Senior Class: Dan Avery Scores Dominant SK Modified Win At Stafford Speedway

Dan Avery

Dan Avery

STAFFORD – First it was 31-year old Keith Rocco challenging. Then it was 30-year old Rowan Pennink giving chase.

Add those ages together and they’re just able to reach the man they were pursuing to the checkered flag Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway.

Sixty-one year old Dan Avery staved off all challengers in rolling to victory in the 42-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway.

Avery, of Somers, led every lap on the way to his fourth career SK Modified victory at the track. He got his last win at Stafford before Friday on Sept. 13, 2013. His first and second wins came on May 14, 1982 and May 21, 1982.

Pennink, of Huntingon Valley, Pa. – the reigning SK Modified champion and 15-time winner over the last four seasons – was second. Rocco, of Wallingford, a 42-time winner and two-time champion in the division since 2005 – was third.

“I know I had a pole shot, but I’ll tell you what, they didn’t make it easy on me,” Avery said. “I held off some of the best in the business and we’re real proud of it. We’ve got one hell of a racecar for the rest of the season.”

“It’s an awesome feeling,” Avery said. “I knew I could still do it in my heart, I just needed to have that car under me. I know even last year we had cars at times that were fast, they just would give up near the end of the race. They would either get loose or tight, they would lose grip. Bringing [setup man Stash Butova] on was definitely a bonus for us. He’s giving me a hell of a setup. The car is just fast on lap one as it is on lap 40, so we’re thrilled.”

Avery was thought to be the oldest winner in the history of the division when he won in 2013.

“Extending my record by three years,” he said. “… Age is just a number. I feel like I’m 30 out there.”

Rocco went to second on lap eight and Avery was able to hold off his challenges from behind over eight restarts.

“I learned one from one of the best when I used to race at Riverside Park Speedway, Reggie Ruggiero,” Avery said. “He taught me long ago how to do restarts and basically you’ve got to command the restart for yourself. You can’t let the second place car try to outfox you or command the restart.”

Pennink got by Rocco for second place on lap 40 and made a low bid on Avery into turn three on the final lap, but came up short on the drag race to the checkered.

“It was a good run for us tonight,” Pennink said. “We had a bunch of problems in the heat race and still didn’t get it running quite right. We had a shot, but we would have had a real good shot if we got that completely fixed.”

Said Rocco: “We’re hit and miss and hopefully we’ve got the thing back in the right direction for the last handful of races here.”


  1. wmass01013 says

    riverside park memories

  2. I am all for Dan Avery and his Stafford SK win.Most 61 year old men are reaching for another beer while Dan grabs high gear.What an accomplishment!Not fade away.

  3. Charlie Kunicki says

    Nice Win !

  4. Booker T says

    Avery must have made the choice not to go with Stash’s full set up as he was able to pass inspection after the feature.

  5. Some guy says

    Rock on Dan!!!!

  6. Joe White says

    Nice win Dan Avery. That was the best SK race I have seen this year. Usually when a driver wins from the pole, the race is boring. Not that SK race. All the so called big dogs got up there and raced with Dan, but none of them was able to pass him. There was some really fine racing going on in the pack also. Great racing at Stafford Motor Speedway.
    That being said, please can the go carts. I will not continue to pay the entry fee to see go carts race. That was a total waste of time. I mean no disrespect to the young drivers. They must learn how to race somewhere. I will probably see some of them racing in the bigger cars a few years from now. They can race Monday nights all they want. More power to them.

  7. Joe White says

    In the street stock feature race, the 4 big dogs started 4, 5, 6 and 7. Tom Fern was leading before the end of lap 3. There were 29 laps left in the race to watch the 92 drive around. There were at least 6 or 7 more cars in the race behind position 7 at the start. I cannot help but question the way the handicap system works.
    The previous week there were 7 cars in one of the SK Lite heat races with the 44 starting 3rd. He has won just about every week. In the feature he starts about 5th with 20 or more cars in the race. Where is the handicap? He should be starting about 15th place. Please, I have no problem with Tony Mambrino, in fact I like the guy. I like watching him race and passing on the outside like Ryan Preece. This is not about that.

  8. I am sure Mr. Avery blocked most of the racing surface as usual . Only way he got the win ! Seen it enough over the years . Makes his car very wide . So when I see him start up front the first thing I think of is … Oh great gotta get by Avery so we can race for the win …. Would be nice to see him race cleaner moving forward !

  9. Congrats Dan! I always rooted for the 10, and liked how Dan doesn’t take any bs on the track. You run him clean and he does the same. When Preece was winning 10 races a year, and using the bumper or running guys up lap after lap, Dan didn’t have a problem returning the favor to the golden child. For a two or three year stretch Preece showed zero respect for anyone on the track, but Dan and Frank Ruocco were the only two to put him in his place.

  10. Bob Parker says

    The event run this Friday was a continuation of the 7/22 event where only 11 cars qualified thru the heats for the Late Models. They ran two heats for which 4 qualified therefore only 8 cars were handicapped. Positions 4th thru 7th were all previous feature winners and were put in the order of their handicap. Position 8 was a car that had only run 1 event this season and was not in the top 18 in points. Any cars who did not qualify thru the heat and any new cars that arrived this week were put in the lineup at the rear. As for the SK Light lineup, it does appear strange but many of the qualified cars thru the heats had not been at the track racing the last three weeks so that pushed their handicap behind Tony.

    P.S. – I think Avery did a fine job Friday night MOD MAN.

  11. Bob thanks for clearing that up for Joe,it really wasn’t that difficult to figure out,and mod man I agree Dan does more than his share of blocking but Fri was not one of those nights he was quick

  12. Some guy says

    Sorry “Mod man”…..Too many SK drivers at Stafford that will punt you out of the way if you try that for 42 laps….Let us hear guess #2.

