What You Need To Know: The 50th NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler At Stafford

(Press release from Stafford Speedway)

The Spring Sizzler tradition continues with the 50th running of the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler® April 23rd and 24th. With the 50th running of “The Greatest Race in the History of Spring” comes a new format. Here’s what you need to know about the format for the 50th Spring Sizzler®

The Cars: Open Modifieds

Often referred to as “Tour-Type”, these 600 horsepower beasts are some of the fastest short track cars around. The Open Modified is the same as the cars that compete on the Whelen Modified Tour. 

The Drivers: All the top Modified drivers in the Northeast

Past Sizzler champions Doug Coby, Bobby Santos, Ryan Preece, Woody Pitkat, and Patrick Emerling are all entered along with a long list of the top Modified drivers in New England. Also entered is 2000 NASCAR Cup Series Champion and Hall of Fame driver Bobby Labonte. Click here for the full entry-list.

50th Spring Sizzler Qualifying Format

Heat Race, April 23rd

8 laps each

Heat race lineup will be set by a random draw. When drivers sign-in they will draw a number which will set their heat race starting position.

NAPA Auto Parts Duel, April 23rd 

40 laps each

Two 40 lap races with starting positions set from the heat races, winner of heat 1 will start on the pole of Duel 1, winner of heat 2 will start on the pole of duel 2, etc… Top 10 finishers in each Duel will transfer directly to the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler®. Finishers 11th and beyond will compete in Sunday’s Last Chance Qualifier event. 

Last Chance Qualifiers, April 24th 

15 laps each

Two 15 lap races will be held on Spring Sizzler Sunday. The top 5 in each Last Chance Qualifier will transfer to the 50th NAPA Spring Sizzler®.


Two provisionals will be awarded for the 50th NAPA Spring Sizzler®. One provisional for the most recent past Spring Sizzler winner and one provisional for the best average finish in Stafford Open Modified competition in 2021 (driver must have competed in all 4 open modified events)

NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler, April 24th 

100 laps  

The 50th running of The Greatest Race in the History of Spring

The Prize

Total Prize Money: $132,000

Lap Money: $15,000 ($150 per lap led)

To Win the NAPA Duel: $4,000

To Win the NAPA Spring Sizzler: $15,000


To the highest finishing competitor that competed in 75% or more of each series 2021 events. Bonus will be awarded to whoever finishes the highest in the 50th NAPA Spring Sizzler®

Race of Champions, Nascar Whelen Modified Tour, SMART, & SK Modified – $500 each

Tri-Track Modified – $1,000

Pole Award Winner Award from the Family of Bobby Turner

$500 to each Duel Winner

SRX Series Ride

The winner of the 50th NAPA Spring Sizzler® will compete in the July 2nd SRX Racing Series event at Stafford Speedway.

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

YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/7KwgeiSUo0U


  1. No Matt Buckler … sad news

  2. Anyone else worried they might regret some of their format choices later on in the year when tires might be a huge issue? 14 tires at 47(?) cars is just a massive amount burned up in one weekend. Even if they can get them down to 10 that would almost secure the tires for the first 2 open 80 shows based on last year’s car counts. Do they really need heats, duels, AND lcq’s? That is a lot of potential for bone headed desperate moves that tear up a lot of stuff that is also in short supply. Especially with random heat lineups.

  3. Hillary 2024 says

    Buckler gets the boot days before the season starts? Shame

  4. Speedbowl14 says

    I kinda agree with zig13. It’s a lot of racing. 44 cars are on the entry list. Likely scenario I see is 42 cars show up. 40 get through heats. So now the duels are 20 cars each fighting for 10 spots. 18 finish each duel? That’s being conservative… it’s a long race and there’s decent money on the line. That puts the consis on Sunday at a meager 8 cars “fighting” for 5 spots…oh and 2 provisionals. It’s a good format…just needed 4-8 more cars to really make it competitive. Or make it one LCQ. Don’t get me wrong… it’s going to be an awesome main event with tons of talent. But the road to making the show really needed to have 50 cars on the entry list to make it competitive. I’m sure there’ll be a few guys who are a second off the pace but make it in due to circumstance.


    What universe are you people living in???

    Manufacturing centers in China are shutdown. Cities in China are shutdown, people are not allowed out of their homes, food is being delivered to them. Where do you think we get our stuff from?

    Shipping is still a mess.

    Sewage sampling is showing increased COVID 🦠 loading. This is the precursor to increased spreading. Very high probability a surge is coming. Depends on the stupid ones, the unvaccinated.

    C’mon people, get it together already.

  6. I don’t see a reason for heat races if there is less than 50 cars. Just start the duels with a draw for starting position – it will add excitement to the duels instead of fastest cars starting up front. – JMO

  7. Camerissa says

    Is there a list of the drivers with the best average in the four stafford opens? I can’t seem to find one and it is where the second provisional will come from. Still a ways out but weather looks good.

