Welcome To The Show: Stafford Speedway Releases 2019 Racing Schedule

(Press Release from Stafford Speedway)

Todd Owen (81), Mike Christopher Jr. (82) and Keith Rocco (88) during an SK Modified feature at the NAPA Fall Final in October at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)

Stafford Motor Speedway has officially released the 2019 racing schedule consisting of 22 events including 11 special events.

For the 48th consecutive year, the season will kick-off with the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler on April 27th and 28th and will finish with the NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final Weekend, both highlighted by the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

“2018 was another great season here at Stafford,” explained Stafford General Manager Mark Arute. “We shaped the 2019 schedule to continue our focus on consistency and producing a quality show each and every week. Racing at Stafford has been nothing less then unbelievable the last few years, we think this schedule gives us the opportunities to promote all the talented drivers that race at Stafford each week. We’re excited for our 61st season of NASCAR racing.”

The Friday night weekly racing program is set to fire up Friday, May 3rd with the return of Best Friend Friday and will continue for 20 straight weeks ending Friday, September 13th with First Responder Friday. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will make 3 stops at the Stafford, CT half-mile April 27th and 28th for the NAPA Spring Sizzler, August 2nd for the Stafford 150, and September 28th and 29th for the 47th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final.

Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair Modifiedz night returns for the 3rd consecutive season Friday, May 24th to kick-off Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial start to summer.

The biggest SK Modified® event of the year is set for Friday, June 28th when the NAPA Auto Parts SK 5k rolls off for the 6th consecutive year of the 100 lap event. 2018 winner Ronnie Williams pocketed a cool $10,625 for his SK 5k triumph. The TC 13 Shoot-Out for the SK Modifieds® will return on Friday, July 12th.

The Modified Racing Series will make their one and only stop at Stafford August 30th for the 10th Annual Lincoln Tech 80. Kids and families events are also highlighted on the schedule with Kids Nights scheduled monthly throughout the season along with Fireworks displays on Friday, May 31st and Friday, July 5th.

Arute Continued, “Our goal is for race fans to know what to expect every time they walk into Stafford Speedway, excellent racing and a great experience. Whether it be a Modified Tour event or a weekly show headlined by the SK Modifieds®, we want race fans to be as excited as we are when Friday rolls around each week.”

Multiple new events dot the 2019 calendar including an additional Open Modified 80 event scheduled for Friday May 10th. The open modified division will compete a total of three times in 2019 with the Twisted Tea Open 80 and Bud Light Open 80 returning to the schedule on June 14th and July 12th respectively.

Also new for 2019 is the Street Stock Triple Crown, a 3-event series with events to be held Saturday of NAPA Spring Sizzler and Fall Final weekends as well as Friday, June 21st. Points will be kept and a triple crown champion will be named.

“We have some new additions to the schedule that we are looking forward to,” continued Arute. “We added another Open Modified show to the schedule after receiving great feedback from fans and drivers after the 2018 events. We also added the Street Stock Triple Crown, which will end Saturday of the NAPA Fall Final and will see a significantly boosted purse across all 3 shows especially the final event. We will also name a triple crown champion with bonuses for the top finishers.”

Season tickets for the 2019 race season are now available online, over the phone (860-684-2783), or at the Stafford Speedway Box Office. Discount pricing for season tickets are available through December 14th. Tickets for the 48th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler and 47th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final are also now available online, over the phone (860-684-2783), or at the Stafford Speedway Box Office. For any questions please contact the track office or reach out on social media.

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

Stafford Speedway 2019 Scheduled (click to enlarge)

Stafford Speedway 2019 Special Events (click to enlarge) 


  1. Just imagine how happy the Sk and skl Car Owners would be if two of the open Modified races were for SK and the other one for SKL.

  2. The Modified Opens are OK, but I hope something is done to eliminate the tire conservation strategies. Perhaps Twin 50s (or 40s), without an overall winner, would work better. I wouldn’t mind a Twin 40s event for the SKs, too – maybe in 2020.

