Bullish Closer: Eric Berndt Ends Season With Second Straight SK Mod Win At Stafford

Eric Berndt

Eric Berndt

STAFFORD – On September 18 Eric Berndt reveled in grabbing his first SK Modified feature victory of the season at Stafford Motor Speedway, talking about the worry of going winless for the year.

Sunday the Cromwell driver started a streak to carry into the 2016 season.

Berndt drove away from Ryan Preece and Ted Christopher over the closing laps to win the 40-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature Sunday at Stafford Motor Speedway.

“To close out with two in a row, I’ve never done that up here,” Berndt said. “To me, that’s an accomplishment for me. What a great way to end the year, to finally have a car under me that’s capable of winning. It’s awesome.”

Christopher, of Plainville, was second and Preece, of Berlin, third. Rowan Pennink of Huntingdon Valley, Pa. finished fourth to clinch his first SK Modified championship at the track. Preece was second in the championship standings for third season in a row. Pennink bested Preece by 10 points in the standings.

Berndt was thrilled to take the bragging rights for the winter.

“Anytime you don’t have to replace anything from the last race, front end, frame damage, whatever, you’ve got all winter and you can fine tune,” Berndt said. “And you definitely have got the bragging rights. You won the last race. That’s definitely a great way to end the year.”

Berndt made his way from the 13th starting spot in the 27-car field and was up to third by lap 17. On lap 28 Berndt went under Preece for the lead and went virtually unchallenged the rest of the way.

“The car was strong,” Berndt said. “It was actually a bit too tight on the longer run, but once we got up front and I could use the whole racetrack it didn’t matter. … It was stout all weekend. Right from when we unloaded, right from when loaded it two weeks ago. It was real good.”

Christopher went to second by Preece on lap 37, but Berndt had already checked out enough to keep him at bay. Christopher was looking for his first win of the season at the track. Coming into this season Christopher had won an event at Stafford every year for 29 consecutive years.

“I told everybody that I pitied the guy leading when Teddy got to second if he got to second,” Berndt said. “And it so happened that it was me. But no cautions came out to close the field up because it definitely would have been a dogfight. Teddy was hungry, probably hungrier than anybody in this pit area to keep that streak alive. I’m glad I didn’t see a caution, that’s for sure.”

Christopher was running a car he ran to eight victories at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl this season.

“It’s a great car,” Christopher said. “I just needed a little bit more to get to [Berndt].”


  1. Frank Franklin says

    So is Ted basically saying that his Waterford car is a superior one to his own? One could say that he can only blame himself for having his 29 year streak broken. How may years is Woody’s current streak?

  2. Ted’s own equipment was not competitive at Stafford this season. It appears he should consider buying a new Troyer for 2016, just as the DiPisa brothers did for use at Waterford this year. I’m sure there’s more to it than that, but a new car may be a good place for TC to start.

  3. Sure like to know what changed over in the Berndt camp. It’s like he found or bought something….maybe brought something from the Doo Crew

  4. Nice run, Eric. Thanks again for the shirt!

  5. Racedayct Fan says

    One thing most people will never understand is that the tires don’t know what type or year of chassis they are bolted to. The most important thing in getting a car to go is getting it pointing it in the right direction and making the right changes at the track. I find it funny that after everyone had to go to Troyer cars a few years ago that 2 CD cars finished 1-2 in the standings. I would be willing to bet that those 2 teams stuck to basics and prepared the cars better in the shop all season long.

  6. Maybe a new CD chassis would work for TC. I suggested a Troyer simply because TC and his crew might benefit from what was learned from the Waterford car.

  7. Ron Johnson says

    Woody won an SK race on september 4th. The night the Valenti Mods where there. He should of won that race to but he blew that one on a restart!

  8. ModFan Homtracks says

    The 2 cars that tied for the most wins in the division at 6 each for the 99 Penick and 59 Williams were CD cars. They also have maybe the best 2 crew chiefs. Hard work and great drivers fill the rest of the equation.
    As for this week, must have been tough for the 66 to celebrate as he said in his VL speech after Hooking Williams into the wall hard on lap 2, which also eliminates some top competition. For the last 2 weeks, the 6 and 59 have been the top 2 fastest cars according to Race Monitor. I personally would have enjoyed the race more on Sunday with Williams in it. I’m betting there would have been a different result.

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