Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Speedway hosted the Twisted Tea Open Modified 80 with Tour-type Modifieds taking center stage for an 80-lap race around the Connecticut half-mile.  Tommy Barrett, Jr. used an early pit stop to gain track position when the majority of the cars came to pit road at the halfway point of the race and he led 38 of the final 40 laps to win the Twisted Tea Open Modified 80.


Michael Christopher, Jr. took the lead on the outside of Rowan Pennink at the start with Eric Goodale third, Joey Cipriano fourth, and Woody Pitkat fifth.  Pennink took the lead from Christopher on lap 4 and Pitkat took fourth from Cipriano before the caution flew with six laps complete for a spin coming out of turn two by Walt Sutcliffe.


Pennink took the lead back under green with Christopher in second.  Goodale was third with Pitkat fourth and Cipriano fifth.  Christopher slid back to fourth as both Goodale and Pitkat got by him on lap 13 with Pennink continuing to lead the race.  The caution came back out with 19 laps complete for a spin in turn two by D.J. Macri.


Pennink took the lead on the restart with Pitkat taking second.  Goodale was third with Chase Dowling applying heavy pressure from fourth and Dave Etheridge was fifth.  Dowling took third from Goodale on lap 21 while behind him, Christopher and Cipriano were having a great duel for sixth place.  The caution came out with 30 laps complete for Macri, who came to a stop on the backstretch.


Pennink took the lead back under green with Pitkat right behind him in second.  Goodale was third in line with Dowling and Etheridge making up the top-five.  Anthony Flannery was up to sixth with Cipriano in seventh.  Goodale was looking to the inside of Pitkat for second place on lap 40 when the caution came back out for a spin coming out of turn 2 by Robert Bloxsom, III.  The majority of the field came to pit road under the caution to change two tires, handing the lead of the race over to Flannery with Keith Rocco in second and two cars that pitted under the previous caution, Tommy Barrett, Jr. and Richard Savary, making up the second row for the restart.


Flannery took the lead on the restart but he only held the lead for one lap before Barrett streaked into the lead on lap 42.  Savary was now third with Jeff Gallup fourth and Rowan Pennink up to fifth after his pit stop.  Pennink took fourth on lap 43 and he brought Pitkat with him up to fifth with Gallup falling back to sixth.  Pennink and Pitkat continued to charge as they moved into third and fourth on lap 46 to drop Flannery back to fifth as Barrett and Savary continued to lead the race.  Goodale came to pit road on lap 50 with a flat right front tire and he lost several laps in the pits making a tire change.  The caution came back out with 56 laps complete for a spin on the backstretch by Bloxsom.


Barrett took the lead on the restart with Pennink, Dowling, Pitkat, and Etheridge lined up behind him.  The caution came back out with 59 laps complete for a spin in turn four by Mark Bakaj.


Pennink made a power move going into turn three on the restart to pull alongside Barrett for the lead.  Pennink took the lead on lap 61 but Barrett was able to make a crossover move and retake the lead.  Dowling was now in third behind the two leaders with Pitkat fourth and Etheridge in fifth.  Pennink got sideways on lap 64, which allowed Barrett to pull away by several car lengths and Pennink now had to contend with Dowling right on his back bumper for second.


Dowling took second from Pennink on lap 68 with Barrett still out front and Pitkat and Etheridge still in fourth and fifth.  Etheridge was applying heavy pressure to Pitkat and he took fourth on lap 71.  Barrett led Dowling to the checkered flag to take the victory.  Etheridge finished third with Pennink and Pitkat rounding out the top-five.


-Stafford Motor Speedway Press Release

-Photo credit: Thomas Lepore


1) Tommy Barrett, Jr., Millis MA

2) Chase Dowling, Roxbury

3) Dave Etheridge, Portland

4) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, PA

5) Woody Pitkat, Sturbridge, MA

6) Richard Savary, Holbrook, MA

7) Joey Cipriano, Waterbury

8) Matt Galko, Meriden

9) Keith Rocco, Berlin

10) David Schneider, Northport, NY

11) Andrew Molleur, Shelton

12) Jeff Gallup, Agawam, MA

13) Michael Christopher, Jr., Wolcott

14) Mark Bakaj, Lebanon

15) Dave Salzarulo, Monson, MA

16) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, NY

17) Robert Bloxsom, III, Stratford

18) Anthony Flannery, East Hampton

19) D.J. Macri, Waretown, NJ

20) Walt Sutcliffe, East Haven

Barrett Powers to Open Modified 80 Victory at Stafford