Stephen Kopcik DQ’ed From SK Mod Win At Stafford; Todd Owen Clinches 2021 Championship

Stephen Kopcik (left) and Todd Owen (right) (Photos: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

STAFFORD – It was a finish Friday night at Stafford Speedway that seemed to set in motion dramatic theater for the SK Modified division championship night on Oct. 1.

A win by Stephen Kopcik in Friday’s 40-lap SK Modified feature, combined with a second place by Todd Owen set up the two drivers going to the final race of the season tied at the top of the standings.

But that anticipated battle for the SK Modified title has now been scrapped thanks to a penalty levied against Kopcik.

Saturday, Kopcik was disqualified from his victory Friday night at Stafford. Kopcik was found to have unapproved shock components in post race tech.

Jon Puleo, who finished third in Friday’s feature, was also disqualified for the same shock issue.

The penalty to Kopcik gave Owen the victory in Friday’s feature and also clinched the 2021 SK Modified championship for the Somers driver.

Owen and Kopcik were the only two drivers mathematically eligble to win the title. It’s the first SK Modified championship at Stafford for Owen.

“Honestly, it’s a different feeling,” Owen told RaceDayCT Saturday evening. “I’ve waited for a long long time for it and obviously it’s really not how I wanted to win it. But at the same aspect I’ve lost them a whole lot of different ways. It feels pretty good.”

Kopcik said he had no comment on the matter.

“Without getting into it, I feel kind of terrible for winning it this way, but that’s racing, you’ve got to go by the rule book,” Owen said. “I want to go into next week and enjoy it. Right now I don’t feel like this is an enjoyment part of it. Someone got thrown out. … But I’ve worked a really really long time for this. Things happen for reasons I guess.”

Friday was Kopcik’s fourth consecutive victory and sixth overall this season. With the penalties, Keith Rocco was moved to a second place finish in Friday’s SK Modified feature with David Arute moved to a third place.

Tom Fox, director of racing operations at Stafford, said shocks were inspected on the top-three finishers Friday and all three cars had the same JRi Shocks. Fox said Kopcik and Puleo had different pistons than the JRI supplied control shock. Track officials confirmed through JRi Shocks on Saturday that the components found were unapproved.

The Stafford rulebook says shocks must be used as they are purchased with all factory supplied valving and components for the model number used.

“The shocks on the Kopcik and Puleo cars had pistons that were not the ones that JRI installs, making them illegal,” Fox said.


  1. Hmmm….That must have been that Thursday he woke up and decided to work on his car and then go on to win 4 consecutive races.

  2. knuckles mahoney says

    WOW, unreal. Way to go Todd. That is not a mistake by Kopcik. Those pistons were intentionally changed.


    Where are all you so called race fans an you no who you are, you critics have nothing to say now cat got your tongue, so how many of the 6 wins did he cheat, interesting

  4. I was rooting for Owen and was pretty pissed at Rocco last night. Now I see this and I dont know what to think. I am happy for Owen as he definitely deserves a championship, You have to appreciate his efforts running all 3 CT tracks as well as some open shows. Winning a championship this way isnt the way you want to. It feels a little cheapened but there are rules that have to be followed. Its nice to see Stafford enforcing the rule book even though the decision will make next weeks show a lot less exciting. Kudos to them. Congrats Todd Owen. Is this his first championship. Did he get any in a pro stock over the years?

  5. If you can’t beat em cheat em. I’d be willing to bet solid money those parts have been there a month or so. So Sad.
    Congrats to Todd and the 81 team on winning the 2021 championship.

  6. Good job by the Stafford tech team for catching that as he could very well have gone 5 for 5 and stolen the championship by cheating. Rules are there for a reason.

  7. I wonder if these shocks were on the car for any of his previous wins? Makes you think doesn’t it?

  8. Well well lookie here! Steven Kop- cheat! ALL YEAR everyone knew there was a little something going on! They need to throw him out for good for doing this! Same with the 7! I wonder what shocks the 51 in the SK lights is running there all out of the same stable, Same with the 47 at Waterford! hope there is a heavy fine given out to both the 21 and 7 and car owners!!!! Tommy Fox and the whole Stafford team deserve a lot of credit for having the jewels to do this! Congrats to Todd Owen you deserve it!

