NAPA Championship Night Postponed At Stafford Speedway

With a forecast calling for rain through the day and evening, Stafford Speedway officials have made the decision to postpone tonight’s NAPA Championship Night racing card.

The entirety of the event will be made up on Friday Oct. 6.

The NAPA Championship Night card will mark the final points events of the season for the track’s Late Model, SK Light Modified, Limited Late Model and Street Stock divisons. The SK Modifieds will have a points event as part of the NAPA Fall Final card on Oct. 28.

The Late Model division championship is the only championship to be decided so far. Kevin Gambacorta clinched his first Late Model title last Friday.

Todd Owen needs to finish ninth or better in the Oct. 6 SK Modified feature to clinch his third consecutive title in the division with one race remaining. Owen would become the first driver in Stafford history to win three consecutive SK Modified championships at the track.

Brian Sullivan and George Bessette Jr. are tied at the top of the SK Light Modified standings.

Jeremy Lavoie holds a 16 point lead over Matt Clement in the Limited Late Model standings. Lavoie is looking to become the first driver ever to win three Limited Late Model championships.

Ryan Waterman holds a 14 point edge over Travis Hydar in the battle for the Street Stock championship. Waterman is looking for his first championship in the division. Hydar is the division’s reigning champion.


  1. Fenders Galore says

    Stafford typically makes excellent decisions pertaining to all aspects of their program. This one however is selfish, and makes no sense. Thompson’s World Series weekend has been a staple in local New England racing for decades, and for the most part they’ve always owned that weekend. Selfish decision on the Arute’s part for scheduling that Friday night. This certainly doesn’t help Thompson’s weekend Modified program and attendance in general for (both competitor and fan). A lot of us that attend Stafford on a weekly basis, were planning to spend the weekend at Thompson to support their program.

  2. Top Row Observer says

    I won’t be at Stafford next Friday, no way could I support a track that is this selfish as they knowingly scheduled against Thompson. Championships or not, I’m sure they have other viable options.

  3. In the spring of 2020 when covid hit the Arute family busted their butts working with the state to get short tracks reopened as quick as possible. At the same time the Hoenig family turned their back on short track racing and gave up on the Thompson oval. Keep that in mind when you trash the Arute family for them trying to finish the season.

  4. Thompson would’ve done the same thing who cares go racing wherever you want

  5. “ their program” ! You make it sound like Thompson’s some poor charitable humanitarian organization and we basic race fans should feel guilty for not helping-out. Why don’t YOU send Thompson $40 for Friday. Or, better yet, send them the whole $100 for the weekend and then you can rest easy.
    But, I’m thinking you’ve got some horse in this race and this is going to hurt you in the wallet, somehow.

  6. I can understand the angst over the re-scheduling, but I have to side with the Arute’s here. They are truly a WEEKLY racing facility, not a once a month thing, and they want to give all their competitors every opportunity to have a SEASON FINALE!!

  7. A racer and fan dilemma for sure. During covid I went to Thompson in the afternoon and stafford at night for the points championship. However, there were no SK or MRS mods on Friday that year. Looks like SK & street stock drivers have to choose this year.

  8. What division’s are running Friday at Thompson ?

  9. This would be at least mildly excusable if they didn’t have the fall final still coming. I’m not saying it would be easy, but they could have figured out how to have everything that day.

    This is a NASCAR type move.

  10. Super fan, there’s ministocks, open street stocks, late models, SK and MRS mods, & STAR mods on Friday. You can get the full World Series scheule off the ACT Tour website.

  11. Zig,
    So on the Fall Final card right now you have an 80-lap Tri-Track race. You’ve got practice, tire scrub, four heat races and a probable consolation heat for Tri-Track all before you get to their 80-lap feature. You also have a 40-lap SK Modified feature, a 20-lap SK Light Modified invitational event and a 15-lap Vintage race. And now to that you want to add, a second 40-lap SK Modified feature, the TC Shootout event for the SK Modifieds, a 30-lap Late Model feature, a 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, a 20-lap Limited Late Model feature and a 20-lap Street Stock event? Oh and also practice and heats for all those weekly division features? And you also want Stafford to cover the cost of all this racing on a $30 general admission ticket for the event? That’s beyond ridiculous to even suggest.

  12. The die is already cast. Fat’s in the fire. It is what it is. Book-em Danno. Too late to do anything about it now. That’s a wrap.
    But…..was Friday the 15th ever considered?

  13. I guess Stafford could’ve just cancelled. Would that have made people happy?

    There’s almost no crossover between tracks anymore so why is this an issue? There’s a handful of drivers that run both and for one week they’ll have to choose. I bet it will rain and this whole discussion will be for nothing.

