Category Archives: Stafford Motor Speedway

Stafford SK Light Champion Teddy Hodgdon Moving to SK Modifieds® for 2020

(Stafford Springs, CT)—After winning the SK Light championship at Stafford Speedway in 2019, Teddy Hodgdon is set to climb the ranks into the SK Modified® division for the 2020 season.  The Danbury, CT native and driver of the #55 Montanari Fuel Chevrolet drove to 5 wins last season along with 12 top-5 and 15 top-10 finishes. Hodgdon will look to carry that success into the SK Modified® division as he prepares to embark on his rookie campaign.

“We won the championship last year and that was a great accomplishment and we had a great year,” said Hodgdon.  “There’s a lot of guys moving up this year and the rookie class is going to be pretty stout, so winning NAPA Rookie of the Year would be awesome.  I know we won a race in our first season of SK Lights but the competition is so much higher in the SK Modified® division that I’m not really shooting for a win.  I think there’s probably going to be at least 15 different cars and probably more that can win a race on any given night.  We just have to take steps to be consistent and then worry about getting up front and going for wins later on.  There’s no better feeling than beating some of the best drivers in the Northeast and now we have the opportunity to try to do that in the SK Modified® division.”

Hodgdon won’t be the only SK Light driver moving into the SK Modified® ranks for the first time in 2020.  Hodgdon will be joined by Bryan Narducci and Mikey Flynn from the SK Light ranks and they will have to contend with fellow rookie drivers Lou Torres, Nick Giardina, and Pat Yuhas in the chase for NAPA Rookie of the Year honors.

“The rookie battle this season is definitely going to be big,” said Hodgdon.  “Bryan, Mikey, and I have all come up together through Karts, Legend Cars, and SK Lights and now to be coming up to the biggest stage in weekly racing in the Northeast, it’s going to put a big spotlight on us.  There’s going to be some pressure but hopefully I can be the rookie driver who comes out on top at the end of the season.  I’d really like to thank Montanari Fuel, Pete Matton has stepped up big time this season and he’s going to be my car owner, Jim & Mylene Dempsey, Ness Auto, State Cutters, the entire Benedict family, Gram and Papa, Lasco Roofing, Keith Rocco Racing, Jim’s Welding, Ultimate Restoration, and all my friends and family who have supported me over the years.”

For his first 2 seasons of SK Light competition, Hodgdon drove a Chassis Dynamics car, but Hodgdon will be changing over to a new Troyer TA1 car for his rookie season in the SK Modified® division.  Hodgdon made a start in a Troyer car at Thompson last season so he has an idea of what he will be working with when he hits the track for the first time on April 24-26 for the NAPA Spring Sizzler®.

“We’ve got a new car for this season, we’re switching from Chassis Dynamics over to a Troyer TA1 car,” said Hodgdon.  “Obviously the two cars are different so they’ll feel different but we did run one race at Thompson last year in a Troyer, so it won’t be totally new for us.  We’re going to be running with Keith Rocco helping us out again and he’s a great guy, awesome driver and teacher.  His help is going to make things much easier for us than if we were running the car on our own.”

While Hodgdon has certainly shown that he is a quick study behind the wheel, he also realizes the level of competition that he is getting ready to face in the SK Modified® division and that he has to learn throttle control along with having a heightened sense of awareness.

“One thing I noticed with the SK Light at Thompson, you can pretty much hammer down on the throttle and steer the car off the corners and it’ll be fine,” said Hodgdon.  “With the SK, you have about 100 or so more horsepower and there’s a big difference when you come off the corners side by side with another car.  The SK’s are about a half to ¾ of a second faster than the Lights so everything happens so much quicker, your reflexes need to be up there, and you have to have really good throttle control.  It’s definitely going to be harder in the SK’s than the SK Lights.”

Hodgdon will begin his quest for 2020 SK Modified® Rookie of the Year honors at the 49th Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler® on April 24-26. Tickets for the “Greatest Race in the History of Spring” are on sale now by calling the Speedway Box Office 860-684-2783 or online at www.staffordspeedway.com.

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

Devin O’Connell Seeking Hometrack Win in CBYD 811 Pro Late Model Open at Stafford

(Stafford Springs, CT)—As Stafford Speedway is preparing for the Call Before You Dig 811 Pro Late Model Open on May 29, Devin O’Connell, driver of the #43 Chatham Highlander Motel Pro Late Model, has his focus on adding to his win list at Stafford.  The Madison, CT native got his start in racing in the Monday night Wild Thing Karts series and he won a Legends Car championship at Stafford in 2015.  He has since branched out into the Pro and Super Late Model ranks along with the Granite State ProStock Series where he won a championship in 2018.  O’Connell is excited about the prospect of racing at his home track.

“Even though I haven’t been racing at Stafford the last couple years, I came up racing in the Wild Thing Karts and Legend Cars, so every Friday night I come straight from work to hang out with my buddies at the track and have a good time watching the races,” said O’Connell.  “I feel like Stafford is one of the best run tracks in the entire country, the racing is phenomenal, and I’m really looking forward to being a part of it.  I’ve been asking David [Arute] for a long time now about bringing these cars to Stafford.  I’m thrilled that the Pro Late Model cars are coming to Stafford and I can’t wait for May 29 to come around.  It’s going to be a lot of fun and I finally get to race at a place that I call home.”

