Drivers Ante Up For NAPA SK 5K Gambler’s Challenge At Stafford Speedway

(Press Release from Stafford Motor Speedway)

Rowan Pennink celebrates victory in the 2016 NAPA SK 5K at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Stafford Speedway/Driscoll MotorSports Photography)

The biggest SK Modified® race in the country returns to Stafford Speedway Friday, July 7th, with the 4th Annual NAPA Auto Parts SK 5K. The NASCAR Division I SK Modifieds® headline the event as the top modified drivers in the Northeast duke it out for 100 laps for a guaranteed $5,000 to win. Back on the table for the 3rd year in a row is the Gambler’s Challenge presented by Dunleavy Truck and Trailer repair with the potential of an additional $5,000 in bonus money on the line.

“When NAPA Auto Parts joined us as a partner for the 2014 season, they came to us wanting to do something big for the SK Modifieds®,” explained Mark Arute, Stafford Speedway General Manager. “We came up with a big-time purse for the SK Modified® division with $5,000 going to the winner. The SK 5K was born.”

Since the inaugural event in 2014 the SK 5K has become a cornerstone in New England modified racing that drivers and fans look forward to each year. During the 2015 season Doug Dunleavy jumped aboard to add the Gambler’s Challenge bonus, an additional $5,000 of bonus money adding to the already large $27,000 purse. The bonus structure is simple, each driver that enters the challenge puts up $100 which is then matched by Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair. If 25 drivers enter, the bonus reaches $5,000. In past seasons the bonus has been selected through a drawing in victory lane with criteria of the drawing set by a fan vote. For the 2017 season the drawing will remain but limited to the 4 most popular options from the previous years:

$5,000 Bonus to the Winner*
$1,000 to each of the top 5 finishers*
$1,000 to each of the 6th through 10th finishers*
$500 to each of the 11th through 20th finishers*
*Based on 25 drivers entering the Gambler’s Challenge

“I always look forward to this race,” explained Doug Dunleavy. “It’s a great race. It’s awesome that NAPA Auto Parts steps up and sponsors a big event for the SK Modifieds®. This will be the 3rd season for the Gambler’s Challenge and I love being able to add to the purse for the drivers. It’d be cool to see a few more sponsors get involved with this race and make it even bigger. It’s the largest paying race of the season for the SK Modifieds® and these guys have been putting on an unbelievable show every week so far this year. I’m looking forward to July 7th.”

In the first two years the NAPA Auto Parts SK 5K Gambler’s Challenge presented by Dunleavy Truck & Trailer Repair has been kind to the winners of the 100-lap feature. The 2015 SK 5K saw 2014 Whelen Modified Tour Champion Ryan Preece comeback from a blown radiator hose to win over $12,825 after all bonuses while the 2016 edition of the race saw Ted Christopher, arguably the greatest SK Modified® driver of all-time, thrill fans over the closing laps to pocket $11,175 after all bonuses. Both drivers admit winning the NAPA Auto Parts SK 5K ranks up there with the some of the biggest wins of their career.

Thus far in the 2017 season the SK Modified® division has been thrilling, with large fields of cars and a deep roster of some of the best modified talent in New England. SK Light graduate Chase Dowling has shown he and the #50 team will be a force in 2017 notching two wins through the first 6 races, while Ted Christopher has also added 2 wins to his ever growing Stafford Speedway win list. Youngsters Matt Galko and Ronnie Williams, both SK Light Graduates, have also scored wins in 2017. There are also some pretty big names who have yet to make it to NAPA Victory Lane in 2017 including 2016 SK Modified® Champion Rowan Pennink, Keith Rocco, and Ryan Preece. All three will be looking to grab a victory in the NAPA Auto Parts SK 5k, Friday July 7th.

The $5,000 to win and over $30,000 in posted awards for the 100-lap big money NAPA SK 5K event will be an event not to miss. Discount tickets for the NAPA SK 5k are available at participating NAPA Auto Parts stores. For a full list of the 71 participating locations throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont, please call the speedway office or visit us on the web at Tickets for the July 7th NAPA SK 5K are available and on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $30.00 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for kids ages 6-14, and kids 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating is priced at $32.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Stafford Speedway offers free parking with free overnight parking for self-contained RV’s available. There will also be a barbeque taking place on the midway with some great food available to race fans for only $10.

For more information on the July 7th NAPA SK 5K, or to order tickets, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at


  1. Best show of the year, Are we doing barbacue this year with live music .

  2. Last Friday who’d you enjoy the most? That’s right the SK’s. Christopher and Dowling swapping the lead with Rocco in the mix. The Super Mods amazing but in the end not competitive racing.
    The best value is what we will see Friday. $17.50 for a great show with racing action culminating with the SK’s going the perfect distance of 40 flat out, no overthinking it, no strategy laps. Efficiently run and packaged so the kids can see the fireworks and get home at a respectable time.
    The 5K, not a fan. 71% more for added laps and too much hoopla. Glad to see the teams getting more money so enjoy the show. And aside from Dunleavy and Napa who seem to get all the credit give yourself a pat on the back for paying a ton more and helping make the big payoff possible.

  3. modfan85 says

    Agree w/ ya doug. SKs are the best racing around. But I Definitely do not mind shelling out an extra $12.50 to see an extra $20k on the SK purse. 5k has been a helluva show 3 out of 3 times

  4. That’s great modfan85. As for me I’m going to be enjoying the action tomorrow night with some great food, cold beer and great racing. No one does a tighter, more well organized regular show then Stafford. Of course I don’t know thats true but I suspect it could.

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