Stafford Tidbits: Jimmy Blewett Keeps Podium Streak Alive; Optimism Grows For Marcello Rufrano 

Jimmy Blewett (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

The first year combination of Jimmy Blewett with Petty Cash Motorsports in the SK Modified division at Stafford Speedway this year has been a podium perfect recipe thus far. 

Blewett won the season opening event at the NAPA Spring Sizzler on May 13. He followed that up with a second place run in the second event of the season. Friday Blewett added a third place to his 2023 SK Modified rundown at Stafford. 

“We had a good car here tonight again,” Blewett said. “Just a little tight. We’re flirting on the edge of nailing it with this thing. Hats off to [crew chief JJ Vece] and the guys. Everybody has been working hard on it since the start of the season. We got held up behind one car there in the beginning of the race and he held us up and held us up and held us up. We finally got by him and we were able to get by [Cory DiMatteo] there with about 10 [laps] to go, and made a charge for second. Three podiums in the three races, I’ll take it.” 

Blewett also gave credit to his calming eyes in the sky at Stafford, spotter Shawn Waddell, for helping him navigate through the field. 

“Waddell is on the radio with me this year,” Blewett said. “It’s nice to have somebody with that experience behind you.” 

Climbing Back

A 26th place in the season opening SK Modified feature at the NAPA Spring Sizzler left Marcello Rufrano wondering if things could get any worse. 

Rufrano made things a little better with a sixth place finish in the second event of the season. 

Friday Rufrano found the way back to battling with the leaders, finishing second to Stephen Kopcik in the 40-lap SK Modified feature. 

“Shitty start to the year, but we’re turning it around,” Rufrano said. 

“We were really really good tonight. I kind of knew our fate coming in. I knew we weren’t going to have the stagger to be as fast as we were during the day. Kind of the hand we were dealt. … I think we’re right there. We’ve just got a couple things we’ve got to work out.” 

Marcello Rufrano (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)

Walker Running

With a return to full-time racing at Stafford in the Street Stock division, Johnny Walker is on a mission in 2023. 

Walker, the 2016 and 2017 Street Stock division champion, got his last win in the division on May 11, 2019. And since then he’s sat in second place on the division’s all-time win list. Walker has 19 career Street Stock victories at Stafford. Kyle Casagrande is the division’s all-time winningest driver with 20 victories. 

“That’s my big goal,” Walker said. “I’m trying to get to the top of the all-time win list. I think that will be pretty epic in my life.” 

Walker led much of the way in Friday’s Street Stock feature before surrendering the lead to Travis Hydar on lap 15. 

Walker held on to finish second, but then had some confusion heading to the post-race ceremonies. 

“It’s been so long since we came down to victory lane,” Walker said. “I almost came down pit road after the race. I forgot how to get here.” 

Johnny Walker (Image: FloRacing)


  1. Congratulations to Kopcik for the win. The car did pass tech? Right?

  2. Absent T says

    So who won the event??

  3. The trolls are out and about for sure! I think Todd has his hands full for a three-peat! But I’m sure he will be right there at the end!

  4. To All:
    Just going to say this after declining three comments today on this post. As stated earlier this month, I’m all asking all readers – for the time being – to please refrain from any political references in comments. They will not be published. If you continue to submit comments containing political references after you’ve already had similar comments declined, you will be banned from leaving any comments.

  5. Deplorable, Degenerate Mod fan says

    So we won’t be seeing the name Hillary 2024 any longer?

  6. Drive shaft says

    Great race. Stafford should of thrown a debris caution. Lol. Anyone know how many caution free races last year in the sk division?

  7. Deplorable, Degenerate Mod Fan,
    The commenter “handle” you’re indicating has been in use by that person consistently since 2018 on this site. It’s a username. I can also tell you the person using that name is not one of the people who typically ever makes any political references in their comments. Again, I asked that no political references be made in the comments. It’s not a complicated request. Really simply actually. You and one other person seem to be the only people having an issue with respecting that request and the only two people creating inane debate about that request, like this comment you made above.

