Story By: PAUL ARUTE / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – With just over 1 week until the 6th Annual NAPA Auto Parts SK 5K 100-lap event, the weekly SK Modified® competition at Stafford has proved to be the most competitive in nearly a decade.
Through the first 7 events of 2019, parity has been the story with 6 different drivers making it to NAPA Victory Lane. Entering the 8th event of the season, Friday June 21st, drivers Todd Owen and Michael Gervais are currently tied atop the SK Modified® point standings 40 points clear of 3rd place Keith Rocco.
“The competition level we’ve seen so far in 2019 has been incredible,” explained Stafford General Manager Mark Arute. “We’ve not only had 6 different winners in 7 events but we’ve seen 36 different drivers attempt to qualify for a Stafford SK Modified® feature. On any given night there’s 20 drivers who have a shot at a win. This season’s NAPA Auto Parts SK 5K is expected to be one of the most competitive yet.”
With only 27 starting positions scheduled on a weekly basis and for the prestigious NAPA SK 5K the story moves from who will win the feature to who will make the feature. So far through the first 7 events of the season there have been 3 consolation events and full fields of 26 or more at all events.
“These guys will have to race their way into next week’s NAPA SK 5K,” continued Arute. “Heat races will be important with so many quality teams. I wouldn’t be surprised if you see an Alonso at Indy type story, quite possible for a big name to miss the feature. With so many up and coming drivers and teams in the field, it’s really a toss-up on who can end the night in victory lane. This is the competition level we strive for at Stafford Speedway, these drivers are talented and 100 laps of SK Modified® racing will definitely keep the fans on the edge of their seats.”
Fan favorites Keith Rocco, Ronnie Williams, and Eric Berndt have all scored wins this season with Berndt the only driver getting to victory lane twice. Glen Reen and Todd Owen also have made it to victory lane with Reen backing up his 2018 success and Owen snapping a nearly 3 year winless streak. The biggest surprise of the early season was rookie Andrew Molleur’s shocking win on May 31st in only his 4th Stafford SK Modified® start.
The NAPA Auto Parts SK 5K, scheduled for Friday, June 28th, has become the event that every SK Modified® team circles on their calendar. 100 laps, $5,000 to win, Dunleavy’s Gamblers Challenge and a purse north of $32,000, this is the race that has it all. Five different drivers have captured NAPA SK 5K glory with Ronnie Williams and Chase Dowling the only two looking to repeat.
Discount tickets for the June 28th NAPA Auto Parts SK 5K are now available at your local NAPA Auto Parts Store. Tickets include a pre-race barbeque on the Stafford midway. Full list of participating NAPA stores is available by clicking the PARTICIPATING NAPA STORES link found at the top of the www.staffordspeedway.com homepage.
The 6th Annual NAPA Auto Parts SK 5K is set for Friday, June 28. Tickets for the NAPA SK 5K are available and on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $30.00 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for kids ages 6-14, and kids 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating is priced at $32.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Stafford Speedway offers free parking with free overnight parking for self-contained RV’s available.