  14. Fenders Galore says

    The fact of the matter is , Stafford could have picked Friday the 13th or Sat or Sunday of that weekend. Better yet the weekend of the 20th would have worked fine as well. What do they do, they run the weekend of Thompson’s World Series. They had many other options, however selfishly and stupidly decided to schedule for next Friday. I’m sure there were a handful of competitors that were planning to run in those races scheduled for Friday night and probably a few hundred fans that would have gone over to Thompson.

    Some of you are saying Thompson doesn’t care about the Oval track program and etc… That may be true, however that’s Hoening’s grandson (track owner), It’s clearly evident he doesn’t care about the oval program. A lot of us fans do care about the oval program and same with ACT for stepping up to the plate to save the place. The oval events need all the help they can get to draw cars. Stafford running this race, certainly doesn’t help that.

    Years ago this would never happen the tracks would all work together, and showed mutual respect. Stafford, Thompson,Speedbowl,Seekonk, and Lee would all run their October Finale’s and to my knowledge never conflict. It’s stupid and disrespectful, and really both facilities lose to some degree.

  15. Fenders Galore,
    Stafford has non-racing events already scheduled on the track for both of those weekends that you mention.

  16. Why does every race have to be have to be run when there is rain this late into the season, Shawn? They washed away how many events this year because of rain, and all of a sudden everything scheduled has to be made up? What if one of the champ contenders had can’t miss plans this weekend? Did Stafford poll drivers to see if they wanted to race that weekend?

    You don’t need 2 SK races, and you don’t need an SKL invitational. Run your 5 divisions + TRI track + vintage +tc13. You can run open 80’s + 5 divisions on a Friday night, there is no way they would have time issues running on a Saturday. That way all your champs get their moment, and you finish with a bang with TRI track. And all your drivers can go play next weekend if they want.

    And if $30 isn’t enough. Raise the price. But with all due respect, (this is not a shot at Stafford) LM, LLM, and SS have $11,000 in combined purse. That’s ~366 tickets at 30 a head. I would bet a lot of money they would easily get that many just with the family of those drivers. I can’t imagine a race night against Thompson, when crowds are already dwindling due to the time of year, is going to make Stafford many dollars.

    But don’t make it Thompsons problem too. Do the common sense approach.

    This is probably well into tinfoil hat land, but tri track making a point to say “It’s a really good move for the whole racing community” last week makes me think Stafford wasn’t too willing to take that date. The next move Stafford made wasn’t a “good move for the whole racing community,”

  17. I am surprised Stafford did schedule against Thompson, While i know as you get later and later in the Fall the weather is not friendly for big crowds to sit on a Friday Night with Colder Temps, to say no options is false, you could have Waited til Friday the 13th and promoted as Champ Night and TC 13 ON FRIDAY the 13TH, and i know you will say 13th weekend is Thompson Rain date but if Entire World Series weekend is washed out then u can say sorry but we have to crown our Champions and even the 20th is ok as Waterford has Tri Track on the 21st and u are not going against them as they have Saturday ONLY Schedule. The Rainy late summer early Fall in not race track friendly.

  18. Considering all the rain we’ve had, this is one of the few times we have two on the same day, and it’s due to weather, not from the tracks conflicting with each other. If Stafford feels that is the best option for them, I’m sure the Arutes, of all people, looked at all possibilities before setting that date.

  19. Any other Friday night would have been better than next Friday. Kinda sucks for the mod drivers and teams that run both tracks. If Stafford ran the Sk’s first event of the night and Thompson ran the mod races last it could work out. Tracks used to do that back in the day. Thompson would run early on Saturday and the Bowl would waiy for the drivers before running the feature

  20. Wow the sense of entitlement seems alive and well on these pages. But I have a different view. I thank God the Arutes have partnered with Flo so I can keep up with the weekly action at my favorite speedway. The reality is dry weekend days in Sept/Oct are a gift from the heavens one rainout affects the everyone’s plan. Go to Thompson on Fri if you must and bring a tablet to follow the action at Stafford. Too many great story lines from the season finale’ to expect them to cancel. Be grateful you don’t live here in NY where your pavement choices are so limited. The conflicts happen every year and to expect otherwise just isn’t realistic in my view. I’ll be at Stafford Fri and for the Fall Final . If it’s cold I’ll deal with it…as long as the rain holds off. Go where you wish but just be grateful.

  21. wmass01013,
    How many times does it have to be mentioned that Stafford has non-racing events already scheduled on the track for the weekend of the 13th and the 20th?

  22. Yes Courchense they have SWAP meets on Both SUNDAYS, does it take multiple days to set up SWAP MEETS???????
    ALL DAY Sat. should be enough time for vendors to set up tents and displays.
    Funny how you love to respond to my comments but several others say the same and yur quiet. Stafford can do as they please, and your ALWAYS right!!!!!!!!!!!!! Even when i said 40 cars at North Wilkes you had to come back and say nananana only 39. BRAVO to you!

