Two Timer: Anthony Bello Gets Second SK Modified Win Of 2022 At Stafford Speedway

Anthony Bello (right) celebrates in victory lane with Stephen Kopcik (left) after winning the SK Modified feature Saturday at Stafford (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)

STAFFORD – The SK Modified division at Stafford Speedway has welcomed three first-time winners in 2022. 

The last list includes Anthony Bello, Marcello Rufrano and Jon Puleo. 

Friday it was Rufrano going from one-time winner to two-time winner in by using a lap lap pass to win the 40-lap SK Modified feature. 

Saturday Bello, of Newtown, kept the weekend theme rolling.

The 16-year old rookie Bello checked out from the to get his second win of the season in the 40-lap SK Modified feature Saturday at the NAPA Fall Final at Stafford Speedway. 

“If it wasn’t for Stephen Kopcik I wouldn’t be standing here in victory lane,” Bello said. “Shout out to him. He’s the real reason why I’m here. Win No. 2 as a rookie, that’s pretty unheard of. … Even one win on the season is amazing. I’ve just got thank all my guys. 

“I’m just a 16-year old kid that’s here at Stafford Speedway winning SK [Modified] races. Rookie season has been really cool.” 

Mike Christopher Jr. of Wolcott was second and Keith Rocco of Wallingford third. Todd Owen of Somers used a fifth place finish to clinch his second consecutive SK Modified championship at the track will one event left this season. 

Christopher went by Michael Gervais Jr. for the lead off of turn four on lap three. 

Caution flew on lap eight when the car of Jimmy Broderick slammed hard into the turn one wall after his throttle stuck. Broderick walked away from the crash. 

On the ensuing restart race leader Christopher lost the air cleaner on his car, bringing the caution back out and sending him to the pits and handing the lead back to Gervais. 

On the next restart it was Rocco going by Gervais to take over the top spot. 

On lap 11 Owen went by Ronnie Williams to take over third place behind Rocco and then second place running Bello. 

On lap 13 Bello made a diving move into turn three on Rocco and came out of turn four with the lead. Owen tried to follow suit on the next lap and made his way under Rocco to try to take second, but caution flew before the lap was completed. 

Caution flew once again on lap 17. On the restart Rocco was able to stay outside of Bello for three quarters of lap before Bello left him off of turn four. It was another short-lived green flag run with a multi-car wreck on the frontstretch bringing the caution back out on lap 20. 

On the lap 20 restart Bello got the jump, leaving Rocco and Owen to battle side-by-side for second place. Owen got by Rocco to take over second on  lap 21. Half a lap later the caution was out again when the Tyler Leary entry had mechanical issues. 

On lap 24 Christopher went by Narducci for third. Two laps later he powered by Owen off of turn two to take over second place. 

But by the time Christopher found his way to second place, Bello had already checked out on the field. 

“I knew we had something, we started sixth,” Bello said. “All I had to do was bide my time and we got to the front.” 

Steven Chapman of Ellington won the 20-lap SK Light Modified invitational. Ron Midford of Ellington was second and Nick Anglace of Ansonia third.

Stephen Chapman celebrates victory in the SK Light Modified Invitational Saturday at Stafford (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)


  1. Anyone know why Puleo (7 car) and Rufrano (88) did not start the Fall Final
    SK Feature?

  2. JR,
    Rufrano had an event to attend Saturday and couldn’t be at the track. I’m guessing for Puleo it probably had something to do with his wreck Friday night.

  3. Nick Anglace sure told us how he feels about the Chapman family. Loved it!

  4. My my, we aren’t we quite the potty mouths these days at Stafford?
    So we have the F word employed and the mic taken away. Then the S word but the person who utters it allowed to finish his point. Hmmm, do we have a double standard afoot, lets take a closer look.
    As far as naughty words go, the F word is crude but it is descriptive of a fundamentally pleasant activity. There’s nothing the S word conjures up that’s pleasant unless I suppose you’re constipated. I rate them pretty equal on the vulgarity meter.
    I guess if you have Tommy Baldwin talking he is who he is so you let him finish his thought. His basic point an old one but surely valid. The Anglace bunch are what they are. Tending to think with their nether’s, the greatest likelihood more foulness to ensue rather then race related insights.
    Now way over on the other side of the spectrum is Mikey Flynn. Really ticked that Christopher took him high and into the wall, at least that’s how he perceived it. No naughty words but a very nice shot at the Chistopher’s making his point crystal clear. Might not be wrong on that, a conversation for another time.
    What these bone heads that use the foul language have to get through their thick heads is who they’re reaching. Stafford was first in the region and continues to try to make racing a family friendly sport. Mind your manners and no smoking in the main grand stands and now it extends into peoples homes. Some dad at home trying to get his little girl interested in racing watching the show together shouldn’t be hearing that stuff wondering how his daughter will react.
    Very disappointed in Baldwin. He wasn’t as mad when Coby wrecked the 7ny that Blewett was driving in a NWMT race. He’s got influence and he should be having a serious Zoom with the Arute’s on Monday. He’s Tommy freakin Baldwin you know they’d hear him out. It would be a productive exchange of thoughts that would benefits two extremely important players in the local racing scene.
    The only cure for Anglace, just a grenade waiting to go off, is banishment. Multiple offender, that little regulator most of us have that identifies wrong place, wrong time he doesn’t possess.

  5. it’s the end of the year. Drivers/owners are frustrated, they didn’t do as well as they had hoped. It’s time to vent out and here comes a reporter with a live microphone. Swears happen. Maybe some comments from respected individuals resonate and needed changes are made. One can only hope that is the case.

    I don’t understand how a 4-division show, one of which is basically an exhibition event featuring classic cars, can take over 5 hours. Yesterday they didn’t run SK heats and shortened the SK light field by not inviting the good drivers. The fall final was not a lengthy race, it was only 80 laps which is what they typically run for their opens.

    I was going to go as it appeared on paper to be a dream show. Basically, all modifieds but looking at the schedule in combination with a long night before and the cold weather I decided to skip it. They had qualifying at 1.30 and the final race start at 6 pm. That is a long day. I understand they were expecting a large field of modifieds but you have to aim to do better than that., There doesn’t seem to be any sense of urgency to get these shows completed in a timely manner. I watched the show on FLo, started it late and did a lot of fast forwarding. I do that for most races online. Did it seem like there was a lot of dead time and did the show seem to drag on yesterday? Maybe it’s just me, as I get older I don’t want to sit around the track all day/night anymore. Anything over 4 hours in which you run the main division last and I am likely to skip seeing it in person.

    Overall Stafford has one of the best shows around with very competitive fields in their open wheel divisions. They are blessed with great car counts compared to other tracks around the area. I just think they need to get these shows in a little quicker.

  6. Pete Duhamel says

    Lots of comments but nothing about the job 16 year old Anthony Bello did – great year for this talented young driver and he showed it yesterday against the best! Another driver shouting accolades at Stephen Kopcik and job he does building and preparing cars. Congratulations Anthony, John Bello, Stephen & Nick Kopcik!

  7. Compared to some of the races I’ve been to this year and the size of the program, I thought it was run a lot better than most, very little down time overall. Lots of great racing, despite what seemed like a few over-aggressive moves in the Open feature.

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