Heartening: Bryan Narducci Wins SK Light Modified Feature At Stafford For Grandfather

Bryan Narducci celebrates victory in the SK Light Modified feature Friday at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Fran Lawlor)

STAFFORD – The message came through loud and clear for Bryan Narducci Friday morning when he talked to his grandfather, legendary Modified driver Jerry Pearl.

With Pearl readying for quadruple bypass heart surgery on Friday afternoon, his directive for Narducci for the evening was simple and clear.

“I talked to him this morning before I went to school and told him good luck and he said “Good luck to you, go win.’

Narducci, of Colchester, obeyed those orders. With his grandfather recovering from successful surgery Friday afternoon, Narducci held off Mark Bakaj to get his second victory of the season in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway.

Bryan’s mother Missy Pearl said that when her mother Diane told Jerry that Bryan won: “His eyes opened huge”

“My Mom said it was like he wanted to run to victory lane,” Missy Pearl said.

Bakaj, of Lebanon, was second and Glenn Griswold of Vernon third.

Last Friday Pearl was at Hartford Hospital, missing Narducci’s feature at Stafford. Narducci said he believed it was the first time in his racing career at Stafford, from go-karts to the Limited Late Model division the last two years, that has grandfather wasn’t at the track with him.

The 73-year old Pearl was the 1984 and 1985 SK Modified division champion at Stafford.

“It’s pretty difficult without him there,” Narducci said of racing without his grandfather at the track.

Bakaj moved past George Nocera Jr. for the lead on lap 11 with Narducci following him to second.

On lap 13 Narducci went under Bakaj for the lead into turn three. From there Narducci never trailed again.

“That was real fun battling those guys for the win,” Narducci said. “[Nocera] is fast, [Bakaj] is fast, so that makes it more fun when you’re racing with a bunch of fast guys.

Said: Bakaj: “I was just a little too free coming in. Bryan ran a great race My hat’s off to him.”


  1. Steve Georgiades says

    Awesome job, get well soon Jerry!!!

  2. Geese coach just tell the guy’s win one for the Gipper. What a load of crap. Here’s how it works outside the sugar coated story lines of a self interested motor sport media. One that apparently includes Ben Dodge as well as this site. Grampa is worried about his operation as well he should be. Naturally he would prefer all the support he could get but being a Grampa his first priority is to not be a burden to those he loves. So he does what good , unselfish Grampa’s always do for his grand son. Tell him not to worry and live your life in so many words. And Bryan wins. Not because of the Grandpa but because he has a great car and he’s a pretty fair young driver. And his Grampa and his mom protect him at a young age from bad things when reality intersects with keeping life normal as much as possible. It’s just the natural order of things.
    Jerry Pearl. S&S Racing, full modifieds at Stafford in the early 80’s. Not a winner, but a pro that always delivered the best the car had.

  3. Slapnuts says

    What??? I still have no clue what your trying to say???? Of course he had a great car but to not believe that there could have been a little extra motivation on the emotional side is silly. Grumpy old man.

  4. Sure story is sentimental, but family and the important part it provides in racing is vital for most racers. As far as Jerry Pearl and S&S Racing they won races and championships and did it with sportsmanship and class. This in my book made them winners.

  5. Pete Simonson who worked at Aetna was one of the S’s and I’m referring to the years 81 to 83 when they struggling in the last full years of the full modifieds at Stafford against all those great teams we all remember. I don’t recall Pete as an owner when Jerry won the championships in 84 and 85 so if you could refresh my memory then that would be appreciated.

  6. Pete Simonson and Bob Sandstrom were the S’s from well back in the old modified days up until the late 1990’s or early 2000.

  7. Al Coholic says

    Kids definitely got it going on… If he can keep it in one piece he’s got champion written all over himself…

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