Archive for the 'Stafford' Category

Doug Coby Prepared for Solid Run at NAPA Spring Sizzler®

Stafford Springs, CT — Doug Coby comes into the 2018 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season in search of a 5th consecutive championship.  His quest though, has gotten off to a slow start for the 2nd consecutive season.  Last year Coby finished 13th and 31st in the first two races before a 2nd place finish in the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler® got his season turned around.  Coby is once again looking to the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler® to get his season back on track after finishes of 14th and 6th in the first two races of 2018.

“A stronger start to the season would have been ideal, but it hasn’t been as bad as it could have been,” said Coby.  “We qualified good at Thompson but got into a couple of jingles during the race and bent the car up and we still finished 6th.  We could have even gotten as high as second with the car being bent up, but with a 36 car field, we also could have finished 34th or 35th.  So it hasn’t been an ideal start, but it’s better than the start we got off to last year for sure.  It’s been good timing to come to Stafford where we run so well.  Last year we set the track record in qualifying and finished 2nd  in the race.  Coming home to Stafford is always nice for us, no matter how the season has started.”

When it comes to the Whelen Modified Tour and Stafford, Coby has been the man to beat over the last three years.  In the 11 NWMT races run at Stafford since 2015, Coby has 4 wins and 3 second place finishes to go along with 7 pole positions.  Coby has qualified in the top-3 in 10 consecutive Stafford races, including a run of 6 consecutive pole positions from the 2015 NAPA Fall Final through the 2017 NAPA Spring Sizzler®.

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Craig Lutz Looking for First Whelen Modified Tour Win in NAPA Spring Sizzler® at Stafford Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT —  The 2018 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season is only 2 races old, but Craig Lutz, driver of the #46 Riverhead Building Supply Chevrolet is off to the best start of his young career. Starting only his third full season on Tour, Miller Place, NY native, Lutz heads into the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler® coming off a career-best second place finish at Thompson. Lutz is looking to continue the wave of positive momentum with a strong run in the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler® and possibly score his very first career NWMT victory.

“I think we’ll have a good shot at the Sizzler,” said Lutz. “Stafford is one of my favorite tracks and we’ve run well at Stafford so far. 200-laps is a long race so hopefully we’ll be able to be there at the end. I think we can definitely be a top-5 car or challenging for the win. If we can improve just a little over how we’ve run in the past, we can win the Sizzler. We come to the track to win and winning is why we put all the time and effort that we do. To win the Sizzler, that’s one of the biggest races of the year for the Whelen Modified Tour and that’s the race that I want to win.”

Lutz’s career career-best second place finish at Thompson, combined with his 9th place finish in the season opener at Myrtle Beach, has him sitting second in the NWMT points standings heading into the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler®. With Lutz still in search of his first NWMT win, Stafford might be just the track for Lutz to break into the winner’s circle. In 7 career Stafford starts, Lutz has 4 top-10 finishes, including top-10 runs in all three NWMT races at Stafford last season. Lutz scored his first career pole position at Stafford last August and he will be looking to continue his excellent start to the 2018 season in the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler®.

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Discount NAPA Spring Sizzler® Tickets Available at NAPA Auto Parts Stores

Stafford Springs, CT — Race season is about to kick-off in Stafford Springs, CT. In just under 2 weeks the 2018 race schedule at Stafford Speedway will begin with the 47th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler® Weekend on April 28th and 29th. Eight divisions of short track racing will compete on the half-mile including the stars of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. The NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler®, dubbed the “Greatest Race in the History of Spring”, is a grueling 200 lap race that will see teams operating with new pit road rules allowing only one tire change per stop.

For the 5th consecutive season discount tickets for the iconic event are available at NAPA Auto Parts Stores throughout New England and New York. Fans who stop in their local NAPA Auto Parts Store can purchase tickets that include a lunch buffet for just $38 and $15 for ages 14 and under. The buffet will be held prior to feature racing getting underway on Sunday, April 29th in the Stafford Speedway banquet hall. NAPA Spring Sizzler® tickets are available at 71 NAPA Auto Parts Stores throughout the region including 45 stores in Connecticut, 14 in Massachusetts, 7 in New York, 4 in Vermont, and 1 in Rhode Island. For a full list of participating NAPA Auto Parts Stores, please visit www.staffordspeedway.com.

The 47th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler® is shaping up to be one of the most competitive in recent history. Over 30 entries have already been received for the 200-lap event including defending NAPA Spring Sizzler winner Ryan Preece. Coming off his 2nd career NASCAR Xfinity Series win driving for Joe Gibbs Racing, Preece is returning to his home track in search of being only the 9th driver to win two Sizzler’s in a row. A long list of drivers stand in Preece’s way of back to back titles including three-time NAPA Spring Sizzler winner and five-time Whelen Modified Tour Champion Doug Coby, two-time Stafford SK Modified® Champion Rowan Pennink, and three-time Sizzler winner Bobby Santos, III.

