Bear Season: Bryan Narducci To Go Hunting SK Modified Wins With New Team Owner In 2021

Bryan Narducci (left) and the Billy “Bear” Calicchio SK Modified (right)

The 2020 season was a year for a new beginning for Bryan Narducci. 

After two years of immense success in the SK Light Modified divisions at Stafford Speedway and Thompson Speedway, the 20-year old from Colchester made the jump to the SK Modified division at Stafford with team owner Todd Owen. 

The big jump proved a struggle for Narducci, who had one top-five and two top-10’s in 14 SK Modified starts at Stafford in 2020, ending up 17th in the standings at the track. 

Now that theme of a new beginning will carry over into 2021 season for Narducci driving for longtime local Modified team owner and crew chief Billy “Bear” Calicchio

Following the 2020 season Narducci and Owen decided to part ways. 

“It was really tough, he’s practically my stepfather,” Narducci said of Owen during the latest episode of Unmuffled. “So it was really hard to go to his shop and tell him that I wasn’t going to do it anymore and get my seat and all my stuff out of there. It’s definitely hard. … He wished me the best and I wish him the best. Hopefully he can continue to grow his operation and I can start somewhere fresh and hopefully bring that operation to a winning operation as well.” 

Driving for Owen, Narducci had five SK Light Modified victories at Stafford and three at Thompson in 2018 on the way to the NASCAR All-American Series Division III national championship. The success continued in 2019 with Narducci winning eight of the 19 SK Light Modified events at Stafford and seven of the 10 SK Light Modified events at Thompson that season. But in 2020 car owner Owen and driver Narducci found themselves on the track together fighting for supremacy, which didn’t work out well for them. 

“It got to the point where – with me racing the SK Light [Modified] it was a little bit different, we weren’t competing on the same track at the same time,” Narducci said. “And then moving up to the SK [Modifieds] we had a couple little mishaps. … It had run its course I feel like. We still have a lot of respect for each other and I still talk to him obviously. I’m sure we’ll be good racing against each other this year.” 

Owen remarked on the split during the latest episode of Unmuffled

“Bryan looked at some different opportunities that he had and thought he wanted to try a different avenue,” Owen said. “Obviously we hope he moves and has success doing whatever he decides he’s going to do. Obviously his success in our SK Light [Modified] has probably put us in a situation that our cars are noticed more than they would have been without him, Definitely without his success we probably wouldn’t be where we are today.” 

Narducci is looking forward to the new start under the tutelage of Calicchio.

“I’m really excited,” Narducci said. “I’ve known Bear my whole life just from hanging around with Ted [Christopher]. He was always around those guys. … We started to come up with a deal and started to figure stuff out and here we are.” 

To hear plenty more from Narducci on his plans for 2021 and more from Owen and also SK Modified driver Troy Talman and Street Stock driver Chris Meyer subscribe to the RaceDayCT Insider program. For $5 a month you’ll have access to all of our weekly podcasts including the previous library of episodes. 





Comments

  1. Bear always brings top level equipment to the track, and has had success in the past. Brian should be a good fit into the operation, and won’t have to worry about racing, or wrecking, his car owner. Wish them good luck in 2021, and beyond?

  2. Rafter fan says

    Narducci/Bear to run at Stafford, Waterford and Thompson?

  3. Rafter Fan,
    Bryan talks about their plans for the season on the Unmuffled podcast listed in the story.

  4. That’s the thing about Unmuffled. You can read the words in print but it’s only part of the story. Hearing the drivers and others say the words, the inflection in their voices, enthusiasm or lack of it can give the interview an entirely different meaning.
    My take on this deal is it’s gut check time for Narducci and he’s under pressure to make it all come together. Perhaps more of a load is on him personally then before to manage details other then driving. No longer a virtual step father as mentor but a guy that has certain expectations resources and performance wise and won’t be wanting to waste his time. Especially fixing a car wrecked as the result of an ill advised, impulsive move. It’s a big and risky move for sure.
    This could be one of those really impactful decisions in a race car drivers career trajectory. Make or break. . That SK Light car he drove was passed on and it continued to have inordinate success even with a rookie driver. Narducci was hailed as some kind of phenom at one point with at least one legendary race driver grandpa suggesting winning a race or two was possible. It never was. I just hope he didn’t move up based on his press clippings. I was hoping he’d spend another year in the Lights and get his name in the record books forever as a champion. Water under the bride.
    Good luck with the new ride but don’t forget to do your homework and review the videos of races. Perhaps consider adding study of tactics and strategy to the list of a million other things you need to do.
    A fresh start and one thing is for sure. If Bryan Narducci is on the track this geezer is keeping him on his radar and hoping real hard he does well.

