Champ’s Return: Bo Gunning Ready For Modified Homecoming At Stafford Speedway In NAPA SK 5K

Bo Gunning (right) with his nephew Nick Salva

Bo Gunning (right) with his nephew Nick Salva

When Bo Gunning decided to return to SK Modified racing this year for team owner David Jackson, he was hoping to do it full-time at Stafford Motor Speedway.

Jackson’s plans though revolved around running the New London-Waterford Speedbowl with the Bethlehem driver.

But Friday Gunning will get his wish for a return to the facility he considers his home track.

Gunning and his Jackson owned team will be at Stafford for Friday’s NAPA 5K SK.

“It’s like a dream come true to get back there and race again,” Gunning said.

Gunning is a three-time SK Modified champion at Stafford (1983, 1998, 2002). He sits second on the track’s SK Modified all-time win list with 47 feature victories, the last of which came on May 30, 2008.

“I’m going to say something I’ve never said in my life,” the 58-year old Gunning said. “I’d be ecstatic with a top-three finish. We’re going there to win, don’t get me wrong, but it’s tough competition now. I’m not 25 years old, but I believe I can still do it and I think we can still do it so we’re going to go try to do it.”

Gunning made his last start at the track about four years ago in a car he owned that is now driven regularly in the division by his nephew, Nick Salva.

“It’s going to work out good, I’m excited,” Gunning said. “Bob Buffington, who helps out Nick now and worked with me for years, he came down and actually him and Nick helped set the car up. Bob knows what I liked and what worked for us up there over the years and Nick knows all the little things that have changed. I’m hoping we’re going to be good. We’re all really excited about going.”

The schedule for the NAPA SK 5K running this weekend worked out perfect for the Jackson owned team. The Speedbowl is dark on Saturday. Despite the pomp that surrounds the event as one of the highlighs of SK Modified racing in Southern New England, Gunning said he’s looking at it as just another race.

“I think when you’re in the car racing you don’t really think about what the event is,” Gunning said. “But I think it’s pretty neat. … It’s good they do this. We run for peanuts most of the time. I’ve spent at Waterford this year, $10,000 just going to the track every week. It’s crazy. But this is neat. We talked about and I’ve won a few [longer races] up there so I think we can pace ourselves and make something happen.”


  1. beverly siegmann says

    when racing is in your blood, there is no such thing as retiring. i have watched bo race since he was 4 yrs old and i was 9. Bo Gunning definitely has racing racing through his veins. as do all of his family, crew and fans. he always entertains the grandstands, be it his ability to drive and drive hard or not. he has an innate ability to move through traffic unscathed, sometimes miraculously. i think this goes back to his quarter midget days, where the fastest car starts last. of course, a lot depends on the other cars, as you never know when one of them will tap your bumper and send you into a spin. for Bo, all this means is start at the back and weave his way back up to the front again. provided, of course that there is not major damage to the car. good luck, Bo!! LET ‘ER RIP!!!

  2. TC is excited!!!

  3. Look out says

    This guy is an absolute menace at the Speedbowl and will be one at Stafford as well.

  4. I predict he will wreck someone or get wrecked. I’m not too confident in a top 3.

  5. mitchell says

    good luck bo dont let the guy calling him self ‘look out’ bother you he’s an ass i bet he never watched you at stafford winning races and winning 47 races

  6. Mark Fisher says

    Mitchell :Bo may have been a serious contender in the past but now he’s both out of shape physically and on the race track . He started on the pole twice down at the bowl and has only manage to salvage one top 10 all season long !

  7. Hey that guy just said a swear word !

  8. Ass's ass says

    Ass is not a swear word. LOL

  9. Bo knows racing
    I am thinking top 3
    Heading to loudon to watch this dunleavys 5k race tonight
    I will meet you all there

  10. Justafan says

    Top 3 will never happen if he leaves with a top 15 is more realistic. I witnessed almost all his 47 wins and yes he was a beast but those days are gone. I predict a dnf myself but all the luck to him maybe if he had a better car cause yea he can still drive but i just dont see with that car if he can’t keep up at bowl he has no chance at stafford

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