DARE Stock Division At Stafford Speedway Rebranded As Street Stocks For 2018

(Press Release from Stafford Motor Speedway)

Johnny Walker will go down in Stafford Speedway history as the final winner and final champion in what was known as the DARE Stock division at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont)

New for the 2018 season Stafford Speedway’s DARE Stock division will be renamed to Street Stocks as part of full rebranding of the division. Stafford’s DARE Stock and now known as Street Stock division has served as a stepping stone for drivers since its inaugural season in 1993. Through the completion of the 2017 season 124 different drivers have notched victories in the division.

“We are rebranding the division to Street Stocks for 2018,” explained Mark Arute, GM. “Throughout the Northeast these type of cars are referred to as Street Stocks. Along with the new name and updated rules we are also planning a few other changes for the Street Stock division in 2018, stay tuned.”

Street Stock (DARE Stock) racing at Stafford dates back to 1993, an offshoot to the popular L&R Enduro Racing. 2017 marked the 25th season of the division. Throughout those 25 seasons the division has served as a place for drivers to learn but also a place for teams to compete.

“The DARE Stocks have always been a great division at Stafford,” continued Arute. “Many drivers have used this novice division as a stepping stone and continued to move up the ranks. The rebranding and renaming to Street Stocks will still offer the mix of young drivers and veterans in the division which will continue to make for great racing. We will continue to work with drivers to make the division a success.”

The 2018 Street Stock rules are now available online in the rules section of www.staffordspeedway.com. To view the rules online, click here.

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. About time. Hopefully they add minis too they have good car counts and usually put on a good show. Just sayin

  2. Shawn

    Do these rules accommodate other tracks cars to? Seems like a good step but not if the rules don’t allow other cars from different tracks to compete.

  3. 1993 my foot. Street Stocks go back to the late 70’s at least. A division I had the pleasure to waste, I mean spend tens of thousands of dollars over a few years having the time of my life. Then reality hit.
    Good for you Stafford. Nancy Reagan would understand. Times change and her old Just Say No to Drugs Dare program for which it was named most don’t even know existed.

  4. First question answered. 2018 LLM and Late Model rules published along with Street Stocks. Speculation about meager car counts and combining the divisions is over. Nothing changes. Appearance of minis Tom……..remote.

  5. Dear God, no mini stocks.

  6. Fred,
    I honestly don’t know enough about the technical aspects and how they line up.

  7. Second that.

  8. They should combine the limited late model and late model divisions into one feature. There is a full field with them combined and two boring races with them running separate features. The Stafford late model and limited divisions are really struggling to draw cars. I understand a track wanting to keep their cars at their track but when you don’t have enough cars to make an entertaining race you need to rethink your rules philosophy. Keep separate winners, purse, and points for the 2 late model divisions running together. If they ever get more than a combined 32 cars run them separate. I think they should move towards the ACT late model rules. The ACT lm rules seem to be doing well at Seekonk, and Thompson. Phase the ACT LM with some added weight to make the ACT and Stafford LM competitive with each other.

    I think a good weekly show at Stafford would be the street stock 15 laps, combined limited and late model 25, sk light 30, and sk 40. Promote the sk lights to nascar division 2. Allow infield pitting for all divisions but street stocks. Run the sk’s second to last weekly unless they have a special extra distance race. Add a 113 lap TC memorial SK race to the schedule. Finally, add a division to the fall final Sunday show. They should not have an hour delay between features.

  9. John Walker, you out there? Why is there no crossover with Thompson’s Limited Sportsman? Waterford I get because of gear ratios. Thompson seems to have loaded fields of Limited Sportman and a quick review of the rules indicate they are similar to Dare.

  10. Stafford could run an outlaw late model division on occasion allowing cars from other tracks to compete while also allowing their own late models or limited late models to compete against them. Could help car counts there.

    IMO, SKs should never run more than 80 laps. Honestly, outside of the WMT I don’t thing any division should run more than that at Stafford 80 laps is plenty long enough to settle the deal. Stafford can still sell a lot if hot dogs and beers in that time.

  11. Watching 10-15 cars in the full body divisions is pretty boring and I agree something should have done to fix that. I would also like to see Stafford do some upgrades to their facility like Thompson did. First, how about replacing that outdated pace car. I am sure they could get a good deal on a nice Mustang from Family Ford. How about a nice garage for the racers to work on their cars. Also the concessions need to be upgraded especially that clubhouse and bathroom. People spend a lot of money to both race and spectate and I believe they should have first class facility. I know this won’t be cheap but it seems like crowds have been good this year.

  12. James Scott says

    Glad Stafford is opening up the Street stocks. I haven’t read the rules but open 305, open 350 and crates should all be permitted. I think a mini stock division would work also. Lots of cars out there in both divisions.

