DARE Stock Points Leader Zack Robinson Thrown Out For Season At Stafford Speedway

Stafford Motor Speedway DARE Stock division points leader Zack Robinson was thrown out of the track for the remainder of the season after tech officials discovered tampering with a sealed motor in his car Friday.

In addition to being suspended for the remainder of the season, Robinson’s points accumulated for the first 10 races of season were also rescinded.

Robinson, of Putnam, won the 15-lap DARE Stock feature Friday at Stafford. It was his fourth victory in 10 events this season. He also had four second place finishes, a third place and a sixth place.

Tom Fox, director of racing operations at Stafford, said Robinson’s sealed motor was found to have been unsealed and tampered with.

Fox said all cars in the division that the run a GM 602 Crate Motor must have it prepared by R.A.D. Automachine of Ludlow, Mass.

“If you have an open motor class and you’re going to cheat it’s not that big a deal,” Fox said. “But this is a sealed engine program. It’s a different level of penalty. The integrity of the entire division is built on everybody running the same exact engine from one builder. And he crossed that line. There’s a section in the rulebook that says if you’re caught tampering with the seals it will be a heavier penalty than normal and he went there.

“We have R.A.D. change a couple of things and put his own seals on it as well as the GM seals and the GM breakaway bolts. … Everybody runs that motor and it’s sealed by one guy and that ensures us that the competition is even. And he modified all that stuff.”

Robinson was not immediately available for comment by phone early Saturday morning, but said through a message, that he was “done with Stafford and their [BS].”

Johnny Walker of Ludlow, Mass., the defending division champion, finished second on the track to Robinson Friday and was declared the winner of the event. George Bessette Jr. of Danbury was moved to second place and Trace Beyer of Stratton, Vt. to third place.

Walker assumed the lead in the division point standings


  1. That’s ok he’s done
    He is a low level driver anyways

    C heater!!!!!!!!cheater
    Guess he wanted that 45 dollar purse no ey ha ha ha

  2. The crate motor rule is flawed from the start by allowing the ‘builder’ inside the engine at all. Sealed is supposed to mean ‘sealed’. GM uses the break-away bolts for a reason

  3. Whoa! Being absolutely sure the cheating happened and was severe, kicking the guy out when car counts are low and it all happened in the novice division. Very impressive.

  4. Stafford Fan says

    To cheat in the fashion they did, the penalty fits. How embarrassing for that team. If they plan on running the Bowl or Thompson, hope they are legit because they also have a good tech guy. The competition in Street Stocks is much tougher too at those tracks. For the driver to bash the track and his associates to bash other drivers after they got cought is just unsportsmanlike.

  5. I always wondered why guys get on the podium and thank RAD for “the awesome horsepower”. Stu Fearn of Fearn Motorsports said in another comment section that other then some tweeking of carbs and tune up the engines were equal. And that performance comes down to handling, tire credits and how fresh your tires are. Mostly tires. Seems like RAD is more like a policeman of motors for the three divisions that use crate motors extensively. My question is are crate motors good or bad for the sport?

  6. Maybe they should start checking all divisions more thoroughly

  7. Stafford Fan says

    Crate motors are great for the sport people just got to stop cheating. This type of enforcement is one way of stopping it

  8. Car was was TOO superior to all the others including the division veterans and now we know why!!!!!

  9. I think it would be healthy to tear down a sealed engine every so often just to keep everyone on their toes. With all these after market parts for the 602’s that are undectable (or at least without having the correct equipment to find the items) you need to keep the troops honest. The camshaft is just one item I can think of.

  10. sour grapes of wrath says

    people are forgetting one thing. If RAD makes “great horsepower” and modified a crate engine for a performance advantage they should be removed as the tracks “policeman” and penalized…TO BE CLEAR: .. not saying RAD did the mods on this power plant .. find the offender and punish them equally. the problem is so many of these “crate” motors have been modified it ruins the original intent of the rule to begin with. look at the times some sk lites run at the three ct tracks… those are not “stock” or unaltered crate motor under the hood in some of those cars… same with the altered shocks many are running… make sure you punish the cheater assisting the team as well. interrupt the cash flow and you will see results ..

