(Stafford Springs, CT)—Stafford Speedway returned to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action with the 4th Annual Champions For Charities / SK Light & Ltd. Late Model Xtra Mart Xtra D program. Taking down feature wins on the night were Ted Christopher in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, J.J. Hill in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Jeremy Sorel was a first time career winner in the 25-lap Xtra Mart Xtra D SK Light feature, Duane Provost won for the second time this season in the 25-lap Xtra Mart Xtra D Limited Late Model feature, Bill McNeil was a first time career winner in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature, and Ron Midford, Jr. became a two-time winner of the Champions For Charities Wild Thing Kart feature event. The SK Lights and Ltd. Late Models each split a $500 bonus from Xtra Mart Convenience Stores among the top-5 finishers.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Tony Membrino, Jr. took the lead from the green flag with the field stacked up side by side behind him. Curt Brainarrd and Michael Gervais, Jr. were side by side for second while behind them contact mid pack sent several cars spinning to the infield including Tom Bolles and Eric Berndt to bring the caution out with 2 laps complete.
Membrino took the lead back under green with Gervais moving up to second. The caution came back out with 3 laps complete for the 28 car, who came to a stop on the backstretch.
Membrino took the lead but Coby took the lead from Membrino on lap-4 and with 5 laps complete, Kurt Lenahan, Keith Rocco, and Jay Sundeen all spun in turn 4 to bring the caution back out.
The next restart saw Coby charge into the lead with Christopher moving up to second. Membrino got into line in third, just in front of Gervais and the side by side duo of Brainard and Joey Cipriano. Christopher made a move to the inside of Coby to take over the lead on lap-7 while Gervais got around Membrino to move into third. The caution came back out with 9 laps complete for Nick Boivin and Shawn Thibeault, who spun and came to a stop against the wall in turn 1.
Christopher took the lead on the restart with Coby settling into second. Gervais was third, with Cipriano in fourth and Ryan Preece was now up to fifth. Preece quickly dived to the inside of Cipriano to move into fourth on lap-12. Preece continued his charge towards the front as he got around Gervais to move into third on lap-14 and on the very same lap, Coby made a move to the inside of Christopher to move back into the lead. Behind Coby, Preece got by Christopher to move into second just before the caution flew with 16 laps complete for a multi-car incident in turn 4 that involved Sean Foster, Tom Bolles, and several other cars.
Coby and Preece drifted up the track on the restart in turn 2, which allowed Christopher to make a three-wide move to take the lead, but before the lap could be completed, the caution came out for Dan Avery, who came to a stop in turn 2.
On the next restart, Preece got a good run in the outside groove and he got by Coby to take over the lead. Christopher was dueling with Coby for second when Jay Sundeen, Frank Ruocco, and Avery all hit the turn 1 wall to bring the caution out with 17 laps complete.
Christopher took the lead back under green after a three-wide duel with Preece and Coby with Preece taking second and Coby taking third. The field completed one lap before the caution came back out for Woody Pitkat and Ronine Williams, who got together and spun into the infield.
Christopher took the lead but as the cars went through turns 3+4, Preece looked high and then went low with a crossover move to take the lead away from Christopher. Gervais was third behind Preece and Christopher, with Cipriano and Berndt making up the top-5. Christopher got back by Preece to take the lead and then Preece came back and nearly took the lead back from Christopher on lap-24.
Preece again took a dive to Christopher’s inside on lap-25 and while he was able to pull alongside christohper, Christopher held the lead at the stripe. The duel for the lead was interrupted with 25 laps complete for Tom Bolles, who spun in turn 2.
Christopher and Preece resumed their duel for the lead back under green with the two cars staying side by side for a lap before Christopher got clear into the lead. Preece came back on lap-27 to the inside of Christopher and he took the lead back. With Preece and Christopher busy swapping the lead, Gervais was now right behind them in third.
Christopher was able to make a move to the inside of Preece on lap-29 to move back into the lad but the action was slowed with 30 laps complete for Nick Boivin and Ronnie Williams, who both ended up against the turn 1 wall.
Boivin spun again on the restart to bring the caution right back out. Christopher got in front of Preece on the restart to take the lead, but Preece was all over his back bumper looking to make another pass. Gervais was third, with Berndt in fourth and Chase Dowling moved into fifth.
