Great Late: Ronnie Williams Wins Lincoln Tech Open Modified 80 At Stafford Speedway

Ronnie Williams celebrates victory in the Lincoln Tech Open Modified 80 Friday at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)

STAFFORD – Ronnie Williams rallied from a pit road miscue just after the halfway point to win the Lincoln Tech Open Modified 80 Friday at Stafford Speedway. 

It was the second career Open Modified win at Stafford for Williams, who won his first on July 12, 2019. 

Williams joins Marcello Rufrano and Keith Rocco as Open Modified event winners at Stafford third year. Williams joins Rocco as the only two-time winners of Open Modified events of the eight contested at the facility since 2018.

Williams, of Tolland, passed Jon McKennedy for the lead on lap 74 and never trailed again. 

“It was crazy,” Williams said. “I knew we had a fast race car. I guess something happened with the rear end on that pit stop. I came out 14th and I kind of thought we had just lost the race right there. … I can’t thank these guys enough for all they’ve done. We’ve had a tough year and this makes it a little bit sweeter.” 

McKennedy, of Chelmsford, Mass, was second and Rocco, of Wallingford, third. 

NASCAR Cup Series driver and former Stafford regular Ryan Preece shot to the front at the green flag, but Mike Christopher Jr. and Chase Dowling stayed well in chase. 

After a feverish opening six laps it was Christopher going by Preece for the lead on lap, with Dowling following to second place. 

On lap 34 Williams got by Dowling for second place with Preece following to third not long after. 

Caution flew on lap 48 sending all the leaders to pit road. 

McKennedy, who was running fifth at the time of the caution, won the race off pit road. Christopher came off pit road in second with Eric Goodale coming off in third and Preece fourth. Keith Rocco, who was 12th at the time of the caution, came off pit road in fifth. 

On the lap 48 restart Christopher bogged at the green in the outside lane allowing Goodale to move to second and Rocco third. Rocco then made easy work of getting by Goodale for second less than two laps later. 

Christopher got by Goodale for third on lap 52 with Preece following by him to fourth. 

On lap 57 Christopher slowed on the backstretch while running third and went off track on lap 58 and behind the wall on pit road. 

By lap 61 McKennedy had built a half-second lead over second place Rocco with Preece another half second behind in third. 

Caution flew once again on lap 67 for debris with McKennedy leading Rocco and Preece and Williams in fourth. 

Following the restart it was Williams getting by Rocco for second on lap 68. A lap later Williams got under McKennedy for the lead into turn one, but McKennedy crossed him over off turn two to take the top spot right back. 

Williams stayed with McKennedy’s bumper and on lap 74 he pounced again, firing low under McKennedy into turn three to take over the lead for good. 

Preece ended up fourth and Matt Galko fifth.


  1. 👍 👍 👍 👍 👍 👍 👍 👍

  2. Tour racing is mostly boring compared to sk and skl racing. Cars make a pass in a second, never side by side for more than one turn. Races are too many laps, reminds me of watching Indy car racing.

  3. I was surprised that Rufrano ran the SK race, but not the Open. Does anyone have an explanation?

  4. Steve doesn’t sound like you were there last night , there were quite a few laps of side by side racing , Christopher,preece,Rocco Dowling early .I thought it was one of the better open races

  5. Sharpie Fan says

    I heard that he had problems early in the day. Motor I think. Could have been when Preece rented the track earlier in the day. That’s been known to bite you. Just a guess.

  6. Shaun,
    After talking to the 50 crew, your first sentence needs to be revised. Williams came in to the pits 2nd and left 14th. But there was no miscue as one would think, there was more like a miracle. Ronnie’s right rear axel cap came off and his axel was sticking 6” out. The crew said if there was no caution, that would have been a major problem. The tire changer grabbed a cap and bolts, pushed the axel back in, put the cap on, changed the tire then Ronnie was out. So I’d say the Timing of the caution and how quickly they fixed a major problem was a miracle not a miscue. A miscue is really unfair to the team.

  7. Congrats to Ronnie, Adam, Les and the 50 crew for winning the Lincoln Tech 80. Great job.

  8. Elect- I watched it on tv… lap 6 the battle was over… I Enjoyed the racIng – the crossover that the 21 did to take the lead was cool, it’s just that the faster the cars are the less time they are side by side. The passes are so quick unlike the sk and skl.

  9. Like I said obviously you weren’t there , and obviously tv didn’t do it justice and don’t think Williams was leading on lap six, maybe on your tv he was

  10. Great to see the Art Barry 21 running up front.

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