SK Modified Preseason Preview At Stafford Speedway

(Press Release from Stafford Motor Speedway)

Ronnie Williams celebrates his first SK Modified championship at Stafford Speedway last September (Photo: Jim DuPont)

The 2018 SK Modified season at Stafford saw a season long duel between Ronnie Williams and Keith Rocco in the race for the championship.

Williams and Rocco were neck and neck for much of the year, but Rocco faded down the stretch, allowing Williams to claim his first career track title at Stafford. Below we review the players who will all be looking to replace Williams as the SK Modified® champion this season.

The Rundown – SK Modifieds®
The Favorites
#50 Ronnie Williams – Two words, Defending Champion. Coming off a 4-win season, the Adam Skowyra owned #50 car is hands down the favorite entering 2019. Two consecutive NAPA SK 5K wins for this team with a total payday of over $16,000

#88 Keith Rocco – With 60 career Stafford feature wins to his name, “Kid Rock” enters 2019 with a win at all costs mindset. This aggressive driver is one of the showstoppers in Stafford’s SK Modified® division. With a field this deep he may have a hard time beating his 6 wins from last season.

#82 Michael Christopher, Jr. – After breaking through for his first career win early last season, Mike Christopher, Jr. won the last 3 races of the 2018 season. The #82 team based out of Plainville, CT has momentum on their side as they enter the new season.

#66 Eric Berndt – This team notched 3 wins last season but inconsistency knocked them out of championship contention. New energy has this bunch ready to grind out a long season. But their luck will have to change if they want to be in contention come championship time.

Ones to Watch
#3 Matt Galko – 2 wins in 2017, 0 in 2018. Galko is itching to get back to NAPA Victory Lane. Don’t be surprised if the #3 team clicks off a few wins this season.

#17 Glen Reen – High expectations from this team coming off a 2-win season, including a win in the inaugural TC Shootout. This driver known for his wild driving style will be a factor.

#81 Todd Owen – After a tough 2018, this team is ready to rebound. 18 career wins for Owen but a two-year drought has him searching for the magic to get back to NAPA victory lane.

#33 Michael Gervais, Jr. – No stranger to victory lane, Gervais has gone winless in 2 full seasons. The 2009 SK Light Champion has a brand new car prepared for the new season, keep your eye on this team.

#78 Joey Cipriano – First career win coming in 2018 means the breakout season is behind him. Time for this team to make their presence known in the Jean-Guy Poulin supported #78.

New Faces
#68 Marcello Rufrano – Coming off his 2018 SK Light Modified Championship, Marcello Rufrano joins the SK Modified® division as a rookie. High expectations for this young 18-year-old driver as his hard driving style fits into the high paced SK Modified® division.

#35 Andrew Molleur – 3 wins in the SK Light Modified division in 2018 and multiple years experience piloting Modifieds. This driver will contend for NAPA Rookie of the Year.

#1 Tyler Leary – After running 3 full seasons in Stafford’s Late Model division, the Leary’s have added an SK Modified® to their stable. Steep learning curve ahead for this team but the #1 will have ample support as their SK Modified® will be prepared by the Todd Owen crew throughout the season.

#20 Max Zachem – Former Whelen Modified Tour regular, Preston, CT’s Max Zachem is set to compete a full season in Stafford’s SK Modified® division. Two starts and two top 10’s for Zachem in 2018. This family operation could be a factor as the season grinds on.

#98 Michael Rutkowski – Another talented rookie added to an already deep field. Rutkowski comes from the bullring of Riverhead Raceway where he competed in their Crate Modified division for multiple seasons. The #98 car will be prepared by Keith Rocco, so we know this car will be fast.

Bottom Line
The fans are the winners this season with one of the deepest SK Modified® divisions ever. 44 teams have registered for the 2019 season with 25 teams expected to run the full schedule. A lot of drivers and a lot of action. Hang on to your seat for this one.

2019 SK Modified® Roster

2018 SK Modified® Final Points Standings

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  1. Williams/Skowrya has those blown engines to contend with and an expanded agenda. Rocco has so many irons in the fire it’s hard to believe he can focus properly on his own championship effort. Owen another guy with multiple modified commitments including a new Open car to fit out.
    Maybe an opportunity this year for Christopher, Berndt or even Reen if he can remain disciplined.
    SK’s, SK Lights, Streets and even LM’s are looking to have perhaps the strongest fields in recent memory.

  2. I was told that Williams engine problems we’re a fluke, something related to the fuel system. I think the #50 will definitely be a contender to repeat as champs. My other pick is MCJ what can you say, great equipment and a ton of talent. Plus as I’ve stated before, he’s driving his uncle’s car with his dad’s number, that’s family.

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