Dunleavy’s Gamblers Challenge Rolls On For The NAPA SK 5K At Stafford Speedway

(Press Release from Stafford Motor Speedway)

For the 4th consecutive season, Doug Dunleavy of Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer repair will present the Dunleavy’s Gamblers Challenge at the NAPA Auto Parts SK 5K. What has become one of the marquee events on the Stafford Speedway schedule, the 2018 running of the 100-lap SK Modified® event will be the 5th annual. The Dunleavy’s Gamblers Challenge bonus has been posted for 3 of the 4 NAPA SK 5K events and has increased the base purse by over $15,000 in 3 years.

“I love the modifieds, but there’s something about that race that gets everyone excited,” explained Doug Dunleavy. “The SK Modified® racing at Stafford is the best weekly racing in the country and the NAPA SK 5K is the event everyone wants to win. The Gamblers Challenge is fun because you won’t know who wins the bonus until the end of the race when the winner pulls the lucky chip. Chase [Dowling] dominated last year and won nearly $6,000, a few years ago Ryan Preece won over $12,000. This is a heck of a race, I hope all the fans and drivers are pumped up.”

The Gamblers Challenge bonus is unique in many aspects. Drivers enter the challenge prior to the race by posting $100 which is then matched by Dunleavy. The more drivers that enter, the higher the bonus. Last season’s NAPA SK 5K saw all 27 starters entered in the challenge for a bonus of $5,400. At the conclusion of the race, the winning driver draws one of four chips designating the bonus payout. Based on last year’s $5,400 pot, the draw included:

  • $5,400 Bonus to the Winner
  • $1,080 to each of the top 5 finishers
  • $1,080 to each of the 6th through 10th finishers
  • $540 to each of the 11th through 20th finishers

The result of the 2017 Dunleavy’s Gamblers Challenge draw was $1,080 to the 6th through 10th place finishers, which boosted the 5th through 10th place payout to over $2,200 each. Cam McDermott, the 10th place finisher, earned $2,260 on the night.

“The NAPA Auto Parts SK 5K has taken on a life of its own since the first running in 2014,” explained Stafford General Manager Mark Arute. “We wanted to give the SK Modified® division a first class event, something that teams circle on their calendar each year and say, ‘that’s a bucket list win, that’s a show we need to be at’. With great partners like NAPA Auto Parts and Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair, we’ve been able to do that. I can’t thank them and all our track partners enough.”

With a posted race purse of $27,100 before bonuses, the NAPA Auto Parts SK 5K is the richest SK Modified® event in the country. The winner is guaranteed $5,000 to win but historically the winning share has been boosted by bonuses including a record pay day of $12,825 for Ryan Preece in 2015 and $11,175 for Ted Christopher in 2016. The wealth is shared throughout the field with $450 guaranteed to start with the potential of the Gamblers Challenge bonus payout reaching all of the top-20 finishers.

“What I like about the bonus is that it could go to pretty much anyone, it all depends on the luck of the draw,” continued Dunleavy. “The 20th place guy could go home with almost $1,000, last year the 10th place finisher took home over $2,000.”

The NAPA Auto Parts SK 5K returns to Stafford on Friday, June 29th for the 100-lap race.

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. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better Doug Dunleavy throws some more money at the sport. THANK YOU DOUG

  2. WeldingWonders says

    Maybe it’s just because I’m paying more attention this year but it seems like there is a lot more money be chucked at the special events this year. Is there a money threshhold where someone like Hirschman or Coby would partner up with someone to put a car on the track? Will Rob Fuller have Chase in a car that can compete with Rocco’s crazy fast car from the last two races of 2017?

  3. Chase is slated to be in the#15 car owned by Glen Johnson. He was listed on Stafford SK roster a few weeks ago but is not listed anymore ?? As for all the other modified series haven’t seen anything. Don’t forget he is forbidden to drive anything but an LFR car so we’ll have to wait and see what happens. Quite a shame as I feel if he had stayed with the #50 SK he would have been a definite threat for the championship.

