Purse Over $3,500 For R.A.D. Auto Machine Street Stock 30 At Stafford Speedway

(Press Release from Stafford Motor Speedway)

Following last week’s announcement of the Casagrande Builders Street Stock 25, the excitement surrounding the 2018 season for the Street Stock division at Stafford Speedway has been high.

In addition to the increased weekly purse and lap count, as well as the new Casagrande Builders 25, the Street Stock division will take center stage for a 2nd time in 2018 with the R.A.D. Auto Machine Street Stock 30 on Friday, September 7th. The event will boast a $3,595 purse and will pay $500 to win and $100 to start.

“The Street Stock division is the heart and soul of weekly racing at Stafford and throughout the northeast,” explained Don Wood of R.A.D. Auto Machine. “The division has served as a stepping stone for so many drivers while also acting as a great affordable division for all ages and levels of racing. We are excited to offer a purse of over $3,000 as well as $500 to win, this should be another exciting event on the 2018 schedule.”

The longest race in the history of the Street Stocks, the 30-lap distance will be a test for teams and drivers. Historically the Street Stocks, formerly the Dare Stock division, competed at a weekly distance of 15 laps, making the 30-lap feature on September 7th double the distance. Drivers and teams will have a full season of preparation as the 30-lap special will be held in early September.

“We continue to stress the importance of our ladder system and this event is just another layer in our commitment to all our divisions,” explained Stafford Speedway General Manager Mark Arute. “Between the Casagrande Builders Street Stock 25 and the R.A.D. Auto Machine Street Stock 30, we are putting up nearly $6,000 for the Street Stock division. We are hoping that with these two new events, along with the increase to the weekly purses, drivers and teams see our commitment to them.”

The favorite going into the September 7th event will most notably be back to back Street Stock Champion Johnny Walker, who has dominated the last 2 seasons with consistency.

Walker will be chased by a mix of young and veteran drivers with nearly all drivers competing in 2017 returning in 2018, including rookie of the year George Bessette who is poised for a breakout season in 2018.

The 2018 Street Stock season kicks off with the 47th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler® on April 27-29. Tickets for the “Greatest Race in the History of Spring” are on sale now at the Speedway Box Office.

Tickets are priced at $40.00 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating is priced at $42.00 for all ages. As always, Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available. All tickets are good for both Saturday and Sunday admission. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Discount Spring Sizzler® tickets will be available beginning in March at participating NAPA Auto Parts stores.

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. THANK YOU DON WOOD of R.A.D. Your support for the sport is awesome

  2. OK that’s starting to get to be some really serious money for a Street Stock division by any standard. Well done Stafford. But it is not the most laps ever for the Streets at Stafford I’m pretty well convinced. That happened somewhere around 1983 and as I recall it was 30 laps. Again Stafford forgetting the original Street Stock class that at the time was a rousing success car count wise.

  3. Race dude. says

    Thanks to R.A.D. and Don Wood for putting up the sponsorship money it’s great to see someone who benefit from the class giving something back. As to Doug’s point you can’t even start to compare these cars to the cars of 1983. These cars are soooo much more advanced in the technology and safety from those cars. The days of seeing 30-40 cars showing up are long gone and as far as Stafford goes probly will never be seen again

  4. Gotta agree we will never see 30-40 cars in a full fendered division at Stafford under their current classes. I think the track should be taking a serious look at merging the LM & LLM Classes but chances are they won’t and sooner than later both classes will die out. What excitement is there in watching a 10 care feature? NONE especially when only 3 or 4 of them are so much ahead of the others. Stafford LM division has become a JOKE and the track seems in no hurry to fix the problem. Down south late models are it but those cars are totally different animals almost like hopped up pro stocks. Other tracks in the northeast are just as guilty as Stafford it’s almost as though they’re trying to kill off full fendered racing and promoting modifieds. Something must change soon

