Archive for the 'Stafford' Category

New Sponsorship Has Matt Clement Primed for Breakout Season at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — After racing for three full seasons in Stafford Speedway’s Limited Late Model division, Wethersfield native Matt Clement heads into the 2018 season armed with two new sponsors.  Clement’s #59 machine will carry sponsorship from Elmo’s Dockside Restaurant in Vernon and Aquatic Wildlife in South Windsor for the 2018 season and those sponsorships will give the #59 team a huge boost.

“The sponsorships are going to be huge for us,” said Clement.  “As long as I’ve been racing the main issue for us has been spending money on new tires.  With our new sponsors, we’ll be able to make sure we have good tires to last the entire season so we can try to race to the front every week and maybe get our first win.”

In addition to the new sponsors, Clement and his family owned #59 team will continue a relationship they began in 2017 with Jay Stuart working on the chassis setup.  Clement already noticed a difference in his car’s performance last season and the combination of new sponsors and Stuart working on the chassis have Clement excited about his prospects for the 2018 season.

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Cassandra Cole to Build on Rookie Season in Stafford’s SK Lights

Stafford Springs, CT — After racing Legend Cars from 2014-2016, Westbrook native Cassandra Cole made her debut in the SK Light division at Stafford Motor Speedway last July. Cole made 9 starts over the final 11 races of the 2017 season in her #09 MAWC Accounting machine, posting a best finish of 10th on August 4th.  Cole used her time to get acclimated to a new style of car and racing and the team managed to get her #09 car faster week by week and by the end of the season, Cole found herself in the top-2 on the speed charts during practice sessions.

“I feel confident coming into this season,” said Cole.  “I gained a lot of knowledge last year and learned a lot every event.  We gained some speed each week and our main goal was to have fun, not wreck the car, and try to be faster than we were the previous week.  We’re going to keep on trying to learn and we’re going to run for points so we need to be consistent and not wreck the car, but that’s what everyone wants to do.  It seems like last year we were always in the wrong place at the wrong time.  I feel like we’ll have a better shot at getting into the top-10 this year because last year I wasn’t that confident with the car.  We’d be happy with top-10 finishes this season but we’d really love it if we could get into the top-5 or even in the top-3 on the podium.  A podium finish would be awesome because then I’d be able to give a shout out to all my sponsors who have helped me get to this point.”

In making the move from Legend Cars to the open wheel world of SK Light racing, Cole had to learn a new car, how to race against new competition and also contend with racing around the half-mile Stafford layout for the very first time.

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Bryan Narducci to Challenge for SK Light R.A.D. Auto Machine Rookie of the Year Honors at Stafford Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — After 2 full seasons in Stafford Speedway’s Limited Late Model division, Colchester native Bryan Narducci made his debut in the SK Light division in the season-ending NAPA Fall Final last September.  With a strong 6th place finish in his debut, Narducci is ready to make his mark in 2018 and challenge for R.A.D. Auto Machine Rookie of the Year honors behind the wheel of his #01 The Florida Connection machine.

“I can’t wait to race the SK Lights at Stafford,” said Narducci.  “I’ve always wanted to race modifieds and to finally be able to do it is a dream come true.  We raced the Fall Final and we did really well finishing sixth.  We’re going to be full-time at Stafford this year and I think we can be a contender for some race wins, Rookie of the Year and maybe even the track championship if we can keep the front and rear clip on the car.  Racing the Fall Final was important because we learned some stuff with the car setup and some differences between the SK Light and Limited Late Model cars.  Now I have an idea of who I’m racing against and how the car will handle so we can fine tune during practice and be ready to race for the Sizzler.  I can’t wait to see what we can do.”

Over the course of his career at Stafford, Narducci has proven to be a quick study behind the wheel.  Narducci won 2 races during his rookie season in the Limited Late Model division while simultaneously winning the Wild Thing Kart Senior Outlaw championship in 2016.  Narducci upped the ante in 2017, leading the Limited Late Model division in feature wins with 4 and finishing fourth in the points standings.  At the NAPA Fall Final, things got off to a bit of a rocky start with his SK Light experience but Narducci was able to improve his lap times every time he went out.

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R.J. Surdell Looking to Get Back to NAPA Victory Lane at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — With the first green flag of the 2018 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season at Stafford Speedway less than 80 days away, perhaps no driver is more eager to get back behind the wheel than Willington native R.J. Surdell.

Surdell began his Stafford career in 2014 in the Limited Late Model ranks and he has been behind the wheel of his #87 machine ever since.  After finishing 12th, 11th, and then 9th in the points standings from 2014-2016, Surdell was enjoying his best season to date in 2017.  Through the first 7 races of the season, he had notched his first career win along with three top-5 and four top-10 finishes for an average finish of 7.6.  Surdell’s win on July 7th saw him sitting in 6th place in the Limited Late Model standings.  But his season would come to an abbreviated halt the very next week.  A hard hit left him with a concussion and he would only make 2 more starts over the final 10 races of the season.

