Fiery Roll: Stephen Kopcik Scores Third Consecutive SK Modified Win At Stafford



Stephen Kopcik celebrates victory in the SK Modified feature Friday at Stafford (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

STAFFORD – In addition to his duties as an SK Modified division regular at Stafford Speedway, Stephen Kopcik also serves as the crew chief for Ryan Preece on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

On Friday Kopcik had to surrender to his duties as Preece’s crew chief. Chasing an SK Modified championship at Stafford came first for the Newtown driver.

Kopcik has been celebrating a lot at Stafford and Friday he got double the celebration. Preece took the car Kopcik works on to victory in the Whelen Modified Tour Virginia Is For Lovers 150 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway and then Kopcik went out and continued his domination of late of the SK Modified division at Stafford.

Kopcik rolled to his third consecutive win in the 40-lap SK Modified feature Friday at Stafford.

It was the division leading fifth victory of the season for Kopcik, who closed even closer on division points leader Todd Owen with two events remaining this season.

Doug Meservey Jr. of Chatham, Mass. was second and Keith Rocco of Wallingford third.

“That was crazy,” Kopcik said. “[Meservey] was running really good tonight and a lot of the other guys were too. We’re pretty evenly matched here and that’s what makes for good racing. You can thank the Arute’s for that and holding such a good program. This is what you get.”

Owen was fourth, allowing Kopcik to gain six points on Owen. Kopcik came into the night 20 points behind Owen overall, but only eight points behind when adjusting for the drop rule, which allows a driver to remove their worst finish of the season from their point total.

Kopcik started 12th in the field and diced his way up to third by lap 14. He went by Marcello Rufrano for second on lap 16.

“It was pretty tough,” Kopcik said. “I just had to take my time. I knew we had a good car from the beginning.”

Caution flew on lap 18 with Meservey out front and Kopcik second. The pair went side-by-side for a lap on the ensuring restart with Kopcik leading the lap on the outside at the line. Kopcik leaped to the lead from the outside going into turn three on lap 19.

On lap 21 Meservey made a bid to get under Kopcik in turn three, but had to back out after contact. Kopcik went unchallenged out front the rest of the way.

“Todd [Owen] and all the guys overe there, Butch [Shea] and everybody, they put an amazing piece under me,” Meservey said. “It’s been fast, we’ve just had bad luck. Tonight, I felt like I had a better car than [Kopcik] but he just knew where to take the line away and he has way more experience. I was no match for him tonight.”

Comments

  1. Hey tick mike how bout that 85 car! Great decision you made!

  2. What happened to the 85. Did I see correctly that Hines was in the 57??

  3. Ken L,
    Bryan Narducci was in the 85. He will be in that car going forward. Tyler Hines and that team have parted ways.

  4. Oh ok. Thank Shawn. Is it safe to assume the dust up with the crew had something to do with it?

  5. Saw something on FB about a couple of accidents and 🏴’s that had something to do with Narducci? What was that all about?

  6. Strphen Jesus says

    Doug Meservey Jr will be a force to reckon with very soon.

