Stafford Motor Speedway Releases 2018 Schedule; Numerous New Highlight Events

Stafford Motor Speedway officials announced a 22-event 2018 schedule on Tuesday which features a multitude of highlight events and new showcase races.

“Strong weekly racing has always been our focus,” Stafford general manager Mark Arute said in a release. “We’re continuing to put our efforts into supporting our weekly competitors with extra distance events for all divisions.  Stafford is a track focused on the weekly competitor and we take great pride in supporting those teams in any way we can.”

One of the big changes to the schedule is the addition of two 80-lap Open Tour Type Modified events. The Modified Open 80 events will take place on June 8 and July 13.

“We’re running two Open Modified shows in 2018, both at 80 lap distances,” Arute said. “We are working through the details of these events but both will be an opportunity for modified teams to participate.”

The track will welcome the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour for three events. The division will anchor the season opening NAPA Spring Sizzler April 28-29 and the NAPA Fall Final Sept. 29-30. The series will also run a 150-lap event on Aug. 3.

The Valenti Modified Racing Series will return to Stafford for events on May 18 and Aug. 31.

(Click to enlarge)

The track’s premier NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified division will feature three nights of extended distance events. The SK Modified’s will run 50 laps as part of Dunleavy’s Night on May 25. The SK 5K (distance to be determined) will be held June 29. The SK Modifieds will also run a 40+13 (53 lap event) on July 13 in honor of the late Ted Christopher.

Dunleavy’s Night will also a special 40-lap feature event for the SK Light Modified division.

It was also revealed the Street Stock division (formerly the DARE Stock division) will now run regular 20-lap features, instead of 15-lap features. The Street Stock division will also have one 25-lap feature (May 11) and one 30-lap feature (Sept. 7).

The Late Model division will take center stage on Aug. 17 with the running of the 811 Call Before You Dig 50-lap feature.

The Limited Late Model division will run a special 30-lap event on July 20.

The track will also host a special Ladies Challenge fundraiser event as part of the NAPA Fall Final weekend. Details concerning the event will be announced at a later date.

“We are all very excited for the 2018 season and hope teams and drivers are as well,” Arute said. “Only 158 days until the NAPA Spring Sizzler.”

The Exit Realty Modified Tour Series, which ran two events at Stafford during the division’s inaugural season in 2017, did not return to the track’s schedule. The ISMA SuperModified division, which also was on the 2017 schedule at Stafford, will not return to the track in 2018.

2018 Stafford Motor Speedway Schedule (Click To Enlarge)


  1. Dink! Home run as far as I’m concerned.

  2. Open shows a great concept. Nice schedule overall.

    MTS is cooked.

  3. They listen to competitors and continue to improve. Win/win. Spring can’t come fast enough

  4. Good call increasing Street Stocks/DARE Stocks to 20 laps weekly. The SK Lights are FINALLY on the Sunday portions of the Sizzler and the Final. I would like to see them race 25 laps weekly. Those Open shows are interesting. Stafford will do a good job I’m sure. I’d rather see one big open show though compared to these two 80 lappers. Lots of special events, always good to see.

  5. Jerry Fascione says


  6. Oh look, no MTS at Stafford in 2018. Remember this Doug and Fact Or Fiction?

    In The Know on 10/4/17: Stafford is not having them back, that’s already been decided.

    Doug on 10/4/17: “Wait this is news. I have to ask, is In the Know actually in the know. The MTS isn’t going to be on the 2018 Stafford schedule. For real or are you guessing? McKennedy wins on the MTS. He’s out? 20 cars in June at Stafford and 18 in July with Preece in both fields of good cars. I’d be shocked if they were left off in 2018. For real?

    Fact Or Fiction on 10/5/17: “In the Know” may want to make a name change to “Fake News”.

  7. Those open shows could be a lot of fun.

  8. 2 street stock specials AND 20 lap regular races this year….awesome!!!

  9. just wish they would drop one late model class – why do they need 3

  10. Ben & Eileen Dover says

    Hey Josh from Thompson, call Mark Arute when you have a chance, I’m going to start a collection to pay for you guys to have dinner, perhaps Mark can give you some words of advise and teach you how to be a racers track!!!!

    Way to go Stafford and the Arutes!!!!
    Thank the Lord we have you people!!!

  11. Hey In the Know gave me quote time. Cool. I guess you thought I was mocking you but simply was asking how you knew.How did you know by the way? Actually In the Know or a good guess? Super happy I was wrong cause those open modified dates look intriguing. Also my favorite Modifiedz night with the Lights is back.
    Since we’re doing quotes how about a shout out to FRED for predicting the TC special night. More than likely a special TC 131 event. ” he said and nailed it.