Preece hounded the back bumper of Christopher until lap-35 when he got a good run coming out of turn 2 and was able to get to the inside of Christopher. Christopher wasn’t going away quietly as he was hanging right with Preece in a side by side duel for the lead. Preece held the lead by inches with 3 laps to go and on lap-38 in turn 2, Christopher made a bottom shot move into turn 3 to get back by Preece. Preece tried one final move on the final lap but Christopher was able to hold him off to pick up his first win of the 2014 season and his 101st career SK Modified® victory at Stafford. Gervais finished third, with Berndt and Dowling rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Dennis Botticello, Kyle Casagrande, and Scott Cook were threew-wide for the lead at the completion of the first lap of the race. Botticello came out with the lead with J.J. Hill in second. Casagrande came back strong to take the lead from Botticello and a host of cars followed him by Botticello as Botticelloo fell back to sixth. Hill was second behind Casagrande, with Michael Bennett in third, Adam Gray in fourth, and Jay Stuart in fifth.
Gray got around Bennett to move into third on lap-12 and Stuart followed him past, dropping Bennett from third back to fifth place. Casagrande held the race lead until lap-14 when Hill made a move in turn 1. Gray was still third, with Stuart and Bennett rounding out the top-5.
The cars ran in line until lap-17 when Gray got around Casagrande to move into second. Gray’s move opened the door for Stuart to follow him by Casagrande, dropping him from second back to fourth. Bennett was still running fifth with Josh Wood right on his bumper in sixth.
With 10 laps to go, Hill had a comfortable margin over Gray in second. Gray set about reeling Hill back in and with 3 laps to go, he was within a couple of car lengths of Hill as the leaders began to navigate lapped traffic. But just as Gray had closed the gap down, Hill was starting to maintain the gap over Gray and he led Gray and Stuart back to the checkered flag to pick up his first win of the 2014 season. Kyle Casagrande finished fourth and Bennett finished fifth.
In the 25-lap SK Light Modified Xtra Mart Xtra D feature event, Geoff Boisjolie took the early race lead with Rich Hammann behind him. Wesley Prucker got loose in turn 2, but he got the car under control and he fell back to the rear of the field.
Boisjolie was pulling away from the field only 4 laps in as Jeremy Sorel went 3-wide to get by both D.J. Burnham and Hammann to move into second. Branden Dion was now up to fourth behind Burnham and Jay Goff was fifth. Hammann slid back to sixth place as Boisjolie continued to lead.
Boisjolie had built up a pretty comfortable lead over Sorel in second, but Sorel began to carve into Boisjolie’s lead and he was on the bumper of Boisjolie on lap-12. Sorel took the lead from Boisjolie on lap-13 and Boisjolie got loose on lap-14 to lose second place to Burnham. Nick Salva was now in fourth behind Sorel, Burnham, and Boisjolie with Dion and Goff right behind Salva.
With 5 laps to go, Sorel had opened up a small margin over Burnham in second. Salva got around Boisjolie to move into third place and Goff was still running in fifth place. Stephen Kopcik was up to sixth, with Joey Ferrigno and Dion right behind him.
Sorel led Burnham back to the checkered flag to pick up his first career SK Light feature victory. Salva finished third, with Boisjolie and Goff rounding out the top-5.
In the 25-lap Limited Late Model Xtra Mart Xtra D feature event, Albert Saunders took the early race lead with Norm Sears glued to his back bumper. Duane Provost was third, with Paul Arute fourth and Cliff Saunders moved up to fifth. Sears took a look to the inside of Albert Saunders on lap-2 for the lead, but Saunders was able to hold Sears off.
David Arute was slicing quickly through the field, moving up to sixth in the first 3 laps of the race. Right behind David Arute was last week’s winner Austin Bessette. David Arute made the move around Cliff Saunders to move into fifth on lap-6 and both Bessette and Andrew Hayes followed him, dropping Cliff Saunders from fifth back to eighth.
Sears was hounding Albert Saunders for the race lead, but Saunders was able to fend off Sears’ challenges. At the halfway point of the race, Albert Saunders had opened up a lead of several car lengths over Sears in second with Provost continuing to run third. Paul Arute was still fourth with David Arute, Bessette, and Hayes all lined up right behind him. Brian Clement spun in turn 2 to bring the caution out with 11 laps complete.
Albert Saunders took the lead on the restart, but he spun in turn 2 on lap-13, which handed the lead over to Duane Provost. Saunders was able to get his car moving and the race stayed green. David Arute was now second behind Provost with Hayes, Paul Arute and Justin Bren making up the top-5. Kelsey Rottino spun in turn 4 to bring the caution out with 16 laps complete.
