Samantha Dell Joins 2021 Street Stock Rookie Class At Stafford Speedway

(Press release from Stafford Speedway)

Samantha Dell (Photo: Courtesy Stafford Speedway)

When the green flag flies over the 2021 Street Stock season at Stafford Motor Speedway, Samantha Dell will be part of a robust rookie class with 10 rookie drivers currently signed up for competition. 

The 15-year old driver from Harrisville, RI began her racing career at the age of 6 in the quarter midget ranks at Little T Speedway where she set a Sr. Honda track record in 2016 before moving up to the Bandolero division at Seekonk Speedway where she won the 2019 Rhode Island Outlaw Bandolero State Championship. 

The 2021 season will mark Dell’s first time behind the wheel of a full-size race car and she can’t wait to hit the the track behind the wheel of her #28 SRD Motorsports Chevrolet.

“I’m very excited for this season,” said Dell.  “It’s interesting because it’s going to be something totally new to me but it’s exciting because I love trying new things in racing.  I have a lot of nerves, but that’s normal.  I have to give a big thank you to 124 Welding and Fabrication, Mertz Racing, Hopkins Brothers Auto, and RJ’s Plumbing and Heating for their support this season.”

In order to help combat her nerves, Dell has been busy preparing the best that she can for her rookie season by watching Street Stock races on YouTube as well as seeking out advice from Meghan Fuller, who won 10 Street Stock races over the past 3 seasons at Stafford.

“I’ve talked to Meghan Fuller a few times and I’ve been watching some Street Stock videos on YouTube to help give me an idea of what the division will be like,” said Dell.  “Over time you naturally become more competitive and I think I can be competitive this year.”

Dell is looking for her rookie season to be a learning year, soaking up as much information as she can.

“This season I just want to make it be the best learning year that I possibly can,” said Dell.  “I need to figure things out like how I need to drive and how the other competitors drive.  I’m going to try to not only watch but follow a bunch of different drivers and see what they do on the track and what would work best for me when I’m on the track.”

While Dell feels like she can be competitive during her rookie season, she is not worried at all about her finishing positions but she wouldn’t mind taking home Rookie of the Year honors.

“If I can finish all the races with the car in one piece, that would be an ideal season for me,” said Dell.  “If I could get a top-10 finish this season that would be pretty cool and exciting.  I’m going to be focused on learning as much as I can and if I’m able to win Rookie of the Year, I wouldn’t be upset about that.”

Dell and her father Jason have purchased a car from John Carpenter and they have been busy this winter getting the car ready to hit the track at the end of April.

“Being able to work with my Dad is pretty cool and it’s going to be a fun time,” said Dell.  “We bought a car from John Carpenter and it’s a pretty good car.  Right now we’re doing the work that we have to do on it with some welding and replacing some of the bars in the frame.  Hopefully we have everything that we need to have a good learning season.”

Dell will kick off her 2021 rookie season at Stafford on Saturday, April 24 as part of NAPA Auto Parts Opening Day festivities. 

The Street Stocks will be joined by the Granite State ProStock Series, the SK Modifieds®, Late Models, and Limited Late Models.  Feature action at Stafford continues on Sunday, April 25 with the 49th Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler featuring the Whelen Modified Tour, the SK Modifieds® in the second race of a weekend doubleheader, the SK Lights, and the Vintage All-Stars.  Ticket sales for these 2 events begin on March 1st.

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


  1. In the old days it was guys that worked all day, usually in their 20’s that put together cars based on street cars with full interior sheet metal a VW gas tank in the trunk, passenger car springs, no jacking bolts, welded spider gears and a big-ass motor. Now the karts, Legends and Bandelaro classes are producing a bumper crop of young drivers, many of whom start before they have a drivers license running purpose built, ground up race cars in family operations. It’s hard for old timers to adjust to but it a very good trend in local racing.
    The fight between LLM’s and Streets with regard to the entry level full bodied car class is over and the LLM’s lost. A total of 15 cars raced in the LLM’s last year and 5 of them raced 4 times or less. The Streets had 49 drivers compete. Inflated by the Rent-a-Racecar program but 19 cars raced in 8 events or more. The Rent-a-Racecar program a terrific way for people to sample the thrill of racing before they commit to a car and find out it’s not for them. They also build cars to provide a steady supply of fresh meat to the division.
    Every division is thriving except the LLM’s. My preference would be to drop them, lock the drive wheels in the streets and put everything into them. It could have gone the opposite way and that would have been fine but people race what they want to race and for the most part it isn’t LLM’s. It’s Stafford however and to their credit they stick to their promises so nothing will change. Thank goodness they do or we wouldn’t see the Late Models thriving now.
    15 years old aye. More women in the paddock at Stafford with an emphasis on family. Just a terrific trend.
    Robinson and Fuller gone but there’s a deep cast of battle hardened veterans that know exactly how to get that one drive wheel right in the groove and fly. Will Wicker re-emerge to contend?
    Keeping up will be tough. Steadily ascending the learning curve is the goal. Look forward to seeing the 28 car this season as she progresses up the finishing order.