  5. Good to see Bear back at Stafford as a car owner. When was the last time he had his own car there? Him and Eric surprised a lot of people last year at the Bowl. Good luck to this new team in 2021

  6. Bear would be a good guest for the Unmuffled or Bottom Shot podcasts.

  7. sour grapes of discrimination says

    first its attacking a gay business owner who saved a beloved shoreline institution. then its sexual harassment . my personal opinion is people have formed a bad opinion of Narducci who is courageously navigating thru health issues and yet is still a top open wheel driver who`s full potential hasn’t revealed itself. where is all the hatred coming from ?. a fine young man who will thrive under the tutelage of another racing legend Billy Bear Collichio .big big things coming from this team!!

  8. Sour Grapes,
    Do you live in some delusional world where you invent things that are never said here and then respond to them? You continually mention people “attacking a gay businessman”, which nobody is doing here. But yet, you keep saying it over and over again. Now you’re accusing people of attacking Bryan and bringing up “issues” that nobody else has made any reference to here. You’ve got to push me for a while to get banned from commenting here, but you’re inching very close to that.

  9. Any idea what Eric Berndt plans are for this year?

  10. Hey Sour Grapes, it really bothers you that the owner of then ‘bowl is gay, doesn’t it? You don’t like that it gets visibility.

    Read these:

    https://www.courant.com/breaking-news/hc-br-glastonbury-stabbing-and-assault-20201230-mmw2h6huyrfuxii37glxjhdini-story.html

    https://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Police-2-hospitalized-after-stabbing-at-15835854.php

    https://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Man-accused-in-Glastonbury-stabbing-of-live-in-15838023.php

    https://www.fox61.com/article/news/crime/glastonbury-businessman-convicted-of-trafficking-says-domestic-partner-stabbed-him-bruce-bemer/520-516b5f4b-8868-49b5-b313-012827dcadb1

    It’s news, Sour. News and facts that could have an impact on the opening, operations and future of the ‘bowl.

    Bemer is gay, and what he admitted to and was convicted of is pretty creepy. He’s also the owner of the ‘bowl. Simply stating that is not an attack, unless you have something against gay people and you think the very mention of it is nefarious. Or you admit that being gay will make oneself a target of homophobes.

    I don’t care that he’s gay. It’s really creepy that he’s an admitted predator, and a convicted predator. There’s plenty of people, gay or otherwise, that live wonderful, peaceful, non-creepy lives.

    So as we open racing season at the ‘bowl, that is owned by a gay man, and some Christian clergy member opens the events throughout the season with a prayer session, let’s remember that the church is anti-gay and homophobic. Here you go: https://www.hli.org/resources/catholic-church-on-homosexuality/

    So as opening time happens at the bowl throughout the season, I’ll be thinking of what kind of prayer could possibly be recited at the ‘bowl that is not absurdly hypocritical. I mean, the church excommunicates gay people, or requires gay conversion therapy, or exorcisms. All sorts of fire and brimstone!!!! 🙏

    Where there’s hypocrisy, there’s 💵 💰 💵 💰 💵 💰 💵 💰 💵 💰 💵 💰 💵 💰 !!!!!!

  11. 🌈🦄2020 says

    Here we go again. Dafella’s Bruce Bemer is gay weekly reminder. How many times has Dafella mentioned Bruce Bemers sexuality the past few years and why? In Dafellas twisted sick mind he’d like to see people not attend races at the speedbowl because the owner is gay. He’s tried the predator thing for a while now but apparently it’s not working good enough for him. Shame on all you christian hypocrites! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤡

  12. Major Tom (dafella) has lifted off again and circling Uranus for the umpteenth time. If it isn’t Trump its Bemer. He should have been an astronaut as well to add to his list of alleged professions 😂

  13. Mark Andrews says

    Shaun…….. there have been times when people have mentioned Narducchis disability it was mentioned áfter he walled himself and Rufrano.It dealt with his car control.And Beamer has been bashed and judged harshly many times on this site.You are losing it.😁

  14. Mark Andrews,
    Never did I say those weren’t real topics of discussion at some point. What I said was Sour Grapes brings those topics back to the forefront when nobody is talking about them JUST to start arguments. He claims to be against those topics being raised, despite the fact that he’s always the one that brings them out. On that thread that I’m talking about nobody had talked about Bemer or any disability. But Sour somehow made it sound like it was an argument/debate happening in real time when the reality is, nobody has brought up any issue like that concerning Bryan in over two years. And the name is Bemer, Bruce Bemer. Is it really that hard to figure out? The guy has owned the Speedbowl for over six years and his name has been in the news probably more than any other short track owner in the history of the state. So why is it that 85 percent of the people that comment on here can’t spell his last name?