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Jon McKennedy Geared Up for NAPA Spring Sizzler® at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — After a strong run at Thompson and a win at Myrtle Beach in the 2018 Whelen Modified Tour season opener, Jon McKennedy is anxious to get back to victory lane at Stafford Speedway for the April 28-29 NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler®.  If recent history is anything to go by, then McKennedy is sure to be all smiles when he arrives with the Tommy Baldwin, Jr. owned #7 Accell Construction team.  McKennedy has 4 career wins at Stafford with 3 of those wins coming in the last 2 years.  McKennedy won the VMRS 80 in Sept. 2016 and he won both Modified Touring Series events last season at Stafford.

“Stafford is a track that I’ve really started to like over the last several years with winning a few races and I’m definitely looking forward to the Spring Sizzler®,” said McKennedy.  “I started to figure the track out several years ago with the help of a few people and I think we can come to Stafford and have a real good chance to win a race this season.  Our confidence is high at the moment.  Having a good shot with a good car and good people around me will definitely make my job easier.”

When the McKennedy-Baldwin pairing was announced, there were many prognosticators who foresaw the new combination doing great things and thus far they have lived up to the billing.  McKennedy won his first race at New Smyrna in February and he followed that up with a weekend sweep by winning at Myrtle Beach and then the very next day winning at Caraway Speedway.

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$500 Bonus Posted for Whelen Modified Tour Events in Honor of Ted Christopher

Stafford Springs, CT — When the 2018 season at Stafford Speedway begins, the paddock area will be different.  For the first time in nearly 30 years the winningest driver in Stafford Speedway history, Ted Christopher, will not unload his signature #13 SK Modified®.  After tragically losing the racing legend last fall the racing community is coming together to continue the legacy of TC in the only way we know how, through racing.

Former NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour car owner George Bierce has posted $500 bonuses for each of the three NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour events being held at Stafford Speedway this season.  Starting with the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler® 200 on Sunday, April 29th, competitors will be eligible for the bonus which will be paid throughout the field.  The 13th place qualifier, 13th place car on lap 13, and 13th place finisher will each receive a $100 bonus while the winner will receive $200 for a total bonus of $500.

“I wanted to do something to honor Teddy,” explained George Bierce, owner and operator of Major Motion Transport.  “I’ve known Ted for a long time.  I sponsored his cars when he ran for Billy “Bear” Calicchio and raced against him for a long time.  He was a fierce competitor and a friend, we’ll miss him. I’m glad we can put up a bonus in his honor.”

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Rowan Pennink Looking for First NAPA Spring Sizzler® Victory

Stafford Springs, CT — Rowan Pennink is ready to battle for the checkered flag in the 47th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler® on April 28-29 at Stafford Speedway. Although Pennink has won 19 SK Modified® races and two VMRS races at Stafford, he is still in search of his first NWMT victory at the Connecticut half-mile facility. Pennink has a strong career record in “The Greatest Race in the History of Spring” with an average finish of 7.5 in 10 starts and he hopes that 2018 will be his year to add his name to the list of NAPA Spring Sizzler winners.

“I’m excited about the Tour this season,” said Pennink. “It was disappointing that I couldn’t make it down to Myrtle Beach with my back but better to be safe than sorry when it comes to letting my back get healed up. We finished third at Thompson so I’m excited to get back in the car and head to Stafford and get a good run in the NAPA Spring Sizzler®. I think we’ve made a lot of progress with the 3 car at Stafford and sometimes we’ve had better races than others but usually, we have a strong car. One of these times it’ll play out right for us and we’ll be out front and hopefully, we can get a Tour win at Stafford.”

One area that Pennink could take advantage of is the race strategy department. With drivers only allowed one tire change per pit stop, Pennink says the key for him will be to have fresh tires and good track position at the end of the race to be able to fight for the win.

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R.A.D. Auto Machine to Sponsor Limited Late Model Contingency

Stafford Springs, CT — New for the 2018 season, R.A.D. Auto Machine of Ludlow, MA will sponsor a weekly first place contingency bonus of $125 for the Limited Late Model division.  With the additional $125 bonus the total weekly purse for the division moves to $3,255 including an impressive $500 to win.

“The Limited Late Models are an important division in the Stafford Speedway ladder program,” explained Don Wood, owner and operator of R.A.D. Auto Machine.  “The cars in the Limited Late Model division are ideal for gaining experience, especially at Stafford.  There is a long list of successful graduates of the Limited Late Model division and that will continue to grow as more drivers move up.  I’m glad we are able to support Stafford and the Limited Late Model division.”

The Limited Late Model division will have a mix of old and new faces for the 2018 season including the return of two-time track champion Duane Provost, who is looking for his 3rd consecutive track championship in 2018.  Also returning for the new season are 2017 feature winners Jeremy Lavoie, Alexandra Fearn, R.J. Surdell, and Ryan Fearn, all of who are expected to contend with Provost for the 2018 championship.

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Chase Dowling to Chase Stafford SK Championship

Stafford Springs, CT — After posting 4 wins and finishing second in the 2017 SK Modified® standings at Stafford, Roxbury, CT native Chase Dowling has changed plans for the 2018 season. With the help of Ben Dodge and the support of his sponsors, Dowling is set to run for the 2018 SK Modified® championship at Stafford.