  12. Watching the drivers for 2018 on the Stafford site as they appear is kind of fun. Already Johnny Walker who suggested he might not be back is there so yea on that score. And a yea as well for Nikki Chambrello who appears to intend to come back. Nikki if you read this you might want to add last years feature win to the accomplishments on your profile.
    Special night for Late Models with many nights having only 14 cars and under last year. Hopefully that will change with a fuller field.

  13. 3 WMT races cause they get the joint jumpin. 2 VMRS dates cause they are easy to work with and have tradition at the track is my guess. Mark Arute on the two open dates:
    “We’re running two Open Modified shows in 2018, both at 80 lap distances,” continued Arute. “We are working through the details of these events but both will be an opportunity for modified teams to participate.”
    Question: is that an attempt at tour busting? They have the two they like and the other modified tours can go pound sand. Just asking.

  14. I understand the SK and mod division’s are# 1 but I enjoy seeing something different once in awhile , supers , K N series, midgets or whatever , I know they haven’t been great races in the past but still nice to see

  15. Very interested to see how these open events work out.Great idea, the track promotes it and nobody has to deal with underfunded,out to lunch promoters who may be downright dishonest.Another innovation from the Arute family?I hope it’s successful and hope it catches on.Now if they could do something about the food situation Doug would have nothing what so ever to gripe about.Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  16. Once again it sucks that I live on Long Island you guys have the best racing period

  17. sounds great, except for the longer races in the street stock. being a long time modified fan, i would eliminate the limited late models. 10 -12 cars is not worth watching.

  18. Just Wondering says

    Great schedule, it is nice to see the Arute’s paying attention to their weekly customer base. The two Mod open shows should be interesting as long as there are no scheduling conflicts with the WMT or VMRS/MRS. Hopefully these two open shows won’t have too much of a premium ticket price over their normal weekly shows. I would think a $20 ticket would be a slam dunk and pack the place. Nice to see that they also saw the writing on the wall and left the MTS out in the cold.

  19. darealgoodfella says

    Way better to have a TRACK put together an OPEN show than a promoter. Get rid of the “middle man” and make the production simpler. Looking forward to these shows.

  20. That cheap shot I directed at you Art about your food complaints at Stafford and your prior Joe Gibbs trashing was regrettable indeed. Especially since you have had to endure such a miserable season with your Giants after such high expectations at the beginning of the season. Won’t happen again.

  21. So, after you break it down. There is an open comp race every weekend there isn’t a WMT race from early June until the end of August factoring in Tri Track events and Stafford’s Open shows. Thats’s awesome but yet demanding on teams and fans all at the same time. A modified race of some sort every week from June 2nd until maybe Sept 7th or so counting all the series. There is literally nothing left for MTS. They may actually have been squeezed out in all this. Long term, I think Tri Track and Stafford would make for a good marriage for all involved.

  22. I agree; I liked the PASS show they ran in which Teddy won, but why run such a race on Sunday???

    Are the rules for the street stocks the same as Waterford and Thompson? Are the Late Models ACT rule?

  23. BillyBobJoePumpkin says

    This is great to see. A track trying to run “Open Modifieds” as part of a weekly program. Everyone needs to support this, racers and fans alike. Connecticut needs a track that real modifieds can call home and with the prestige and professionalism of SMS this will do nothing but succeed. Over the past few years this whole “tour” concept has really hurt the weekly racing program. Every time someone gets their panties in a bunch over someone or something they start a “tour” . Modfieds did it with the True Value/MRS, MTS, and now maybe something with American Tire. SK Lites are trying it that is a worthless idea. SK Lites are a stepping stone type car, either you step on it when you are trying to climb the ladder or when you are stepping down the ladder. The same is so for street stocks, mini stock, and late models. When I started a “few” years ago tracks had open shows at the end of the year so we could travel and have a little different experience. Wall, Lee, Thompson, Flemington, Pocono, etc just o name a few. You got to run against other weekly racers to see how you measured up and then guess what we all went in the stands to watch the Tour race because those were the people we wanted to be someday. With a tour for every division things just seem mediocre. I hope this is a great success and with that maybe SMS could add some dates for the following season. It will be tricky with the SK’s being there spot light division but SMS is smart and they will balance it I’m sure. If the other tracks in the area could do something based on this model there wouldn’t be a need for any of these tours we could just show up and race. Which is what we all want. We don’t need all this gimmicks as of late just a place to race with a decent purse.

