Inaugural SK 5k Stafford Motor Speedway Driver Thoughts

(Stafford Springs, CT)— The inaugural SK 5k on July 4th will be an exciting night for Stafford Speedway drivers and fans.  With a purse of over $27,000 for the SK Modified® feature and $5,000 for the winner, the SK 5k will be surely demand the best from the star-studded field of weekly competitors at Stafford.   We caught up with a few of our weekly SK Modified® competitors and asked them some questions about the race format, purse money, and potential of a non-weekly competitor to come in and threaten for a win.  Here is what they had to say:

Woody Pitkat:
The Race: “I think it’s going to be a cool race and it’s great to be racing for that kind of money.  You don’t see things like this at other tracks.  It’s great to have the fans involved in the race rather than just coming to the track and watching the race from the stands, they will have their own part in the event.”
The Purse: “I’m really looking forward to the race because I seem to do better at the longer distance races and the year that I won the 150 I think my check was around $4,000-$4,200 so it was a nice check to take home. The purse is pretty evenly spread through the field you’re definitely going to have to be on your A-game for that race.”
Outsiders:  “I’m sure you’re going to see a lot of guys from other tracks come to Stafford to try to win some of that money.  I’m sure you’ll see some guys from Waterford and Thompson as well as some other guys like Matt Hirschman show up that night.”

Ryan Preece:
The Race/Purse: “How can you not like this race?  It’s a big paying race and it not only pays up front but it pays well down throughout the field.  I think the format is pretty interesting.  Whether my car has a full tank of fuel or not, it handles the same.  Sometimes when you race for big money you have to do things for the fans.  The fans are why we’re there.  They want to see a show and hopefully that’s what we’re going to be able to give them that night.”
The Outsiders: “I’m pretty sure the Stafford front runners are going to be the front runners in the race but who knows what will happen.  You could have someone from Thompson, Waterford, or maybe someone from Pennsylvania has an SK car and they’ll be fast that night.  I know it’s going to be tough to win that $5,000.”

Doug Coby
The Race/Purse: “I think it’s going to be exciting.  Sitting on the frontstretch not knowing what type of strategy you’re going to have, there’s nothing like this race out there.  There’s also not too many SK shows that pay $5,000 to win.  It’s nice that Stafford is doing something like this to get the fans involved.  We’ll definitely be there with the 15 car and we’re going to try to win that $5,000.  I’ve already submitted my ideas for the race on Twitter and I hope the fans come up with some really cool ideas to vote on.  It should all make for an exciting night.”

Dan Avery:
The Race:  I think this race is going to be pretty cool.  With $5,000 to win you might see some guys who are really hungry for a win drive a bit more aggressively during the race, which will really make the race exciting to watch.  I remember back in the Riverside days we had a $10,000 to win mini championship series and those races really changed how a lot of guys raced.  Everyone was more aggressive during those races.
The Purse:  “I would say $5,000 is definitely a motivating factor to win the race.  Especially if you’re in the top-3 or top-5 towards the end of the race, that $5,000 will definitely be in the back of your mind and you’ll be trying to figure out how to get your car into the lead.”
Outsiders:  “I definitely think that the Stafford regulars will have an advantage in the race.  I’ve raced in a lot of different series at a lot of different tracks and the SK Modified® division at Stafford has to be the most talented group of guys I’ve ever raced against.  On any given night, there are about 12 cars that can win a race.  There are good drivers, good cars, and good competition every Friday night.”

Ted Christopher:
The Race/Purse: “I’m really looking forward to having some big money to race for.  It’s nice for us to be able to race for that kind of money.  Stafford always likes doing different things and this should be a great race.  Hopefully we can have a good run.  We won the big race last year and we seem to do pretty well in the longer distance races.”

Todd Owen:
The Race/Purse: “The race is fantastic, I think it’s a great idea.  It’s nice to be able to race for $5,000 to win and it’s a great purse that pays pretty good throughout the entire field.”
Outsiders: “Stafford is such a tough track that if you’re not in the handicap, it’s going to be tough to win the race starting in the back.  With the purse that is on the line, I think there will definitely be extra cars showing up to Stafford for the race.”

Keith Rocco:
The Race/Purse/Outsiders: “I think the purse is great, everyone wants to race for a big purse like this race has.  I think the race will draw a lot of cars and Stafford already has the best guys in New England like Woody Pitkat, Ryan Preece, and Ted Christopher, so I think a Stafford guy will win the race.”

Eric Berndt:
The Race/Purse: “I’m excited for the race, I can’t wait for it to get here.  I think it’s great to get the fans involved in the race.  It’s going to leave some mystery for the drivers sitting on the grid but that’s something that Sprint Cup has been doing and it seems to be working out pretty well for them.”
Purse:  “The purse money is pretty cool.  The 150 paid really well but it was a long race and really put a lot of wear and tear on the equipment.  With $5,000 to win, it’s really nice any time you can put money right back into the race car.  I see the race pays really well through the top-10 positions so that shows that Mark Arute is really looking to help the racers out.”
Outsiders: “There’s never really been an outsider that has come in and won one of the longer races.  I think the Stafford regulars will definitely have an advantage because history doesn’t favor the outsiders.”

Rowan Pennink:
The Race/Purse: “I was just reading about that race the other day online and the race sounds pretty cool to me.  It’s a great way to help put fans in the stands and get them involved with the race.  I’m sure the $5,000 to win is going to get all the drivers fired up to go racing and it will make the race even more exciting than it usually is.”
Outsiders: “It seems like most of the top SK drivers are already at Stafford so I would say the guys with track experience week by week will be the drivers to beat.”
The fans will play a direct role in the July 4th SK 5k race as they will choose the entire race format from lap count to qualifying procedure.  Fans will be allowed to vote on every aspect of the July 4th SK Modified® race.  Voting will take place at up until the night of the SK 5k.  But before voting opens Stafford Speedway officials would like to hear insight from the fans on what to include on the SK 5k ballot.  Stafford Speedway encourages everyone to share their ideas on Stafford Speedway social media and as well as any other media outlets.   The voting will begin in late March.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at

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