“We had a deal to race this year, but that fell through,” said Dowling. “I really wanted to race SK’s this year and thanks to the help of Ben Dodge along with my sponsors Wicked Motorsports, S & S Asphalt Paving, Hocon Industrial Gas, and Carrigan Heating and Air Conditioning, we were able to find a car and put a deal together at the last minute. Ben Dodge has been the shoulder that I’ve been leaning on for the past month. He always told me if I ever needed someone to talk to, I should give him a call. We numbered the car 36 in his honor, which is a number that has a lot of meaning for Ben. We’re basically running this deal like we did with my family operation a couple years ago and working on the car every day up here at the shop. There hasn’t really been an LFR car full-time at Stafford so I’m pretty excited to see what we can bring this season. It’s a bit of short notice, but we run the business during the day and then I’m picking away at the car every night. We’re in pretty good shape right now and we’ll be ready to go for the Sizzler.”

Despite the short time left before the first green flag of the 2018 season at the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler® on April 28-29, Dowling will be ready to hit the track full speed ahead. Dowling also isn’t worried about the lack of track time in the SK Modified® division with an LFR Chassis car.

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Stafford Drivers React to Kevin Harvick SK Modified® Contingency

Stafford Springs, CT — Since the March 23rd announcement of Kevin Harvick and KHI Management’s participation in Stafford’s SK Modified® contingency program, SK Modified® teams and drivers have been buzzing with excitement.  We caught up with a few SK Modified® drivers to talk about the Harvick sponsorship and the status of SK Modified® racing at Stafford.

Keith Rocco  

On Harvick: “I think it’s pretty spectacular to have someone like Kevin Harvick join Stafford Speedway.  It’s huge to have someone like him on board and to do something like that for Ted is great.  Kevin and all those Cup guys, they pretty much all started out where we started so for him to remember the grassroots level is pretty awesome.” 

On Stafford SK Modified® Racing: “Stafford puts on a show second to none, from the facility to the crowds to the social media.  They go above and beyond in everything they do so that makes everyone want to bring their best game to Stafford.  Everyone is there to win and no one holds back with their equipment.  If you want to win races and put your name in the spotlight, Stafford is definitely the place to do that and put your name in the spotlight.”

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Casagrande Builders Renews Stafford SK Modified® Contingency for 2018

Stafford Springs, CT — For the second consecutive season, Casagrande Builders of Stafford Springs, CT, will present a $125 weekly contingency bonus for the 2nd place finisher in the SK Modified® feature. Casagrande Builders, a long-time supporter of Stafford Motor Speedway’s weekly racing program, had previously announced sponsorship of the inaugural Casagrande Builders Street Stock 25, a new event for the street stock division paying $300 to win and $60 to start. With the announcement, the SK Modified® weekly purses hits a record high of $9,460 including $1,950 awarded to the winner weekly.

“SK Modified® racing is second to none in Northeast,” explained Rick Casagrande owner of Casagrande Builders. “I’ve been coming to Stafford for a long time and I’ve never seen racing quite like it, there’s 10 plus cars that can win on any given night. The racing is fantastic and we’re glad to be a part of it.”

Casagrande Builders is a local family-owned business founded in the 1960’s based in Stafford, CT. With a full slate of resources including a skid steer, backhoe, mini excavator, and lift, Casagrande Builders is equipped for any of your building, remodeling, or excavation needs. In addition to construction expertise, Casagrande Builders is fully equipped for snow removal in the winter months. Contact the team for your next project by reaching out on Facebook or giving them a call at 860-684-2673.

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Ronnie Williams Preparing for Busy NAPA Spring Sizzler® at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — When the green flag falls on the 47th Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler® at Stafford Speedway on April 28-29, one of the busiest drivers in the paddock area will be Ellington native Ronnie Williams. Williams will be splitting his weekend between the #50 SK Modified® team owned by the Skowyra family and the #21 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour car owned by the Bertuccio family.

Williams kicked off his 2018 season with a trip to New Smyrna Speedway in February for the World Series of Asphalt Racing with the Bertuccio crew to get a head start on their 2018 Whelen Modified Tour duties. Although the team met with some mechanical gremlins during their week in Florida, Williams is excited about his prospects of recording a top-10 finish at his hometrack, Stafford Speedway, in the 200-lap NAPA Spring Sizzler®.

“Between New Smyrna and the start of the Tour season, I already have 8 races under my belt this, so I’m excited about the Spring Sizzler,” said Williams. “We had some good speed at New Smyrna, we just didn’t get the finishes we wanted with some mechanical issues. I’m happy that we worked out some issues down in Florida rather than at Myrtle Beach. Myrtle Beach didn’t work out like we hoped it would so we’ll go to Thompson in search of a top-10 and then to Stafford and hope for another top-10 finish. There’s nothing better than coming to Stafford, my home track for Spring Sizzler Weekend and racing two different cars. The Spring Sizzler is definitely a race that I’m looking forward to.”

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Driscoll Motorsports Photography Flashes Contingency in 2018 at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway has announced that John and Andrea Driscoll of Driscoll Motorsports Photography have returned to the track’s contingency program for the 2018 season. DMS Photography will provide a $75 bonus to each Street Stock (formerly DARE Stock) feature winner this season. DMS Photography’s contingency bonus will push the Street Stock winner’s share from $150 up to $225.

