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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour




Ben Dodge, Stafford Motor Speedway’s host announcer, has been named as the Grand Marshal of Stafford Motor Speedway’s 39th annual CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend. With the 39th Annual CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend, Dodge will wrap up his 41st season as part of the Stafford Motor Speedway announce team. Dodge will give the command to send the Whelen Modified Tour on its way with the most famous words in motorsports.

“I was shocked to get the call from Mark Arute asking me if I wanted to be the grand marshal, but I’m totally honored and excited to be the grand marshal of this year’s CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend,” said Dodge. “I have to thank Rich Pallai from CARQUEST and the Arute family for giving me this opportunity. I have a great respect for Rich Pallai and everything he has done for motorsports and I have had a great relationship with the Arute family throughout the year. Stafford Speedway has been part of my family for most of my life. I used to come to Stafford as a kid and I sold popcorn at the track. Once I was done selling my popcorn, I used to sit outside the announce tower and I thought that would be something I’d like to be able to do one day. Stafford definitely has a special place in my heart and I can always call Stafford home.”

Not only has Dodge been part of the announce team at Stafford, but he has also owned and raced cars at Stafford.

“A lot of people don’t know this, but I used to race at Stafford,” said Dodge. “I believe it was 1973 and I ran in the All-American Sportsman division. I quickly figured out driving wasn’t for me and went back to announcing and between announcing, driving, and owning cars, I’ve been on all sides of the coin at Stafford. I learned a great deal from Jack Arute, Sr. If he didn’t like something, he would pull me to the side and tell me he didn’t like what I was doing and what I needed to do to correct it.

Several weeks later he would pull me aside again and he’d say ‘You finally got it’. I’ve worked with some great people in the Stafford announce tower over the years, Ken Squier, Eli Gold, Jack Arute, Jr., Mike Joy, Mark Garrow, Pat Patterson, Mike Massaro, and many more. There’s some that can say they worked with a couple of those guys, but I can say I’ve worked with them all. I’ve been able to take what I’ve learned at Stafford and use that at other tracks I’ve worked at. I still enjoy announcing at Stafford the best and the Arute family has always made me feel like I’m a part of the track and I can’t say that about all the tracks I’ve worked at.”

The 39th Annual CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend kicks off on Friday, Sept. 30 with pit gates opening at 12:00pm with a practice session running from 2:00pm to 6:30pm for Stafford’s weekly divisions. The General Admission grandstands will be open to the public at no charge for the practice session. The G.A. Grandstands will open at 2pm.

Action continues on Saturday, Oct. 1 with Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the Whelen Modified Tour cars at 2:15pm, followed by heat and consolation races for Stafford’s weekly divisions. Saturday’s events wrap up with feature events for Stafford’s SK Light Modified, Limited Late Model, and DARE Stock divisions. Closing out the Saturday feature events will be the Paradiso-Muska DARE Stock Shoot-Out, a special 8-lap shoot-out all-star race for this season's DARE Stock feature winners and several wild card entrants. The CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend continues on Sunday, Oct. 2 with the famous Stafford CARQUEST Belts & Hose Pit Party kicking off the day’s activities from 11:00am to 12:00pm, with the final SK Modified® and Late Model feature events of 2011 being accompanied by the Whelen Modified Tour 150-lap CARQUEST Fall Final.

Tickets for the CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend are available and on sale now at the Stafford Motor Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $35.00 for adult General Admission, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 & under are free. Reserved seating is $38.00 for all ages. All tickets cover both Saturday and Sunday admission to the Fall Final. As always, Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available.
Tickets can be ordered by calling the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783.

For more information, or to order tickets, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at

  Source: Scott Running / Stafford Motor Speedway
Posted: September 27, 2011

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