  3. Really wasnt any tire conservation in the opens b/c they are allowed to change tires. There was painful tire conservation in the VMRS shows. The last one was terrible

  4. Agree completely with Modfan. Both Open shows had tire changes, strategy and drama. I suppose the VMRS deal with no tire changes is great to control costs but it was tedious to watch.

  5. This Stafford fan couldn’t be happier that the Open show format is expanding.
    Others have suggested that the VMRS built engine type with limited CFM carb’s may be gaining strength on a regional bases. The TTOMS event at Seekonk may be evidence it is true. Stafford and Lee having events for the same type modifieds on the same night and each having respectable fields my be more evidence of strength.
    It’s cool seeing the entry list build and who is coming. It’s great on race day having no idea who will actually appear, any unannounced last minute entries, seeing how the field shakes itself out and the tire change strategy not present in the VMRS races.
    Not cool is the cheap purse and would like the ticket price to be more in line with a TTOMS event. It’s Stafford so you can file that opinion in the pixy dust and unicorn circular file along with fixing the LM’s and LLM limited fields.
    Now the strategy we thought was emerging last year about this time when the schedule was announced is clear.
    It’s Stafford’s venue and the crowds for VMRS type races are generally Stafford weekly crowds. Why share the revenue with a tour when you have everything needed in house and the VMRS doesn’t really bring in a whole lot of new fans.
    Count me in.

  6. Sorry for confusing the Open shows with the VMRS events. Down to just one race at Stafford, perhaps the VMRS will realize that it needs to do something different to generate interest. The Open shows would benefit from stronger fields (allow the SPEC engine?), but the 2018 Open races were much better than the VMRS events.

  7. Good to hear I’m not the only one loving those Open shows.
    Allow the spec? Initially thought it was a mistake not allowing them not so sure now. Is it possible they would reduce interest of VMRS built engine teams that seem to be more prolific. Is it possible that Stafford has it right in breaking new ground in a type of modified that has a better future?
    An interesting side bar is the fact that at some point the new American Modified Series must have talked with Stafford and made a pitch for a date. Would like to have been a fly on the wall in that meeting.
    The upshot is Stafford not only passed they downsized tours in general with the 3 NWMT money makers and one VMRS show while doubling down on their own in house special shows. Meanwhile the Speedbowl still can’t get a NWMT date under the current ownership and is all in on the new modified tour with three dates plus the VMRS and many other lower level tours.
    Seems like change is afoot but for the life of me can’t figure it out.

  8. I definitley think Stafford is on to something, I wish they would do 8 or more open Tour Type shows, it would put MRS,AMT and depending on purse Tri Track all out of buisness. On any given day their is 50 plus Tour Types in the area looking for a place to Run, Seekonk had 43 on a rainy sunday show up. Problem is Seekonk sux and is hard to pass, 43 cars at Stafford would bring back memories of the Old Glory Days.

  9. I think including the spec engines in Stafford’s Open shows would ruin it. I don’t think the VMRS and tour type cars from other tracks could compete effectively against the specs at Stafford. What would add to the show is to allow SK’s to enter with a larger carb. Run the SK feature first, then run the Street Stocks and LLM’s, which would allow carb swap time. Then run the open heats. Run the LM’s and SKL’s, and then the Open feature.
    Rich, Seekonk is one of the widest tracks to run on around here. There’s plenty of passing IF your car handles well.

