Home Tracks

OBSERVATIONS: Twin 100s Race 2 at South Boston

Even with the weekend extending longer than planned, it was certainly worth the wait for the fans as they got a pair of stellar Twin 100s at South Boston Speedway this past weekend.

Just like the first edition, the second would feature the great short track racing that fans have grown to love and begin chanting “More Short Tracks” for. Derek Kraus would make his way up to second, before tracking down Max McLaughlin for the lead. With a little bump to the bumper, and nudge to the door, he made his way before driving off into the sunset. Of course, that wasn’t before McLaughlin was able to give him a quick tap to return the favor.

Just like Tanner Gray the night before, Kraus perfected the move in that moment as he got the position without wrecking his competitor. It also marks his second win of the season after his victory at New Smyrna Speedway to open the season. As we said then, it’s just Kraus doing what he does best as a past series champion.

Gray arguably had the quickest car in the field as evident by the scoring monitor and Saturday night’s victory. However, initially jumping the start put him behind early. The youngster still deserves to be applauded as he fought back for a fourth-place finish.

The big loser in the race being postponed was Nick Sanchez. After struggling early on night one, his team made a pit stop to make adjustments so they could improve the handling of the car. It worked, as well as handing him the pole as the first-place starter for the second event is determined by fastest lap put down in the first. However, with clear skies and the sun shining, it appeared that he lost the handle and it showed as he faded back in the field.

Between the pair of events, the Saturday night edition was more thrilling with closer racing throughout the field, and Gray’s move on Mayer being the icing on the cake. That said, the second race was still fun to watch for the fans with classic short track racing.



The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.


NAPA Spring Sizzler Postponed To May 10

STAFFORD, Conn. — Due to the expected heavy rain, Sunday, May 5th’s NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler® Whelen Modified Tour 200 has been moved to Friday, May 10th, under the lights. Racing will still take place this Saturday, May 4th as Stafford’s 5 Weekly divisions and the Vintage Modifieds will run a full schedule in an afternoon racing format for Stafford’s first event of 2019.

All tickets purchased for the NAPA Spring Sizzler® will be honored Friday, May 10th. NAPA Auto Parts ticket holder buffet will be held from 5:30pm to 7:30pm Friday May, 10th. Stafford’s five weekly divisions will also be on hand Friday, May 10th in a feature only format. The Top-18 cars in points will be locked into their respective feature events.

Saturday, May 4th will play host to Opening Day at Stafford. Pit gates will open at 10:00AM and General Admission gates at 11:00AM. Qualifying races will kick-off at 1:30PM with feature racing slated to begin at 2:30PM. See full schedule below. General Admission ticket pricing for Saturday’s event will be $18.50 for adults, kids 6-14 $5, and 5 & under free. Reserved seating is $20 for all ages and paddock passes will be $30 for NASCAR members and $35 for non-NASCAR members.

The Open Modified 80 event scheduled for May 10th has been moved to May 24th in conjunction with Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair Modifiedz Night.

“We appreciate all of our teams working with us,” explained Stafford GM Mark Arute. “This weather has been tough but we want to get a race in for all the teams, drivers, and fans. It made the most sense to bring the Modified Tour back next Friday for a one day show. Hopefully we can put the bad weather behind us.”

For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783, visit us on the web at, or contact us on social media.

Home Tracks

OBSERVATIONS: Twin 100s Race 1 at South Boston

As the fans continue to preach for more short tracks on the NASCAR National touring schedules moving forward, the NASCAR Home Tracks divisions are continuing to showcase why this needs to happen.

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series has proven to be a great division for young stars to showcase why they should compete against the stars in the national tours. As they’re pushing those envelopes, they are continuing to put together stellar finishes.

A late caution set-up a green-white-checkered finish to the Twin 100 Race 1 for the K&N Pro Series East at South Boston Speedway, and it impressed every fan watching the free stream on

After giving up the lead to Sam Mayer over the course of the long run, Tanner Gray took full advantage of the restart, with a well-timed bump to the back of the No. 21 Chevrolet, followed by some rubbing well alongside on the tight track to take over the lead. He then held on through the final lap for the victory.

