T/A Engines Dropping Out Of Stafford Motor Speedway Crate Engine Program

Tony Alteri, owner of T/A Engines of Plainville told RaceDayCT Monday that his company is removing itself from the Stafford Motor Speedway crate engine program immediately.

All cars in the SK Light Modified and the Limited Late Model divisions at Stafford Motor Speedway are mandated to run run a GM 602 crate engine.

Teams in the DARE Stock division at Stafford have the option of running a built motor or the GM 602 crate engine.

A crate engine is a motor that is delivered by the manufacturer completely built. Crate engine programs are used in short track racing to control engine costs in a particular division and create a level playing field when it comes to motors.

Stafford Speedway rules mandate that upon purchase for SK Light Modified and Limited Late Model teams, the GM 602 crate engine must be sealed by a Stafford Speedway authorized service provider. R.A.D Automachine of Ludlow, Mass. and T/A Engines are the only authorized service providers allowed by the track.

The DARE Stock division rules mandate that R.A.D. Automachine seals the crate engine upon purchase for teams using it in that division and that R.A.D. is the only authorized service provider for any follow up issues with motors in the division.

“We’re going to be dropping out of the Stafford crate motor program,” Alteri said. “We just want to thank our customers. The reason we’re dropping out is because of some health concerns with my business partner. It’s just too much of a load. We’re going to stay with the SK [Modifieds] and Late Models and everything else, but we’re getting out of the crate motor program.”

Alteri confirmed that his company sold parts that were used in the crate engine run by DARE Stock division driver Zack Robinson. A post race inspection by track officials Friday found that Robinson’s motor had been illegally unsealed and illegal modifications were made to it. Robinson was disqualified from his victory on Friday, which was his fourth win in 10 events this year. Robinson was also suspended from the track for the remainder of the season and his points accumulated this season were also rescinded.


  1. Bystander says

    This absolutely should be done with the rest of his cheater 602 motors. Take away their points and suspend them for the year. Kudos to Donny for not getting sucked into cheating to keep up.

  2. Carbertour Cam says

    No more cam or carb. Updates to be sold to people on a reg basis . Now teams will be able to save money on the crate engine program . But hope the best for his business partners health .

  3. memyselfi says

    I think it’s awfully strange that health problems in the company arise 2 days after a motor containing his parts was found to be illegal. Someone not trying to his anything would normally make these kinds of decisions in the off season. What about the rest of his motors at the track? Will there be no more support for them for the remainder of the season? And who’s to say they don’t have the same illegal modifications? This engine builder has been caught many times over the years for cheating and it’s a slap in the face to everyone else playing by the rules that engines he sealed will be allowed to compete without being fully checked by someone else

  4. Old man racer says

    Haven’t seen Billy at the track this year. He is a great guy and hope all is well.

  5. Best of luck to the business partner. Hope his health concerns are soon resolved.

    Maybe T/A was given the option of resigning from the crate program, versus the ridicule of being tossed out? Forced resignation? Lets face it, T/A opened a DARE motor that he is not authorized to. RAD is the only authorized service provider for any follow up issues with motors in the division. I’m sure T/A is/was well aware of this.

    I hope the track takes a closer look at all of the motors T/A has done especially in the crate motor classes. You guys in SK Light Modified and Limited Late Model that have a cheater motor should be concerned. If T/A did it for a Dare, they’d do it for the others as well.

  6. This does look fishy, but lets take it one step further, only crate motors from the factory are allowed. They are trying it at Riverhead and most of the dirt tracks only allow factory delivered crate motors.
    Let’s face it, the minute you involve an engine builder into a sealed engine program you asking for trouble. Favorites, special parts and other corruption will come into play.

  7. All I can say is WOW! Best of luck to your business partner. Time to go with the Riverhead approach. Keep engine builders out of the mix, gets expensive when the get involved. These 602’s are out of control’

  8. Everyone has known since this program was out in he was cheating especially with Membrino’s car when he won the first couple races at every track Tony told people you want to win you need my motor.. wonder why??? His late model motors are cheated up too we bought a late model with one of his motors brought it to another builder close to us and the heads were illegal the intake had been worked light weight crank so it’s been going on business partner’s health is a cop out

  9. HonestyisBESTPolicy 1 says

    Robinson FINALLY GOT CAUGHT,mommie walks around the track with her pointed BROWN nose high up in the air.well now she has to put some money out,and stop crying her baby got caught.WE HOPE that All his sponsorship SMARTEN UP AND DROP THE “CHEATER” AS WELL”. GLAD TO SEE YOU GO FROM STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY.DON’T COME BACK !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CHEATER.

  10. What really sucks is that his engines that are out there are now worth penny’s on a dollar. RAD is the one making out here and it is time for a change in the way the tracks that run them do business. This is leaving Tony’s customers in the crate program hanging out to dry especially with the championship battles coming to an end in a couple of months!