  8. It’s all true. Everything you can say disruptive about Covid19 is true from the impacts half the world away to our towns. Supply issues and the affect on prices we want to be temporary probably won’t be. The reality is Covid19 is endemic now. We have to learn to live with it, take precautions based on our circumstance and local conditions but still live our lives and move on.
    Part of moving on is enjoying the Sizzler. I’m watching guys like Hirschman, Preece, Goodale and Labonte on FloRacing talking about the Sizzler format and they’re genuinely excited as far as I can see. They’re not talking about tire shortages or illness they’re talking the challenges of the heats, Duels and Sizzler itself. They’re mentioning the SRX slot in play a lot and how they view the challenges of the track itself.
    More is always better but if there are two Duels of 40 cars each that’s a feature at most tracks and the money they’re paying is feature money. That’s just Saturday with a big Pass race on the docket. If you’re a big name starting 17th in a Duel you’ve got a problem. The Duels are sprints, there’s zero motivation and opportunity to bide your time and cruise and nothing routine about 10 plus outsiders trying to squeeze into the first 10 qualifying slots.
    Race fans seem to have a unique ability to always find the dark cloud even on a sunny say. To actively be hunting for dark clouds as far as this particular event is concerned you really have to be jaded in my view. It’s not just the car count the field includes just about every big name in modified racing except one very obvious one that has a set of priorities that does not involve competing to be the best in tour modified racing.
    Yes there is merit to all the negatives mentioned above. On the other hand a great deal of effort has been made to make the 50th special with a lot of money on the line. It’s scheduled, it’s a few days away so why not set the anxiety aside for a couple days and enjoy the spectacle.

  9. Fast Eddie says

    Ok, let me offer the “more is better opinion”. The heats (maybe 5?) will better and more fairly position cars for each 20+ car duel, which is like double features for day one. Then there’s 2 LCQ’s before the 100-lap feature for day two. That’s 250 laps of Open Modified racing! there is the potential for a race team to go home with upwards of $25-30 grand! And that comes with the usual very competitive Stafford divisions, nostalgia racing (best I’ve seen them run is at Stafford) and a PASS tour race. What’s not to like?

  10. there will be 40+ cars at Stafford for the sizzler. We get to see all the best modified drivers not once but twice in a weekend. why are we complaining

  11. Jimmy King says

    Stafford has done everything they can to provide an entertaining weekend for the fans and competitors. They are not lacking for anything. Awesome facility, awesome purse, SRX start, great support divisions, and plenty of pomp and circumstance. Now it is up to the drivers and teams to perform. Anyone not supporting Stafford in this endeavor simply doesn’t get it. I wish them a tremendously successful weekend. I know I can’t wait to get there! Everyone enjoy the weekend!

  12. Although we are primarily a Modified community here, the 75 lap PASS SLM race on Saturday should be awesome. 😎 You don’t want to miss that.

  13. Jimmy King says

    Stafford has done everything possible to create a special weekend for both fans and competitors. The best in short track facilities, tremendous purse, SRX invite, “support” divisions that can headline elsewhere, an interesting race format (no time trials!), and plenty of pomp and circumstance. They deserve to have a “home-run” type of weekend. They did their job. Now it’s up to the drivers and teams to put on a great show. Anyone not supporting Stafford this weekend simply doesn’t get it. I hope they have a wildly successful weekend and that everyone has a great time this weekend. I know I can’t wait to get there!

  14. Here are the drivers that ran all 4 open mod races last year and their average finish.
    Ryan Preece 2.75
    Ronnie Williams 6.25
    Chase Dowling 8.5
    Eric Goodale 8.75
    Chris Pasteryak 10
    Marcello Rufrano 10
    Joey Cipriano 11
    Todd Owen 12
    Woody Pitkat 13
    Matt Galko 15.75
    Stephen Kopcik 16.25
    Dana DiMatteo 17.75
    Jeff Gallup 17.75
    Michael Gervais, Jr. 19.25
    Earl Paules 20.75

  15. Folks, this is looking like a fantastic event, definitely like the days of yore. Old school. The only way it could be better is if this were big-blocks… nothing like the sound of all those big-blocks. Well, and if there were no COVID 😷 🦠 concerns.

    Like someone said above, it’s now up to the drivers to put on a good show.

  16. Camerissa says

    Thank you Iamspeed. So Emerling and Preece are guaranteed a starting spot. I don’t think they have to start the race with the tires they qualify with. No advantage to just riding and saving tires for the feature. It may be interesting to see how far down that list they go to get a provisional.

  17. It’s funny- I guess Bonsignore and the 51 team is just, “too good” to race the Sizzler. Pretty much everyone else is entered-even Matt Hirschman.

  18. Where’s the 01,51,06,Catalano’s…..With the short fields at Thompson and NHIS it only proves to me that this sport is a rich man’s hobby…should easily be 60 cars for this event

  19. Stopped by the #50 shop Tuesday night to drop off some lead. They were busy at work on both cars. The SK is a brand new Troyer car, and the open car has been gone through and updated, as well as the Tour mod. They also had their Thompson SK updated as a backup for the Stafford car. Les said they had a great practice last weekend, and it looks like they’re ready to chase another championship. Don’t know if I’ll make it to the track Saturday, but do want to be there Sunday.

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