One Up: Stephen Kopcik Tops SK Modified Shootout At Stafford

Stephen Kopcik celebrates victory in the SK Modified feature Saturday at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)

STAFFORD – Going into Friday’s event at Stafford Speedway Stephen Kopcik held the distinction of being the only SK Modified driver at Stafford Speedway with multiple victories in 2022.

By the time the night was over Friday it was David Arute celebrating his second victory of the season in the division, matching Kopcik’s win total for the season.

Saturday Kopcik made sure to get back to one up on everyone else.

Kopcik took the lead from Marcello Rufrano on lap 48 and held on to win the 50-lap SK Modified Showdown Saturday at Stafford Speedway.

It was the third victory of the season for Kopcik, of Newtown. He won back-to-back events on May 20 and June 3.

“I don’t think we had a really really fantastic racecar,” Kopcik said. “Just being conservative and taking what comes to us. This is the result.”

Todd Owen of Somers was second and Rufrano, of North Haven third.

Owen went to the lead past Rufrano on lap 19. He had checked out from the field by the time caution flew again on lap 40.

Owen held on through the lap 40 restart and again on restarts on lap 43 and 44. On lap 45 Rufrano made an aggressive move under Owen into turn three and came out of turn four hold the lead. Owen was struggling to keep his car from spinning, falling back from second to fourth.

Caution flew again one lap later with Rufrano leading and Kopcik in second. Following a lap 46 restart Kopcik edged Rufrano at the line for the lead on the outside lane. Rufrano edged back to the front on lap 47, but it was Kopcik fighting back to again to take over the lead for good out of turn four on lap 48.

[Owen and Rufrano] were just as good if not better,” Kopcik said. “I really didn’t think I was going to win this one so it’s pretty cool to win this one on SRX Night. I can’t thank my guys enough. We had a rough couple races there for reasons out of our control, it was tough and it was getting frustrating but they stuck by us and here we are.”

Owen was able to get by Rufrano for second in the laps following.

“I’m usually not one to give excuses, but we lost power steering with like 20 [laps] to go,” Owen said. “I just couldn’t overcorrect. If I could go by myself I could do it, but Marcello got in there and got a little hot and got into me and I three spots and I was just trying to get them back. Fun race. It’s hard to be disappointed with a second place finish but we definitely had a car I thought was capable of winning. Hats off to Stephen.”


  1. Bad weekend for Narducci points wise. Who’s car was he driving on Saturday? Why the number change?

  2. Steve,
    Wrecked Friday and the car wasn’t repairable for Saturday so had to go to a loaner.

  3. The SRX series was the star but that had to be one of the best SK races ever. Including any SK5K.
    A huge field of cars and packed grand stands. The visual and gravitas of lining up all those cars before the start. They must have told the drivers to be on their best behavior because a good part of the race clicked of with no cautions. Pretty remarkable considering the car count with a lot of inexperienced drivers visiting. The numerous cautions at the end only served to increase the drama and drama there was in spades.
    A DiMatteo coming in 4th not a surprise but the fact it was Dana was. Bello has a break out race in his SKM prepared car. Moeller a nice 6th and James Civali in 7th. Are you kidding me?
    The stars however were Kopcik, Owen and Ruffrano. After a frenetic race Friday Kopcik drove one of his best, most measured races ever and ends up winning simply because he was in the right place when others were racing too hard. Ruffrano was over driving but he could see his opportunity to get that elusive first win, took it, so good for him. Owen probably should have won but in my view showed once again why he is the best current driver in the SK’s. Getting shuffled back when the 88 drove him wide, fights back with little time left to salvage runner up. No wins in two days but exceptional racing overcoming different challenges in each race and now has a nice lead in the points.
    50 laps the perfect distance. No time to cruise but enough time to bide your time and not do anything too risky.
    Was it the best SK race ever? The most recent race always shines the brightest but I’m thinking it definitely qualifies for consideration.

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