Forever Young: Eric Berndt Dominant In Winning SK Modified Feature At Stafford

Eric Berndt celebrates victory in the SK Modified division May 11 at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

STAFFORD – For many who have spent decades hanging around the pits and the grandstands at Stafford Motor Speedway, the moniker for Eric Berndt has long been the same. 

He’s ‘The Kid’. 

Over the last decade teenagers have become regulars across so many of the divisions of short track racing, but Berndt was a unique anomaly at Stafford Speedway as a 16-year old in the SK Modified division at Stafford in 1995.

Berndt was ‘The Kid’ among men mostly decades his senior when he was a teenager starting out in the SK Modified division at Stafford. 

Over the offseason Berndt turned 40 and last week he began his 25thseason competing in the SK Modified division at Stafford. 

“I see Mike Christopher Sr. and he’ll still call me ‘The Kid’,” Berndt said. “But I’m not The Kid anymore. I’m racing against kids that weren’t born yet when I turned my first laps here.” 

Saturday he needed every bit of that veteran experience in surviving a multitude of restarts to win the 40-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature at Stafford. 

It was the 21stcareer victory in the division at Stafford for Berndt. 

Todd Owen of Somers was second and Michael Gervais Jr. of Southbury third. 

Berndt went by Tyler Hines for the lead on lap five and never trailed again, dealing with six restarts and the challenges of Todd Owen.

“I’ve been through restarts like that when you’ve got [Ted Christopher] behind your or Teddy outside you,” Berndt said. “I mean, there’s nobody comparable to that. Definitely experience takes over in that situation. … I was just hoping our car stayed as good as it was going. We’ve been alright.” 

Said Owen: “The car was really good. We just got looses for the last ten [laps] and didn’t really have much for him. We were a little bit better than him in the middle of the race and he was better at the end. Hats off to him and his guys.” 

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  1. Congrats to “The Bulldog” someone to watch . What about Gervais, definitely dark horse, predict he’ll win soon.

  2. What happen to Rocco?

  3. Rocco wrecked early, around lap7, he was credited with a 25th place finish on race monitor. It took the right front wheel off the car. It was shortly after he was interviewed during the race and he said he was going to win. Love the confidence, hate the result.

  4. It’s a new year and the top tier is up for grabs. Can’t make hide nor hair of any of it which is a good thing.
    This year we have a rare treat. Two teams with great equipment and drivers Rufrano and Moeller battling for Rookie of the Year. I’d pick Rufrano simply because he has Rocco equipment but am hoping for a dog fight in any event.

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