  23. Look it’s dreary out, what’s wrong with a little banter about why Stafford did what it did. I thought the same thing, what’s the Swap Meet on Sunday have to do with racing Friday night?
    It’s the same deal as always in these threads that meander in a direction of their own. Sure you have to kiss a few frogs but there’s been some really interesting perspectives expressed.
    The basic question hasn’t even been answered yet has it? I certainly gave the Friday date no thought when it was first announced but for some it’s an issue and that makes it relevant. Even if there isn’t any mind readers among us the fact that Stafford plunked their finale down on a portion of a New England circle track racing signature event raises eyebrows.
    Being confrontational, implying the Arute’s can do no wrong is probably a reality that most here support isn’t really an answer.
    My guess would be this. It’s likely they weren’t wild about the idea of Friday but felt it was their best option. They want all the points racing concluded and to clear the deck for the Fall Final. They may be leery of yet another wash out Friday in light of what’s happened this season and want to hold the 13th in reserve. But the real reason they did what they did is because they could. They know who they are, they know their status as the premier track in the region with national recognition so it’s easy. They do whatever the hell the want that’s in their best interest.
    What’s the point of plowing back all that money into your facility, commanding the loyalty of all those race teams and the admiration of a lot of fans if you can’t push your weight around a little when the situation demands?

  24. It’s amazing how many people know everything there is to know about running a race track , everything about running swap meets and what’s involved to set up and prepare . Do you really think the Arutes wanted to go against Thompson it’s probably not going to help the bottom line.The good thing is if any track owner wants to sell there is plenty of people that would buy and do a better job of running the place

  25. Wmass try going there the week before swap meet they could probably use the help of an expert like you to measure out all the spaces, set up food vendors in infield , put out probably 100 or more trash barrels and I’m sure there is more since i don’t know how to run a race track or a swap meet and by reading your posts you don’t either

  26. wmass01013,
    One other person mentioned specifically using those weekends for makeups and I responded to that person telling them there were non-racing events scheduled that weekend. I don’t love to respond to your comments. I respond to a lot of comments on here, not just yours. Stop trying to act like you’re some targeted victim here. And furthermore, you deserve a response when you’re just coming on here and spitballing about how you think a business you don’t own or operate should be operated or should plan for events they have scheduled. How about you let them run their business the way they want to run it and since you have zero idea how they plan and prepare for a Swap Meet, maybe let them be the experts on that topic.

  27. If this was any other track Shawn would already have the poll up. What do you think of Stafford going against Thompson?

  28. AJ,
    First, there’s a poll up on this subject. Second, what does the whole: “If this was any other track Shawn would already have the poll up.” part mean?

  29. Agree with Crazy in NY. Go where you want, be glad you have a choice to make.

  30. I would use either Friday October 27th or Sunday October 29th. If Sunday is rescheduled and Sunday is a planned rain date employees are already ready for Sunday right? You can’t predict weather so if it’s dry it would work for either night but nobody can expect it. If they used the 10/27 it be a regular Friday night show and charge the ticket accordingly. Even if Floracing couldn’t cover one of the events I don’t see how they couldn’t just let it go because of the way the year has went. I pay for Flo and I’m fine since ethically they wouldn’t be screwing other race tracks that are struggling like Thompson’s oval. The Act/PASS guys leasing it are the ones who get hurt the most because, now you will only reduce the entries and it makes them look like their event is a lesser event (61 year tradition) because Stafford has a year long point fund. I know Flo and Stafford have a contract but, this is an absolute worst case scenario due to this summer’s weather. Stafford can charge the Champion’s Night ticket as its own and not include it in the Fall Final ticket as previously mentioned. I just don’t like how Thompson moved Sunoco Mods off the Wednesday schedules to specifically help the drivers and teams racing for points at Stafford and Waterford yet, Stafford decides to just ruin Night 1 for the Sunoco mods (whom are running for the Triple Crown point fund), the MRS guys because some of those guy would field entries for that race and the Mini Stocks (if they’re on Friday or use the same car).The only option now is to force Thompson to run twin features on Saturday or Sunday, or a 50/60 lap race either Sat or Sunday. I am worried Friday night’s Thompson Sunoco Mods won’t have anyone literally- they all race at Stafford except like three drivers.
    But again I’m a race fan trying to use common sense I don’t know Stafford’s financial statements, employee list or legal obligations. So maybe I should dress up as the Dr. Seuss Grinch or Green Eggs and Ham meme for Halloween.

  31. It’s not just the fans that have to make the decision to where to go. The sk Teams and their friends and families have to make the decisions. Plans for Thompson weekend have been made months ago, hotel and camper reservations have been made. It just not a race at Thompson- for many people it’s a vacation, weekend getaway… Stafford usually doesn’t make up a regular scheduled race, not sure why the are making this one up on top of running against Thompson

  32. OH THE HUMANITY!!!!!

    It’s the end of September, almost October.

