Tag Archives: NASCAR Whelen All American Series

Zack Robinson Wins 2019 Stafford Street Stock Championship

Tom Morris/Myracenews photos

(Stafford Springs, CT)—Zack Robinson came into the 2019 Street Stock season at Stafford Speedway behind the wheel of a new car with a new team.  Robinson was undeterred by the fact that he was driving a new car for a new team.  He and the #89 RSMPCO.com / First Class Automotive team owned by Bill Anderson quickly showed that they had championship potential by winning their third race together and three of the first 7 races of the 2019 season.  Robinson gained the points lead midway through the 2019 season and remained on top until the end of the year to claim his first track championship.

“It definitely feels good to win the championship,” said Robinson.  “We were this close in 2017 and we had some mishaps, which was my own fault.  We moved on from that and we came into this year with our heads held high for a new season.  The Anderson family came to us over the winter and asked us if we could help fix their car.  We went through a couple of things and we decided we would build a brand new car from scratch.  We started with a bare frame from the side of my garage, we went to Joe Hamm for a roll cage, and then we did the rest of the car ourselves.  We finished fourth in the first race of the season and we thought that was pretty good for a new car.  The plan was to win as many races as we could and when we started clicking them off four or five weeks into the season we decided we were going to stick it out and see where we could go with it.”

Where Robinson and the #89 team went with their early season success was an almost permanent place in the top-5 every Friday night during the Street Stock feature events.  After opening the year with a fourth place finish, Robinson finished the second race in 18th place,  That 18th place finish on May 11 would turn out to be the only race of the 2019 season that saw Robinson finish lower than 7th.  Robinson closed out the year with 5 wins, 16 top-5, and 19 top-10 finishes.

“Coming into the season our goal was to win the most races and I think we got that done,” said Robinson.  “First of all I have to thank the Anderson family for giving me the opportunity to drive this car.  Joe Brockett, he’s the one behind this car and he made it happen every week and got the car to the front for us.  Ryan Churchill, his father, his whole family, my stepdad, my mom, my father, my grandparents, everyone that’s involved with this car, thanks to Jeff, Tick Mike, and all the sponsors.  First Class Automotive, Jason with Royal Screw Manufacturing, Jet Electric, JSB, Hopkins Construction, Swanson Buick-GMC, Defenders of Charity, and everybody who’s involved with this car.”

Robinson’s victory on July 12 moved him into the Street Stock point lead for the first time.  From there, Robinson slowly built his lead up to where he came into the NAPA Fall Final with a comfortable 30-point margin over Meghan Fuller.  Robinson recorded a third place finish at the NAPA Fall Final, which was his 12th podium finish of the season in 20 starts and he claimed the championship by a final margin of 26 points over Fuller.

“My plan from the start of the last race was to do what we had been doing all year and that was to go for the win,” said Robinson.  “The car started to fall off a little bit and I was kind of happy that we didn’t get a late caution flag.  This is a great accomplishment and I’m proud of the whole team.”

Now that Robinson has claimed his first championship at Stafford, his plans for 2020 season are yet to be determined..

“Right now our plans are up in the air at the moment,” said Robinson.  “We were thinking about possibly going to the Late Model division next season but now that we’ve won the championship, we might have to come back to try to defend it.”

Robinson will officially be crowned the 2019 Street Stock Champion at the 50th Annual Stafford Speedway Champion’s Awards Banquet, scheduled for Friday, November 15 at Maneeley’s in South Windsor.  Tickets to the awards banquet are $50 and are on sale now.  Tickets can be ordered by calling the track at 860-684-2783 or they can be ordered 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.

Ryan Preece Posts $500 SK Modified® Bonus for NAPA Fall Final

Tom Morris/Myracenews photo

(Stafford Springs, CT)—Ryan Preece Racing has announced a $500 bonus for Sunday’s SK Modified® feature at the NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final. The bonus will be split with $250 going to the winner and $250 to the hard charger of the race, the driver advancing the most positions over the course of the feature.  With the bonus, Sunday’s 40-lap SK Modified® feature will pay $2,075 to win, with a total posted purse of $10,060.