  24. Thompson ran open modifieds a few years ago – did not go very well for some reason – hopefully stafford can pull it off

  25. Stafford has isolated the Street Stock division Chris with its own rules. There are many differences with Waterford and Thompson but the most glaring is the gearing where Stafford mandates a 3.42 rear end gear ratio for the 602 crate engine cars. The other tracks being in the mid 4’s. The extra laps I’m sure they have a reason for but it escapes me.
    Tours bad. No. All tours not created equal starting with the blue chip WMT. VMRS with tradition and a steady Eddy producing good shows and no drama for the tracks. The open modified events a risk and a question mark. A big fat risk but opportunity to really create and promote something unique. Modified shows shows June to September stressing teams and fans? Maybe teams, fans are local and attend based on the merits of the events. Likelihood of tour type modified displacing the SK’s at Stafford…….zero. Except for the WMT events at Stafford the SK’s are the primary reason most people attend the races. They are the heart and soul of virtually everything Stafford does with good reason. SMS created them, nurtured them over decades and the fan base at Stafford loves the SK’s.

  26. I love the SK Lights moving to Sunday on the SS and FF weekends, and am looking forward to the open events.

    I can’t wait to be there!

  27. Make the purse worthwhile you will get 40 plus mods.

  28. Just Wondering says

    Bob you are absolutely correct, its all about the money for these special Tour Type Open shows. Just look at the success when the TTOMS had their high paying events in CT in 2016. You could expect 40+ cars when the races were held in CT and there was no conflicts with the other Mod Tours. I know that was not the case in 2017 as the TTOMS decided not to race at the NLWS and move their races to MA and NH. Hopefully we will see the TTOMS back at the Bowl in 2018 for their closing event since my first choice of the VMRS is not part of the Finale event at this point.

  29. I wonder how the sk light owners feel about racing on Sunday??? Two day shows are just too long for most race teams….

  30. I can’t believe that the SKLites still ave 20 lap features, especially now that the “Street Stocks” have 20. SKLs have 20+ cars of close competition. More laps would just be so much better to watch and more time to sort things out. But Stafford is still a great show.

  31. Old man racer says

    I like all of the special shows, but the weekly competitors get the shaft by having to pay more for a pit pass when it is just a regular week for them. Then they also get limited practice time, and sometimes not even a heat race.

  32. Old man racer says

    As far as sk lights racing on Sunday, most of them stay to show their cars at the pit party anyway.

  33. Races with more cars and therefore more support should get more laps. The opposite should also apply to keep races with lower car counts more interesting. I’d like to see them take 5 from the late models and add them to the SK lites. I think overall it would improve both races. Some tracks set their features by car count. They have a standard race length based on so many cars. If more cars show up on a given night, they add laps to the feature.

  34. Steve, Stafford has two 2 day shows. Is that too many? They pay for both days on those weekends anyway. They get seven months off after the Fall Final. The WMT guys are the ones that deal with a lot of 2 day shows.

  35. WeeklyRacer says

    Old man racer, Stafford offers a significantly discounted season pit pass. Pays for itself by the beginning of August every year. If your running weekly its the best deal in racing

  36. I still maintain that an Open (Tri Track ?) Sizzler would be huge. $15,000 to win. Lap money. $25 front gate ticket for fans. $2 french fries like Lebanon Speedway. The greatest race in the history of spring should be just that. Work with ROC and MRS so there are no schedule conflicts. Touch a truck for the kids. Maybe some ticket raffles for the NHMS races or other Stafford events. Automatic qualifiers during previous season. Maybe opportunity to win some free tires too.

  37. Have the original promoters Dr Dick, Juicy Bruce and Lew Boyd promote the race as a throw back – original rules, 80 laps, original admission +$10 ppp

  38. NH MARK, while I love your concept this is CT, while Stafford not quite the price gougers that Thompson are, paying a big purse while lowering admission seems not to be an Option to Ct. race tracks

  39. NH Mark. Maybe the most futile comment I have ever read or the most whimsical fantasy of hope with no chance of happening. Stafford lowering the ticket price. My suggestion, come to the special SK Light race with added distance for the SK’s at $20. Great value if they hold that price. If they somehow hold the regular admission price at $17.50 for a regular Friday night event I’ll be shocked with glee.

  40. Dead thread so lets talk Medicare supplements since the open enrollment deadline is Dec 7.
    The Medicare supplement decision. So complicated. So many choices and not one that is right for everyone. Important factors. What drugs do you take. Are your preferred doctors in the network. Is your health generally good or not so much. Do you travel a lot? If you do travel a lot and money is plentiful the popular choice is the Plan F supplement. Covers pretty much everything Medicare doesn’t and you can use any doctor that will accept Medicare patients. For the majority of us we go for a Medicare Advantage Plan. Excluding drugs that is a separate decision all in itself, they all are kind of similar, adding and subtracting things here and there. The one thing I look for is the limit on deductibles and coinsurance. Some plans charge nothing but your out of pocket cost could go up to $6700 or $10000 if you really had a health emergency. I chose the one that in the worse case scenario provides a limit on out of pocket costs of $3700. A bit more expensive but worth it in peace of mind. Out of pocket limits is really the major rate difference between most Advantage plans with regard to the non drug portion. Happy hunting.

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