“I’m really excited and I’m looking forward to the Sizzler and getting back behind the wheel for the open practice,” said Surdell.  “Last season was very disappointing.  I took 6 or 7 weeks off from racing and it was really tough to be at the track watching and supporting your friends but not being able to race yourself.  You still have to watch your competition and keep up with everything going on at the track or else you fall behind real fast.  I hope we can have the car back to where it was last season and there’s a lot of great tracks to run but Stafford is definitely my favorite.  I’m really hungry to get back racing and getting back on the podium, I love being able to talk on the mic.”

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Ray Evernham to Serve as NAPA Spring Sizzler® Grand Marshal

Stafford Springs, CT — 2018 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee and vintage racing enthusiast Ray Evernham will serve as Grand Marshal for the 2018 NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler®, scheduled for April 28th and 29th. Known as one of the all-time greatest crew chiefs in NASCAR history, Evernham will be in attendance the entire race weekend and three of his vintage Modifieds will participate in Saturday’s Vintage All-Star event.

“When we heard Stafford was hosting a vintage event Spring Sizzler® weekend, we circled the date on our calendar,” explained Evernham. “My passion for modifieds runs back to my racing days at Wall Stadium competing against some of the all-time greats. The Spring Sizzler has always been a marquee event for Modified racing and it just made sense to bring out some of our classic mods to turn some laps at Stafford. I’m looking forward to meeting some fans and having a fun weekend at Stafford.”

Before transitioning to a crew chief role, Evernham, a New Jersey native, began his racing career running Modifieds at Wall Stadium during a golden age of short track racing. The transition out of the cockpit and into the pit box began when Evernham was hired by International Race of Champions (IROC) as a chassis specialist. His success at IROC landed him a job with Alan Kulwicki in the NASCAR Cup series and eventually with future hall of fame driver Jeff Gordon. Together Ray and Jeff would revolutionize the sport and go on to win 47 cup races and 3 Cup championships together.

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Dunleavy Truck & Trailer Repair Modified Contingency Back in 2018

Stafford Springs, CT — Doug Dunleavy, owner and operator of Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer Repair, has become a mainstay in Connecticut modified racing in recent years with support of countless teams, events, and divisions.  2018 will be more of the same as Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer Repair has renewed their weekly contingency for the SK Modified® and SK Light Modified divisions for the fourth straight season.  The winners of both the SK Modified® and SK Light Modified weekly feature events will be awarded $150 and $125 respectively courtesy of Dunleavy.

“I like to keep it exciting for the SK’s and SK Lights each Friday,” explained Doug Dunleavy. “Connecticut modified racing is some of the best racing I’ve ever seen.  The teams and drivers are all in and the competition each week is second to none.  This weekly bonus just adds a little more to the pot for the SK’s and SK Lights.”

The SK Modifieds® continue to thrill fans with incredible finishes and flat out racing from start to finish.  In 2017, a combined 95 different drivers competed at Stafford behind the wheel of either an SK Modified® or SK Light with 48 different SK Light Modified drivers and 47 different SK Modified® drivers.  With 82 days till the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler®, that number will only continue to grow.

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Lincoln Tech Continues Partnership with Stafford Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — When the Valenti Modified Racing Series comes to Stafford Speedway on August 31, drivers will be schooled as Lincoln Technical Institute of East Windsor will present the Lincoln Tech VMRS 80.  The Lincoln Tech VMRS 80 will mark the ninth consecutive season that Lincoln Tech has sponsored an event at the Stafford half-mile.  Lincoln Tech joined the Stafford family of sponsors in 2010 as the title sponsor of the Late Model 100 and they have sponsored an event at the track each season since.

“Every year this partnership keeps getting better,” said said Rob Wargo, Eastern Connecticut High School Admissions Reps for Lincoln Tech.  “We’re excited to be partners with Stafford Motor Speedway for what will be our 9th consecutive season together.  The exposure we’ve received from our partnership with Stafford for our East Windsor campus has been outstanding.  We’ve received enrollments each year from our participation at Stafford and we’ve also made a lot of connections with employers, which is a great benefit for our students.  We’re looking forward to another exciting night of auto racing at Stafford.”

The origins of the Stafford-Lincoln Tech partnership dates back prior to the 2010 season when Kris Fluckiger, who was a DARE Stock driver and also a Lincoln Tech student at the time, brought the two parties together and resulted in Lincoln Tech sponsoring the Late Model 100 that season.  From that sponsorship, Lincoln Tech has sponsored a wide variety of events at Stafford.  Lincoln Tech sponsored a Valenti Modified Racing Series race at Stafford from 2011-2013, the Lincoln Tech Back 2 SK®ool Blitz from 2014-2016, and they sponsored the Modified Touring Series 125 in 2017.

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Marcello Rufrano Focused on SK Light Championship in 2018

Stafford Springs, CT — After a roller coaster 2017 season that was filled with highs and lows, Marcello Rufrano and the #88 Wheelers Auto team have their sights set on contending for the SK Light championship in 2018. Rufrano has proved to be a quick study behind the wheel of a modified, having won his very first start in 2016 and he tied Cory DiMatteo for the division lead in wins with 4 this past season. In addition to chasing the SK Light championship in 2018, Rufrano has registered for Stafford’s Open Modified 80 events, scheduled for June 8th and July 13th.