  5. A little perspective please. All the sponsors of racing at Stafford are appreciated. The Street Stock purse is impressive indeed. But lets not confuse RAD that is essentially the house engine builder, that Stafford racers write big checks to with the others.
    I’ll take up your challenge Race dude. True we used some crazy stock springs like fronts from motor homes and rears from a wild assortment of cars. All cut at various lengths. Boy that was a pain. And the tires for a while were racing recaps if you can believe that. Gas tanks were from VW’s, marine tanks and other not so safe sources. No ballast, no radios, no cutting out trunk sheet metal and cheapo fire suits. But to win you needed T/A power and those engines were way better then what they run now and way more expensive adjusted for inflation. We ran 410 gears as opposed the the mid threes they mandate now. I’l like to compare lap times. I’d bet Suprenant’s was faster the John Walkers. And I know Suprenant had way more competition to get by to win.
    You’re right they are more sophisticated now. These cars are more like the late 80’s Late Models Street Sock morphed into. And you’re right it will never be the same. But were Suprenant, Plantier, Chambrello, Ward, Vassar and company a bunch of enduro cars banging their way to a checkered flag that aren’t in the same class? Can’t agree. And Stafford not me is calling them Street Stocks, has Street Stock champions listed in their history so there’s that.

  6. OK here’s a blast from the past compliments of KGM video some here may enjoy.
    Yes I’m biased but that was a loaded field of talent. To follow up on lap times as near as I can figure in a totally unofficial comparison of youtube video current Street Stock laps times are about 1 second faster then they were in 1983.

  7. Doug yes R.A.D. is the engine supplier for the street stocks as well as the limited’s and SK lites with the crate motors and he does also build motors for late model and SK competitors. With the crate motors he doesn’t make allot of money and his built motors are sold because of a solid reputation. Nonetheless his son Josh runs an SK that he could have easily put that $3000 into. Instead he decided to sponsor a race with the money. How bout BFR,RRC, and all the other guys who make a ton of money building the cars. Don’t see them stepping up. Don Wood is a stand-up guy who got started in racing at Stafford back in the 80’s. started a successful motor business and is giving back . THANK YOU R.A.D. and Don Wood your sponsorship is greatly appreciated.

  8. Doug appreciate the nostalgia but time has moved on. Cars today are purpose built with performance and safety in mind. Just look how far seat technology has come in the past few years. Yes those races in the 70’s &80’s were probly exciting but those cars were downright scary and far from safe. Today the cars are allot safer and faster. The street stocks in the 80’s ran mid 25 second laps on a good night that class is now what’s known as the late models due to years of rule updates today’s late models run low 20 second laps. Like I said time moves on.

  9. And by the way there’s at least 100 horsepower difference between a T/A from the 80’s and today. Better heads Cam and piton technology headers aluminum intakes roller rockers and even better lubricant. Ever get Gibbs racing oil on your hands. I did washed my hands with brake cleaner and they were still slippery. All in all you can’t compare then and now. Two different era’s time moves on and so should you

  10. Why so harsh race dude Doug’s nostalgic Outlook is appreciated. Yes things have changed but there are us who remember the good old days. I raced throughout the transformation of street stock into late models they were some good but trying times cause just when you figured it out they changed the rules. Still had fun though and although times change the memories dont

  11. Love your posts dude but comparing todays Late Models and their engines to the old Street Stocks is a false comparison. We’re comparing the current Street Stocks that are not purpose built that have mostly crate engines to the old Street Stocks. I’d love for you to expand on that comparison but if you’re going to bring in todays Late Models, Limited or otherwise we aren’t on the same page.

  12. Were the old Streets unsafe. At the time I didn’t feel they were. Those gas tanks were a trip I’ll tell you and we added fuel cells pretty quick. Maybe Rob p can check me on this. In the time I was close to the racing in the 80’s, no Street Stock or Late Model driver was seriously injured at Stafford or Riverside Park. And that includes JJ Goff who got hooked on the back gate at Stafford, did a couple three sixties and ended up with his engine and tranny completely separated from his car.

