Healthy Drive: Digging Into The 2021 Divisional Statistics At Stafford Speedway



Stafford Speedway 2021 divison champions clockwise from top left, Frank L’Etoile (Street Stock), Michael Bennett (Late Model), Derek Debbis (SK Light Modified), Todd Owen (SK Modified) and Alexandra Fearn (Limited Late Model) (Photos: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

In 2021 Stafford Speedway set out on a new path.

Following the 2020 season Stafford Speedway management made the decision to abandon its NASCAR Weekly Racing Series sanction and set their own course for the future of weekly shows at the historic half-mile oval.

What 2021 proved was that Stafford Speedway didn’t need the NASCAR brand name to have thriving weekly division racing.

The track proved once again to be a benchmark setter in short track racing for the vitality of weekly division competition.

Digging into the statistics of the five weekly short track divisions at Stafford bears out positive trends in each division and shines a light not only on the depth of talent across the board but also the trending growth of new talent arriving.

In 98 features across the five divisions there were 43 different winners and 17 first-time winners. Two divisions ended the season with ties at the top of the standings. Three of five divisions had first-time champions with Todd Owen (SK Modified), Derek Debbis (SK Light Modified) and Alexandra Fearn (Limited Late Model).

Take a look below at the breakout statistics of each division at Stafford in 2021

SK Modified

  • 20 features
  • 10 different winners
  • Three first-time winners
  • 16 drivers started 18 or more features
  • 49 different drivers made a start in the division

Late Model

  • 19 features
  • 10 different winners
  • Two first-time winners
  • 12 drivers started 17 or more features
  • 31 different drivers made a start in the division

SK Light Modified

  • 20 features
  • Eight different winners
  • Four first-time winners
  • 18 drivers started 18 or more features
  • 47 different drivers made a start in the division

Limited Late Model

  • 20 features
  • Eight different winners
  • Four first-time winners
  • Nine drivers started 18 or more features
  • 16 different drivers made a start in the division

Street Stock

  • 19 features
  • Seven different winners
  • Four first-time winners
  • 17 drivers started 17 or more features
  • 53 different drivers made a start in the division

Comments

  1. The proof is right there. You do NOT need NASCAR to survive as a local track. You pay a decent purse, run a good program for the fans, and treat the drivers fair, and it will all work. I remember Freeport Speedway on LI was NOT a NASCAR track, that was Islip & Riverhead, yet they always had a pit LOADED with cars. 30-40 Mods, 25 LM’s and near a HUNDRED Bombers EVERY SATURDAY. They survived because they were paying $1200 to win for the mods in 1978!!!! Money talks and money brings cars, and cars bring crowds.

  2. As Ken said you don’t need NASCAR to have a successful short track. Decent car counts all year long proved that. SMS is, and always will be the premier short track in New England. They treat people right, both competitors and fans, which keeps them coming back.

  3. If we give you a doll could you point to where Nascar hurt you?

  4. Did anyone think dropping NASCAR would have a positive of negative affect on the relative strength or weakness of the divisions at Stafford? I don’t see how. The Nascar connection was more of a track consideration wasn’t it most notably licensing and insurance. From a promotional standpoint this isn’t twenty years ago when the NASCAR brand had a real punch in terms of drawing power. They’ve got those national point deals but they only involve a few teams so that’s not a big deal. NWMT races held so that was nothin muffin as well.
    I’m thinking dropping Nascar in December had far less meaning for the track then what happened in February. That’s when they announced the FloRacing connection and the $40,000 points fund. Of course you could argue that was made possible by dropping Nascar and it would be true but it’s more an indication of Stafford managements ability to change with the times by thinking outside the box.
    Speaking of FloRacing it’s assessment time isn’t it? If the financial success had far less to do with dropping Nascar and more to do with subscriptions to FloRacing as I suspect then we should be more interested in how that panned out shouldn’t we? If FloRacing was willing to put up $40,000 up front for a points fund then the anticipated revenue from streaming needed to be several times that figure wouldn’t it? So how’d they do?
    Ben Dodge said on the final night that FloRacing was impressed with Stafford’s streaming presentation as well they should be. Happy talk is nice but what was the bottom line are they back or not?
    It’s pretty clear no one will be releasing the figures on it so all we can do is wait to see what happens for next year. We know the production values got stronger during the year with more camera angles, more replays and more on screen graphics not a bad sign. We know the announcers mentioned it all the time. Maybe not getting it right far too often calling it FloVision or FloTV but what can you do they’re old in the tooth. It was plastered all over Facebook and drivers in interviews mentioned it all the time. But the only way we will know if it was a success is when they announce if will continue next year.
    It’s kind of critical isn’t it this streaming thing as much as the visceralist’s like to poo poo it. Did the gamble pay off or not? You like those stats up above on car counts do you? Sure you do they’re great but if FloRacing was a bust the points fund seed money is harder to come by and next year not as rosy as the car count number in 2021 would imply.
    A pre announced points fund, streaming access, more cars in the paddock, more people helping with the cars in the paddock, more subscriptions by participants wanting to review video of the race they just participated in, more grandma’s and grandpa’s buying subscriptions to see what their grand children are doing, etc, etc, etc. It’s all tied together and it huge in my view and the continuation of the FloRacing product more important then the schedule.

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