Category Archives: Asphalt Tracks

THOMPSON SPEEDWAY MOTORSPORTS PARK CELEBRATES 2019 NASCAR CHAMPIONS AT ANNUAL AWARDS BANQUET

By Kyle Souza, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park 

THOMPSON, Conn. — After a 10-event schedule that included five NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions and countless touring series classes, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park crowned NASCAR champions and honored special award winners on Sunday afternoon, with the annual awards banquet at the Clubhouse. 

In the Sunoco Modifieds, Keith Rocco celebrated his eighth career track championship, extending his lead with the most in the history of the Connecticut oval. Rocco earned four wins – three in points events and the other in the 10-lap sprint as part of the Sunoco Modified 20/20. Rocco entered the finale with a comfortable lead and left the Sunoco World Series with a 36-point winning margin. The title also tied Rocco with Joe Kosiski for the most NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division I track titles, with 17. 

Behind Rocco, on the heels of two wins of his own with car owner Dan Avery, Woody Pitkat celebrated his second-place points finish, while Todd Owen, Troy Talman and Ronnie Williams finished the top five. Also honored, Corey Barry, Adam Gada, Paul LaPlante, Justin Albernaz and Kyle James wrapped the top 10.  

His second Late Model championship might have included a rough patch in the summer months, but William Wall wasn’t going to let it slip from his fingertips. Wall’s sixth-place finish in the finale earned him the title by a mere four points, capturing him the crown for the second time in the last four years. Behind him, Rookie of the Year winner Derek Gluchacki, who scored his first career victory in the finale, settled for second, while Mark Jenison was third. Woody Pitkat, who earned a division-high three wins, was fourth, and Matthew Lowinski-Loh fifth. Brian Tagg, Paul Charette, Rick Gentes, Ryan Morgan and 2018 champion Nick Johnson rounded the top 10. 

Bryan Narducci quickly is becoming one of the top rising talents in the country, as the Colchester, Connecticut, driver sealed his second straight NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division III national championship in 2019. Alongside it, Narducci celebrated Thompson’s SK Light Modified title at the awards banquet, after earning seven wins in 10 races, and scoring victories in 11 of 15 for the division over the last two years. Narducci will celebrate his NASCAR crown in Charlotte, North Carolina, next weekend. 

Behind him in the final SK Light Modified standings, Albert Ouellette, Wayne Burroughs Jr., John O’Sullivan and Nathan Pytko rounded the top five. Anthony Marvin, Mikey Flynn, Brett Gonyaw, Steven Chapman and Alexander Pearl finished the top 10. 

Kyle Gero wasn’t going to let anyone take the Limited Sportsman title from his grasp, as the Uncasville, Connecticut, native earned his first career title in a consistent season. He didn’t visit Victory Lane, but won by five points over two-time champion Shawn Monahan. The path for Gero wasn’t an easy one, but his top five finishes, and clean nose, helped him officially celebrate the crown on Sunday. Monahan was second, followed by Ryan Morgan, Corey Fanning and Jason Chicolas. Tied for fifth, Meghan Fuller was sixth, while Brent Gleason, Al Stone, Ryan Waterman and Scott Sundeen were the top 10.  

In a Mini Stock finale that went down to the final lap of the season, Doug Curry captured the Mini Stock title, and celebrated an emotional night at the banquet. Curry lost his father just after the Sunoco World Series and dedicated the championship to him. His path to a first championship at Thompson came in his first year of competing at the .625-mile track. The Michalski brothers, Steve and Scott, tied for second, while Jared Roy and Russ Barboza were fourth and fifth. Behind them, Charles Canfield, Ian Brew, David Trudeau, Evan Bourgeois and Joe Bavolacco were the top 10. 

Outside of the champions, the awards banquet also honored Rookie of the Year winners and Most Improved drivers for the 2019 season. In the Mini Stocks, a fifth-place finish in points earned Russ Barboza the Rookie crown, while Jared Roy scored the Most Improved Driver award. 

After scoring his first win, Derek Gluchacki captured Late Model Rookie honors, while Matthew Lowinski-Loh used his fifth-place points finish to score the Most Improved Driver. Jordan Hadley earned the Rookie award in the Limited Sportsman, with Meghan Fuller hoisting the Most Improved award, after heading into the finale in the contention for the title. In the Sunoco Modifieds, Adam Gada was crowned Most Improved, while Corey Barry celebrated the Rookie award. 

For more information on Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, fans are encouraged to visit thompsonspeedway.com, and follow the track on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

Ronnie Williams, Tom Fearn, Teddy Hodgdon, Jeremy Lavoie, & Zack Robinson Honored As 2019 Stafford Speedway Track Champions

(Stafford Springs, CT)—Stafford Motor Speedway welcomed a guest list of nearly 450 people consisting of teams, drivers, sponsors, and employees this past Friday night, November 15 at Maneely’s in South Windsor to officially honor Ronnie Williams, Tom Fearn, Teddy Hodgdon, Jeremy Lavoie, and Zack Robinson as the 2019 Stafford Motor Speedway NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track champions.