  11. Ray Skoglund says

    Easy to write negative comments behind a fake name.
    Man up if you are going to bash and use your real name.
    I do !!
    Geesh… Bench racers!!

  12. Tony Membrino says

    It isn’t my place to go into detail, I believe that’s the family’s decision. But for the people who have the nerve to call the health issues at hand suspicious, they are indeed not fictional, and those people should be ashamed of themselves for making light of a situation they have little to no knowledge of its severity.

    Furthermore, I don’t see anywhere in the article that says T/A broke the motor seals and sealed it up without approval or that the parts they sold were indeed the ones found to be illegal. Based on what is printed, the fault made by T/A here is that they sold parts to a team in a division that RAD has sole rights to. A move that may be against track politics ahem I mean policy, but can’t quite connect the dots as to how that puts every other T/A engine on top of the cheater suspect list. Then again, one should remember where this article is posted and the trolls that flock about…

  13. CD Rules The Stafford SK's says

    Wow! What a shame this is! A division that was meant to keep costs down and to be an equal playing field has turned into a what money can buy you and who you know / or hang around with cheating fiasco!!! This is almost as bad as the Putin loving racist we have in the white house! In my opinion Stafford should require every 602 motor with SMS seals this guy has built to be tore down, inspected, replace the cheater parts and resealed! Just goes to show you this has not been a fair playing field for many many years! Just to give you an example, with out mentioning any names: T/A’s buddies kid last year won two Lite Championships w/ a T/A motor, dominated every track he went to! He was turning Spec Motor times! No one cold get near him and the car didn’t handle!!! And now he’s in the SK’s!!! And what’s he done this year??? Nothing!!! All because he had a cheating T/A 602 illeagle motor!!! Do the right thing Stafford and tear down every T/A sealed 602 registered with SMS seals before you let it hit the track again!!! For the integrity of the sport!!! What a shame this is!!! This is not good!!!

  14. If anyone cares here are the Dare Stock engine rules.

    “20F- 4 GENERAL ENGINE REQUIREMENTS- Engine must be Stock OEM cast iron production block, heads, intake and exhaust manifolds. Approved Engines: GM 305 and FORD 302. Stock stroke must be maintained. Maximum overbore .030” from stock. No deflashing, abrasive cleaning, grinding, welding, Teflon coating or deburring of engine parts. Engine must be in stock location in the chassis. No block may have more that two (2) cylinder sleeves installed and the sleeves must be made of cast iron material. Stock type dowel pins must be used in all engines. The dowel pins must be the same diameter and length as stock OEM pins, with no offset allowed. Dowel pin holes may not exceed .315” dia. and must remain unaltered. Head bolts and holes must remain unaltered.
    OP -20F- 4- OPTIONAL SMS 602 CRATE ENGINE As an option for the DARE Stock division, the 602 GM Performance Factory Sealed Circle Track Crate Engine is permitted. The engine is the GM Part Number 88958602 GMR 350/350 Circle Track Engine with no performance modifications. The engine will be inspected, tested and resealed with blue seals by an SMS Official. All engine seals must remain intact and unaltered. Any service work requiring the removal of any seals/ bolts must also be scheduled with and approved by SMS Officials before the seals/ bolts are removed. Tampering with seals/bolts may result in penalties and loss of eligibility of the engine to compete in the DARE Stock division. The engine will only be available through R.A.D. Auto Machine, the SMS approved service center.. The price for this brand new 88958602 engine is $4,100, which includes dealer delivery to our Authorized Service Center, inspection, break-in, dyno service, documentation and sealing. The DARE Stock engine will be sealed with Blue SMS seals. SK Light or LLM engines are not permitted in DARE Stock competition. Please call R.A.D. Auto Machine (413-583-4414) or email the SMS technical staff at [email protected] with any questions.”

  15. In the early 80’s T/A built the engine of choice if you wanted to win in the Street Stock division at Stafford. The cost was around $4000 in 1980 dollars. A huge sum. The cost is now around the same for a super reliable GM crate motor. There is no problem with the crate motor program in my view since it saves teams money. But racers will seek advantages and that has never changed. The future of racing includes crate engines and it’s merely the enforcement and integrity of those policing the program that needs to be tweeked.

  16. Tony Membrino says

    Trying to make a point by fabricating a quote that never happened and referring to specific wins that occurred with my rear bumper getting smashed in by RAD-powered cars in the final laps while trying to claim horsepower advantage… I think it’s safe to say that if you were on Jeapordy up against a potted plant and a slice of pizza from your oven, you would not make the final round.

  17. Tony Membrino says

    Sweet Jesus, you’re like a clip out of the Nutcracker!