“Last season we had plenty of ups and downs for sure,” said Rufrano. “The first couple races really didn’t play into our favor but we had really fast cars in practice and for whatever reason we couldn’t put together a feature. I think as the season went on and we picked up some momentum, we were one of the dominant cars. We met most of our expectations last season and our goal for this season is to start off just as dominant as we were at the end of last season. The championship has been a dream of mine since I was a kid but I’ve never really gotten the championship deal down.”

If Rufrano is going to contend for the championship, he will have to avoid the bad luck that plagued him during the first three races of last season. Rufrano recorded finishes of 24th, 26th, and 26th in his first three starts of 2017, which left him 30th in the points standings and 120 points behind the leader. But Rufrano and the #88 team didn’t let that slow them down as over the final 14 races, they recorded 4 wins, 10 top-5 and 12 top-10 finishes, which included 7 top-2 finishes. Rufrano’s solid finish to the 2017 campaign saw him climb all the way up to fourth in the final points standing.

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Meg Fuller to Run for Rookie of the Year in Street Stock Division at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — The 2018 Street Stock season at Stafford Speedway will see second generation driver Meg Fuller take to the track and run for R.A.D. Auto Machine Rookie of the Year honors. The soon to be 16-year old Fuller, the daughter of 1993 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Rick Fuller, has already been racing for 10 years. Fuller ran 9 years in the quarter midget ranks at the Little T Speedway in Thompson and last season was her first year in a full size racecar. Fuller won Rookie of the Year honors in the Limited Sportsman division at Thompson and she made three starts in Stafford’s DARE Stock division behind the wheel of her #21 Propane Plus Chevrolet. Fuller’s 2017 experience has her looking forward to the 2018 season.

“I’m very excited for the 2018 season at Stafford,” said Fuller. “The drivers at Stafford were all very respectful. Winning Rookie of the Year would mean a lot to me because that would show that we achieved a lot in our rookie season.”

As Fuller is preparing for a full season at both Stafford and Thompson for the 2018 season, she will be hosting a fund raiser with the assistance of one of her sponsors, Tri-State Speedway in Dudley, MA. The fund raiser will be held on Sunday, Feb. 11 and will run from 11am-2pm. Tickets to the fundraiser are $40 and there will be door prizes available for those in attendance.

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Limited Late Model and SK Light Weekly Payouts Increasing in 2018

Stafford Springs, CT — The theme leading up to the 2018 weekly racing season at Stafford Speedway is progress. The Limited Late Model and SK Light Modified divisions will both see an increase to their weekly payouts by 13%, pushing the total weekly purse for both divisions over $3,000.  The Limited Late Model and SK Light Modified divisions are both key in Stafford’s division ladder program. With a goal to provide teams and drivers a path to gain experience and move up if they choose, the Stafford’s ladder program has prepared countless drivers for their chance on the big stage.

“Any time we can raise weekly payouts for any of our divisions is a positive step,” explained Stafford General Manager Mark Arute.  “The Limited Late Models and SK Lights are both instrumental divisions to the Speedway.  Both divisions will see a nice weekly purse increase and also each will have a special event night, where we have extended the race distance and have posted a sizable payout.  We want drivers and teams in both the Limited Late Models and SK Lights to see our commitment to their division.”

Weekly Limited Late Model and SK Light features will now pay $350 to win, $250 for 2nd, and $225 for 3rd.  See the full updated purse breakdown here: http://staffordmotorspeedway. com/2018-stafford-speedway-sk- light-limited-late-model- street-stock-weekly-purses/.

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R.A.D. Auto Machine Rookie of the Year Bonus Returns in 2018

Stafford Springs, CT — For the 6th consecutive year, Ludlow, MA-based R.A.D. Auto Machine will present a Rookie of the Year Bonus for Stafford’s Street Stock, Limited Late Model, and SK Light divisions.  The highest finishing rookie drivers in each division will receive a $500 bonus courtesy of R.A.D. Auto Machine.  All drivers who have made less than 5 division starts in previous seasons are eligible to compete in the R.A.D. Rookie of the Year program.

“All of Stafford’s entry-level divisions are great classes with some very talented drivers,” explained Don Wood of R.A.D. Auto Machine.  “We really like putting up the bonus money for the Rookie of Year program to help drivers new to each of the divisions.  Over the years we’ve seen a lot of very talented drivers win the Rookie of the Year honors and 2017 was no different.  Congratulations to last year’s winners and we look forward to the 2018 season.” 

The 2017 season saw 45 rookie drivers compete across the Street Stock, Limited Late Model, and SK Light divisions.  In the Street Stock division Wild Thing Kart graduate George Bessette Jr. grabbed Rookie of the year honors scoring his first career win late in the season and finishing 2nd in the overall standings.  The Limited Late Model division saw another Wild Thing Kart graduate finish as top rookie with Alexandra Fearn finishing the season with 1 win and beating her brother Ryan for R.A.D. Rookie of the Year honors.  In the SK Light division, Cory DiMatteo showed his versatility as a driver by not only scoring Rookie of the Year honors but also winning the 2017 SK Light track championship, finishing the season with 4 wins. 

