Strong Entry List For Open Modified 80 Friday At Stafford Speedway

(Press release from Stafford Speedway)

Race teams are busy preparing for the Friday’s Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night Open Modified 80, the first Open Modified event of 2019. 

Over 30 teams are entered for Friday’s 80 lap shootout.  Highlighting the entry-list is Tommy Barrett, Jr. and Eric Goodale, both drivers who scored Open Modified wins during the 2018 season.  Additional entries include 8 drivers who plan to run both the SK Modified® feature and the Open 80 and 2 drivers who plan to run the SK Light Modified feature and the Open 80. 

Last season Tommy Barrett, Jr., a former SK Light Modified star, returned to Stafford in impressive fashion and thrilled fans with a late race pass on Rowan Pennink to win the Inaugural Twisted Tea Open 80.  In July, Eric Goodale turned in a dominate run to win the Bud Light Open 80, proving that his 2017 NAPA Fall Final win was no fluke.  Both Barrett and Goodale enter Friday’s Open 80 as favorites.

8 drivers plan to pull double duty running both the SK Modified® and Open Modified 80 including two drivers that have been known to have intense on track battles, Ronnie Williams and Keith Rocco.  Williams, the 2018 SK Modified® track champion and 3-time SK Modified® Champion Keith Rocco are currently two of the top drivers in Northeast modified racing and will be ones to watch throughout the Open 80 event.

Other SK Modified® competitors who plan to run both features are Todd Owen, Joey Cipriano, Michael Gervais, Matt Galko, Andrew Molleur, and Marcello Rufrano.  SK Light drivers Mark Bakaj and Robert Bloxsom, III also plan to run both features this Friday.

A total of 32 teams have registered for the event, some highlights include:

●      #1 Andy Jankowiak –  Upstate New York driver, coming off an ROC Modified Tour win last weekend at Chemung

●      #1 Andrew Molleur – SK Modified® Rookie, 4 career Stafford wins

●      #00 Chase Dowling – Former SK Light Modified driver, 13 career Stafford wins, 2 runner-up finishes in last season’s Open 80 events

●      #09 Brad VanHouten – Long Island driver making his Stafford debut

●      #3 Matt Galko – Two-time SK Light Champion, 2-time SK Modified® winner

●      #4 Jeff Gallup – Wild Thing Kart graduate, coming off a Modified Racing Series win last weekend at Lee

●      #8 Cam McDermott – Former SK Modified® and SK Light Modified driver, debuting his Open Modified 

●      #9 Tommy Barrett – 18 career Stafford wins including the 2018 Twisted Tea Open 80

●      #20 Max Zachem – 4th place finisher in the NAPA Spring Sizzler®

●      #27 Joey Cipriano – Made his Whelen Modified Tour at the Spring Sizzler®, 8 career Stafford wins 

●      #28 Kreig Heroth – Upstate New York driver making his Stafford debut

●      #33 Michael Gervais – 2009 SK Light Modified Champion, current SK Modified® point leader 

●      #34 Dave Etheridge – Former pro-stock driver, 5 career Stafford wins

●      #50 Ronnie Williams – Defending SK Modified® Champion

●      #52 Mark Bakaj – Made his Whelen Modified debut at the NAPA Spring Sizzler®, 6 career Stafford wins

●      #58 Eric Goodale – 2017 NAPA Fall Final winner, 2018 Bud Light Open winner, Instagram Celebrity

●      #68 Marcello Rufrano – 2018 SK Light Modified track champion

●      #81 Todd Owen – 18 career Stafford wins, currently 2nd in SK Modified® points

●      #88 Keith Rocco – 3-time SK Modified® track champion, 2010 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Champion

●      #99 Richard Savary – 1 career Stafford win coming last August

●      #176 Dana DiMatteo – former Legend Car champion, brother of SK Modified® driver Corey DiMatteo

May 24 Open Modified 80 Entry List

The Open Mod 80 will share the spotlight on May 24 with Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night being the longest and biggest race of the 2019 SK Light season with over $10,000 in total posted awards up for grabs.  With contingency bonuses, the winner of the Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night feature will take home $2,025.  Tickets for the May 24 Open Mod 80 / Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night are $30.00 for adults, $5.00 for kids 6-14, and as always 5 & under free. Reserved seating is priced at $32.00 for all ages. All tickets include 10% CT Admission Tax. General admission gates open at 5:15pm, with qualifying races beginning at 6:00pm and feature races to follow. 

