(Stafford Springs, CT)—This Friday night, July 23rd is the 5th Annual Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night at Stafford Speedway. Stafford’s SK Lights will take center stage with a 40-lap extra distance feature event that carries with it a purse of nearly $10,000 with the winner guaranteed to take home $1,750. Stafford’s SK Modifieds® will also be in action with a standard 40-lap purse, but between the two divisions thanks to the Gamblers Challenge furnished by Doug Dunleavy of Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair, over $7,000 in bonus money will be on the line.
To participate in the Gambler’s Challenge, SK Modified® drivers contribute $100 and SK Light drivers contribute $50 each. Doug Dunleavy will match up to $2,000 in contributions for SK Modified® drivers and up to $1,000 for SK Light drivers. With 22 drivers currently signed up for the SK Modified® Gamblers Challenge, the bonus sits at $4,200 and with 23 drivers currently on the SK Light Gamblers Challenge, the bonus stands at $2,150. Dunleavy also announced last Friday that fans can also contribute to the Gamblers Challenge. If the fan contribution total reaches $1,000, Dunleavy will match that $1,000 and the resulting $2,000 bonus would be split among the SK Modified® and SK Light Gamblers Challenge winners. The fan contribution currently sits at $600 and would need another $400 in contributions for Dunleavy to match. Following the conclusion of the SK Modified® and SK Light feature events, a chip will be drawn in NAPA victory lane to determine if the bonus will go to the winner, 2nd, 3rd, 7th, or 11th place finisher. Depending on the chip draw, the feature winner in the SK Modified® division could take home over $6,000 and the SK Light winner could take home over $5,000.
Alexander Pearl and the #7 Darling Auto Parts team head into the Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night event tied with Brian Sullivan for second place in the SK Light standings thanks to one win among his division leading 7 top-5 and 9 top-10 finishes. Pearl says he is more of a longer distance racer and with 40-laps on tap for the SK Lights, the extra distance could play right into his hands.
“I’d really like to thank Doug Dunleavy and the whole Stafford team for putting on this amazing event,” said Pearl. “It’s such an incredible thing to be able to compete for big money and showcase the entire division’s talent. That bonus money would really help us out. You don’t have to win the race in order to win the bonus money, but me personally, I’d rather win the race and win the money rather than just receiving the bonus. I’m pretty excited about the whole event and I always joke with people that I’m not a 20-lap racer, I think I’m more of an extra distance driver. We’ve been working on putting ourselves in the best position for the race tomorrow night. I think our car gets better the longer we go so we don’t need to rush through the field where we normally have to pass about a car a lap to get to the front.”
George Bessette, Jr. comes into Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night coming off his first career SK Light feature victory last Friday night. Just like Pearl, Bessette says his #39 Lasco Roofing and Sheet Metal car is better on a long run than a short run and he will be looking to notch his second consecutive feature win.
“Big thanks to Doug Dunleavy for putting this bonus money up for us,” said Bessette. “Doug always seems to come up with something crazy for us racers and he went a little crazier than usual putting up money for us and the SK’s. It should be a good shootout. I think we have some good momentum behind us and the car has been really fast the last couple of weeks. I think we have a better long run car than short run car so hopefully that will work out for us and I think we should have a good car.”
In the SK Modified® division, Stephen Kopcik and the #21 Airgas team come into Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night leading the points standings. Kopcik only has 1 win thus far, but he leads the division with 7 top-5 and 9 top-10 finishes this season and he is looking to continue his strong 2021 campaign.
“That bonus money is pretty cool and Doug Dunleavy does a lot for the sport,” said Kopcik. “Stafford already does a great job with paying out pretty good and any time you can add extra money on top of that, it makes the race really good. We’re sitting in a good spot at the moment and we’re there for a reason. It’s as simple as we’re not going to change anything that we do and I think we have a fast car every week and all the guys do a good job preparing the car.”
Michael Christopher, Jr. comes into the Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night race as possibly the hottest weekly modified driver at Stafford. Christopher will be looking to make the Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night his third consecutive win season and also bag his third big money win of the 2021 season after winning the NAPA SK 5k and the TickMike.com All-Star Shoot Out in June.
“First of all a big shout out to Doug Dunleavy for putting up the bonus money for us,” said Christopher. “It’s pretty interesting that being a Gamblers Challenge you don’t have to win the race to win the bonus. Even if we’re unlucky enough to not win or finish 7th or 11th, the odds are in our favor to win some extra money, but we want to win the race and win the extra money. We won 3 in a row back in 2018 and our car has been good, and we know what to do with the car to make it better. I know we’re going to be starting a little deeper in the field but that doesn’t really matter too much, I think the odds are looking good for us.”
The 5th Annual Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night is scheduled for this Friday, July 23. Stafford’s Late Model, Limited Late Model, and Street Stock cars will join the SK Modifieds® and SK Lights in feature action. Tickets for Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night are available now online at StaffordSpeedway.com/tickets and tickets will also be available for purchase at the admission gates. Tickets for Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night are $23.00 for adults, $5.00 for kids 6-14, and free for kids 5 & under. Reserved seating is priced at $28.00 for all ages and pit passes are $40.00 with a valid 2021 Stafford Competition License and $45.00 without a Stafford license. If you are unable to attend the event, tune into the live stream on FloRacing, the official streaming partner of Stafford Speedway.
For more information, visit www.staffordspeedway.com, checkout Stafford Speedway on Facebook or Twitter, or contact the track office at 860-684-2783.