Story By: PAUL ARUTE / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – Stafford Speedway management has released the official 2021 race schedule for the Stafford Springs, CT half-mile.
The 24-race schedule offers a blend of Stafford’s classic weekly racing events and special events. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is set to return to Stafford Speedway for 3 events in 2021.
“Another season is on the horizon,” explained Stafford Speedway CEO Mark Arute. “2020 was a challenge but with the support of the race teams, race fans, and Team Stafford, we were able to get through it. For 2021 we look to continue to build on our strong weekly program and special events. We’ve added a few twists and turns in the schedule to keep things interesting but our approach continues to be schedule consistency, we think that is important for the sport.”
The season kicks-off with the 49th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler® Weekend Saturday, April 24th and Sunday, April 25th. New for the 2021 Spring Sizzler® Saturday and Sunday will be two separate tickets with the Granite State Pro Stock Series joining the SK Modifieds®, Late Models, Limited Late Models and Street Stocks on Saturday. Spring Sizzler® Sunday will see the SK Modifieds® return for their 2nd race of the weekend along with the SK Light Modified division, the Vintage All-Stars, and finally the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour competing in the 150-lap NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler®.
“We had multiple Friday and Saturday events this season due to Covid,” continued Arute. “With capacity restriction as the big unknown entering 2021 we took a look at what we could do to ensure that even if we are at a reduced capacity we’d be able to run our entire schedule. This included making the 2021 NAPA Spring Sizzler Weekend a two day, two ticket event. The NASCAR Modified Tour will headline the weekend and we’ve added the Granite State Pro Stocks and the SK Modified® teams will run both Saturday and Sunday.”
Weekly Friday night racing at Stafford will commence Friday, May 7th after 1 off week following the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler® and will continue weekly through the fall. Headlined by Stafford’s SK Modified® division, Stafford’s 5 weekly divisions will compete at each Friday night event through the season. New for 2021, race teams will have their worst finish of the season dropped from their final championship point total allowing for an off week, if necessary. More information on this rule will be included in the 2021 general rules to be released in the near future.
The fan favorite Open Modifieds take to the Stafford half-mile 4 times in 2021, Friday, May 14th for the Modified Open 80, Friday, June 11th for the Twisted Tea 80, Friday, July 9th for the Bud Light 80, and Friday, August 20th for the Lincoln Tech 80. The 2020 season featured 4 different winners including Marcello Rufrano, Keith Rocco, Ronnie Williams, and Woody Pitkat.
Each of Stafford’s 5 weekly divisions have at least 1 extra distance race scheduled in 2021. Extra distance races for the full fendered divisions kicks off with 25 laps for the Limited Late Models on Friday, June 18th, the Street Stock Firecracker 30 is slated for Friday, July 2nd, and the traditional Late Model 50 returns to the schedule on Friday, September 3rd. Three extra distance races for Stafford’s weekly Modified divisions are scheduled, the 8th Annual NAPA Auto Parts SK 5K on Friday, June 25th, Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night for the SK Light Modifieds on Friday, July 23rd, and the Senators Cup for the SK Modified® division on Friday, August 13th. The SK Modified® division will also compete in the 4th Annual TC 13 SK Modified® Shootout on Friday, September 10th.
New for 2021 the season will be extended 1 week beyond NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final Weekend with the addition of NAPA Auto Parts Championship night on Friday, October 1st.
“We were forced to extend beyond the NAPA Fall Final this season due to Covid,” continued Arute. “The fans and drivers liked the NAPA Champions night format so we will continue that in 2021. Running our weekly divisions as the final night of the season gives our champions their own night in the spotlight.”
Season tickets for the 2021 season are now on sale at staffordspeedway.com/store. Early bird discount pricing is in effect until December 16th when prices increase. Season pass holders saved over 60% in 2020 when compared to purchasing a ticket every week.