Breaking Away: Stafford Speedway Dropping NASCAR Sanction For 2021 Season

For decades the terms NASCAR racing and Stafford Motor Speedway went hand in hand. For much of 2020 the rumblings were regularly whispered that the relationship was on the rocks. Monday the breakup became official.

Stafford Speedway announced Monday that the facility will drop its NASCAR sanction for the 2021 season and operate as an independent short track. 

Stafford has been part of the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series since its inception in 1982 and has been affiliated with NASCAR for the last 60 years. 

A conflict regarding streaming broadcast rights of events ultimately led to the decision by Stafford Speedway management to break away from NASCAR’s sanctioning umbrella.

As part of the NASCAR sanctioning agreement, NASCAR owns the broadcasts rights to all events at tracks they sanction. Stafford Speedway introduced live pay per view broadcasts of events in 2020. NASCAR did not charge Stafford Speedway broadcast rights fees for events in 2020. 

“Unfortunately we were unable to come to an agreement regarding the media rights of our weekly racing program,” Stafford Speedway CEO Mark Arute said. “In the existing format NASCAR owns the rights to any NASCAR sanctioned race produced by Stafford Speedway Productions. With the success of Stafford Speedway TV we no longer see this as a partnership we want to continue.”

Brandon Igdalsky, NASCAR’s managing director of Touring & Weekly Series, was not immediately available for comment Monday.

In 2020 Stafford returned 25 percent off all pay-per-view sales back to race teams. Stafford Speedway SK Modified division veteran Todd Owen said he was not surprised by the news and sees it as a positive overall for competitors. 

“I think it just goes to show how much they’re out for the racers, trying to help the racers as much as they possibly can,” Owen said. “NASCAR honestly didn’t do anything for us. … NASCAR is just going in the wrong direction. I don’t get it. They want to put all the money in their pocket and not help the people that are putting the races on. 

“I got a check for like $600 for the TV money in 2020. That was money that I would have never got if they didn’t go work hard to try to get that TV deal.” 

Said Arute: “ has become a great asset to Stafford Speedway and all the race teams that compete at Stafford weekly. We see opportunities to grow this platform and currently are handcuffed on what we are able to accomplish for our race teams. Through the weekly racing sanction, NASCAR continues to own all rights to our weekly production, which is something we are no longer comfortable with.”

In 2020 Keith Rocco won his fourth SK Modified championship at Stafford Speedway and in the process set the NASCAR record for most Division I NASCAR Weekly Racing Series track titles. It was Rocco’s 18th Division I track championship in a NASCAR sanctioned division. Rocco has eight NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Division I track titles at Thompson Speedway and six NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Division I track titles at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. Rocco was the Division I NASCAR Weekly Racing Series national champion in 2010. 

“I am surprised and I’m not surprised,” Rocco said of the news of Stafford’s decision. “Since I was a little kid every track in Connecticut was NASCAR at one time or another. … But you look at what you really get out of it, other than some points fund money at the end of the year, there’s not a lot to it. It is nice to get the national recognition, but other than that, for the average racer it doesn’t really do much for you.” 

Stafford Speedway announced Monday that they will – at minimum – match the NASCAR track and state point funds offered to competitors through participation with the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series. 

“I’m not surprised at all,” said team owner Stu Fearn, who fields two cars in the Stafford Late Model division and one in the Stafford Limited Late Model division. “The rumblings have been there. … It’s less prestigious. It’s better to say that we race at a NASCAR track. However, I’m going to save a lot of money in licensing. I have no problem with that.” 

Stafford will still host three NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour events in 2021 as had been previously announced

“It’s really too bad,” Arute said. “We hoped it would not come to this but we’ve really been given no option. We now look to the future and the opportunities in front of us. For starters, we will match the NASCAR Track and State point funds and will expand it to the Street Stock division, which currently does not receive a point fund under the NASCAR banner. Like we have done for decades we will continue to explore options to showcase the talented drivers that race at Stafford Speedway every Friday night.

“The weekly racing at Stafford Speedway is some of the best racing we’ve ever seen. We are doing a disservice to the race teams by giving away ownership of the weekly program media rights. Our goal is always to grow short track racing and put our competitors in front of more eyes.  In the current structure, operating as a NASCAR sanctioned weekly track limits the opportunities that we can go after.”

Said Owen: “I’m looking forward to what they’re doing. I love the TV deal. I know a lot of my supporters that couldn’t go to the race track loved that they could sit home and watch the races. As long as it puts money back into the track and it’s not free it’s a no brainer for the track and it helps all of us.” 

It’s a dramatic change in the landscape for short track racing in Connecticut. Not long ago the state was one of the hotbeds for NASCAR sanctioned facilities. As recently as 2016 the state of Connecticut loomed huge on the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series radar with three short tracks under the sanctioning umbrella in Stafford, Thompson and the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.

