STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT - Track championships aren’t the only thing at Stafford Speedway that are up for grabs as the 2015 season winds to a conclusion. There are races for Rookie of the Year honors in each of Stafford’s five NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions with some big money on the line.
SPAFCO Race Chassis & Parts will contribute $1,100 bonuses to both the SK Modified® and Late Model rookies of the year; R.A.D. Automachine and T/A Engines will each contribute $500 bonuses to the SK Light and Ltd. Late Model rookies of the year for a total of $1,000 per driver; and R.A.D. Automachine will post a $500 bonus to the DARE Stock rookie of the year. But the rookie bonuses don’t end with just the winners. Magnus Transmissions will post $400 bonuses to the SK Modified® and Late Model rookie runners up, $300 to the SK Light and Ltd. Late Model rookie runners up, and $200 to the DARE Stock rookie runner up. The total posted bonus awards for rookie competitors this season is $5,600. Let’s take a look at who is in the running to take home a piece of that $5,600 rookie prize pot.
Two of the rookie races have already been clinched. Michael Wray will take home the $1,100 bonus from SPAFCO for Late Model Rookie of the Year honors and Daniel Wesson will take home the $1,000 bonus from R.A.D. Automachine and T/A Engines for SK Light Rookie of the Year honors.
After last racing at Stafford in the Limited Late Model division in 2010, Michael Wray made the move up to Late Model competition for the 2015 season. Wray has a best finish of fourth on Aug. 14 and he has posted 15 top-10 finishes this season. Chase Cook, a second generation racer, will take home the Magnus Transmissions bonus of $400 for being the second place rookie driver.
Daniel Wesson is a 15-year old graduate of the Monday Night Wild Thing Kart Series that races at Stafford and he has had the best season of any rookie driver at Stafford with three wins to go along with 6 top-5 and 13 top-10 finishes. He holds an insurmountable 190 point lead over Mark Alkas in the rookie standings. Alkas will lay claim to the rookie runner up bonus from Magnus Transmissions of $300.
The SK Modified® rookie race has come down to two former SK Light drivers and Wild Thing Kart Series graduates Tyler Hines and Mike Christopher, Jr. Also in for the running is Jeremy Sorel, the 2014 SK Light Track Champion.
Hines and Christopher have been neck and neck for most of the 2015 season with Sorel right on their heels. Hines’ best finish this season has been a third place finish on June 12 while Christopher’s best finish was a fourth place finish on July 31st. Christopher has the edge over Hines in top-10 finishes by a 5 to 4 margin, but Hines’ average finish of 13.4 has him 26 points ahead of Christopher, who has an average finish of 14.1, with three races left in the 2015 season. Sorel has 6 top-10 finishes this season, but he has yet to record a top-5 and he is a long shot for the rookie honors being 60 points behind Hines with three races left.
The race for the Limited Late Model Rookie of the Year is the closest rookie duel of the five weekly divisions. David Comeau and Robert Bloxsom, III are separated by only 16 points or 8 positions on the track heading into the final 3 races of the season. Comeau moved up from the DARE Stock division and he has a best finish of 2nd on June 19th to go along with 15 top-10 finishes. Bloxsom got his feet wet with a start in the 2014 Fall Final feature in preparation for a full season this year and he has a best finish of third on August 7 and he has posted 3 top-5 and 11 top-10 finishes this season.
Stafford’s DARE Stock division sees Zack Robinson ready to clinch the top rookie honors this Friday night. He comes into the race with a 106 point lead over Marcello Rufrano and if he should leave the track with more than a 100-point lead, he will have clinched the rookie of the year award. Both Robinson and Rufrano have visited victory lane during their rookie campaigns with Rufrano holding a 2-1 advantage over Robinson in the win department. They both have 8 top-5 finishes while Robinson leads in top-10 finishes by an 18-13 margin.
For more information on the rookie program, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.