(Stafford Springs, CT)—During a person’s lifetime, family connections are often one of the strongest bonds that one can form. Strong bonds can also be formed by working together on a race team not only while at the race track, but during the week in a garage or race shop. When family is combined with racing it can form an unbreakable bond. Currently Stafford Speedway has 10 sibling combinations signed up to hit the track during the 2021 season.
The 10 sibling combinations who are currently registered to go racing in 2021 at Stafford include Trace and Tess Beyer, Noah and Glenn Korner, Ryan and Alexandra Fearn, Michael and Dave Wray, Jake and Tyler Hines, David and Paul Arute, Jay, Matt, and Scott Clement, Bobby and Cindy Stirk, and there are two twin combinations at Stafford. Al and Cliff Saunders are twins racing in the Late Model division while Steven Chapman is the older brother to his twin brothers Jason and Tyler Chapman. Cory and Dana DiMatteo are expected entrants into the SK Modified® and Open Modified divisions for the 2021 season while other sibling combinations to hit the track at Stafford include Charlie and Matt McDougall in the SK light division.
When 2 siblings are racing in the same division, it can not only bring them together but it can also help provide a competitive advantage. Here we get the viewpoint from some of the siblings that compete at Stafford.
Dave and Mike Wray, Brothers Find Family and Racing a Competitive Advantage
“If it wasn’t for my brother, I probably wouldn’t be at Stafford racing today,” said Dave Wray, driver of the #44 DMW Graphics Late Model. “When Mikey first started racing, he took my old Late Model car out of the weeds and he drove that before he bought a car from Jay Stuart and then my old car went back into the weeds before I started racing with it again in 2019. I think it’s fantastic working together with Mikey. Being a family operation between my brothers Mikey and Dennis along with my parents, it’s been a great situation and it’s been way more fun being able to race together with Mikey in the same division rather than 2 cars in different divisions.”
“Before we were racing as teammates, Dave would come to the track and help me out and give me pointers,” said Michael Wray, driver of the #42 DMW Graphics Late Model. “We still talk to each other and help each other out but it’s a little bit different dynamic than it used to be. When I first started racing, Dave hadn’t raced for a while so some of his information was a little bit older where now we can talk with each other as to what the track is doing that day and how our cars are running. We both have JMD Chassis and having 2 cars allows you to try different things and it almost doubles the speed that you can cross things off of your list of things to try and there’s not as big of a penalty if you try something and it ends up not working out. We’ve had a couple of times where we’ve gotten into each other over the past few years and it can be funny but it can also be an annoyance.”
Al and Cliff Saunders, Twin Brothers Working Together and Having Fun
“I’ve been racing together with my brother Cliff since the 2007 season,” said Al Saunders, driver of the #40 ASB Late Model. “It’s been really good for us because we both have similar driving styles and we can share a lot of information between us. If the track changes from one night to the next, having 2 cars and 2 drivers working together helps us figure things out quicker. Not only do we have fun at the track but we’re always working on each others cars during the week to get ready for the next race and doing that alone would definitely take something away from the overall experience and it wouldn’t be as enjoyable.”
“I think racing with Al has made things a lot more fun,” said Cliff Saunders, driver of the #14 ASB Late Model. “We’ve got 2 cars to work with so we can try something on my car and something different on his car and take what works better. I missed several races last year after getting into a wreck and it’s definitely more fun having both cars racing together at the track. As much as we’ve learned together over the last 13 years, I think we could have done some things a little better, but I wouldn’t change anything. Working together with Al has been great. I don’t think we really have any kind of rivalry between us. If I can’t win I definitely want Al to win and if I have 2 or 3 wins in a season then I want Al to have 2 or 3 wins. We pretty much have the same goals so there’s not a lot of rivalry going on.”
Source: Scott Running/Stafford PR