  15. E. B. White says

    Spelling has become a a lost art in today’s cellphone/text message world.

  16. I don’t see why a few of you are so uptight that Bemer, the owner of the ‘bowl, is gay. Are you afraid the homophobic fan base will shun the track?

    Are you afraid the place will fly the LGBTQ Pride Rainbow flags? 🏳️‍🌈 🌈

    You must be afraid that you will look like you are gay. You are the one with the problems.

  17. Mark Andrews says

    Misspelled your name too…..my mistake

  18. E. B. White wrote, “Spelling has become a a lost art in today’s cellphone/text message world.”

    Was that intentional?

    Fat-fingering is one thing, I do it and don’t catch it all the time. 😖

    But spelling has always been horrendous, a representation and product of the education system.

  19. Nice call Rafter fan. Calicchio is coming up on the next Unmuffled along with Ryan Fearn who never disappoints and none other then Bobby Labonte can you believe it.

  20. 🌈🦄2020 says

    I don’t see why a few of you are so uptight that Bemer, the owner of the ‘bowl, is gay. Are you afraid the homophobic fan base will shun the track?

    Are you afraid the place will fly the LGBTQ Pride Rainbow flags? 🏳️‍🌈 🌈

    You must be afraid that you will look like you are gay. You are the one with the problems.

    Who are the few that are uptight that he’s gay? Are you really saying you think people are afraid that they’ll be called gay if they go to the speedbowl? The homophobic fan base will shun the track? You only wish Dafella. Why now Dafella? For years you didn’t seem to care about Bemer being gay. Now it’s all you can talk about. What’s changed?

  21. 🌈🦄2020, “Who are the few that are uptight that he’s gay?”

    You are by far the most prolific protester of the mentioning that Bemer is gay, therefore you are the answer to your own question. You complain the most whenever it is brought up that Bemer is gay.

    I don’t care that Bemer is gay. You however are extremely bothered that Bemer is gay.

    Can you explain why the mention that Bemer is gay bothers you so much?

    🌈🦄2020 doth protest too much, methinks.

  22. 🌈🦄2020 says

    Dafella can you explain why you all of a sudden mention he is gay whenever chance you get? You can’t. All you can do is accuse others of being homophobic. Obviously something triggered you. You don’t care if he’s gay? Really. That’s why you state what everybody knows over and over and over and over. “You must be afraid you will look like you are gay” What does that even mean. You can keep going with the he’s a predator, he’s gay as much as you want. Whatever you’re trying to accomplish will not work.

  23. Whatever I’m trying to accomplish is being accomplished. 💯

  24. Interesting interviews with Narducci and Bear on Unmuffled. It sounds like they’re focused on Stafford, but I hope they make a few appearances at the Bowl. Shawn – thanks.

  25. Rafter Fan,
    Thanks for the support! Appreciate it.

  26. knuckles mahoney says

    Dareal, you’re one messed up unit. And who really cares about this partnership, it’s going nowhere. Be lucky if they get 3 top fives, and I don’t see any wins happening. An also ran.

  27. sour grapes of discrimination wrote,
    “first its attacking a gay business owner who saved a beloved shoreline institution. then its sexual harassment . my personal opinion is people have formed a bad opinion of Narducci who is courageously navigating thru health issues and yet is still a top open wheel driver who`s full potential hasn’t revealed itself. where is all the hatred coming from ?. a fine young man who will thrive under the tutelage of another racing legend Billy Bear Collichio .big big things coming from this team!!”

    The first sentence is a real wonder 💭, “first its attacking a gay business owner who saved a beloved shoreline institution. then its sexual harassment .”

    Where did that come from?

    What was said or posted in this thread to prompt that response? Please provide details, sour grapes of discrimination.

  28. I care about the new Narducci/Calicchio team so that’s one. If you heard Calicchio on Unmuffled a skeptic might have reason to second guess themselves. Are we talking about winning races or progress? If it’s progress maybe so. Calicchio believes they’ll have the resources and believes Bryan is not timid about trying to get to the front. He’ll also not be timid about coaching the kid up when the situation warrants. The two have no connection, other then to be fast and unlike Owen Calicchio will be 100% focused on one car.
    Near as I can figure it’s a new roll for Narducci. True all he has to do is drive the car on race day and provide accurate feedback but he is responsible for delivering all the resources he’s promised from the Florida Connection and others. That will be a big nut if they are do hope to do well.
    Check it out on Unmuffled. I don’t think Calicchio is doing this just for fun. He’s going to want to be racing side by side with the heavy hitters, says as much and believes they can do it.
    Hodgdon has a new chassis, Narducci will be loaded for bear (pun intended) and it’s all part of the drama brewing for 2021 in the SK’s at Stafford.

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