Ryan Newman Heads GAF Roofing Modified Masters Entry List at Stafford

(Stafford Springs, CT)—Open modified competition will return to Stafford Speedway on Wednesday, July 17 with a 100-lap feature as part of GAF Roofing Mod Masters along with a 40-lap SK Light, King of the Crate feature.  Headlining the open modified field will be 2008 Daytona 500 and 2-time SRX feature winner at Stafford, Ryan Newman.  Newman will join forces with the Eighty-Two AutoSport team owned by John-Michael Shenette and carry backing from Casella Waste as he prepares for the 100-lap event.

“If you look at my track record, it’s probably the best track I’ve raced at counting the modified and SRX races I’ve run, I think I’m 2 for 4 so far at Stafford,” said Newman.  “It’s been a fun track for me with a great fan base and great short track racing.  I felt like I had a good first run there in a modified and I’m looking forward to coming back with John-Michael Chenette and the Eighty-Two AutoSport guys.  I have to thank Casella Waste for supporting the trip up to Stafford, the Arute family for helping facilitate everything, and all the people who support modifieds in the northeast just adds to the fun of racing at Stafford.”

Car Owner John-Michael Shenette is also excited about the prospect of putting Newman behind the wheel of his #8 machine.

“For me, there’s only a couple of drivers that I would even consider doing something like this for,” said Shenette.  “Ryan Newman, Kyle Larson, and Kyle Busch would be the list and we’re pretty excited to get up to Stafford and go racing.  I don’t want to jinx anything, but there’s only one result that’s probably acceptable for this.  Our equipment is top notch, brand new, tried and true equipment and I went with Ryan to Caraway last Saturday night and all that did was fuel the fire more.  This will be my first time to Stafford and Ryan’s second time to Stafford but we have some good experience behind us and we’ll see what we can get out of it.”

Despite a lengthy background in full fender cars and midget and sprint cars, Newman’s experience in a modified at Stafford has been limited to just one start.  Newman finished 8th in the July 2022 GAF Roofing 80 to go along with his three SRX starts at Stafford that have resulted in two victories, and he shows no lack of confidence for his return to Stafford.

“With my experience, I wouldn’t put myself into a position where I didn’t think we could come to the track with the abilities to win,” said Newman.  “I think that with my experience and with the experience of the team, we should be fine.  It’ll probably take me a lap or two more than some other guys, but we have plenty of laps for me to get calibrated.  I feel like they’ve got great equipment and it’s just a matter of having a good day at the track.  Being competitive in practice and qualifying and then being competitive in the race so we can be there at the end.  There’s a lot of guys who know how to win at Stafford who have been around for so long.”

Newman has 4 career Whelen Modified Tour victories, with 2 each at Bristol and Loudon.  He is currently competing full-time on the SMART Tour where he is currently third in the standings after 7 races.  Newman credits his love of driving modified cars as his main source of motivation to keep on racing.

“They’re such a fun race car with the power to weight ratio,” said Newman.  “With the compound of the tires and how they wear, there’s a balance of being fast versus making the tires last, and every part of modified racing is very fun.  There’s very little aero interaction, there’s less politics, and all the parts of modified racing that I’ve experienced are fun.  Don’t get me wrong, it can be frustrating like anything else, but it’s something that I choose to do.  I’m not doing this because I have to, it’s because I want to.”

Tickets for the Wednesday, July 17 GAF Roofing Modified Masters program are available now online at StaffordSpeedway.com/tickets and tickets will also be available for purchase at the admission gates.  Tickets for GAF Roofing Mod Masters are $30.00 for adults, $10.00 for kids 6-14, and free for kids 5 & under.  Reserved seating is priced at $35.00 for all ages and pit passes are $45.00 with a valid 2024 Stafford Competition License and $50.00 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 staffordspeedway.com, follow Stafford Speedway on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or contact the track office at 860-684-2783.