Statistical Advance: Bud Light Open 80 At Stafford Speedway

(Press release from Stafford Speedway)

This Saturday, July 18 is the Bud Light Open Modified 80 at Stafford Speedway, the first of 5 Open Modified events schedule for the 2020 season.  There have been 5 previous Open Modified events at Stafford in 2018 and 2019 with 5 different winners.  The 2018 winners were Tommy Barrett, Jr. and Eric Goodale and last season saw Keith Rocco, Ryan Preece, and Ronnie Williams all drive into NAPA Victory Lane.  Here we take a statistical look at some of the drivers who are entered in the Bud Light Open Mod 80.

Chase Dowling – #00 James Paige Plumbing & Heating Chevrolet – Dowling is no stranger to success at Stafford with 13 feature wins between the SK Modified® and SK Light divisions over 6 seasons.  Dowling has competed in all 5 Open Modified races thus far at Stafford with 4 top-5 finishes and an average finish of 4.2.  Dowling has also been quick in Whelen Modified Tour competition at Stafford with 2 pole positions to go along with 6 top-5 and 10 top-10’s in 16 starts with an average finish of 11.0 in those races.

Joey Cipriano – #1 Superior Refinishing Chevrolet – This Stafford open-wheel veteran has 1 career SK Modified® and 6 career SK Light wins at Stafford.  Cipriano made 3 Whelen Modified Tour starts at Stafford last season with a best finish of 22nd and he has raced in 4 of the first 5 Open 80’s at Stafford with 1 top-5 and 3 top-10’s for an average finish of 10.75.  Cipriano will be making his Stafford debut behind the wheel of Ted Anderson’s #1 car.

Matt Galko – #3 AAA Consulting, LLC. Chevrolet – Galko is a former 2-time SK Light champion at Stafford with 8 career wins to go along with 2 career SK Modified® wins.  Galko has been strong in Open Modified competition the past 2 years, scoring 3 top-5 and 4 top-10 finishes in four starts for an average finish of 4.5.

Tommy Barrett, Jr. – #9 James Monroe Wire & Cable Chevrolet – Barrett is a graduate of Stafford’s SK Light division where he won 14 races in 2 seasons and he has 3 career VMRS wins at Stafford.  Barrett has competed in all 5 Open Modified races at Stafford and he was the winner of the Inaugural Open 80 at Stafford in June 2018.  Since that victory he has faced some hard luck after that with a best finish of 17thin the remaining 4 events.

Ronnie Silk – #16 Blue Mountain Machine, Inc. Chevrolet – Silk will be making his Open Modified debut for car owners Joe Yannone and Tyler Haydt.  The 2011 Whelen Modified Tour champion has 4 career SK Modified® wins at Stafford along with 4 pole positions and 2 wins in WMT competition.  Silk will be teaming with Yannone and Haydt for the first time at Stafford.

Jon McKennedy – #21 Art Barry Racing Chevrolet – McKennedy has fared well in Tour-type competition at Stafford, scoring 2 Modified Touring Series wins and a VMRS win in his own car as well as a VMRS win for Art Barry during his VMRS championship winning season of 2012.

Noah Korner – #31 H.O. Penn Machinery Chevrolet – While Korner will be making his Open Modified debut in the Bud Light 80, he has 2 career SK Light feature wins, including the extra distance Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night feature last season.  Korner is also the 2016 Stafford Legend Cars champion with 8 career wins.

Michael Gervais, Jr. – #33 Gervais Brothers Roofing Chevrolet – Gervais is the 2009 Stafford SK Light track champion and he has 4 career SK Modified® wins to his name.  Gervais will be piloting a Keith Rocco Racing car and in his 2 Open Modified starts last season he finished 15th and 13th.

Andrew Molleur – #35 Bud’s Truck and Diesel Service Toyota – One of the youngest drivers in the field, the 17 year old Molleur has already racked up 4 SK Light wins in 2018 and he won once during his SK Modified® rookie campaign last season at Stafford.  Molleur has competed in all 5 Open Modified races at Stafford with a best finish of 7th coming last June.  

Craig Lutz – #46 Riverhead Building Supply Chevrolet – Lutz has found Stafford to be one of his personal favorite tracks to race at.  Lutz scored his first career Whelen Modified Tour pole position and victory at Stafford and he is currently riding a streak of 9 consecutive top-9 WMT finishes at Stafford.

Marcello Rufrano – #48 Wheelers Auto Chevrolet – The 2018 SK Light track champion and 2019 SK Modified® Rookie of the Year runner-up has 11 career SK Light feature wins along with 2 career Street Stock wins at Stafford.  Rufrano made his Open Modified debut last season with finishes of 19th, 12th, and 18th.  

