Stafford Notes: Marcello Rufrano Grabs Second Win Of 2017 In SK Light Modified

Marcello Rufrano

STAFFORD – A few weeks ago Marcello Rufrano was worried about getting at least one victory in 2017 in his SK Light Modified at Stafford Motor Speedway.

On July 28 Rufrano was able to shake off that worry when he got his first victory of the season.

Two weeks later Rufrano was officially celebrating being on a roll.

Rufrano, of North Haven, drove away from Brett Gonyaw to win the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway.

“We came back from sixth and just made our way to the front,” Rufrano said. “I can’t think [crew chief] Jim Fuller enough for giving me this car. We needed to get to victory lane tonight. We tried some stuff and put back what we had in it and it seemed like this thing was a rocket ship tonight.”

Gonyaw, of Vernon, was second and David Arute of Tolland third.

Rufrano went by Glenn Korner Jr. for the lead on lap six and never trailed again.

“I’ve been watching Keith [Rocco] all these years and it seems like he’s really good at them,” Rufrano said of his stellar restarts. “I figured I’d learn how to do it like him.”

Bryan Narducci of Colchester scored his second win of the season in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature.

Narducci got his first victory of the season in April at the NAPA Spring Sizzler. Narducci became only the third multi-time winner in the division this season, joining Duane Provost and Albert Saunders, who each have two victories. There have been eight different winners in 11 events this year in the division.

“It’s crazy,” Narducci said. “This year there’s only been [three repeat] winners. It’s pretty crazy that this division is so even. If you start in the back it’s so hard to come through the field. It makes for good racing that all the cars are pretty equal.”

Saunders, of Stafford, was second and Provost, of Palmer, Mass. third.

Glen Reen went by Paul Arute for the lead on lap 18 and never trailed again on the way to victory in the 30-lap Late Model feature.

It was the second victory of the season for Reen, of Wilbraham, Mass.

Tom Fearn of East Longmeadow, Mass. was second and Tyler Leary of Hatfield, Mass. third.

Johnny Walker held off the charges of Trace Beyer over the closing laps to win the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.

It was the second consecutive victory and fourth victory overall this season for the reigning division champion.

Beyer, of Stratton, Vt., was second and Michael Hopkins of Springfield, Mass. third.

Walker passed Beyer for the lead on lap 12 and never trailed again. Beyer got under Walker on the final, but Walker was able to win the drag race to the checkered off turn four on the final lap.

Christopher Buffone won the 20-lap Senior Outlaw kart exhibition. Alex Grab was second and Daniel Gayman third.


  1. Only because nocera wrecked that anyone can win
    He has best car and he is top driver too

  2. Is it true that Stafford confiscated the top finishers sealed engines Friday night in tech? This was a rumor I heard and looking to see if there was any truth to it.

  3. Yes Humphry, this is 100% true. Motors of the top three were pulled.

  4. WOW, I guess they are getting serious! Hope the guys will get them back in time for Friday night. If they are all found legal, I wonder who is footing the bill for re-assembly and seals? Should be the track?

  5. in the know says

    All the motors were legal. All the Tony T/A bashers hoping he was found cheating well you were all wrong! T/A was 1 thats 1 horse more then Arute and 2 more then the other car on the dyno.! How about Mark Arute stops hating on the motor builder and lets dyno the shocks of a few good cars and i will bet you will find the real cheats. I wonder if shawn will run an article letting all know the results? I bet not…

  6. Everyone in that division should have their shocks dyno’d. It’s been known for a long time that shocks have been played with since the onset of that division.

  7. in the know says

    lightsout there are 5 cars cheating up shocks and Arute wouldnt look there, wonder why?

  8. I have witnessed SKL shocks both front and rear dyno’d right off the shelf, out of the box and the numbers are all over the lot. Until there is a published rule other than the shock can’t be tampered with and Pro can better control their production and engineering practices it will be difficult to enforce any penalties for cheating.

    I am also happy to hear that all the engines passed tech exonerating the engine builders from the accusations of cheating.

  9. Tony Membrino says

    I still say that POS 44 car was cheated up last year…

    Not only was it pleasing for me to see a T/A-powered car win on the heels of all the drama in the last week, turns out, the fastest car of the night (powered by RAD) was faster primarily because it was better in just about every part of both corners – guess speed really does come from more than just horsepower!

  10. Tony Membrino says

    I’m glad Stafford stepped up to the plate in a situation that got a lot of buzz and created a good amount of concern. No doubt, the best move they could’ve made.

    All 3 engines (including the T/A) getting inspected at RAD did raise my eyebrows slightly, but it’s good to hear a lot of questions got answered and that everyone can carry on their business as usual.

    Engines were returned in a timely manner, still don’t know the answer to the “who’s footing the bill question” that I also asked on Friday night. It was a track-mandated removal & inspection, if all engines passed with flying colors, the teams shouldn’t be responsible for paying to reassemble & reseal IMO.

  11. Tony Membrino says

    I wish shocks were checked more often at all the tracks; it was actually relieving to have it done at the Waterford finale last year. Shocks have been checked on what looked like to be a case by case basis over the last few year, and more often than not, something unfavorable was uncovered.

    By no means pointing any fingers, but with the way shock programs in mod racing have evolved in recent years, it wouldn’t be all that shocking (see what I did there) if someone scored a TD on a surprise shock inspection… and I don’t mean touchdown.

  12. Well I’m disappointed. This was a whole thing at Stafford. A big deal apparently and a natural follow up to the original disqualification of Robinson and no story? Apparently the comments section lead by “in the know” was the guy that was in the know and confirmed to some degree by someone that is clearly in the know Tony Membrino. Speaking of which were were you last Friday night.
    Anyway my question. Do they even break down the engines? Don’t they dyno them, check performance against the baseline crate motor, pack them up if they are within acceptable limits and ship them back to the teams? The dyno tells no lies.

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