  9. Wonder where Kopcik got that technology?

  10. If you’re not cheatin, you’re not trying!!!

  11. This is why there should be a track shock. It was in the rules a few years ago but at the last minute they decided not to do it. Be interesting to see his times next week, I wouldn’t bet against him winning


    The old philosophy goes like this, once a cheater always a cheater, they should take all his wins away, an that whole team should be ashamed of themselves, I’m sorry I congratulated him after every win, he should not be allowed to run the last race, he should be suspended

  13. So I’m watching Owen in victory lane and he’s riled but doesn’t go too far with his anger about the way the race ended and no potty mouth. Then he’s in and interview with Nichole LaRose and dials it back even more. I’m thinking man this guy has a lot of control. Now this. It’s karma. Being good and a bridesmaid isn’t enough. You need to have your name in the record books for posterity as a champion so you aren’t forgotten. Now he is and all is right with the racing world in my view.
    I guess I’m the outlier here thinking there’s nothing wrong with creative cheating. It’s the perpetual cat and mouse game between competitors and tech and part of the sport. In this case Stafford known for doing pretty much everything well caught it and the message it sends has value. If Kopcik won races with the illegal components that he surely did it’s fine because you’re not cheating if it isn’t found post race.
    Todays racing shocks are pretty sophisticated. To pull off this cheat Kopcik had to determine what change was possible, determine if it would have a significant benefit, test the shock to determine it’s potential benefit and calculate the odds of being caught. That all takes a high degree of skill to pull off as opposed to just bolting in stock shocks. He got caught so bad for him but you have to appreciate the degree of technical skill it takes to pull a cheat like that off.

  14. Glad Stafford Tech made the discovery. But to be fair to both sides here, lets not forget the tire soaking allegations against Owen at Thompson.

  15. Better late then never.
    Did you see the Stafford track crew flip the SK Light with the driver still on board. They got there fast, kept him informed and calm along the way and flipped the car gingerly back on to it’s tires with the driver non the worst for the experience.
    Controversial finish, quick yellow, cheating and a flipped car. An eventful night right up to the end of inspections.

  16. Doug Steven didn’t have to have creative cheating everyone racing knows where to bring their shocks to be other words fixed…. I also see someone say something about the 51 SK lite good question but the SK lite everyone has questioned is the 56 go on YouTube to Fenceline films and watch last years in car videos he never shifts the car even Friday night car came to almost a complete stop in pits cause someone walking and his hands never left the wheel then he just hits the gas and drives away like it’s an automatic no jumping of car like when you let clutch out with racing clutches nothing. Maybe running third gear cheater with 4th a 1:1 ratio for tech and every week starts 15 or so and 2 laps in is top 3 not even Pearl or Sullivan is that fast again just opinions heard but watch the video plus why no videos this year??

  17. Kopcik is a smart kid and pretty good shoe…unlike probably countless others,he got caught….Moral of the story…..Don’t get caught !

  18. Vinnie Gucc (love the fake handles btw) the 47 at Waterford has TFR Penske shocks in it. Assume built by Fuller. Not saying they are legal but not what the 21 had on. Assuming that Kopcik had his eyes and ears open watching Fuller build shocks right in from of him for years. Might be where he learned how to cheat them up. Just a thought.

  19. It’s one thing to “explore gray areas of the rule book”, but to definitively make a modification that the rule book states you cannot do? Doesn’t make any sense to me! Been rooting for Owen for years, glad he got the Championship. For Kopcik, what a stupid way to lose!

  20. Some people just go way overboard!!! Vinnie Gucc Let me start by saying that we all know that since they first started having rules with racing, that there has been cheating. The competitive edge of people will always cause people to look for an edge. Having said that, I totally agree with how Stafford handled this situation. Kopcik has been sufficiently penalized, so NO reason to throw him out. I wonder if Mr.GUCC has any connection with Tyler Hines. You have ZERO proof he did anything illegal PRIOR to Friday night!! So enough of the HYPERBOLE, and let’s move on

    A shout out to Todd Owen, a very well deserved CHAMPION!!! A class act on & off the track!!!

  21. Moral of the story; if you don’t cheat, you won’t get caught.

  22. Mod fan why exactly would his hands have to leave the steering wheel to stop in the pits? Are you implying that not only does he have an automatic tranny in that car he also controls the brake and throttle with his feet?? You are quite the detective! If I were you I’d bring this to Tom foxes attention right away! Dope

  23. Told got caught cheating at Waterford. Didnt even get sent too the back. He’s not super man. More like politics. Stafford could of just told Kopcik to not do it again. Fans get turned off when there is news of so called cheating. Like in politics, it’s always good to have a trump card. If everyone already new about the piston,etc. Why did Stafford wait to inspect. TRUMP CARD.

  24. Put the car in low gear, hang on to the steering wheel with your hands and control the rest with your left and right foot.