  7. As the second season in Bryan Narducci’s career is nearing the finish line he is now in his 5th car. My score card has the Chassis Pro 01 for all of 2020 now driven quite well by Meservey. . 2021 we have Calicchio’s 14, KRR 83, TickMike 73 and now a permanent promotion to the TickMike 85. Five cars in two years and all good that has to be a record for any driver.
    What the hell is going on? There was a subtle little incident last night as Kopcik picked the winner of the new helmet. Tyler Hines name was called out and Kopcik looked noticeably sick momentarily and the pick subject to review near as I could figure judging from what was said. We know Narducci is now in the 85 for the remainder of this year and next. He may have won a race in the KRR 83 but this is a whole different level in a car that doesn’t need everything for fall in line to win. Hines out apparently and calling KRR for a ride with the 57 provided. A car not owned by KRR but Rocco’s Thompson ride out of his stable. I guess. So why is Hines out? The team owner was suspended for one event for the fracas last week involving track officials along with other members of the Hines crew. Now on the other end all these chess pieces being moved around that you can argue are important to following the SK’s and precious little information available.
    See this is where I really disagree with Stafford’s policy of image over reality. Dodge tries to create this aura of camaraderie, sportsmanship and a paddock filled with good people which is the image Stafford wants to project. Racing at times generates very hard feelings and always has been an emotional sport. Why can’t they bring that emotion into the announcer’s booth or social media. Shave some of the hard edges off the story but tell the audience what the hell is behind all these moves. Including Ryan Fearn’s suspension, the Rocco, Williams and Narducci whatever that was and the Kopcik/Hines feud that now has produced major changes but it’s still radio silence. Oh yes and the Vassar, Geoff Nooney, 83, 11 switcharoo.
    Stafford has a menu of track ownership obligations they perform on the highest level but burying the conflicts is a missed opportunity in my view. Stafford has to set the tone it can’t be done by anyone else. I’d like RaceDayCt to report the details but that’s not realistic as the Speedbowl drama has shown. RaceDayCt depends on Stafford and marketing partners that frequently are at the center of the controversies and you can’t be ticking everyone off in a small community.
    In announcing the heat race last night Dodge mentioned the driver changes antiseptically and it was Buckler that interjected the fact that the Narducci promotion was permanent. Say what??. That’s it? No explanation? Come on man?. Is this circle track racing or cricket?
    I can’t recall as much behind the scenes drama as has occurred as this year and yet if you listen to the announcers at Stafford the paddock is just one big happy place where everyone helps each other, they’re all just good folks and the only drama occurs on the track.
    Look at the stands do you really have a whole lot to lose?
    No one is saying we need to be seeing people duking it out in the infield. However with skilled planning including involving the players involved in the controversies it is possible to bring the drama to the audience in a way that provides context and drama to what we are seeing on the track. You’ve done most everything right putting the product out there on FloRacing, have the vehicle to make the drama part of the show but bury it.
    It’s a rare swing and a miss by Stafford Springs Motor Speedway in my view.

  8. Congrats to Stephan and his entire team for the 3-peat win.

  9. Doug you may have to drive over the hill to witness tick tack Mike make a fool of himself , as far as being in that car for rest of this year and next , I’d be surprised if 85 is around next year .jmo

  10. Last night I paged around on Speed51 to watch parts of races at Oxford Plains and Citrus County Speedway. At Oxford a young lady that came in third in a mini class knew about showmanship. Rather then answer predictable questions she grabbed the mic and casually circled her car naming off all her sponsors and thanking them returning the mic only when she had accomplished what she set out to. A mundane post race chore we all have seen thousands of times yet she made it fun and unique with showmanship.
    Of all the tracks and races on asphalt I’ve watched via streaming precious few have what you could say are robust crowds even down south. Perhaps dirt is different I don’t know but there is one asphalt track that has no problem with attendance and that’s Bowman Gray.
    Say what you want about it, whatever Bowman Gray is it’s what people like. Here’s a good sample of what you can see there for those not familiar with the track.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBirwSuDEUE

    I know Bowman Gray well mainly because it’s much like the Danbury RaceArena I grew up watching. It’s a tight, intimate, emotion charged thrill ride that is an oasis of popularity in a declining industry.
    They embrace the conflicts at Bowman Gray, make them a part of the show and it works.
    No one is saying Stafford has to go to that extreme but whatever Bowman Gray is shouldn’t be summarily dismissed. Stafford makes a point of “The Show”. Bowman Gray is a show, Stafford more like races. Races and a program executed with precision but more race then show.
    “Sugar coating” has been mentioned in these pages with regard to other topics. Stafford Speedway sugar coats some of the more bizarre happenings at the track no doubt because they want to present the most professional image. That and they don’t want to embarrass the teams and drivers responsible for the extracurricular activities further by highlighting them.
    I’m not saying manufacture the controversy. Not say there shouldn’t be rigid enforcement of rules nor that Bowman Gray should be copied in any regard. All I’m say is when raw nerves are exposed and people do what humans tend to do in emotional situations consider not going out of your way to sugar coat them by pretending it’s business as usual.