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Bob Potter & Kris Fluckiger Teaming Up for Another Season in Stafford Speedway’s 2-Seater Modified

Stafford Springs, CT — With another season ready to kick off at Stafford Speedway, 5-time SK Modified® champion and 24-time feature winner Bob Potter is ready for another season of giving race fans the ride of a lifetime behind the wheel of the Stafford Speedway 2-Seater Modified.  Potter will once again give fans a ride around the Connecticut half-mile facility at speed in one of four packages.

“This year will be the 7th season of taking people around the track and I still have lots of fun,” said Potter.  “I’m grateful to Mark and Lisa Arute to give me the opportunity to still be behind the wheel and get around the racetrack.  I’ve been able to meet so many great people over the years and the people you take along for the rides love you to death after its over.  A lot of the folks I take out for a ride don’t think you really go that fast but that all changes once they’ve taken a ride.  Another thing that surprises a lot of the riders is the g forces you feel in the seat.  Being able to give someone the experience of what racing is really all about and seeing the smiles on their faces once they get out of the car, it’s a great feeling and it really makes me feel great in my heart.”

One thing for sure is that no matter what ride along package race fans choose, when they ride with Potter it is the closest thing a race fan can get to the truest experience that driving a modified has to offer.

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Michael Wray Looking to Rebound and Challenge for 2018 Late Model Championship at Stafford Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — For many racers, a season where they scored one win, ten top-5 and fifteen top-10 finishes to go along with a 7th place finish in the points standings would be considered a pretty good season.  But for Northford, CT native Michael Wray, driver of the #42 DMW Graphics Chevrolet, those season numbers registered as a disappointment.  Wray was coming off a 2016 season that saw him register two wins, fourteen top-5, and seventeen top-10 finishes, with ten of his fourteen top-5 finishes being podium finishes.  Wray is looking forward to getting back on the track in 2018 and returning to his 2016 ways.

“I think we were a little disappointed with how last season went for us,” said Wray.  “Coming off our 2016 season, we were on the podium something like 10 out of 17 races and we finished second in points.  Last year was still a good year but it wasn’t quite as good.  For 2018 we’ve went through some stuff and we’ve pretty much rebuilt the car from scratch so I feel like we’re in a much better position than we were last year and I’m excited, I think we’re going to have a good season.”

Although the 2017 season might not have been up to Wray’s standards, the season got off to a promising start.  Wray posted top-5 finishes, including his lone win of the season, in each of the first 7 races of the season.  Wray’s good start to the year saw him sitting second in the points standings, only 4 points behind Glen Reen.  But then Wray and the #42 team ran into some struggles with their car and the next four races saw them fall from second down to fourth with only one top-5 finish in that 4-race stretch.

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Duane Provost Going for Limited Late Model 3-Peat

Stafford Springs, CT — When the 2018 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season kicks off at Stafford Speedway, Palmer, MA native Duane Provost will be looking to etch his name in a special place in the Stafford record books.  Provost has won the Limited Late Model track championship the last two seasons and the 2018 season will see him going for a three-peat.  Since Stafford began crowning NASCAR champions in 1959, only three drivers have ever accomplished a championship 3-peat.  Provost will be looking to put his name alongside Late Model drivers Phil Rondeau (’87-’89), Ryan Posocco (’03-05), and Street Stock driver Norm Sears (’06-’08)

“That’s the plan this season,” said Provost.  “That would be pretty cool to be one of a few guys who have done three in a row.  I think the competition will be as good as it’s ever been.  There’s some drivers that are hungry to be contenders and there’s some new drivers coming into the division so it should be a good season of competition.  I hope we’ll be among the favorites.  You can never plan for something that might take you out of a race but if everything goes good for us again, I’d like to think we’d be one of the contenders for the championship.”

The past 2 seasons of Limited Late Model competition has seen Provost and his #88 Facchini Law Firm Chevrolet be a model of consistency.  In the 34 Limited Late Model features that have been held during the past 2 seasons, Provost has scored 28 top-5 and 31 top-10 finishes along with 4 wins.  While those are eye-popping numbers, Provost says that it took him several seasons to build up to a car setup that would allow him the consistency that he has displayed on the track.  Provost also fears that he may be reaching the limits of what he can do to keep his car fast on a weekly basis.

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Andy Marchese Back in the Groove with Stafford Limited Late Model

Stafford Springs, CT — When the first green flag of the 2018 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season is dropped at Stafford Speedway, Tolland native Andy Marchese will be making his return to full-time racing in the Limited Late Model division.  Marchese will be piloting the #5 car that is owned by DP Motorsports with sponsorship from NAPA Tolland, Big Haus USA, and Casagrande Builders.  Marchese has made only 9 starts over the last three seasons in Stafford’s Late Model division, but he is looking forward to getting back into full-time competition.