  13. You don’t see that kind of racing on the mod tour at stafford . Good stuff grats to Danny boy…….

  14. Dan Avery for once did not run all over the track to block he didn’t have to, he was that good Fri night.

    As far as the go karts go they both ran on the same night because of the rain outs. That being said the price of tickets was the same, so you didn’t pay for them to run. Besides the fact that they belonged there way more than the lame legend cars with 6 or 7 cars. It was something different for stafford and put those kids in the spotlight. Everyone I was sitting around thoroughly enjoyed it. Stafford rarely runs anything but there’s usual schedule so any change for me is welcomed. You can’t honestly say you weren’t excited to watch those senior champs battle it out?

  15. Took him how long to get his 3rd and 4th career SK WINS ? Enough said . He is always in the way of will drive dirty ! It’s simple watched him for years . What ever it takes to win I guess . Won’t get another this year I can guarantee that . He will be dumped or moved next time ! Not a fan of Dan ! Sorry

  16. Dan is overrated ok ! 4 wins in SK in how many years ? Is a road block and will not win again this year . He will be moved out of the way so the boys can race ! Not a fan of DAN ! Big woop he won Friday ! Luck it’s simple !

  17. Boo-hoo He was blocking .Mod man quit your friggin whining everyone makes the car a little wider when you’re out front you would be an idiot if you didn’t. Awesome job Dan. I think Mod mans pantyhose are a little too tight .

  18. Use some logic Bob…How do you compare a division that is running a 42 lap race with a Tour that runs 150/200 laps???….So lap 35 of the Tour race is the same as lap 35 of the SK race?

  19. Dan who
    Oh ya that guy
    Hamburgers are good to eat
    I see lime 2 to 3 cars the rest are in the way
    The world needs fillers though
    30 cars and 27 are in the way
    Rocco teddy rowan Ronny and woody Eric
    Best ones right there

  20. Mike jr too
    Getting g better every week
    Hope u win soon
    Go tc and jr
    Gotta love it
    Plainville boys all day

  21. Legend please stop
    Top speeds 32 mph

  22. First off anyone who wins at Stafford in the SK division does a hell of a job it’s a very competitive division . Secondly to comment on my mod mans diarrhea of the mouth Dan Avery stopped racing at Stafford on a regular basis in 1983 never returned to race on a regular basis till 2010 little hard to win races when you’re not there although he was putting together 25 to 30 wins at other race tracks . Just wondering how many wins mod man had ………… That what I thought .

  23. How can anyone complain about the go kart races…….both were outstanding!!!! WAY better than watching 5 legends cars ride around all spread out for 20 freaking laps. The kart races went smooth, many lead changes and lots of fun to watch.

  24. Dan F. I would have 1 against you ! Lol… Simple on that note . All I was saying was Avery is overrated …. And he is a hard pass during any race if you DANNY BIG F MOUTH really watch any . Do you spend all day looking up facts ? Go to work …. Not a fan of Avery or you ! Huge fan of SK MODS … Mod Tour and Stafford is the best track period ! Dan F …. Let me get you a beer …we are really spending all this time on the legend Dan Avery ?

  25. You know mod man you’re right i’m wasting my time talking to someone who has never driven a race car nor crew chief one for 20 years to a championship . So basically I’m talking to an armchair racer Who wins every night in his dreams . You just can’t give the credit to a driver who wins if it’s not your favorite Boo hoo you should have came to the park where we raced real modifieds . Maybe you should take a ride with Bob Potter that’s the closest you’ll get . And when Dan wins again I’ll buy you a beer hows that.

  26. Dan F. All mouth … Probably 5 foot nothing ! Riverside park ! Wow … That’s racing ? Good luck With the Avery fan club ! Your not worth a beer ! Enjoy your summer Dan …. No time for you !

  27. Thank you Bob Parker for a couple of things. First for using your name. Second for explaining how Stafford’s handicap system works. Good job, however you kind of missed the point. The point was whatever system they are using stinks. If Tom Fern is in the lead by lap 3, why bother having a 30 lap race? If the 44 SKL is in the lead by lap 4, why have a handicap system at all? A while back I was told that the handicap system is based on money won. Obviously Tom Fern has won the most money. Then he should start last. Obviously Tony Mambrino has won the most money. Start him last. I have probably over simplified it, but you get what I mean. It should take longer than 3 or 4 laps for these guys to come from the back and win races. That was my point.

  28. As far as Dan goes, let me explain what happened last week at Stafford so that even you can understand how the track tried to screw every one. On a weekly basis I can come to Stafford and see 15 or more races for my entry fee. That is 2 heat races per division and 1 feature race per division. I think this quite reasonable. Last week I saw 2 SK heat races and a few Go Kart heat races. Then I saw 5 feature races. Then they threw in a couple of Go Kart races. That is 7 races for my entry fee. If you were in attendance the week before when it got rained out, and you used your rain check ticket stub to get in free, you did OK. However if you did not attend the week before and therefore paid full price to get in, you got screwed. Is that plain enough for you?

  29. I see nothing wrong with blocking, with one or two laps to go. Make that car as wide as it can be and bring home the win………that’s racing

  30. It’s not racing if you just get out of the way and let the other car go by. Racing is earning it.

  31. Dan F. Your boy Avery won’t even get a top 10 tonight ! If he does the fall final I will buy you a few rounds of cold ones ! And I am sure your pulling for Coby as well …. I know you have been there done that … Lol… I still like you. Like I found a new friend ! Enjoy the races 🏁🏁🏁

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