(Stafford Springs, CT)—Stafford Motor Speedway announced today that the CARQUEST Auto Parts era has come to an end. It has been a storied history spanning over 28 years that began as a contingency sponsorship in 1985 and developed into an elite partnership that brought many firsts to Stafford Motor Speedway.
In 1989 CARQUEST brought the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour back to Stafford after a brief hiatus, then went on to sponsor 45 Whelen Modified Tour events at the famed ½ mile including the annual Tech-Net Spring Sizzler and the CARQUEST Fall Final. They were instrumental in the return of the NASCAR Busch North Series to the track. In 1996, the auto parts giant played a significant role in the track’s longest event, the CARQUEST 300 that was televised by ESPN.
The partnership produced CARQUEST Extreme Tuesday, The Big One, which saw Bobby Santos take home the largest short track payday in New England history, as well as the now famous CARQUEST Pit Parties and most recently the CARQUEST Champions for Charities events.
In the latter part of 2012 CARQUEST Auto Parts merged with Advance Auto Parts but thanks to Rich Pallai, Vice President of Marketing, Stafford was able to continue the sponsorship through 2013.
Recently, Advance Auto Parts took on another direction and decided to eliminate local Motorsports involvement, thus closing the book on the CARQUEST era at Stafford Motor Speedway.
“The CARQUEST relationship grew far past that of just a sponsorship,” said Mark Arute, C.E.O. of Stafford Motor Speedway. “It became more of a friendship. CARQUEST will no longer have a presence at the Speedway but we will always value the friendships and memories developed through our partnership. They will last a lifetime.”
Arute singled out the contributions of CARQUEST’s Rich Pallai.
“Rich has an abiding passion for short track racing and that passion will always be part of Stafford’s legacy and continued success,” said Arute.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.