“I got started in the Street Stock division and it took me a while to learn how to drive the car and I managed to win a couple races,” said Marchese.  “I had an opportunity to move up to the Late Model division in 2015 and although I’ve raced a couple of times a year the last few years, I’ve basically been out of racing for the last 3 seasons.  The Late Model was a massive step up for me.  Between helping Kevin Gambacorta with his #23 car and going racing in Wild Thing Karts with my daughter Dominique, I didn’t have the time to fully commit to it. After this past season ended, an opportunity came up with DP Motorsports to run a full season in the Limited Late Model division so now I can get some seat time and experience and get back in the groove.  Honestly, I think the Limited Late Model division is where I belong, I was way over my head in the Late Model division.”

With his relative lack of racing during the last three seasons, Marchese is not setting any lofty expectations for himself.  Marchese’s focus will be on getting track time and building his confidence behind the wheel back to the level it was during his stint in the Street Stock division.

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Starrett Tools Joins Stafford’s SK Modified® Contingency Program

Stafford Springs, CT — In recent years the racing in Stafford’s SK Modified® division has been second to none, with weekly excitement and jaw-dropping finishes.  The 2018 season promises to be much of the same with a driver roster full of young talent and crafty veterans.  New for the 2018 season, Starrett Tools has signed on as a contingency partner for the entire season, awarding a $150 bonus each week to the winner of each SK Modified® feature.

“All of us here at Starrett are looking forward to supporting the SK Modified® division at Stafford,” explained Jim Taylor, VP, L.S. Starrett Co.  “The SK Modified® division has been thrilling fans with excellent racing the last few seasons and we are excited to partner with Stafford to bring a weekly bonus for the winner.”

The Athol, Massachusetts based Starrett Tools has shown that they are committed to Modified racing in the Northeast.  Last month Starrett announced title sponsorship of the August 3rd NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Starrett 150 at Stafford as well as the continued backing of Whelen Modified Tour drivers Matthew Swanson, Timmy Solomito, and Jimmy Blewett.

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Call Before You Dig Late Model 50 Boasts $1811 to Win at Stafford

Stafford Speedway and Call Before You Dig, Inc. (CBYD) for the second year in a row will partner to present the Call 811 Before You Dig Late Model 50.  The event scheduled for Friday, August 17th will guarantee $1,811 for the winner and $250 to start.  The 50-lap special event will carry a race purse exceeding $10,000.

“Call Before You Dig is happy to continue our partnership with Stafford Speedway by the sponsoring the CBYD Late Model 50,” said Derek Brown, Vice President of Damage Prevention and Education at CBYD.  “Our partnership with Stafford helps to promote safe digging in Connecticut.  Everyone at CBYD loves the Late Model division and we’re proud to be part of the promotion of the Late Model division at Stafford.”

CBYD’s sponsorship of the August 17th CBYD Late Model 50 continues a partnership with Stafford Speedway that dates back to the 2010 season.  The $1,811 to win the Late Model 50 is another opportunity to promote 811.  The 811 message will have strong presence in the month of August at Stafford.  Along with the Late Model 50, the CBYD 811 Challenge, which starts at the NAPA Spring Sizzler, will culminate on Friday, August 10th.

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DiMaggio & Foster Collaboration Highlights 2018 VP Winter Party

Close to 100 people were at the Groton Elks Club on Saturday night for the inaugural 2018 Vault Productions Winter Party. The event was highlighted by the details announced for the collaboration this upcoming race season between Sid DiMaggio of sidsview.com and Sean Foster of shorttrackracer.com – two of the more popular racing websites in the northeast.

DiMaggio opened up by confirming the two will co-host a weekly studio show entitled “Short Track View” which will be filmed at a newly designed Vault Productions headquarters studio and will contain elements from the racing scene throughout southern New England – most notably the four asphalt short tracks in the region: Stafford Motor Speedway, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, The New London-Waterford Speedbowl and Seekonk Speedway.

The show will open each week with the two discussing the week’s hot topics. Each show will also feature a News Update segment by the third on-air personality, Kristen Pressel. DiMaggio, Foster & Pressel will be the creative force collectively behind the project.

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Saunders Twins Make Move to Stafford’s Late Model Division

Stafford Springs, CT — Hometown drivers Al & Cliff Saunders have announced that they will move from the Limited Late Model division to the Late Model division for the 2018 season at Stafford Speedway and compete for NAPA Rookie of the Year Honors. Both Saunders twins are former Stafford track champions with Cliff winning the 2012 Street Stock title and Al Saunders taking the 2015 Limited Late Model crown.

“We were going to make the move for the 2017 season, but we both wrecked at the Fall Final in 2016 and with having to fix the cars along with changing divisions was going to be too much,” said Al Saunders. “We ended this past season good so we’re making the move now.”

The Saunders twins will once again continue a hometown theme in 2018 with sponsorship from American Sleeve Bearing in Stafford, which is also where both twins are employed.