“Driscoll Motorsports Photography has enjoyed the excitement that the former DARE Stock division has brought over the years and we’ve seen many of today’s top drivers get their start in this division,” said John and Andrea Driscoll. “With the rebranding of the division, hopefully our contribution will help attract new teams and help all the teams stay competitive throughout the season. If the Street Stocks are as competitive as the DARE’s have been in the past, I think our bonus will be paid out to many different winners this season. Everyone at the Driscoll MotorSports team wishes all competitors in all divisions the very best of luck this season.”

The 2018 season at Stafford will mark the 18th consecutive season that John and Andrea Driscoll have served as the official photographers of Stafford. DMS Racing Photos can be found in the photo booth located on the lower midway behind the main grandstand and they have a wide variety of products to offer to race fans and drivers alike. Driscoll Motorsports Photography offers sponsorship packages, hero cards, calendars, holiday greeting cards, framed photo prints and many other services to the teams and fans of Stafford Motor Speedway. DMS Racing Photos can also print out photos in their photo booth during an evening, allowing customers to take home photos from the very same night that they are at the track.

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N.E. Racing Fuel Powers Stafford’s Contingency Program for 20th Consecutive Season

Stafford Springs, CT — When the 2018 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season kicks off at Stafford Speedway, it will mark the 20th consecutive season New England Racing Fuel, Sunoco Brand with John Holland and Mike Joy have been part of the track’s contingency program.  N.E. Racing Fuel was a charter member of the contingency program in 1999 and have been a member every year since.  Since the 1999 season, N.E. Racing Fuel, Sunoco Brand has distributed over $125,000 in gas certificates to drivers from each of Stafford’s NASCAR Weekly All-American Series racing divisions.

“Wow, it’s hard to believe that 2018 will be our 20th consecutive season in the contingency program,” said John Holland of New England Racing Fuel.  “I think the fact that we’ve been in the program for 20 years in row now speaks volumes about how we feel about being a part of the contingency program at Stafford.  We’ve always received great feedback from the drivers over the years and we enjoy being part of the Friday night program.  We think Stafford has the best weekly short track racing that you’ll find anywhere and we’re all looking forward to watching another exciting season of NASCAR racing.”

When New England Racing Fuel first joined the Stafford Contingency Program in 1999, they supported the SK Modified® ProStock, and Late Model divisions.  Since the 1999 season, Stafford’s weekly division lineup has evolved to now include SK Lights, Limited Late Models, and the rebranded Street Stocks along with the SK Modifieds® and Late Models.  For the 2018 season, New England Racing Fuel, Sunoco Brand will provide the top-3 finishers from all five divisions along with the top finishing rookie driver in each feature event with a $25 gas certificate.  With 22 races on the schedule, New England Racing Fuel, Sunoco Brand will offer competitors over $10,000 in gas certificates during the 2018 season.

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Kevin Harvick Posts Weekly Bonus in Honor of Ted Christopher at Stafford Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — Following his March 11th victory at ISM Raceway, Kevin Harvick expressed his frustration with the disconnect between the short tracks of America and the highest levels of NASCAR.  ‘When I look at our hardcore fans, they’re all sitting at those short tracks and they’re mad,’ Harvick said in his post-race press conference following his 2nd consecutive win.  Since that remark, the NASCAR community has been buzzing with talk of returning to the roots and supporting local short track racing.  Harvick, the 2014 Cup Series Champion, is backing up his comments with contingency support at Stafford Speedway in 2018.

Through his company, KHI Management, Harvick will present two weekly bonuses to the SK Modified® division in 2018, both in honor of Stafford Speedway legend Ted Christopher.  Weekly, both the leader on lap-13 and the 13th place finisher will receive a $125 bonus provided by Kevin Harvick and KHI Management in remembrance of Ted Christopher’s number 13.

“I’m glad we’ve been able to start the conversations about local short tracks and local racers,” said Kevin Harvick.  “Most all of us came from local short tracks, and it’s important not to forget where we came from.  These tracks, racers, and fans are an integral part of the motorsports community.  It doesn’t take millions to make a difference.  My hope is to continue the conversation with this contingency program, because a little can go a long way at the local levels.”

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Dunleavy’s Gamblers Challenge Rolls On for the NAPA SK 5K

Stafford Springs, CT — For the 4th consecutive season, Doug Dunleavy of Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer repair will present the Dunleavy’s Gamblers Challenge at the NAPA Auto Parts SK 5K.  What has become one of the marquee events on the Stafford Speedway schedule, the 2018 running of the 100-lap SK Modified® event will be the 5th annual.  The Dunleavy’s Gamblers Challenge bonus has been posted for 3 of the 4 NAPA SK 5K events and has increased the base purse by over $15,000 in 3 years.

“I love the modifieds, but there’s something about that race that gets everyone excited,” explained Doug Dunleavy.  “The SK Modified® racing at Stafford is the best weekly racing in the country and the NAPA SK 5K is the event everyone wants to win.  The Gamblers Challenge is fun because you won’t know who wins the bonus until the end of the race when the winner pulls the lucky chip.  Chase [Dowling] dominated last year and won nearly $6,000, a few years ago Ryan Preece won over $12,000.  This is a heck of a race, I hope all the fans and drivers are pumped up.”