Ronnie Williams – #50 Empower Financial Advisory Ford – Williams is the 2-time defending SK Modified® track champion at Stafford and he has notched 17 career SK Modified® wins and 4 SK Light feature wins.  Williams is the winner of the most recent Open 80 at Stafford, winning last July’s Bud Light 80.

Mark Bakaj – #52 Bakaj Construction Chevrolet – Bakaj is a veteran of Stafford’s SK Light division with 8 career wins.  Bakaj has competed in all 5 Open Modified races at Stafford with a best finish of 11th in June 2018.

Eric Goodale – #58 GAF Roofing Chevrolet – Goodale has competed in all 5 Open Modified shows at Stafford with a win in the July 2018 Twisted Tea 80 to go along with 2 other top-5 finishes.  Goodale also has a Whelen Modified Tour win at Stafford in the 2017 NAPA Fall Final and he has posted 1 win, 9 top-5, and 14 top-10 finishes in 42 WMT starts.

Todd Owen – #81 Cooker Construction Chevrolet – Owen is an 18-year veteran of Stafford’s SK Modified® division with 11 career wins to go along with 7 ProStock wins.  Owen has finished in the top-10 of the SK Modified® points standings for 17 consecutive years and he ran 3 Open Modified shows in 2019 with finishes of 2nd, 11th, and 12th

We’ve taken a look at some of the top talent that will be on display during this Saturday’s Bud Light Open 80 at Stafford.  See a full entry list here.  Open Modifieds return to Stafford Saturday, August 1 for the Twisted Tea 80, August 7 for the NAPA Auto Parts 100, the Lincoln Tech 80 on Saturday, August 22, and the Open Mod 80 on a T-B-A date in September.

For more information, visit, checkout Stafford Speedway on Facebook or Twitter, or contact the track office at 860-684-2783.


  1. Really decent field of cars entered here.. sparked my interest for sure..

  2. Entry list is definitely over exaggerated

  3. 🎀🎀🎀 Liz Cherokee 🎀🎀🎀 says

    Will there be any free 🍻 beer 🍻 handed out?

  4. Shawn,

    45 plus cars are entered, if they all show up that’s gotta be highest total anywhere in decades?

  5. Carl Block,
    Why do you say that? Who is on the list that you know can confirm is not going?

  6. Fast Eddie says

    If 40-45 cars show it could be four heats and two consi’s to set the field. Can’t wait!
    Liz, maybe discounted beer. I think at one of the Bud 80’s they were doing 16 oz. cans for $2.00.

  7. In 2018 Silk drove the Stuart 85 in the two MRS events at Stafford plus one Open 80 event and has not been back since outside of the NWMT events. Welcome back!
    Silk, Lutz and McKennedy/Berry. That’s a significant just in field quality. Last event is was the Stafford gang that dominated plus Swanson in the 25. This should be very interesting.

  8. Being on the registered list doesn’t mean you will be at all (or any)of the Opens. Those were sent in back in Jan/Feb. Zachem announced on FB he isn’t going earlier this week. I’m sure the guys in the press release will be there but who else? I’m with Carl on this one.

    Tickets still available…

  9. if the 45 plus cars that are entered all show up, what’s the motivation for Stafford to ever have a NASCAR WMT race again? they’re paying a lower purse, saving the $$ NASCAR charges to sanction and run the WMT event. in past years, has the track drawn a significant amount more fans for the WMT than they do for these Open races?

  10. Phil A, you are a wise man. 45 car home grown Modified feature definitely will make them think twice about bringing Nascar back, if they upped the purse a little and modified the rules we would have 50 plus cars.

  11. The entry list is a paid entry. Pretty sure $100 per show. Seems weird that guys pay for the entry and then dont show.

  12. Folks, just like a ship looks for any open port in a storm, Stafford is one of the very few places available now, so everybody and anybody is going to show up.

    Too obvious, eh?

  13. Liz, free bourbon 🥃 in the pit lot.

  14. JD 7/12
    $30 in recent years included a full weekly card. This is like $50 over two nights to get what you were getting for $30 last year
    JD 7/15
    Everyone is assuming the season ticket holders will show on Saturday. Even, Friday, those tickets were for three weeks ago. How many of these people have other plans now or otherwise can’t make it three weeks later?
    JD 7/16
    Being on the registered list doesn’t mean you will be at all (or any)of the Opens.
    Tickets still available…

    Got it JD. It’s not worth your time, you’re not going, you’re not a fan of streaming so won’t be watching it and would like everyone to know what a bad value it is.
    Or is it a case of New Hampshire “Complain Perpetually or Die”

  15. Fast Eddie says

    Some people seem to have an issue with the added cost of the “split up” show. I’m looking at the pricing portion of this a little differently I guess. The previous open shows never had heat races for the weekly categories, which you now see this Friday. From what I heard about opening night, that was 4 heats and 2 consi’s for the SK’s alone! The Saturday show has a complete second round of heats and features for two categories. I’m fortunate enough to go to both nights this week. So my extra $20 will get me a bunch of heat races that I rarely get to see, a second complete SKL and Street Stock program, and overall a second race day. I’m good with that!