    Tracks have other plans and business application besides racing.

    The calendar and weather dictates what is possible.

    Options are very limited, if any exist at all, at this time of year.

  33. Steve, they’re obviously making it up bc they’ve rained out 8 times this year. Use your brain for one minute

  34. Shawn – do know if Stafford and the Thompson promoters discussed the conflict on Friday, October 6?

  35. Rafter Fan,
    I don’t know if there was communication between them concerning the decision.

  36. Was wondering the exact same thing. You’d think with the Sizzler connection at minimum a courtesy call. Perhaps even a green light making this entire discussion moot.
    Will there be something circulating at the World Series about hard feelings or is this a giant nuthin muffin?

  37. I am willing to bet something will change concerning the sk features at one or both tracks for Friday- Rocco and Owen have a lot of screaming going on about this. This is more about the sk drivers an teams then anything else. Maybe Thompson will run the sk feature early and Stafford can wait for the teams get back in time for feature- it’s happened before

  38. Hillary 2024 says

    Seekonk has postponed their championship night to next Saturday. Who wants to complete the screw over trifecta and schedule something for Sunday?

  39. Rebecca Swiech says

    Shawn, where is racedayct going Friday??? Absolute bonehead move on Stafford’s part. A slap in the face to the good guys at ACT/PASS considering the sunoco mods yielded to Stafford and Waterford as to not affect their championships, Secondly, the ACT tour returned to Stafford this spring and the Pass tour was there in 2022. This is the thanks they get??? This is the NFL equivalent to UNSPORTSMAN LIKE CONDUCT!!!!!! . Today(Sunday) was not an option?? How about the Thursday before?? Stafford didn’t have any any issues running back to back Thursdays for the SRX races……….. My family and friends will be at THOMPSON.

  40. Hillary 2024 says

    Even Waterford is getting pretty creative with the end of the year schedule. If their championship night gets rained out, that will be rescheduled for the Friday of the Haunted 100 weekend. Which is pretty crazy if that happens. Have they ever moved a Saturday night program to Friday? Which brings up the fact that today, Sunday is a absolutely perfect day for racing weather. With all the rain outs that Stafford has had couldn’t they have gotten creative and made today a rain date? Not a last minute thing but made that decision a couple weeks back? I wonder if it’s more of a Flo Racing dilemma more than a Stafford employee dilemma.

  41. Rebecca Swiech,
    Tune in Friday for the answer to your question.
    I think the only people who can decide what any possible viable options on dates are for making up events at Stafford Speedway are people with the last name Arute who are part of the management team at Stafford. This time of year is tough for all promoters. There are a finite amount of open spots and a lot of tracks and divisions trying to squeeze as many dates into limited spaces on the calendar. You don’t just snap your fingers on a Thursday night and say “Instead of running Friday we’re going to run Sunday” and it somehow just naturally happens. It’s not a matter of just, announce it and they will come. I think the problem is that a lot of people don’t quite understand that putting on an event doesn’t just mean you decide to put on an event and magically all the support staff, emergency support personnel, outside vendors and race teams are ready to go in 36 hours to open the gates on a day when the gates don’t traditionally get opened.

  42. Rafter fan says

    I predict that Shawn will be at Stafford and a RaceDayCT rep will be at Thompson next Friday (weather permitting).

    If weather is at all questionable, Thompson may quickly elect to run on its rain dates (the following weekend).

  43. First of all is it true. Stafford has had 8 rain outs this year? I find that to be absolutely incredible. I know I had planned on going a few times that were rained out but didnt realize they lost that many dates. I know for a fact there were two nights the forecast looked horrible and they got the show in. That would probably be somewhere near half their shows this season had weather issues.

    Somebody beat me to the punch, Seekonk is running their championship night on Saturday against the world series. So forget about getting any Seekonk Pro Stocks to support that PASS race. They also have a great field of cars that could support that open street stock division that thompson has.

    Dont look but it dont look great for next weekend. Looking at the forecast. I would say these conflicts all get resolved with Thompson pushing back the world series a weekend. Seekonk has a thrill show scheduled for Saturday 14 and even if they lose their championship finale this saturday they wont lose a thrill show. they would rather have a zoom meeting in which the championship contenders play rock paper scissor to decide who wins over losing a thrill show gate. A push of he world series does cause an issue with PASS. They have a race date OCT 14 and 15 at Oxford. 21st tri track at waterford which includes ACT,.So the Thompson promoters have events scheduled the next two consecutive weekends after this world series weekend.. So who knows. If rain is an issue for Friday I could see Stafford going Friday the 27th for champ night. And Tri track Saturday you get your big Finale weekend back,

    This time of year. You cant do much when weather gets involved. Quite frankly its a mess. There are going to be conflicts.

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