Provost took the lead on the restart while Hayes pulled alongside and then took over second from David Arute. Glenn Bartkowski was fourth behind David Arute with Sears rounding out the top-5. Several cars got together in turn 2 and Paul Arute got shoved into the turn 2 wall to bring the caution out with 17 laps complete.
Provost took the lead again on the restart with Hayes in second. David Arute moved up to the third position, with Sears and Bren making up the top-5. Arute’s car slowed on the backstretch on lap-19 and he fell back to sixth as Sears moved into third, Bren was fourth, and Bessette was fifth.
Arute’s loss of power was only temporary as he came back to move into fifth on lap-24, getting around Justin Bren. Provost led Hayes back to the line to pick up his second win of the 2014 season. Sears finished third, with Bessette and David Arute rounding out the top-5. All top-5 finishers each took home a $100 bonus from Xtra Mart Convenience Stores.
In the 15-lap DARE Stock feature event, Andy Marchese took the lead at the green and he immediately pulled out to a lead of several car lengths. Trace Beyer and Bill McNeil were heavily contesting second with Nicole Chambrello fourth and Ryan Fearn in fifth. Fearn and Chambrello touched in turn 1 with Chambrello going up the track. Chambrello was able to keep her car out of the wall but the caution came out with 2 laps complete.
Marchese took the lead back under green with McNeil right behind him. Fearn moved up to third, with Beyer and Alexandra Fearn moving up to fifth. The field was only able to complete two more laps before debris on the track brought the yellow flag back out with 4 laps complete.
Back under green, McNeil was able to stay even with Marchese and he led the lap at the line. McNeil continued his strong run in the outside groove and he powered past Marchese on lap-6. Ryan Fearn was lined up in third behind Marchese with his sister Alexandra Fearn right behind him in fourth. Johnny Walker was now up to fifth at the halfway point of the race. Doug Phelps spun in turn 1 to bring the yellow out with 7 laps complete.
Marchese tried to return the favor to McNeil on the restart by taking the lead in the outside groove, but McNeil was able to stay out front. Alexandra Fearn moved up to second with Ryan Fearn in third. Johnny Walker was in fifth but Alexandra Fearn spun in turn 4 and Jeff Jolly also spun in turn 4 to bring the caution out with 9 laps complete.
McNeil took the lead back under green while Marchese slid by Fearn to take over second. Marchese and Walker touched in turns 3+4 with Walker going around. Marchese fall back outside the top-5 while Walker fell to the rear of the field. The caution came back out with 11 laps complete for a spin by Matt Davis in turn 2. The restart order was McNeil and Ryan Fearn on the front row, Frank L’Etoile, Jr. and Scott Fanning in the second row, and Brandon Michael and Marchese in the third row.
McNeil took the lead back under green in a dogfight with Ryan Fearn. The two cars drifted up the track in turn 4, which allowed Fanning to move to the front. AS the cars headed down the backstretch, Marchese made a 3-wide bid for the lead. Marchese briefly took the the lead, but his car got loose in the corner and McNeil went back to the front on lap-13. The caution then came out as Ryan Fearn made contact with Jeff Jolly and the two cars spun on the backstretch.
McNeil took the lead back under green with Marchese getting by Fanning to move into second. McNeil led the field back to the checkered flag to pick up his first win of the 2014 season. Marchese finished second, with Michael, Walker, and L’Etoile, Jr. rounding out the top-5.
In the 15-lap Champions For Charities feature event, David Arute took the lead at the green with Ron Midford, Jr. in second. Lap 2 saw Richie Pallai, Jr. make a 3-wide move into the lead but Midford quickly went by Pallai to take th e lead. Woody Pitkat muscled his way up to third, but Ryan Preece made a 3-wide move on lap-4 to move into the led. Pallai was side by side with Midford with Ted Christopher right behind them in fourth.
The lead swapped again on lap-6 with Christopher moving into the lead. Midford was second behind Christopher with Pallai holding off the side by side duo of Pitkat and Preece.
Preece made a banzai move to take over third on lap-12 while Christopher continued to hold off Midford at the front of the pack. Midford made a breathtaking move to the outside of Christopher to retake the lead on lap-13.
Christopher made one last ditch effort on the final lap but Midford was able to hold Christopher off to the checkered flag to pick up the win. Preece finished third, with Doug Coby fourth, and Pallai rounded out the top-5.
For more information contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at (860) 684-2783, or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.
