Teddy Hodgdon IV Wins NAPA Auto Parts SK Modified Rookie Of The Year At Stafford Speedway

(Press release from Stafford Speedway)

Teddy Hodgdon IV (Photo: Courtesy Stafford Speedway)

Following a 5-win season that carried him to the 2019 SK Light championship at Stafford Speedway, Teddy Hodgdon made the move up to the track’s premier SK Modified® division for the 2020 season. Hodgdon and the #55 Montanari Fuel team endured a season filled with highs and lows that saw him post 2 top-5 and 5 top-10 finishes in 14 starts to claim NAPA Auto Parts Rookie of the Year honors.

“It’s a great feeling to be the Rookie of the Year, especially coming off a championship season last year,” said Hodgdon.  “Going into the best weekly modified division in the country, there’s 15 guys who can win every week, and we had some struggles in the middle of the season with wrecks and a couple of untimely incidents, but we held our own throughout the season and I’m very proud of what we were able to accomplish.  I felt like we checked all the boxes for our rookie season.  My guys are the best in the business and with all the hardships we went through this year I hope we can be pretty strong next season.  I have a lot of people to thank for this season, Montanari Fuels, Pete Matton and Lori Brasher, Business Time Motorsports, A Pappa John Construction, Gator Sport Fishing, Keith Rocco Racing, Ness Auto, State Cutters, Jims Welding, Ultimate Restoration, Critical Signs, Economy Signs, Simpson Race Products, The Joie of Seating, SSR Suspension, Williams Race Gears, Pettit Race Engines, Waddell Communications, Dale and Connie Massey, Roby and Dawn Sadler, Tony Mottola and Family, Robert and Vicki Tod, Trent Markovitz, Brandon Wilkinson, Pixies Pop Shop, Lasco Roofing, Benedict Family, James R Paige Plumbing, Tally-Ho Aviation, Serio’s Pizzaria, New York Sports Show, and Fenceline Films.”

In only a short period of time, Hodgdon has enjoyed a large amount of success racing at Stafford.  He won races in the Legend Cars from 2015-2016 and then in the SK Lights from 2018-2019, including a championship last year.  Hodgdon found out first hand just how tough and competitive the world of SK Modified® racing is at Stafford.

“It was a pretty big reality check to see how you stack up against the best guys,” said Hodgdon.  “I think it was facing a whole new level of competition.  All the guys in the SK’s have been racing for so much longer than the guys in the Lights and they have a lot more experience and seat time and they know how the cars are going to react and what it’s going to do.  You have to prepare for that, you have to be ready to face the best every single week and not let up for a second.  You can’t miss your margin by any amount, you have to be perfect every week and that’s what it takes to be able to run with those guys up front in the SK Modified® division.”

While Hodgdon and his team endured the hardships of being a rookie in one of the toughest weekly divisions anywhere in the country, the high point of his rookie campaign came on July 31 when he led for a portion of the 40-lap race and ended up with a season best finish of second place behind Cory DiMatteo.

“That was the first race where we really showed our speed this season,” said Hodgdon.  “We were able to start up front and we led I think the first quarter of that race.  Being out front, there’s no rabbit to chase so I wasn’t sure where to hit my marks.  Once I fell in behind Cory [DiMatteo] I was able to keep pace with him but he had just a little bit better drive off the corner and that’s how he was able to stay in front of us.  I knew working with Keith Rocco and switching over to Troyer cars for this season that something good was going to happen.  We just needed everything to go right for us and it did that night.”

One area that Hodgdon was lacking during his rookie season was working short run speed into his #55 car.  The car would be good on long runs, but where Hodgdon really felt the sting of not having short run speed was in qualifying heat races and at the start of the feature events.

“This year was tough and I think we really needed to work on our short run speed,” said Hodgdon.  Heat races killed us, we had to start in the back for probably more than two thirds of the time and that really set us back.  Whenever we started up front we had really strong races.  We had a second in the fourth race of the year and we got a fourth place finish battling up through the field and we had a bunch of strong top-10 runs in like 7th or 8th place.  The car would always seem to take about 5 laps to come in and we tried everything this year so we’re going to start fresh for next season and hopefully we can get that remedied.  We’ll use the off-season to regroup and get everything back to normal like it was last year.  If we could change one thing on the car it would be the short run speed.  We’d get long green flag runs of like 15 or 20 laps and we would start picking cars off, it was just starting in the back that was a real killer for us.”