    The clutch in an SKL is not the same as an SK. They are two different animals and that is why the car reacts differently when it starts from a stop.

  25. This is right out of the Stafford Speedway SK rules:

    “All equipment is subject to the approval of SMS Officials. You may be assessed penalties including but not limited to: added weight, fines, loss of points, loss of handicapping, or suspension for car parts, components, and/or equipment deemed as not in compliance with these rules. Any car part, component, and/or equipment which does not conform to specifications or tolerances contained in the 2021 rule book or is not otherwise approved by SMS may not be used in competition in 2021.”

    When someone gets caught cheating I really don’t care who it pisses off, fans or competitors. Rules are designed to make every attempt to level the playing field.

    Last I knew from experience racing at Stafford, Thompson and Waterford, tech inspectors do not tell you prior to the race event what they are going to inspect in tech. How stupid would that be? If you are insinuating that Stafford knew about the illegal components in Kopcik’s shocks previously then I cry BS.

    Bottom line, he cheated, got caught in tech and was penalized according to the posted rules. Trump card, conspiracy theories? Nope, one stupid decision cost him a shot at the championship and now casts doubt on the legality of his 3 previous wins.

    What will be interesting is how the car handles next week without the illegal advantage.

  26. 🌈🦄2020 says

    Congrats to Owen. Now go get another one at the speedbowl.

  27. If only the world was as black and white… Owen started to improve a lot at the time of this incident and Narducci was beyond dominant; sound familiar to anyone? But wait, it was deemed not intentional so violating the rule book was acceptable.

    From Racedayct 8/26/2019.

    After an extensive appeal process, a decision regarding penalties, fines and disqualifications stemming a recent Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park penalty report has been overturned.

    Originally, Sunoco Modified driver Todd Owen and SK Light Modified driver Bryan Narducci had been penalized following results of a laboratory test regarding tire samples taken on Sunday, August 4. However, after the appeal, through Thompson Speedway’s determination, no evidence was found that the drivers intentionally treated the tires as prohibited in Thompson rules. Therefore, Narducci has been credited with the victory in the Sunday, August 4 SK Light Modified feature, and Owen has been credited with his third-place finish in the Sunoco Modified feature.

    Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park officials will reconsider this section of the rulebook — which will allow officials to further define the process in the future.

    With three races remaining in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season, Narducci leads the SK Light Modified point standings by 65 points and Owen is third, 45 points out of the lead in the Sunoco Modifieds. Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park returns to NASCAR action on Sunday, September 1.

  28. Response to Joe really you I guess don’t know how to drive a stick cause when you stop you have to down shift to get started again otherwise car bucks like the SK’s driving in pits. To Earl I have been working on race cars since the 1990’s no crap clutches are different but you guys both must be bleacher watchers I’m in pits every week every SK lite including the Pearls the Chapman’s etc while driving in pits your in first gear so even coming to almost dead stop still would push clutch in and release when driving again all cars buck in the pits regardless of what clutch is in car cause gears matter too. Like I said someone mentioned in pits about the you tube video and not shifting not one car out there an drive under caution then go green without shifting unless your transmission gearing is different. Still work on cars today but love the insults instead of brains thanks it’s enjoyable

  29. A big congrats to Tod Owen!A well deserved championship! He has worked hard. He builds his own equipment and runs well wherever he goes. Always a gentleman in interviews. I’ve followed his career since his start at Riverside, Kopcik always mentions about how he is always ” setting up cars “. Bada Bing Bada Boom Bada Bang in the “DUPA” Kopcik!

  30. Don’t trash the kid to bad Dale Earnhardt jr said on his own tv show I hoped to God I never did drive a legal car.

  31. “Doug Steven didn’t have to have creative cheating everyone racing knows where to bring their shocks to be other words fixed”


  32. If you going to bunch everyone together don’t forget Preece ,Kopcik is his crew chief ,

  33. “I also see someone say something about the 51 SK lite good question” and I won’t copy the rest of your statement, you can read it yourself.

    You saw it on this thread? Really? Where?

  34. Todd you have no reason to second guess winning the championship this way, It’s not your fault
    he cheated!!!! You are one hell of a class act, on and off the track!!!! Your team works hard week in
    and week out to prepare all the cars in your stable. You raced hard all year to be in the position to win this Championship!!!! You can hold you head up high, you and your team deserve this.
    Congrats to you and your team!!!!

