NAPA Championship Night at Stafford Speedway will bring to a conclusion the season long duel for the championship between Street Stock heavyweights Ryan Waterman and Travis Hydar. This season the #31 Fairway Independent Mortgage Mike Rogers Team crew of Waterman and the #11 Hydar Construction crew of Hydar have combined to win 12 of the 14 races thus far with Waterman holding the edge with 7 wins to Hydar’s 5. With how well each driver and team have performed this season, they have the same goal of one more good night that will hopefully lead them to championship glory.
“The goal is to be as fast and consistent as we can be and get another good finish,” said Waterman. “Travis is real good and he’s hard to beat at Stafford. You definitely have to be on top of your game for sure to beat him in a race.”
“The goal is to win the race,” said Hydar. “Finishing first gets you the most points and then whatever happens after that happens. The goal is always to win the race. It’s been real stiff this season. Ryan came in and he got the hang of Stafford pretty quickly and he’s been wicked quick this season. I’m sure we’ve both gone home after races this year trying to figure out how to make our cars even faster because you know that’s what the other guy is doing. This year has been one of those things where we’ve both been really fast and it’s showed on the track, which has been really cool.”
With the amazing seasons that Waterman and Hydar have posted this year, either driver would normally be leading the championship by miles over the rest of the competition. In addition to winning 12 of the 14 Street Stock races held this season, Waterman has 11 podium finishes with 7 wins, 3 second place finishes, and 1 third place finish, while Hydar also has 11 podium finishes with 5 wins and 6 second place finishes. With such a small margin of error between them, they’ve both had a lot of fun trying to outrace each other and in Waterman’s case, he was not planning on running a full season but 4 wins in the first 5 races of the season changed the plan to full-time status.
“We weren’t even really planning on running a full season,” said Waterman. “It just went so good from the start that I told my car owner Nick Bendiak that we have to keep on going, so that’s how it played out for us. We just wanted to win one race this year so I could say I’ve won at all the Connecticut tracks. It’s been a shock to me. When I had made a few starts in the past at Stafford, it was with an older car and we finally gave it a good effort for this season and it’s really showed up on the track.”
“It’s 100% been fun this year,” said Hydar. “Racing with someone like Ryan gives you a goal to shoot for every week. Whenever there’s other cars that are just as fast as you or faster in the field, it’s your goal to beat whoever that may be which makes things fun.”
Being the defending Street Stock champion, Hydar is looking for a repeat performance for the 2023 season while Waterman is looking for his first championship that would mean the world not only to him, but his car owner as well.
“Winning the championship would mean the world to Nick,” said Waterman. “He had raced for a lot of years with his father and his father passed away so with running his Dad’s number 31 on the car, it would be pretty cool for him and for my first season at Stafford, it would be a big milestone checked off the list.”
“I’ve definitely learned some things from being in points races in previous years and winning the championship last year was really cool,” said Hydar. “It would be awesome if we could go back to back and even if we end up finishing runner up, that would still show how consistent we were this season and it would still be pretty respectable in my opinion. I’d be speechless to go back to back. There’s been a lot of work during the season for us to stay consistent and that will show if we win the championship or finish in the runner up spot.
NAPA Championship Night is set for this Friday, October 6th and tickets are available now online at StaffordSpeedway.com/tickets and tickets will also be available for purchase at the admission gates. Tickets for the NAPA Championship Night are priced at $20.00 for adult general admission, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult, and reserved seating is priced at $25.00 for all ages. Pit passes are $40.00 with a valid 2023 Stafford Competition License and $45.00 without a Stafford license. If you are unable to attend the event, tune into the live stream on FloRacing, the official streaming partner of Stafford Speedway.
For more information, visit staffordspeedway.com, follow Stafford Speedway on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or contact the track office at 860-684-2783.
Stafford Speedway PR