The Gamblers Challenge bonus is unique in many aspects.  Drivers enter the challenge prior to the race by posting $100 which is then matched by Dunleavy.  The more drivers that enter, the higher the bonus.  Last season’s NAPA SK 5K saw all 27 starters entered in the challenge for a bonus of $5,400.  At the conclusion of the race, the winning driver draws one of four chips designating the bonus payout.  Based on last year’s $5,400 pot, the draw included:

$5,400 Bonus to the Winner
$1,080 to each of the top 5 finishers
$1,080 to each of the 6th through 10th finishers
$540 to each of the 11th through 20th finishers

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Call Before You Dig 811 Challenge Returns to Stafford; Paying $4,055

Stafford Springs, CT — For the past five seasons, Call Before You Dig has partnered with Stafford Motor Speedway to bring drivers one of the most unique contingency programs in all of racing with the CBYD 811 Challenge.  The CBYD 811 Challenge is a contingency that is available to all drivers at Stafford, regardless of division and will reward 5 lucky drivers with an $811 bonus for a total contribution of $4,055.  The CBYD 811 challenge will return to Stafford for the sixth consecutive season, beginning with the 47th  Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler® on April 28-29 and culminating with the August 10th Five-Star Series program.

The CBYD 811 Challenge utilizes a special points system to determine the five drivers who will each receive the $811 bonus.  During the 2018 season, drivers earn 100 points for a victory, and each subsequent position is worth 5 points less.  The five drivers who come the closest to accumulating 811 points without going over through the August 10th 5-Star Series program will each take home an $811 bonus.  The CBYD 811 Challenge bonuses will be awarded to the winning drivers on Friday, August 17th as part of the CBYD Late Model 50 program on CBYD 811 Night.  CBYD has distributed $20,275 to Stafford drivers over the past 5 years and this year’s CBYD 811 Challenge will bring the total contribution to Stafford drivers up to nearly $25,000. 

“Call Before You Dig is happy to continue our partnership with Stafford with the CBYD 811 Challenge program,” said Derek Brown, Vice President of Damage Prevention and Education at CBYD.  “Stafford Speedway has been a great partner to have in helping us to get the word out about calling CBYD before you undertake any project that requires digging into the ground.  With the way the points are awarded for the CBYD 811 Challenge, everyone here has fun keeping track of the CBYD 811 standings throughout the season and we’re happy that we can put together a program that benefits all of the drivers rather than focusing strictly on one division.  It’s appropriate that the program begins in April (Safe Digging Month) and ends in early August to help promote 811 Day (August 11th).”

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Joey Ferrigno Looking to Rebound in 2018

Stafford Springs, CT — For most drivers, a season that yields a win and a top-10 finish in the points standings would be considered a good year, but not for East Hartford native Joey Ferrigno. Since joining the SK Light division in 2012 where he won Rookie of the Year honors, Ferrigno has had only one season where he finished outside the top-5 in the points standings prior to last year.

“We had some problems last year that we didn’t catch 100%,” said Ferrigno. “We got a win and were up front a couple of weeks and for the average person that would probably be a good year, but coming off our last couple seasons, it was a disappointment for us. We thought maybe it was the different tire compound so we changed a bunch of stuff and the car just wouldn’t respond and get better. We took the car down to zero over the winter and found a couple of issues that we had overlooked. The car wasn’t as straight as it could have been and we had some front end parts that weren’t the same as they used to be so the adjustments we made to the car weren’t working. All those little things snowballed into a big problem and we were looking for a big problem to fix instead of looking for smaller issues. It was a tough year but I’d like to thank Gino with RH2 Radios, D’Addario’s Auto Service, Stevens Duct Work, Pinto Manufacturing, MTS Products, The Wheel Shop, and George for sticking with us.”

Having won 12 SK Light races from 2014-2016 and with 15 SK Light wins overall to his credit, Ferrigno is no stranger to winning SK Light feature events at Stafford. Despite his winning pedigree, the lack of results last season caused not only Ferrigno, but his crew chief Paul French as well to wonder if they just didn’t have what it took to win any more.

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Keith Rocco Looking to Carry Momentum into 2018

Stafford Springs, CT — With the 2018 season at Stafford Speedway less than 6 weeks away, defending SK Modified® champion Keith Rocco is looking forward to getting back to his winning ways on the track.  The driver of the #88 Wheelers Auto Chevrolet scored his third career SK Modified® track title last year and his 2 wins moved his career SK Modified® win total to 45 races, only 2 wins behind Bo Gunning for second place on Stafford’s all-time SK Modified® wins list.

“We’re really excited for the season,” said Rocco.  “We’ve been working hard over the winter and it was really great to finish last season off with 2 wins and end on a high note.  It’s always a morale booster for everyone to end the season like that.  It definitely sends you into the next season full steam ahead and ready to pick up where we left off.  I have to thank Wheelers Auto with John and Maina Rufrano, Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair, FK Rod Ends, and Pettit Racing Engines for their support.”

