Ronnie Williams Awarded Stafford Speedway SK Mod Win Following Ryan Preece Penalty

Ronnie Williams

Ronnie Williams

STAFFORD – Ronnie Williams was just happy that a last lap pass would get him on the podium for the SK Modified feature Friday night at Stafford Motor Speedway.

Little did he know a few minutes later that move for third place would turn out to be a race-winning pass.

Williams was awarded victory in the 42-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway after Ryan Preece was penalized for over aggressive driving against Rowan Pennink.

It was third victory of the season for Williams, of Tolland. Keith Rocco of Wallingford was second and Matt Galko of Meriden third.

“We’ll take it whatever way we can get it,” Williams said. “We got some taken away from us. In ten years nobody will know what happened, they’ll just see I was the winner. It’s a great thing for our team. We’ve been through a rough patch and this is definitely a confidence booster.”

Williams passed Rooco for third place in turn four on the final lap, but in front of him, the drama was taking place in the battle for the lead.

Pennink, who has five victories this season in the division, went by Eric Berndt for the lead on lap 15, with Preece following him to second place.

Preece, who came into the event riding a two-race winning streak at Stafford, went under Pennink for the lead off turn four on lap 22. On lap 27 Pennink moved back to the lead past Preece off of turn four. Preece then used the outside on lap 28 to edge past Pennink and regain the lead.

On lap 38 Pennink went under Preece for the lead with a diving move through turns three and four, but Preece went right back to the front a lap later.

On lap 41 Pennink got under Preece in turn three and contact sent Preece up the track through turn four. Pennink seemed to get separation from Preece over the final lap, but through the final corner Preece used a big run to hit Pennink from behind and send him sliding sideways.

As Pennink wrangled his car back right and rolled through the grass trying to get back on track, Preece went past him coming to the frontstretch and took the checkered flag in the lead with Williams crossing the line second, Rocco third and Galko fourth. Pennink came across the line in fifth place at the checkered.

Preece drove to victory lane but after a review by track officials, Williams was declared the winner.

“It sucks,” Pennink said. “Race me clean. I know we’re racing for the lead, there’s a couple [laps] to go and you’re racing hard. I got in there hard and we rubbed a little bit in the middle of [turns] three and four. I’d be alright if he put a move like that on me. But he’s also playing games, trying to hang me on the outside. He’s been playing games like that all year and it just bit him in the ass every time. He got lucky to win the [NAPA SK 5K]. But you play games like that, he needs to learn it’s just costing him good finishes. It was a good dogfight, we obviously had the best cars. I timed my move at the right time and the only thing he could do about it was wreck me.”

Preece said he wasn’t shocked officials made the call to penalize him for the move.

“It’s their playground,” Preece said. “It’s whatever they want. I’m fine with that. When I went into [turn] three [on the final lap] I committed to either, they were going to let me win the race or I was going to get put back to wherever they put me.

“I told [Pennink] four or five weeks ago when he wacked me to pass me, he has a good car, he doesn’t have to hit me to pass me. I think I just kind of did what I felt like I needed to do. I passed him, didn’t touch him. He gets a run and whales it in there and hits me and then we clear him again and then he whacks me again. Its just like, you’re better than that.”

Pennink was moved to fourth place after the penalty. Preece was relegated to a fifth place finish by officials.

“Don’t ask me how we did it,” William said. “The car wasn’t good, it was so tight. I couldn’t turn the car at all. I was hoping something would happen and I’m happy it did because we ended up here.”


  1. I have to agree with Preece when he said its their playground. Last year TC did the same thing to Preece, knocking him sideways on the last lap while leading, TC was not penalized.

  2. Watching Cryan Preece drive OUT of victory lane without the trophy totally made my day. It was a popular call.

  3. ModFan Home Tracks says

    Low car count tonight, only 17 mods but man, they put on a show. In the final laps, 4 cars pulled away from the pack: 99, 6, 88 and 59, nose to tail and you knew something was going to happen. One thing this article doesn’t mention is that the 59 car pitted 3 times and still got up there to contend for the lead at the end. I’m really impressed with the Williams kid. He finished second but got the win. That says a lot for his driving skills and the team he has. This makes up for him getting taken out by Frank Ruocco in the 5K , I think he wins that race if not for that. And Bravo Stafford and Tom Fox for making the right call and not rewarding the 6 with the win. That was the right call.