  16. Well as of 7/15/2020 the event hadnt sold out. So demand is tempered compared to their regular Friday night shows which have sold out quickly. Last Sunday, I logged in at 9 am had a ticket ordered then they hit me with a 5 dollar shipping charge to hold it at the gate for me. I was on the fence about going given the price and decided against it. The weather didnt look great at the time either and well the extra five just made the decision easier. I am surprised it hadnt sold out which kind of vindicated my thought process. I do hope to get to a show at Stafford if they remain open. It just wont be this one as i had too many questions for the price point.

    This event was originally scheduled for a Friday night with a full regular show. Now its on a night they do not normally run and doesnt include their two top Nascar weekly divisions SKS and Late models. The price remains the same at 30 to 35 dollars. In my opinion, this race isnt quite the value it used to be. Who will be there? Stafford and Nascar are getting into a little pissing war with Stafford understandably not rescheduling the Sizzler and cancelling their August tour race. Then Nascar decided to schedule over Stafford already announced open 80 on August 1st. Are Nascar tour drivers going to show up to these open tour type events over Nascar. No. Is Nascar discouraging participation of their drivers in these other tour type open events? Probably, the only races Nascar has scheduled are to ensure their drivers cant support competing tour type mod events. I had a friend who said racers show up for points not money and over the years he has been proven right more times than not. RIP. Who really knows who is going to show up to these Stafford opens. The list isnt race specific. Most of the drivers signed up before Covid and all these conflicts popped up. This Saturday, Stafford has a good shot of getting a good field. Does field include all of the 45+ cars listed on their entry list. Doubt it, but if race monitor shows 45 tour types at Stafford there is a good chance I will be forking out some money for the PPV.

    Then you have the SKL and Street Stocks who are going to race on back to back nights. That is a quick turn around if something happens the night before. I see they increased the purse thanks to some sponsors but no points so really not a lot of incentive to show up. Now you also have the prospect of Waterford opening up within the next couple of weeks. Are the Waterford transplants going to abandon Stafford and save their car to go back to their home track which races on Saturdays a night Stafford has recently scheduled several shows. Its a difficult time for everyone, these tracks are forced to close for months, then allowed to open at a fraction of capacity. You have all these tracks and series trying to cram in as much racing as they can in a short period of time and who know how much time they actually have..

    I just learned August 1st tour type modified day in america now has the restart of the NHL set for the same day. That just made my August 1st decision so much simpler. Instead of trying to determine which track ( WMT White MTN, Stafford Open, MRS Beachridge, Riverhead Opener) will have which drivers I can watch NHL games all day. I am sure a few of these shows may be cancelled or rescheduled by the time August 1st rolls around and honestly who knows if the NHL makes it. 2020 just stinks.

    Tri Track at Star next Saturday July 25th. Stay healthy,

  17. I will be there Saturday. I wanted to do both, but with rainouts, no tickets available for Friday night, UNLESS someone has an extra ticket by chance????

  18. Ken Latham says

    I am stoked to be there Saturday. Would have loved to have done both, but rain outs killed that idea

  19. Stout field of cars, weather forecast looks beautiful. Should be a great event. Thanks Shawn for this preview of sorts. Hope everyone who attends has fun. Don’t forget your sunblock, and face masks. I’ll predict Williams, Owens or vise versa for top 2.

  20. 🌈🦄2020 says

    I woke up early Sunday morning and bought my ticket for Saturday. I’m shocked it’s 5 days later and they’re still not sold out. Meanwhile the Friday shows sell out in a day. If over 30 open cars show up I’ll be happy. Over 45 are expected? This will rival tri track if true.

  21. 2018-20 cars won by Barrett, 20 cars won by Goodale
    2019 -21 cars won by Rocco, 23 cars won by Preece, 26 cars won by Williams
    Low twenty car count plus Streets and Lights would definitely be an anemic open and good cause for grumbling. .
    This should handily break the car count record of 26 but it’s not just quantity. It’s the best quality so far if the statistical advance is close to accurate.
    I guess we wanted it to sell out instantly but for what it’s worth Stafford says this is the last day to buy tickets and again is pushing the PPV offering.
    The goal was to push more events in a shorter space of time to have a greater chance of having a real season. Rain is wrecking the plan so far but it was a good plan. In the end if it’s a great tour modified race and fans get home at a reasonable time the price, sell out or support divisions won’t matter at all.