At this time Hodgdon is looking forward to returning to the SK Modified® division for the 2021 season and getting his first feature victory while he also has his eyes set on possibly making some open modified starts during the 2021 season.

“We’re looking at coming back with the SK next year and I’m always looking for an open modified ride if someone wanted to partner up with me,” said Hodgdon.  “I think we made a lot of progress this season and if things can go right during a night like they did for us when we finished second, maybe we can capitalize with a year’s worth of experience and hopefully we can get it done with a victory.”

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


  1. In a Bottom Shot interview modified legend and gramps Jerry Pearl humbly suggested that Bryan would win in the SK’s in his rookie season. Did he really believe that, I doubt it. Only the loyalist of fans could have believed any rookie could win in their first year in the SK’s.
    It surprisingly was Mikey Flynn’s award to win were it not for missing a couple races. He started out strong and finished well.
    Narducci never got that 01 up to the speed until the very end of the season and spent most of his time getting passed. That’s hard to take for a team used to passing cars but they handled it well. They definitely found something at the very end to they have reason to be optimistic next year if they return.
    The bottom line is this. The strongest performance in a very strong rookie class managed only a 12th place finish in the points. No rookie consistently performed well and all faced adversity and wrecks.
    All it says to me is just how brutal and humbling that division is every week. The tight window they compete in is ridiculous with the champion earning it mostly by being flawless every week with some luck.
    I would not be surprised if Hodgdon made a major jump next year. He’s just too smart and will do his homework over the winter for sure.

  2. I believe high roller Andrew Mouller won in his rookie season

  3. It’s not easy in the SK division at Stafford or any CT track. All of these drivers came from SK Lights and were doing very well last year and didn’t get a win. Moeller and Rafrano did well in the Lights and moved up. Moeller got a win in the SK and Rafrano won an Open race. SK’s are a very competitive division. Just to be in the top 10 is an achievement.

  4. Great call. On 5/31/19 Moeller pulled it off having started 2nd. It was one of those magical nights as I recall where his SPAFCO at the time was fast with no cautions toward the end and he won it handily while the heavy hitters were racing each other hard to get to him.
    All rookies start up front and have similar shots including Hodgdon but the stars weren’t aligned whereas with Moeller they were. A rookie winning in the SK’s is a blue moon type thing..
    Speaking of Moeller he ended up in 9th in 2019 and 9th again in 2020 after switching to the KRR lease deal that must be a bit of a disappointment producing only 2 top 5’s.

  5. Watch the video. Moeller went back to P6 after P1 ran him all over the track. Survived 2 restarts with 5 to go against Owen and Rocco.33 almost got him at the line. Great race. With 3 DNF’s in the first 4 races from wrecks we wonder if Rocco had a talk with him? Similar results with only 2/3’s the season. I think he will be fine.

  6. Never trust a recollection or at least mine.
    Thank you for the correction. My brain recalled the part where in the last quarter of the race he was running away from the field mainly because he had a rocket ship that particular night. . . It was faulty in forgetting the caution on lap 3 that made him have to win a shootout which he did by what, half a car length over a charging Gervais. Who also had a great race going around first Rocco then Owen on the outside to make it interesting at the checkered flag. How often is that going to happen and who in another thread said the outside lane is a non factor at Stafford.
    Also notable that night was a favorite on mine DJ Burnham who raced in the top tier.
    I clearly was wrong in making it sound like luck had a big hand in it all. It was a special race for sure with a number of cars outperforming and earning every bit of it.

  7. slumlord203 says

    Two of those wrecks caused by the same driver. Kid has good car control. Got beat by Owen and Rocco at the Bowl after leading most of the race. Green, white, checker let them get there. Hodgdon is going to be fast too. These to rookies are young still, Moeller 17 and Hodgdon 19. Great speakers also. They interview like pros Good Luck in 2021

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