Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Speedway hosted the Bud Light Open Modified 80 with tour style modifieds taking center stage for an 80-lap race around the Connecticut half-mile. Eric Goodale used a great pit stop to climb from seventh to second after a round of pit stops and he led the final 41 laps to win the Bud Light 80.
Michael Christopher, Jr. took the lead at the green flag with Rowan Pennink, Jeff Gallup, Andrew Molleur, and John Montesanto lined up behind him. Molleur took to the outside groove and he want from fourth to the lead on lap-3. Gallup took second from Christopher on lap-5 while Dave Etheridge took fifth. Montesanto spun in turn 4 and collected four other cars including Tommy Barrett, Jr., Richard Savary, Eric Goodale, and Brett Gonyaw to bring the caution out with 5 laps complete.
Molleur took the lead back under green with Keith Rocco working his way up to second. Gallup was still third with Chase Dowling up to fourth and Ronnie Silk up to fifth as Christopher slid back to sixth.
With 25 laps complete, Molleur was still in command of the race with Rocco, Gallup, Dowling, and Silk lined up behind him. Christopher was sixth with Eric Goodale, Etheridge, Pennink, and Joey Cipriano making up the top-5. Rocco was beginning to close down the gap to Molleur for the lead when the caution flew with 39 laps complete for Mark Bakaj, who came to a stop coming out of turn 4. Under the caution the leaders came to pit road for 2 fresh tires and adjustments. Molleur stayed out on track while Goodale won the race off pit road with Cipriano and Dowling on row 2 for the restart.
Goodale took the lead from Molleur on the restart and Molleur started to quickly fade backwards. Dowling took second with Silk third, Cipriano fourth, and Gallup fifth. Molleur came to pit road 4 laps after the restart where his crew took a look at the car and sent Molleur back out.
The action behind the lead trio of Goodale, Dowling, and Silk started to pick up with Pennink moving into fourth and dropping Cipriano back to fifth. Rocco was up to sixth after having to come to pit road twice under the lap-39 caution as he missed his pit box. Rocco took fifth from Cipriano and he took fourth from Pennink on lap-54.
Rocco was quickly closing down the gap to Silk in third and by lap-60, he was right on the back bumper of Silk. Rocco took third from Silk on lap-61 with Goodale and Dowling still out front.
With 10 laps to go, Goodale was still in command with Dowling several car lengths behind him in second. Rocco was still almost a full straightaway behind Goodale in third with Pennink and Silk making up the top-5.
Goodale led Dowling to the checkered flag to win the Bud Light 80. Dowling finished second with Rocco, Pennink, and Cipriano rounding out the top-5.
BUD LIGHT OPEN MODIFIED 80 (80)
1) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, NY
2) Chase Dowling, Roxbury
3) Keith Rocco, Berlin
4) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, PA
5) Joey Cipriano, Waterbury
6) Ronnie Silk, Norwalk
7) Dana DiMatteo, Farmington
8) Jeff Gallup, Agawam, MA
9) Richard Savary, Holbrook, MA
10) Dave Etheridge, Portland
11) Joey Mucciacciaro, Wolcott
12) Michael Christopher, Jr., Wolcott
13) Mark Bakaj, Lebanon
14) Anthony Flannery, East Hampton
15) Andrew Molleur, Shelton
16) John Montesanto, New Haven
17) Tommy Barrett, Jr., Millis MA
18) Brett Gonyaw, Vernon
19) Jeff Malave, Manchester
20) Robert Bloxsom, III, Stratford
-Stafford Motor Speedway Press Release
-Photo credit: Speed51.com/Rick Ibsen