NASCAR pulled its sanction of the New London-Waterford Speedbowl in April 2017 after track owner Bruce Bemer was arrested. Thompson Speedway was originally slated to be part of the 2020 NASCAR Weekly Racing Series lineup, but ultimately the track was leased out for two events and did not operate under a NASCAR sanction. American-Canadian Tour operator Cris Michaud and Pro All Stars Series operator Tom Mayberry ran the two events at Thompson in 2020. They plan to run six events at Thompson in 2021. Michaud confirmed Monday that Thompson Speedway will not be part of the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series in 2021. 

With Stafford and Thompson out of the fold it leaves six NASCAR Weekly Racing Series sanctioned short tracks in New England. Those tracks include Monadnock Speedway (Winchester, N.H.), Lee USA Speedway (Lee, N.H.), Hudson (N.H.) Speedway, Claremont (N.H.), Speedway, Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway and Beech Ridge Motor Speedway (Scarborough, Me.). 


  1. WOW. Did not see this happening, but in the end the Arute family is looking out for the weekly racers, something NASCAR has failed to do for years.

  2. Holy crap who’d of thunk

  3. Kenneth Latham says

    WOW!!!! This is big news. I hope that with the relinquishing of NASCAR that SMS will defer some more funds to the purses, as now they don’t have to pay insane sanctioning fees. Good for the GREEDY peoplw that run NASCAR today. Bill France must be spinning in his grave.

  4. Well that’s a relief. Was wondering if the TV deal was a pandemic era necessity that could possibly disappear. Not only will it be continued it’s so important it broke the back of NASCAR at Stafford. Man things change fast.
    Are we sure the three races scheduled are still on or could this put one or more at risk of a change?

  5. It sounds like it came down to a decision Stafford had to ultimately choose between NASCAR and the Stafford weekly racers. I think it’s AWESOME that Stafford made their decision based on providing the best option for THEIR RACE TEAMS! I think Stafford Speedway has been the “the standard” for New England racing, and a lot of that stems from taking care of the racers. I think they are about to prove to the world that you don’t need NASCAR sanctioning to be a “premier” racing facility. If you take care of your weekly race teams, that brings the best competition, which will bring fans. A big THANK-YOU to the Arute family for continuing to provide a great race fan experience!

  6. Ted Anderson says

    NASCAR has gotten out of hand and has forgotten who made them big the mom and pop tracks across the country. Stafford has done well by it weekly divisions and open mod shows I believe they just got tired of being bullied by NASCAR and soon more will follow to keep money in their pockets for the competitors. Personally NASCAR car has become very GREEDY and it has finally caught up to them.

  7. Glad to see them follow Thompson’s lead; what happens with the three tour events next year?

  8. NASCAR running the NWMT at non-NASCAR sanctioned tracks in 2020 was the crack that was needed for tracks to turn the tables on NASCAR. This will be awesome drama to watch how this plays out.

  9. I would think Stafford spoke with a lot of competitors before coming to this decision , I’m sure this was well thought out and hope it works for all involved

  10. “I hope that with the relinquishing of NASCAR that SMS will defer some more funds to the purses, as now they don’t have to pay insane sanctioning fees.”

    From the article above:
    “For starters, we will match the NASCAR Track and State point funds and will expand it to the Street Stock division, which currently does not receive a point fund under the NASCAR banner. “

  11. The Atomic Punk says

    Owen got $600. How far does $600 get you in the world of racing?,,,,,$600….WOW!!!!

  12. The Atomic Punk,
    I think the point being made was that it was an additional $600 he got at the end of the season that he wouldn’t have earned had Stafford not put in the effort to get the pay per view product off the ground. $600 in basically found money is still $600 in found money.

  13. Looks like to me , another nail in the coffin for NASCAR! They’ve been porkin the life out small tracks for years! Their top series will bore you to tears, and with more road courses coming, It’ll only be worse! I salute the Arutes for telling them to go to hell! Times are a changin! Tony Stewart’s league is comin , and Nascar isn’t ! Nascar’s demise is in full swing!

  14. Yep, been tired of nascar for there greed and rules and regulations for years now. Do not blame the tracks for there decisions,you don’t have this problem with the sprint car races.

  15. Wow, what a shocker. Didn’t really see it coming but it makes sense if nascar is trying to claim rights for content that they have nothing to do with. NASCAR’s backward policies losing them a crown jewel of a track. If nhstra ever decided to ditch NASCAR there wouldn’t be hardly any NASCAR tracks left in New England.