With Stafford Motor Speedway broadcasters Ben Dodge and Matt Buckler serving as the Masters of Ceremony, the 50th annual Stafford Motor Speedway NASCAR Champions Awards Ceremony recognized the top-10 points finishers from the SK Modified®, Late Model, SK Light, Limited Late Model, and Street Stock divisions as well as honoring the track champions.  Special awards that were presented during the evening’s festivities were Most Popular Driver Awards, NAPA Auto Parts Parts Rookie of the Year, R.A.D. Automachine Rookie of the Year, and the UNOH Youth Achievement Award.  Meghan Fuller was recognized as the winner of the RSMPCO.com Street Stock Triple Crown and NAPA Auto Parts was recognized for their fund raising efforts for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

Ronnie Williams and the #50 Les’s Auto Center / Empower Financial team had a rough start to defending their SK Modified® track championship.  Williams and the #50 team endured a wreck in the season opening NAPA Spring Sizzler® feature event and a faulty transmission in the May 31 feature event left them nearly 80 points out of the lead after only one month of racing.  Williams and the #50 team began to pick up steam with their second consecutive victory in the NAPA SK 5k on June 28 and from there they recorded 9 podium finishes in the final 12 races of the season.  Williams’ late season charge saw him enter the NAPA Fall Final with a 6 point lead over Todd Owen, meaning that if he finished fourth or better, he would be champion no matter where Owen finished.  Owen went on to win the Fall Final while Williams struggled to crack the top-4 for much of the 40-lap race, but he managed to take fourth place with 3 laps to go and he finished fourth to claim the championship via a tiebreaker with Owen as Williams had 5 wins to Owen’s 4.  For the season, Williams and the #50 team scored 5 wins, 13 top-5 and 18 top-10 finishes.  Williams enters the 2020 season looking to become the first driver to win 3 consecutive championships in Stafford’s SK Modified® history, dating back to 1982.

The 2019 Late Model season at Stafford saw Tom Fearn and the #92 King Ward Coach Lines team continue their recent run of consistent dominance.  Fearn scored 8 wins, 17 top-5 and 19 top-10 finishes while also completing 100% of the laps run this season in the Late Model division.  Of Fearn’s 17 top-5 finishes, 14 were podium efforts and his 8 wins moved his total to 30 Late Model feature wins since the beginning of the 2016 season.  Fearn will look to join Phil Rondeau (’87-’89) and Ryan Posocco (’03-’05) as the only drivers to win 3 consecutive Late Model championships.

The race for the 2019 SK Light championship was a season filled with peaks and valleys for Teddy Hodgdon and the #55 Montanari Fuel team.  Hodgdon was in control of the points race for much of the year but several stumbles in the latter stages of the season saw Hodgdon and rookie Steven Chapman swapping the point lead back and forth between themselves.  Hodgdon and the #55 team were able to put together a storybook ending to their 2019 season with wins in the final 2 races of the season, but disaster nearly struck Hodgdon in the NAPA Fall Final.  Hodgdon received damage to his left front after Bob Charland spun out directly in front of him and then Hodgdon lost the clutch in his #55 team, meaning he had to navigate the final 3 restarts of the race with nothing but high gear.  For the season, Hodgdon and the #55 team notched 5 wins, 12 top-5 and 15 top-10 finishes.

After a dominant run to the 2018 Limited Late Model championship, Jeremy Lavoie had anything but a dominant run in 2019 on his way to a second consecutive track title.  Lavoie and the #6 L & S Equipment team opened the season with a win on May 4 but with Matt Clement racking up 7 wins in 2019, Lavoie only found himself leading the standings for 3 weeks during the summer months.  Lavoie took control of the championship race following the August 23 feature event and he closed out the season with 7 consecutive podium finishes to take his 2nd consecutive championship by a scant 4 point margin over Clement.  For the season, Lavoie posted 5 wins, 19 top-5 and 20 top-10 finishes and he will now look to become the first driver to win 3 consecutive Limited Late Model championships after joining Duane Provost as the only drivers to go back to back.

Coming into the 2019 season, Zack Robinson wasn’t sure how his season would play out after getting a call during the off-season to drive the #89 First Class Automotive, LLC. car owned by Bill Anderson.  Robinson and the #89 team quickly put any doubts about being a new combination to rest by winning 3 of the first 7 races.  Robinson and the #89 team were a model of consistency throughout the 2019 season as an 18th place finish on May 11 was the only race all year long that saw Robinson finish lower than 7th.  For the season, Robinson posted 5 wins, 16 top-5 and 19 top-10 finishes.  Robinson currently doesn’t have his 2020 plans set in stone yet so stay tuned to see if he will return to the Street Stock division to defend his title or make a move up the ladder into a higher division at Stafford.

The NAPA Auto Parts Rookie of the Year awards were presented to Andrew Molleur from the SK Modified® division and Ryan Fearn from the Late Model division.  Taking home R.A.D. Auto Machine Rookie of the Year honors were Steven Chapman in the SK Light division, Kevin Crosby in the Limited Late Model division, and Adrien Paradis, III in the Street Stock division.  The NAPA Auto Parts rookie awards will be worth a $1,000 bonus to Molleur and Fearn, with Chapman, Crosby, and Paradis each winning a $500 bonus from R.A.D. Automachine that will be paid out in $100.00 weekly increments to each driver as they attend events during the 2020 season.