While his championship effort last year was the third of his career at Stafford, it might have been the most impressive title that Rocco has won.  Rocco entered the final 2 races of last season with no wins to his credit and he trailed Chase Dowling by 34 points, or 17 positions on the track.  With only 2 races left to determine the champion, Rocco and the #88 team were able to deliver their 2 best performances of the season and they won both races, which was good enough to give the championship to Rocco by a 6 point margin over Dowling. 

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Brett Gonyaw Has The Spark of a Champion

Stafford Springs, CT — For the 2018 season, SK Light driver Brett Gonyaw will be looking to pick up right where he left off after a breakout 2017 season at Stafford Speedway.  Prior to last year, Gonyaw had made only 3 starts at Stafford, but made the most of his first full season by posting 2 wins, 9 top-5, and 12 top-10 finishes.  Gonyaw’s breakout season also saw him emerge as a championship contender, not only at Stafford but through the Champions Spark Plugs Search for A Champion contest.  With a stellar campaign under his belt, Gonyaw is looking forward to returning and once again running up front at the Connecticut half-mile facility.

“The whole team is pretty pumped as far as getting back to racing,” said Gonyaw.  “Last year was our first full season at Stafford and we came with high hopes after some good runs at some other tracks and we wanted to race a full year at what we feel is the best track around.”

Gonyaw’s 2017 season didn’t get off to the best of starts, with finishes of 26th, 27th, and 14th sandwiched around a 3rd place finish in the first four races.  But Gonyaw’s season turned around for the better with the big money, extra distance Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night race on June 9th.  Gonyaw and the #81 Johnny’s Mud Runs team took the checkered flag to pick up his first career Stafford win and take home an SK Light record payday of $2,025 between purse and contingencies.

“That race was kind of funny because we had some bad luck in the races before that and had to race our way into the field through the consi,” said Gonyaw.  “We started deep in the field but with the extra laps, we had plenty of time to get to the front.  With 19 laps to go, we started picking guys off one by one and when the two leaders got together in front of us and we were in the right place at the right time to take over the lead.  We started out as a learning team and after that race, we were pumped up looking for wins.  It took us a while to get another win but that race really set the bar for the rest of our season.  I think I have a target on my back this year for the Dunleavy’s Modifiedz event.  Everyone is going to be hunting for us for that race.  That was 100% a turning point for us last year and it was great to put some money in the bank that we were able to use for parts and pieces on the car that we needed to finish the season out.”

Gonyaw will be looking forward to Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night on May 25th this season but also has high hopes for his entry in the 2018 Champion Spark Plugs Search for a Champion contest, which will award the grand prize winner $50,000.  Gonyaw entered the contest in 2017 and was one of the 10 runners-up.  Stafford fans can help Gonyaw become the 2018 winner by visiting his www.gonyawmotorsports.com website and clicking the link to vote.

“We found out about the contest 2 years ago right after the season ended,” said Gonyaw.  “We submitted some photos and a video to the Champion website.  We had to promote it and get likes and shares through the Champion website to make it to the next round.  There is one grand prize winner for $50,000 and they have 10 runners-up.  We were one of the 11 finalists last season and received about $6,000 from Champion.  That money really helped complete the puzzle for us since we started off the year with a very small budget.  They determine a winner through a combination of depiction of a champion, inspirational quality, and the number of votes you get.  Winning the $50,000 prize this year, would be a huge weight off our shoulders with funding the car for the entire season.  We could worry about what we need to do instead of what we have to do.  I always say if we can start the season as a Champion then we should be able to end the season as a Champion.  To vote for me, just go to www.gonyawmotorsports.com and there is a link that will bring you to the voting section on the Champion website.  Fans have to register with Champion and then they can vote for us once a day.  The last day to vote is March 23.”

The 2018 SK Light season kicks off with the 47th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler® on April 27-29. Tickets for the “Greatest Race in the History of Spring” are on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $40.00 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating is priced at $42.00 for all ages. As always, Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available. All tickets are good for both Saturday and Sunday admission. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax.  Discount Spring Sizzler® tickets will be available beginning the week of Monday, March 19 at participating NAPA Auto Parts stores.  For a list of the participating NAPA stores for the 2018 season, please go to http://staffordmotorspeedway. com/participating-napa-auto- parts-stores/.

For more information contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.

Sources: Scott Running/Stafford Motor Speedway PR

Stafford’s SK Modified® & Late Model Weekly Purses Increasing in 2018

Stafford Springs, CT — Capping off a pre-season of improved purse structures, Stafford Speedway management is proud to announce the SK Modified® and Late Model divisions will be receiving an enhanced purse in 2018.  These increases for the SK and Late Model divisions follow the previously announced purse increases for the SK Lights, Limited Late Model, and Street Stocks.

“Our commitment is 100% behind our weekly competitors and we will continue to focus our efforts in supporting their programs,” explained Stafford Speedway General Manager Mark Arute.  “We are looking at a strong contingent of drivers and teams for the SK Modified® and Late Model divisions and the increased weekly payouts will ensure an exciting season.”