  22. I like the McKennedy Barry combo. Should be stout.

  23. Shawn , I hope I’ am wrong . I just don’t see more then 32 entries showing up . Love Stafford speedway and want to see them succeed , but a lot of these drivers don’t want to compete against Stafford regulars .May live in NY but I still stay incahootz with several owners ,drivers and crew members

  24. “Bowman Gray Stadium Cancels 2020 Racing Season”

    That’s the headline on Speed51. What can you say. I recall Bert Myers with his impassioned Facebook video encouraging fans to flock to Ace Speedway and make a statement for liberty and freedom and they did in droves. Not paying even the slightest attention to the safety protocols.
    Who’s your captain……….Howie Carr. Yesterday Howie Carr, talk radio host of some renown was again mocking masks and safety protocols as he revved up his Trump nation audience. Scoffing at Charlie Baker and his order for universal masks as Maskachusetts. Good one Howie.

    JD says
    July 15, 2020 at 11:46 am
    Walmart going to 100% mask wearing. Good thing I don’t go there often. Sounds horrible. Hello Amazon!!
    Current cases in Woodstock NH (WMMP) is ZERO. That would be NONE. Less than one. I guess the WMT won’t be responsible for the end of the world as some here have predicted. Can’t wait to see them argue ZERO cases though.

    I’m not trying to pick on JD. Clearly he’s a smart guy but it just shows where we are. JD and Howie Carr have seen the infections and deaths in the Northeast and now down south and it doesn’t matter. It’s safety protocol anarchy out there and it’s not even Trumps fault any more. As the president it was his fault at one time but now the results are in for all of us to see and a huge percent still aren’t on board. That makes it all our fault, we failed as a country and now will have to deal with the consequences.

    So now it’s time to circle the wagons, forget Trump and the rest of the country and try to protect what we have going for us that’s good and it includes racing under strict guidelines.

    “Stafford Speedway Cancel’s Remainder of 2020”
    It’s not inevitable but it’s waiting in the wings if enough of us share JD’s thinking and are fans of Howie Carr.

    You can’t be tough enough Connecticut and Stafford Motor Speedway.

  25. “I’m shocked it’s 5 days later and they’re still not sold out. Meanwhile the Friday shows sell out in a day.”

    My guess is a decent number of GA tickets on Fridays are purchased by friends, family, and fans of weekly competitors. Since all the divisions aren’t running Saturday, they may not be interested.

    Also, as strange as it sounds in today’s social media world, I know several casual fans who had no idea there was a Saturday event, or thought it was a combined ticket with Friday. Since Friday is already sold out, they thought they were locked out. Lots of folks have cut way back on social media lately, and a lot of advertising currently depends on SM eyeballs.

    It will be interesting if some who go online to buy tix for next Friday when they go on sale Saturday AM notice available BL80 tickets and end up going Saturday as well.

  26. Nevermind, the Bud Light 80 has sold out.

  27. Doug, in your post you said it’s not Trump’s fault anymore. True in one sense, false in another. True because of all the younger generations who refuse to social distance, and wear masks e t…
    False, because as president he should be leading the fight, giving states what they need and not rushing us to reopen. Donald has walked away from the virus, he threatens states who are not opening fast enough for him. Withholding funding,PPE and testing materials is not how you fight this virus. His toxic tweets do absolutely nothing in helping the fight. Statements like ” we only have more cases because we test too much, if we didn’t test we’d have no cases” which is totally false, don’t help either. Many of the 137000 deaths were avoidable if Trump had actually responded in a timely manner. So to say it’s not Trump’s fault anymore is somewhat false.

  28. In the small town of Palmer MA, where I live there have been 52 reported cases, 2 coming in the last 3 days. Palmer is part of Hampden County, which has the highest per capita death rate at
    143/100,000 people, in all of Massachusetts.

  29. It’s all President Pine Sol’s fault. He politicized science, called the coronavirus a hoax, called it and remedies an attack on liberties, and the covidiots ran with it, and with the blessings of President Pine Sol.

    Here we are, summer, heat waves, and the virus is spreading faster than ever. The rate of increase is alarming. Once it goes through the populations centers, the spread will go excruciatingly slow through the rural regions. There’s another 2 years of this.

    And I wouldn’t trust any vaccine developed under President Pine Sol.

