Brett Gonyaw Ready To Defend Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night Title Friday At Stafford

(Press Release from Stafford Motor Speedway)

What a difference one year can make. Last season, Brett Gonyaw and the #81 Johnny’s Mud Runs SK Light team got off to a slow start at Stafford, but a win on Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night that was worth $2,775 in purse and contingency bonuses turned their season around.

Gonyaw entered the last season’s Modifiedz Night 17th in points but following the Modifiedz Night victory the #81 team clicked off 9 consecutive top-10 finishes. The consistency saw Gonyaw climb to fourth in the standings where he finished the season. Gonyaw enters this year’s edition of Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night with four consecutive top-10 finishes to start the season and sits second in points.

“I think we’ve just started to get our momentum going at Stafford so hopefully it can be like last year and we can come out with a win and set ourselves up for the rest of the season,” said Gonyaw. “Our goal for every race is to win and it would be pretty sweet to be able to win the Dunleavy’s race again. Winning that race last year really helped get us through the season and it would be the same effect if we can win it again. We’re all smiles and I’m ready to put a bulls-eye on the back of the car. Everything has been positive so far this season and everyone has been driving respectful. Sometimes it gets crazy with 3-wide moves, but somehow the guys are making it happen.”

The favorite to take the checkered flag and a share of the $9,940 total purse in this year’s Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night feature is anyone’s guess. Through the first four races, four different drivers have reached NAPA Victory Lane with Marcello Rufrano, George Nocera, Jr., Bryan Narducci, and Andrew Molleur all grabbing wins. Gonyaw would like nothing more than to make it five winners in five races and repeat his victory of last year in the Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night extra distance 40 lap feature.

“A win in this race would take our team to the next level just like it did last year,” said Gonyaw. “It would be extra bucks in our pockets to try some things that we’ve been wanting to try with the car and it would bump our team morale way up. I think we have a lot more left and this Friday night would be the perfect opportunity to show that. If we can have a good run, that could carry us through the summer with positive momentum.”

With 40 laps being the race distance, SK Light drivers will have twice as long as normal to work their way through traffic and get to the front. In last year’s event Gonyaw inherited the race lead late on a restart with 7 laps to go. While Gonyaw says he is still looking for speed out of his #81 car, he is confident that he has a setup that will be good to go 40 laps.

“We’ve been playing with the setup this year. Danny Wilson, my crew chief, has been working on fine tuning the car to make it maneuverable and we’re going to keep working on it,” said Gonyaw. “The car has been getting better and better each week and I think we have everything falling right into place for Dunleavy’s Night. Everyone is going to be racing as hard as they can to get to the front. Our strategy last year was to relax and take it easy a little at the start of the race but with the competition we have now, we’re going to have to get out front quick. We have a couple of really fast cars that we have to compete with this year and it’s going to be a lot of fun trying to chase them down. We just have to get out there and go for it.”

Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair Modifiedz night is Friday, May 25th. General admission gates open at 5:15 pm, qualifying races begin at 6:15 pm, with feature racing scheduled to begin at 7:15 pm. The night will be capped off with a Fireworks display in honor of Memorial Day. Tickets are just $18.50 for adults, $5 for kids 6-14, and as always 5 & under free. Reserved seating is priced at $20 for all ages. Tickets are priced at $10 for Active or retired Military members showing proper ID. All tickets include 10% CT Admission Tax.

For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at


  1. Modifiedz Night. Kind of critical for Stafford. The Sizzler was a success but otherwise sketchy weather and cold temps have produced weak crowds since. So with the absolute best forecast possible, sunny skies and comfortable temps this Friday is critical. So why go?
    Everyone loves the SK’s and they get extra laps. Nothing against the VMRS but the SK’s are just as fast with the top 5 cars turning fractonally better best lap speeds then the VMRS. The SK’s are ultra competitive. Invincible Rocco turned in a best lap time of 18.98 and 19th place finisher Tommy Membrino clocked a best of 19.29 or 1.1 MPH slower. Compared to the NWMT that dropped off 2.61 MPH from first to 19th in qualifying for the Sizzler.
    In the SK Lights Bret may be the Jet but Bryan is Flyin on a magic carpet. Last week he spins, has to come from the rear and ends up 4th turning in the fastest single lap speed of the race. Last then 8th with 5 laps to go then 4th at the checker and ending once and forever the term momentum division. Two other diaper dandies that guarantee to content are Moeller and my pick to win it Alexander Pearl. But aside from lightning fast youngsters racing is about competition and the Lights have it in spades. Not as competitive as the SKs time wise but close with only a .7 MPH difference between the first and 14th car.
    Rocco and Narducci are the clear favorites to win Friday clocking the consistent best lap times and passing the most cars. But if Stafford does their job they’ll have to come from 15th give or take and pass really strong competition. When isn’t that fun to watch? Last year Ben Dodge crowed about the bulging paddock area and this year should be even better with at least a Light consi and maybe even an SK consi. And the icing on the cake is it’s the best value of the season at $18.50 with fireworks for the kids thrown in

  2. I agree, this is going to be a great show. The sk lights are becoming my favorite division, speeds are still low enough to run side by side for a few laps. Just wish they would eliminate one division to keep the boring part down. Don’t really need 3 taxi cab divisions in Modified country

  3. Blind as a Bat says

    Why did the 01 change their Transmission and rear end gears before the race,then just so happens ,Transmissions and rear gears get teched after race.Can you believe it.lmao

  4. Hey Blind as a bat, you’re just living up to your name. I heard they changed the transmission because it would get stuck in 1st gear because something was wrong. Clearly you are just as dumb as everyone thinks you are. Also they run a straight rear and they didnt change the gears.

  5. In The Know says

    Right on Gary you definitely got the dumb part right. Blind as a bat please get your facts straight before making a ridiculous comment on something you know nothing about. Their was a problem with not being able to get it into 1st gear or reverse. As you commented Gary yes the 01 has a straight rear not a quick change. So as usual blind as a bat has no clue. Btw BAAB they didn’t check transmissions so I don’t where you got your info from. Please get a life!

  6. Gary- the 01 has a quick change on sizzler weekend, don’t know when or if they went to a straight rear…just stating a fact

  7. In the know says

    Right on Gary you were right about the dumb part. Blind as a bat please get your facts straight before commenting on something you clearly know nothing about. The 01 had a problem with the transmission not going into 1st or reverse that’s why it got changed. And yes Gary as you pointed out the 01 runs a straight rear not a quick change. So as usual blind as a bat you have no clue. I don’t where you get your info from but you might want to find a more reliable source or better yet just come over to the 01 camp. Btw BAAB they didn’t check transmissions so once again clueless.

  8. In the know says

    Steve you’re as clueless as blind as a bat. The 01 had a straight rear in for the sizzler has never had a quick change in the car. How’s that for a fact….a real one.

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