By: Paul Arute
(Stafford Springs, CT)—For the first time since the late 1970’s, non sanctioned open modified races are included in the Stafford Motor Speedway schedule. The two events, both set for the traditional “Sizzler” distance of 80 laps, will pay $3,500 to win and $660 to start, with a total purse of $24,000 for 26 starters. Both events will be held in conjunction with Stafford’s 5 weekly racing divisions on Friday June 8th and Friday July 13th.
“Open modified racing is back at Stafford in 2018,” explained Stafford General Manager Mark Arute. “We decided to put these events together to give all the open modified teams an opportunity to run Stafford in a non sanctioned event with a strong purse. We should see a great field of Modifieds for these events and expect many of our weekly SK Modified® guys to double up and run both races. The 80-lap distance has worked well in the past for these type of cars and these races are a great addition to our 2018 schedule.”
The 80-lap features will have a draw for qualifying starting position and will use a plus/minus system of handicapping from the qualifying for the 26 car feature starting line-up. Each registered team will be allotted 6 tires for the event with no restrictions on changing tires during the 80-lap races.
The rules package for the Open Modified events have been carefully crafted by director of competition and former Modified and Late Model competitor Tom Fox to include multiple motor packages used throughout northeast modified racing.
“We worked with multiple teams and engine builders to come up with a good package for this event,” explained Stafford Director of Competition Tom Fox. “The end result are rules that allow a wide variety of teams to participate while also promoting a high level of competition. Between the rules package and the $24,000 purse, these are events to circle on the calendar.”
Modified drivers throughout the Northeast are looking forward to this new event. 2017 Modified Racing Series Champion Anthony Nocella already has both the June 8th and July 13th event on his 2018 schedule after winning the May VMRS race at Stafford last season.
“I saw those two races on the Stafford schedule and they definitely got my interest,” said Nocella. “We always like racing at Stafford, we’ll be there for those shows. We have a lot of fun at Stafford, it’s one of the nicest tracks that we race at and there’s a lot of prestige that comes with a Stafford win. We’ve had some really good cars at Stafford lately so we’ll be looking forward to running in those races.”
Jimmy Blewett, whose last NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory came at Stafford in August 2016, is also looking forward to the open modified events.
“I believe we’ll be at Stafford for those two shows,” said Blewett. “I think they’ll be different shows because there will be a lot of different drivers. I think the VMRS and ROC tours have a lot of drivers with a lot of talent who just can’t afford to run the Whelen Modified Tour. When there are open shows like Stafford is going to have, it opens up things for those guys who can’t afford to go Tour racing and they can show their talents against guys who run the Tour.”
Teams interested in running the June 8th and July 13th events are required to register for participation in the events.
Registration is now open, teams can register online at by following this link: https://www.staffordmotorspeedway.com/2018-sms-open-modified-80-number-registration, or by calling the track office at (860)-684-2783.
Rules for the two Open Modified 80 shows can be found here: https://www.staffordmotorspeedway.com/2018-open-modified-rules/.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.