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Troy Talman Teaming with Steve McCarthy for 2018 SK Modified® Season at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — As the days continue to tick away and countdown towards the start of the 2018 season, Oxford, MA native Troy Talman has announced he will team with Steve McCarthy for the 2018 SK Modified® season at Stafford for a run for at the championship behind the wheel of the #2 SPM Motorsports machine. The McCarthy/Talman combination has deep roots as McCarthy is longtime family friends with Talman’s family.

“I grew up with the Tagg family and in 1988 I helped out Tom Tagg in the Late Model division and Mike Talman was also part of the crew and that was before he married Sharon (Tagg),” said McCarthy. “I started talking with Troy when he was racing Keith Rocco’s cars at Thompson and Paul Pytko actually got the two families together to talk things over and now here we are.”

“It’s really cool, our families have known each other for a long time,” said Troy Talman. “We’ve been talking with Steve for a while now, I’ve always had my eye on Steve’s car whenever I saw it around town and thought it would be cool to one day drive it. I think we have the potential to be something really good, The car is a CD chassis and we have a new T/A Engine.”

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Stafford Open Mod 80 Rules and $24K Purse Announced

Stafford Springs, CT — For the first time since the late 1970’s, non sanctioned open modified races are included in the Stafford Motor Speedway schedule. The two events, both set for the traditional “Sizzler” distance of 80 laps, will pay $3,500 to win and $660 to start, with a total purse of $24,000 for 26 starters. Both events will be held in conjunction with Stafford’s 5 weekly racing divisions on Friday, June 8th and Friday, July 13th.

“Open modified racing is back at Stafford in 2018,” explained Stafford General Manager Mark Arute. “We decided to put these events together to give all the open modified teams an opportunity to run Stafford in a non sanctioned event with a strong purse. We should see a great field of Modifieds for these events and expect many of our weekly SK Modified® guys to double up and run both races. The 80-lap distance has worked well in the past for these type of cars and these races are a great addition to our 2018 schedule.”

The 80-lap features will have a draw for qualifying starting position and will use a plus/minus system of handicapping from the qualifying for the 26 car feature starting line-up. Each registered team will be allotted 6 tires for the event with no restrictions on changing tires during the 80-lap races.

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Travis Hydar Ready to Build on Impressive Street Stock Rookie Season at Stafford Motor Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — For for many drivers, making the transition from Wild Thing Karts to the full-bodied world of the Street Stock division at Stafford Speedway would prove to be a daunting task. For 14-year-old Woodbury, CT native Travis Hydar, the 2017 season couldn’t have gone much better than it did. Hydar’s rookie season saw him pilot his #11 Hydar Construction machine to his first career win in only his 4th career start and he finished in the top-10 in 15 of 17 races during the season.

“I’d say that last season was definitely above expectations for us,” said Hydar. “Winning a race was one of our goals at the beginning of the season and we felt pretty confident that we could win a race at some point during the year but it was a total surprise that we won so early in the year in only our 4th start. It definitely boosted our confidence knowing that we were fast and competitive. We were all really satisfied with how well we ran. We’re coming back with everything we had going in 2017 and we have Hydar Construction, ToolsPlus.com, Superior Signs, Chris Jones Roofing & Siding, ITF Electric, Superior Comfort, and Eastwood Fine Finishes all coming back on board as sponsors. Thanks to my Mom, Dad, Uncle Jeff, my sister, and Joe Brockett for all their help and support.”

Hydar’s impressive rookie season carried him to a fourth-place finish in the points standings and he was only 6 points behind third place Vince Gambacorta. With such a stellar rookie campaign to build on, Hydar is looking to win multiple races and be a championship contender in 2018.

Continue reading ‘Travis Hydar Ready to Build on Impressive Street Stock Rookie Season at Stafford Motor Speedway’

Mikey Flynn to Challenge for SK Light Rookie of the Year Honors at Stafford Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — As the countdown to Stafford Speedway’s NAPA Spring Sizzler® continues, the driver rosters continue to fill up for the 2018 season. Former Legend Cars driver Mikey Flynn is busy preparing his #54 Hamden Engineering machine to compete for R.A.D. Auto Machine Rookie of the Year honors in the SK Light division in 2018. The 16-year old Flynn comes to the SK Light division with experience in a wide variety of disciplines, ranging from Wild Thing Karts and Legend Cars on the Stafford Mini Mile to ACT Late Models. With 2 SK Light starts at Stafford already under his belt, Flynn is ready to tackle the challenge of a full season and he feels like his experience across several different divisions will help accelerate his learning curve as an SK Light rookie driver.

“I can’t wait to get back racing,” said Flynn. “As soon as I got home from the Fall Final, I was ready to go racing again. Not racing is pretty boring. I feel like I already have the big car experience down where most guys coming into the SK Lights it’s their first time in a full-size car. Also when I was racing ACT Late Models, I was racing against some of the best drivers in the Northeast like Keith Rocco, Andy Flannery, and Jason Palmer so racing against that type of competition I think will be an advantage for racing the SK Light. The most I’ve learned in my racing career has been racing against those guys for 2 years.”

