Money Man: Ronnie Williams Scores $10K Payday With NAPA SK 5K Win At Stafford

Ronnie Williams celebrates victory in the NAPA SK 5K Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway (Photo: Fran Lawlor)

STAFFORD – The big payday that got away.

For Ronnie Williams, it was a three-year wait to get back that big one that got away at Stafford Motor Speedway.

Friday at Stafford Williams got his makeup call.

After putting on a show near the front all race with Keith Rocco and Eric Berndt, Williams came out to win the fifth NAPA SK 5K.

It was the first victory in the event for Williams, who got spun out of the lead in the 2015 SK 5K while leading on lap 87.

“I know there was a little bit of redemption there because we definitely had the car to beat that night,” Williams said. “It didn’t turn out our way, but that’s why we keep coming back. Good things happen.”

Rocco, of Wallingford, was second and Chase Dowling of Roxbury third.

Unofficially Williams and his Adam Skowyra owned team took home $10,675 for the victory. Williams earned the $5,000 winner’s purse. For the Dunleavy’s Gambler’s Challenge Williams pulled the chip for winner take all, earning that $5,000 too. He also collected a qualifying bonus from Wheeler’s Auto and the track’s regular contingency awards.

“That’s a big number man,” Williams said. “That’s definitely the biggest payday of my career.”

Rocco and Berndt were the show in the early stages, swapping the lead multiple times over the first 20 laps. By lap 20 Williams jumped into the fray in the front, passing Berndt for second. From there it was the Williams, Rocco and Berndt show with trio seemingly taking turns in pairs to set off side-by-side battles at the front.

Williams held off Rocco on a lap 74 restart but on lap 79 Rocco was able to grab the lead back. But Williams was up to the task of rallying once again, getting by Rocco a lap later. From there Williams went untouched on the way to the checkered.

“I’m glad we put on a good show for the fans,” Williams said. “It was fun out there racing with [Rocco] and Berndt. We came out on top and that’s all that matters.”

Said Rocco: “We had a great car all night. We hate to lose.”


  1. wmass01013 says

    Congrats to Williams!!!
    Looked like a BIG CROWD
    Stafford way to go

  2. Jerry Fascione says

    Really is there a better Modified show anywhere ? I don’t think so. Stafford has been the track to give the fans the best modified racing going all the way back to the Flemke, Evans, Bouchard’s, Bugsy, Bergin etc, etc 30 lap Friday night races.

  3. Based on the crowd, the purse and the interesting way it’s structured. The full field and insanely competitive racing this 5K deal is a whole phenomenon now.
    I’d suggest Dowling was the big story last night besides the headline that was the number of lead changes. The guy just has ice water running through his veins. Coming from 20th in a car that was not in the league of Williams or Rocco at the start he navigated the field like a surgeon. As the race wound down and the field lost a little speed including the rockets at the front the 36 lost less speed in relation to them. Is there something to that LFR chassis on long runs? Berndt, Williams and Rocco were the class of the field and put on the show. All Dowling did was take his car and absolutely maximize it’s potential and finish.

  4. Crazy in NY says

    I wasn’t there but I’d suggest maybe astute tire management is the biggest reason. Something that’s learned in time. Chase though appears to be the real deal and his first Tour win is right around the corner. He continues to impress.

  5. GREAT JOB Ronnie Williams and your Les’s Auto Center Team. Congratulations to Les,Tina and Adam Skowyra for your 2nd consecutive 5K win.

  6. First 60 laps, great racing. Last 40, not so much. After the last caution, entire field strung out with little or no passing. Dowling ran well, but in my opinion got the benefit of cautions and pit stops to get positions, as did Mike Christopher. Most interesting to me was 24 starting, 16 finishing, and only 1 car lapped in 100 laps, and it was on the final lap. Unbelievable just how tight the field is competitively top to bottom. Thanks to NAPA for the discounted ticket and dinner. They have been supporting Stafford since I’ve been attending races there, well over 35 years. Without companies and sponsors like NAPA, Dunleavy, and the rest, we’d never have this great racing.

  7. What RichC said! ^^^^^

  8. wmass01013 says

    That’s the shame of it for the open COMP shows, put up some decent $$, pay the winner 10 K, add the gamblers challenge, have a band and BBQ, happy hour, DO SOME things that make it exciting for both fans AND TEAMS, then add sk and sk light events to the night and what a night!