    The name you chose to post under was a dead giveaway you really didn’t think this through claiming any chassis other than Troyer rules SK racing anywhere right now considering they won all but 4 or 5 SK events in CT this year. I didn’t even have to read your jacked up on Mountain Dew jibberish. But I’m a sucker for comedy and you had me at Putin.

    If by “spec motor times” you mean faster than some SK guys severely struggling to get their cars to turn, like me this year for example, then yeah, I clicked off some laps in that range…. me and 5-6 other guys actually. Guess they were all power and no turn too? And what the hell am I doing turning those times with a car that didn’t handle? Was I drag racing all these years and no one told me?

    I remember guys like Matthews, Barrett, and Kopec dominating SKL races in their hayday. One of them has the most all-time SKL wins at Stafford, and the other two have the two highest win counts in a single season – more than I “cheated my way to”. They cheat their way too? Or does this not apply to other engine builders?

    In case it hasn’t sunk in, you should refrain from posting until you get your crutches bexause you clearly do not have a leg to stand on.

  18. Tech found an illegal timing chain and gear in the motor. Then, “someone” tried to make it look like they never touched it. That’s all illegal. If tech tore it down further, they would have found a cheater cam as well. The 14 team didn’t want the engine opened up. That’s why they threw T/A under the bus. You’re blinded by a misplaced trust in T/A . The 14 driver admitted in tech that T/A put the illegal parts in the car, after he tried to blame RAD on it. T/A wouldn’t have bailed on the crate racers mid way through the season y weren’t given the ultimatum…bow out gracefully, or be thrown out.

    By the way, I sincerely hope that the business partner’s health resolves in a positive manner.

  19. Tony, you and I don’t always agree but this time we do. I am glad you admitted you had what I feel was a 15-20 or so lap car then it would fade. It seemed like your car had to get to the front quickly and you could hold them off. Probably had a lot to do with the age of the chassis. And you are correct RAD was catching up with T/A and being honest I would buy a T/A engine if I had a light. He provides excellent track support and that is what you need. I don’t blame T/A for what happened, anyone can do what was done and replace a timing chain and gear but the cam requires the intake to be removed and I did not see those seals were tampered with. Hell just call Brezinski and you would be surprised what you can get for a crate 602.

    Don’t take what I said personal but it was just my observation on your car. Keep on diggin and you will get an SK win yet.

  20. I can get behind your statement about his busienss partner’s health.

    However, I’m having trouble looking past the fact that you’re riding a very high horse considering when Stafford tech asked you to pull apart your motor you begged and pleaded for them to not do so because you had a race the next day. Just pointing it out.

  21. Tony Membrino says

    Nothing personal taken at all, couldn’t be more correct. 9/10 times I was considerably better at the beginning than the end which feels funny to say when referring to 20-25 lap races. Thanks for the encouragement!

    If what TH shed some light on is indeed true, then yeah, T/A holds a fair amount of blame here. But I find it very hard to believe they knocked on a DARE team’s door for some change, so in essence, the team is still the primary holder of responsibility and guilt for the infraction(s). Yet, somehow, T/A seems to be getting dragged through the mud the most.

  22. Even IF the parts in question came from T/A last time I checked it’s not a crime to crack those seals. It is the TEAMS responsibility to comply with the rule book not any supplier.

  23. Bench Warmer says

    Just out of curiosity, how fast are the SK Spec Engine times and how fast were his times in comparison CD’s Rule Stafford SK’s? Fill me in please.

  24. Tony Membrino says

    I’m not sure if you’ve been following Stafford SK results lately, but the highest horse I’m riding these days has wooden legs on it, rocks back and forth, and can be bought at your local Target for anywhere from $50-$100 because I don’t live in the past and presently, I’m not exactly the talk of the town. But you and I weren’t classmates together at the T.H/T.M School of Loose Facts and Excuse Making, so I’m not surprised you find it hard to follow what I’m saying.

    Speaking of loose facts, you should take your head out of 2016, the inflated bass out of your tone, and check the script. What you have either forgotten or intentionally neglected to mention that although I had an issue with tearing my only engine apart with having to race the next day, it was offered in the interest of integrity to have all expenses paid for SMS officials to take the motor apart the next day at Waterford or wherever preferred following the features the next day so that I would not miss a race and essentially lose the championship, OR take the motor apart the following week regardless of where I finished when there was not a race at Waterford the next day. Those offers, of course, were declined. Suddenly, inspecting the engine lost importance otherwise one would think I would’ve been faced with an ultimatum to go through tech or be disqualified for refusing tech. Niether of which happened – just pointing that out.

  25. T. Daigle says

    I agree all these people making comments under a fake name. Talk about something that is wrong man up!!
    They all push limits no matter what level it all comes under direction from the customers.

