Finisher: Joey Cipriano III Gets First Career SK Mod Win At Stafford Speedway

Joey Cipriano III celebrates his first career SK Modified victory Friday at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont)

STAFFORD – After recording seven victories in two seasons in the SK Light Modified division Joey Cipriano III

arrived in the SK Modified division at Stafford in 2012 with high expectations for success.

But after three winless seasons in the division before this year, Joey Cipriano said he was beginning to question himself.

“The last month, every person that has come up and asked me a question it’s been the same one and it’s been, how frustrating is it that you can’t win a race in the [SK Modified’s],” Cipriano said “… It eats at you. It gets frustrating.”

Friday though the Waterbury driver finally found the right answer to the questions he had in his head.

So many nights before Cipriano had been close. So many times Cipriano seemed in the perfect position to get his first SK Modified victory. And so many times the chances disappeared, often painfully.

Friday Cipriano put himself in another zip code from the competition and went to win the 40-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature.

“I’m so proud of my guys,” Cipriano said. “I really don’t know what else to say other than thank you to them. They’ve stuck behind me. This is our fourth year in our class and it feels like forever. I guess four seasons isn’t so long, but to go three winless after coming out of the SK Light [Modifieds] and how successful we were was really tough. It made me question myself a lot. Tonight, to finally get that win checked off is just unreal.”

Mike Christopher Jr. of Wolcott was second and Stephen Kopcik of Newtown third.

Cipriano started on the outside pole, went to the lead by Tyler Hines at the start and was never challenged again.

By the time Kopcik moved past Rowan Pennink for second place on lap 23, Cipriano had opened up about a two-second lead on the field. He never lost much of that advantage.

“I don’t know what was going on behind me,” Cipriano said. “I never tried to look up.”

Christopher, who got his first career victory in the division on June 15, passed Kopcik for second on lap 32.


  1. Henry J Lecomte says

    Grandpa Billy is looking down and is VERY PROUD. I haven’t been to a race all year but today I told my girl let’s go that I had a good feeling he was gonna pull it off And when he pulled away from Rowan I knew it was his NIGHT CONGRATS TO THE WHOLE 78 TEAM. YOU DID IT JOEY

  2. Whos this.. please lets get back to rocco..
    The greats are holding back i see
    Nwxt week will be another driver. Nice to see the greats slow their cars down
    I hear they put a gocernor in the 88 to slow him down

  3. So many accolades. Typical racing in the snake pit of competitive racing the SK’s always are. Poor Pennink is clicking off laps less then a third of a MPH slower then the leader and drops to seventh. Rocco is the fastest car on the track charging forward until he hits a brick wall of almost as fast cars. Young Christopher gaining a healthy dose of confidence from last weeks win perhaps and taking his rocket ship to almost the front through the snake pit Rocco couldn’t get through. Mr. Excitement Glen Reen coming in forth demonstrating he belongs in the top 5 on a regular basis. And Josh Wood who clearly is having a disappointing season finishing 8th which in this crowd is outstanding. Raspberries to Gervais, Galko, Owen and Berndt. Just not their week that means absolutely nothing for next week. Good luck to all in the 5K. You’re going to need it fighting each other as well as Preece in that experimental bullet he no doubt will enter to try to steal the brass ring from a regular.

  4. Im happy the top guys are slowing down to let the others catch up… i seen the top guys races…happy for the first time winners. Next week watch a guy from dare stock win in the sk race. Ha ha ha

  5. sweet grapes of wrath says

    Christopher had a very fast car ..would like to have seen a yellow… I think Rocco knocked the toe out tangled with a car between one and two.. wasn’t the same after.. very hard racing .. great to watch… Rufano more than checked out in the lights… a little too far for my suspicions .. unless he had the fresh tires this week and everyone else had junk.. no one has anything for fearn(s) in the lm…llm ..the girls were ruling the roost in the s/s until the big wreck…great nite to watch racing …

  6. Congratulations! Well done Joey.

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