  11. Bill and Elect, WOLVES DON’T CARE ABOUT THE OPINIONS OF SHEEP!

  12. Geoff Nooney says

    So Doug, some insight on the 11 Hummel car and Vassar going to the 83, as I seen last week you showed interest in your post as well. Its alot simpler than you think, Matt wanted to try something new and Mr. Hummel was ready to move on, so right now we are just having fun with the 11 car. No drama or hard feelings between either team, no assigned drivers yet to the 11. Hopefully next year brings as much excitement to the team as Ed did with his performance at the Bowl a few weeks back. Thats all I got, hopefully that settles things on that ordeal for you.

  13. ” Vassar out of the 11 but has the ride that Narducci won a race in but wasn’t the answer long term and Nooney who made Vassar look brilliant for doing as well as he did in the car. ”

    “Oh yes and the Vassar, Geoff Nooney, 83, 11 switcharoo.”

    How is curiosity about the driver change get defined as an “ordeal”. It’s unknown information that SK fans may like to know about that is now known thanks to you Mr. Nooney. If you’re conflating it with other driver changes I referred to that could be acrimonious I never meant to imply it.
    Apologies for a swipe at your results in the 11. I do follow you and my ears perk up when I hear your name. I remember you going out of your way to educate we in this forum about specifics with regard to SK Lights and how your basic crate package compared to those that could afford the enhanced package. I remember you having some strong races in the SK Lights in spite of being out gunned doing it with great handling. I remember you taking the SK Light to Waterford competing in the SK’s and doing relatively well.
    Announcers love to say so and so is one of the good guys that I’d bet is not true as much as it is. Obviously I don’t know you Mr Nooney but you do seem like one of the good guys and it’s my hope you get the ride in the 11 for 2022 and have a chance to go head to head with the best on a full time basis.

  14. Tick mike fan says

    I like how tick mike thinks he’s a Wolf. What a Nutter….

  15. Completely agree that Stafford is missing an opportunity by lightly referencing the team/driver changes. Some decent reporting with respect to such changes would likely increase interest in the weekly events.
    By the way, who owns the 9 Tour Type Modified?

  16. Geoff Nooney says

    Maybe the use of ordeal was misused, but hey I failed english 12 for drawing pictures of race cars haha, I appreciate your positive input about my past driving, of course im a little rusty right now, but given an opportunity and a little time I believe I could run with the “big dogs”. Anyways I was just trying to help clarify what happened amongst the 11 and Vassar, but the plan and focus currently is for Ed to run the 100 lapper at Waterford. The team is very excited for that. What is in store for 2022, we are not sure of that yet.

  17. I was wrong you don’t even have to come over the hill

  18. I don’t really care about most folks approval but yours Elect may be different. I know you are in the paddock weekly at my favorite track and have insights only a person on site could have. I enjoy your brief but always meaningful entries.. You may not like the Barcalounger euphemism and think for someone with so many opinions on so many things I should darn well be at the track and you wouldn’t be wrong.
    My perspective is that I’m exactly where I should be at this point in my life. Before the Barcalounger I started out sitting in the stands. After that I sat in and raced a Street Stock. After that I sat in the pit stands as a part owner and builder of a Street Stock. I’ve sat in my truck on occasion waiting out a rain event before getting in the car to help dry off the track. I sat in the stands as Joey Chitwood or someone like him I can’t specifically remember jumped over my Street Stock at a special event and probably was there because I didn’t qualify for the feature. I sat in the stands not far from where Corky Cookman went into the stands. I’ve sat on the concrete barriers in the infield after midnight watching the tech crews break down the SK Mods after the races just to see if they would catch anything amiss. But mostly I’ve sat in the stands like so many others watching races over the decades. Now I subscribe to numerous streaming services to see every modified race I possibly can and support divisions and support this publication in a modest but consistent basis and have done so for years. I should buy a tire on occasion to support someone like I was and may very well if can ever get over a lingering guilt for having wasted so much money and time on racing over the space of a decade.
    For now I believe my responsibility is to be an informed fan and civil regardless of where I view the races. If that’s not good enough for you then I’m sorry but it is what it is and I’m not changing for the time being.

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