  26. Well I’d like to thank you Mr. Membrino for checking in to this forum. Aside from your dominance last year, my recollection is of your classic battles with DJ Burnham, Kopcik, and Wesson among others in prior years. Seems like all of you were consistently fast and the races were terrific.
    What am I missing. Did Stafford make you tear down the engine or not.
    Another question if you care to respond. Aside from your personal experiences, what is your opinion on the crate engine program at Stafford for the Dare, Lights and LLM divisions. Aside from the drama swirling around T/A do you see FAB being able to handle the load by themselves? If not who might be an engine builder they could add to the program? Another question. Crate engines are delivered to an authorized dealer who apparently do some minor work that Stafford stipulates then reseals the engines. Can you say what that work? What happens after a year and the engine is “freshened up”. Seems to me that is the time for monkey business to be afoot. Are authorized dealers mandated to keep the engines within strict “crate tolerances” and reseal them? Can a team bring parts to incorporate into the engines like heads, cams and intake manifolds that the builder can use if they deem them appropriate “crate” parts? Finally, in your time in the Light Division did you have confidence that no builder was extending any special courtesy to your competitors and that the playing field was in fact level?
    Thanks again.

  27. Sorry, one more question. Why aren’t you bringing your SK down to Waterford other then the one time?

  28. ModFan Homtracks says

    Guys, let’s get back to the facts and reality. First, our continued thoughts and prayers as a racing community go out to Billy: a great motor builder and one of the nicest guys in the pits. Keep battling buddy! We are all with you. A motor builder can only seal a motor with a SMS official there and if they break a seal to get in the motor, the official must come back to seal it again. Do you really think T/A would risk his business and reputation especially on a Dare car? If he sold him parts, what were those circumstances? Did this 14 year old and his camp deceive Tony in the sale of those parts, or did Tony know that this team was going to break seals and install illegal parts in that motor? All the rest of what you guys are bringing up is just unsubstantiated BS. I believe T/A knew nothing about the DARE cheating and if anything he could be questioned on would be did he blindly sell him parts? If he did, that may not be ethical but it’s not illegal. This article never said T/A broke seals and installed illegal parts. You guys are connecting those dots yourself. I understand this is a forum for opinions and that is great. It’s very entertaining. Let’s stick a little closer to the facts.

  29. ModFan Homtracks says

    That dudes post was unsubstantiated BS and not even close to the truth. Generally speaking the top SK times on any given night change due to track conditions. Best times you will see in a Feature are on average 19.00-19.3 ; the Best SK Lite times are normally .80-1.00 sec higher. Tony M never ran top SK times in his SK Light. He did run faster than the back markers of the division and faster than Whelen Mod Tour Driver of the 01 so maybe that’s his point.

  30. Even if this kid got the parts from T/A it is obvious that T/A did not break the seals and install them, Robinson did. Was it politically correct to sell the parts to Robinson when RAD was the authorized builder, maybe not. Bottom line is Robinson knowingly broke the rules by unsealing the engine, going inside and making unauthorized modifications. The reason Robinson probably did not go to RAD is because he would have been told no, bring the engine back to have the work done legally and that is not what Robinson wanted to do.

    I think T/A is smart by getting away from this program because the time has come to revisit the crate engine, it’s cost, modififications allowed such as better connecting rods, pistons, head work, 30 over bore, balancing etc. This program is completely out of control and less cost effective to the competitor. They need to go back to the original intent of the program and stay with it.

    Only my opinion!

  31. Tony Membrino says


    First, let me say how refreshing it is to see and converse with people like you and Humphry that from what I can tell, interact on this forum constructively and with some brains. I’m also glad someone has finally shown common sense in acknowledging that if I was running with such a substantial horsepower advantage in a class with engines that lack a notable amount of horsepower and torque, the dozens of great battles I’ve had and even LOST with people in SKL over the years would absolutely have not occurred; not to mention my win count would be notably larger.

    Getting to your questions:
    No, my engine was not taken apart in tech – the reason why is a mystery. I was subject to different inspection criteria than 2nd and 3rd place finishers multiple times, that’s never an issue for me. What was an issue in this case was that I didn’t appreciate, and for some reason it was thought I’d be oblivious to, the jump-rope being played over the fine line between ensuring a level playing field and the throwing around of disgruntled weight.

    I’m not opposed to saying the crate engine program isn’t without areas in need of improvement, but let’s not forget that the TRACKS are the ones who have the final say in what goes in their rulebooks. If there’s such a disdain for the costs and activities tied up in the create engine programs, to put it simply, the people pointing fingers at engine builders for the programs’ imperfections are pissing up a rope. And seeing this a post surrounding the DARE Stock division, I find it funny how people seem to have already forgotten how out of hand the 305 engine program in the division was getting in terms of costs and what shined versus what didn’t…

    I’m not all that familiar with other engine builders, but despite being a “T/A guy,” I sincerely do believe and hope RAD takes this ball and makes great things happen with it because at the end of the day, it’s about the teams, the racing, and the fans.

