(Stafford Springs, CT)—Defending NAPA Spring Sizzler® champion Ronnie Silk and the #16 Haydt-Yannone Racing team with sponsorship from Blue Mountain Machine / Future Homes have filed the first Open Modified entry for the 52nd running of the NAPA Spring Sizzler®, set for April 27-28 at Stafford Motor Speedway. Silk is joined on the Sizzler® entry list thus far by David Arute, George Bessette, Jr., Eric Goodale, and Woody Pitkat with over 40 entries expected to be submitted.
“I think it’s a really cool thing and it feels great to be the defending winner of the race,” said Silk. “You look at the list of Spring Sizzler® winners, it’s a who’s who of modified racing so it feels great to be one of those guys now and I’m looking forward to the race this season.”
Silk and the #16 team will be eager for a repeat Sizzler® performance of one year ago in “The Greatest Race in the History of Spring” in what turned out to be a weekend that most drivers only dream about. Silk and the #16 team were among the fastest cars in practice on Saturday before winning his heat race and his NAPA Duel Race to put him on the front row for the start of the NAPA Spring Sizzler® on Sunday. Silk took full advantage of his starting position and led 88 of the race’s 100 laps en route to victory for a payday of over $35,000.
“I think we’ve run really well at Stafford for a while now and last year was just one of those special times where every time we went on the track, whether it was for practice, qualifying, or the race, we were fast. We won our heat race and our duel race and then went on to win the race, so it’s going to be very hard to duplicate that. I’ve raced the Sizzler® a lot of times and only won it once. They’re certainly not easy races to win and we’re going to try our best to prepare things the same way and be as good as we were last year. There’s a lot of good cars and teams out there. Matt Hirschman and us have kind of gone back and forth over the last 2 years with the Sizzler® and Fall Final, but it’s not just us 2 cars out there. Woody Pitkat is strong and he’s always strong at Stafford, Ronnie Williams is good, and I’m not trying to leave anyone out but there’s 10 to 15 cars that can be a threat. We’d be happy to just go back to Stafford this year and be in contention towards the end of the race so we can try to win it again.”
As Silk himself stated, Stafford has been a very good track for the #16 team the past several years. In his last 5 races at the Connecticut half-mile dating back to the start of the 2022 season, Silk has posted 2 wins among 4 top-3 finishes and a 9th place finish. Silk’s Stafford performances certainly make him and the #16 team one of the pre-race favorites.
“I would say we have as good a shot at winning the race as anyone else,” said Silk. “There’s a few other cars that have the same chances as we do to win, but I would think we’re going to be one of the favorites. I think we’d be foolish to come back to Stafford with anything different that what we did last year. The car was really good and we came to the Fall Final with pretty much the same setup as the Sizzler® but with the weather and track conditions being a little different, the car was much better at the Sizzler®. It will be really tough to duplicate what we did last season, but we’re going to try our best to have another Cinderella weekend. There’s a lot of good cars and good competition so if we can be in contention at the end of the race, that’s a successful weekend at a race like that if you can’t get a win.”
The 52nd Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler® kicks off on Saturday, April 27, and will consist of two 40-lap NAPA Duel qualifying races for the Open Modified division. The 40-lap races will each pay $3,500 to win and will set the field for Sunday’s NAPA Spring Sizzler®. Joining the Open Modifieds in Saturday action will be the Late Model, Limited Late Model, and Street Stock divisions.
Sunday, April 28th will play host to the $20,000 to win 52nd NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler®. Filling out Sunday’s racing card will be qualifying and feature racing for the SK Modified® and SK Light Modified divisions along with last chance qualifiers for the Spring Sizzler®.
For more information, visit staffordspeedway.com, follow Stafford Speedway on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or contact the track office at 860-684-2783.