It’s always been stated that “racecars have bumpers for a reason,” as well as the classic stories of the “chrome horn.” Gray perfected the move in that moment as he got the position on Mayer, however he didn’t go over the limit by wrecking his competitor. 

Gray’s transition into stock cars has been interesting to watch thus far as Saturday’s event only marked his third career series in the start. He also does not have an asphalt oval background like many of his competitors, coming from the drag racing world into NASCAR. His quick ability to adapt to stock cars could prove critical moving forward.

If the caution does not fly, Mayer easily had the event in hand as he had been able to put a couple car lengths on Gray after taking the lead with a stronger car on the long run. Meyer has been equally as impressive as his counterpart, as evident by his dominating performance at Bristol Motor Speedway a couple weeks ago. 

Although everyone looked forward to seeing both of these young drivers go head-to-head once again in the second event starting up front, they also showed why they still have things to learn. Gray jumped the initial start, while Meyer made contact with the outside wall. With both being in the title fight, being able to gain ground when the race does go back green on Sunday could be a pivotal part of the season.

Certainly the youth and needing to learn showed through with other drivers, as well.

Drew Dollar gave up a top-five run in the first 100-lapper following contact with Chase Cabre as they both fought for the same piece of real estate.

Hailie Deegan may be applauded for her aggressive ability, but she showed the need to learn patience in driving over Colin Garrett in the first 18 laps of the second event before it was postponed to Sunday due to weather. Garrett showcased his frustration to his fellow competitor, resulting in shock from the fans in not being able to see a replay of the incident despite using that feature for other previous incidents. 

Garrett is not totally done for the weekend, as the rain will see him jump behind the wheel of Ruben Garcia‘s entry when the field goes back green as Garcia travels to Mexico to race in the NASCAR Mexico Series. With some time to think over what happened and running for a different team than his own, does revenge happen?



The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.


2019 NASCAR Pinty’s Series Silly Season Synopsis

With the snow finally melted across most of Canada and temperatures feeling more spring like, anticipation continues to build towards the 2019 NASCAR Pinty’s Series season. There has been constant hype over the winter building with veterans coming back to run the full schedule, combined with other fresh faces.

Currently a month out from the season opener at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, here is where things stand as of right now.

DJK Racing will be fielding a pair of entries, with Andrew Ranger and D.J. Kennington full-time, chasing after the championship. Ranger told POPULAR SPEED with the improvement over the past three years, he feels that they have all the puzzle pieces to finish the races, have fun, win races, and take home the championship. 

Julia Landauer will also continue to run events in the series, scheduled to run Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on May 19, Jukasa Motor Speedway on June 1, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on August 25, New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, and again at Jukasa Motor Speedway on September 28 for DJK Racing.

Canada’s Best Racing Team has strengthened their effort, partnering with Wright Motorsports Incorporated. They will field 2018 Rookie of the Year Brett Taylor full-time in one of their entries. The Alberta native believes the merger, combined with building a pair of new cars, a new engine builder and adding new personnel, sees them “coming into the season with the tools to win.”

Ed Hakonson Racing announced in March that Jason Hathaway will be returning to the series on a full-time basis, after spending the past two years pursuing other racing endeavors. 

“Our team is solely focused on winning races and the championship,” Hathaway told POPULAR SPEED last month. “From where we’re at, this is our major goal and we have been working towards it all winter. We’re working on the cars, building on some new ones, so I guess all cards on the table entering the year.”

22 Racing will be once again fielding three entries full-time, with Alex Tagliani, Marc-Antoine Camirand and Donald Theetge behind the wheel. After scoring his first career series victory last year at St. Eustache, Camirand “is looking forward to being a championship contender.” Tagliani knows what it feels like to be in title contention, placing second last year to L.P. Dumoulin. 

