Airtight: Todd Owen And Sponsor MidState Air Compressor Inflate Relationship In Unique Way

Todd Owen’s refurbished stacker trailer (Photo: Courtesy Todd Owen)

When the 2019 short track racing season ended, Stafford Speedway and Thompson Speedway SK Modified team owner and driver Todd Owen decided to embark on an offseason project. 

Owen, who typically oversees three teams he operates on Friday nights at Stafford Speedway, decided that the time had come to consolidate those teams under one rolling roof. 

Owen, a longtime veteran of SK Modified racing, purchased a dilapidated stacker trailer he found from a seller in Alabama and set out to do a remodeling job that would make any HGTV house flipping reality show producer proud. 

And then enter Sal Calvo from MidState Air Compressor in Berlin. 

Owen and Calvo had talked about MidState Compressor taking on a sponsorship role for the 2020 season. When Calvo saw the trailer Owen bought and heard about his plans for it, he wanted to get involved directly. Calvo set out to add a state-of-the-art compressor line system for Owen’s project. 

Calvo said the first time he met Owen he was awestruck by the veteran driver’s independence and throwback style as a craftsman and fabricator in racing. 

“To see a guy who does as much as he does and builds as much as he builds, how much more badass do you get than that?” Calvo said. “To see what he builds now and to see how cool he does his stuff, that’s the kind of people I really want to be involved with. People that you can help make a difference with because they really appreciate it. He’s a guy that eats, sleeps and thinks racing 24-7. There’s a lot of guys that say they do that, but not a lot of guys really do it. He really does it.” 

Owen finished the 2019 season at Stafford tied at the top of the SK Modified division point standings with Ronnie Williams, who was declared the division’s champion based on the tiebreaker of total wins during the season. Owen had four wins in 20 starts at Stafford in 2019 with 13 top-five finishes and 19 top-10’s. Williams had five victories on the season. Owen was third in the Thompson Speedway SK Modified standings in 2019 with a victory.

What Owen and Calvo realized upon meeting was that they had raced together in the Strictly Stock division in 1992 at the former Riverside Park Speedway in Agawam, Mass. 

Calvo ran four years in a Strictly Stock at Riverside beginning in 1990 before making the jump to the Late Model division at Stafford. 

“I thought I was He-Man and decided to get into a Late Model at Stafford,” Calvo said. “I always wanted to run at Stafford. I made the big jump and ran about four races and put the thing into the wall and that just basically ended the racing career right there. But I got one [Strictly Stock] win at Riverside so that’s my claim to fame.” 

The way Owen figured it, having a three-car stacker trailer would save him on the logistical nightmare that involved bringing three race cars in three separate haulers on Friday nights during racing season. 

“When I went up to his shop and saw what he had planned I knew it was something I wanted to be involved with,” Calvo said. “When I looked at his trailer I was like ‘Man this thing is in bad shape.’ He was like ‘We’re going to do redo this whole entire thing.’ He told me what he was going to do and I told him, ‘You’re doing something to showcase your work, we’re going to do something to showcase our work.’ He told me ‘I’m just looking for a compressor.’ I said ‘No, we’ll run this air pipe and we’ll do this and we’ll do that, we’ll get all your hoses straight.’ To me it was a way to do something for someone who gets a lot of exposure at the track. That was a big part of doing it.” 

Owen was left enthralled by the compressor system Calvo and his crew fabricated for the hauler. 

“I just needed a compressor for the trailer, I wasn’t even looking for it for free,” Owen said. “But what they did is amazing. It’s very professional. It’s just a very top-notch set up. Us racers, we just kind of hack some pipe together and some hoses and try to get it done. But when I think about this whole trailer, by the time I was done with it I didn’t want anything to look hack on it at all. His pipe work and his craftsmanship is just unbelievable.”

Said Calvo: “It was a fun project to get involved with. I really enjoy that type of work. A lot of our guys do a lot of building, a lot of fabrication and they enjoy it. To see someone like [Owen] doing what he does, they were impressed as well. 

“It’s all about the usability at the track. I’m all about that in my shop. There’s some people in racing, you open up their trailers and the stuff is just thrown in there right. They just stack it all in there. We wanted to make sure everything was organized, everything has a spot and you have to be able to use it and access it very easily.” 

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  1. Look out Fearn Motorsports, there’s a new stacker in town.
    Quite the monster to go one town over.

  2. Great looking rig. This is definitely more economical than having to use 3 trailers to get cars to the track. If you’ve ever seen Todd’s cars up close, they’re meticulous, as I imagine this revamped rig is too.

  3. Good thing he’s not running Thompson , you know those back roads home can be rough late at night

  4. Rob I have never seen Todd’s cars close up do tell my bro what they all about

  5. It’s perfect ! Nothing wrong with have a big trailer to have all your cars, and all your parts together. It should be your shop on wheels.Shop away from Shop. Looks great !! There will be quite a few big trailers at Stafford at some point this year. Rocco, Barry, Moller and who knows who else

  6. What a nice story. Very practical for Todd and it’s great seeing local companies step up and help racers. In the long run, word gets out and pays back many times over their investment starting with this article. Love to see that. However, don’t park next to the 50 team. I saw their new rig and the champs will be showing up in style. Sorry Todd. Second place again.

  7. where does he find the time – too bad there are no pictures of the inside.

  8. Looking forward to seeing this setup.

  9. Todd’s a good guy and a class act.
    Hey Todd, want me to make sure the trailer has the correct stickers on it?

  10. TJ, it’s hard to describe in words you need to see the cars up close. It’s the attention to details, you can tell Todd takes pride in his work.

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