Big Shot: Spring Sizzler Winner To Earn SRX Series Starting Spot At Stafford 

There’s the money, with a possible payday of close to $35,000. There’s the prestige of being on the list of Spring Sizzler winners.

There’s certainly no shortage of reasons why any Modified driver wouldn’t want to win the 50th NAPA Spring Sizzler at Stafford Speedway.

Now there’s even more incentive.

As reported exclusively Monday by RaceDayCT, Stafford Speedway management made it official Tuesday that the winner of the NAPA Spring Sizzler Open Modified feature on April 24 will earn a starting spot in the SRX Series event on July 2 at Stafford.

“A guy doesn’t need to do anything more at Stafford … than win the Sizzler, and you’ve got a shot at [racing] on CBS television for two hours on a Saturday night.” SRX Series CEO Don Hawk said on the RaceDayCT Unmuffled podcast on Monday. “All you’ve got to do is win the Sizzler. No big deal right?”

Said Stafford CEO Mark Arute: “The 50th NAPA Spring Sizzler just keeps getting bigger. We brought this concept to the team at SRX and they immediately bought into the idea. They understand the importance of short tracks and history of an event like the Spring Sizzler. This is a monumental opportunity for a Stafford short track driver, win and you’re in.”

It was announced Monday that the SRX Series would return to Stafford in 2022 as part of the division’s six-race schedule. The series ran its first event ever at Stafford on June 12, 2021. That event was won by the former Stafford Late Model and Pro Stock division champion – and six-time Whelen Modified Tour champion – Doug Coby.

“This is huge for short trackers,” said Chase Dowling, a winner of two Stafford Open Modified events and also the winner of the 2020 Tri-Track Open Modified Series event at Stafford. “It’s really cool that the SRX series is giving a chance to a local driver, it says a lot about what the series is trying to do. The Sizzler keeps getting better and better, big money and now this, everyone should be there. I’m really looking forward to it being an Open show, it’s going to be a tough race as the open shows always are. The fans are in for a treat.”

Twenty-eight drivers are already entered in the Sizzler, including Woody Pitkat, who sits second on the track’s all-time win list overall with 78 victories at the track.

“As much as I’ve raced at Stafford, this is the biggest race and opportunity that I’ve ever had in my career,” Pitkat said. “Looking at the 50th Spring Sizzler, this is the race I need to win. I already told my crew chief we have to be on our A-game and we have to win this race. I’ve won a lot of races at Stafford but the 50th Sizzler would be the biggest. I think this is a huge opportunity for me as a driver at this point in my career. It’s huge to win the Spring Sizzler, it’s something you always want to do but this season it’s a whole new Sizzler. It’s cool, it feels big, the 50th is massive. To me this is the biggest Modified race at Stafford in a long time. Biggest of the year.”

Mike Christopher Jr. and Marcello Rufrano, both former winners in Open Modified events at Stafford, were both astounded by the news of the SRX starting spot up for grabs.

 “Wow, that really ups the ante for the Spring Sizzler,” Christopher said. “It’s already one of the most prestigious Modified races around but this adds a whole new level. In the late stages of the race, that SRX spot will be on my mind. That’ll change the outcome of the race for sure, it will be good.”

Said Rufrano: “That’s crazy. If I had to sum it up in one word… Unbelievable. The fact that you have a chance to sit in one of those cars and race against your heroes, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. You have a chance to race against people you’ve idolized your whole life, that’s unbelievable. The fans are going to see all the best drivers in Modified racing, anyone can win this race.  Besides the first Sizzler, this has to be one of the biggest Sizzler’s of all-time. If you have a shot to win the Sizzler it’s all bets off, in my honest opinion it’s all or nothing.”


  1. No pressure.

  2. Well, hopefully the sizzler winner is a talented driver, who will represent Stafford, and New England well. Best of luck to all the drivers and teams.

  3. This is a great idea and certainly makes the Sizzler and SRX races a whole bunch more interesting.

  4. This is a Great Idea….WOW…. Sizzler has gone back to it’s roots…. nascar WHO ….?? Stafford now has TV money for Drivers which gets added to Year end Point Funds….. A Chance to race SRX with the BIG DOGS …. It just keeps getting better and better …..Best Owners of Track in USA…. Great time to be a MODIFIED FAN….. Plenty of races to Chase or sit back and enjoy from Home or on the Road….

  5. odds the race ends with someone being dumped and race control having to make a (difficult) decision?

  6. Slinger Speedway did the same thing last year – a 17 year old won the race on Tuesday night and then was schooling the SRX guys on Saturday until a green white checker cost him the win…. every track on the SRX schedule should do this.

  7. zig13, there’s gonna be plenty of wrecking going on… plenty. It is going to be an exercise in survival with some racing thrown in.

  8. Kenneth Latham says

    This another example of the GREAT promotional prowess of the Arute Family FANTASTIC PROMOTION

  9. So hypothetically, Coby gets a full time SRX ride and also wins the sizzler. What then?

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