  16. Why does everyone think that any money saved should all go back to competitors , isn’t the track allowed to make a profit , how much are they going to make the next few months, I bet the tax ,sewer,electric bills keep on coming I’d hate to think what the taxes are , and since $600 is nothing according to the punk maybe they shouldn’t bother giving back half of their share of the TV money

  17. 🌈🦄2020 says

    Remember when Waterford wasn’t going to survive without NASCAR? 🤣

  18. I’m sure this decision didn’t happen overnight. The track flew the NASCAR banner for 60+ years. Furring the 2020 season, the track was limited to 25% capacity, and you can bet NASCAR didn’t say just give us 25% of the fee’s. In the end the Arute family has done what they feel is best for themselves, and their competitors. That streaming deal could have yeilded them a nice chunk of money, instead they gave back to the competitors. Todd Owen said he got a check for $600, that’s close to a set of tires, it’s also $ 600 that was free money, thanks to the Arutes.
    It’s my opinion, that they’ve made the right move. They’ve already pledged to match point fund money, and expand it, so the season hasn’t even started yet, and racers are already in a better place then they were last year.
    It will be interesting to see if this split helps or hurts them. I think it’ll help them, and the teams who race there.

  19. OMG!!!Love it ,Love it,Love it!

  20. This is not bad news, this is great news. NASCAR is putting themselves out of business and Stafford stood up for their drivers and fans. Thank you Arute family, job well done.

  21. Shawn, in the article you stated that with Stafford’s departure, there are 6 NASCAR tracks left in New England. Are these 6 tracks confirmed to be NASCAR tracks for 2021, or is this an “at this time” type deal? Do you think it’s probable that any of these tracks might also dump NASCAR?

  22. 🎀🎀🎀 Liz Cherokee 🎀🎀🎀 says

    Ironically, I was just educating some young law students on the nuances of the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act…

  23. Rob. P.,
    To my understanding, all six mentioned intend to continue as NASCAR sanctioned facilities in 2021.

  24. Ok Liz, educate us please.

  25. The Atomic Punk says

    I dislike the bad things about Nascar that everyone else does but if Nascar folded tomorrow it would not be for the better for the race fan. The all mighty $$$ strikes again.

  26. La flama blanca says

    Love the fact that anyone on here is laughing at $600 for a local racing team. I can one million percent guarantee that you could find multiple owners / drivers in every single division at Stafford that would make you or your company a main (or one of their main) sponsors for $600. If you think otherwise, you’re wrong.

    You could be on the entire hood of a street stock, LLM or even a LM for the whole racing season for $600. The hood, the entire season, for $600. No question about it.

    It’s a stone cold fact that you could be on the rear panel above the bumper of a SK lite or an SK at Stafford for the entire season for $600. Period, that’s a fact. Anyone saying otherwise, that you couldn’t get a team to give you major exposure on their race car, knows very little about running a small team on a short track for a long season.

    You won’t get a top SK or SKL for $600., but you sure as hell would get your pick of at least 4-5 cars in each of those two divisions. In the LM and LLM divisions, you would have probably over half the field open to the idea of working with you, as would most of the SS division. Glad to discuss with any dissenters.

  27. the crux of the issue, I believe, was the fact that the track did not own the broadcast or video of it’s own product. NBC brought the rights, from NASCAR for $4.4B back in 2013 for 10 years from 2015 thru 2025. so what that means is no Stafford TV or possibility of using video of your own track and product for another 5 years without paying NBC. Not a good deal for the local tracks, NASCAR of course cashed out 7 years ago and they became Billionaires (France family).
    The Arute family and NASCAR has a long history including being on the board of directors if I recall many moons ago. Many employees from the track have gone on to the top tier of NASCAR as well, announcers Mike Joy, Mike Massaro, Joe Coss, and of course Jackie Arute just to name a few. Flaggers and tech officials now work for NASCAR as well after graduating from Stafford. The history is amazing, you should check it out :
    This decision did not come lightly I’d image. The track did survey every competitor not too long ago about the value of NASCAR, etc, to help in this decision. I believe short term there is none or very little down side to owners, drivers, fans, or the track. Long term, if NASCAR has some type of resurgence, I’m sure they would welcome Stafford back with open arms. Until then, move on is the logical move.

  28. NAPA vs Advance Auto probably was going to be an issue at some point

  29. Kenneth Latham says

    I can harken back to the late 70’s on LI. Islip & Riverhead were NASCAR sanctioned tracks, and Freeport was not. I know for fact that Freeport had packed stands every night, A full field of Mods who ran for $1200 to win!!! I can not speak for Riverhead at that time, but I recall Islip not having as large a purse as Freeport, but did have decent car counts. My point is, give the drivers money uo front weekly, and maybe a little smaller point fund, and everything will be just fine.

