Halfway Home: Stafford Speedway 2019 Midseason Review

(Press release from Stafford Speedway)

Todd Owen leads the SK Modified division standings at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

Through the first 11 races of the 2019 season, Stafford Speedway’s premier SK Modified® division has provided race fans with plenty of thrilling action every time they take to the track. 

The year has already been filled with last lap passes and photo finishes and the first race of the season set the tone for what has become the norm.

Keith Rocco won the season opening race on May 4 but he had to hold off his teammate Michael Gervais, Jr. and Michael Christopher, Jr. in a tight photo finish as his #88 Wheelers Auto car ran out of gas and sputtered coming to the checkered flag.  Gervais took over the points lead in the second race of the season and he had his #33 Gervais Bros. Roofing car at the top of the SK Modified® standings for the first month of the season before Todd Owen took over the point lead on June 14 following his first SK Modified® victory in over two years.   

Owen followed up his June 14 win with a second consecutive win on June 21 and he has occupied the top spot in the SK Modified® standings each week since.  The driver of the #81 Cooker Construction Chevrolet has been the most consistent SK Modified® driver this season with a top-10 finish in each of the first 11 races.  Owen heads into the July 19 Girls Night Out & Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund Track Walk event with a 28 point lead over Rocco.  Gervais sits third in the standings 50 points behind with last year’s SK Modified® champion Ronnie Williams fourth, 54 points behind.  Glen Reen and the #17 Avery Construction team rounds out the top-5 drivers in the standings, 102 points behind Owen.

After a slow start to the 2019 season, Williams and the #50 Les’s Auto Center team have been on a tear of late.  Williams and the #50 team enter the July 19 SK Modified® feature event with 4 consecutive podium finishes, including a win in the prestigious NAPA SK 5k on June 28 where he held off Rocco for the win in a thrilling duel that lasted the final 13 laps of the 100-lap extra distance race.  Williams himself is also on a hot streak over the last 3 weeks with a VMRS win at Loudon, a Tri-Track win at Seekonk, and a win in last Friday night’s Bud Light Open 80 after finishing third in the SK Modified® feature that night.  

The SK Modified® division kicked off the year with 5 different winners in the first 5 races with Rocco, Eric Berndt, Reen, Williams, and Andrew Molleur each winning before Berndt became the first repeat winner of the season on June 7.  Berndt and the #54 Cos’ Central Auto team are tied for the division lead with Owen, Rocco, and Williams at 2 wins apiece with Stephen Kopcik, Molleur, and Reen each reaching NAPA Victory Lane once.

The race for the NAPA Auto Parts SK Modified® Rookie of the Year title sees two SK Light graduates in Molleur and Marcello Rufrano leading the way with Tyler Leary sitting third in the rookie standings.  Molleur and Rufrano won 10 SK Light races between them last season with Rufrano winning the SK Light title.  Molleur scored his first SK Modified® win on May 31 and the driver of the #35 Tick Mike Chevrolet is 8th in the points standings.  Rufrano currently sits 14th in the standings and although his best finish has been a 6th place finish in the NAPA SK 5K, the #48 & #68 Wheelers Auto cars have showed the speed necessary to run in the top-5 this season.  

With the second half of the 2019 season kicking off this Friday night, there are still several drivers who have won SK Modified® feature events in the past who have yet to win in 2019.  Gervais, Joey Cipriano, Christopher, Jr., and Matt Galko are all still in search of their first win this season.  With all 4 of those drivers in the top-10 of the SK Modified® standings, the second half of the 2019 season should be more of the same of what transpired in the first half with the competitors thrilling race fans each and every Friday night.

This Friday night, July 19, is Girls Night Out & the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund Track Walk with Ladies General Admission Tickets just $10.  All other Adult General Admission Tickets are $20.00.  As always kids ages 6-14 are just $5.00 and kids 5 & under are free.  Reserved seating is available and is priced at $23.00 for all ages.  All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax.  Stafford Motor Speedway offers plenty of free parking for auto racing events along with overnight parking available for self contained Recreational Vehicles.

For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.

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