Two rising New England modified stars are set to battle for a championship at their home track this weekend.
Bryan Narducci and Marcello Rufrano, two competitors in Stafford Motor Speedway’s SK Light Modified division, are tied on top of the standings with just one race remaining.
Sunday’s 20-lap feature as part of the NAPA Fall Final will decide the champion, and, whichever of the two drivers finishes ahead of the other on the track will be the winner.
TICKETS: NAPA Fall Final at Stafford
Team Narducci or Team Rufrano. The 2018 SK Light championship will be decided at this weekend’s NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final. Who’s your driver? #NAPAFallFinal #SKLights #TeamNarducci #TeamRufrano pic.twitter.com/dHMh5mbxPa
— Stafford Speedway (@StaffordSpeedwy) September 25, 2018
“I think our approach will be the same as Marcello if you ask him,” Narducci said in a track release. “The first half of the race we have to get through the traffic, like usual I’m sure we’ll be starting near each other, mid-pack. Then the second half of the race we can let it loose and try to beat him. It would be nice to be in front of him as we come up through traffic so I don’t have to try to pass him towards the end of the race. We’ll try to get to the front as quick and as clean as we can and get the job done. It would be nice to win the Fall Final race but as long as we can finish in front of Marcello that would make this season that much sweeter than it already has been.”
Both drivers have also already been crowned as NASCAR National champions. Narducci, who has five wins at Stafford, clinched the Division III championship last week. Rufrano, who has six wins at Stafford and one at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, was crowned the UNOH Youth Achievement champion.
“I just have to be smooth and not make any stupid moves that might cost me a championship,” Rufrano said. ““I only have to finish one spot in front of Bryan for this race. I don’t have to have the mentality to win this race or try to do everything I can to win the race. This is the first time I’ve been in a situation like this where I can capitalize on winning a championship so I just have to be smart. I was always about going for trophies and now that I have the opportunity to win a championship, if it means finishing third, that’s what I’m going to do.”
Other Track Titles Sealed Up Early
In his first campaign driving for Adam Skowyra in the No. 50, Ronnie Williams has sealed the Division I SK Modified championship a race early. Williams, who has four victories in his 20 attempts, has been a master of consistency, with 14 finishes inside the top five in a talent-filled field. Williams leads defending champion and NASCAR’s Connecticut state champion Keith Rocco by 106 points and is also a regular on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
Tom Fearn, who has 12 wins in 20 starts in the Late Model division, has already clinched the track championship. The former Stafford Pro Stock champion clinched another Late Model title after dominating the division this season. He was also the 2016 champion in the Late Model division.
In the Limited Late Models, Jeremy Lavoie used eight wins to capture the title a week early. George Bessette Jr., who finished second nationally in the Division V championship standings, has also won the Street Stock title.
Whelen Mod Tour Notes:
- Sunday’s NAPA Fall Final 150 is the 15th race of the season, and Justin Bonsignore is looking to clinch his first championship. He leads by 74 points entering the event and needs to leave the half-mile with at least 48 points over second-place in order to officially clinch. Bonsignore, who has seven wins this season, has never won in his career at Stafford.
- Stafford SK Light Modified regular Andrew Molleur will make his Whelen Modified Tour debut driving a car prepared by Rob Fuller. Molleur, who has four wins in the SK Light Modified division this season, is fifth in the division’s championship standings.
- Eric Goodale is the defending winner of the NAPA Fall Final 150. But, in 10 of the last 12 races at the Connecticut half-mile, Ryan Preece or Doug Coby went to Victory Lane. Preece, who isn’t entered, will be competing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway, while Coby will be looking to score his second Stafford win of the season.
Fast Fact: 6 of 31 drivers entered in Sunday’s NAPA Fall Final have won at least 1 NASCAR Whelen Tour race at Stafford:@doug_coby – 11 wins@BobbySantosIII – 6 wins@SHOWTIME6676 – 3 wins@WoodyPitkat – 2 wins
Ronnie Silk – 1 win@GoodieMOD58 – 1 win#NAPAFallFinal pic.twitter.com/JbsOkXxqqt
— Stafford Speedway (@StaffordSpeedwy) September 26, 2018