STAFFORD SPRINGS, Conn. — Stephen Kopcik has been the hottest driver at Stafford Motor Speedway of late, notching three consecutive SK Modified feature victories as he duels with Todd Owen for the track championship.
While Kopcik will be looking to add a fourth consecutive SK Modified win on Friday, he also has his eyes set squarely on the NAPA Fall Final 150 this Saturday, as he will make his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour debut behind the wheel of the No. 2 Gershow Recycling Chevrolet owned by Joseph Bertuccio.
“Joe and I have always been good friends and Chuck Hossfeld couldn’t make the Stafford race, so Joe gave me a call and asked me if I would want to drive the car,” said Kopcik. “I told him absolutely. He’s always been great to me and we’ve always had fun working together. The Bertuccio crew is a great group of guys and I’m excited for the opportunity. I think we’ll have a fast car and we can have a good run. I have to give a big thank you to Joe and everyone on the Gershow Motorsports crew for giving me this opportunity.”
Kopcik couldn’t have picked a better track to make his WMT debut at than Stafford. Kopcik spent the 2014 and ’15 seasons in the SK Light division at Stafford, winning three races and the 2015 track championship.
Kopcik claimed rookie-of-the-year honors in 2016 in the SK Modified division and he entered this year with four SK Modified triumphs. Kopcik has more than doubled his career win total with five victories already this season. He trails Owen by 14 points with two races remaining.
“I don’t want to sound cocky but my goal is to start and run in the top-10 all day,” said Kopcik. “I know it’s not easy racing on the Tour, but Stafford is my home track and I set these cars up for a living, so I want to run well and I don’t think the top-10 is out of reach for us. Mike Bologna, the crew chief on the car, is going to give me everything I need to succeed so it’s very possible for us to have a good run. I think my track knowledge will benefit me more with just knowing the driving style to get around Stafford. Any driver will tell you Stafford is a unique track. You look at someone like Justin Bonsignore, he’s a badass on the Tour and he hasn’t won yet at Stafford and then someone like Doug Coby, Stafford is his home track and he’s kind of had the track in his back pocket. It’ll be interesting for me to see how my experience matches up against those guys. I feel really confident racing at Stafford and I’ve never driven a NASCAR Spec Engine before, so I’m looking forward to the experience all the way around.”
Kopcik remains focused on winning the Stafford track championship as well.
“I want to win the next two races,” said Kopcik. “Points come with wins, so I’m focused on winning the last two races. The SK Modified field is really competitive and our focus is on doing the best we can. I’m very happy with our performance and I’m thankful for the position I’m in and grateful for all the people around me.”