    Aside from not being familiar with many engine builders, I’m even less familiar with what work goes into preparations that go into crate engines from arriving in the crate to being approved as race-ready. However, I do say with a level of certainty that the same procedures go into inspecting and sealing the engines during the offseason if/when they’re freshened. Again, if there is suspicion or an evident issue that those measures aren’t being taken, that burden lands on the people responsible for officiating and policing the rules set in place.

    To my knowledge, I don’t believe teams are allowed to retrofit their parts into engines that are a part of the sealed crate engine program. I would imagine that would leave the door wide open for monkey business, as you put it, to occur.

    We’re in a money sport, and like the old saying goes: money buys speed. So I’d be a fool to think that somewhere in my 4 years and change in running SKL, being a budget racer, that one or more of my competitors who were a little more fortunate in the financial department didn’t have a little more under the hood than I did. However, we are talking about crate engines, and their configurations in accordance to CT rules are only capable of so much. Additionally, I feel like SKL division stands out from LLM and DARE because there’s a bigger number of cars have different engine brands. My point being that there’s more business to be lost if customer favoritism is blatantly obvious. Whether that has stopped people from dipping into that pool is unbeknownst to me. Yes, you do need to be as up to par in the horsepower department as you can be with your competitors, but SKLs are well-known to be momentum-based race cars, and you have to have a considerably well-handling car if you want to be a formidable front-runner in that division. I’ve had firsthand experience racing against cars that shine like gold down the straightways, do a complete 180, and completely crap out in the corners. So, to answer your question, whatever confidence I may or may not have lacked in equivalent engine programs across the board, I made up for in an immeasurable amount of confidence I had driving my 44 car because of just how damn well it handled.

    As for your last question, we were originally planning on competing full-time at Waterford, but the dark cloud that made its way over the track and the uncertainties that came with it pushed us to Stafford. We’ve put pretty much all of our nuts in that basket, which is why we’ve only dabbled at Waterford once following a Friday night rainout, but I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t experiencing some withdrawals

  32. Phil Stuart says

    Doesn’t Joe Brockett work on this car?

  33. Bench Warmer says

    Thanks for the reply, thats about what i figured

  34. I’d like to thank Tony Membrino for taking the time out of his day for this Q&A session!! #HollywoodaintScared

  35. That was a much appreciated response Tony and thanks for taking the time. As an old street stocker I love the tech part of racing and the drama and emotion it can entail many don’t see. Getting a well written response from a successful driver is like spotting a unicorn so it’s been a good day.

  36. Nathan Pytko says

    It wouldn’t have been hard for any of the people thinking there was games being played by the motor men to go and put up the money to have some one else’s motor torn down by the officials. Until I’ve seen this done most of your opinions banging T/A and dragging his name through the mud are meaningless.

  37. Can you do that Nathan? Can a race team challenge another and if they agree to pay the cost of a tear down and rebuild they can simply ask for it? That doesn’t sound workable.
    I think the unwritten definition of any unsubstantiated accusation in a comment section is meaningless. What does have meaning is authoritative commentary with clear logic and conclusions and of course first hand accounts by guys like Tony Membrino. And if you check over with Racer Kid Ryan Fearn has kindly provided his noteworthy insights as well you might find interesting.

  38. sour grapes of wrath says

    I don’t think T/A would risk his business to “cheat up” a dare stock engine. I think what we have is a crate engine approved repair shop who replaced a timing chain on an engine outside their division and it wasn`t properly certified/sealed.I see no official statement from STAFFORD stating the PARTS used were ILLEGAL.T/A has many wins at Stafford and Thompson going back many years.. hundreds of teardowns and inspections.. just like other longtime builders. until there is further evidence to the contrary that illegal “parts” were used I would stop bashing T/A. there is probably more to this story not being told. solve the problem in all divisions .. institute a claimer rule.. if you refuse to sell your engine carb to pan you lose all points … out for the year…

  39. Sour grapes, I believe you have it all wrong here. T/A did not do the work on the engine, he just provided the parts and Robinson did the dirty work along with a febile attempt to reseal the engine. Am I missing something here or am I understanding it wrong?

  40. Second to that. Thanks Tony for some insight on the story.

  41. Tommy crew man says

    Hate to break it to you guys but the engine was illegal. Robinson cried like a baby, then sang like a bird and completely rolled over on Tony. It’s no coincidence that he is no longer an authorized crate engine supplier. Stafford banished him and this story is a very silly “resignation” release. Having races at all 3 CT tracks, I will tell you that the stafford tech is by far the most pathetic. It amazes me that this is the first time they noticed the seals were wrong. As far as sk lites go, you are allowed to change so much stuff that I wouldn’t even call them a crate motor. That’s how insane stafford is with how they do things. Should be stock out of the box crate engines. Typical stafford stupidity. Even at the speedbowl they check cam lift and duration in the crate motors. I can say without a doubt that there are zero tech guys at stafford that would even know how to do that.

