Story By: SCOTT RUNNING / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – With only 3 races left on the 2020 Stafford Speedway calendar, the races for track championships are entering their stretch run.
One of the closest championship fights among Stafford’s five weekly NASCAR divisions is the race for the Street Stock championship. Heading into the Sept. 25 program, defending Street Stock champion Zack Robinson leads Meghan Fuller by 10 points with Chris Meyer third in the standings, only 14 points behind.
Each championship protagonist has a unique story in how they got to this point. Robinson is in the second season of driving the #89 First Class Automotive Chevrolet owned by Bill Anderson and he is looking to join Norm Sears and Frank L’Etoile, Jr. as the only repeat championship winners in the history of the DARE/Street Stock division. Fuller is in her third season of Street Stock competition behind the wheel of the #2 Propane Plus Chevrolet, has finished second in the standings in each of those years, and is looking to capture her first championship. Meyer and the #87 D and L Services Chevrolet team are in their first season of competition at Stafford after winning the Limited Sportsman championship at Waterford in 2017. Each of the contenders shares their outlook for the final 3 races of the season.
“Our outlook is going to be the same as it was last year,” said Robinson. “We were in the same predicament last year and we just kept our heads high and focused on wins and didn’t worry about points until the last race which is when you have to give it your all and try to stay at the top. We have the most wins in the division so far this year and we’re going to try to add as many wins as we can. We came to Stafford for a track rental at the beginning of the season and the car was actually way off. We didn’t realize just how much taking the restrictor plate off the car would change things. The first race we had a decent car and we’ve slowly improved from there and right now the car is perfect.”
“I was definitely hoping to still be contending for the championship this year,” said Fuller. “We’ve been a contender the last 2 years and I was a contender at Stafford and Thompson last season, which was pretty cool. “Our focus is to just keep on doing what we’ve been doing all season long. Racing others with the same respect that they give me, get the car back to the trailer in one piece, and race the car that I have each and every week and get the best finish that I possibly can. I want very badly to win this championship and it would be a great achievement and feeling for myself and everyone on the team.”
“For sure at the beginning of the season we were a little surprised because we didn’t expect to be fast at Stafford so soon,” said Meyer. “Our goal was to win a race and finish in the top-5 in points and we’ve won 2 races and I think we’re pretty solid on finishing somewhere in the top-5 this season so we’ve achieved our goals. We’ve had some nights where the car was really good and some nights where we struggle a little. We feel pretty good about what we’re going to bring to the track and we feel like we can get the job done. If we have a car that can contend for wins, then we’re going to be a championship contender. We just have to get the car a little better than it’s been the last couple races. We’ve had some inconsistencies but there’s some things that we can do to help the car be better. I think if we have a good car this Friday night then we’ll have a good shot at the championship.”
Each of the three championship contenders have gone through the rigors of racing for a championship with Meyer and Robinson both claiming championships, while Fuller is still in search of her first championship. With all 3 drivers having varying degrees of championship experience to fall back on, none of the 3 feels like they have any advantage over the other.
“We gained a little bit of knowledge last year but I don’t think we’re any better than they are,” said Robinson. “Chris [Meyer] has plenty of championships and Meghan [Fuller] and her team are great competition. We’ve had some ups and downs which happens in racing but we always try to hold ourselves to a high standard to represent the track. We go into each race hoping for a win. We would love to go back to back. There’s so many people between family and friends along with Joe Brockett that put their time and effort into this car. It would mean a lot to be in the record books as a repeat champion along with all the other drivers who have gone back to back at Stafford. With the points battle as tight as it is, anything can happen over the last 3 races.”
“I think maybe both of those guys have an advantage over me because they’ve both gotten to enjoy earning a championship which I have not yet unfortunately,” said Fuller. “I’m hoping that at some point I can join them with a championship. I wouldn’t say it would be disappointing if we don’t win this year because we know we’ve tried our hardest. We’ve had an up and down year and my Dad always tells me to not look at points but I do and I know we fell back a bunch at one point during the season and it was going to be tough to come back to the top-3 in points. Being back in second in points only 10 points behind is a pretty good accomplishment for us with the season that we’ve had.”
“Zack obviously won the championship last year and he’s won the most races this year and he’s leading the points, so I would say that he has the advantage so far this season,” said Meyer. “If you look at the whole season, I think Meghan probably has had the best car of the three of us, but I have more starts in a Street Stock than those 2 combined. We’ve finished second in points 3 or 4 times and we’ve finished third so our team is pretty resilient when it comes down to the end of the year and keeping our cool. I’d like to say that experience will play into our hands and if we can get the car rolling right then I think we can have the upper hand.”
The Street Stock championship chase continues this Friday, September 25 with Stafford’s SK Modifieds®, Late Models, SK Lights, and Limited Late Models also in feature action. Tickets for this Friday night’s Stafford Weekly Racing program are on sale now through the Stafford Speedway website with adult general admission priced at $20.00, $5.00 for kids ages 6-14, kids 5 and under are admitted free. Paddock passes are priced at $40.00. The 2020 points race will continue on Friday, October 2 and conclude on Friday, October 9 with NAPA Auto Parts Championship Night.