(Stafford Springs, CT)—Stafford’s premier SK Modified® division has provided some of the best weekly short track racing in the country and the 2016 season has been no different. The level of competition has never been higher and the drivers are delivering scintillating performances every Friday night. As the 2016 season hits the midway point, the race for the championship is a tight one with 9-time SK Modified® champion Ted Christopher and defending champion Rowan Pennink separated by only 12 points.
The 2016 season has been a resurgence of sorts for Christopher. The 2015 season saw his streak of winning at least one SK Modified feature every year come to an end at 30 years and he managed only 5 top-5 finishes all year and he finished 9th in the standings. Thus far in 2016, Christopher and the #13 JVIII Construction / Sterling Security team have yet to finish a race outside the top-10 with his lowest finish being a 6th and he has won twice to bring his career SK Modified® win total up to 103.
Despite changing crew chiefs after winning the 2015 championship, Rowan Pennink and the #99 NAPA Van Wickle Auto Supply / Independent Wheel team picked up right where they left off in 2015 by winning 3 of the first four races to firmly establish themselves as championship contenders once again. Pennink’s 3 wins at the mid-way point of the season lead the division but consistency has been lacking in his finishes, thus creating the 12 point deficit he currently faces to Christopher in the race for the championship.
Woody Pitkat and the #50 Flamingo Motorsports / Gunsmoke Stables team have won twice in the first half of the 2016 season to match Christopher’s total for wins while other feature winners include Eric Berndt and the #66 Cos’ Central Auto / North End Auto Parts team and Todd Owen and the #81 Cooker Construction team with one win each.
Keith Rocco and the #88 Wheelers Auto team have yet to win a race in 2016, but they are the closest rivals to Christopher and Pennink in the race for the championship. Rocco is currently third in the standings, 58 points out of the lead. Berndt is fourth in the standings, 72 points behind, and Mike Christopher, Jr. has showed that he isn’t suffering from the sophomore jinx as he is fifth in the standings, 92 points behind.
2015 SK Light champion Stephen Kopcik and the #31 Hocon Industrial Gas team are having things all their way in the race for the NAPA Rookie of the Year award. Kopcik has two top-5 and 5 top-10 finishes through the first 9 races of the season as they continue to chase after their first feature win.
With the second half of the season still to come, it’s anyone’s guess as to who will come out on top in the race for the championship but the competition on the track promised to be as exciting as ever.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.