“I’m excited to have the ability to post this bonus for Stafford’s SK Modified® teams,” explained Preece.  “I attribute much of the opportunities I have today to my time spent on the Stafford half-mile running against guys like Ted Christopher, Keith Rocco, and Woody Pitkat.  The SK Modified® division is one of the toughest weekly divisions in the country and is home to some of the best short track talent around.”

Preece is no stranger to Stafford Victory Lane, notching 35 career victories including back to back Spring Sizzler® wins and a $12,000 pay day in the NAPA Auto Parts SK 5K, the richest SK Modified race of the season.  Most recently Preece grabbed the win in the June 2019 Stafford Open Modified 80 in Ryan Preece fashion, pitting late and blasting through the field with just 25 laps to go.

“I wanted to post a hard charger award because the challenge at Stafford is starting deep in the field,” continued Preece, driver of the #47 JTG Racing Cup Car.  “With Stafford’s handicapping system and big car counts the top drivers always end up starting outside the top-10.”

Preece is currently in his rookie season in the Monster Energy Cup Series driving the #47 car for JTG Daugherty racing. Ryan has scored 3 top 10’s in his rookie campaign including a career best 3rd place run at Talladega in April.

“We want to thank Ryan for posting this bonus,” explained Stafford General Manager Mark Arute.  “Ryan’s passion for short track racing is unrivaled and he is a great representative of modified racing at the cup level.  All of us at Stafford are proud to have a past SK Modified® champion competing at the highest level of our sport and we look forward to whenever he gets a chance to come back to half-mile to compete.”

Tickets for this weekends 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.

GERO, MONAHAN AND FULLER SET TO BATTLE FOR THOMPSON SPEEDWAY MOTORSPORTS PARK LIMITED SPORTSMAN CROWN

By Kyle Souza, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park / Tom Morris/Myracnews photos

THOMPSON, Conn. — The Limited Sportsman division has three drivers, with three different backgrounds, all searching the season championship at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.  

Kyle Gero, in just his second full-time year in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series division, leads the standings by 10 points over two-time and defending champion Shawn Monahan. Behind them, Meghan Fuller is just 16 back. The three drivers will battle it out for the final time as part of the Sunday portion of the 57th annual Sunoco World Series, October 11-13.  

Gero is a rather newcomer to the division, who says he still feels like a rookie contender. Monahan is a polished veteran, who knows how to get the job done in the championship battle, having won the last two. Fuller, who has extensive racing background in her family, is searching her first title, but has been successful across Connecticut this season at two tracks, and nationally in the NASCAR standings.  

“Obviously we want to win the race, but the goal was just to say consistent and be where we are at right now, having a chance at the championship,” Gero said. “I’m more than happy with how the season has turned out, and very thankful to be where we are at.” 

Gero’s year has been filled with consistent runs, as the Uncasville, Connecticut, driver has earned top five finishes in the last seven feature races — proving he knows how to be there at the end. He’s driving a car that Monahan sold him a few years back. It has the speed it needs. 

“I wouldn’t consider myself surprised, because we have put in a lot of work in the shop and I think the finishes prove that we are bringing a good piece to the track every week,” Gero said. “If you aren’t checking every bolt on the car, it gives a chance for parts to break and bad things to happen. We’ve had a lot of hard work.” 

With the Sunoco World Series the only race left on the schedule, and only a 10-point lead as his cushion, Gero thinks he might need to turn things up just a bit. 

“I haven’t been as aggressive as I need to be during the heat races, I always considered them as a good opportunity to prove what you have for the day, but I think I need to be more aggressive, knowing that if something does happen, we are going for it,” Gero said. “We’re going out with a must-win mentality.” 

Thompson competitors earn 50 points for winning a feature race, while each position down through the field earns two less, meaning second earns 48, third receives 46, etc. In heat races, the winner earns five points, with a one-point drop throughout the top five, with fifth earning just one. 

