Steering Straight: Tyler Hines Gets First SK Modified Win Of 2022 At Stafford

Tyler Hines gets doused by Woody Pitkat in victory lane after winning the SK Modified feature Friday at Stafford (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

A frustrating early day led to a celebratory evening at Stafford Speedway for SK Modified driver Tyler Hines.

Hines, of North Haven, checked out far from the field to win the 40-lap SK Modified feature Friday at Stafford.

It was the first victory of the season and third overall in the division for Hines.

Stephen Kopcik of Newtown was second and Ronnie Williams of Ellington third.

Hines battled through steering issues during practice, but was certainly able to find the fixes needed. Hines beat Kopcik to the checkered by 1.9 seconds

“This was a lot of hard work this whole week,” Hines said. “A lot of hard work when we got to the track today. We had a power steering pump go bad on the first practice. We were scrambling to put a rack in it and everything. Crazy night. But unbelievable way to finish. Our car just never went away. It was perfect all night.”

Hines got his first career SK Modified division victory in the NAPA Spring Sizzler on April 24, 2021. His second win in the division came on June 11.

It was the sixth top-five in 10 events this year for Kopcik, who was coming off a win in the 50-lap SK Modified feature Saturday that was part of the SRX Series event at Stafford.

“I’m OK finishing second tonight if any night,” Kopcik said. “I’ve got to thank [Doug Dunleavy] a bunch for sponsoring the event tonight. He does so much for Modified racing. We’re definitely lucky to have him here. We started 18th tonight and it’s a little tough when you start back there. Nobody is easy to get by, everybody is pretty damn good. It makes it tough. … Congratulations to Tyler, that’s cool to see him win.”


  1. Those SK’s are stepping it up a notch this year if that’s possible. Sure Hines started in front but did anyone think he could stay there in a car without TickMike’s smiling face on it? Kopcik 18th to 2nd, Williams 10th to 3rd, Narducci 9th to 4th, Owen 19th to 5th, Ruffrano 12th to 6th. Tons of forward movement with some from very deep in the field is precisely what good racing is about is it not? And in a field of 28 cars in a regular points race.
    Heee’sss baaa-aack…..
    The old Bryan Narducci. If you’ve driven a race car you must have experienced the feeling of the driver that hammers your back bumper continuously in traffic knowing full well you have literally no place to go. Narducci was boxed in, JJ had the repaired 85 up to speed, Narducci chomping at the bit but boxed in and was hammering the 22’s rear bumper. Did it cause the wreck? Looked like Wesson broke loose to me but Hodgdon seemed to think Narducci was complicit and he should know. Anyway there was the hammering on the bumper of a car that had nowhere to go and driving DiMatteo wide causing the 11 to lose a few spots. Looked like a the old Bryan to me.
    Bad luck. What exactly is that, Dodge uses the expression all the time for drivers that make more then their share of visits to the infield care center. Is it not having that good a race car and putting yourself in a position to be roughed up by faster cars? Is it not being able to foresee iffy situations that may take troublesome drivers and circumstances into account? Is it just bad driving not every driver is good or even average you know. It’s probably some or all of the above but it’s not all bad luck so give that cliché a rest already. There’s a lot of drivers that don’t have bad luck very often, Owen being the best example. Able to avoid fertile ground where bad luck can grow and virtually never causing bad luck on his own.
    How about John Gates subbing for Kyle Rickey? His succinct, enthusiastic, on point style the perfect counterpoint to Dodge who does tend to carry on. More of that please when the situation calls for a sub.

  2. Congratulations Tyler!! All the hard work is paying off. Keep digging.

  3. Rafter fan says

    MCJr and Rocco continue to struggle. Time for those two teams to combine and move forward?

  4. Rafter fan – Hard to believe these two teams are struggling like they are.

  5. Suitcase Jake says

    When I saw Rocco start on the FRONT row at Thompson for a Feature……. I was thinking they should just hand him the trophy… But when i saw him struggle in the race and fall back to a 6th place finish at a Track He has totally dominated in the past … I was shocked …. Then to follow that up with not good finishes at Stafford it was equally shocking… Some one said He is running a new Troyer Design Chassis vs the “old” 2008 wide design Troyer He used to Dominate with… I guess ” older is better sometimes ” Maybe He will go back to the “OLD STYLE WIDE ” to get back to Victory Lane… maybe someone has better intel than me on this topic…?

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