Micks Motorsports revealed at the Motorama Custom Car and Motorsports Expo that Mark Dilley will be returning to the series full-time behind the wheel of the No. 64 Leland Industries Ford. Additionally, they will field rookie T.J. Rinomato in four road/street course events in the No. 02 Ford.

The news shook the racing world in March, as they announced a commitment to the future of motorsports, with plans to support five teams in 2020, before bumping the total to eight in 2021 across all of NASCAR’s divisions.

Dumoulin Competition returns with 2018 series champion L.P. Dumoulin prepared to defend his championship, on the heels of signing a three-year extension with primary sponsor WeatherTech last year. 

“It means the world to us,” Dumoulin told POPULAR SPEED in November. “We’ve done seven seasons together with myself, Dumoulin Competition, Bellevue, and WeatherTech and we’ve got two championships. It means the world for me, but the team as well. All those guys that work on the car all year round, but it’s fun for them and their family to know that there’s three years ahead of them. You know in racing that it’s hard to get sponsorship and it’s hard to have long run partnerships.”

Although not announced officially yet, his brother Jean-François Dumoulin is also expected to be back in the series in 2019. 

Simone Autosport fielded Connor James for a limited amount of races last year, and they plan to do the same once again this year. NASCAR Home Tracks revealed post-Motorama that James will be running a couple events in 2019, including both races at Jukasa Motor Speedway. If funding could be found, it is possible for his schedule to expand further beyond that. The third-generation racer will keep himself busy, regardless, running the full Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup Series tour and the pair of Super Stocks event at Jukasa. 

Simon Dion-Viens announced a three-year deal with Castrol Canada to be the primary sponsor on Dion-Viens’ No.37 car for a maximum of four races.

Jocelyn Fecteau announced new sponsorship from Roxor, but has yet to reveal the amount of events he will be entering for the 2019 campaign. 



The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Home Tracks

OBSERVATIONS: Zombie Auto 150 at Bristol Motor Speedway

If you did not know who Sam Mayer was before today’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event, then you certainly got your eyes wide open after watching him at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The Driver’s Edge Development member was perfect across the Zombie Auto 150 weekend, as he paced both practices, before winning the pole and leading flag-to-flag en route to victory. Despite a couple different restarts, Mayer was unchallenged throughout the entire event as he easily pulled away from the field, slicing his way through the lap traffic while maintaining a healthy advantage over the field.

For the rest of the field, it was mostly a calm event though, too. The race started off with a bang in the form of a multi-car crash on the opening lap, but then saw the field string out through the course of each stage, with a couple small battles between drivers at times to keep you occupied.

The biggest disappointment of the weekend probably would be the luck endured by Hailie Deegan. She was fast in practice, but blew an engine late in the session which caused her to miss qualifying. She would start from the tail of the field, and patiently worked her way up to eighth by Lap 40.

However, contact during the second half of the event resulted in an unscheduled trip down pit road for overheating issues, and a finish outside of the top-10. While she’s been the star of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West tour, she has yet to score a top-10 in the east division in eight starts.

The real talking point following the event wasn’t Mayer’s domination, though, but rather an interview fail.

Hannah Newhouse was pegged to speak with Riley Herbst following his crash for the at-track public address system, and’s broadcast. She made the comment in which she wasn’t sure what took Herbst out of the race, to which he replied, “The car is killed. Look at the right side of this thing.”

Although improper etiquette to not fully know what happened entering the interview with a comment like that, the discussion point did not come from there. Rather, she left her microphone open following the interview, calling Herbst a “douchebag.”

Although honesty is appreciated from the on-air talent, that certainly is not the best look to have. 


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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.


Sam Mayer Dominates Bristol For First K&N Pro Series Victory

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Round No. 2 of the K&N Pro Series East season belonged to Sam Mayer in every sense of the word.

The 15-year-old was quickest in both practice sessions, set the new track record by qualifying on the pole and won the Zombie Auto 150, leading all 150 laps en route to his first career K&N Pro Series victory.