  4. what Doug has done for local modified racing is incredible. We the owners thank you!!!

  5. Not only modified racing he sponsors allot of cars right down to street stocks

  6. darealgoodfella says

    Thank you Mr. Dunleavy!!!!!

  7. SK ModFan says

    That’s ok Rob P. The 50 will still be in contention with Ronnie as the pilot. Chase hitched his wagon to the LFR and Fuller train. Life lesson …be careful what you wish for.

  8. WeldingWonders says

    All the best to Skowyra, Ronnie Williams the 50 team and everyone associated with them. But there was no real choice for Dowling. A career opportunity with a heavy hitter in the industry he loves complete with insurance benefits. Skowyra as much as we love his team on Friday night is no Rob Fuller. Check them out on facebook. Skowrya is a quirky guy that hates Democrats, really loves dogs and dabbles in racing. Rob Fuller is a racing guy, pushing a hot chassis and possible bridge to greater things. No contest, no regrets.

  9. Race dude. says

    Mr welding wonders step away from the argon. A hot chassis…NOT if they we’re so great there would be more of them. What Fuller did was to take a kid and promise him the world. Yes Chase has talent that’s undeniable but for Fuller to say you can only drive my cars. That’s just messed up He may have a good ride on the NWMT. But what about an SK at Stafford Thompson or Waterford. How bout an MRS car or ROC car I wish nothing but good luck for Chase and hope this is a learning experience for him but give me a break with the LFR BS. They just aren’t that good. Don’t forget the 6 won the owners championship meaning week to week they we’re better.

  10. The one to watch will be Bonsignore will he do better with his new LFR than he did in a SPAFCO. Dowling should run well he always has but we’re 1 race in let’s wait till July or so before passing judgement. Ronnie and the 50 team should make a potential combination based on the past few years but again let’s wait till mid-season.

  11. SK ModFan says

    Wonders. I don’t have Facebook and your point is well taken. The young man made a decision and I know he’ll be fine. For us Friday night race fans, top 3 at Stafford last year Rocco, Chase and Ronnie, the youth movement is on. Stafford should be promoting that like crazy. Dowling and Williams battling it out weekly, Rocco the veteran trying to stay on top, that is something to watch. If Chase doesn’t run this year, Man, we all lose. Williams and Dowling are the future of that division so I hope Chase finds a ride.

  12. It’s funny no matter what the topic we all seem to migrate back to Chase Dowling and The battle of chassis builders. Yes Chase made a decision and good or bad it was his decision to make no matter the outcome. As for chassis I’m starting to believe that it’s not the chassis but the team and driver that makes the difference. Case in point “ole blue” #3 NWMT team that’s a Boelher chassis probly the only one in existance yet they run well. At Stafford look at Todd Owen and his Chassis Pro car they seem to be getting better the more they run there’s only 2 Chassis Pro cars in the SK at Stafford. So it seems that the more experienced teams run better regardless of what chassis they run.

  13. darealgoodfella says

    Rob p. gets it. This chassis “war” is complete fake news.

  14. Agree with Rob p and dareal. Over the years chassis builders have had times of success and the common thread seems to be a good driver and team.