With the variety of experience that Flynn has accumulated through his young racing career to date, he has his eyes set on winning R.A.D. Auto Machine Rookie of the Year honors and being a contender for the championship in his rookie season. With Matt Galko, Michael Gervais, Jr., Jeremy Sorel, and just last season Cory DiMatteo all winning SK Light championships as rookie drivers, Flynn feels like contending for the championship is a realistic goal for himself and the #54 team.

Continue reading ‘Mikey Flynn to Challenge for SK Light Rookie of the Year Honors at Stafford Speedway’

Gary Patnode Looking to Build on Rookie Season in Stafford’s Limited Late Models

Stafford Springs, CT — After running a partial schedule during his rookie season in Stafford Speedway’s Limited Late Model division in 2017, Barkhamsted native Gary Patnode is looking forward to the 2018 season.  Patnode purchased Justin Bren’s car last year for his rookie season and he ran 11 races and posted 7 top-10’s to finish the season in 11th place in the points standings with his #22 GP Fence Chevrolet.  With just over half a season under his belt, Patnode is looking to build on his experience and get bigger and better results in 2018.

“I think we met our expectations last season,” said Patnode.  “I thought I would be able to pick things up and be running up front a little quicker and it definitely wasn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be.  We ran 11 races last season and every time we went out on the track we learned something.  I’m glad we had the half-season to use as a learning curve and we have high expectations for this upcoming season.  No matter what I’m doing, I want to do it the best I can and we’re expecting to be running up front this year.  Before last year our hope was to be able to get a top-5 and we didn’t quite get there.  I feel pretty confident we’ll be able to get some top-5 finishes this season.”

Patnode started his rookie season last year with a unique story of how he decided to get behind the wheel and go racing.  Patnode met SK Modified® and Late Model driver Glen Reen through his participation in the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience that was taking place at Stafford in 2016.  Through his connection with Reen, Patnode was introduced to Justin Bren, from which he bought his Limited Late Model.  Then enters Rob Russell, who owns the Late Model car that Reen drove to the 2017 track championship.  Patnode’s connection with Russell allowed him to get some chassis setup help which will continue into the 2018 season as Patnode is in search of his first career victory.

Continue reading ‘Gary Patnode Looking to Build on Rookie Season in Stafford’s Limited Late Models’

Steve Midford Joining Limited Late Model Ranks at Stafford Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — With teams busy preparing their machines for the 2018 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season, Stafford Speedway’s Limited Late Model division has added Steve Midford to its 2018 driver roster.  Midford comes to Stafford with a background in the Senior Champ and Medium Pro divisions from Wild Thing Karts where he raced with his brother Ronnie Midford, Jr. and the support of their father and full-time mechanic Ron Midford, Sr.

“I ran Monday night Wild Thing Karts with my brother in the Sr. Champ division and we had some great success there while also chasing the indoor racing series at Atlantic City and Providence, RI,” said Midford.  “I took a couple years off from racing with the birth of my daughters Jordyn and Makayla and now I’m ready to get back to Friday nights with the support of my wife Emily.”

While this is Midford’s first experience driving a full-bodied racecar, his Uncle Tom Bolles and late Grandfather Ed Bolles have been involved in the racing scene for Steve’s entire life.  For Steve, racing on Friday nights in the Limited Late Model division is the realization of a lifelong dream and he is excited about his prospects for his rookie season.

Continue reading ‘Steve Midford Joining Limited Late Model Ranks at Stafford Speedway’

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Starrett 150 Set for August 3rd at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — The L.S. Starrett Company, a global leader in precision measuring tools, has officially announced title sponsorship of the August 3rd NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Starrett 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, Connecticut. The annual mid-summer stop for NASCAR’s oldest division will be titled the Starrett 150.

Founded in 1880, Athol, Massachusetts based Starrett Tools has set the standard for fine precision tools for over 137 years. Starrett Tools is best known for their wide product line of precision measuring tools, levels, electronic gages, dial indicators, gage blocks, and custom engineered products.

“We are very excited to partner with Starrett Tools for our August Whelen Modified Tour event,” explained Stafford Motor Speedway General Manager Mark Arute. “We are very impressed with the rich history at Starrett as well as their strong support of racing at the short track level. Starrett is a local company with presence on the international stage and all of us at Stafford are looking forward to working together.”

Continue reading ‘NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Starrett 150 Set for August 3rd at Stafford’

Teddy Hodgdon Joins SK Lights at Stafford Speedway for 2018

Stafford Springs, CT — As teams are busy preparing for the 2018 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season, one driver who can’t wait to get started is Danbury native Teddy Hodgdon.  The 16-year-old driver will make the move from Legend Cars competition into the SK Light division where he will challenge for R.A.D. Auto Machine Rookie of the Year honors.

“I’m all fired up and I’m ready to get started on the next chapter of my racing career,” said Hodgdon.  “We did pretty well in the Legend Cars and hopefully we can do just as well as we did in the Legend Cars with the SK Light car.  I would like to win Rookie of the Year this season and if we could get a win, that would be amazing.  I’m not really setting high goals for myself, I’m more focused on learning the car and trying to set my plans for the future.”

