With Honors: SK Light Mod Graduates Making Noise In Top Level At Stafford Speedway

(Press Release from Stafford Motor Speedway)

SK Light Modified division graduate Chase Dowling celebrates victory in the SK Modified feature at the NAPA Spring Sizzler last month at Stafford Motor Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont)

After 2 SK Modified® races in the 2017 season trends have begun to emerge. The headline of the season so far has to be the renewed rivalry between two of the best modified drivers in the history of Stafford, Ted Christopher and Keith Rocco, but the other revolves around the youth movement that has taken over the half-mile. Entering the third SK Modified® race of the 2017 season, Friday May 19th, 6 of the top-10 drivers in the SK Modified® point standings are graduates of the SK Light Modified division with 17 total SK Light graduates attempting to start a feature this season.

“When we started the SK Light Modified division in 2006 we had a goal of creating an entry level modified to feed the SK Modified division,” explained Stafford General Manager Mark Arute. “Chase Dowling won the SK feature on opening day and nearly won the Sizzler [WMT], Ronnie Williams has proved he is contender each week, Matt Galko will get his first win in 2017, Mike Gervais has scored multiple SK wins since he won the 2009 SK Light Championship, Glen Reen scored his first SK Modified® win last fall, and of course its been fun to watch Mike Christopher, Jr. run with Uncle Ted. I’d say this is working.”

As mentioned above the 6 SK Light Graduates that currently sit in the top 10 in SK Modified® points, Ronnie Williams, Chase Dowling, Matt Galko, Michael Gervais, Michael Christopher Jr., and Glen Reen all started their Whelen All-American Series careers in the SK Light division. Combined the 6 drivers have 3 SK Light Championships, 25 SK Light wins and 3 SK Light Rookie of the Year titles. Just outside the top-10 sits Tony “Hollywood” Membrino, with 15 wins and 2 SK Light Championships in the record books.

“We have worked hard on making sure the SK Light division is as affordable as can be, which has allowed for drivers and teams to learn how to make the transition to a modified at Stafford,” continued Arute. “We will continue to keep costs under control in the division while also working to deliver a strong weekly purse with special events throughout the season.”

The first special event for the SK Light division will debut Friday, May 26th with the Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair Modifiedz Night. SK Lights will run double their normal race distance of 20 laps for a special 40 lap feature and will compete for an unprecedented total purse of $14,970. With bonuses the winner will take home $2,525.

“This is where we want to be with all divisions, we want racing at Stafford to be the big-time for drivers and fans,” continued Arute. “Doug [Dunleavy] stepped up and wanted to do something special for the SK Light guys and what we’ve pulled together will hopefully become a new Memorial Day tradition. Doug’s excited, we’re excited, and I know drivers are excited.”

Dunleavy’s Modifiedz night will also play host to an extra 10 laps and increased purse for the SK Modified® division, discount pricing for servicemen and women, as well as a multimedia fireworks display to cap off the night.

Tickets for the May 26 Dunleavy’s Modifiedz night are priced at $20.00 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 seat tickets are $23.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Stafford Motor Speedway offers plenty of free parking along with overnight parking available for self-contained Recreational Vehicles.

For the 27th consecutive season the month of May is Youth Organization Month. All children14 & under are admitted FREE when wearing a youth organization team shirt or uniform. Children must be accompanied by a paying adult.

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


  1. The light division is no where close to affordable. Would b if the engine rule was bone stock crate. Not sure why they force you to pay 10k for an engine???

  2. Man that is exactly what I have been saying for a while. Modified racing at Stafford is in resurgence and against very strong headwinds at that. Don’t forget Membrino, Wood, Burnham and Kopcik. All very successful in lower divisions and learning the ropes in the SK’s.
    This harken’s back to Danbury RaceArena. Only modifieds and a lot of them. And at the end a very successful Limited Sportsman Modified division to use old equipment and develop drivers.
    You can sign me up for the special SK Light night. Not a fan of special nights with high prices but thanks to Doug Dunleavy this may be the best value of the season.

  3. steve, you’re stuck in the 80’s. You couldn’t get your car to go then and you wouldn’t be able to now. Give credit where credit is due, without the SK Light mods who knows where modified racing would be . I know you have a bone to pick, so why don’t you go buy the bowl and give promoting a shot, seems like you would do really well with it. Stay positive Stevo, you’re a great asset to local racing.

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