  9. I would like to thank Doug Dunleavy for putting up all the money he has, also Mr Rufrano, and all the people who are sponsors of contingency bonuses. Your financial contributions have elevated the racing in all the Stafford divisions to the next level. Thanks again.

  10. I do agree Chase Dowling is a good wheelman, and produces good results. But he should run well, he drives the LFR/ Fury car on the tour, so you know he’s getting the best LFR has to offer. His Stafford SK is the only LFR car in the field, and is backed by Ben Dodge, so again top tier equipment. Just wondering if he would do as well if he where to drive in mid- pack equipment. I’m sure Rob Fuller is putting allot of time and resources into both his Tour and SK efforts to keep him running up front in an effort to sell his products. But as I said to start I do think he’s a good driver…time will tell.

  11. Does Fuller help Dowling with his SK ride? Maybe but maybe not so enthusiastically. According to Shawns article on the Kopcik, Dowling, Fuller relationship and Rob’s quotes he definitely would prefer seeing both his employees give up the SK’s and concentrate on the NWMT effort and LFR business.
    From a cherry picker:
    My unofficial count of the lead changes last night based on Scott Running article was 12 to 15. Let’s say 12. That’s a lead change on average every 8.3 laps for the 100 lap race. Compared to the NWMT that has averaged a lead change every 25.7 laps based on the average race length of 154 laps. Yes, apples and oranges but none the less a stunning difference. And the minimal drop off in lap times through the first 20 cars as has been mentioned is also a head turner.

  12. There were 17 lead changes among 3 drivers, Eric Berndt (1-6, 11, 17-18, 38, 50-57), Keith Rocco (7-10, 12-16, 19-22, 27-28, 32-37, 39-49, 58-70, 78-79), and Ronnie Williams (23-26, 29-31, 71-77, 80-100).

  13. Correction, a lead change every 5.88 laps compared to the NWMT’s average of 25.7. The 3 SK drivers compares to 3.11 leaders per race on average in the NWMT adjusted for the number of laps.

  14. I think it’s clear that the SK’s at Stafford put on a better show than the NWMT, whatever the reasons.

  15. Rob P he’s the only LFR car that runs decent but not only one in field , Bolles has a new LFR and not sure of any others

  16. Open wheel fan says

    No question Stafford puts the best SK modified show on in the north east. Very competitive field of SK modified cars. They actually put a more exciting show on than the modified tour and I am a modified tour fan. Side by side and wheel to wheel and goes down to last lap. Great night of modified racing to say the least. If you are a modified fan Stafford is the track you want to go to. You won’t be disappointed !!!!

  17. SK ModFan says

    Doug, I was wondering to myself how you were going to bring your Chase love commentary in a race where he was a non factor and you delivered. The 50, 88 and 66 were the show period. The race to the front early, the chess match after every caution to get in a good spot and save equipment at the same time. Those cars put on a show. Chase benefited from crashes and pit stops to finish where he did. Out of the 3 top cars, Williams started 10th and was the surgeon carving up cars to join the 88 vs 66 battle by lap 20 and passed them both. On the outside too, which at Stafford is very demasculating. And your Chase vs the top 3 cars “being relatively faster” at the end of the race is just wrong when the fastest car in the race, the 50 car ran his fastest time on lap 95!! I know it’s hard to see lap times through your rose colored glasses for Chase, but other than the facts, you are a great read so thank you.

  18. What an awesome show!! Does anyone of Tyler’s car was repairable? The front was really cooking . I can’t remember seeing two cars catch on fire like Tyler’s and Dans before in the same race. The whole show was awesome to watch from Nichole rolling one week and winning the next week and Tom losing because he got caught behind the second place car for several laps while the car winner drove away for his first win.

  19. I’d have to say SK Modfan I’m disappointed with your entry. The juvenile reference to Chase love especially when you do the same with Williams. Missing the fact I highlighted the outstanding competition via lead changes comparing the Rocco, Willams, Berndt duels to the NWMT averages. Blowing off Dowlings march through the field as essentially pure luck. Citing one lap time number for Williams when that wasn’t the point at all. I get it. You’re a die hard Williams fan. I’m not saying you should be anything else.
    I highlighted the leaders including Williams. You view it as a zero sum game where there only Wiliams or Dowling can do well but both can’t have a good race together for different reasons. I disagree.