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

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  1. Better take a nap in the afternoon if you can because there is no way this one isn’t going late.
    A couple noticeable absences like Silk and Pitkat but otherwise an interestingly eclectic field. High thirties for the TTOMS field at Claremont but not exactly top heavy with big names either.
    The theme is our Connecticut boys vs everyone else. Invaders from upstate NY, Long Island and Mass. The favorites who knows. Dowling, Andy J. ,Goodale,Barrett ??????. VMRS stalwarts Gallo, Etheridge and Savary. All those SK teams fielding tour type cars. How about Todd Owen who is delving into tour mod scene seriously this year with this and the TTOMS race Sunday at Claremont.
    Artie Pederson? No mention of Pasteryak, Scheider, Flannery, Acardi or Izzo in the summary. Hope that doesn’t mean they aren’t coming.

  2. Crazy Larry says

    Wheres Matt BIG $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ That’s right great tech ,Officials ! But the rest of NY men show up HA HA NO cherry picking here

  3. Fast Eddie says

    It would be awfully nice if the spectator gates opened earlier. There’s only thing worse than fighting traffic on a Friday to get there: Getting an early start to hopefully avoid some of the traffic, only to have to hang out in the parking lot and LISTEN to teams practice while waiting for the gates to open! C’MON STAFFORD, PLEASE LET US IN!! 🙂
    A bonus for me with the SIzzler Saturday program was taking pictures during the practice sessions. Watching practice can sometimes give me a pretty good idea of “who’s hot and who’s not.” That in turn clues me in on who to keep an eye on during the heats and features, making for a more enjoyable race. overall.

  4. This race has all the makings to be awesome, verry competive roster(stronger than WMT or Tri Track) and nobody is out there to ride around to gain experience. Pit strategy 2 tires 0 tires, 1 stop 2 stops. Diffrent motor/carb combinations and 80 laps is perfect and weather looks great! All in all we might see 90 modifieds in the pits between series.

  5. How in the world would anyone feel this roster of drivers is better than Tri Track I’m not sure how anyone else judges talent but the way I do it is by counting tour type mod wins! I stopped counting when i reached 200 wins for the Tri track roster as I couldn’t get to 50 in the Stafford open 80 roster not to say the Stafford roster is bad but CMON Man Just Matt Hirschman and Silk have as many wins as The Whole Stafford roster!

  6. While Rich’s enthusiasm is infectious the idea that it’s a competition is a dead end road.
    The Stafford Open is about Stafford fans and the TTOMS is the king and more regional.
    The Stafford Open is about all the SK teams that are fielding tour mods and how they can compete with the guys that are dedicated to tour racing.
    If you’re from northern New England you won’t care about how Gervais, Galko, Owen and a bunch more are doing.You might not even know who they are. For those of us who do it’s interesting to see them take on Barrett, Goodale, Dowling, Etheridge,Savary, Jankowiak etc.
    All Stafford had to do was show their field of cars was growing from last year. So far it appears to be the case in spite of the fact the tour mod pay outs are ho hum and in no way attempt to compete with Tri Track.on headline purse structure.

  7. Crazy, Claremont pays twice as much Stafford. If Matt win Stafford he can buy a candy bar maybe. No Thanks. Big Money Matt chases the $$$. Gotta pay to play Stafford.

  8. Claremont is paying double and they’re letting everyone in for free who purchased a $20 ticket at mad dog on Saturday. Yea all sounds fine and dandy but how the hell is that sustainable….

  9. TJ, it’s a brilliant move. Only those who were at Monadnock get the free admission. Maybe those who weren’t gonna go decide to attend based on free admission. Everyone else pays full price. Concessions play into this. With one guy owning three tracks you will see more and more of this in NH. Part of the reasoning was due to the track not being ready in early May too.

    Once again Doug shows his limited knowledge. Modified fans know who the drivers are regardless if the hail from up North, down south, NY, NJ, NC etc.

    Also, the tour pays far more than any other series. Whelen’s new program pushed the numbers north of $13k to win. The point fund is a few hundred thousand dollars total. That’s twice what Tri is paying to win and about 5x what Stafford is paying.

  10. All modified fans in all the Northeast know of every modified driver in all the Northeast.
    That’s pretty impressive JD. Clearly I am ignorant and a bit depressed hearing that truth. I shall try to soldier on anyway and enjoy the races Friday night nonetheless.
    To all my kindred spirits up north I wish you fair skies and good competition in whatever race you chose to attend this weekend or any other time for that matter.

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