(Stafford Springs, CT)—New to the 2017 schedule of events at Stafford Speedway is the Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night on May 26. Thanks to Doug Dunleavy from Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer Repair, the new race will feature the largest purse ever offered anywhere for an SK Light feature event with over $10,000 up for grabs. With over $10,000 in purse money, the race winner is guaranteed to take home $1,750, which is nearly 6 times the standard winning share of $300.
Don Wood from R.A.D. Automachine will be providing $1,500 in contingency money for the top-3 finishing cars with R.A.D. engines under the hood. With the highest finishing R.AD. car receiving a $750 bonus, the potential winning payout jumps up to $2,500. The second highest finishing R.A.D. car will receive a $500 bonus with the third highest finishing R.A.D. car receiving a $250 bonus. With further contingency awards factored in, the winner could take home in the neighborhood of $3,000. But the money isn’t the only thing that will be unique for this SK Light feature event.
Whereas SK Light features are normally 20 laps in distance, the Dunleavy’s Modifiedz SK Light feature will double in length with 40 laps on the docket. Drivers will have to contend with the extra weight of a larger than normal fuel load factored into the setup of their cars as well as having to manage their tire wear over two race distances to be able to race for the win in the closing laps of the race.
With so many different factors in play, we asked several SK Light drivers for their thoughts on what is sure to be the biggest race of the 2017 season:
- Tony Membrino, Jr.: “I’m definitely excited about it, who wouldn’t be? Stafford has been on the forefront of giving back to the SK Lights over the last couple seasons and this race is the icing on the cake. Any time there’s a little extra money on the line, even if it’s just $100, you get a lot of added interest. It’s going to be interesting to see who shows up and who does what. On top of all that, the race is going to be 40-laps long so that will be interesting to see how guys handle the distance. I don’t really see driver’s tactics changing much and I think that you’ll see 20 more laps of good, hard, exciting racing. There’s been tons of races where at the end you say to yourself ‘I wish I had 5 more laps’ and now we have 20 extra laps. So with another whole race on top of the normal distance, there’s going to be car setups and how guys are going to compensate with fuel and tires, so it should be an interesting race.”
- Joey Ferrigno: “I’m really looking forward to the race, it’s a race where we could actually make a little bit of money. That purse will definitely help pay for some tires. The race distance is even better, if you’re stuck at the back at the start, you’ll have plenty of time to get to the front. Sometimes you have the best car and driver and only 20 laps to get to the front, and if you start in the back in 22nd place, you need to pass a car a lap to get to the front. If you get held up behind someone for 3 or 4 laps, you’re not going to make it to the front so this race will give everyone a chance to get to the front and win some of that Dunleavy’s money.”
- David Arute: “It’s pretty awesome to have this extra distance race with the money that will be available from Dunleavy’s. I think it should be interesting to see if any outsiders decide to come to Stafford and compete against the regulars. It should be a great race and hopefully everyone will make it to the finish. With the 20 extra laps, I’m thinking that it will be a kind of Tommy Barrett style of saving the car until the second half of the race. My strategy will be to approach it like 2 features and save the tires for the second half of the race and hopefully we’ll be up front for that second half. My luck in extra distance races hasn’t been that good in my career so my first goal is to just finish the race. My car usually gets better towards the end of the race so hopefully that will be the case for us again. We’ll have a few weeks and races to get everything figured out with the car setup and what we’re going to do with fuel and tires.”
- Wesley Prucker: “I’m excited for the race and we’ll definitely be ready for it. We’re used to racing for $300 to win and now we’re racing for almost 6 times that amount so it’s going to make for a very interesting race and I feel like we’re going to have a good chance to take home some of that extra money. I think that tire conservation is going to be the key to running up front and having a chance to win and we’ll get things figured out over the first couple of races where we need to be with the car setup for 40 laps.”
- Dan Wesson: “This is a great race at a great time of the year to recognize veterans and with the extra money on the line I’m sure the race is going to bring in cars from other tracks. Winning this race would be a big boost for the remainder of the season and it would definitely give a lot of exposure to the winning driver and team. The 40 laps is going to be pretty exhausting for me because I get tired after 20 lap races, but I’m always ready for anything. Car setup is going to be a big factor and I think that the veteran drivers in the division might not struggle as much as some of the newer drivers. I think you might see cars from other tracks come to Stafford to race the first four races of the season to get a good handicap for this race and then they might race at Stafford for the rest of the year. It’s very exciting that Doug Dunleavy and the Arute family have given the SK Lights a race like this and I can’t thank Doug enough for all his support of modified racing. There’s going to be a lot of other good cars out there for this race but I’m pretty confident in my team and I think we can be a contender for the win, I just have to be patient and keep all four wheels on the car.”
- Paul French: “Between Joe Graf, Joey Ferrigno, Glenn Korner, and myself, we’re all pretty stoked up about the race. It’s huge. It’s nice that Stafford and Doug Dunleavy are putting up that kind of money for us to race for and it should bring a lot of excitement and good racing to the night. We’re hoping that we can have a good amount of talent and put on a great race for everyone. Last year with Joe Graf it always seemed like he needed a couple of extra laps to get to the front and we never had them. I hope we can have more races like this in the future. I honestly think there’s going to be a bunch of cars that show up for the first four races and you’re going to be forced to race your way in, which is a good thing. This race is going to make everyone have to be on their A-game right from the start of the season. We’re hoping that one of our cars can win the race and take home the extra money from Dunleavy’s.
The fun doesn’t stop with just the SK Lights on May 26. The SK Modifieds® will race an extra 10 laps in distance with an extra $4,000 in purse money for an extra distance 50-lap feature. As part of Memorial Day Weekend, there will be fireworks in the sky and special discount admission pricing for active and retired military members at the gates. Further bonuses and contingencies will be announced in the coming weeks and months leading into the May 26 Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night program, making it one of the can’t miss events of the 2017 season! Stafford’s Late Models, Limited Late Models, and DARE Stocks will join the SK Modifieds® and SK Lights in feature action.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.
|Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair Modifiedzz Night|
|SK Modified® Purse||SK Light Purse|