  30. The amounts the teams got back this year is just a beginning. The result of a change that most thought was not economically viable. For a shortened season. A stated goal of Stafford is to earn a measure of loyalty from race teams. Granted, compared to what it takes to field a race car the amount for one shortened season doesn’t knock your socks off.. Over time it takes on greater meaning.. Hopefully bigger PPV audiences, full seasons add up to bigger checks that Stafford is provided that other tracks aren’t…..for now. That will change as well.
    Elect is totally right. It’s not about taking a risk then giving all the profits away. It’s about sharing the wealth for a greater benefit to the track and the teams to position yourself better for the long run. Going in Stafford said 50% goes to the service provider Speed Sport, 25% to the teams and they get 25%. The team portion isn’t some altruistic gift just to be good guys nor will the financial reshuffling from the this deal be about being good guys. It will be about continuing to earn the loyalty of race teams the foundation for any tracks success and in the process make more money for the track. We want the tracks to make more money.
    For those that look forward to dancing on the grave of NASCAR of which there are many this may not be the ugly divorce you were hoping for with Stafford grousing about being screwed for years and years. That it was a one way street with NASCAR sucking the life out of poor Stafford. Stafford I’m sure knows that NASCAR helped them over the decades immeasurably. Not the bridge burner you may be hoping for they may in the future work with them. For now the three NASCAR races are still on the schedule. The divorce not about anything anyone would have thought. It ended up about TV rights. NASCAR locked into NBC Sports Gold with no wiggle room and Stafford wanting to command the rights to their own content.
    This may be more of an amiable divorce the the ugly variety.

  31. The Atomic Punk says

    @ the White flame…aka Kenny Powers. As a former racer I know the value of $600….Heck I know the value of $20….My only point is if you are throwing Nascar away because you got a $600 check you may be missing the point,

  32. Rob p., the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act was a protectionist move during the Great Depression in 1930. Think of it as galacticly stupid, as something Trump would do. Actually, Trump did similar with his tariff wars. Anyways, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff act made the Depression worse, as our trade partners increased tariffs, and it was a vicious cycle of bad that made the Depression worse.

    Stuart Fearn brings up some good points. NASCAR is no longer the 1,800 pound gorilla in the room. They still have some clout, but not as much as they used to. NASCAR has gotten old and decrepit, and vulnerable. No longer does everything and anything increase in value if you slap a NASCAR sticker or banner on it. And in some ways, NASCAR is like the neighborhood thugs, demanding protection money from the businesses in the neighborhood. NASCAR does not have that muscle anymore on the local level. NASCAR does not help those smaller tracks bring in the revenue so they can afford to pay NASCAR fees. The fees are not commensurate with the revenue that associating with NASCAR can bring in anymore.

    I do believe that this was precipitated by NASCAR when they ran at non-sanctioned tracks. NASCAR opened up a big can of worms 🪱 🐛 with that. It was a pretty arrogant move, #TrumpPandemic or not.

    Keep in mind that NASCAR sanctioned tracks were expected to be loyal to NASCAR. Remember when MRS started running at Stafford and that was considered a “shot across the bow” at NASCAR? And how NWMT mods were expected to exclusively run NASCAR events? I asked the owner I know if he was going to run non-NASCAR events and he made it clear that NASCAR did not want Modifieds with NASCAR decals running in Open for other series.

    But if Fearn is right about the video rights angle, then Stafford did see good results and promise such that they want the ownership, control and revenue from their video product, such that it looks better to own their own video/broadcast rights than a NASCAR sanction.

    Vewy, vewy intuhwesting.

  33. It is all about the streaming rights and the generated money. Stafford did want to share the new pot of gold with Nascar for nothing. Streaming subscriptions are now the way to go now for tracks. God knows how much the World of Outlaws and their affiliate tracks like Williams Grove and Knoxville are making on the World of Outlaws streaming. All you need to know is that after a pandemic year, their purses are increasing.

  34. Well, irregardless of which side of the fence you are on in this debate, I really have to feel for the tour owners. I can just imagine what they must be thinking. Their costs have also (or will also) uptick considerably. Extra travel. Extra time off for team helpers to attend, if they can even do so. And all the uncertainty of old venues going/gone, and new ones that may not stand a test of open wheel time? Those owners must be starting to have a lot of angst, I would imagine.
    If this in fact a foreboding of the tour future, I will miss the tour. But push come to shove, NASCAR being a business, will end it, citing the business climate due to the pandemic, and “declining revenues” in my opinion. Hey, their lawyers may actually be able to find a way to get some federal assistance! (Sarcasm Sheldon)
    So, while I get it, It makes me feel like we will be waking the tour soon (in a couple of years).
    I just don’t see nascar walking back on their policies and fees. If tv is going to be the sticking issue at local levels, then they are contractually binded (probably). I expect a big jump in $$$ nbc gold.
    Nice while it lasted. Great rivalries over the years.
    If it happens (and I hope it does not as I like the tour) it will make it much harder in my opinion, for the local standouts, to get a shot at the large stage. Like it or not, dwindling viewership or not, nascar is still a big player in the full fender national market. I have a hard time feeling that they will shed any tears kicking the tour to the curb for the final time.