“The race played out completely different than the way I thought,” Mayer said. “I thought it was going to be pretty solid on the top. But the top wasn’t there at all, it was pretty much all on the bottom. It was really good on the bottom, but once you got out of the groove to pass lapped cars you really had to feather the throttle and be easy into the corner.”

K&N Pro Series East regulars Chase Cabre and Brandon McReynolds came home second and third. Cabre finished 3.634 seconds behind Mayer’s No. 21 GMS Racing Chevrolet and McReynolds scored his second straight third-place finish.

Drew Dollar and Spencer Davis rounded out the top five finishers with Colin Garrett, Mason Diaz, Raphael Lessard (first series start) and Tanner Gray completing the top 10.

On the first lap, multiple drivers were involved in a crash on the frontstretch including Ruben Garcia Jr., Natalie Decker, Riley Herbst and Gray. Garcia, Herbst and Decker were forced behind the wall and finished 17th, 18th and 19th, respectively.

It was the eighth career start for the 15-year-old from Franklin, Wisc. He’s collected four top fives, with his previous best finish of fourth coming in the season finale last year at Dover International Speedway and then matched in this year’s opener at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway.

Mayer leads Kraus by three points and McReynolds by six in the driver standings. The first K&N Pro Series East regular after Mayer is Garrett in fourth, 11 points back.

The Zombie Auto 150 is scheduled to be broadcasted on NBCSN Thursday, April 11 at 4 p.m.

The next K&N Pro Series East events will take place on Saturday, May 4, at South Boston Speedway with twin 100-lap championship points races.

Home Tracks

ASHLEY ASKS…… Andrew Ranger

After scoring a pair of victories last season, Andrew Ranger will be back with DJK Racing, running the full NASCAR Pinty’s Series schedule vying for his second career championship.

The Quebec native recently spoke with POPULAR SPEED about his thoughts entering the year, and more.

POPULAR SPEED: What are your thoughts entering the season?

ANDREW RANGER: I’m very, very happy to start another season with Mopar. It’s great. We’ve been together for the last six or seven years, so it’s awesome. It’s a great company to work with. I have a lot of fun racing in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series. We’ve got a lot of wins, and it’s a great series. We’re racing across Canada, and have a lot of fun with that.

PS: What are the goals and expectations?

ANDREW: The goal is to like everybody, to win the championship at the end, but we’ve improved ourselves the last three years. We’ve been very, very fast. I think now we have all the puzzle to finish the races, have fun, and gain a lot of points, and see where we’re at the end. Every time we go on the track, we have a good chance to win the race and the championship.

PS: What track are you most looking forward to?

ANDREW: The schedule is big, but at the same isn’t. It’s 13 races so you can’t miss your shot. All the races are very important, but every time we race in Quebec in front of my family, friends, girlfriend, it’s a race that I want to do well. But Toronto is always a track that I like, and I really want to win again this year there.

PS: What do you feel that you could have done better last year to run even stronger?

ANDREW: I think we were very strong every race, just so bad luck – mechanical, but I think we fixed that during the winter. Every time that we broke, we were either P3 or P2 – top-three anyway, so we proved that we were fast and I think the goal this year to finish our races and try to be in the top-five every weekend.

PS: How much is it a benefit for you in being able to work alongside with D.J. Kennington?

ANDREW: D.J. is the car owner, but I’ve been working with David Wright; he’s my crew chief. So every time we go to the track, yes D.J. is there, but we would work together if we have some stuff to share. But to be honest with you, we do our little thing with my crew chief, and it’s been working very good for the last three years.

But it’s always fun to work with D.J. and have a nice battle on the track, and try to prove ourselves.

PS: What are your thoughts on the current state of the NASCAR Pinty’s Series?

