Story By: SCOTT RUNNING / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – When Stafford Speedway’s Street Stock division takes the green flag this Friday night, September 7, they will run their second extra distance race of the 2018 season, the R.A.D. Auto Machine 30.
With extra distance comes extra money and the R.A.D. Auto Machine 30 carries with it a purse of over $3,500 with $500 to the winner. We sat down with the top-5 drivers in the Street Stock points standings to get their thoughts about the extra distance event.
George Bessette, driver of the #39 Lasco Roofing and Sheet Metal Chevrolet, enters the R.A.D. Street Stock 30 as the Street Stock points leader, a position that he just reclaimed last Friday night after leading the points very early in the season. Bessette is tied for the division lead with 3 wins and he is looking for win #4 in 2018.
“This race is really cool thanks to Donny [Wood] for sponsoring the extra distance race and giving us a boost with the extra money to race for,” said Bessette. “We really didn’t have a shot at the extra money in the 25-lapper earlier this season and we’d like to change that this Friday. I think we’ll have to be more patient and take our time and not be so aggressive at first. I’m hoping we can be up front at the end of the race especially since we’re probably going to be starting somewhere around 12th for the feature. I try not to think about points and we’ll just keep on doing what we’ve been doing all season long and try to stay consistent out there so we can take home that big trophy at the end of the year.”
Brandon Michael, driver of the #74 All-Season Small Engine Repair Chevrolet, has been the point leader for the majority of the 2018 season but a flat tire last Friday night dropped him back to second in the points, 10 behind Bessette. Michael is taking a win at all costs approach to the R.A.D. Auto Machine 30 and the final races of 2018.
“At this point in the season, we’re pretty much going all out after we lost the point lead last Friday night with a flat tire,” said Michael. “There’s no holding back any more, we’re going at it to win races. We did a lot of work on the car this week and our game plan is to win races and see what happens at the end of the season. Donny from R.A.D. has been our number one guy since we started racing, I wouldn’t want to race anyone else’s motor. When we blew the motor earlier this year, he was right there that night and he put a lot of stuff aside to help us get the motor back in one day and get it back in the car. I’m hoping that we can get a win this Friday night and bring home the extra cash from R.A.D. Auto Machine. I think it’s going to be a good night.”
Meghan Fuller, driver of the #2 Propane Plus Chevrolet, was an early season point leader after her win on the opening Friday night on May 4th and she has been a championship contender all season long.
“It’s pretty amazing with R.A.D. Auto Machine putting up the extra money for this race,” said Fuller. “Any extra sponsor or contingency money that we can get we can put towards the car and making it better. We’ll be doing pretty much the same thing we’ve been doing all season long. I think the 10 extra laps will give us some extra time in case you have a mishap during the race and fall backwards. I like the longer races because it gives you more time to react to things and get the car going.”
Nicole Chambrello, driver of the #16 Superior Refinishing Chevrolet, has had an up and down 2018 season. She won two weeks ago to record her second win of the 2018 season and she is looking to get win number three.
“It’s exciting,” said Chambrello. “At this point of the season the competition is really tough and one mistake can set you back. If you’ve watched the last couple of Street Stock races, no one is holding anything back. We’re not really preparing any differently than any other night. I’m looking forward to the extra distance. I like having more time to make clean passes and not having to rush anything. We got our second win two weeks ago and I’d love to have a third win before the season ends but we’re not going to force anything to get that third win. We’d love to take home the extra money from R.A.D. and thanks to Donny [Wood] for putting the money up for this race.”
Travis Hydar, driver of the #11 Hydar Construction Chevrolet, is the most recent Street Stock feature winner and he would like to make it back to back wins with a victory in the R.A.D. Auto Machine 30.
“I think this race is great,” said Hydar. “R.A.D. puts out a great motor and think it’s really cool that he’s putting up some extra money for us with the 30-lapper. I’m looking forward to the race. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun and it’ll bring out the drivers who are a little more patient and can save their stuff for the end of the race. The win last Friday night definitely boosted our confidence and I think we should be in good shape for the race since we have the car handling really well right now.”
Tickets for the Friday, September 7th R.A.D. Auto Machine Street Stock 30 event are priced at $18.50 for adult general admission, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seat tickets are $20.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Stafford Motor Speedway offers plenty of free parking along with overnight parking available for self contained Recreational Vehicles.