Tag Archives: NAPA Fall Final

Ron Silk Looking to Go Back to Back at Stafford in NAPA Fall Final

Tom Morris/Myracenews photo

(Stafford Springs, CT)—When the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour last visited Stafford Speedway in August, it was Ronnie Silk and the #85 Stuart’s Automotive team taking the checkered flag after a thrilling green white checkered shoot-out.  Silk and the #85 team would like nothing better than a repeat performance and to collect the accolades in the NAPA Fall Final victory lane. 

“I think we’re looking pretty good,” said Silk.  “We were planning on bringing our new car that we had at Loudon but it got destroyed so we’ll be coming back with the same car that we won with back in August.  I’m definitely looking forward to coming back to Stafford.  Obviously any race you can win is great but it would be cool to win two in a row at Stafford and getting a win in the NAPA Fall Final would be a good way to wind the year down for sure.”

In addition to going for two wins in a row at Stafford, Silk will be looking to turn his 2019 fortunes around.  Since he won the Stafford 150 in August, Silk has finished 16th or worse in 3 of the 4 NWMT races held since then.  In that four-race stretch, Silk has gone from 2nd in the points standings and 24 points behind Doug Coby to 3rd in the standings, 64 points out of the lead. 

“It’s disappointing with the championship race,” said Silk.  “It’s not anything that we can put our heads down about.  We’ve had fast racecars at all the races but we got caught up in other people’s problems and had some bad luck.  I think we’ll look back at this year and be proud of what we’ve accomplished.  We’ve won 3 races so far and hopefully we can add to that in these last 2 races.  We’ve had some unfortunate circumstances but we’ve had a fast car at every track and we’ve run in the top-3 or top-4 every week.  There’s a lot of momentum that we can take into next season and try to be even better.”

Despite the last race at Stafford coming down to a green white checkered finish at the end of the race after going green for the first 146 laps of the race, Silk says he and the #85 team will be doing their usual preparations for the NAPA Fall Final.

“I think we’re going to prepare the car like we normally would for Stafford,” said Silk.  “I could see us putting a setup in the car for a longer run and then we have a caution about every 10 laps or so in the race.  The last race was an anomaly and we’re going to go with what we normally do and try to make the best adjustments that we can at the track to make the car as good as we can.  I never start a race with a set strategy.  It’s all going to depend on where the caution flags fall.  I prefer to take tires somewhere after halfway and with the 3 trips down pit road it takes to change 3 tires, I like to get all 3 tires changed in one pit cycle.  If you have a handling issue early enough in the race, you might come to pit road for one tire, but with changing one tire it gets hard to match the stagger.  We actually get 4 tires for the race, we have 3 new tires and we can bring one tire from practice to the race, so you could come in early for the one tire and still come back in later for three tires.  It’s all going to depend on your track position and what everyone else around you is doing.”

Tickets for NAPA Fall Final Weekend, September 28 & 29, are priced at $40.00 for adult general admission, $10.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult.  Reserved seat tickets are $45.00 for all ages.  All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Stafford Motor Speedway offers plenty of free parking along with overnight parking available for self contained Recreational Vehicles.  Discount tickets are available through participating NAPA stores. 

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

Bobby Santos, III Ready to Return to Winning Ways in NAPA Fall Final

(Stafford Springs, CT)—At the beginning of the decade, when the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour rolled into Stafford Speedway, Bobby Santos, III was the man to beat.  In 16 starts from the beginning of the 2010 season through the 2014 NAPA Spring Sizzler®, Santos scored 6 wins at the Connecticut half-mile facility, including 2 wins in the NAPA Fall Final.  Fresh off of a win in the Musket 250 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last weekend, which was the first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory for car owner Dave Sapienza and the #36 Sapienza Enterprises team, Santos is ready to return to his winning ways at Stafford.

“It’s awesome, it’s exciting, and it’s a big uplift for the team to be going into one of the biggest races of the year at the NAPA Fall Final with some good momentum,” said Santos.  “I feel like I’m way overdue for a win at Stafford so I’m definitely looking forward to the weekend.  We ended up breaking a spark plug the last race at Stafford but we had a good car and a good plan.  I’m excited to come back to Stafford because for a while there I felt like I had a good handle on the track and it’s slipped away the last few years.  I’m ready to come back to Stafford and show everyone that we can still win races there.  It would be really cool if we could win the Fall Final and just to be in contention to win at Stafford would be really nice for us.”

Santos comes into the NAPA Fall Final winless in his last 17 starts at Stafford.  In that 17-race stretch, Santos has only posted 2 top-5 and 7 top-10 finishes despite leading laps in 7 of those 17 starts, the same number of races that he led during the 16 race stretch that saw him win 6 times.

“I would say to run so well at Stafford and then not run well has been frustrating for sure the last couple years,” said Santos.  “We’ve had some decent runs but we haven’t really been great so frustrating would be the right word to use.  But that’s racing.  As quick as you’re on top and winning, you can be on the bottom and trying to fight your way back up to the top.  That just shows how good the competition is and how good the cars are.  We just have to keep fighting hard to try to get back to the front.”

With Santos only running a partial NWMT schedule this season, he comes into the NAPA Fall Final sitting 29th in the points standings.  With not having to worry about getting a good finish to maintain his position in the points standings, Santos can afford to take some extra risks to try to win the NAPA Fall Final whereas his fellow competitors might not be able to take the same kinds of risks during the 150 lap race.

“We have nothing to lose as far as strategy goes so we’re going to do whatever we have to do in order to put ourselves into position to try to win the race,” said Santos.  “All those other guys are racing for points so I’d say we have a little bit of an edge over those guys.  If it comes to a point where we have to make a strategy call that’s slightly different than what everyone else is doing, there’s no difference between winning or finishing 2nd through 10th as far as I’m concerned.” 

In addition to his first win since 2014, Santos will also be looking to score his first pole position at Stafford since 2014.  Santos racked up 7 pole positions at Stafford from 2010-2014 but he hasn’t won a pole position at Stafford since.  Santos has won at Stafford starting from as far back as 10th place but he says a good qualifying effort will be a key to having a good finish in the race.”

“Qualifying at Stafford has always seemed to be important,” said Santos.  “If you qualify well, you usually run well and all the guys on the Tour have so much experience at Stafford.  Typically the guys who are running well start up front and they’re tough to pass so no question you’ll need to have a good qualifying run.”

Although the August Stafford 150 went green from lap 1 to lap 146 before the first caution came out, Santos says he and the #36 team will prepare for the NAPA Fall Final just as they normally would for any other Stafford race.

“I think we’re probably going to prepare just like we would for any other Stafford race,” said Santos.  “The last race at Stafford we just weren’t good enough at the start so it didn’t matter if it was a 140 lap run or a 50 lap run, we needed to be better at the start of the race.  Obviously losing a spark plug didn’t help but we need to come out of the gate better.  At the end of the day we actually had a good finish for how we ran.  I’m confident we can run in the top-3 and contend for the win this weekend.”

Tickets for NAPA Fall Final Weekend, September 28 & 29, are priced at $40.00 for adult general admission, $10.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult.  Reserved seat tickets are $45.00 for all ages.  All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Stafford Motor Speedway offers plenty of free parking along with overnight parking available for self contained Recreational Vehicles.  Discount tickets are available through participating NAPA stores. 

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