  35. take it to the shock specialists at MIDAS says

    Doug , never had my shocks “fixed” LOL. the rules I believe were /are to be cost effective/affordable … (that clearly has failed) as well as keep it a level paying field ..with good tech this has been found and corrected at Stafford. still think we need a claimer rule on engines ,trans, rears, shocks . these guys can afford to “cheat” if you will ..they can afford or get together to “claim”. they could control it and to keep it from getting ridiculous. I am sure its too much work and would cause issues unless activated early in the off season to prepare the guys pushing all the grey areas to think about what they are running. I might add doesn’t it state in the rulebook a team may “ask or inquire” about the legality of what they may wish to run of for an interpretation of the rules on a specific part” from the track . As far as NASCAR and JR every car he drove was illegal he doesn’t have to worry . Sr had many fruitful years til everyone caught up and literally passed him … NASCAR is a joke

  36. Drive shaft- well said.

  37. The Race Police says

    Hmm? I wonder how the “Track officials confirmed through JRI Shocks on Saturday that the components found were unapproved” when they’re not open on Saturdays??
    From JRI Shocks website:
    JRi Shocks Headquarters
    Address: 116 Infield Court, Mooresville, NC 28117
    Email: [email protected]
    Phone: (704)-660-8346
    Business Hours: Monday-Friday: 8am to 5pm
    I don’t see Saturday, do you? Wonder who they talked too? What’s they’re capacity with JRI?

  38. The Race Police,
    So you think because the business was “Not Open” that nobody on the tech staff or within management at the track would have a direct contact with someone at JRi Shocks? You do know that JRi Shocks is owned by Ray Evernham right? I don’t think it’s going too far out on the limb to think someone working in management at Stafford Speedway would have the ability to contact him or someone on his staff even when their offices are closed. Not for nothing, but it sounds like “The Race Police” probably needs to go back to detective school if you’re basing your investigative findings on the business hours for a company listed on a company website.

  39. Business Hours says

    On Stafford Speedways website it says Hours are Monday – Friday 9am- 5pm.
    Does that mean they arn’t available Friday at 6:15pm

  40. If you have the right connections with the right people, you can speak with anyone you wish whenever you wish.

  41. To cheat or not to cheat, that is the question. Worked out well for Kopcik, didn’t it. From experience I can say there is no better feeling than winning 100% legal. There are “gray” areas of the rules that can be, and usually are, exploited, but what Kopcik did, as explained in the article, was 100% cheating. I’d be willing to bet those other 3 wins were thanks to the illegal parts found, and it cost him a championship. Just glad Stafford found it, and the rightful champion will be crowned.

  42. Stuart A Fearn says

    I know nothing about this particular tech situation but I can offer some insight to the process in general. When tech finds something unusual they can contact the manufacturer with any questions to clarify and make a determination of legality after getting this opinion or further info. In my opinion only, the track might do this later so the team getting DQ’ed don’t flip out and cause a big problem at the track. They know there is an issue but they want to make sure they make the correct call, good practice.

    The rule states: Shocks will be disassembled and dyno’d for inspection and comparison. Shocks must be used as they are purchased, with all factory supplied valving and components for the model number used.

    So, these SK shocks are easily disassembled so you can take the “guts” out. The single most important part of any shock is the piston. That’s where the valving (tuning) happens. When you take apart three of the same shocks and you see two different piston designs there is something amiss. So, contact the tech department or responsible party as soon as practical and verify which is factory supplied. Rest assured the digressive valving piston is not the factory supplied part so when you see something out of a tour mod or open mod it’s easy to make the call.

    Again, I’m familiar with the process in general, not this situation and the timing of the call and all that is normal and not politics or some backroom deal some people are dreaming about.

  43. Thanks earl. You said the rule book says you MAY be subject to penalties. So SMS could of went easy on the kid. Kept it out of the news. Let them race next week to see who the champ is. HOW LONG WAS TODD CHEATING AT WATERFORD. How lachit is that championship. I get it,if you like Todd your the three monkeys. Or a horse with blinders on. Pick one.