  35. Nascar sanctioning is a significant expense. The only real benefit I have heard over the years was the insurance that came with the Nascar sanctioning which was said to be very good. The Nascar name may have meant something in the 80s to 00s but I dont think it means as much now. The drivers will lose out on some national exposure, and lose the opportunity to win a national points championship which I havent been able to find out how much it is worth other than a few comments indicating it isnt worth as much as it used to be. The chances of winning a National championship for a CT drier has been drastically reduced in recent years as Waterford and Thompson are no longer sanctioned by Nascar. The benefits are the costs should be reduced. The licensing fees will be reduced for the teams. Stafford has a high general admission and pit fee price, 20 for a regular show and 30 to 40 for specials general admission. Add another 10 to 20 for the pits.. Hopefully without the Nascar name and the cost that comes with that sanctioning they can reduce their prices on both the general admission and pit fee. Personally, I stopped going regularly because I didnt think the price was worth it and how long the show was taking to run. I would pick and choose a few shows here or there over the past few years. I am curious, given that this is the second year of Stafford TV. Did Nascar have a portion of the tv money from 2020? If so the revenue for next year should be even better for the teams next year, though the TV money may go down as more people feel comfortable going to the track next season. Overall, I think the positives outweigh the negatives. Honestly, I was shocked Stafford went with 3 Nascar tour shows given their success with their open shows. I am still not convinced they will run all 3 of them in light of this recent announcement. Does Nascar come back and say now that you arent Nascar we will charge you an additional fee. .

    Seekonk when they were told they cant have fans dropped Nascar sanctioning for 2020 citing costs. If you look at their 2021 schedule you dont see any reference to Nascar anywhere. So I am not confident they will be Nascar next season but havent seen anything indicating yes or no. Star speedway got into a disagreement about which division should be running for national points and decided that they would run last season without Nascar. Star reduced their pricing and from all reports, they had an excellent season last year. Nascar doesnt even offer a search on their Nascar Roots page to find local Nascar tracks. They used to run a Nascar roots commercial during the National TV races, I dont recall seeing them last year. They have really dropped the ball when it comes to supporting the local tracks and their local racers. Honestly they havent been much better at the National level. They didnt have a title sponsor for cup and the sticker packages on the sides of the cup cars seems pretty bare. If they didnt have that huge tv contract I wonder if Nascar would have even bothered running this past year.

    I dont think running Nascar sanctioning has any determination on the success of their weekly programs. In my opinion, given the situation with this pandemic it seems like a good cost savings measure which hopefully trickles down to the racers and fans.

  36. Fast Eddie says:
    I think they are about to prove to the world that you don’t need NASCAR sanctioning to be a “premier” racing facility.

    i think that the vast majority of short track fans across this country already know this, and have known it for several years now. turn on MAV Tv or CBS Sports Network,, lotsa short track racing through the years at packed houses across the country at non NASCAR sanctioned tracks. closer to home, look at the packed houses (2020 not included of course due to China flu) and quality racing at places like Thunder Road and Lebabnon Valley…

  37. CSG,
    When I spoke with management at Seekonk on Monday they indicated they will be NASCAR sanctioned for the 2021 season.

  38. Kenneth latham said:
    I can harken back to the late 70’s on LI. Islip & Riverhead were NASCAR sanctioned tracks, and Freeport was not. I know for fact that Freeport had packed stands every night, A full field of Mods who ran for $1200 to win!!!

    sounds like NJ racing in the 70s and 80s. a NASCAR sanctioned track, New Egypt, had spotty car counts, empty grandstands and a low purse. Wall Stadium had full fields, a packed house and $1000 to win in the 70s, which became 1200 to win in early 80s!!

  39. Tracks add/drop the sanction all the time. This doesn’t mean it’s forever. It’s a year to year thing to begin with.

    I think the drivers should go on strike. Demand increased purses and 50% of the TV revenue. You know that’s coming next. Stafford is low balling at 25%. Especially with the extra money not being spent on Nascar fees now.

    No mention of reduced general admission. Hmmm. I want my cut too. That’s it, fans should strike too. We want 15% reduction on general admission.

  40. 🌈🦄2020 says

    Whoa take it easy with the China flu talk. It’s the Trump pandemic. Nothing to do with China. Just ask Dafella.

  41. Thanks Shawn. Good to know Nascar is holding on to Seekonk. Nascar certainly seems to be losing prominence in the region.

    I am not sure how Nascar benefits Seekonk. They were quick to drop them last year citing cost.They must feel confident the state will allow them a crowd this year. I guess the Seekonk points winner automatically gets the state Championship. Any idea what that pays? Unfortunately they have no chance at doing well in the National points as their drivers are given off one night a month for the thrill shows and anytime they bring in a touring division. I believe the Pro stocks or SLM arent Nascar sanctioned at Oxford, Beechridge I believe they are Nascar sanctioned but they run Saturdays so you cant go up there but maybe a hand full of times to help your national points. Its tough for any north east competitor to do well in Nascars national points given the shorter season, handicapping and lack of multiple track opportunities compared to the south.
    A lot of Southern tracks time trial start straight up and run double features for their Nascar points. The southern guys can do that a couple nights a week (different tracks within a close geographic region) for a longer season(climate). Surprised Seekonk stuck with Nascar as they have been independent before and been very successful without them. Thanks for the information. Why didnt they go with a Whelen tour race next year?

