Story By: SCOTT RUNNING / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – Stafford Motor Speedway and Doug Dunleavy from Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair are bringing the Gambler’s Challenge back to the speedway for the July 23 Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night program.
The Gambler’s Challenge will be available to SK Modified® and SK Light Modified teams and will push the total posted awards for the 40-lap SK Modified® feature to over $14,000 and the total posted awards for the 40-lap SK Light feature to over $10,000 based on a 27-car starting field.
To participate in the Gambler’s Challenge, SK Modified® drivers contribute $100 and SK Light drivers contribute $50 each. Doug Dunleavy and Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair will match up to $2,000 in contributions for the SK Modified® drivers and up to $1,000 for SK Light drivers. If the full field of 27 drivers participates, the SK Modified® Gambler’s Challenge bonus would reach $4,700 and the SK Light bonus $2,350.
Following each feature a chip will be drawn in victory lane to determine if the bonus will go to the winner, 2nd, 3rd, 7th, or 11th place finisher. Depending on the chip draw in NAPA Victory Lane, the feature winner in the SK Modified® division could take home $6,675 and the SK Light winner could take home as much as $4,250.
“The Gambler’s Challenge program has always been popular and a bunch of SK Light drivers asked me to do something crazy for Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night, so we’re bringing back the Gambler’s Challenge and it should be big, especially this time of year,” said Doug Dunleavy, owner of Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair. “I like mixing things up for the modifieds. We’re tying in the gambler’s numbers of 7 and 11 from the craps table so we’re making the Gambler’s Challenge the real deal. This could be the biggest payday for a 40-lap race for the SK Lights or the SK Modified® division.”
The options for how the Gambler’s Challenge bonus gets distributed this season has undergone changes from years past.
“I didn’t really like the option of splitting the money up among a group of 5 drivers,” said Dunleavy. “If you’re a driver putting in $100 or $50, you want to win it all so we’re going to go with either the winner, 2nd, 3rd, 7th, or 11th place finisher taking the whole pot. If a driver is in 8th or 12th place with only a couple laps to go, it should make it interesting for those drivers to know they can have a chance at winning the bonus if they can get one more spot. The final laps should be very exciting. I’ll have poker chips in victory lane for the Dunleavy’s Pick of the Hat and I’ll choose the SK Light Gambler’s winner and we’ll have the 11th place finisher from the SK Modified® feature pull the winning chip.”
The race to see who will win the 40-lap SK Light feature is wide open. There have been 4 different winners in each of the first four editions of Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night with Brett Gonyaw winning in 2017, Marcello Rufrano in 2018, Noah Korner in 2019, and Derek Debbis last season. Debbis leads all drivers this season with 3 wins in 8 races and other feature winners this season include defending SK Light champion Brian Sullivan with 2 wins, and Nick Anglace, Tyler Chapman, and Alexander Pearl each have 1 win. The SK Modified® division has seen 7 different winners through the first 9 races with Michael Christopher, Jr. and Tyler Hines the only repeat winners with 2 wins each while Chase Dowling, Stephen Kopcik, Bryan Narducci, Keith Rocco, and Ronnie Williams each have 1 victory.
The 5th Annual Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night is scheduled for Friday, July 23. Stafford’s Late Model, Limited Late Model, and Street Stock cars will join the two open wheel SK Modified® and SK Light divisions and tickets for Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night will become available online this Saturday, July 17 starting at 8am at StaffordSpeedway.com/tickets. Tickets for Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night are $23.00 for adults, $5.00 for kids 6-14, and free for kids 5 & under. Reserved seating is priced at $28.00 for all ages and pit passes are $40.00 with a valid 2021 Stafford Competition License and $45.00 without a Stafford license. If you are unable to attend the event, tune into the live stream on FloRacing, the official streaming partner of Stafford Speedway.