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Eric Berndt wins SK Modified feature at Stafford

Paul Lambert/STS

It was a battle between two longtime Stafford Modified stars, but in the end, it was Eric Berndt coming out on top over Keith Rocco, earning his second SK win of 2019 in the process.

“The car was strong,” Berndt said. “I found a happy medium where the car really liked to be.”

Behind Rocco was Glen Reen, followed by Troy Talman and Cory DiMatteo. Rounding out the top-10 were Todd Owen, Ronnie Williams, Michael Gervais, Joseph Cipriano, and David Burnham.

Talman started on the pole and led the first lap.

The race was first halted on lap 3 when Darin Renihan slammed into the turn one wall, forcing a lengthy cleanup.

Stafford’s version of ‘The Big One” occurred on lap eight, when Marcello Rufrano and David Arute made contact off of turn four, taking out at least six cars as the rest of the field slid on fluid while trying to check up.

Rocco sliced through the field, avoiding the trouble, and was up to second by lap 13. After taking the lead from Berndt on lap 23, Berndt took it right back, which surprised Berndt himself.

“I was surprised,” he said. “When [Rocco] got by me, I was waiting for him to pull a little bit, and he didn’t, and I was able to close up and make a move on him. Then I knew it was gonna be a 10-lap battle.”

Berndt never let Rocco get close enough to make another dive on him, and he took his second win of the 2019 season at Stafford.

“Usually it seems like we come on July, August-area,” Berndt said. “But to grab two now, definitely great. If we could just get some consistency over the next few weeks, because that seems to be our downfall right now.”

Berndt will try to keep the momentum rolling throughout the summer stretch at Stafford.

The full results can be found below:

  1. Eric Berndt
  2. Keith Rocco
  3. Glen Reen
  4. Troy Talman
  5. Cory DiMatteo
  6. Todd Owen
  7. Ronnie Williams
  8. Michael Gervais
  9. Joseph Cipriano
  10. David Burnham
  11. Matthew Galko
  12. Daniel Wesson
  13. Tyler Hines
  14. Tyler Leary
  15. Tony Membrino
  16. Matt Vassar
  17. Thomas Bolles
  18. John Catania
  19. Joey Ternullo Jr.
  20. Jeff Malave
  21. Stephen Kopcik
  22. Michael Christopher
  23. David Arute
  24. Marcello Rufrano
  25. Nick Salva
  26. Andrew Molleur
  27. Darin Renihan

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Paul Lambert is an aspiring collegiate journalist. A writer and broadcaster, Paul's excited to cover New England short track racing in 2019. Paul has also been published in Speedway Illustrated and on Autoweek.com.

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