  13. Reading the rules it appears that you can run a built 305 or the GM 602 crate motor that most everyone favors. Most as I understand it run 4 speed Saginaws with a few auto trans hold outs. The frame rules are a trip with extensive modifications using 2 by 4 box tubing in specific locations to frame shortening in the case of Ford Crown Victoria’s that I don’t recall ever seeing. All the result of the scarcity of age appropriate cars I presume. Aftermarket springs all around and rear jacking bolts. I’m not seeing many changes other then the division name and that seems to be more sentimental then descriptive. Greater car count probability resulting from the name change…………remote.

  14. getserious says

    Misters (or Ms) “cg” and “JH”; man, I wish you ran Stafford! You hit the nails on the head completely. More SK Lite laps, less total late model laps, more common cars to other tracks, and more racing on the stupid two-day stretched out cash-cow shows. And as for mini-stocks, on the half mile?!, Get serious. Not unless there is a starting field of about 45.

  15. Billy Parker says

    Nope, Stafford really didn’t change much in the rules for the name change only street stocks…. im glad they allow manual trannys, and Camaro spindles, but really the addition of a spoiler is not going to bring Thompson, and Waterford cars, because Stafford is still pushing those 20 year old 305 rules…… Not everyone has a crate, not everyone wants to deal with Stafford’s exclusive motor guy for a crate, and until they allow the built 350 Thompson, and Waterford motors, their car counts will remain what they are…. I know MANY sportsman teams from Waterford, and Thompson who want to run Stafford, as soon as their allowed to show up and run THEIR stuff….

  16. Billy Parker says

    Also the $800. fuel cells are game over for quite a few Thompson and Waterford teams……

  17. On the surface, this a great move for the fans, especially causal fans. Unfortunately, when you dig a little deeper, I really feel that you won’t see much if any increase in Stafford car counts, and you will see very few cars crossover from Thompson or Waterford. To my knowledge, Nick Bendiak and Meg Fuller were the only two to make the move over this year. I know first hand just how much was changed on the Fuller car to be legal for Stafford from Thompson. It was a ton of work. That’s not to say that a couple new drivers wont come over for a race or two, but I feel it’s going to be highly unlikely that you see a commitment from any outsiders just yet until the rules are much more in line across all 3 tracks.

    Some key points to note here. It doesn’t seem that SMS is willing to allow the open 350 cars, which I guess I understand, but it completely rules out about 80% of the cars at both Thompson and Waterford right off the bat. Many of the Thompson crate cars seem to run a 4.56 rear gear which under Stafford rules would be deemed illegal in tech (I do believe Stafford also has a 6000rpm max rule for the crate cars, so I personally feel it’s pointless to have the 3.42 gear rule). Along with that, many of the crate guys at Thompson may not have a 2bbl handy if they are 100% committed to the crate motor program as Thompson/Waterford 602 cars run a 4150 4bbl and Stafford requires a 4412 2bbl with a restrictor plate (supplied by sms). Another big thing is going to be the fuel cell. Thompson and Waterford as of the 2017 season, do not require an ATL Bladder type fuel cell. How will SMS enforce this for visiting cars? Will they be turned away if they do not have the ATL cell?

    Along with that, Stafford cars also have a much different tire and wheel offset rule and the left side weight rule is a 2% change (Stafford 53% and Thompson/Waterford 55%) which will really throw off scale numbers and take excess time in the shop to get everything where it needs to be to switch back and fourth between tracks where if the left side percentages were the same rule at Stafford as they are at TSMP and Waterford, it would be as simple as getting the crossweight where you want it, and go race. From experience I can tell you, other than cross, the setups are almost identical despite the lack of banking at Stafford.

    After racing Thompson with some success in 2015, 2016 and 2017, I had an opportunity to hop in a Dare Stock at the end of 2017. The division is competitive and a ton of fun, but personally going from a Thompson Limited to a Stafford Dare Stock, the cars felt a little boring with no power. A Thompson Limited makes around 370hp+/-. Stafford Dare/Street Stock around 190 +/-. It just doesn’t sound real exciting if you put it that way, but it was a fun challenge and I would love to do it all over again.

    I have not taken a deep look at the updated 2018 Rules for the Stafford cars. I do know they are now allowing spoilers and side windows, but a quick skim through the rules shows me this is not much more than a re-branding and not as much of an alignment as I think everyone seems to believe. I think in coming years, you will definitely see Stafford align much closer and I do applaud them for not making a huge knee jerk change and costing people tons of money all at once in what is truly a beginners division at that track, I just wish it would happen sooner rather than later because I can tell you, there are a lot of drivers chomping at the bit to go run Stafford more.

