Late Run: Ronnie Williams Uses Last Lap Pass To Win SK Modified Feature At Stafford



Ronnie Williams (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

Ronnie Williams rallied on the final lap with a pass of Stephen Kopcik to win the 40-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway. 

“We’ve let a couple slip through our fingers so I was going to do basically anything to get this win,” Williams said. 

It was the third feature victory of the season for Williams, of Tolland, the reigning SK Modified division champion at Stafford. 

Kopcik, of Newtown – who got his first since 2017 last Friday –  ended up second. Michael Gervais Jr. of Southbury was third. 

Kopcik got by Williams for the lead on lap 39 through turns three and four, but Williams fought back on the final lap to retake the lead through the final turns. 

“[Kopcik] made an awesome move in [turn] three and crossed me over coming out of [turn] four [on lap 39],” Williams said. “At that point I was like ‘Crap, this is not good, I’m going to have to do something.’ He’s had a fast car the last couple weeks and he’s been driving smart. Going into the last turn – I’ve let a couple slip away the last three weeks – but I wasn’t going to let that one. … I gave him a little bump. … I just moved him up enough and was able to get under him.” 

Reigning division champion Tom Fearn of East Longmeadow, Mass. scored his third consecutive win and sixth victory overall in 12 starts this year in the 30-lap Late Model feature. 

Cliff Saunders of Stafford was second and Albert Saunders of Stafford third. 

Bryan Narducci of Colchester won for the third consecutive week and fifth time in 2019 in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature. 

Steven Chapman of Ellington was second and Noah Korner of Canton third. 

Alexandra Fearn of East Longmeadow, Mass. won for the second consecutive week in the 15-lap Limited Late Model feature.

Jeremy Lavoie of Windsor Locks was second and Gary Patnode of Barkhamstead third. 

Jason Lafayette of Somers got his second win of 2019 in the 20-lap Street Stock feature. 

Travis Hydar of Woodbury was second and Dave Secore Jr. of Union third. 


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Comments

  1. What happened to the 6, 82, etc. on the late race restart?

  2. Feel bad about the 6 getting taken out of the lead late in the race. Would of liked that race to end with the 6 and 82 battling for the lead instead of spinning. Last 3 laps were exciting.

  3. SK ModFan says

    Mike Sr was telling Jr to keep a wheel on him into the restart box and keep the 6 down. The 6 held his ground and next lap touched wheels and both went up the track into the wall.

  4. Congrats to Ronnie Adam, Les and the whole #59 team. Great job.

  5. Turn One Fan says

    I am a long time Ronnie Williams fan and have enjoyed watching him skillfully make his way through a field of cars as he did last night starting 13th. However, I was very disappointed to see the way that he got the win by PUNTING Kopcik in the last turn to get under him. Really made it a dirty win at any cost as he admitted to in the post race remarks. Track officials were throwing black flags at others all night but not this time. Also when you view the recap tape on the Stafford website, the PUNT was EDITED out of the tape!! I like to think that Ronnie and Stafford are better than that.

  6. As a modified fan for nearly 50 years I have come to really dislike the current “Bump and Run” move that is being used to win at all costs. I remember watching Evans, Troyer, Bugsy, DeSarro, Bodine, the Bouchards and many more race and never punt the leader to win a race. Especially if the leader raced them clean to get the lead. They were racer enough to realize that sometimes you are second best and were happy to finish there. Back then, give a man a fair lane to race in and if he beat you so be it. Not in today’s events as Friday’s SK winner proudly admits a “bump to move him.” Stafford has fantastic and very competitive races every week and punting to win just shows poor sportsmanship in a driver. Especially when the offending driver is a frequent winner. I guess maybe that is why they call it “The Good Old Days” of modified racing.

  7. SK ModFan says

    Kopcik is not a victim here. To get the lead and eventual win last week he drove Williams into the turn 1 and 2 marbles. He did what he had to do. This week with 2 to go, didn’t you see Kopcik drive into the rear of Williams just past the flag stand, trying to send him high into 1 for a pass??
    Williams Tap/push could have just been a little payback for that. Winners find ways to win.