  44. I agree with Earl. Allot of parts suppliers have tech support also.

  45. RobP, there it is, 👍

  46. Sorry, Rob p. there it is, 👍

  47. I vaguely remember someone mentioning something about Kopcik or his team pointing out to the the team that checks uniformity about Todd Owen’s car. It was poo-pooed at the time. Everyone does it, right? I guess they were just doing what they could to get the heat off them.
    What Steven did to Hines was unforgivable and he reaps what he has sewn. Tyler Hines is a great driver from my perspective. He is smooth and steady. Does it the right way.
    How is Mr. Narducci doing in that car? How does Mr. Kopcik feel about that? I feel no sympathy for that team.
    Todd Owen has always been a solid racer. From my first time watching him at Thompson in a pro stock, he has been a model of consistency. He drives against other drivers as he wants to be driven against.
    Todd you have earned this championship and it is well deserved! Congratulations.👏

  48. Soaked tires threaten to sue Thompson, Arute running a Chassis Pro???

  49. When Thompson DQ’d Owen and Narducci for treating tires what followed in this forum was an explosion of conjecture, conspiracy theories, accusations and general mayhem. We don’t know what happened behind the scenes but you can bet it was equally messy. Then the rescission of the penalties and it all went away. At the time it seemed like Terry Eames and Thompson were saying who needs this crap and took the path of least resistance even though there was the positive test. The point is DQ’s of front runners is a Pandora’s box of bad feelings that no track is motivated to open unless it’s really necessary.
    This deal is a little like it in terms of fan engagement. Stafford does have the shock dyno, they have the spec’s for the shock in question so perhaps it tested out of the parameters that caused them to look harder at it. How did the illegal shock come to be? Was it ordered at the illegal shock store or did the LFR trained, highly skilled driver design and craft the modifications himself?
    I certainly am not questioning the penalties especially any endorsed by Tom Fox. You play the game and lose you pay the price. However some forms of cheating are complex and the skill to execute them require a high level of expertise. They require a great deal of time to study, test and execute. If it is true as some have said it’s simply a matter of dialing up the illegal shock store and asking for a piston modification that with provide a specific desirable competitive advantage then that’s not impressive at all. I like to think they did it all themselves a skill level I would normally associate with someone like Kopcik and if that’s the case I think it would be impressive. In any case in the long run it will not affect my high opinion of Kopcik and the 21 team whatsoever.
    Tracks and especially Stafford have absolutely no reason to enforce a penalty unless it is absolutely necessary and they are convinced it’s the right thing to do. Like the tire soaking thread this topic somehow devolved into accusations of the 56 SK Light having an automatic transmission or using some kind of overdrive. A car that has been around a long time, has won a lot of races and has been inspected six ways to Sunday on numerous occasions. That’s how ridiculous we can be sometimes.
    This year there has been some of the most atrocious behavior by some of the competitors, their crews and car owners. Stafford has been forced to enforce severe penalties something you can bet they thought long and hard about each time they did it knowing full well the ripples would create lasting hard feelings by teams important to their success. On the whole they did a pretty good job in my view so kudos to them for doing it and still being able to produce one of the best years of competition in recent memory.
    If you are of the belief that cheating in the absolute sense is wrong and have a satchel full of home spun sayings your mom taught you when you were a kid making the point it’s wrong then far be it from me to convince you otherwise. It is my belief that with regard to racing cheating can be raised to an art form when done expertly by very smart people that put in long hours to pull it off and is one of the things that makes racing so compelling.

  50. How did this become about Owens? His car passed tech Friday night, Kopciks didn’t. That tire incident at Thompson a few years ago, found Todd being cleared of wrong doing by the tire manufacturer. Stafford said Kopcik shock differed from the “control” they were given by the manufacturer. Most likely the piece in question had a part number not consistent with the model number of said shock. It doesn’t get any clearer than that. You may not like Todd, but at least you should respect his accomplishment. Maybe Stafford should make checking shocks a weekly deal, just like checking tire numbers and fuel.

  51. Go to a spec shock- take a shock from the top 3 every week, replace with a spec shock. After shock is deemed legal it goes back into inventory

  52. Driveshaft, what I printed is directly from the SK modified rules posted on their web site. So you feel cheating deserves a free pass, slap on the hand, told don’t do it again and that’s it? Then why have rules and just go Wild West? Really?

    If the track adopts a policy of selective enforcement as the standard, then where does the track and tech staffs credibility go? Simply, enforcement of the rules across the board will eliminate cheating and send a clear message that if you cheat, you will be penalized no matter who you are.

    What happened at Thompson or Waterford with XYZ driver has nothing to do with the shocks on the cars of Kopcik & Puleo at Stafford. And BTW, Owen’s shocks were legal.

    I don’t have a dog in the fight so I really don’t care either way who wins the championship. What I enjoy is people like you who attempt to muddy the waters with crap that will do nothing but erode the system currently in place that works.

    Take a look in the mirror and you will see the real monkey and horse with blinders.

  53. Don’t go to a spec shock, let the teams run the shocks listed, and make top 3 have 1 shock at random checked. I’m sure the tech department have “control” shocks or access to good technical data. Let the teams continue to have a good variety to choose from.