For Monahan, the season has been filled with checkered flags, bent up sheet metal, and broken equipment. In his first year driving the ‘Swaggin Wagon’, he’s been to Victory Lane in four of the nine races, but also has two finishes outside the top 10. Last year, he rolled to the championship. This year, he’s going to have to come from behind heading into the finale. And he’s perfectly OK with that. 

“With the one broken transmission, and when I took the ride through the infield a few races ago I damaged the brake line, and I had to run the rest of that race a half of a lap down because I simply wasn’t able to stop,” Monahan said. “To go through those types of situations and still have a shot at the championship, I would love to get the third one. But I’ve already decided that I’m also OK with not getting it – because respect that we have among the top running cars, the cards just have to fall where they will.” 

Monahan’s no stranger to this position. Winning the last two titles in one of Thompson’s most competitive divisions, he seems to know what it might take in the final 20-lap race of the season. But, as Gero mentioned, Monahan also agrees the heat race will matter in the final tally. 

“I’m going to perform my best, and I’m going to gain as much as I can,” Monahan said. “I would say as a spectator at the racetrack, you should enjoy the qualifying round just as much as the main event. I can’t afford to lose anything going into this race. If I can’t get there, I simply can’t get there. But if there is an opportunity, I know the value of holding the checkered flag in the qualifier just as much as the feature at the World Series.” 

The misfortune for Monahan during the season might have him coming from behind, but he seems more than ready to do it. 

“People are going to look into the record books 10 years from now and remember who the champion was, not so much who finished second,” Monahan said. “To win two-in-a-row has been an honor. If you took a vote, I probably would have been counted out mid-season. But a few things have gone our way. I never could have imagined this was going to take place. It could go either way.” 

For Fuller, this season has been filled with positives, both at Thompson and over at Stafford Motor Speedway. Between the two tracks, she has 24 top 10 finishes, and will be in contention to win both titles heading for the finales. On a NASCAR national level, Fuller is also inside the top 10 in both the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division V championship standings, and the UNOH Youth Achievement Award battle. 

“We’ve improved a lot since last year, we’ve had some good finishes, and my dad and uncle Jimmy have found a few things with the car that have really helped,” Fuller said. “The car is at the point where I feel comfortable enough to succeed with it.” 

At Thompson, Fuller has finished inside the top 10 in all but one race, which was early in the season. In the last two, she’s been inside the top five. She’s also earned heat race points in all but one race, allowing her to keep a tally that is helping her down the stretch. 

“I didn’t think I would be in contention for the championship, but it’s definitely a great experience to have,” Fuller said. “Everyone will know who they are racing against, with the points being close with all three of us. I don’t really think I need to change anything and be more aggressive – I think I just need to race the whole year and hopefully get it done.” 

The 57th annual Sunoco World Series will take the green flag on Friday, October 11, and roll through Sunday, October 13. The event begins on Friday, with practice sessions running throughout the afternoon, and qualifying heat racing set to begin at approximately 4:30 p.m. Feature racing on Friday includes the Granite State Pro Stock Series, Late Models, Open Vintage Modifieds and Senior Tour Auto Racers. 

Saturday, action begins early with practice at 9 a.m., while qualifying racing begins at 2:30 p.m. There are 10 different feature races planned for Saturday night. Sunday, action begins at 1 p.m., with the season-finale for Thompson’s Sunoco Modified division. The NEMA Lites, ISMA Supermodifieds and TSMP Limited Sportsman will also join the headliner of Sunday — the Sunoco World Series 150 for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. 

Admission to the paddock area for the entire three days is $75, with grandstand general admission set at $55. Any seniors (65+), veterans and active military will have general admission tickets priced at $50, while kids 12 and under are free in general admission.  

Thompson’s annual breakfast and dinner buffets will also take place during Sunoco World Series weekend. The breakfast buffet runs from 7-11 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday and is $14 per person. The dinner buffet runs from 5-11 p.m. on Saturday night only and is $24 per person. For any children 12 and under, the dinner buffet is $14.  

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