New View: Joey Cipriano Returning To Stafford Speedway For Late Model Team

Joey Cipriano (Photo: Stafford Speedway/Driscoll MotorSports Photography)
Joey Cipriano (Photo: Stafford Speedway/Driscoll MotorSports Photography)

Since he was 15 years old, Joey Cipriano has shown himself plenty adept around the weekly Modified divisions at Stafford Motor Speedway.

Now the 22-year old from Waterbury will get to show his talents for getting around the half-mile oval in a full-fendered car.

After a year away from the track, Cipriano will return to Stafford in 2017 to run full-time in the track’s Late Model division for team owner Chris DuPont’s Litchfield County Motorsports team.

“I’m just excited to go back to Stafford,” Cipriano said. “I really enjoyed running there every week. I started racing there when I was 15 and I just turned 22 the other day. I’ve been there quite a few years. I’ve got a lot of laps there. It’s a track that I’m really comfortable at. And it’s just a fun atmosphere to go up there Friday nights and go racing. So I’m really excited to go back.

“To go to a Late Model, it’s a racecar. I’m going to go have fun no matter what you give me. I’ll drive anything, a Modified, a Late Model, a Go-Kart. Whatever you give me I’m going to go and have fun and try to win the race. I’m just excited to be back.”

Cipriano had seven wins in the track’s SK Light Modified division in 2010 and 2011. After making only two starts at the track in 2012, he made the jump to the SK Modified division, where he was a regular frontrunner from 2013-2015.

He spent last year competing in a Midget with the NEMA Lites division.

DuPont’s team spent last year running part-time with drivers P.J. Zarella and Peter Thickett.

“This year we really want to go out and run for points and try to compete for a championship and wins,” DuPont said. “Joey did his NEMA stuff last year. I know he wanted to get back to Stafford. … He’s proven that he can run against the best competition up there. He proved that in the [SK] Modified division running against [Ryan] Preece and Ted [Christopher] and Rowan [Pennink] and all those guys. I think he’s proven himself that he can drive and compete every week.”

Cipriano said he’s unsure if he will be competing part-time again with the NEMA Lites car.

“We put that car up for sale,” Cipriano said. “If it sells it sells and if it doesn’t we still have it to run for fun. I don’t want the car to sit, but I don’t know how much time I’m going to have to dedicate to working on that car. The Late Model is going to be the No. 1 focus next year. We’re going to go try to to win a championship with that.”

Cipriano will have longtime local crew member Ted Legendre Jr. as a crew chief with sponsorship from The Simon Foundation Inc., AVI International Inc., Siemon Company, Resource Development Associates, Village Market and Gas in Lebanon and Goshen, IMTI, Jannetty Racing Enterprises Inc. and Litchfield County Marine and Auto. The team will run Petitt Racing Engines.

The team is expected to continue to run Zarella and Thickett part-time in the Late Model division at Stafford.


  1. Late models need all the help they can get,good news

  2. It will be great to see him back. A good, clean racer; he’ll be a breath of fresh air in the Late Models.

  3. Welcome Back to Friday nights @ SMS Best of luck Joey!

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