  42. La Flama Blanca, if your getting the hood of the car for $600, then either the car owner is wealthy and really doesn’t need the sponsors, or your sponsoring a back marker. On a consistent front running car $600 might get you the C pillar. $ 600 basically covers a set of tires, and no front running car is giving you that much real estate for that little money, unless like I said they’re wealthy and don’t need sponsors.

  43. JD,
    Technically drivers are already getting 50 percent of the track profits from pay-per-view. The breakdown is that Speed Sport takes 50 percent of the pay-per-view cost. Basically if the pay per view costs $20, Speed Sports is keeping $10 and Stafford is getting $10. Stafford is then giving $5 of that $10 profit back to the drivers.

  44. Thanks for that clarification Dareal. And, have to say, you were right again. A few months ago you stated about this virus mutating and becoming more deadly. Well, here we are, the virus has mutated not once, but 4 times now. It’s now being reported that this new strain in England is the 4th mutation. The first was in Italy, then South Africa, then in North America where it is now present in minks, that furry animal they make coats from, and lastly in England. So far most of the prominent scientists say the current vaccine should still be effective, but they are also saying this virus will continue to mutate so who knows how long the current vaccine will still be effective.

  45. JD once again proves he’s totally out of touch with reality. Drivers go on strike and demand increased purses??? Where are they going to go run for higher purses? Fans should boycott and demand cheaper admission?? You’ve lost it man

  46. Modman, you hit the bullseye. First off, try getting all the drivers to agree on anything, let alone striking… Ain’t happening. Second off, Stafford has very respectable purses, along with contingencies, the increase in revenue from not having to pay NASCAR is going to be used to not only pay the NASCAR points fund money, but also expand it to include the street stocks. Third, isn’t the track entitled to make a profit? I’m sure the taxes and other fees charged by the town and state are a good chunk of money, along with the costs just to run a night of racing, don’t think anyone a getting rich due to the split.
    JD seems to me to be totally out of touch with reality. Earlier this year he bitched and moaned because the WMT schedule didn’t match up with his vacation plans, now he think he’s entitled to a discount because the track no longer pays sanctioning fees. Get real, and good luck with that driver strike, let us know how it works out.

  47. CSG, I think Seekonk returned to NASCAR in 2010 or 11 in part to try and get a WMT race. They were a NASCAR track in 2000-05, then were independent for a while.

  48. Fast Eddie. I know Seekonk was independent for several years. Then they went Nascar and you really didn’t see much of a difference in car count. If anything maybe the count dropped a little but the Pro Stocks seem to be falling out of favor in the region. I am not sure the benefit of being Nascar sanctioned outweighs the cost. Seekonk isnt on the Whelen modified tour schedule this year and being Nascar sanctioned doesn’t seem to be a requirement to have a whelen show these days. Look at Osweego, Jennerstown, White Mtn and now Stafford Speedway. I don’t think Lancaster NY is Nascar sanctioned unless they just recently went Nascar. I think at least half the Whelen Mod tour shows will be at non Nascar weekly racing tracks next year. Nascar really doesnt matter to me, it will not be a determining factor on whether or not I support a track. I hope if a track does drop the sanction some of the savings is past on to the consumers drivers and fans. Is it just me or does it appear Nascar is falling further and further out of favor locally.

  49. Cgs, it’s not just you. For many years I crewed for the #17 LM at Stafford. Of course everyone was required to have a NASCAR license. When I first started it was $50/ year and steadily went up. Don’t know what it costs now. For my license fee I got a decal, hat pin and rules book, all of which I had no use for. The license allowed me to go in the infield for putting during our race. Didn’t save me any money on admission. Frankly was just another ploy for NASCAR to make money. You can only take, take, take for so long without giving before people get fed up. I don’t even think we got any money in the years we won championships, if so, it was a miniscule amount, laughable at best.

  50. There are other factors that affect car counts besides NASCAR sanctioning. Like ups and downs in the economy. Please consider that and do not treat NASCAR sanctioning as the exclusive factor in car counts.

  51. Winston’s exit from NASCAR had a huge impact on local racing and the sanctioning.
    NASCAR’s Advance Auto parts sponsorship deal clearly conflicts with Staffords sponsorship from NAPA.
    NASCAR’s inflexibility with rights and sanctioning fees is proving their lack of awareness of grass roots needs.
    My guess is NASCARs rights fees for broadcast would have wiped out any profit they were making. Would have had to increase the cost to fans or decrease the payout to drivers.
    I don’t care if the NASCAR name is on the billboards as long as the racing continues to be top notch.

