(Stafford Springs, CT)—When Open Modified cars descend upon Stafford Speedway on April 29-30 for the 51st Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler®, Agawam, MA native Jeff Gallup will be carrying a special throwback scheme on his Ceravolo’s Auto sponsored modified. Normally Gallup carries the #4ma for competition, but for the Sizzler® Gallup will change his car number to #50 and utilize the same paint scheme to honor his late father Richie.
“The #50 car was a car that my Dad owned and he won a championship with at Thompson and he won some SK races at Stafford with that car, so I’m throwing it back to that,” said Gallup. “The Sizzler is going to be my first asphalt race since my Dad passed away. John Catania, who did my Dad’s paint back then, is now doing the vinyl on my car. This will be the first time I’ve ever raced the number 50 and it’s going to be pretty cool for me to race a #50 modified car with the Gallup name on it. It gives me a lot of motivation because Dad won a lot of races and a championship with that scheme so he was pretty successful with it. I’ve been doing this long enough that you always go to the track wanting to win so there’s not any extra pressure. I’m very excited for the race and I’ve been doing prep work since the last open race at Stafford to get ready for the Sizzler® so we’ll see what happens and how we do.”
Gallup made his Sizzler® debut last season and he drove to a 23rd place finish after having to qualify through the last chance qualifying race due to a heat race crash. Gallup has enjoyed success at Stafford in prior seasons, notching two podium finishes in MRS competition and he has posted 3 top-10 finishes in 16 Open Modified starts. Gallup has shown speed with his #4ma car the last several seasons but he has not had a top-10 finish since the 2020 season, a span of 10 open modified races.
“Hopefully I’ll be able to put a full race together,” said Gallup. “I’ve certainly had speed at Stafford at different points over the years, but ultimately haven’t been able to put a full race together. Last year I crashed in my heat race so hopefully I can avoid doing that again so I don’t have to go through the last chance qualifier. That would help give me a better chance at starting towards the front. We want to be there at the end of the race to give ourselves an opportunity and I’ve been working with Ralph Solhem as my crew chief and we’re making a lot of headway towards making the car better. A good day for me would be to have the car be competitive and get either a top-5 or top-10 finish. If we can do that, we should be there for the end of the race to try to win it and I think we should be competitive again.”
The starting grid for the 100-lap NAPA Spring Sizzler® will once again be set by a pair of 40-lap NAPA Duel qualifying races to be held on Saturday, April 29. After having gone through the unorthodox qualifying process last season, Gallup knows what he needs in his car and he is ready to meet the challenge.
“There’s not too much difference for me,” said Gallup. “Whether it’s 40-laps or a couple laps for time trials, you have to have a good car and you need to get to the front. The Duel race definitely helps give us an idea of what we want do with the car setup for the 100-lap main event. Basically you have to have good speed with the car and then make the right adjustments off of the setup you’re starting the race with to be good for all 100-laps.”
The 51st Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler® kicks off on Saturday, April 29, and will consist of two 40-lap NAPA Duel qualifying races for the Open Modified division. The 40-lap races will each pay $3,500 to win and will set the field for Sunday’s NAPA Spring Sizzler®. The American Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Models will also make their return to Stafford Speedway on April 29th with a 75-lap feature with over 40 cars expected for the race. Limited Late Model, Street Stock, and Vintage All-Star divisions will complete Saturday’s racing program.
Sunday, April 30th will play host to the $20,000 to win 51st NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler®. Filling out Sunday’s racing card will be qualifying and feature racing for the SK Modified®, SK Light Modified, and Late Model divisions along with last chance qualifiers for the Spring Sizzler®.
For more information, visit staffordspeedway.com, follow Stafford Speedway on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or contact the track office at 860-684-2783.