O’Connell racked up a total of 9 wins at Stafford from 2014-2015 racing his Legend Car on the Stafford Mini-Mile and he would like for nothing more than to add his first feature victory on the half-mile layout to his racing resume.

“Once the entry form came out online, I put my number in as soon as I got home from work that day,” said O’Connell.  I think this is the only race that I’m officially entered into for the 2020 season so far.  With Stafford being my home track this is one of my top priorities this year and I certainly want to go out and see if we can take the win.  I’ve got 9 Legend Cars wins at Stafford so it would be really cool to come in and win the Pro LM event.  I’m always disappointed when I don’t win, but that’s just my competitive nature. We have a new Port City chassis this year so we’re going to have a few new wrinkles to work out.  My father and I are still the same team that came up through the karts and legends and I don’t see any reason why we can’t take the checkered flag.”

While O’Connell has plenty of experience racing on the Stafford Mini-Mile in the WTK and Legends car series, when it comes to racing the half-mile, he has very little experience.

“I ran a tour modified in a Sizzler practice a couple years ago but that’s all the experience I have on the half mile,” said O’Connell.  “Coming to the track every week I would stand up in turns 1 & 2 and listen to the cars come by and try to pick up as much as I could. I know we’re going to have a good car, it’s just a matter of getting the car setup on the money.  I have to do my part to figure the track out as quickly as possible.  Some of the home track guys like Bryan Narducci and Alex Pearl are in the race and those guys have a little more track knowledge than I do but hopefully things will balance out in the end since I have more experience in these type of cars than those guys do.  I think it’s going to be one heck of a show and the race fans are going to be in for one heck of a treat.”

Despite his and most other driver’s relative lack of experience racing at Stafford, O’Connell expects the field of Pro Late Model cars to put on the same type of exciting show that Stafford’s SK Modifieds® deliver each and every Friday night.

“These race cars are fast and I expect to be running lap times close to what the SK’s run even though we only have a 10 inch tire,” said O’Connell.  “Everything that a modified car has with tire grip, the Pro LM cars make up with downforce.  A perfect example is New Hampshire Motor Speedway.  We run within 3 tenths of a second of what the modifieds run and sometimes we can go even quicker.  I know that Stafford is modified country and race fans usually look past the taxi cab late model cars, so I hope the fans give us a chance and they can see what these cars can put on for a show.  The Pro Late Model drivers, especially the guys from New Hampshire and Maine, race hard and I can’t put a finger on who is going to win, but I hope we’re going to be the winning car.”

O’Connell and the Pro Late Models will take to the track for the CBYD 811 Pro LM Open on Friday, May 29.  For more information, visit www.staffordspeedway.com, checkout Stafford Speedway on Facebook or Twitter, or contact the track office at 860-684-2783.

Midstate Site Development to Present The Firecracker 30 Street Stock Special Event

(Stafford Springs, CT)—Midstate Site Development of Bloomfield, CT has signed on to present the Firecracker Street Stock 30 at Stafford Speedway.  A new event on the 2020 race schedule, the Midstate Site Development Firecracker will be a 30-lap special event for Stafford’s Street Stock division scheduled for Friday, July 3rd.  The night’s events will be capped off with a fireworks display to honor Independence Day and kick-off the July 4th weekend.

The 2020 event will feature a total purse of $5,145 including $700 to win and $125 to start. To be eligible to compete in the July 3rd 30-lap event teams will be required to compete in at least 50% of the Street Stock events in 2020 held at Stafford prior to July 3rd.

“Over the last few seasons we’ve showcased our Street Stock teams through special events,” explained Stafford Speedway CEO Mark Arute. “This year we wanted to create another big event for the division.  Pairing an extra distance event with fireworks and a Fourth of July celebration will bring this night to the next level.”

Stafford’s Street Stock division has been highly competitive over the last few seasons with close finishes and a tight championship race.  2019 track champion Zack Robinson is set to return to competition in 2020 along with runner up Meghan Fuller.  Multiple new teams are expected to join the Street Stock field in 2020 with new entries such as Larry Barnett and Al Stone, III already registering their number.

“We are looking forward to the Midstate Site Development Firecracker 30,” explained Glenn Korner of Midstate.  “This will be a great night for all the Street Stock teams as well as the race fans.  The Street Stock division is one of the most exciting every week and we’re excited to be able to support a big event for them.”

Street Stock teams and drivers will be tested in the Midstate Site Development Firecracker 30 with an extra 10 laps on top of their weekly 20-lap distance. The Street Stocks division ran three 30-lap features in 2019 with Meghan Fuller, Mike Hopkins, and Jason Lafayette all scoring wins.  Fuller and Lafayette are both expected to return in 2020.

“All of us at Stafford want to thank Glenn Korner and everyone at Midstate Site Development for signing on to support this event,” continued Arute.  “With their support we’ve been able to come up with a strong total purse of $5,145 including $700 to win.”

Midstate Site Development is a full service site contractor located in Bloomfield, CT with a focus on safety, quality, knowledge, and innovation.  In business for nearly 20 years, Midstate is a leader in heavy highway, commercial, and industrial construction while also providing expertise in other areas including residential & sub-division construction, athletic field construction, as well as sewer, water and utility construction.  For more information on Midstate Site Development visit their website msdct.com.

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