The winners of the Most Popular Driver Awards were Keith Rocco in the SK Modified® division, Tom Fearn in the Late Model division, Sami Anderson from the SK Light division, Alexandra Fearn from the Limited Late Model division, and Meghan Fuller in the Street Stock division.  The Most Popular Driver Awards are voted on by the fans who attend Stafford Motor Speedway race events and fill out the ballots found in the track’s weekly PitStopper Magazine combined with an online vote.

The UNOH Youth Achievement award was won by Street Stock driver George Bessette, Jr.  The UNOH Youth Achievement Award is a program that is open to all drivers at Stafford between the ages of 14-17.  Bessette was the eligible driver from Stafford who scored the most track points from his best 14 finishes this season and he will take home a $500 cash award from UNOH as well as a $500 scholarship award from UNOH. 

New for the 2019 season was the RSMPCO.com Street Stock Triple Crown.  The RSMPCO.com Triple Crown awarded $4,500 in bonus money to the top-10 finishers with Meghan Fuller taking home the winner’s share of $1,000.

Also recognized on stage was NAPA Auto Parts’ fundraising efforts consisting of a track walk held in July, tee shirt sales at the NAPA Spring Sizzler, NAPA SK 5k, NAPA Fall Final, and throughout the 2019 season.  Along with Advanced Mobile Cleaning placing the winning bid of $750 for the Welcome to the Show Banner, over $7,500 will be donated to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.  This brings the 5-year fund raising total for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund to over $42,000. 

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

Stafford Speedway Full 2020 Racing Schedule Released

(Stafford Springs, CT)—The 2020 Stafford Speedway racing schedule has been set and with 22 events the calendar is focused on weekly racing with a mix of special events. All 5 of Stafford’s NASCAR weekly racing divisions will compete weekly starting in early May and running through mid-September. In total 122 feature races are scheduled to be held on the half-mile in 2020.

The season will kick-off at the 49th Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler® Weekend, April 24th-26th. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will be on hand to compete in the annual 200 lap event. The Modified Tour will return to Stafford twice more throughout the season for the traditional Stafford 150, held under the lights Friday, August 7th, and the NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final scheduled for September 26th and 27th. 

“Tradition is important to us here at Stafford,” explained Stafford Speedway CEO Mark Arute. “Short track racing and Stafford Speedway is built off of weekly racing and that has continued to be our main focus. We have a great mix of special events on the 2020 schedule but our goal is to ensure that whenever the race fan makes it to the track they see a great show. With our emphasis on first class weekly racing we’re confident we can deliver on that.”

Each of Stafford’s 5 weekly racing divisions will have at least one special event in 2020. New for 2020, The Firecracker extra distance Street Stock race will be held on July 3rd in conjunction with an Independence Day Celebration including Fireworks. The SK Light Modified drivers will compete in the 4th Annual Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night, a 40 lap event, on  Friday, July 24th while Stafford’s rough and tough Late Model division will run a 50 lap event on Friday, September 4th. Stafford’s Limited Late Models will get their night to shine with a 25 lap race Friday, June 19th.

Stafford’s weekly headline division, the SK Modifieds®, will have 2 special events in 2020 headlined by the 7th Annual NAPA Auto Parts SK 5K, a $5,000 to win 100 lap SK Modified® race. New for 2020 is the return of the Senators Cup, a 50 lap race last held in 1979. The SK Modifieds® will run an extra 10 laps Friday, August 14th to determine who will take home the Senators Cup trophy. Past winners include Richie Evans, Geoff Bodine, Bugsy Stevens, and Ed Flemke.

“We will run 4 open modified events in 2020,” continued Arute. “One per month starting in May. From the beginning, the goal of these events was to put our own spin on tour-type modified racing with simplicity for the competitors while adding a touch of the Stafford “show” to ensure the events our entertaining for race fans. We’ve run 5 Open Modified races to date and the feedback from drivers, teams, and fans has been overwhelmingly positive.” 

The Open Modifieds run their first event of the season May 15th, and will return June 12th for the Twisted Tea Open, July 10th for the Bud Light Open, and August 21st for the Lincoln Tech Open. Each event will be 80 laps and will feature a live pit stop with the option to change 2 tires. Ronnie Williams, Keith Rocco, Ryan Preece, Eric Goodale, and Tommy Barrett have each scored Stafford Open 80 wins to date. 

New for 2020 will be a Super Late Model event scheduled for Friday, May 31st. Rules, race format, and entry information will be released in the coming weeks. 

“Fans and drivers have been asking us to try a Super Late Model event for some time,” explained Arute. “We’re finalizing rules and race procedure but since we announced the show last Friday the support for the event has been very positive.”

Stafford Speedway 2020 Schedule

Stafford Speedway 2020 Season Ticket Information

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