Ridgefield CT and Mamaroneck NY Make Their Presence Known at NASCAR's 2021 Daytona Speed Week
Warren Rosenberg, MetroSports Magazine February 20, 2021
The wealthy New York Metro area suburbs of Ridgefield Connecticut in Fairfield County, and Mamaroneck New York, in Westchester County may seem a long way off from the rural, southern roots of NASCAR auto racing. But three local Metro area racers hailing from these communities were competitors in NASCAR’s season opening Daytona Speed Week events. Traditionally known for its southern roots, both NASCAR’s race car drivers and fans have become a much more geographically diverse group. MetroSports Magazine has previously reported on other Metro regional drivers and team owners including Jim Rosenblum, owner of the #28 FDNY Racing Truck Series team, the 2017 and 2018 NASCAR Cup Series Champions, New Jersey’s Martin Truex, Jr. and Connecticut’s Joey Logano, and Andy Lally from Northport N.Y. on nearby Long Island.
On Feb 14th, Ridgefield Connecticut native, Anthony Alfredo, raced in NASCAR’s premier event, the Daytona 500, driving the #38 Front Row Motrorsports Ford and starting off in the 36th spot among the field of 40 starters. In being selected to drive for Front Row Motorsports, Alfredo joined his teammate and ultimately the 2021 Daytona 500 Champion, Michael McDowell, on the starting grid. In this, his first start in NASCAR’s highest series, Alfredo was able to advance his position during the race, finishing 32nd.
The 21 year old began his racing career, as many young drivers do, racing Go Karts. In 2008 he captured his first two racing Championships, the 2008 Arden Junior League Championship and the 2008 SuperNova Junior League Championship. Moving to a higher level of competition, in 2016 he competed in the Championship Auto Racing Series’ Solid Rock Carriers Tour, where he posted a top 10 finish in his only race. He then moved on to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series in 2018, NASCAR’s Gander Outdoor Truck Series in 2019 and the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2020. In last year’s Xfinity Series, Alfredo drove for the storied team of Richard Childress Racing where he scored his highest finish of 3rd place at Texas Motor Speedway after fighting for the lead.
As quoted on his website, Anthony states, as his personal, mission, “I would like to take advantage of any opportunity God provides for me to advance as far as I can in NASCAR racing, and along with winning races and championships, I hope to use my racing platform to do good for others. I also hope to be a role model for younger kids and inspire them to work hard to achieve their own dreams.”
When not behind the wheel of a physical, gas guzzling race car, Anthony Alfredo can be found competing in the sport of virtual racing.
Another Ridgefield CT native, 27 year old Scott Heckert, was also a competitor in NASCAR’s 2021 Daytona Speed Week driving in the February 21st O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 race, the season’s second race in NASCAR’s premier professional Cup division. It was just three days before the scheduled drop of the green flag that Live Fast Motorsports team announced that Heckert would be making his NASCAR Cup debut diving the team’s #78 Ford Mustang in the race. Live Fast Motorsports is a one-car racing team based in Moorseville, North Carolina, co-owned by BJ McLeod and Matt Tifft and fielding the #78 Mustang usually driven by McLeod.
A graduate of Ridgefield High School and Miami University of Ohio, Scott, like so many others, got his start in motorsports in karts, at the young age of eight, with the Norwalk Karting Association. He eventually moved on NASCAR’s K&N Series in 2013 and to the Xfinity Series in 2016.
With his engineering degree from Miami University, Scott would typically be found working as an engineer at JrIII Racing in Mooresville, North Carolina and, when notified three days before the race that he would be driving, he noted that, “these guys at JRIII were extremely understanding of the amazing opportunity ahead of me. The team owner here (Billy Glavin) didn’t hesitate to say yes when I asked to miss a day of this weekend to run the cup race at Daytona R/C. Racing is full of great people and big opportunities like this come about/work because of these great people.”
Interviewed for the U.K.’s CheckeredFlag, Heckert is quoted as saying “This is a special moment for me and it’s even better that I get to drive for two of my close friends,” Heckert said. “It’s been great getting to witness B.J. and Matt build this new team and I’m honored to represent them at their first road course race.”
“We are so excited to have Scott driving for us at the Daytona Road Course,” said co-owner BJ McLeod in a release. “He’s an absolute wheelman on road courses, and his stats show just that.”
Rounding out this New York Metro area trio is Mamaroneck, New York, native Jim Rosenblum, a former race car driver and now owner of the #28 FDNY Racing Team competing in NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series. With veteran driver, Bryan Dauzat, behind the wheel, the team posted a top 20 finish in the February 19th Daytona Speed Week event. You can see our most recent coverage of Jim’s FDNY Racing team here, in MetroSports Magazine.
image credits AnthonyAlfredo.com/media; ScottHeckertRacing Facebook; Jim Rosenblum FDNY Racing
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