RPW Column: The Champ Trail: Geared Up For The Sizzler At Stafford, Wild Night At The Madhouse & More…

Column Compiled By: PHIL SMITH / RPW – WESTERLY, RI – Last week it was warm-up and practice day for what many consider the Biggest Modified Race of the Year, NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler 100 laps, $20,000-to-win, with close to 45 Modified Teams are confirmed entries.

The Sizzler competes with no other event as it is in a class by itself!

In some good news it was learned that Ben Dodge is on the heal and will return to the announcer’s tower to call the Sizzler. Ben Dodge has been named as the grand marshal of the 51st Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler®. Dodge has been part of the Team Stafford family for over 50 years and will send the 33-car starting field on its way with the most famous words in motorsports, ‘Drivers Start Your Engines.’

Hopefully Matt Buckler and his great wit will be there in the near future to join him. All events on Saturday and Sunday will be live streamed by FloRacing.

There were 135 cars on hand to test and tune, including 23 Open Mods, 26 SK Lights and 16 SK Modifieds. Those in hand got their first look at the Soft Walls installed in turns one and two, the all-new Beer Garden which overlooks the track and the new installation of grandstands.

The Bowman Gray Stadium, known as the MadHouse for its ruff and tumble racing opened for the season this past Saturday night, May 22 with the running of the Hayes 200 for the NASCAR Modifieds.

Bowman Gray Stadium is NASCAR’s very first weekly track, a famed quarter mile where the sound of roaring engines and cheering fans has been heard since 1949.

Racing at Bowman Gray Stadium was started by Bill France Sr. and Alvin Hawkins, two men who were founding fathers of NASCAR itself. It’s the track where Richard Petty won his 100th race. It’s the track where a young Richard Childress fell in love with racing, hawking peanuts in the stands and then later taking the wheel himself.

An announced crowd of 17,000 witnessed Burt Myers taking the win in the Hayes Jewelers 200. Myers took the lead with 10 to go after Danny Bohn slammed previous leader Tim Brown. Brown, who scored his 138th pole at the historic track led a good part of the event but appeared to be slowing a bit.

While Bohn was attempting to collect himself Myers got by for the winning pass. Bohn recovered but had nothing for Myers. Brandon Ward finished third with Chris Fleming and James Civali rounding out the top five. Brown ended up tenth.

The next SMART event will be on May 26 at the Franklin County Speedway located in the heart of the Moonshine Capitol of the World in Callaway, Va.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified tour returns to action as the Men that live by the Grace of God and 600 horsepower travel up-country on Saturday May6 to the Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, NH.

In NASCAR Cup action at Talledega Kyle Busch took the win in overtime. Ryan Preece had a strong top five run going until being taken out in the overtime session.

Based on the high probability of two days of rain the Race of Champions Series management, in conjunction with Lake Erie Speedway and telecast partners MAVTV have made the decision to adjust the schedule for the 72nd Annual Lucas Oil Race of Champions and push the conclusion to Saturday, April 13, 2024, with an inclement reschedule weekend, one week later, Saturday, April 20, 2024.

The television schedule for the new date will be updated in the future.

With the cooperation of the Arute family a book has been published with pictures and biographies of the 50 Greatest Drivers at Stafford.

The Stafford Motor Speedway had become the epicenter of NASCAR Modified racing in the northeast by the late 1980’s. From its dirt beginnings to its lightning-fast asphalt, Stafford had become the toughest and most gratifying track to score a victory. The Arute family which has owned and guided the destiny of the facility commissioned their thousands of loyal fans to name their favorite drivers. In alphabetical order so as not to offend anyone:

Tom Baldwin, Gene Bergin, Brett Bodine, Geoff Bodine, Ken Bouchard, Ron Bouchard, Mario “Fats” Caruso, Rene Charland, Ted Christopher, Leo Cleary, Tim Connolly, Jerry Cook, Corky Cookman, Pete Corey, Fred DeSarro, Richie Evans, Mike Ewanitsko, Ed Flemke, Sr., Jeff Fuller, Rick Fuller, Ernie Gahan, Bill Greco, Bo Gunning, Ray Hendrick, George “Moose” Hewitt, Tony Hirschman, George Janoski, Charlie Jarzombek, George Kent, Buddy Krebs, Randy LaJoie, Jan Leaty, Jerry Marquis, Mike McLaughlin, Ray Miller, Steve Park, Bob Polverari, Bob Potter, Brian Ross, John “Reggie” Ruggiero, Greg Sacks, Ollie Silva, “Wild” Bill Slater, Jimmy Spencer, Mike Stefanik, Carl “Bugsy” Stevens, George Summers, Jamie “The Jet” Tomaino, Maynard Troyer and Satch Worley.

Books are priced at $17.95 each and be purchased at the track at the Novelty Booth or at the Stafford Motor Speedway on line store. Books are also available at Amazon.com and at Coastal181 (877-907-8181).

error: Thanks For Visiting Race Pro Weekly ... Like what you see? Tell your friends to check us out!