  11. The only way I see to really police a crate engine is to make a claimer rule. If all engines are supposed to be equal it shouldn’t matter.

  12. Doug, I used to think crates were a great way to cut costs for the low budget racer, opening the door to more people entering the sport or moving up. Lites were an example. $3k motor and you couldn’t touch a thing has given way to rebuild at much more than that, but only through a limited supplier chain. Give everyone the same basic spec motor from dares to sk, allow cheaper parts in the lower divisions, with a track supplied cam and maybe carb change as you move up. Kudos to Fox for finally doing something all tracks should have done a long time ago.

  13. Him and his associates at the track are arrogant and unsportsmanlike. Not a surprise.

  14. RAD did nothing to that motor. Blame the other Stafford Motor Builder(not Mike) on the cheat. Zack even admitted who the motor man was who cheated. He should be tossed as well. The track did the correct thing, so far, now they need to ban the motor builder who cheated on a car in a crate class. The “Big” guy should have known better (and probably does) not to modified that DARE crate motor, but he did it for a few bucks. Was it really worth it for the integrity of the sport? Come on, cheating in DARE stocks? Get real. This is one class were parity really shows off the better driver.

  15. anonymous says

    just to clear things things up here ,dare stock 602 engines are taken out of the crate ,dyno tuned ,sealed with cable seals .No modification are allowed .

  16. I don’t agree with the claimer rule. Go with the rules package that Riverhead uses, all tracks that run lites the same, let them have at it. Keep the engine builders out of the mix since they are the ones that screwed this whole thing up in the first place.

  17. There has to b more to this story… how did the engine pass tech 8 times before this week? I’m assuming that the seals are checked everytime the car goes through tech after finishing in the top 3.

  18. anonymous says

    dare stock engines run both seals ,gm seals and stafford cable seals on intake, heads .timing chain cover,and oil pan . both seals chevy seals and stafford cable seals ! none of these seals can be removed for any reason ! these engines are not allowed to be rebuilt . you need to trade it in for a new one if you damage it or feel its in need of a rebuild . zack had removed seals,modified the engine ,replaced the seals .THIS IS WHY HE WAS THROWN OUT !!

  19. Man there are some good comments here.
    In the 1980’s the engine of choice in the Street Stocks was from T/A Engines. You could win at Riverside without one but Stafford it was almost required to consistently run up front. The cost as I recall was over $4000 in 1980 dollars, a huge amount of money. So I’m thinking the crate engines are cheap for a race engine that delivers reliable horsepower and holds together. The rebuild, great point Bob g. They should be rebuilding to spec and sealing the engine. Are they, who knows.
    We did all sorts of illegal stuff in the old days including knife edging the crank for Pete’s sake. Illegal carbs were popular and hard to check the way they redid them. Matching ports, grinding out manifolds, hiding lead that was illegal at the time in the frame. It was crazy. Point is most racers cheat. They cheat a little and smart and they cheat a lot and stupid some times. The great Norm Plantier who enjoyed some success in the Street Stocks could command an audience for hours regaling them with stories of how he cheated and how he planted illegal things to be found to hide other things he didn’t want found. Mostly they were fish stories but not all.
    If any of the authorized engine builders are taking money to give certain teams an edge that would be very self destructive. I can’t believe when you have a steady stream of income and a reputation you would risk it all for a few bucks. Maybe that is naive.
    You can’t catch everything it’s just too complicated and expensive and some teams are just too smart to catch. But every now and then you can throw the fear of God in them by doing what they just did to Robinson.