  10. Gee Rich and Stafford has 20 cars in each of their 2 OPEN shows in 2018 so what makes you think in 2019 that 40 plus cars will show up, They can have 15 open shows and not get more cars with the same purse as 2018

  11. Man I’m loving your support Eddie for the Stafford Opens. The idea of allowing the SK’s to compete technically is spot on. They actually turn faster times then the VMRS so using the higher CFM 2 barrel might actually be competitive with the other cars without a carb change.
    The problem is the SK’s are Staffords bread and butter. They can only be degraded by appearing in the Open race and if they do badly seem inferior. Moreover Stafford has the TC13 sprint that they’ve investing heavily promoting. I’d love to see your idea happen but know Stafford well and know it was never considered.
    wmass I accept your knowledge of the greater Northeast racing scene as second to none. But man you are negative on Staffords Opens. I mostly disagree because you discount the overall modified car count and three modified divisions focusing only on 20 cars. 20 cars that turned out to be pretty good cars that put on a good show, had some top teams and a little drama. You may also discount that it was the first year, an experiment and they could build on last years marginal success.
    Are you a little bit of a NWMT snob? Maybe just a bit but in a good way and with an open mind.
    I’m wondering if Hirschman appeared if you’d make the trip?

  12. Wait and see I bet VMRS puts races up against Stafford open shows , and next year they won’t have any races at Stafford

  13. I see no upside to VMRS nor any touring series to purposely go head to head with Stafford. for the purpose of undermining the Opens.
    I’ll bet they are not happy losing a date but on the other hand they are pros and likely not to want to burn bridges.
    Color me shocked if that actually happens.

  14. Last year there was a VMRS race @Lee USA that conflicted with one of the Stafford Opens. I thnk both events had 20 cars. I took the longer ride to Stafford that night instead of the short ride to Lee and was glad I did; Tour types PLUS SK’s and SKL’s. Doug your description was spot on. There was a good mix of talent and being able to take a tire put more strategies into play. Hopefully Stafford puts a little more $$$ into the purse. I’m thinking maybe $4K to win might entice more entries at Stafford. It would be great to have 25-30 show up!

  15. Doug the SK’s are a half a second slower than the open/vmrs cars at a minimum. If you ever get out to a race and watch how slow they go on purpose to not use up the soft tires they are running, you would see that. When you only watch races on race monitor though im sure it seems like they are slower. A legal sk engine with any 4bbl has no chance against a steel head vmrs motor.

  16. First I am accused of not going to any other tracks except Stafford and now 50 Crew says I don’t even go there. I know I’m old and tend to forget things now and then but I’m virtually certain I’ve enjoyed a number of shows this year. Especially the Opens I’ve yammered endlessly on and the VMRS races.
    As a fan I don’t have an intimate knowledge of the tire compounds nor can I speculate on head to head match ups of SK vs purpose built 4 barrel engines. What I can do is pay attention to lap times.
    On 8/31 the top three cars in the VMRS feature turned an average fast lap of 19.27. The top three fast lap average in the SK feature was 19.10.
    On 7/13 the top three Open cars turned an average lap speed of 18.92 in the feature compared to 19.10 for the three top cars in the SK feature.
    Also of note on 7/13 the 18, 19th and 20th cars in the SK feature turned an average fast lap of 19.24 compared to the 17, 18th and 19th place Open car average of 19.98.
    What I concluded before when I looked at the numbers and what I see now is two things. SK’s at the front and back end of the field can turn faster laps then the VMRS/Open rule engined cars. Also that the level of competition in the first 20 cars is generally more competitive in the SK’s.
    These are the types of stats I made my comment on. They’re not bullet proof because the tire compounds are not equal. They’re not saying that in a scientific test the SK engines have more power. All they are saying is that the raw lap times show that the SK’s might hold their own in unified type of competition.
    I’ve assumed that Pettit and the other SK engine builders over time have made incremental changes to their engines to get outstanding speed from the higher cfm two barrels.
    Now if I can just remember if I actually did go to Stafford this year. Oh ya I definitely did. I remember specifically enjoying the $3 happy hour Bud Light.

  17. Why do you think Stafford needs more Modified divisions? Pay the sk an skl what they deserve. Purse = cars= fans

  18. Doug, not a WMT snob at all, I LOVE MODIFIEDS, BUT WHEN u run an OPEN comp race and have a small purse that attracts 20 cars of which maybe 8 competitive and charge TOUR pricing to get in, yes I am critical, I LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Stafford Motor Speedway, its a 25 minute drive and I went to the 2 VRMS shows last yr along with 3 WMT shows,, will I attend this yrs 3 OPEN races? maybe would love to!!!!