  8. Unusual SK race in that it was not very exciting. Perhaps the most exciting was when Blewett dove under for a late pass, upset both cars for a bit, and then went on.

    Law of averages says next week should be wild!

  9. Kopcik won on the track, but was his car able to make it through tech? Blewit is off to a great start. If he is able to keep posting top 5’swill be a threat for the championship.

  10. Thank you, Shawn. Finally.

  11. Thought Rufrano was an impressive young man but it turns out he can be a trashy as the next guy. Takes his lumps without an excess of whining. Nose to the grindstone looking to improve. So what’s with the potty mouth in victory lane? Is it so hard really? You’re in front of thousands of people at the track and streaming across the country including women and children. Sure all the younglings know the words but is it asking too much to try to set an example? There’s roughly 26 profane words in the American vocabulary out of approximately 170,000 available for our use. You hit all your marks then somehow felt it necessary to summarize the start of your season with the S-bomb.
    So who do you want to emulate? An enduro driver that won for the first time that doesn’t know any better then to bring his raw paddock chatter to victory lane. Or a driver that expects to be in victory lane, is the pride of Italy and knows how to act in mixed company?
    Give it some thought.

  12. Suspicious Stagger says


    Trashy? I mean was it really Doug? You come on this website and talk out of your fingers like the all knowing, all seeing eye. All Rufrano did was say one little cuss word, and that being the least concerning swear word in the 170,000 word dictionary that you claim he, or we, should be looking at. The kid had did have a s-word start to his year, do you really blame him for saying what he said? I would be too ecstatic myself, after two poor weeks, and not watch what I would have said either.
    There’s not even a handful of times Rufrano has made a slip like this, and yet you’re deciding on criticizing his mouth rather than praising his comeback? I myself have had my fair share of words on Rufrano, although I would not call him trashy just for having a potty mouth. He’s surely not the first, nor will ever be the last person to say a dirty word on live tv. If you’re gonna use women and children as an excuse for him to not cuss and swear, rather than his actual reputation as a driver as a whole. I’d keep his name far from your little keyboard. You really have so much to say and such little backing to say it.

  13. Suspicious stagger reminds me of the 3 that had a broken tie rod at Thunder Road and was struggling to get into the paddock. Ben Dodge called it a camber issue when it was clearly toe. A little error but I just thought it was unusual a guy with Dodge’s resume of ownership would get that wrong.
    Suspicious Stagger all fired up it appears. Good to see thanks for the weighing in. So trashy has you all worked it does it? I don’t blame you it’s a powerful adjective and I picked it precisely because of that. Perhaps I’m at fault here for not being more clear. I certainly did not intend to imply Rufrano was a trashy person, certainly not. Using profanity in victory lane was trashy behavior. We all can be trashy from time to time. If we have substance we clean it up after making the mistake and move on. If we’re someone like Nick Anglace maybe we never get it, it depends on the person.
    Aside from this one episode there appears to be a greater issue in play. That would be I simply annoy you. You don’t appreciate the things I say in this forum nor think I’m qualified to say them. That’s fair we all have our favorite contributors to the forum. Be that as it may I’m pretty confident I hold up my end with regard to substance for the most part, self audited my point here and am still comfortable with it. If you’re looking to hurt my feeling or send me packing good luck with that.
    Back to Rufrano you went through a litany of excuses for using the S-word concluding in the fact that were you to have the same start to the year you’d use profanity as well. See right there that’s the rub. That’s why we can’t find common ground. You either know you need to avoid that sort of thing because it’s not appropriate in the moment or you don’t. Apparently you don’t. I’m pretty sure Rufrano does but we’ll see won’t we?

  14. Suspicious Stagger says

    That was one hell of a TLDR, you wanna buy me a drink before you reply with paragraphs? I’m at bar every friday, see ya there buckaroo. I’ll buy a round for that reply for sure.

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