    By the way, if Tony would cheat up a crate engine for the small sum of $800 (the amount Robinson cried out in the tech area) how can anyone believe he wouldn’t cheat in an SK or a Latemodel. Let’s be real. Time to start checking cars stafford. I think this is an embarrassment for the track and tech staff just as much as Tony and Robinson.

  42. Tommy you are patheakit

  43. This is very frustrating. Stafford just kicks a guy out, T/A is out and a person accuses Stafford of not being strict enough on tech inspections. I don’t recall any articles on Waterford and Thompson drivers kicked out. Also by mere hearsay accusing a driver of cheating as well. See this is why many drivers and people in the know won’t make entries here. The vague attacks and accusations. Why stick your next out when some anonymous person can take shots with mere cursory information.

  44. sour grapes of wrath says

    ok tommy crew man .. offer up your teams engine to be torn down( if you are finishing up front) sounds like a plan.. I think the accurate facts have NOT been reported (not on shawn) as I said probably more to the story that may never be know. Stafford hasn’t stated the parts were illegal and again as far as I can tell T/A worked on a crate motor outside his division.. I don’t see a major crime here.. its only because of the performance of the car everyone assumes the parts were illegal or the engine was modified to provide a performance advantage. until the track or an official from the track states different this is a seals issue and an internal issue with the crate engine program at Stafford.. the team took one of the options they were given by the track and left..

  45. CD Rules The Stafford SK's says

    Why is Tommy Crew Man so out of line stating what he believes he apparently witnesses? Let’s all try and look at what this really is here. What started out to be a fair, even and low cost idea to use a 602 crate engine has become a corrupt deceptive cheating machine. By no means has everyone been playing by the rules ever since the motor men were allowed to rebuild them. Tommy is 100& right, you never see Stafford check any of things such as the cam lift and duration, they feel they didn’t need too, the seals were there to show a symbol of integrity and honesty of the approved engine builders. Unfortunately it has not, rather a shield of dishonesty for a few racers who were willing to hand over an additional bag of cash or rub elbows with the builder and buy his lunch daily at the local dinner.
    I totally appreciate the racers showing there support here in the builders defense, it’s very admirable, it trully is. But please let us all try and stay focused and have a bit of integrity here. The entire Stafford Lite / Limited 602 program has become corrupt and needs to be changed! It’s time we let it be what it was meant to be, a fair and balanced even playing field for all.
    It doesn’t take a genius to see that these select few motors have an unfair advantage, I still stand by what I’ve seen of the two track champion in the Lites last year compared to this year. He can say all he wants, that motor at minimum had an illeagle cam in it, that’s why they were shaking like leafs on a tree any time Waterford:s tech man made them remove there valve cover in fear of what they were going to check. Or when they begged Stafford not to tear them down. You can’t turn the lap times like that in a lite and perform like he is this year in a Spec motor, it’s impossible. If I’m wrong then please show us at some point this year.
    I truly hope Stafford does the right thing and starts to properly check all these perviously sealed 602’s for fairness and conformance. Unfortunately I think you will see I’m correct, despite the seals Tere were games played, starting with the cam shafts.
    I Wish T/A and all his customers the best! All I wish is fairness for all.. I don’t think it’s to much to ask..

  46. Nathan Pytko says

    From what I’ve been told it use to be done, weather it was done a way with by the tracks or if you just don’t see it happening any more is beyond me. but it makes perfect sense if some one is totally convinced of a motor not being legal, there should be a price tag for them to pay for an inspection of the motor. If it comes up to be an illegal motor they should be refunded. If the motor was to be legal it should go to the team being questioned on legality.

  47. darealgoodfella says

    Just wait… when Mueller unleashes more facts, the “fake news” crowds will experience massive myocardial infarctions and blow out aneurysms. Heads are going to spontaneously explode. And the Speedbowl will look perfectly normal.

  48. http://staffordmotorspeedway.com/penalties-from-august-4-2017-stafford-150-event/

    A mere slap on the wrist! No fine and was allowed to take his motor home on Friday night. And this team is so convinced they are not a “track favorite” if those even exist…..