  52. The weekly racing at Stafford, in my opinion, has always been top was Jack Arute Sr not NASCAR who came up with the concept of the SK Modified in a effort to make racing more affordable. Today the SK’s are as fast if not faster than the tour type modifieds of the early 80’s. The racing is intense, with many teams capable of winning each week. I don’t see Stafford’s break from NASCAR changing that, and as long as the top notch racing continues, I don’t see an impact on fan attendance.

  53. Seekonk didn’ drop Nascar last year. Seekonk didn’t open last year. Big difference

    Seekonk drivers have never been into chasing national points. In fact, it was the Pro Stocks drivers that went to management asking for some Saturdays off. Now they have several and are completely happy with it that way.

    Nascar press releases and Cup news has been splattered all over Seekonk’s FB all off-season. It’s like you guys want Seekonk to drop Nascar even though you don’t go there. What’s it to you?

    Yes. I did lock in my beach getaway for next summer. Thanks for asking. No you are not invited.

    The strike comment was a joke. That said, sports and TV revenue always lead to problems.

    20 Tour Type mods registered for New Smyrna already. A strong list of Super Late Models and Sportsmen. 2020 and the China Virus are in the rear view mirror. Who’s in? Da Real, Bob, Doug?? Any takers. Party on Wayne! Party on Garth.

  54. 28 days

  55. #TrumpPandemic kept Seekonk idled in 2020. Seekonk just didn’t decide to take a year off.

    Seekonk is an off-off-off-off-off-Broadway track. Thrill shows are hot.

    Beach house is ready to go.

    Trump says lots of stupid stuff, then denies it when he is called out for it, Says he was joking or being sarcastic. The problem is, he doesn’t know what sarcastic is. And his jokes are stupid. Roll the tape.

    Folks in New Smyrna want to go some place better, to be with Herman Cain, to get away from the #TrumpPandemic. All the experts and responsible authorities are saying the worst is yet to come. The experts have been far more credible than Trump et al., because the experts know what they are talking about, and Trump et al. have no idea what they are talking about. The track record speaks loudly and clearly. According to Trump, this was supposed to be all over by ~April ’20 and *only* 60,000 deaths. Instead, the USA is the worst COVID-19 record of any “advanced industrial country” on the planet.

    Look at how many diseases are still around and require vaccines and boosters. Measles, Mumps, rubella, tetanus, etc. These pathogens are still around, and the vaccine only helps the individual person from getting severe reactions or dying. The vaccine does not exterminate the pathogen. Same with COVID-19, the vaccine only trains your body to fight off the pathogen 🦠 , the vaccine does not exterminate the COVID-19 coronavirus 🦠. The virus is out there and always will, and those with the vaccine will not get sick but now become spreaders, putting others that are not vaccinated at risk. The experts are saying that people will need to continue masks, social distancing, washing, etc. for some time to prevent spreading, like a year or more, until a vast majority of the population has been successfully vaccinated. That will take years.

    So all those people you see that are not wearing masks are selfish stupid-idiot-morons. There is no instant gratification option here.

  56. All I can say is…Happy Festivus!

  57. Ok JD
    Sucking me in successful if I’m the right Bob and that was your mission. You asked a legitimate questio.
    My answer straight up is a resounding no.
    I’ll support by TV for now.
    My issue is not me. Even with a vaccine if I get in sooner than later, does not change my mind on this.
    I’ve said this before. It’s not about me or what I want. It’s about what I think is best.
    For now, staying away best. Reason? Family. Granddaughter. Children. Loved ones.
    I would absolutely feel terrible if I were the carrier, brought that home, and any, or part of my family became ill because I was selfish on my part.
    Right now I categorize any live event on my radar as an “unnecessary “ risk. Will feel that way until all the I’s are dotted and “t’s” crossed on this pandemic.
    So call me a hypocrite, no balls or whatever, that’s it for me as far as live events are concerned, right now, till things change.
    With that being said, anybody has the right to feel the way they want, and do what they feel is best for them. I get it, and I totally respect that. It’s anybody’s decision, or right to control their own life and destiny. Long as it don’t hurt me, anyone can have at it. i respect your opinion JD. I’m not out to start a peeing contest, beleive me. As a matter of fact, truth be told, wish I could go. Just can’t right now. I am, in a sense, jealous!

  58. Bob f, echo your statement, it’s not about me, but those around me. My wife suffers from a cute COPD, the virus would surely kill her. I’m satisfied sitting at home, watching races on tv, and reading RacedayCT. The races will still be there when it’s declared to be safe, why risk it.