ANDREW: I really think the series is very, very tough. You can say the top-10 can win any week so it’s fun to go there and you never know where you’re going to finish, but it’ll be a good fight to the end. All of the races are very important. What’s great about the series is we race across Canada, so we race in Toronto, in Quebec City, Nova Scotia, Edmonton and Saskatoon, so it’s awesome.

We have a lot of good fans no matter where we are. I don’t know how many thousands we have at Mosport (Canadian Tire Motorsports Park), Toronto, Trois-Riveres – but those are very important in racing in front of big crowds like that. I really like the series, and I think every year the series improves. I know we have a little bit of problem in having drivers at oval tracks, but little by little, I think they’re helping the drivers to find sponsors which is good.

PS: The Pinty’s Series has so many positives right now. But what is one change you feel they can make to improve the series even more?

ANDREW: It’s tough to say. We like NASCAR, and NASCAR is very important for the series, but I think the problem with the series is maybe because we race across Canada, too. It makes our budget bigger, and bigger. I like to go race in Saskatoon and Edmonton as it’s great to race there, but at the same time with our small series, it costs so much to go there with flight expenses to bring all the guys, and the hotels. Those things make our budget explode and I don’t know if they can change something on the schedule, but that may be one thing to change.

PS: We’ve seen drivers trying different series and cars. Is there anything on your bucket list?

ANDREW: The last three years, I’ve been staying in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series and I have a lot of fun with that. I have another company in Quebec so I’m not looking to do more races. If I have some opportunity, yes, but I have to bring money, then I don’t want. I’ve been fighting many years with that and to work with Mopar is great. I need to think just about my business and go on the track and fight every weekend and have a lot of fun with that.

So to me, if I maybe have another opportunity to go in the States, I would take it, but if I need to bring sponsorship, that’s not the case.


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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

Home Tracks

OBSERVATIONS: ENEOS NAPA Auto 150 at Irwindale Speedway

As fans continue begging for better racing in NASCAR’s top series, the manta has been “more short tracks,” with other Motorsports enthusiasts encouraging people to check out their local home track. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West is backing up this statement, opening the season with two of the best races of the season already.

Following an exciting trip to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway dirt oval, fans played witness to a photo finish at Irwindale Speedway. Derek Kraus rarely makes mistakes and appeared to be ready to cruise to another victory, but he would get outside of the groove in turn three – opening the door for one of the most exciting battles in series history.

Both Trevor Huddleston and Tanner Gray would be able to clear Kraus in the process, with Huddleston beginning to stretch out an advantage. However, as the laps begin to count down, Gray was able to close the gap. Gray would get to Huddleton’s bumper with two to go, diving underneath in both ends as he tried to clear him. The battle would go all the way to the checkered flag.

Any race can have an exciting finish, but the ENEOS NAPA Auto 150 went beyond that.

Throughout the entire event, drivers were battling side-by-side for position, something electing for the preferred top groove, while others utilized the traction strip put down in the bottom lane. No matter when you tuned into the event, you could see drivers alongside each other, while working their way around the lap traffic.

The doors have been threatening to close on Irwindale Speedway, but this event proved alone why that should be allowed to happen.

Hailie Deegan was in the conversation for her second straight victory, until contact with Gray sent her around in turn one. She was able to make her way back through the field back to the top-five relatively quickly and got a chance to try her hand against the top-three on a restart, but ultimately used up her tires with her rebound. As a result, the early race top-three runner and pole sitter finished fifth. will be carrying every single NASCAR K&N Pro Series West event this season live for free through their website, and that couldn’t come at a better time. With a wide variety of young talented drivers vying for the top spot each week, combined with the push for short track racing as mentioned above, expect fans to continue to tune in to get their fix.


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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.


Trevor Huddleston Earns First Victory at Home Track in Photo Finish

IRWINDALE, Calif. — There’s nothing like your first.

Trevor Huddleston has been knocking on the door of his first career K&N Pro Series West victory for some time, and he earned it, barely, at his home track of Irwindale Speedway in a photo finish over Tanner Gray in the ENEOS NAPA Auto 150.