SK MODIFIED® (40)
1) Ted Christopher, Plainville
2) Ryan Preece, Berlin
3) Michael Gervais, Jr., Southbury
4) Eric Berndt, Cromwell
5) Chase Dowling, Roxbury
6) Keith Rocco, Berlin
7) Woody Pitkat, Stafford Springs
8) Matt Galko, Meriden
9) Doug Coby, Middletown
10) Sean Foster, Willington
11) Curt Brainard, Canton
12) Tony Membrino, Jr., Plantsville
13) Todd Owen, Somers
14) Tommy Membrino, Jr., Prospect
15) Ronnie Williams, Tolland
16) Joey Cipriano, III, Waterbury
17) Nick Boivin, Belchertown, Ma
18) Tom Bolles, Ellington
19) Matt Gallo, Kensington
20) Dan Avery, Somers
21) Frank Ruocco, Cheshire
22) Jay Sundeen, Douglas, Ma
23) Zach Sylvester, Lebanon
24) Shawn Thibeault, Plainville
25) Kurt Lenahan, Roxbury
26) Adam Norton, Brookfield, Ma
LATE MODEL (30)
1) J.J. Hill, Stafford Springs
2) Adam Gray, Belchertown, Ma
3) Jay Stuart, Preston
4) Kyle Casagrande, Stafford Springs
5) Michael Bennett, Willington
6) Tom Fearn, East Longmeadow, Ma
7) Jim Peterson, Monson, Ma
8) Michael Scorzelli, Feura Bush, Ny
9) Kevin Gambacorta, Ellington
10) Dennis Botticello, Suffield
11) Scott Cook, Uncasville
12) Peter Thickett, Watertown
13) Mark Heim, Ware, Ma
14) Josh Wood, Palmer, Ma
15) Cory Casagrande, Stafford Springs
SK LIGHT MODIFIED (25)
1) Jeremy Sorel, Westfield, Ma
2) D.J. Burnham, East Hartford
3) Nick Salva, Prospect
4) Geoff Boisjolie, East Hampton, Ma
5) Jay Goff, Stafford Springs
6) Stephen Kopcik, Newtown
7) Joey Ferrigno, East Hartford
8) Branden Dion, Taunton, Ma
9) Tyler Hines, North Haven
10) Glenn Griswold, Vernon
11) Dylan Menditto, Brooklyn
12) Bob Charland, Stafford
13) Jodi Johnson, Medway, Ma
14) Wesley Prucker, Stafford
15) Rich Hammann, Tolland
16) Paul French, Andover
17) Chris Gombos, Naugatuck
18) Pete Lopuch, West Redding
19) Todd Douillard, Palmer, Ma
LIMITED LATE MODEL (25)
1) Duane Provost, Indian Orchard, Ma
2) Andrew Hayes, Charlton, Ma
3) Norm Sears, Andover
4) Austin Bessette, Stafford Springs
5) David Arute, Tolland
6) Justin Bren, Palmer, Ma
7) Cliff Saunders, Stafford
8) Jesse Hinze, Farmington
9) Glenn Bartkowski, Manchester
10) Albert Saunders, Stafford
11) R.J. Surdell, Manchester
12) Brian Clement, Wethersfield
13) Kelsey Rottino, Willimantic
14) Joe Nogiec, Bristol
15) Paul Arute, Tolland
DARE STOCK (15)
1) Bill McNeil, Preston
2) Andy Marchese, Tolland
3) Brandon Michael, Granville, Ma
4) Johnny Walker, Ludlow, Ma
5) Frank L’Etoile, Jr., Wethersfield
6) Gus Coelho, Jr., Wilbraham, Ma
7) Trace Beyer, Brewster, Ny
8) Tyler Trott, East Hartford
9) Paul Strickland Jr., Middletown
10) Ryan Fearn, East Longmeadow, Ma
11) Jeff Jolly, Wallingford
12) Allison Coelho, Wilbraham, Ma
13) David Comeau, Palmer, Ma
14) Alexandra Fearn, East Longmeadow, Ma
15) Matt Davis, Stafford Springs
16) Nicole Chambrello, Kensington
17) Doug Phelps, Jr., New Salem, Ma
18) Scott Fanning, Mapleville, Ri
19) Travis Jurcik, Chaplin
20) John Carpenter, Danielson
21) Nick Bendik, Hopkinton, Ma
CHAMPIONS FOR CHARITIES (15)
1) Ron Midford, Jr.
2) Ted Christopher
3) Ryan Preece
4) Doug Coby
5) Richie Pallai, Jr.
6) Eric Berndt
7) Woody Pitkat
8) Randy Cabral
9) Keith Rocco
10) David Arute