  59. Seekonk was open and did have racing in 2020.
    Old JD, he is a scamp. I swear if I look out at night toward New Hampshire I can just make out the glint in his eye.
    If it were up to JD Todd Owens friends, Hirshman and Rocco’s parents and myself would have no streaming options. Get your lazy asses out of your Barkaloungers and get to the track or no racing for you right JD?
    That’s an opinion that we should all respect. Luckily it’s one that is more like something you’d hear from a tipsy uncle Buck on Thanksgiving then an opinion that is based on conditions that currently exist.
    I got you the first go round JD and appreciated the spirit in which it was cast to the forum winds. My view you’re one of the best things about this forum. And I say that knowing full well don’t care about the rate we geezers are dying and would take away our PPV racing while we’re waiting to get sick and die were you to have your way.
    Thompson was dead to you, then it wasn’t and now it is again. Stafford was dead to you then it wasn’t. So far Stafford still not dead to you so I’m guessing the fact they still have NWMT races will keep them in good stead for the time being. Welcome to Connecticut.
    I’m stuck between those that say old people die anyway, it’s the economy stupid so let people work. And the voodoo epidemiologists that predict misery and death as far as the eye can see and actually seem to be enjoying it.
    So many changes and we haven’t even hit 2021 yet. I don’t know what Florida will do with Daytona or any of the events scheduled around it. If they have it I’ll be watching.
    Otherwise the pandemic will subside as we advance into the year, racing will kick off in the spring as scheduled and get stronger as the year progresses with less pandemic intrusions. As for how the NWMT, Tri Track, SRX Series, Michaud and Mayberry offerings, expansion of streaming and enthusiasm for modified racing next year is building I’m absolutely giddy about the 2021 season.

  60. Seekonk was open without fans for their Friday series for a good portion of the season. They run a Friday series featuring legends, mini cups 4 cyl and 8 cyl which I would say is similar to Waterfords Wednesday shows. They planned on running a few Saturday shows without fans but the town/state wouldnt allow RI residents to participate without a negative covid test when they were supposed to run a Saturday show.. Seekonk sitting approx 6 miles from Providence RI has a significant portion of their drivers pit crew reside from the Ocean State. This was at the point where MA put in a travel ban from certain states they deemed unacceptably high covid positivity rates. They were set to run the Saturday shows independently without Nascar sanctioning. Honestly I think they were only planning on 1 or 2 Saturday shows possibly without the Pro stock division. So technically I would argue they did drop Nascar last year atleast they announced it.. The travel ban paused their Friday program for a few weeks and I dont think they ever ran a Saturday program. I kind of stopped paying attention once it became obvious the State was not going to let them open to fans. So yes Seekonk was open last year but the bulk of their schedule was not run. No Saturday, Wednesday events or thrill shows were run. They got in some practices and Friday shows. Anything that needed a crowd to be successful wasnt run. From all reports Seekonk tried very hard to work with the State/town to open with reduced capacity and other restrictions. They just couldnt get permission to open up with fans. Given the original reopening plan outlined by the state, Seekonk should be allowed to open to fans in some capacity next season. Personally I really missed the cement palace. The last several years, I seem to go to Seekonk more often than any other track. They run a really good show, affordably priced and usually get you out of there at a reasonable hour. I would go even more often if they had some modifieds on the card even a crate mod division would suffice.

  61. 🌈🦄2020 says

    Meanwhile Waterford opened late and had a successful season with fans an hour away from Seekonk. Thanks to all the Seekonk drivers that showed up weekly and put on a great show. Biggest field of late models in years thanks to the Seekonk guys.

  62. I recently found out that in Massachusetts inmates at state and county correctional facilities will receive the Covid vaccine at the start of phase 2 of the state’s immunization plan. In what world is this right? Some of you may question what this has to do with racing. With inmates high on the list, and the limited amounts of vaccine available, it pushes us law abiding citizens further into 2021 before we receive the vaccine, which will surely push back reopening dates for large venue events. Some are saying late June to early July before we start receiving the vaccine, which essentially means August for full immunization. This could cause real problems for Seekonk opening for the 2021 season. Hopefully Connecticut and New Hampshire don’t follow Massachusetts lead, that would really screw things up as far as racing goes.

  63. Thing is, with inmates it’s easy to stop/slow the virus. Just initiate a lock down, and lock them in their cells. Automatic Social distancing.

  64. 27 days

  65. Rob p., how did the virus get into the prisons?

    From the guards, workers, visitors, etc. A prison is already a very high density, indoor situation that is ripe for pathogen propagation. The death rates among prisons is astronomical, across the prisoners, guards, workers, etc.

    You could say the same about nursing homes, put them in their rooms, automatic social distancing. Well, it didn’t work. As far as the pandemic is concerned, a prison and nursing home are dense, easy food supplies, ripe for pathogen propagation.

    The death rates of those involved with prisons is astronomical. Prisoners are suffering from huge death rates. Every prisoner is effectively being dealt a death sentence now. That is not right at all.

  66. NASCAR? GOOD RIDDANCE! I can’t shout it loud enough.

  67. NASCAR Roots web site shows the Fall Final WMT race as a Sunday event, while Stafford schedule shows it on Saturday??

  68. Rafter Fan,
    It’s on Saturday Sept. 25.

  69. Shawn –

    Thanks; I assumed that the schedule released by Stafford is correct. The NASCAR mistake is surprising.

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