Story By: PAUL ARUTE / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – Teams and drivers are busy preparing for the 6th Annual NAPA Auto Parts SK 5K 100 lap SK Modified® event, scheduled for Friday, June 28th.
In 5 year’s time, the $5,000 to win event has become the event every driver wants to add to their resume. The event, which has been won by 5 different drivers including last year’s SK Modified® track champion Ronnie Williams, historically has been one of the best races of the season and with posted awards over $34,000, the 2019 event is no different.
We caught up with a few of the SK Modified® drivers to get their thoughts on the event:
Glen Reen – #17 Avery Construction Chevrolet
NAPA SK 5K Stats
Best Finish: 5th (2014)
Average Finish: 7.7
“I’m looking forward to the 5k. We’ve got Dan’s [Avery] car put back together so it’ll be fun to have us both back racing at the same time. I’ve missed that. There is no better place to race than Stafford and that’s why people show up to Stafford. I’ll put Stafford’s SK’s up against any single weekly division anywhere in the country and I’d bet it’s harder to win an SK race at Stafford than anywhere else. It’s awesome to have a track like Stafford with the Arute family putting their time and effort into the weekly show and having a huge event like the SK 5k with great sponsors like NAPA Auto Parts and Doug Dunleavy. I think it’s going to be a great time for the racers and the fans who come to watch the race.”
Eric Berndt – #54 Cos’ Central Auto / North End Auto Parts Chevrolet
NAPA SK 5K Stats
Best Finish: 4th (2018)
Average Finish: 9.0
“We have a good car we just need to get some more consistency in it. The car has been fast and if everything works out we should be there at the end. That’s the game plan but this is racing and anything can happen. This race is great. Doug Dunleavy has been a big supporter of short track racing, it’s awesome to have someone like that supporting us as well as Stafford kicking in for a big payday race. This race shows that they appreciate us and are willing to put money up for us to put a show on. We’re definitely appreciative of both parties along with NAPA and hopefully we can have a good race for ourselves and put on a great show for all the race fans.”
Ronnie Williams – #50 Les’s Auto Center Ford
Best Finish: 1st (2018)
Average Finish: 7.4
“We’re looking forward to the NAPA SK 5k. That’s the race that we always circle on the calendar and the #50 team has been pretty good at that race the last 2 years winning with Chase [Dowling] two years ago and myself last year. We’re looking forward to getting back to that race and I think we have a fast car, we’ve just had some crap luck this year. Hopefully we can get our season turned around at that race. Stafford always does an amazing job and having someone like Doug Dunleavy putting up the Gambler’s Challenge is great. Seeing the graphic that Stafford posted on Facebook about the NAPA SK 5k, it’s a lot of money over the years and we’re not really used to racing for that kind of money. It’s always a lot of fun racing for the extra money, the big trophies, and the big check at the end of the night.”
Todd Owen – #81 Cooker Construction Chevrolet
Best Finish: 4th (2017)
Average Finish: 12.0
“The NAPA SK 5k is an awesome race that Stafford, NAPA, and Doug Dunleavy put on. It’s a nice long distance race where I can be patient, stay out of trouble and be smart. We hope to be in contention at the end of the race.”
Keith Rocco – #88 Wheelers Auto Chevrolet
Best Finish: 2nd (2015 & 2018)
Average Finish: 4.0
“I’m looking forward to the 5k. We’ve been so consistent the last couple years but we’ve come up a little short. Hopefully this year we can wrap it up. We try hard to run good in this race every year and it would be great to get the monkey off our back and finally get a NAPA SK 5k win. It’s really cool for all the racers to have the opportunity to take advantage of the Gambler’s Challenge bonus that Doug Dunleavy puts up for us and we all look forward to the big NAPA SK 5k payday. We’re really looking forward to the race.”
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. There will also be a barbeque taking place on the midway with some great food available to race fans for only $10.