  19. I retract any reference to snob even if I said in a good way. You know your stuff……..period.
    I really love the Open/MRS style modifieds and think they are on the rise. My only observation is that the VMRS green to checker tire rule made those events a little more tedious then the Opens. You had a tire go down and there was no coming back.
    Lets all hope they beef up the purse next year, get an exciting entry list and make the decision to go a no brainer.

  20. Crazy in NY says

    Problem is Seekonk sux and is hard to pass, 43 cars at Stafford would bring back memories of the Old Glory Days.
    Seekonk sux? You sux There isn’t passing there? Ok… And.. NO WAY Stafford gets 43 Modifieds for
    any race they put on there this year. Ain’t happening.

  21. Obviously both Seekonk on Stafford are regional jewels with each having truly unique racing characteristics. Neither sux in any regard.
    Technically Seekonk didn’t attract 43 modifieds, the TTOMS did.
    On 7/6/18, regular Friday night show at Stafford 78 cars were present over 5 divisions. On 7/14/18 a regular Saturday night show at Seekonk 73 cars competed over 4 divisions. They both draw similar numbers as far as car counts go with strengths and weaknesses from division to division. Then there is the fact Stafford is modified country and Seekonk Late Model country.
    Regionally speaking we’re lucky to have both tracks offering strong, steady management that we can count on each year to provide jam packed racing entertainment.

  22. Sk’s can not run faster laps than the open cars doug. When sk’s do 18.4’s let me know. those open guys don’t push the gas in the race. The speed falls off 1 second with tire wear. The sks will fall at around the same rate on the same tires. The open cars have around 150 more hp.

  23. Crazy in NY says

    Interesting this debate over lap times like that alone has anything to do with race quality. If that were the case street stocks would never get a consideration and I’ve been to tracks where they were the best show of night. I don’t get all this hand wringing from you NE Modified fans. You have no dirt competition to speak of, Ct is a small state and you have choices like nowhere else. Consider little ole me. My favo short track is Stafford with Seekonk MAYBE second and I live in upstate NY. My closest track (Oswego) is close to being my least favo track ( Caraway might be it) and I only wish our Sportsman here put on the show the SK’s do on a regular basis there. No Mo Bitchin ya hear? LOL

  24. I’m not interested in playing tug of war 50 Crew.
    I put some numbers together that are documented I thought were interesting. The numbers clearly showed that under race conditions that the SK’s could turn faster times for one lap anyway. You’re talking of a 150 HP difference and not stepping on the gas. That all could be true and may very well be true to a greater or lesser extent. Then again they could be self serving anecdotes that conveniently fit your position.
    On the other hand if you were to say the VMRS cars in particular turn slower times then the SKs because they are on much harder rubber then I would agree with that 100%.
    On the other hand if you make the simple statement that were all chassis and tire component variables to be made equal, that the tour modifieds would consistently turn faster times then the SK’s. Now that i would agree with 100%.
    What I’d like to really know from an engine builder is how different the two engines are in terms of the machining processes. Do SK’s incorporate unique machining to accommodate the 2 barrel? What is the HP different alone of the smaller CFM 4 barrel vs the larger CFM 2 barrel? People are throwing out really high costs for a competitive SK engine. How does the cost compare to the tour engine?

  25. I gotta get more popcorn.


  26. 50 Crew.Just can’t help wondering who you’re associated with. Clearly not the 50 SK at Stafford. How about the VMRS 50 of Medeiros. Mostly you’re right and glad you’re here.
    As for the popcorn reference one would think a thinly veiled reference to a superiority over the conversation participants. I’m good with that. I’ve added the comment on Wall to the list of stupidity emanating from one particular source.

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