Road: Trip: Marcello Rufrano Readies For First Trip To New Smyrna Speedway Speedweeks


(Press release from Rufrano Racing)


Marcello Rufrano (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)

Quickly becoming a rising star within the Northeast’s Modified ranks Marcello Rufrano is optimistic about adding his name to the winner’s list during Florida’s Speedweeks. 

New Britain, Connecticut: Driver Marcello Rufrano will be making his first start at New Smyrna Speedway during the track’s February Speedweeks. Voted Stafford Motor Speedway’s Most Popular driver in 2017, the North Haven, Connecticut racer has continued to be a front-runner and fan favorite at the Connecticut facility. 

“I’m excited,” beamed Rufrano, “about finally being able to race at New Smyrna. I believe I’ve been listening to stories and staring at pictures of Geoff Bodine, Richie Evans and Teddy Christopher racing and winning at that Florida track since I was six years old.”

Rufrano will be driving a Troyer Chassis Modified No.48 prepared by him and his brother Giancarlo, and their father John. It is a system that has worked since he began winning in Stafford Speedway’s Dare Stock division (2015), and with the SK Light Modified (2016), where he stunned the grandstands by winning on his debut.

“We are not going to start preparing any differently,” revealed Rufrano. “How we execute may change, but our maintenance and car building seem to be working well. Jeff Rocco is my Crew Chief and the more we have worked together the better I am becoming. In 2018 we won the SK Light Championship. Let me tell you, that year pushed us hard, but it taught us well. Last season, though I only had a handful of races in an open motor Modified, we were able to win.” 

That win (7-18-2020) for Rufrano came in one of the most hotly contested races on Stafford’s half-mile during the 3rd Annual Bud Light 80 for Tour Modifieds. The young racer had to drive from his 24th place starting position after having to qualify through the Consolation race. In a dramatic outside pass – with only a hand-full of laps remaining – Rufrano snatched the win.

Rufrano has also won on the high banks of Thompson Speedway in SK Modified competition. That 5/8th mile oval, also in Connecticut, is perhaps the closest resemblance to New Smyrna Speedway where the steep banked turns and long straights allows Modifieds to reach their highest speeds. 

“I know winning that open show last July might have shocked people,” tells Rufrano, ‘but I’ve always felt I could – that I had the ability to win. Making them happen was great. That victory – and my first with the SK – are the most positive feelings I’ve ever experienced as a driver. 

“I can tell you that I’m not going to need much encouragement to drive those 1,200 miles to Florida. It’s going to be like a vacation, “added Rufrano. “I can’t wait to get in my Modified.” 

Marcello Rufrano’s attendance during Florida Speedweeks is a guarantee that fans at New Smyrna Speedway will have another hard charger from the northeast to cheer. 

  • Who: Marcello Rufrano – Birthday 9/17/00 from North Haven, Connecticut
  • Where: New Smyrna Speedway – Florida
  • Division: Tour Type Modified #48
  • Sponsor: Wheeler’s Auto Service
  • Crew Chief: Jeff Rocco

Comments

  1. Anyone have an entry list? I know the past few years there was some expected drivers lists that proved pretty accurate.. Also anyone know if the races will be broadcast online via NBC Gold Nascar roots again this year? It looks like New Smyrna just added 602 crate engine mods for a few shows during the world series.

  2. cgs, New Smyrna Speedway has the speedweeks entry list on their website. Pretty stellar list so far.

  3. Thanks guys. That is a pretty impressive mod roster. I looked at NBC grassroots to see if they were covering the world series this year.. They havent updated their schedule for 2021 so I couldnt find an answer. One thing I noticed they no longer offer the yearly subscription, which has me wondering if they dont plan on continuing the service into 2022.

  4. It is strange that the season pass is not offered while in the other sports it is. Something is going on with some NBC Sports Gold sports content being moved to Peacock premium. Who knows what will happen to Roots but it’s hard to imagine them discontinuing or downsizing racing content.
    Last year the announcement didn’t come until February 3rd so fingers crossed it will be provided once again. It’s content, there isn’t much racing content available in late winter so odds are it will be shown.

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