  20. Sharpie Fan says

    Just to clarify…
    When a car goes to post race tech at most of the local tracks they do not tech everything. After the car goes over the scales and passes weight and frame height then pre-determined item(s) are checked. It could be fuel, carbs, rear ends, gears, transmissions, etc. Sometimes it’s 4 wheels & tires. It’s all “random” and the teams do not know in advance what is going to be teched. Initial inspections are done at the start of the season or when a car first enters.
    Perhaps all of the Take/Apart Engines in the crate motor divisions that appear to have an unfair advantage should be teched.

  21. Sharpie, supposedly and again I say supposedly the tech inspector goes to the engine builder of the crate engines and witnesses the engine assembly and the affixing of the seals blessing it legal. It is also my belief there is a $100.00 charge for that. I also understand the seal numbers have to be in file with the track, at least Stafford.

  22. Super great comment Sharpie Fan. Tech is random. You can’t check everything on every podium car in every division. We’re talking engines here but you correctly say that is only one aspect of the entire tech process. Furthermore tech as a rule should expect that the engine’s are kosher given the enforcement by the authorized dealers. Guess what, one wasn’t. Is Fox a genius for weeding out the cheat. I don’t think so. We’ve had years of many cars in Dare winning features and the last two Robinson and Walker seem to dominate. But you have to do the work and tech at Stafford got it done big time.

  23. I just can’t imagine this guy put in jeopardy the chance to be the SMS Dare stock track champ I mean it pays well I am told you get a $10 DD gift card .

  24. Is this just a stafford suspension or NASCAR suspension as well?

  25. Tom S
    Stafford suspension.

  26. I would think the seals would be checked every week on cars that finish in the top 3. It can not b a long process. I thought all engine builders are allowed to witness tear down of crate engines…? If I was an engine builder that was getting beat weekly i would b checking the seals first..

  27. God, I thought crate engines meant equality. How naive. Check out this youtube video if you get a chance.


    An older fella, well spoken, distinguished, knowledgeable and going on at length about how he can help you essentially cheat the rules on crate engines and heads specifically.

  28. sour grapes of wrath says

    anonymous I was told the engine had been repaired timing chain? by an approved builder at the time during the off season?? seals perhaps not properly installed. the punishment should fit the crime. all these alleged “approved” builders will unseal a crate motor and do mods for money… none of them have any integrity.. the claimer rule is a good idea its the only way to keep engines from being tampered with……(minimize)..look at what sk lites are running for times.. you telling me the engines are “sealed” LOL… look at the shocks too….. all the builders are corrupt ..that’s reality..

  29. Go to EBAY and you can buy the exact same seals as the engine builders use to seal the crate engines. They are actually easy to remove and reinstall so it looks as original as the day it was affixed. If no one records the numbers from the seals that are installed by the engine builder (which by the way is supposed to be done by the tech official when you pay the $100.00 for him to go engine builders shop) then you can swap them and no one will ever know you tampered with anything. The seal numbers should be provided to every track that runs these divisions that way they are on record and part of the tech process every week. By the way I have witnessed at least 20 techs from 2 different tracks and NEVER was the engine seals checked.

    Even better go to a seal with bar code, each track will have a bar code reader, and they can be quickly checked, recorded and verified through a data base of all sealed crate engines that race the 3 CT tracks. Seals checked as a tech item every week.

  30. Sharpie Fan says

    They already have a bar code reader for the tires.

  31. Yes they do sharpie so why not incorporate it to accommodate engine seals? Quick, neat and easy!

  32. This kid was out there cheating his ass off for the whole season, then acting like he won, when in his heart of hearts he knew he was a cheat, his mother should bow her head in shame knowing her son was a cheat, instead she tries to blame everyone else, it’s time she took some time to raise her son to be an honest “Man” and to take his punishment like a “Man”. Simply, there are rules, and rules are meant to be followed, when you get caught, don’t pout about it, bow your head and suck it up and make an apology publicly. Resign and start new, without cheating.

  33. KId’s a long time cheater, shame on him, he owes ALL the other drivers an apology

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