  54. Earl doesn’t know what the three monkeys are. I see the hole picture. You can only see what you want to see. If you think the systems WORKS,you just might be part of the peoblem. It’s ok Doug to not agree. SMS muddled up the water. Not me,just a race fan.

  55. I remember like it was yesterday the 2017 Ted Christopher, Rowand Pennink scuffle in victory lane. I remember also Owen who came in third shaking his head disgusted at the antics as he was being interviewed after seeing it all unfold in third place.
    Fast forward to now and last Friday Owen had every motivation to go rogue with what Rocco did to him. Yet in the end he remained true to his nature making the Todd Owen of 2017 proud not just talking the talk but walking the walk. And karma rewarding him in the end.
    I believe Todd Owen’s every word when he talks. I believe he’s right when he says he could have won a championship before if he raced like others I’d guess meaning guys like Rocco and Williams with multiple championships. I’ve been mad at Owen for relentlessly being the gentleman racer refusing to use his front bumper aggressively for what in part it was intended for or taking the risky bottom shot and having it go bad like every real good modified driver has does at some point in their career.
    I was wrong, he did it his way, a unique way these days and never waivered.
    Normally we all like to see the championship go down to the last race but this somehow is different. Todd Owen will be racing only for the shear joy of it and another win with his championship sealed already. He’ll probably be thinking about the other cars competing out of the Chassis Pro shop worrying about them. . Hopefully he’ll take a moment to just enjoy himself doing what he loves not worrying about points of fixing cars the following week knowing his name is in the record books for as long as Stafford holds race events.

  56. Kayman, i agree that Hines isn’t aggressive but you werent giving him the ‘driver of the year’ award last year when he wrecked every week!

  57. Yes,if it’s his first offence. You dont throw someone in jail for 10 years for speeding the first time. Or do you?

  58. Kindergarten Teacher says

    OK class here is the nursery rhyme for you ready
    ‘ Arute owns the track Arute owns the track hi ho the derry ho Arute owns the track
    Owens sets up Arutes cars Owen sets up Arutes cars hi ho the derry ho Owen sers up the Arutes cars
    They DQ’d Steven last week They DQ’d Steven last week hi ho the derry ho They DQ’d Steven last week’
    Class dismissed!
    Does anyone Really believe that Stafford officials just realized it was shocks!!!

  59. How Stupid
    He Cheated end of story . The shocks were in all year long , even a couple of races last year
    Should fine him all his winnings from this year
    Does anyone believe he just put them in last week lol even a kindergarten teacher knows that

  60. Thank you kindergarten teacher. Hope earl can understand that. TRUMP CARD. sorry,its sleepy earl now. Lol.

  61. The Arutes are not germain to the situation. Todd has been taking care of Paul and David’s cars for years. How this twisted thinking entered this thread is beyond me, and is how conspiracy theories start. Bet you think Trump won the election too.

  62. You see the “hole” picture driveshaft? “Hole”? Where did you get your diploma? And they let you work on race cars since the ‘90’s? Pretty scary thought.

    Seems like we have a Kopick fan here thats just mad he got caught?

  63. Back to the conspiracy therapy. And it’s a trump card. Not a political one,an ace of spades. Should i dumb it down even more. That’s why,there’s sheep,”EARL,ROB.P,DOUG,sheep hearders,CHEERS,DRIVE SHAFT,KINDEN GARTEN TEACHER,and then the wolfs,SMS.LAUGH OUT LOUD. Oh just wondering how Rob likes the gas prices. Keep them coming little one.

  64. Todd does not take care of Paul’s car
    David sets up his own car up ,even Todd’s

  65. I don’t recall that Rocco has been DQ’d in Tech in recent years at Stafford, Thompson or Waterford(?). Has Keith ever been DQ’d in Tech during his racing career?

  66. Anita McNutt says

    Thank God David Arute sets up Todd’s car i figured it had to be something like that!

    guys will be calling! Nice hire Todd.

  67. IF the Arute’s wanted to “FIX” the championship for Owen, that last yellow would never have been thrown. Come on people. And to say Hines is a “Great” driver is TOTALLY whacked out. He’s a good driver. Let’s not put him the Hall of Fame just yet. Todd Owen to his own detriment is too nice on the track. I can totally understand why he was ticked . And for those who thought that “idiotic” move by Keith was OK, then why did he have to slam the brakes just so he wouldn’t have destroyed the car. He is a petulent ass

  68. Wow,earl. That’s all you got. So your wrong again,I just started last week,but I stayed at a holiday inn last night. thanks for the complement,if it looks like I’ve been wrenching for twenty years,thats pretty good.Its amazing how much you can learn in a short period of time,when you pay attention. How long have you been sleeping?ace of spades.