  8. “We’ve let a couple slip through our fingers so I was going to do basically anything to get this win,” Williams said. ”
    “[Kopcik] made an awesome move in [turn] three and crossed me over coming out of [turn] four [on lap 39],”
    ” I gave him a little bump. … I just moved him up enough and was able to get under him”

    Williams said he’d do anything for the win and he did. Gives Kopcik credit for making a great racing move and returns the favor by pushing him out of the way maybe as retribution for getting out driven last week.
    If he and Rocco want to trade that kind of racing it’s one thing. Kopcik isn’t Rocco and deserved better.
    “little bump”…..indeed. So little it vanished from the replay apparently.

  9. As SK MOD fan said Kopcik is not a victim, just a consequence of his own actions. Going back to last week where he “bumped” Ronnie on 3 separate occasions over the last 4 laps, and chopped him with 1 to go. So Ronnie simply repaid him, and as Doug said it was so slight it didn’t even show up in the replay.

  10. ConspiracyTheory says

    Stafford edited the video……Conspiracy theory of the century right there

  11. You’ve read the wild imaginings of a couple Williams fans now here’s what happened.
    . “To get the lead and eventual win last week he drove Williams into the turn 1 and 2 marbles.” if you interpret the marbles to mean the outer groove then sure. If you’re actually in the marbles there is literally no way to avoiding backing out that is totally absent in this case.
    ” This week with 2 to go, didn’t you see Kopcik drive into the rear of Williams just past the flag stand, trying to send him high into 1 for a pass??” never happened. They were side by side at the time.

    “Going back to last week (July 12) where he “bumped” Ronnie on 3 separate occasions over the last 4 laps, and chopped him with 1 to go”

    Lap 36- Kopcik leading
    Lap 37- Challenge by Williams in 3& 4, Kopcik at the stripe.
    Lap 38- Williams continuing to challenge Kopcik but fades in third turn
    Lap 39- Kopcik leading, Rocco passes Williams
    Lap 40 – Kopcik, Rocco, William in line to checkers.
    Kopcik bumping when leading……never happened. Kopcik chopping………..never happened.
    All I can reckon is you guys make up stuff to justify Williams dirty move.
    You’d think if Williams was paying Kopcik back for some previous transgression he’d mention it but he didn’t. Because it never happened. He gave Kopcik credit then proceeded to tell everyone how he bumped him out of the way.
    My view is we all have different standards on what is acceptable in racing or over the line. It takes a lot of skill to execute the tap one go.. You want to get the leader just off his preferred line but not hit him so hard you get a penalty like Narducci did a few weeks back. Williams did it perfectly. Waited until Kopcik was most vulnerable in 3 and stole the race with a dirty move. Dirty mostly because it was the last lap when the guy you’re hitting is just as fast as you and he gets no chance to return the favor. A cheap shot by a guy that had no reason to pull that kind of stuff.
    No conspiracy on the tape. The shot Williams delivered in turn 3 was likely off the screen shot so the simple edit to give the race summary the appearance on continuity.

  12. Turn One Fan says

    I was there on this past Friday and there was no skillful “tap and go” by Williams, it was a full on punt! The video was clearly edited! If Kopcik drove dirty the week before then the track should have called him on it. To infer that the track should look the other way this week because Williams was paying Kopcik back for the week before is a weak argument.I have no problem with rivalries and subtle pay backs to each other as that is a part of the sport. But if you call Narducci for a flagrant hit one week but not Williams on another week then all you are doing is hurting the sport and the track. Ronnie saying in the interview that he had to get the win at any cost because his guys work so hard on the car rings a little bit hollow……MOST teams work hard all week preparing their cars and also deserve a fair win.

  13. Sure it was skillful simply because he wasn’t black flagged. It’s hard doing that when you have no idea where the lead cars brake points are going to land. He didn’t turn him or cause Kopcik to bobble he just forced him up the track as the announcers observed. Dirty racing can be a skill.
    Otherwise Turn One couldn’t agree more.
    If you support that kind of stuff essentially you’re giving up on modifieds and making them Late Models where they root and grind their way inside to the lead and the outside lane ends up forgotten territory.

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