  4. Why wouldn’t the same infraction result in the same penalty??? Here is the same infraction last year #87 SK Light Modified, driver Joey Ferrigno
    Infraction– Over aggressive driving.
    Penalty– Removed from the Stafford Motor Speedway handicap process for the next attended event. JMO

  5. ModFan Home Tracks says

    Steve. You ask a great question. The 99 got spun but recovered to earn the 5th spot. Has anyone heard of being penalized 5 spots for over aggression?
    Fox likes to use his “vast” racing experience to make the calls. Last year when TC and Preece got together he saw that as hard racing to a spot so nothing called and no penalties. But when Fox call the penalty, at minimum you should be sent to the back. It seems like there are subjective levels of over aggression penalties. Chris Jones got kicked out for 2 weeks for it, last year Avery was out of the next race handicap, most guys get placed in last place before any lapped cars, but 5 spots? That’s a first for me?

  6. Aggressive driving is what the fan’s want. Good racing You can’t have NASCAR take win’s away for aggressive driving or they will make it like sprint cup Boring. Let the guy’s settle it between them self’s Stafford is losing car’s because of there pour judgement . SR

  7. I agree with Ryan’s mindset, they had several clean passes but on next to last lap 99 slams him to get separation. Then all you can do is make sure that guy doesn’t win and if you get penalized so be it. If 99 waits till last lap and knocks him a groove then all Ryan can do is take second and put in memory bank. 99 knew if he didn’t slam him 6 would make same move on last lap. 99 is as guilty as 6 to me

  8. Sicklajoie says

    ModFan Home Tracks, the penalty for Preece was he finished 1 spot behind where Pennink finished, whether it be 5 spots or 15 spots. If Pennink had crossed the line in 11th, they would’ve scored Preece 12th.

  9. Steve

    That infraction on joey 87 was because he took out multiple cars at many different times in that race. 6 different drivers went and had a talk with the officials, or else nothing would have happened to him

  10. I’m not a fan of any one in particular except good hard racing. Pennink loves that slide job in turn 3, but diving down onto the apron and sliding up to the outside groove forcing the outside car into the marbles is taking it to the extreme and he should expect some sort of payback. As far as Preece playing games keeping Pennink on the outside, darn right. That is the only way to beat the slide job game. The only difference is Preece’s game gives you a groove to run, instead of moving you out of one. Preece’s only mistake was moving off the bottom with 2 to go. Also not a fan of many of Tom Fox’s calls, but I’m ok with this one. Placing the aggressor behind the offended, whether a couple of spots or to the rear, should be standard. If it involves other cars, then it is an automatic trip to the rear.

  11. Joe White says

    This goes back to the old rule “you can’t spin the leader of the race”. Otherwise no driver would want to lead the race. You lead, last lap the second place car slams you, you spin, he wins. Every driver would want to be second until the last lap. Perfect example was last night with the 6 dumping the 99.

  12. Steady Eddie Fan says

    I just watched the video and the “Face of Modifieds” DUMPED the leader of the race. It’s funny how Ryan claims to be such a clean driver but over and over he shows that not to be true. A lot of talent but not too much class even if they let him win what would he have accomplished ? nothing it doesn’t take talent to do what he did, just my opinion 🙂

  13. Just my thoughts... says

    I have to agree with you Steady Eddie Fan, and that Tom Fox, the so called Race Director just plain SUCKS! It appears he has a different penalty for each act of “over aggression” on the track, I guess it just depends on who you are. Soon there will be no cars and no fans, why bother going when you know not all are treated equal going in to the race. It has been my experience, if you take out the leader, you go to the rear, that is not the case for Preece, I know Pennick did not crash and still finished 4th, but a few weeks ago when Preece drove over the top of Pitkat, who was the race leader, Preece destroyed Pitkat’s car and got NO penalty, went on to finish 6th that night. When you have a lack of action by the Race Director, the teams end up taking matters into their own hands, and that is not good. I assume Fox figured he better call something last night or security would have had to been called to the tower. If Fox continues with his crazy calls, drivers will just start handling it themselves and we will be down to about 10 cars in the SK modifieds! Congrats to Ronnie Williams. Again, just my thoughts…

  14. Youhavenoidea says

    When he did that to woody he got sent to the back the rule is if u take them out they stop then u go to back if they stay in motion then u end up one spot behind. I think tom fox does a great job for what he can and I know if there is any problems he is a phone call away and will always try the best to solve the issue. There is a lot of race track and usually cars get spread out a bit so with only two eyes it’s hard for him to see it all.