Both the Late Model and SK Modified® weekly purses will increase by just under 10% for the new season.  The SK Modified® division will have a base purse of $1,500 to win with a total purse of $8,560 while the Late Model base purse will be moved to $800 to win with a total purse of $5,375.  Last place payout will move to $150 and $120 for the SK Modified® and Late Models respectively. 

Continue reading ‘Stafford’s SK Modified® & Late Model Weekly Purses Increasing in 2018’

Todd Douillard Eyes First Win in Stafford’s SK Lights

Stafford Springs, CT — With the dawn of a new season just over the horizon, Stafford Speedway SK Light driver Todd Douillard has been busy preparing his #16 Marcotte Ford machine in hopes of recording his first feature win.  Douillard got started in the SK Light division in 2013 and in five seasons his best career finish has been a pair of second place efforts during the 2016 season.  Douillard feels like he has everything he needs in place in order to score his first victory at Stafford.

“We’re looking forward to getting back on the track,” said Douillard.  “We had the entire car redone and now are building on it to make it even better.  We’re going to take things one week at a time and see how things go. We want to win some races this season.  Chris Kopec is helping us out and he gives me some good advice and I know I need to be a little more aggressive on the track.  We bought a backup car in case it’s needed.  We noticed a lot of other teams were going that route so we have to do the same to stay on top of the game.  With a backup car in place, I can afford to be a little more aggressive in trying to go for wins.  We have Marcotte Ford, Collision Plus Auto Body, and Kopec’s Auto as our sponsors this year and I also have to thank Grandpa and Grandma Lusty, and my car owner Fred Silliker.  Also, I’m excited that my cousin Hunter Duquette will be starting in the Cubs division in Wild Thing Karts on Monday nights with the same paint scheme as we have on the SK Light car.”

As Douillard prepares for the upcoming season, he has an extra confidence about himself thanks to his team’s off-season maintenance work on the #16 car.  Douillard’s team purchased their car from NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour driver Eric Goodale.

Continue reading ‘Todd Douillard Eyes First Win in Stafford’s SK Lights’

Purse over $3,000 for R.A.D. Auto Machine Street Stock 30

Stafford Springs, CT — Following last week’s announcement of the Casagrande Builders Street Stock 25, the excitement surrounding the 2018 season for the Street Stock division at Stafford Speedway has been high.  In addition to the increased weekly purse and lap count, as well as the new Casagrande Builders 25, the Street Stock division will take center stage for a 2nd time in 2018 with the R.A.D. Auto Machine Street Stock 30 on Friday, September 7th. The event will boast a $3,415 purse and will pay $500 to win and $100 to start.

“The Street Stock division is the heart and soul of weekly racing at Stafford and throughout the northeast,” explained Don Wood of R.A.D. Auto Machine.  “The division has served as a stepping stone for so many drivers while also acting as a great affordable division for all ages and levels of racing.  We are excited to offer a purse of over $3,000 as well as $500 to win, this should be another exciting event on the 2018 schedule.”

The longest race in the history of the Street Stocks, the 30-lap distance will be a test for teams and drivers.  Historically the Street Stocks, formerly the Dare Stock division, competed at a weekly distance of 15 laps, making the 30-lap feature on September 7th double the distance.  Drivers and teams will have a full season of preparation as the 30-lap special will be held in early September.

Continue reading ‘Purse over $3,000 for R.A.D. Auto Machine Street Stock 30’

Brandon Michael Going the Distance at Stafford in 2018

Stafford Springs, CT — After running a partial season in 2017, Granville, MA native Brandon Michael has his sights on running the full Street Stock schedule at Stafford Speedway and challenging for the track championship this season.

“The plan is to run for the championship this year,” said Michael. “We were one of the cars to beat the couple of times we showed up last year, we were just lacking a couple of things. We’re switching over to the manual transmission, which I think was the main thing we were lacking last season and we’re looking to have a lot of fun this year. The main thing for us is to be consistent every week, not necessarily winning every week, but being on the podium and keeping the points rolling.”

Michael is a 7-year veteran of what was formerly known as the DARE Stock division and although he has only run a full season in three of those seven years, he knows what it takes to be among the championship contenders. Michael and the #74 All Season Small Engine Repair team challenged Johnny Walker right down to the wire during the 2016 season and finished second in the standings. In his limited 2017 schedule he posted 6 top-5 and 8 top-10 finishes. With the level of experience he has built up through seven seasons of competition, Michael feels like 2018 will be his year to shine.

Continue reading ‘Brandon Michael Going the Distance at Stafford in 2018’

Justin Bren Returns to Limited Late Model Division at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — After sitting out the 2017 season at Stafford Speedway, Palmer, MA native Justin Bren will return to the Limited Late Model ranks for the 2018 season with his eyes set on contending for the track championship.  With a new #66 Bertera Chevrolet machine at his disposal, Bren is excited for the season and he can’t wait to get back to driving after a season of helping out his fellow Rob Russell Chassis teammates.