  15. WeldingWonders says

    I never subscribed to the theory that a chassis alone wins races. A race car is an orchestra where all components must be in concert. LFR is a hot chassis with regard to regional racing. The market is small, teams tend to use proven equipment, changing minds is difficult. Rob Fuller is doing a great job getting market penetration with his equipment. The process is glacial taking years and over all that time you need to show success. Ask SPAFCO how hard that is after seeing Goodale shelve their chassis at Speedweeks. Over time you gradually sell more chassis, setup services and all the parts and labor related to damaged equipment. Rob is uniquely positioned for the long haul with his other business interests that help weather the droughts in his racing ventures.
    Whether you are a fan, driver, team owner, whatever you have to make a living first before you can do anything with racing. If you’re smart you should be learning while you’re making that living and if you’re really smart you’re loving what you’re doing while you’re doing it. The smartest young people look around, hitch their wagon to the smartest people in their industry to advance their career path. Mission accomplished for Dowling it would appear.
    Dowling is free to race here and there on a limited basis for anyone he chooses. He just can’t have a season commitment in non LFR equipment. Chase is a salesman in a manner of speaking for LFR so obviously this policy makes sense. When the VMRS comes to town or in the SK5K, Modifiz Night, the Stafford Modified Open races look for Dowling to be in the field. And we still don’t know he won’t be a regular in the SK’s. Rob Fuller is not a slave master holding a kid back. He’s a knowledgeable mentor, teacher and entrepreneur advancing a young drivers career along with his brand. There is nothing about Rob Fuller, LFR, his business, his approach that is bad for regional racing. We’re lucky to have him and Tommy Balding back here working their magic.

  16. WeldingWonders says

    As fans our natural inclination is to support the driver, chassis, team, team owner, anyone or anything we support to the exclusion of everything else. It’s missing the forest for the trees. The sum total of Todd Owens building efforts combined with LFR, Troyer, Rob Fuller, SPAFCO, Mike Paquett if he’s still building cars and a few others that build their own chassis is a sum of the parts being greater then the whole kind of deal. Not a zero sum game. I read a comment that LFR’s efforts have caused Troyer to step up their game in terms of customer outreach. Chassis building is changing but very much alive and well it would appear.

  17. darealgoodfella says

    Mike Stefanik won back-to-back championships in 2001 and 2002 driving SPAFCO. A good driver and crew chief can win in just about anything. A lesser driver and/or crew chief can’t win in anything. The team is only as good as its weakest talent.

  18. According to the interwebs TROYER has 9 listed dealers. LFR has 1 with raceworks listed a a repair center. SPAFCO 1 dealer CD 1 dealer so it would appear that troyer has an advantage But statistics show that the 4 chassis are about equal if you look at ALL modified racing over the past 5 Years with troyer holding a slight advantage. But I still maintain that it’s not the chassis but the team behind the chassis that makes all the difference. Every chassis builder has their time on top then the others seem to catch up but when they are on top it’s usually due to the whole package. Good car good motor
    experienced driver and crew chief. If you take a mid pack team and give them top shelf equipment they’re probly gonna stay mid pack there are so many variables in racing and the team that gets them all right all the time will come out on top regardless of what chassis they run.

  19. Race dude says

    Thought we had put the war to rest. What it comes down to is one word ADJUST. The teams that adjust to circumstance will come out on top. Look at Coby he was never a factor at Myrtle Beach but will bet that when they get to Thompson he’ll be top 3. It’s all about adjusting

  20. WeldingWonders says

    One guy says there’s a chassis war and another won’t take we all agree with you for an answer. This is no chassis war. You want to see a war go back a year about this time and the claws really came out. This is basic agreement with somewhat different viewpoints from different perspectives based on different priorities. As for the Gamber’s Challenge I don’t get it at all. But if the drivers like it and apparently they do and it adds to the excitement the full speed ahead.

  21. Yeah don’t understand it either but the drivers like it. Last year Dowling was snakebite by it. Either way it is so cool that Doug Dunleavy puts the money up he does so much for the sport from race sponsorship down to sponsoring street stocks and not only here in new England at last year’s Bristol race for the mods he sponsored a few southern guys. Stafford should gold a Dunleavy’s appreciation night and present Doug with something to show their appreciation

  22. WeldingWonders says

    Just a thought or question. With all the money Doug Dunleavy pours into racing is it more or less then those that race spend? I guess that depends on what level you race. But I would argue he gets to be a local hero in racing. More influential then any front runner, advertise his business at the same time and have a ball enjoying what he loves. Which is not to say anything negative since we love the guy but is it not a great way to spend your money if you have it?

  23. darealgoodfella says

    The Dunleavy’s Gamblers Challenge is fun, glad to see happening again.

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