  15. speed kills says

    Tom Fox has a difficult job and of course everyone will have an opinion. each incident however similar may need a different touch … someone or everyone is going to be unhappy no matter what the call. everyone wanted or agreed a former racer and especially one with Fox`s resume would have a better understanding of on track events .. yet he`s still getting his a** kicked for ANY decision he makes.. its racing .If these drivers would stop using the “bottom shot” (unless you have a CLEAR lane down low).these incidents would be cut by more than half.. OR just say when there is contact ..BOTH go to the rear no matter what!!! perhaps we could do that …I don’t attend drivers meetings so perhaps a discussion could take place there (give and take) .. Remember the pro stocks years back at Stafford.. lots of wrecked cars and hurt feelings …

  16. Interesting to see Tom Fox in the pit area at Waterford last night.

  17. What would it cost the track for rumble strips to be cut in like in the highway? They won’t damage a car like a curb but surly would upset it enough to stop that bottom feeding crap / dive bombing style of driving that has become acceptable. Just a thought here Stafford. I bet if you put up one of those fancy advertisement signs you wouldn’t have to pay much.

  18. Just my thoughts... says

    Chris D. , Possibly Tom Fox was at Waterford to observe how a competent Race Director does his job. We can only hope, but Waterford does have 6 to 8 more SK cars than Stafford on a weekly basis, they must be doing something right.

  19. Just my thoughts…to bad the last 10-12 SKs at Waterfords are complete loads! Ya Stafford only had 17 cars Friday but 13-14 of those guys are guys who have won in the past or are knocking on the door. Pretty hard to knock that SK race Friday, it had it all!

  20. As far as the crying of being “hung” on the outside. If there is a lane there for you and its consistent then either use it to make the pass or shut up and get inline. Racing isn’t slamming the guy in front of you out of the way. It is either pressuring him to make a mistake and then being talented enough to capitalize on it or you don’t.
    I used to work on a Pro Stock at Stafford back when the pavement was new and there was no outside grove. We did our homework made the car work out there and won races and yes it was on the outside. Sounds to me Stafford needs to stop this slamming and banging of cars send who ever to the rear either you dump the guy in P1 or P12 if you dump him you go to the rear. And if you’re the on dumped and the caution comes out you go to the rear as well… probably had it coming.
    Lets face it the ones playing these games don’t care about the purse money its about their precious National points. Hit them where it hurts them and let the guys who need the purse money get it.
    I also agree with Art and Kenny’s commits from a few weeks ago. Something to the fact of this tire rule sucks. If Stafford is going to have a tire rule then they need to have the tire manufacturer step it up and give the teams a repeatable tire. Unless your soaking ,and yes it can be done and not detected I’ve checked into it, you will not have the repeatably to have a consistent car week to week. Besides if I’m racing a Modified I don’t really car if I speed another $150 dollars that night to have another tire and if that is breaking your budget then you either need to be in another division or in the stands.

  21. Just my thoughts... says

    Brian, You have a right to your opinion, as do I , what I see is a possible 11 of the 17 starters that have a possibility of getting a win. A few of them haven’t won in a long time, but have in the past. The other 6 could win someday, maybe sooner rather than later if the others keep crashing. You say about half the field at Waterford are loads, well there are “loads” everywhere, at Thompson 3/4 of the Sunoco Mods are loads, with 4 or 5 actually capable of winning. My point is the crashes and lack of calls, or inconsistent calls at Stafford is hurting the car count. Several weeks ago I believe a 14 yr. old kid was parked for “over aggression” on the track, what did this 14 yr. old do that was any different than what Preece did on Friday night? And what happen to the Preece that we have heard about the last few years, that loves the outside? If you don’t have the car to pass on the outside, settle for second and work on your car, you don’t have to punt the guy out of the lead! Oh that’s right, Preece is there to win races, what does he think the rest of the dwindling field is doing there? Again, just my thoughts…

  22. “On lap 41 Pennink got under Preece in turn three and contact sent Preece up the track through turn four. Pennink seemed to get separation from Preece over the final lap, but through the final corner Preece used a big run to hit Pennink from behind and send him sliding sideways.”

    Sounds like a bad case of what comes around goes around. Hanging someone on the outside? Why not just do what Preece does for almost ALL of the race and pass him out there? Ryan typically gets the majority of his spots on the outside groove, so if Pennick doesn’t like it, he should learn to run out there.

  23. Stafford better replace their race director before there arnt even enough cars for a good heat race.Total lack of control.Makes inconsistent calls all night long.Makes all drivers and crews frustrated.Its going to help Speedbowls car count.

Leave a Reply

Copyright 2018 E-Media Sports

Website Designed by Thirty Marketing