  69. I figured it out. During the last full moon, a bunch of witches cast a spell on Kopciks car, and shazam the illegal parts just appeared. Love the atypical “no comment”. How weak, at least own up to it.
    Driveshaft, you sound like one of those people who sits in the bleachers watching the cars saying ” look at all the pretty colors”. Love the conspiracy theories though. I’d be willing to bet your a young punk, still wet behind the ears. When you win a bunch of races, and a few championships, then speak, you might even be taken seriously.

  70. the germains got nothing to do with it says

    Arute family could have put the kid in ANY car . nobody paid attention to Owen until he started winning Kopcik I am sure was told not to bring his stuff back. got greedy got caught .he is lucky they don’t take his winnings back. a cheater thru and thru . LFRS were duds as a SK until someone decided to share info with their customers who are PAYING the highest price to try and win. it came back to bite them. true statement, Owens car passed tech its over congrats !

  71. This whole thread is so off course. Kopcik cheated. Kopcik got caught. Kopcik got disqualified. Owens won the championship. It doesn’t get any simpler.

  72. Did Todd Owen get a championship before this one? I know he has run all 3 CT tracks for a few years now but I honestly dont follow the tracks all that closely nowadays. I was thinking he may have gotten a Pro Stock championship early in his career at Riverside Thompson or Stafford.

    I remember there was an issue with a late model driver who left Stafford for some time because of a disagreement over a rules infraction. The driver had been running the part all year been through tech several times and they called him out on it when there was no way to recover from the penalty or something. If I remember correctly the driver I think admitted the part was an issue but was more upset about the timing of the penalty. I believe Kopcik was probably running these shocks for a while and having been in tech multiple times you would think it would have come up before now. I guess they only check a few things each night and people get away with questionable equipment for a good portion of the season. Honestly I think you could probably find something questionable on half the field on any given night. Cheating is rampant in racing. Or should I say grey areas are exploited to gain a competitive advantage is commonplace in racing. It is unfortunate to lose a championship this way but without the illegal shock would Kopcik have been as successful as he was this season. You get caught you pay the penalty.

    There is a championship hype video up on Staffords Youtube channel. There are a couple of good battles going into Friday with the Late Models and SK Lights. The short video goes over who is still eligible to win and the clinching scenarios. Its worth a look.

  73. Rob p Todd never set up Paul’s car and maybe it’s time to give Alex a little credit for David’s setup this year

  74. Sorry, your just not that clever with words. I stopped using the word punk in kinder garten. I’m willing to bet SMS pays you 300 a week to be crony. Just do as your told. I’ll be watching the race for 2nd ,3rd ,etc. Good luck to all the teams and drivers.

  75. Rob p. wrote, “This whole thread is so off course. Kopcik cheated. Kopcik got caught. Kopcik got disqualified. Owens won the championship. It doesn’t get any simpler.”



  76. There’s nothing like a good old cheating story to bring the energy to the forum. This is almost a mirror image of when Owen was disqualified then the the penalty rescinded with a knock down drag out food fight ensuing encompassing all manner of wild ruminations.
    I don’t mind meanderings at all as long as they get me energized to come up with a rumination of my own. Casting aspersions on either or both of the Arute boys based on sloppy dot connecting does just that.
    My view is that if you could have a family running a track and design two offspring that would grow into critical rolls helping to run the track you couldn’t have designed any two more perfect then Paul and David Arute. Each has been critical to the success of the track, each learned early from the ground up doing the dirty jobs and each has brought their own specialty to helping the track innovate and improve.
    Regarding their racing Paul has said on the Bottom Shot Podcasts racing allows them to understand the cost and challenges of fielding a car in competition at the track. It’s a bit self serving but there are elements of truth to it. Each has enjoyed modest success in their own right but for the most part have been grinding deeper in the field in most races.
    In either case were their goal to win races at any cost they could clearly do that. Get the absolute best equipment and conduct private tests on a track they have access to at any time to dial in dominant cars. Instead they’re grinding away trying to climb the ladder of success as they earn it like most other drivers and doing a lot of their own work in the process.
    To imply that any Arute would “fix” anything, pretty low hanging fruit by any standard and complete supposition, I’d make the counter argument. They bend over backward to stay out of Tapley and Fox’s way to avoid any implication of any interference and they do it for a very good reason. Stafford does everything they can do earn the loyalty of competitors that race at the track and the car counts show it. Any hint of unfairness benefitting them would be counter to the track business model.
    I don’t know David is setting up his own car over at Chassis Pro but it’s completely in character. He’s a worker bee who needs no encouragement to dive in to anything like when the fence needs repair on race night.
    With regard to cheaters in racing and how much fans in the long term care about it the results are in and the answer not much. Ted Christopher had it on his resume. More recently illegal rotors on a Fearn Motorsports car after which Stuart Fearn was voted most popular contributor to this forum. Gambacorta as well for illegal shocks that he straight up admitted and everyone subsequently moved on.
    We love our disqualifications for sure and the food fight that ensues but in the long run the 21 penalty will be a footnote that few remember.
    You want the one entry in this thread that makes the entire discussion worthwhile all you need to do is go to the one proffered by Stuart Fearn.

