Check Out Lane: David Arute Dominant On Way To SK Modified Win At Stafford

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

STAFFORD – Repeat winners in the deeply talented SK Modified division have been a rarity at Stafford Speedway in 2022.

Coming into Friday night’s event Stephen Kopcik was the only repeat winner through seven events in 2022.

Friday, David Arute made Kopcik’s exclusive club a pair.

Arute held on through two late restarts to complete in a dominating performance in winning the 40-lap SK Modified feature Friday at Stafford Speedway.

It was the second victory of the season for Arute, of Tolland, who got his first win of the season on May 13.

Arute held off Keith Rocco on restarts on lap 34 and lap 37.

“What a race,” Arute said. “Past champions on my outside, on my bumper. I had to earn that one with the last few restarts there. I hope that was a great show for the fans. Thank you all for coming out. What a great night for racing. Wow, this is just awesome. Two wins in one year, and the beginning of the year with that. … I can’t thank my crew enough.”

Marcello Rufrano of North Haven was second and Todd Owen third.

Arute went by Troy Talman for the lead on lap 13 and never relinquished the top spot again.

Rufrano got by Rocco for second place on the final restart of the race on lap 37, with Owen following to third.

“Holy cow, really the start of the race it was all defined by the lanes,” Rufrano said. “I pretty much had nowhere to go for the first half of the race. I put the visor down and I just said ‘You know what, we’re going somewhere and it better be forward.’ I just started getting up on the wheel and I carved all the way up there. … We can’t bow our head tonight.”

Said Owen: “We had a great car. … It was just one of those nights that I just couldn’t get in the right lane. I’d pass cars and the lose spots and I’d have to pass them again. I knew I had a good car, I just had to be patient. We just picked them away.”


  1. Well I’m confused. Looked like Narducci came down into Williams to cause the wreck and in fact mentions his spotter saying “clear” at the time so case closed right? Not so fast. Narducci irate he was not in the wrong and Williams not as sure as he customarily is that he was not wrong. So what the heck happened?
    Post wreck just a golden opportunity for Kopcik. That luck played a roll in preventing him from taking advantage of along with some questionable decisions by the driver. On the other side of the equation is old Todd Owen. He starts a few spots in back of Kopcik and spends a lot of the race just putzing around, staying away from trouble taking what opportunities present themselves. Then at go time turns the wick up to get a podium. If Owen wins the championship while these younger guys are all over the place, this sort of strategic race effort will be a good example of how he did it.
    On the December 2020 Bottom Shot Podcast with Ben Dodge he mentioned his physical challenges he was dealing with. Dowling mentioned them again last year and again last night. That’s a person’s personal business but my view is you either keep it private as many decide or if you are going to mention it be a little more forthcoming. A year and a half of “not doing well” yet we fans see Dodge all over the place calling races from New Smyrna to New Hampshire seemingly as active as ever. Most times the same distinctive call we’re all used to but at times struggling a bit more then usual. As fans it’s natural to be curious. The call of the race with regard to the 9ct avoids the owner then in victory lane put right on the table for all to see. The health issue eluded to by Dodge himself and his driver more then once making no effort to hide it yet no explanation at all about what the heck it’s all about. It’s all so very strange.
    Maybe not. Dodge has been an enigma his entire career. Crafting an idyllic, fantasy like image of everything related to racing that’s noble and good. Turn the camera or mic on Dodge is 100% promotion, 100% of the time. MEANWHILE in the back room fighting fights as a promoter at times and car owner fans never see.

  2. A red white and blue race car on independence day weekend of course he’s going to win , nice job David ,congratulations

  3. Fast Eddie says

    First off, great job by David Arute and team for their win and successful battle with Rocco at for most of the last 1/4 of the race! I’m not one to be critical of much in the racing world, but apparently Ronnie Williams gave his brain the night off on Friday. What on earth would make you dive-bomb anyone in the corner on lap 3 of a 40-lap race?

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