“I’m still in shock,” Huddleston said. “That was absolutely insane. Me and him were bouncing off each other, we were bouncing off the wall, I mean I didn’t know if we won. I hit the wall and got the freakin’ wind knocked out of me and I was like ‘did we win?’ and we won. Unbelievable.”

Huddleston battled a hit-or-miss transmission for the final 100 laps, forcing him to drive for most of the race with one hand on the steering wheel and one hand on the shifter.

Huddleston and Gray banged doors off Turn 4 to the start/finish line and the Augora Hills, California native was able to inch his No. 9 Sunrise Ford ahead of Gray’s No. 15 DGR Crosley Toyota. After claiming the checkered flag, Huddleston hit the wall and was unable to drive his machine back to Victory Lane.

Huddleston’s three track championships at Irwindale Speedway gave him a “one up on the field” leading into the 150-lapper. This event has been circled on his calendar for some time and to win his first race at the facility his father, Tim, operates made it that much sweeter.

“We’ve been preparing for this moment for a long time. I know this track hopefully better than anybody. I’ve been raised here. To get this win means so much. To win in the K&N Pro Series is unbelievable. it’s got a stacked field. And to win like that, even better.”

In only his second career series start, Gray almost put it in Victory Lane. Coming from a drag racing background, he knew immediately he didn’t beat the No. 9 to the line but did all he could leading up to that.

“It was just really good racing between me, the No. 9 and the No. 16 (Derek Kraus),” Gray said. “This racetrack produces really good racing, Them putting PJ1 down on the bottom really helped. That was a lot of run. I feel like I was the only one who was really able to get down there and be as fast as I was. The deal we had coming to the line was unfortunate, but it was just both drivers coming using up all the race track trying to get there first. It wasn’t intentional […] it’s racing.”

Kraus came home third after leading a handful of laps, but he lost brakes with around 30 laps to go, allowing Huddleston and Gray to get by. Jagger Jones and polesitter Hailie Deegan rounded out the top five finishers.

Cole Cabrera, Matt Levin, Brittney Zamora, Dylan Garner and Jack Wood completed the top 10.

The ENEOS NAPA Auto 150 is scheduled to be broadcasted on NBCSN Wednesday, April 3 at 6 p.m.

The next K&N Pro Series West will take place on Saturday, May 11 at Tucson Speedway.


Late Restart Gets Ron Silk Back To Victory Lane at South Boston

SOUTH BOSTON, Va. — One last restart was all Ron Silk needed.

The Norwalk, Connecticut, driver lined up to the inside of Burt Myers with 18 laps to go in the South Boston 150 at South Boston Speedway, and the veteran took advantage of his opportunity to get back to the top.

Silk captured his first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win since May of 2016 by taking down the checkered flag in the second race of the season. It was the 11th career win for the 2011 series champion, and his first in his first start at the Virginia oval.

Silk started third, and although he ran at the front of the pack for much of the early stint, pitting for tires put him back in traffic, forcing him to slice his way back to the front.

He passed Kyle Bonsignore for second, and was starting to run down Myers for the lead, but a caution with 24 laps to go set him up in perfect position to make a move on Myers, who hadn’t pitted for tires. He drove the No. 85 Stuart’s Automotive Chevrolet to the point and never looked back.

Chase Dowling, who made his first start of the season driving for veteran Jamie Tomaino, moved around Myers on the late restart, but couldn’t chase down Silk. The second place effort for the Roxbury, Connecticut, driver was his fifth career runner up finish.

Jimmy Blewett finished third, scoring his second podium in two races, and positioning himself second, just one point off Doug Coby in the series points standings. Kyle Bonsignore was fourth and Myers finished fifth.

Chris Pasteryak was sixth, followed by Patrick Emerling, Doug Coby, Timmy Solomito and Craig Lutz.

The South Boston 150 will air on NBCSN on Wednesday, April 3, at 4 p.m.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track on April 7 as part of the 45th annual Icebreaker weekend at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.