DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — There have been 29 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races contested at Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford, Connecticut, dating back to the series inception in 1987. In those 29 races, there have been 20 different winners — none, perhaps, more memorable than the 2003 race won by Martin Truex Jr.
The future NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver led all 150 laps in that race for his second career win on the half-mile oval.
This weekend the series returns to Stafford for the first time since the 2008 season finale. Like the list of visitors to the track’s Victory Lane, that 2008 race also featured a number of names familiar to NASCAR fans across the country. Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne finished second in the 2008 race, and current Richard Childress Racing Sprint Cup Series driver Austin Dillon finished fourth. The year before, fans at Stafford watched New England favorite Eddie MacDonald top a field that included last year’s Daytona 500 winner, Joey Logano, and Jeffrey Earnhardt.
A new crop of aspiring national series drivers head to the Stafford 150 on Friday, including points leader Justin Haley. The 17-year-old Winamac, Indiana, driver has five top-five finishes in six races this season, picking up his first career win at Greenville Pickens Speedway and finishing second in each of the last two series races, at Virginia International Raceway and Virginia’s Dominion Raceway.
Race: Stafford 150
Place: Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford, Connecticut
When: Friday, June 17
Time: 9:15 p.m. ET
Track Layout: .500-mile oval
2015 Winner: Did not race
2015 Pole Sitter: Did not race
Event Schedule: Thursday, June 16 – WEEI Fan Experience: 6:45 to 8:00 p.m.; Friday, June 17 – Garage opens: 12:00 p.m.; Practice: 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.; Qualifying: 6:00 p.m.; Driver Autograph Session: 7:30 p.m.; Stafford 150: 9:15 p.m. (approx.).
Track Twitter: @StaffordSpeedwy
Event Hashtag: #Stafford150
The Race: The Stafford 150 will be the seventh of 14 races on the 2026 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East schedule. It’s the sixth of 10 oval track events and 14 races overall on the schedule. It will be the series’ 30th visit to the Connecticut oval.
The Procedure: The starting field is 26 cars, including provisionals. The first 22 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials while the remaining four spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 150 laps, spanning 75 miles.
The Track: A half-mile, slightly-banked oval, Stafford originated as a horse racing track in the 1870s. After seven decades as a horse track, the dirt oval starting holding automobile races following World War II. Stafford became a NASCAR-sanctioned track in 1959 and was paved for the first time in 1967.
Stafford 150 Notes:
Eddie Mac Is Back: Eddie MacDonald of Rowley, Massachusetts will make his second series start of the season in the Stafford 150. MacDonald, who was the championship runner-up in 2009, will be the only driver in the field with experience at Stafford. He finished fifth in 2008, the last time the series was at Stafford, and he won there in 2007. Overall, MacDonald has seven top 10s in 15 career starts at the track.
Gilliland Returns East: Third-generation driver Todd Gilliland will be in the Stafford field. The 16-year-old from Sherrills Ford, North Carolina has three wins in six K&N Pro Series starts this season, including two West wins and one East win. Gilliland won the season opener at New Smyrna Speedway in February after winning the pole and leading 91 laps en route to the victory.
Marsh Land: Car owner Ted Marsh, a longtime Connecticut-based car owner in the series, will have an entry for 18-year-old Reid Lanpher of Manchester, Maine, in the Stafford 150. Lanpher is making his second series start after debuting at Bristol Motor Speedway earlier this season. With Ted Christopher driving his car the last time the series visited Stafford in 2008, Marsh’s ride finished fourth in a race won by Peyton Sellers.
Quinlan To Make Season Debut: Grant Quinlan will return to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East after making three starts last season. His most notable run was his impressive series debut last year at Ohio’s Columbus Motor Speedway. The 17-year-old from Maidstone, Ontario, almost took away Rico Abreu’s first NASCAR victory after an exciting battle to the finish line. Quinlan made two more starts last year at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Virginia’s Richmond International Raceway and finished 15th and 20th, respectively.
Feels Like The First Time: Through the first six races of the season, there have been six different NASCAR K&N Pro Series East winners — and all of them first-time winners. Spencer Davis of Dawsonville, Georgia became the sixth driver added to the list when he won the ComServe Wireless 150 at Old Dominion Speedway on Memorial Day. Davis held off point leader Haley by 0.005 seconds to earn the win in his 10th career series start.
NASCAR Home Tracks: SK Modifieds On The Stafford 150 Bill
The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series will be highlighted as part of the K&N Pro Series East Stafford 150 program. The track’s premier SK Modified division will compete in their weekly 40-lap feature event, and the track’s Division II Late Models will also have a 30-lap event. In addition, SK Light Modifieds, Limited Late Models, DARE Stocks and Legends will also be racing. Rowan Pennink leads Ted Christopher by 10 points atop the SK Modified standings, with multi-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion Keith Rocco in third, just 18 points off the pace through four races.
-NASCAR Home Tracks Press Release
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com