    On occasion some expert chimes in with a kernel of history that is intriguing. Somewhere there must be a record for lead changes in extended distance races. Say 80 laps or more. I’d like to know if that number exists and if the SK 5K number of a lead change every 5.88 laps is a record.

  20. How many “Doug” characters are there?

    Every time one Doug promises to leave, another one shows up.

  21. Diaper Dareal 6/10/18
    “I will never attend an event where TB is allowed to participate until he has successfully gone through the NASCAR or similar rehab program, and he’s proven to be clean.”
    Diaper Dareal 6/29/18 after seeing TTOMS Seekonk first 22 laps with Tommy Barrett.
    “Looking forward to the rest of this race.”
    Diaper Dareal 7/2/18 on remainder of TTOMS at Seekonk with Tommy Barrett
    “Looking forward to this… again.”
    Diaper Dareal 7/4/18 On TTOMS Seekonk race with TB in race
    “Hey Tri-Track, nice job.”

    I think what we have here Diaper Dareal you big dummy is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. You got your ears pinned back in one thread so predictably you find another pot to stir. Welding Wonders, RickyinMass and I all agree. You’re just tedious but we also agree you should stick to trolling since you’ve screwed up every serious thought you’ve had lately.
    Happy 4th of July . The German potato salad was yummy.

  22. Well, I did not attend Seekonk this time. I made an excellent decision to stay home that night because of the pending rain. I was right again. Due to modern technology, I was able to experience the race from the comfort of my home. No rain, air conditioning, and no concession lines. So I saw the race delayed by rain, and can then look forward to its resumption. All while never attending the fine facility. It’s a very long drive for me, and it was high risk given the weather. I certainly did not want to have to drive a couple hours on two lane roads in hard rain on the way home, and that was going to happen even if the race was completed. I just love modern technology.

    You make it too easy. Way too easy.

  23. Did you just say you did not have sex with that woman Diaper Dareal. Unless you have some form of immaculate reception you supported the race and bought a pay per view ticket. You’re like a super dumb Bill Clinton trying to convince people the stain on the dress is ice cream. And now you’re reduced to congratulating yourself for watching a weather report. I have to say you suck at stirring the pot.
    Whether you’re saying “Crazy, you’re from upstate NY, it’s lawless up there. Makes deep Appalachia look civilized. And your gene pool is very small”. Or “I’m wondering about those other three school districts and how little they read. Appalachia extends into not Maine, it’s just a southern thing”.. Well no it doesn’t dummy. It doesn’t extend to Maine or the kids in New Hampshire you ridiculed.
    You screw literally everything up. Obviously you never cared about TB at the TTOMS races because you been singing their praises for years while he was racing. But then there was an article, you got caught up in a theme and you proceeded to climb in your rabbit hole of hypocrisy and stupidity. And you do it all the time.You screw literally everything up then find some other pot to stir. Keep stirring dummy.

  24. Well, looks like 🧠-less Doug V14.4.6 is going apoplectic, again. 🤯 🤡 🤣 😎

    Look for new forum handles to appear again. Insipid Sybil 👶 at work. Doug, get a book of names, you’ll need it for all your new screen names.

    Doug, if I was stirring the pot, it would seem I’m an expert at it. Look at you… you are going to fill these forums for the next few days over this. Too easy, way too easy.

    Yep, I made the perfect decision to not risk the weather and travel several hours to Seekonk, and enjoyed the race in the comfort of home. No lines for the restrooms, no concessions line, great food, snacks and beverages. All I can eat! Wish the weather was such that I would have gone to the track, but I’m real and practical. Worked out great for me. Still being able to experience the race when I can’t attend is just fantastic!!

    Events that do not post credible entry lists are fair game. They don’t know who is and who is not going to show up for sure, only speculation. A list of expected cars is just not trustworthy. I’m not going to miss a race on something like that. But NASCAR and VMRS do a good job excluding detriments for me, not a worry.

    Sybil, taking the ferry over to Riverhead?


  25. Crazy in NY says

    Is Doug really dareal arguing with himself in a mirror? laeraD= guoD……Hmmmm could be.

  26. Stand back, make way, give em room folks. Porcupine coming through.

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