Gambler’s Challenge Returns To Stafford Speedway Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night Friday

(Press release from Stafford Speedway)

Stafford Motor Speedway and Doug Dunleavy from Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair are bringing the Gambler’s Challenge back to the speedway for the July 23 Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night program.  The Gambler’s Challenge will be available to SK Modified® and SK Light Modified teams and will push the total posted awards for the 40-lap SK Modified® feature to over $14,000 and the total posted awards for the 40-lap SK Light feature to over $10,000 based on a 27-car starting field.

To participate in the Gambler’s Challenge, SK Modified® drivers contribute $100 and SK Light drivers contribute $50 each.  Doug Dunleavy and Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair will match up to $2,000 in contributions for the SK Modified® drivers and up to $1,000 for SK Light drivers.  If the full field of 27 drivers participates, the SK Modified® Gambler’s Challenge bonus would reach $4,700 and the SK Light bonus $2,350.  

Following each feature a chip will be drawn in victory lane to determine if the bonus will go to the winner, 2nd, 3rd, 7th, or 11th place finisher. Depending on the chip draw in NAPA Victory Lane, the feature winner in the SK Modified® division could take home $6,675 and the SK Light winner could take home as much as $4,250.

“The Gambler’s Challenge program has always been popular and a bunch of SK Light drivers asked me to do something crazy for Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night, so we’re bringing back the Gambler’s Challenge and it should be big, especially this time of year,” said Doug Dunleavy, owner of Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair.  “I like mixing things up for the modifieds.  We’re tying in the gambler’s numbers of 7 and 11 from the craps table so we’re making the Gambler’s Challenge the real deal.  This could be the biggest payday for a 40-lap race for the SK Lights or the SK Modified® division.”

The options for how the Gambler’s Challenge bonus gets distributed this season has undergone changes from years past.  

“I didn’t really like the option of splitting the money up among a group of 5 drivers,” said Dunleavy.  “If you’re a driver putting in $100 or $50, you want to win it all so we’re going to go with either the winner, 2nd, 3rd, 7th, or 11th place finisher taking the whole pot.  If a driver is in 8th or 12th place with only a couple laps to go, it should make it interesting for those drivers to know they can have a chance at winning the bonus if they can get one more spot.  The final laps should be very exciting.  I’ll have poker chips in victory lane for the Dunleavy’s Pick of the Hat and I’ll choose the SK Light Gambler’s winner and we’ll have the 11th place finisher from the SK Modified® feature pull the winning chip.”

The race to see who will win the 40-lap SK Light feature is wide open.  There have been 4 different winners in each of the first four editions of Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night with Brett Gonyaw winning in 2017, Marcello Rufrano in 2018, Noah Korner in 2019, and Derek Debbis last season.  Debbis leads all drivers this season with 3 wins in 8 races and other feature winners this season include defending SK Light champion Brian Sullivan with 2 wins, and Nick Anglace, Tyler Chapman, and Alexander Pearl each have 1 win.  The SK Modified® division has seen 7 different winners through the first 9 races with Michael Christopher, Jr. and Tyler Hines the only repeat winners with 2 wins each while Chase Dowling, Stephen Kopcik, Bryan Narducci, Keith Rocco, and Ronnie Williams each have 1 victory.

The 5th Annual Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night is scheduled for Friday, July 23.  Stafford’s Late Model, Limited Late Model, and Street Stock cars will join the two open wheel SK Modified® and SK Light divisions and tickets for Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night will become available online this Saturday, July 17 starting at 8am at  Tickets for Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night are $23.00 for adults, $5.00 for kids 6-14, and free for kids 5 & under.  Reserved seating is priced at $28.00 for all ages and pit passes are $40.00 with a valid 2021 Stafford Competition License and $45.00 without a Stafford license.  If you are unable to attend the event, tune into the live stream on FloRacing, the official streaming partner of Stafford Speedway. 

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


  1. This year drivers in the SK’s have made the point on several occasions that the money has been pretty good this year. That’s a good sign. The FloRacing supported point fund will add to that view hopefully. The SK Lights who get precious little money will no doubt like the beefed up purse for their special night. Much is made about how tough it is to compete in the SK’s but the Lights are more brutal. Greater chance of wrecking and navigating the field with a momentum race car challenging at best even for the fastest and best.
    Do they put supporters of modified racing in the NEAR Hall of Fame? If so Doug Dunleavy deserves some kind of recognition for year in and year out injecting large sums of money into supporting it.
    I wish a team member would weigh in and explain the attraction of the Gamblers Challenge. At the end of the day the greatest odds are you’ll be giving money to a competitor. I suppose you could argue they’re saving money on tire rationing this year so what the heck and the Gamblers Challenge is a great promotional tool. And it certainly is true that Doug Dunleavy has his finger on the pulse of all the teams across the modified spectrum. Still it just seems like spreading the wealth around would be a better long term strategy to support the divisions as a whole in the longer term.
    This Light race is one of my favorites of the year. Normally with their short races track position is everything. If you have a good car get to the front as fast as possible, stay out of trouble, weather the restarts and you can win. This race allows the better cars more time to get to the front. If they can limit the mayhem at the end there is a good chance of seeing numerous point leaders vying for the win.
    One of the biggest stories going into the season was Megan Fuller moving up to the Lights. Good Street Stock driver for sure and the pedigree needs no further explanation. Fuller has only 8 races under her belt so it’s still early but I’m a little surprised she and the team have not yet turned in a top 5 performance having gotten multiple starts at the front in features. To be clear it’s not all about the driver the car is consistently a couple tenths off what it needs to be to stay in the front. The surprising part is all the brain power the team has including Rocco’s involvement supplying the car, dad and Jimmy Fuller.. It’s coming for sure. Incremental improvement is her way and when she breaks through it will be pretty special.

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