  49. Mark Andrews says

    I have been involved in racing since the late 60s at all levels at almost all the local tracks in the area.Ive been a silent car owner or partner with some very successful teams at all levels from street stocks to sks.Let me be very clear here.Alot of the engines out there….crate or spec or otherwise are illegal.PERIOD.Extude honing…Acid Porting..Undercover Porting.We won a few championships and numerous features…Not one time…not one were we found to be ILLEGAL AT ANY VENUE!Testing at the track has evolved but is not definitive enough.I can recall many occasions when we had engine and suspension parts looked at along with the other teams.Some of these times everyones stuff was so bad that they said”Look…Don’t bring it back next week”Are you serious?We put it right back on the car.I was even given an UNMODIFIED INTAKE from a Connecticut track as they confiscated ours.After going to our builder at that time he laughed and said”This is worse than the one they took from you”We had a good laugh.I installed that intake and we re dynode the motor.Actually broadened our tourque curve on the dyno!Still have the intake.A claimer rule on engine,Transmission and Rear End will solve the problem.Period.Or purchase a Flow Bench and use it to check heads and intakes….They are between 2,500 and 10,000 for a good used one.It would pay for itself in a season by allowing all the competitors a chance to have the same rule enforcement.Now about the 14 car.I was within ear shot of tech and this young man and his stepdad.As i overheard……the kid didn’t whine or cry or give up anyone….After he was asked about the engine.He explained that the engine was purchases a few seasons ago at RAD.They had had some problems with the engine last year after a refresh.They took the car to the world series last season and broke a timing chain while there.They had problems with RAD so the engine went to TA.What i overheard was they replaced the timing chain that broke.I also heard that two weeks ago….Stafford Tech looked at everyones seals and gave them their approval.These were the discussions taking place between Stafford officials and members of the 14 crew.I also overheard that a member of the 14 crew had mentioned to a Stafford official that they were not happy with a rear suspension part on another guys car……..That guys name was never mentioned here….A receipt exists that confirms the TA Engines transaction with the 14 car.Its for approx. 800 dollars…If we are going to debate lets bring it all up..not just some stuff.

  50. Spank spangler says

    Son of a beeeeotch

  51. Amanda Spencer says

    Mark Andrews it’s amazing you heard what we heard from the driver of the 14 and you are correct there was no tears I was outside of tech with our car and heard everything that was said! People saying this was a slap on the wrist really have no clue! He was thrown out for the year and lost all points! One or two teams couldn’t beat him on the track so they put money up but as someone who does lap times there are two other cars I would be looking at 01-78 they are just as fast but we all know nothing will be done to them! I heard the tech official say he could take his motor cause it was not illegal they keep the seal and bolts that’s all the track found! We know everyone is tech is family and many of weeks cars get pushed of the scale underweight and it’s ok or they tell the driver we caught this fix it by next week! Or they just let it slide! With that being said Stafford set this kid up last week when his seals were checked and he was fine! But a week later there’s a issues! I also found it funny that head of tech the old guy was laughing in this kids face very unprofessional and tom fox has liked a couple of comments in regards to this! Kid could have lied and didn’t! Really don’t make since but it’s Stafford! I wish the 14 team that I don’t know nothing but the best and a fair share at race!

  52. Mark Andrews says

    Also…..during the discussions I witnessed….Stafford officials gave the 14 team the choice to surrender the engine to RAD and Still Be Penalized…..Or take it with them and Not Come Back.They own the Engine so they did what anyone would do…..They took a $3,700 RAD Motor with a $800 TA Repair and took it with them.Im done now.

  53. Phil Stuart says

    $800 to fix a timing chain sounds excessive.

  54. Amanda Spencer says

    Like my other half just said I am sure 800.00 was for chain, seal and bolts and labor and probably had it dyno!

  55. These anecdotes by those viewing the infraction as it unfolded and experiences in the sport are very interesting. The reality is there are a lot of different winners in the LLM and Lights and the competition is remarkably equal. So what’s the problem. Ground up built, crate , no matter. Cheating will occur as long as there is a prize to win. Wholesale changes will not be made nor would they appear to be necessary. Incremental changes most likely will. Crate engines are a lifeline for most teams and they’re not going anywhere. Is it out on control? A resounding NO the results say. The outlier in the Dare Division has been caught and dealt with. A message has been sent. That’s good. That and maybe many of the specific criticisms here may be used to make incremental changes. But the raking a guy over the coals for results a year a go, who isn’t even in the division any more with little to no proof and a ton of anecdotes is bizarre.

  56. I have known Tony and Billy for many years and have found them to be honest beyond question. Their at track Customer Service is exceptional. Does it make any sense for them to risk an outstanding record and reputation at the 3 Ct. tracks for an $800 repair job ? This entire issue does not pass the “Common Sense” test.

  57. Here is what I understand putting the pieces together from what I have read. The timing chain supposedly was damaged during the 2016 World Series. So at some time it was repaired, I would assume during the off season. The car was checked at Stafford prior to the first race and 3 subsequent times in victory lane and deemed legal. Now all of a sudden there was a problem with the seal after the 4th win, so I have to ask why does 2+2=5?

    Is $800.00 excessive to repair damage from a timing chain? Ever broke one? I have witnessed one break and nothing good came from it. Head, piston, rod and valve damage, thank god the block was not.

