For Real: David Arute Scores SK Modified Feature Victory At Stafford Speedway

David Arute celebrates victory in the SK Modified feature Friday at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

STAFFORD – Green-white-checkered finishes at Stafford Speedway are typically theater for the dramatic at the historic half-mile oval.

A billboard proclaiming “Welcome To The Show” hangs over the backstretch at Stafford Speedway and Friday the curtain fell on that season long show in the most fitting of ways.

The final SK Modified feature of the season, the final laps of 2021 on the track, were a two-lap green-white-checkered showdown that ended with a side-by-side battle to the the finish line to end the season.

The 2021 season ended with David Arute of Tolland scoring his first career SK Modified division points feature victory in the 40-lap feature for the division.

Arute was able to get by Noah Korner for the lead coming to the white flag and then held off Korner’s late run off of turn four on the final lap.

“I had the best restart of the year, the best restart of my life,” Arute said.

Arute had scored his first win an SK Modified event at Stafford on Sept. 10 in the non-points TC 13 Shootout.

“We did it, we won a real feature,” Arute yelled in victory lane. “This is awesome. Two wins in the past four races, this is awesome.

“We’re in victory lane, I still can’t believe this. Awesome to take another trophy home.”

Korner, of Canton, ended up second by less than half a car length. Marcello Rufrano of North Haven was third.

“We had a great car tonight,” Korner said. “We definitely had some help from up above with our good friend “Boots” [Lenny Bansavich], he passed away the other day. We tried to get the win for him but we came up short.”

On lap 39 Teddy Hodgdon IV passed Matt Vassar for the lead through turns one and two. In turn three Vassar got under Hodgdon and spun him out of the top spot. The dustup put Korner in the front with Arute in second for the first attempt at a green-white-checkered finish.

On the first attempt Korner was able to hold off the charges of Arute and third place Mike Christopher Jr. but as the leaders were coming off turn four heading to the white flag a wreck behind them brought the caution back out.

On the ensuing restart it was Arute staying to the outside of Korner. The pair came side-by-side off of turn four coming to the white flag with Arute leading at the line. Arute held the advantage off of turn two on the final lap. Korner was able to find a lane under Arute through turn four but it was Arute winning the drag race to the checkered.

“I botched the second to last restart and I knew I had one more chance at it,” Arute said.

“I was holding on for dear life. I was already loose there before the caution came out. Heck, I don’t need these tires anymore, I don’t need this motor anymore, we’re done for the season, so I figured I’d leave it all on the line and that’s what we did.”


  1. A hard fought well deserved win , congratulations

  2. Congrats to David for winning your first points race. Great job by you and your team

  3. Congrats to David and his team. Always great to see a first time winner….kind of. There was a lot of great racing last night up and down the card. The dropping of Nascar didnt seem to hurt at all this season. Car counts were as good as they have been in years in all divisions. The parity in their division has been good as well.. 10 winners in your top division is impressive. 3 SKL drivers within 4 points of winning the championship on the last night. I dont think the lower divisions had anyone really dominate as well This season I probably watched 3/4 of Staffords shows on Flo racing. It kind of reinvigorated me to follow Stafford more closely and seeing it on FLO realized that a lot of the reasons I stopped going werent as bad now.. I actually went more frequently then I probably would have had I not seen what was going on by watching on FLO. I hope they continue the partnership and broadcast the races going forward. Congratulations to Stafford for having a great season when so many pavement short tracks have struggled. I look forward to next season and whatever it brings.

  4. Drive shaft says

    Matt. What happened? 2nd was good. Dont worry,we still love you man. Let me know if you wanna go gt racing. Congrats to all,great year of racing.Nice burn out at the end. Almost done picking the rubber out of my teeth. Peace out.

  5. Just hope the next generation of the Arutes have it in them to keep their families track running as well as the previous generations have.

  6. David and Paul Arute are just to the plus and minus of 30 so the next generation is in good hands. What’s more at risk is whether there will be an audience to justify having races as opposed to building residential housing on the property.

  7. Doug I don’t think there is that many people wanting to move to Stafford , even though it’s not a bad place , the Arutes and Stafford speedway are pretty good neighbors to the town , the high school baseball field was named Arute field after the site work was done at no cost to town years ago and other town activities are held at track , and I bet more improvements will be made this off season as every other off season, I’m thinking they’ll be around for awhile yet , I hope

  8. Well that’s a surprise getting Elect to be so wordy.
    Stafford has become a nicely eclectic community with just the right traditional centralized small town vibe. The Stafford Speedway property is smack dab in the middle of it and ripe for picking like many race track properties.
    My point was the future commitment and talent level is not a concern with the Arute’s. It’s the support for racing in the longer term.
    Next year sure, things look pretty good but we’re not talking about that. We’re talking about 5 or 10 years. In that time frame whatever the track has meant to the community or in the history of northeast racing will mean little and economics will dictate what is best.
    Stafford has meant a lot to me since 1980 and I’ve seen hard times like when they dropped the modifieds and nearly went under. I can safely say that now is not the best time for racing but the level of commitment and innovation by the track management responding to a changing market including a pandemic has never been better. For my money this is the best management team in the history of Stafford Speedway and that includes Jack Arute Sr.

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