen Tour car is a family owned car making selective dates this season. Andrew disclosed to us he will be bring the brand new family 2018 SPAFCO car Wednesday to Thompson for the Whelen Modified tour race!! “Oh yeah I can’t wait I am super excited, the car has not even been on track yet” Andrew would go on and say “and my confidence level is at an all time high, and I’m really excited to be able to race against Cup driver Ryan Preece, Tour stars like Justin Bonsignore, Doug Coby, Timmy Solomito etc. It is going to be a good race and I’m really just hoping for a solid finish with the car in one piece” said the level headed 16 year old.
Now that his latest goal was reached Friday, what’s next on his list? “Well it might be a tall order but that’s what we said about the SK win, but I think the only thing that could top the SK win would be to win an Open race. I’ve lead laps, just come short a few times but I know we can get it done. Also I’d love to run the Whelen mod tour full time at some point, and maybe someday if the time is right and the stars are aligned, we could get into a K&N ride somewhere”
So we know Andrew’s dad Mike likes to make bets with Andrew, lets say maybe hard to obtain bets, bets that the odds are really in Mikes favor. So we asked Andrew was there a bet including a SK win in 2019? “Actually I had a bet with my dad and Mark Green that if I won an SK race at Stafford that we’ll go race at Bowman Gray [The Mad House in Winston Salem NC]!”
Time after time this kid nails them much to the surprise of many. Does dad not learn, or maybe he knows his son to well. The High Roller would go on to say “But they also said I can pick anywhere to eat after the races too if I win so I ended up having a 10 pc nugget at McDonald’s with SK Lite winner Teddy Hodgdon. Teddy is awesome, he’s a great drive too “ McDonalds take note.
(Photo Teddy Hodgdon Racing)
Molleur was only 1 of the 3 young guns to win at Stafford Friday night. The talented Meg Fuller took down an impressive win in the Street Stocks. Along with a driver with a very bright future who puts on a show weekly Teddy Hodgdon in his #55 SK Lite in a great race.
Andrew “The High Roller” Molleur wanted to make sure and thank the following: "Tick Mike, it’s his first year with us and I can’t thank him enough for helping us out, he does so much for the racing community and he’s just the funniest guy in the pits, also I have to thank racechoice.com, Buds Truck and Diesel Service, R-Stone, New England Tile, Green Construction, FK Rod Ends, Bass Plating, Superior Refinishing, Spafco Race Chassis and T/A engines. I also have to thank my Grandfather and Uncle Joe for buying a set of tires for me this season. Big thanks to Dad, Mom, my Brother, Grandma, Ken Barry, Steve, Billy, Joe, Tom, Chris, Barry, Kris, Jay, Sami, Tara, Billy, Marissa, Alyssa and everyone else there are so many."
Be sure to follow this young man on the track and on social media. He is great to talk to and always has time for fans so make sure you say hi. When he has free time he also goes back to his roots and helps the younger drivers and mentors them at the cart tracks as well as helping his friends when he can at the weekly races. He has a big fan base of all ages. Andrew also has many fans that are drivers as well. A walk around the pits will show lots of Molleur shirts worn by other drivers and teams. This alone says much about this young man. Best of luck to Andrew and his #35 team Wednesday on his Tour start and the rest of the season. Be sure to share this story as this young mans deserves recognition for his accomplishment Friday! Until the next green flag drops RG #ModOn #ShortTrackNation
Andrew Molleur wearing a Jon Pulleo shirt and Jon Pulleo wearing a Andrew Molleur shirt.