  30. My niece down in Florida has tested positive for Covid. She’s 15, and does competition cheerleading, so she’s in great shape. So far her symptoms are mild. My brother has to quarenteen for 21 work days, without pay, but is eligible for relief through some program. His girlfriend, and my nephew also must quarenteen, but only for 14 days. My nieces cheerleading team has been notified, but my nephew tested negative, so no tracing needed.

  31. Time to put the cards on the table. I’m predicting 27 cars on Saturday. I’m also predicting the Aug 1st Open gets moved (to Aug 2nd??)if they get less than 30 cars this week.

    If I’m wrong, I’m wrong. While it doesn’t happen to often, I can admit it when I am wrong. Unlike some people… Just a prediction though.

  32. wmass01013 says

    i am thinking 36 cars

  33. Fans doing a great job distancing tonight.
    Gotta be 35 to 40. Anything less would be a disappointment.
    Two Catalano’s signed up. Hope they come.

  34. I’ll say 42.

  35. Covid update. Today set a new record with 73,000+ cases confirmed.

  36. Trump wants schools opened. He’s gone so far as threatening schools that don’t open, and has even thought about an executive order. Yet he has no plan to safely reopen the schools.
    What’s really messed up though, he’s stated that Baron Trump will not be attending in person classes because of the associated risks.

  37. Rob, EVERYBODY with kids wants the schools opened. I don’t know a single parent here in the northeast who doesn’t want them open. Honestly, I would be far more worried the college kids and all the “activities” college kids engage in.

    I’m guessing there won’t be a lengthy post race interview if the 58 wins tonight? Some good back and forth on social media these last 24hrs.

  38. There’s nothing wrong with picking up a few enemies along the way covering racing or anything for that matter. If you’re writing fluff pieces all the time you’re boring people to death.
    There’s a way to express your dislike. The adult way and then there’s Goodale and his buddies way. Grade school recess. It’s literally like seeing a kid on the playground calling another kid an old poopy head.
    A big congratulations goes out to our own Darealgoodfella who is starting to be recognized in Facebook.
    Dareals famous corn flakes taunt:
    Jon Blanchette Barry Pleasent Who peed on your cornflakes? It’s a bullring and that is nothing new to anybody. All the action is right in your lap and there will be plenty of cars trying to shoehorn their way to the front.
    And the Goodale thread:
    Scott Martin
    Darren McCabe I thought dareal was for the bait clicks? No way that person actually exists and if he does why the heck would you allow him to post 300 times a day.

    Regardless of where you come down on school openings how about this idea. Let local school boards, teachers and parents work out whats right for them. Deferring safety protocols, mask wearing, PPE acquisition and even the choice to fly a confederate flag to local authorities then advocating for some one size fits all on kids going to school for a massive, diverse population makes zero sense.
    Polling is clear on this. Parents only want their kids going back to school if there is a safe manner to do it.

  39. 🌈JD🌈 posted, “Rob, EVERYBODY with kids wants the schools opened. I don’t know a single parent here in the northeast who doesn’t want them open. Honestly, I would be far more worried the college kids and all the “activities” college kids engage in.”

    Somebody needs to take in some facts. JD, that would be you.

    The only person I know of that wants kids back in school is President Pine Sol.

    Gatherings of people indoors is the WORST condition during this pandemic. THE WORST. Outbreaks are traced back to indoor gatherings: funeral, partys, bars, restaurants, etc. So now, bars, restaurants, sporting events are shut down or fans are not allowed, but the covidiots want to open schools and put all those children and teachers in closed, tight, INDOOR environments for some 7 hours a day, 5 days a week. This will not end well, as has been shown by many precedents. Indoor crowds are the WORST.

    It looks more and more like President Pine Sol is a sadist trying to kill as many people he can.

  40. And the car count winner is Wmass who nailed it.

  41. Doug, for the most part, that’s exactly what’s happening. School boards, teachers unions and school officials are making the call. Trump’s threat is an empty threat. He alone cannot pull funding, neither can the secretary of education, it would have to go through Congress.
    Yes JD, allot of parents do want the kids back in school, the main protests are coming from the teachers, and teachers unions. Did you know that 70% of K thru 12 teachers have underlying health conditions? I didn’t.
    The kids should only return to school when it’s safe for everyone. This includes the kids, teachers, teachers aides, administrators, other school workers, bus drivers, crossing guards and of course the kids families. We don’t need to give this deadly virus a free pass.
    Found it interesting that Baron Trump would not be attending in person classes at his private school, as his father pushes to get schools reopened. What happened to leading by example?

  42. 36 cars is impressive. More cars than I thought obviously.

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