  2. Stuart A Fearn says

    Congrats to Samantha and I hope she does well in a tough division.
    As far as the LLM being on the verge of extinction that is just short term silly talk. Like Doug did point out look at the late model field now, incredible and 31 cars signed up last I checked. There is no reason the LLM cannot, or shouldn’t, have the same car count. The reason the street stock count is so high is car commonality with Thompson and Waterford so it’s relatively easy to transition over. Stafford has changed a lot of rules to drive this over the last 5-6 years or so to accommodate commonality. To their credit this strategy has worked great and plenty of cars, new and old now overflow the division.
    Now, this is where the LLM comes in, the overflowing will go into that division for a few reasons. First one being for the better performing teams that get caught up in wrecks with the newbies or just racing deals, whatever, will get fed up and leave the entry level division and move up where there is less wrecking. Two, the cost is the same or LESS money for the LLM. Same, motor, tranny, fuel, number of tires, etc. Bigger purse in LLM means net cost to run is lower. Three, the car is actually easier to drive with a locked rear vs the SS with one wheel drive open rear. Four, huge car counts mean some will not qualify and that sucks so naturally people will look for a solution and quickly notice every single LLM starts the feature even if you miss your heat or whatever. “Overflow” into the LLM will happen

  3. Way back the crossover was the rule in the Streets with a 4 speed Muncie and 4:13 gears. Race Friday at Stafford, Saturday at Riverside in 3rd then Sunday a Thompson. A lot of teams did it and more importantly could win doing it.
    I’m not seeing that now looking at the results with a few exceptions. In 2019 Fuller raced Stafford and Thompson but had different cars. Robinson raced in 6 of the 10 Thompson events in 2019, Meyer 3. Last year Robinson went down to the Speedbowl 1 time, Meyer who’s roots are at the Speedbowl just 3 times and Hovey 5 times.
    In 2020 Al Stone came up to Stafford a couple races. Waterman dabbled in 2019 at Stafford but for the most part Waterford and Thompson have crossover but it doesn’t extend to Stafford either coming to or going with few exceptions.
    Thompson and Waterford share rules. In the past the main difference with Stafford besides setups and excepting the ‘Swaggin Wagon” was the 2 vs 4 barrel and the gearing in the case of Waterford. 2021 will be more different as Thompson and Waterford move to more national rules allowing Mustangs and Camaro’s and locking the rears up. Once you lock up those rear wheels it’s hard to imagine teams will be happy changing over to the Stafford rules and going back to the perpetual fear of not hitting your spots.
    Meanwhile back at Stafford they’ll do what Stafford does and stick to the one drive wheel and 2 barrel.
    The extinction angle was all the rage a few years back, not so much now. Whether after years and years of the LLM’s languishing in car counts things magically turn around seems like a low odds proposition. Sizzler LLM starting fields 2015 to 2019 15, 13, 11, 11, 7. Streets in the same period in the 20 range with 2018 the exception starting 15 cars. Neither division showing any indication of breaking out of the status quo.
    Is the purse difference between LLM’s and Streets significant? So far no based on driver movement. Unless you’re absolutely sure you want to move up to Late Models racers generally don’t want to be building cars in a languishing division. Nor do they want to be in a feature where the pecking order shakes out pretty much the same week after week. They want to race and if that means being a consistent 15th place car they want to improve that to 12th or 13th or crack the top 10. If you’re a 15th place car in the LLM’s you can get a top ten but won’t have any fun doing it. It’s been my experience that fans in general and front runners never appreciate the fact that races are run not to just to win but through the entire field competing against the group of cars in your window of competitiveness. Getting that thrill is harder in a small field of cars.
    LLM’s may be easier to handle then Streets but SK Lights are even more fun because they go where you point them. Given the movement to that division it’s pretty clear the drivers see it that way in any event.
    The LLM’s aren’t going anywhere if you listen to Paul Arute. At times they’ll have good races among the core group of battle hardened veterans.
    What is the theme for Stafford with regard to full bodied cars? They raise unicorns. Late Models and LLM’s have no crossover anywhere and Streets a little bit in the past but less so this year. There is no right or wrong to it it’s the Stafford formula of consistency and keeping promises to competitors and it works.

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