  77. Cheaters may win…But WINNERS don’t cheat.

  78. Rafter
    I remember Keith Rocco getting DQ’d for illegal parts from a late model race at Thompson and a NEMA light race at Waterford. I believe both where in cars he didnt personally own or do upkeep on. So not really his fault but he was the driver of a car which was disqualified. I dont remember anything in an SK or tour type modified over the years..

  79. Alex is a Tool

  80. Hey Rob.p. I agree. Cheaters may win,are you including Todd? Your last post just knocked him off his pedistal. Thank you.

  81. Pack The Stands says

    Earned, deserved, cheater, fixed, cheated, sued, prepped tires, grey areas So many vocabulary words and ugliness without true constructive thought processing a major lack of critical thinking basing your beliefs, hatred and vilifying the many talented competitors that show up each and every week to put on a show for you the supposed fans? What gives anyone the right to entertain themselves on any forum by carrying out a character debate based on there own mediocre lives as they hide in there basements behind keyboard with phony screen names. Most don’t even know theses competitors on a personal level, as for a few of you Vinnie, Gucc, Simple Simon , Earl, Elect, Kayman, and the very special Rob P. you are a unique bunch especially you Rob P. please bring your participation trophy Friday night so we can all give you a pat on the back, maybe that will stroke your ego and boost your confidence. So many comments from people who claim they love racing but clearly do not.
    Something more constructive would be to “Pack The Stands” therefore I suggest the uninformed knee jerk decision given to the two fellow competitors be rescinded no one needs to just settle for a championship. The 81 stated himself he clearly does not want to win the championship this way without giving it his best efforts. Problem Solved! Two talented drivers who are/where tied for points battle it out on the track, the stands will be packed, Owen will not win by default. Who cares where they finish, a handshake and a congratulations would be in order by two gentleman after a great show!

  82. Congrats Todd on your legal championship. The most fulfilling way I know of to win one!

    Sure would like to hear a comment from Kopcik though. His excuse should be, to say the least interesting.

  83. Exactly Earl, to the best of my knowledge Todd has never been accused of cheating at Stafford, and he was cleared in that tire incident at Thompson,by the tire manufacturer

  84. Is earl and rob p,the same person,they keep patting each other on the back. Maybe boy wonder can explain his never cheating at the bowl. Ride height violation. No punishment. Kopcik got caught his bad. I’ll be in the Teddy Christopher section watching the pretty colors. Someone tell Tick Mike to put numbers on the car you can see. Thanks.

  85. Drive shaft, Earl and I are not the same person, just 2 old guys who love racing. Personally I spent the better part of 25 years working on race cars, doing everything including building the car, maintaining it, rebuilding it after wrecks and so on. Even sponsoring it. I’m not some dude sitting behind a keyboard in a basement somewhere. I didn’t attend any races this year because of my dad’s tragic death, because racing was something we shared, and I just couldn’t bring myself to going to the races alone.

  86. How about you drive shaft, where do you fit into the racing scene?

  87. Drive shaft says

    1981,back in the old days,when you won a race,your first race, SMS would rip all kinds of stuff off your race car. Guys like , Savage,pastriak,Gary Ryan etc. I was there when the two modified cars ended up in the stands,1982 or 1983.15 feet from the action.Saw the underneath of a race car for the first time.Don’t wanna give too much away. I’m just saying,the last race sms could of packed the stands Owen’s and Kopcik running for the championship. Everyone’s at the edge of there seat. I also wrench on race cars,its always easier to get the car back in the trailer in one piece. Hope you can make it to the race. It’s been fun busting your chops,Sorry to here about your dad.

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