RPW Exclusive: Williams Shows The Way Friday At Stafford; Racers Honor Fallen Legend With TC13 Shootout

Column By: BRITTANY NUTILE / RPW – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – Track regular and defending SK Modified champion Ronnie Williams won the Bud Light Open Mod 80 Friday evening at the Stafford Motor Speedway.

Williams started 8th in the race, he stayed in the 6th and 7th place for the first 30 laps. Then he fell back to 12th, 13th, 14th, for 11 laps. He led 24 laps and started leading at lap 57. “It’s pretty awesome, having the 25 come here, with Matt Swanson and finishing 1,2 with him. These guys they work their butts off and it showed today. Happy for the 25 as well. Hopefully we can keep this thing going. Didn’t get the victory in the SK mod but, this makes up for it.”

Matt Swanson started the race 18th and had an amazing race. Swanson and the 25 team were supposed to go to Lee USA tonight but, it got cancelled at 10am this morning and they made the decision to come to Stafford instead. He started the in the back of the pack till lap 40. He got into the top 5 on lap 50 and stayed there till the finish. He finished the race 2nd. Swanson and Goodale got into an altercation at the end of the race. Goodale was racing in the 3rd position and got spun in the backstretch. After the race Goodale drove over to Swanson where he was parked on the podium and had some words and the crew had some words and got heated but, was resolved with the officials. After the race Swanson talked about his race. “Feeling good, we were supposed to go to Lee USA tonight for the MRS race, but it got cancelled this morning. We were working till 2am to get the car finished. When we found out Lee got cancelled this morning we showed up at the shop, missed practice and made it 10 minutes before the heat race. Ill take a 2nd place to the kid who normally races it.

Keith Rocco had a good night of racing, won the TC memorial race, finished the 2nd in the SK mod race and then finished 3rd in the open mod race. Rocco started the race 6th and was in the top 3 for the first 40 laps. For a few laps he was in the 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th position for 5 laps. Then stayed in the 7th place for 16 laps. Then came up to the top 5 and got up to 4th and 3rd in the last 4 laps. Rocco finished 2nd.

Starting lineup Top 10:
1. Todd Owen
2. Matt Galko
3. Joey Cipriano
4. Eric Goodale
5. Michael Christopher Jr.
6. Keith Rocco
7. Anthony Sesely
8. Ronnie Williams
9. Chase Dowling
10. Cam McDermott

Top 10 Finishers:
1. Ronnie Williams
2. Matt Swanson
3. Keith Rocco
4. Matt Galko
5. Michael Christopher Jr.
6. Jeff Gallup
7. Chase Dowling
8. Anthony Flannery
9. Cam McDermott
10. Anthony Sesely

TC Memorial race

Keith Rocco won the second annual memorial race in honor of TC.

Glen Reen won the inaugural race last year, throughout the years racing with Teddy Christopher Reen was very good friends with him. Before the race Reen talked about how special it was to win last year and a memory about TC. He finished the race 8th. “Its an honor to run it, it’s an honor to be the past winner of it. So, hopefully we can go and defend our win. Its going to be a lot of work, I think they changed it up a bit, it will be exciting for the fans to see the4 race you don’t know who’s going to invert and how much so, it will keep everyone on their toes.” Glen also talked about a memory he had with Ted. “Off the track we were good friends, on the track we battled. There’s a few times we hated each other but, that’s the cool thing about ted, a week later, 5 days later it never happened, he moved on. We had tremendous battles and almost being in fist fights and a week later busting my butt for something. Definitely miss that but, hopefully we will go and put it in victory lane in memory of him and have a beautiful car that looked just like his.”

This year they changed the rules where there will be numbers where and they will pick what place will be inverted. After the Sk mod race the number that got picked was 7. Eric Berndt finished the SK mod race in 7th, which meant he would start 1st. Rocco started the shootout 6th. Rocco and Owen battle for the most part of the race. Todd Owen led 5 laps of the shootout, and Rocco led 7 laps of the shootout. Stephen Kopcik won the SK mod race; he started the shootout 7th. He was in the top 10 for the whole shootout. He finished 3rd in the shootout.

After the race Keith talked about how this felt and what it meant to win the TC memorial race. “This is better than winning the 5K, this means more than anything the last few laps I felt like I was racing Ted there I drove down in turn 1and rooted Owen out of the way I think I did that to Ted once or twice and I might have used the Quote, Ted thanks for teaching me that move but, that was awesome. This ones for home, he’s the king.”

Starting lineup of the shootout:
1. Eric Berndt
2. Joey Cipriano
3. Glen Reen
4. Todd Owen
5. Ronnie Williams
6. Keith Rocco
7. Stephen Kopcik
8. Andrew Molleur
9. Kyle James
10. Daniel Wesson
11. Tony Membrino Jr.
12. Joey Ternullo Jr.
13. David Arute

Finishing lineup of the race:
1. Keith Rocco
2. Todd Owen
3. Stephen Kopcik
4. Joey Cipriano
5. Eric Berndt
6. Ronnie Williams
7. Andrew Molleur
8. Glen Reen
9. Tony Membrino Jr.
10. Daniel Wesson
11. David Arute
12. Joey Ternullo Jr.
13. Kyle James