“I sat out last year and helped a few guys who use Rob Russell Chassis and it was tough for me to not want to throw my firesuit on and get back in the car,” said Bren.  “I’m really looking forward to going fast again like Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights.  My old car was an original Limited Late Model car and not that there was anything wrong with that but it was built for a guy who was 160 pounds and 5’5”.  I’m 6’2” and a lot heavier than that so it’s kind of nice to be working with a car that was built for me and I’m more comfortable in the driver’s seat then I ever have been.  Driver comfort is huge when it comes to going fast in these cars so I think that will play into my hands and I’ll be able to go faster.  I think the big difference will be the new car.  Basically, the only things I have from my old car is the motor, the transmission, and the seat.  There’s been a lot of rule changes since the Limited Late Model division began so having the right chassis for the job will be key.”

As Bren prepares to take on his 6th season of Limited Late Model competition, he is not feeling worried about when he hits the track for the first time in 2018.

Continue reading ‘Justin Bren Returns to Limited Late Model Division at Stafford’

Kevin Gambacorta Ready to Challenge for Late Model Title at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — Since his rookie season in 2012, Ellington native Kevin Gambacorta has become a mainstay in Stafford Speedway’s Late Model division in the yearly chase for the championship. Gambacorta finished 9th in the standings as a rookie in 2012 but he has finished either 3rd or 4th in each of the past 5 seasons in the standings. Gambacorta and the #23 Rafferty Fine Grading/LifeCare Family Chiropractic team finished the 2017 season tied for 2nd with Tom Fearn coming agonizingly close to making Stafford history as the first driver to win championships in three different divisions. With a new Dodge Charger body on his #23 car, Gambacorta is ready to once again challenge for a Late Model championship.

“We just put a new Dodge Charger body on the car,” said Gambacorta. “I used to run the Charger body back in the Limited Late Model days and we won a couple championships with it so maybe the new body will bring back some of our good luck. We were really good last year but there was one night halfway through the season where we got in an early wreck which knocked the toe out of the car and after that the car was terrible. We could never figure it out all season long. We tried so many different things and the car just wouldn’t turn. It would be good for a lap or two and then it wouldn’t turn after that. After the season was over we brought the car down to Jay Stuart and he’s gone through the entire car so hopefully we’ve gotten the chassis figured out.”

Looking at the numbers and Gambacorta’s 2017 season was indeed a tale of two halves. Gambacorta recorded 6 podium finishes, including his lone win, in the first 10 races while he was only able to record one podium finish over the final 7 races. With the championship margin being so small at only 8 points, Gambacorta feels like the championship might have been in their grasp and slipped away.

Continue reading ‘Kevin Gambacorta Ready to Challenge for Late Model Title at Stafford’

Alexander Pearl Joins Robust SK Light Rookie Class at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — When the first green flag falls on the 2018 SK Light season at Stafford Speedway, it will begin an intense duel for R.A.D. Auto Machine Rookie of the Year honors.  Salem, CT native Alexander Pearl is one of currently 10 rookie drivers signed up for the 2018 season, including 5 graduates of the Monday night Wild Thing Karts program.  Pearl raced for 6 seasons in the Wild Thing Kart ranks, winning a total of 20 feature events and the 2014 Junior Outlaw championship.  Pearl continued his championship-winning ways by taking home the Mini Stock title at Monadnock Speedway last season and he is looking forward to his first full season of SK Light competition at Stafford.

“I’m pretty excited,” said Pearl.  “I ran twice last season and I got a good feel for the car.  I’ve been going to Stafford for a long time to watch the races so it’s going to be pretty cool to actually be out there racing.  The competition is going to be very tough.  The SK Lights had to run consi events last year, so there’s going to be a lot of cars and a lot of stiff competition on the track.”

Pearl will carry sponsorship from Darling Auto Parts on his #7 machine along with support from Cliff Nelson and Mike V.  Despite his plans to run for Rookie of the Year, Pearl says that he is still in search of sponsorship that will allow him to comfortably run the full season.

Continue reading ‘Alexander Pearl Joins Robust SK Light Rookie Class at Stafford’

iRacing.com Joins Stafford Speedway Contingency Program

Stafford Springs, CT — New for the 2018 season iRacing.com, the global leader in online racing simulation, will present a weekly $125 bonus to the winner of the Late Model feature.  iRacing is the leading online racing simulation on the market.  Developed as a centralized racing and competition service, iRacing has evolved into the next generation of simracing software used by professional drivers and casual gamers alike.  At Stafford, the list of drivers that prepare for the season by using the iRacing service is long with countless drivers improving their craft online.

The Late Model division was the most competitive division at Stafford in 2017 with 8 different winners.  27 different drivers competed in the Late Models over the course of the season with Glen Reen edging out 4-time track champion Tom Fearn by 8 points to capture his first career Stafford Championship.  The 2018 season promises to be much of the same with all but 1 of the 8 winners returning to compete.

“We are very excited to have an internationally recognized brand such as iRacing join our weekly contingency program at Stafford Speedway,” explained Stafford Motor Speedway General Manager Mark Arute.  “The team at iRacing came out to Stafford over 10 years ago and did their initial scan and setup of the track, the SK Modifieds®, and Late Models.  We are excited to have them as a weekly contingency sponsor on our Late Model division.”

Continue reading ‘iRacing.com Joins Stafford Speedway Contingency Program’

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.

Continue reading ‘New Sponsorship Has Matt Clement Primed for Breakout Season at Stafford’

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.

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

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.

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




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