  18. Every once in a while we strike gold here in the comments section. Phil Jacques offering was one.
    A question. The GM 602 crate engine is advertised at 350 plus HP at 5500 RPMs. Are you saying the 2 barrel kills a ton of horsepower? 190 HP. That’s like a low compression GM lead gas friendly motor from the 1970’s isn’t it?

  19. I was very happy to see the name change like many others. But in the end that’s all it is!! I,like many other street stocks of New England would have competed next year if they had made the rules more open such as the built 350 and left side weight rule. That’s always been the problem with Stafford they want there own cars,no outsiders. Maybe an open Street Stock type race at the Spring Sizzler would catch people’s interest.

  20. I hope this string continues on the technical details cause it may be informative.
    Stafford will never poach cars from Waterford cause of the gear rules. You need 4.56 at Waterford in forth and that will never work for Stafford. But there is no reason Stafford and Thompson can’t get together on rules. Stafford nails it with the crate motor. It’s cost effective and the future. The chassis rules are hard enough to navigate so making the engine a kind of equal playing field just seems smart. Stafford’s rear end gear rule is out to lunch. 3.73 or whatever is ridiculous. It’s a compromise for the automatics and that’s mostly over. On the other hand Thompson could end the 4 barrel, reward the crate motor and compromise with Stafford on something like a 410 rear if that still exists. My main question is why Stafford and Thompson do everything they can to make cross over impossible?

  21. sour grapes of wrath says

    the ruled should align for all three tracks in all divisions… allow the same crate motor with a 2bbl for the lower divisions up to sk light with a 4 barrel….then you can keep/run your crate motor in a fendered car or an open wheel car.. open motors and dis similar rules are killing the car counts.. people who don’t have the money cant compete its that simple.. if you allow an open motor have a claimer rule… ..just my 2 cents

  22. Doug
    I once spoke with management / owner of Thompson about why they don’t get together with other tracks on the rules. Keeping in mind that this was around 2007/2008. I was told that the reason they don’t is because they do not want drivers to have the option of leaving the track when they disagree with track management.

  23. Doug, a 602 crate engine with 4bbl will make somewhere around 370hp.
    Stafford requires a 2bbl and a restrictor plate which really chokes the power down. Stafford cars have no throttle response at all compared to a Thompson car. At Stafford, it’s all about carrying momentum through the corners to maintain straightaway speed. While that can be a challenge on it’s own, and as I previously said, the cars are fun to race, they just aren’t exciting to drive to me.

  24. Right on sour grapes. Yes I know it’s ancient history but in the 1980’s in the original Street Stocks we ran 410 gears. Raced Stafford and Thompson in 4th and Riverside on Saturday in 3rd. Each tracks rules were aligned or very close to aligned. Waterford was the outlier with street tires and gears appropriate for the track distance and rough surface at the time.
    Waterford will always need the 456 gear ratio. But Thompson and Stafford with carb and gear rules that are about as different as any could be is perplexing. No, as long as the rules stand there will be no open Street Stock races at Stafford. The locals would get crushed with those granny gear rear ends. Schoenfeld racing headers and 342 gears. Who make up this stuff? Why Thompson and Stafford can’t get together on rules I have no idea but it seems petty and shortsighted.

  25. Thanks Tom and Phil.
    Clearly Dare cars like SK Lights are momentum divisions. And Tom is right on with each track protecting it’s own turf. So it’s Street Stocks now and little else changes except for some superficial stuff that perhaps makes the cars look more intriguing while their motors with those granny gears bog down coming out of the corner. Really what’s the sense in having those great GM crate engines that can take the RPM and waste a huge percent of it?

  26. The Earth is Flat says

    Don’t bother suggesting any changes at SMS, they’ll never listen to fans or competitors. They’ll continue to run their boring street stocks with stupid restricted 602 engines. Don’t ever sit in the turn 4 bleachers during a street stock race, the fumes coming off those poorly tuned engines will make you sick. They need to lose the restrictor plates so these kids learn throttle control.

  27. Same old crap through the years with the lack of co-operation with the 3 Ct. tracks. Being a supporter of all 3 tracks for 40+ years it has always been different rules with the exception of the tri-track era of the early 80’s. Imagine what it would do for the drivers, owners, and fans if all 3 tracks had the same SK, Late Model, and Street Stock rules. It would have the potential to have full or close to it fields in the support divisions as it is not entertaining to watch 30 lap features with 12 cars or less.

  28. If there was money to be made I’m sure they would have aligned rules years ago. Thompson only runs a half dozen shows a year so Stafford may not feel any pressure to change now.

  29. Fact is a few Waterford and Thompson drivers cross over. Stafford is the outlier. That’s the way they want it for whatever reason. Given the limited shows at Thompson and Waterford’s year to year status it seems counter intuitive that Stafford wouldn’t at least consider the idea that they could benefit from common rules. But as long as they have that gear rule no outsiders will be visiting in the near future.

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