  13. You’ve told the stories in the past about your connection and respect for RAD and the owner Rob p. I don’t expect you to be anything more then a good friend supporting him. But no, reinvesting money in an income stream is not the same as folks like Dunleavy and Casagrande that are diverting money from completely unrelated businesses for the shear love of the sport. I could also make the argument that some of those legal build ups to the SK Light and LLM crate engines as well as routine rebuilds to crate engines and Stafford mandated dyno testing are probably pretty profitable.
    But to be clear, it’s all very, very much appreciated and all is important to the success of the forthcoming season regardless of source and vested interest. That Street Stock special is actually becoming something special to look forward to. Especially if they can attract a few outsiders.

  14. Doug yes i do consider Don a freind I sponsored Josh in Bob Peterson’s Late model that aside I think your painting the wrong picture here. R.A.D. was chosen to be the exclusive engine supplier for the crate motors and I’m sure there are reasons behind it. I do know they are a complete machine shop and engine rebuild they have on site engine and chassis dynos and he has several employees. But what I can’t say are the tracks decision to enter into this deal. His son Josh drives an SK that he owns he could have easily taken that money and invested it in his race car but instead gave back to the sport he loves . Either way the people still have to get their motors from him. What you don’t see is others who profit from these racers giving back I don’t see a BFR or RRC race and trust me those guys make more for each car they sell than R.A.D. does on a single crate motor. All in all anyone who puts money up is greatly appreciated it does cost allot even to run a dare car. I do get your point about outside money but a little inside money is good too. Don’t forget R.A.D. also contributes to weekly contingency money and to the rookie of the year prize so all in all I think we need more people like Don Wood around the sport. How much money does Mike Pettit make?

  15. RAD wasn’t exclusive. T/A dropped out. We agree that the contribution is good under any circumstance. We don’t agree on the rest including BFR and RRC. They not contributing doesn’t make RAD’s move more noble, it makes their lack of involvement more questionable. The point about money being diverted from his kid seems just bizarre unless your his accountant. You’re biased, I’m not, we’ll never agree on everything and that’s as it should be. I always enjoy and learn from your entries.

  16. Doug,

    I don’t think there will be any outsiders because I don’t think there is a division with these rules anywhere in the country….. which is a shame.

  17. Starting with that mid 3ths rear gear for sure steve.

  18. I have nothing against RAD or any other engine builder but I do have an issue with forcing a rule that you “have to buy an engine from X builder” to race in X division. I totally agree with crate engines, basically an sk spec engine is a “crate engine of some kind” but to not let a race team build and maintain their own engine is wrong. I think what Don Wood is doing by sponsoring race cars and race events is a GREAT thing

  19. GREAT, ya I’m not seeing it. The same as opening a soup kitchen and feeding the poor now that’s GREAT. Reinvesting money to support the source of a good portion of your income with tax deductible advertising sponsorship. Just real smart business.Why can’t that be enough? Why am I still harping on it when what I’m really blown away by is how impressive the Street Stock purse is getting.
    Conflating the SK spec rules with the SK Light crate rules and labeling everything crate is confusing enough. But to claim support for the crate concept but say any team should have the right to build their own engine isn’t supporting crate engines. It’s the exact opposite of supporting it.
    You want open rules stop messing around. Do what the new Sportsman tour does. Any drive train you want built by anyone but no more then 375 HP to the rear wheels and a dyno sheet to prove it. Case closed. Build away.

  20. Agree with you Steve Don is doing a great thing here. There are allot of people who make tons of money dirrectly from the competitors in every division yet seldom do they give money back. Don Wood is a stand-up guy who loves the sport. He could have said screw it and not put up the money but he didn’t. As far as his exclusively being the engine supplier there are a dozen other engine builders who could have joined the crate motor program and didn’t so Don doing it doesn’t make him a bad guy don’t forget you can still build a 305 for the street stocks and a spec motor for the LLM and Don could have invested that money in his race team ( still a tax write-off) or in shop equipment ( also a write-off) or taken a nice vacation. The fact that he invested it in race sponsorship deserves a thanks. Anyone else ready to step up?

