Throwback: Familiar “Poulin Racing No. 78” Scheme Returning To Stafford Speedway

Salva Poulin 78For longtime fans of southern New England short track racing the name “Poulin Racing” has always has been associated with class and success in motorsports.

And also for a very familiar No. 78 design scheme.

Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway that memorable No. 78 Poulin Racing scheme will return to the track in the SK Modified division.

With the backing of Jean-Guy and Brigitte Poulin, Nick Salva made the jump full-time to the SK Modified division in 2016 at Stafford, but the struggles were many for him and his team.

After seeing their car destroyed in the July 8 NAPA SK 5K, the team stepped back and skipped the last three races.

Tonight they return, leaving the No. 98 behind and returning to the track with a No. 78 car with a paint scheme very familiar to anyone who remembers the days of Late Model, Pro Stock or SK Modified racing for the old Poulin Racing team.

“We got banged up on all four sides of the car in that pileup which rendered that car pretty much done,” Brigitte Poulin said. “So we decided to rebuild. He had a new bare chassis and we decided to rebuild. You know you take a deep breath and say: ‘We’re going to do this, we’re going to rebuild.’ Nick started saying ‘I think I want to go with a different color, something different. If we’re going to put something back out on the track let’s put a little energy back out there.’ And then it got into ‘How about a new number?’ and 78 seemed like the obvious choice. For us, it’s a show of confidence in this young man. It’s a number that has meant a lot to us.”

Jean-Guy Poulin’s first car in racing was a No. 78, and it stayed that way for the team through stints in full-bodied cars with Bobby Skinger, Larry Vassar and Chuck Docherty and through years in the SK Modified division with Docherty and Keith Rocco.

“You don’t have to have Poulin Racing anywhere on the car,” Brigitte Poulin said. “Anybody who sees the 78 makes that association. It really is a show of confidence in this young man. I believe in him. I am enjoying this team. It’s a combination of people who are the old and learned and the new and want to learn. He works on the car, he’s an exceptional young man. So hopefully we’ll put it back on the track and it will bring us luck and create a deja vu for a lot of our friends.”

Rocco was the last driver to run the familiar white based, red numbered sheme, with an SK Modified in 2006. Rocco ran a red based No. 78 for Poulin racing in 2007 and 2008. Jean-Guy and Brigitte Poulin retired from “ownership” of a racing team after the 2008 season, but been backers of drivers such as Ted Christopher and Ryan Preece over the past few years before connecting with Salva.


  1. Sure salva is a nice kid but in way over his head . Master sk lights before making the move . Trying the mod tour was a joke ! Now he will get to wreck more equipment . Like Melissa he is in way to deep . These young kids with rich parents are doing them no favors . They all wanna be Jimmie johnson or Danica … Stop and be real about it . Amazing so many think they can go the money will buy me a ride route . Stay in a division and master it before moving up.

  2. Just watch and see with Marcelo Rufrano … Jumps to sk lights and wins first start cause of daddy’s money … SK or tour before years end for him ? Be real with this kid to… Hasn’t paid his dues and money gets him anything . Won’t win again in sk lights this year. Days of talent taking over are gone ! All about $$$$. Enjoy the races people . Were is my boy Dan f. ? How’s Avery doing ? Miss you buddy

  3. speed kills says

    mod man why the hate! the poulins are nice people and are fielding a car !..give them some credit. hopefully this young man and rufrano will show some temperament and humility ..everyone has to start somewhere ..keeping it real means its short track racing in New England..I will admit however talent alone doesn`t get you to the big time anymore ..

  4. Not sure Salva is there because of his money,but I guess you haven’t noticed that racing is not a poor man’s sport

  5. Thanks speed kills … Remember 78 years ago . Good to see it back … And I get it is coslty… Does not mean a 15 year old should move up so quick … Daddy can’t even get Rocco in victory lane this year … Lol . Father is to high on himself and his kid …. And kid rock too… Bring it back mr. Rufrano … Over your head

  6. But that said I am a New England guy … Stafford is my favorite track so if any young dude makes it big I will be on the support wagon … Home grown going big …. I would love it ! So good luck to all these drivers

  7. Dougie Fresh says

    Nick Salva might be the most overrated driver at Stafford, but luckily for him he’s only the second most overrated driver in the Gunning family. Lucky for him uncle Bo has been the biggest laughingstock on the track at the Waterford Speedbowl this year. Starts at the front every week and is either at the back within a few laps or spins by himself. Should have stayed retired. He’s a weapon and a danger to everyone at Waterford. Nick might have a better chance if he was driving for an actual race team instead of having daddy’s social club of misfits turning wrenches. Watching Tom Gunning and that crew take good equipment at two tracks every week and make it look terrible is hilarious. These guys are clueless. Spit on that.

  8. Totally agree with Dougie ! Rufrano is spoiled as well so see what he does moving forward . Daddy can’t buy victories at all Levels … Or uncles . Earn it ! To many drives in all series moving up way to fast with horrible results ! Enjoy the week race fans …. NBC SPORTS thanks for the mod tour getting no love again… Can’t watch Bristol tour race live …. What a joke !

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