Instead of his familiar #28 that he has carried throughout his entire racing career, Hodgdon will race in the SK Lights with the #55.  Hodgdon has sponsorship from Montanari Fuel and Champion Spark Plugs and it was the connection through Montanari Fuel that saw Hodgdon land the number 55 for the 2018 season.

Continue reading ‘Teddy Hodgdon Joins SK Lights at Stafford Speedway for 2018’

Stafford Speedway’s 2018 Early Buy Season Tickets Offer Big Savings

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway 2018 season ticket packages are available and time is running out to take advantage of the early buy discount on Paddock Passes, General Admission, Reserved Seat, and Kids Fast Pass tickets. All season ticket packages offer a great deal of savings versus purchasing a ticket at the main entrance for each of the 22 scheduled race events and the savings are the biggest if purchased before December 15th.

The 2018 Season Paddock Pass offers a 49% savings for those with a valid 2018 NASCAR License and 55% savings for those who do not have a NASCAR License and is available for $420 if purchased on or before December 15th. After December 15th, the Paddock Pass increases to $470. In 2017 race teams saved over $440 per season pass. The Season Paddock Pass allows access to the paddock area as well as the general admission seating grandstands. A Paddock Pass with reserved seat upgrade is available for an additional $50.

General Admission Season Tickets are priced at $300 if purchased on or before December 15th which is a savings of 43% versus buying each week at the gate. After December 15th, the General Admission ticket increases to $320. Reserved Seat Season Tickets purchased on or before December 15th are priced at $350, which is a savings of 38%. After December 15th, the Reserved Seat Season Ticket increases to $380. The Kids Fast Pass option for kids age 6 to 14 is priced at $60 before December 15th, a 45% savings. After December 15th, the Kids Fast Pass increases to $70. All season ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax.
Stafford Speedway will kick off its 2018 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season with the 47th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler on April 28 & 29. Stafford will showcase five NWAAS divisions weekly, SK Modified®, Late Model, SK Light, Limited Late Model and Street Stock (formerly known as DARE Stock). The upcoming season will offer a variety of touring events joining the weekly divisions. Stay tuned to Staffordspeedway.com and social media for continuously updated information.
Continue reading ‘Stafford Speedway’s 2018 Early Buy Season Tickets Offer Big Savings’

Tyler Leary Excited About 2018 Late Model Prospects at Stafford Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — With the racing off-season in full swing, drivers and teams start to feel the itch to go racing, one driver who is feeling that itch is Stafford Speedway Late Model competitor Tyler Leary.  Leary has every reason to be raring to get back on the track after a sophomore season that saw him score his first two career wins at Stafford as well as posting top-10 finishes in 16 of the 17 events during the 2017 season behind the wheel of his #11 Amherst Trucking Chevrolet.

“I can’t wait, especially with capping the year off with the win at the Fall Final, you want to come back that much sooner,” said Leary.  “You’re always ready for a small break, but after a few weeks of doing nothing, you start to get the itch to go racing again.  We didn’t really want to see the season end but we’re looking forward to 2018.  I have to give a big thank you to all our sponsors, BFR for the chassis, Donny Wood at R.A.D. Automachine for the motor, Rich Bushey Signs, Amherst Trucking, Raynor Garage Doors, SDL Home Improvement, Erasable Images Powerwashing, LashCo Tree Service, Mass Wheel Works, Valley Recycling, Szawlowski Potato Farms, Kix 100.9, JB Auto, NAPA Auto Parts, Tom’s Hot Dogs, and all the track sponsors, NAPA, Mr. Rooter, 32 Signs, and CBYD 811, for their support and a big thanks to my father and my Uncle Jim for all their hard work this season.”

In racing, much as is the case in any other sport, competitors usually make a leap in performance from year one to year two and that was definitely the case for Leary and the #11 team.  Leary’s rookie season saw them record 12 top-10 finishes to finish 7th in the points standings, but the closest they came to cracking the top-5 was a sixth-place finish.  Fast forward a year and although the season got off to a slow start for Leary and Co. with only one top-5 finish through the first 6 races of the year, they closed out the season with 8 top-5 finishes in the final 11 races, including their first 2 feature victories.

Continue reading ‘Tyler Leary Excited About 2018 Late Model Prospects at Stafford Speedway’

2018 Schedule Announced for NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour

Season Opener Returns To Myrtle Beach; New Hampshire Extra-Distance Event On Tap

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will take the green flag on the 2018 season at South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach Speedway in March, and the schedule will feature 16 championship points races at nine different venues.

The champion will once again be crowned at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, as the .625-mile hosts the 56th Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing on Sunday, Oct. 14.

The calendar spotlight’s some of the northeast’s iconic short tracks, includes three fast southern venues and features the longest distance race in tour history as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour takes center stage at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September for a 250-lap showdown.

Continue reading ‘2018 Schedule Announced for NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour’




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