  21. Whoa, Wood joining the crate engine program doesn’t make him a bad guy? Where’d that come from? The opposite of bad guy. Critical to the track is more like it.
    I learned something here. Never connected Josh Wood with RAD. How dumb is that? Josh has been on my radar going back to his years in LLM where he won frequently and battled with one of my favorites DJ Burnham. Those beautiful blue cars always well prepared and racy. I can’t remember the announcers ever connecting Josh and RAD. In fact I think I recall them referring to dispatcher duties he had to go to after the races. Thinking on it more it seems like they go out of their way to not connect Josh and RAD much like the racing Arutes and track ownership are not a theme. Am I getting that right or being just thick for missing it.
    Last year how impressive was it that Josh competed in both the Late Models and SK’s. That I’m assuming is all RAD money funding those efforts. How cool is that. A dad that not only is providing cars in two top divisions but is a motor guy. That’s like a kid with a sweet tooth having a dad that owns a candy store. Yummy. Sure building your own motors costs money in dollars and lost time from income generating work for others but still over the years the savings must be astronomical.
    No not all the money that a family pours into racing is a business expense. Unless of course you want to raise red flags and get audited. It has to be proportional to the advertising needs of the business for the industry you’re in. Pouring money back into purses and point funds is ideal IRS wise. Sending your kids chassis out to powder coat, not so much.
    Nope still not on the GREAT train for the Mother Teresa like move of diverting a few thousand dollars from from Josh to the field of cars at Stafford. More like they deserve it. Josh is doing just fine. As is RAD whom we all agree is critical to racing at Stafford and critical to controlling engine costs when they manage the programs correctly. Seems like everyone is winning to me. Seems like it is near the most ideal symbiotic relationship you could have. I’m just not hyperbolic about it like you guys cause all I’m seeing is good old fashions Yankee local business trading.

  22. Doug you were wrong on dad funding 2 cars. The #17 late model was owned by Bob Peterson, Jim Peterson’s older brother with sponsorship coming from Falls Alignment and Flamingo Motorsports. Bob even owned the R.A.D. motor. The car was formally driven by Jim and was originally built in 2001. as a backup and won multiple times with Jim driving and a few times with Josh .not sure what’s happening as they stopped racing it at some point last year

  23. Said I assumed and knew you would straighten me out Rob. I know you’ve eluded to that car and it’s history before. I just forgot, thanks. Looks like Josh’s last race was 9/15 and the last three times he raced he came in 8th, 10th and 12th. Maybe the car was fading for whatever reason so they just decided why bother. Had a win though earlier. Impressive.
    OK I’ve beaten this one to death as I’m prone to do. Thank you for your patience. I’ll remember now as I watch Josh make his magic in the SK’s. If he pops up again in the LM’s so much the better.

  24. Gotta admit that car was old. It started life as a full metric car built by Andy Johnson Chassis. When Jim moved south in 07 it was sold and ended up getting refurbished by BFR in 2010 we bought it back but couldn’t get it to work. In 2012 it went to Hamms Chassis for a new front clip and still didn’t go. One day during the winter of 2012 we sent Jim out for beer when he got back everything from the seat back was gone we re-engineered the rear clip to get all the crucial angles correct and the car performed good. At the end of the 2014 season Jim retired as did his crew chief Bob got Josh to drive but it just wasn’t the same. I spent close to 25 years racing with Jim. That guy can drive even if the car ain’t perfect. A few bad breaks kept us from winning a third championship as the 17 crew but in 2009 Jim drove Joe Hamms 13 and won the championship. I have the drivers door from the 13 and 2 trunklids from each championship with the 17 in my house. Oh the good ole days

  25. Who tigged up the final product?

  26. In the Stafford Shop tour from a couple years again one of the Arutes eluded to how they just got their SK frame back from powder coating. They were at Todd Owens shop putting it together at the time. it was just another one of these works of art it seems to be a crime to send out to get wrecked. My point? You redid an old car in your shop and I’ll bet the result wasn’t powder coated. That probably doesn’t happen much now.

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