    As far as people shaking in their boots at Waterford last year when the duration of the cam was checked, the top 2 cars in points the 39 & 44 both with T/A engines passed with flying colors, and BTW I was just an interested bystander like about a dozen others to see what happened. Matter of fact all of the top 5 passed if I remember correctly or I am certain you would have read about it. I did not see anyone shaking in their boots or resisting what was being done so that is BS.

    Tony Membrino please help me out here and if I am lieing please feel free to call me out.

  58. Tony Membrino says

    100% correct. Everyone passed: the T/As, RADs, even the ones who we’re faster than me in a good amount of those races. Mine (and only mine) was checked and passed at Stafford also.

  59. Call you out Humphrey. Indeed. That was an actual first hand account and more on the order of a ray of sunshine.
    This entire thing is an important subject for sure. But I’m at Stafford. I saw two and a hafl cars dominate in the Dare’s and that is being dealt with. Otherwise I’ see no one in LLM and Lights coming off the corners and blowing off people with unusual horsepower. Exactly the opposite. The criticism may be start up front and stay up front cause no one will be able to catch you.

  60. Tony Membrino says

    Dear Bacon Bits,

    As I stated in my response to humphry below, cam was checked twice and passed twice. Valve covers also came off a few times last year – no issues. And any shaking I may have done in tech can be chalked up to a body’s response to laughter or cold weather. And if you were so apparently close to see all this shaking, you’ve got a dull personality to not join in on the fun and you’r’e a jerk for not letting me borrow your “T/A’s Biggest Fan” jacket.

    I’ve already issued the truth in the matter behind the “begging Stafford” claims, anything said to the contrary is complete and utter crap. If this is a matter of “I do not accept those results,” I feel it’s my duty as a fellow human being to offer my condolences and suggest that you get a colonoscopy to find a cause and remedy to your severe case of butthurt.

    I can’t understand the continued performance comparisons of the 44 SKL and 11 SK. They’re not the same car, in case the rediculously bright colors aren’t a dead giveaway, and the differences are night and day between SKL and SK as far as options for equipment configuration. Having a difficult time figuring out what the 11 car needs in its setup to get it to handle well and continue to handle well over the course of 40 laps is the most accurate way to describe the vast difference in our performance from 2016 to 2017. Believe me, it’s more than frustrating being able to figure out how to get the ancient 44 car able to turn so well it could go from 4th to 1st in one turn with a 3-wide pass on the outside, and not be able to get the 11 car to do the “turn yourself around” portion of the Hokey Pokey.

    If you can find something somewhere in your infinite wisdom that may be of help getting me off the struggle bus, I’m all ears!

  61. Thanks Tony, just trying to set the story straight on the accusations of illegal cam shafts.

    And Doug, been around racing my whole adult life, all the horse power in the world does you no good if you can’t transfer it to the track.

  62. sour grapes of wrath says

    nice story about Gleason winning at Thompson.. he had an engine issue a while back in tech.. didn’t`t get nearly the attention this is getting .. he is racing using an different power plant and I think has his second “legal” win ..three wins total. where is the outrage there !!! this got totally blown outta proportion…. lets try a claimer rule in the entry level divisions and see how it goes…then you can try it with the upper tier..I think that will level the playing field once and for all and make it more affordable at least where engines are concerned… you could do shocks, trans ,rears too I guess..something has to be done and while we are at it make the rules universal for all three CT tracks ..just a thought ..

  63. Why don’t we just throw the car in as well Sour? There is a simple fix to this, enforce the rules that are in place and by the looks of things, the tech staff is doing just that.

  64. The engine is not the only piece to the puzzle. Car, driver, chemistry, and Lady Luck all part of the equation.

  65. Numerous people have mentioned a claimer rule. Not having any experience with it I checked it out. Claiming in stock cars is a catch all for spectrum of variations that can go from a part such as the engine or transmission to the entire car. The claim can be by management, another competitor or anyone depending on the rules. It generally has to happen in a certain amount of time following a race and the team making having the claim made against them can opt out buy accepting some kind of penalty that can really be anything.
    As far as I can see claiming is most prevalent in budget racing divisions. In Connecticut I would consider only Waterford’s X cars in that class and maybe not even them. Am I wrong?
    To race at Stafford in Dare, LLM and Lights you need engines worth a minimum of $4100 plus. Not practical at that price point. No one would accept it, they’d be suspended and the fragile car counts would go lower. Moreover why do it. Dare had a problem, it is being dealt with. The LLM and Lights are almost a poster advertisements for equal competition.
    Enduro’s, Demo cars, figure eights I can see it. Maybe the cars that race at the Hebron Fair. But New England oval track weekly series racing? Claiming an expensive car you work until midnight every day of the week even when you don’t wreck that demands every fiber of your focus and letting anyone just claim it. I respectfully say that is never happening.
    So what do you think?

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