Stafford Speedway returned to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action with the SK Modified® Xtra Mart Xtra D 50 program on Friday, June 19th with Ingersoll Rand contingency bonuses going to the winners of the Late Model, SK Light, and Limited Late Model features. Xtra Mart Convenience Stores put up a $1,500 bonus that was split evenly among the top-5 finishers in the extra distance SK Modified® feature event. Rowan Pennink took his fourth win of the year in the SK Modified® feature, Michael Scozelli was a first time winner in the Late Model feature, Nick Salva scored his second win of the year in the SK Light feature, Glenn Bartkowski was a first time winner in the Limited Late Model feature, Alexandra Fearn won for the second consecutive week in the DARE Stock feature, and Devin O’Connell was a winner for the third consecutive week in the Legend Cars feature.
In the 45-lap SK Modified® feature event, Ted Christopher led the first lap but Sean Foster went to the lead on lap-2. Several cars got loose in turn 3 and Joey Cipriano ended up with right front damage as he limped his car back to pit road and the race stayed under green flag conditions. Justin Bonsignore went to the lead on lap-5 and Christopher got around Foster to move into second.
Bonsignore held the lead until lap-9 when Christopher went back by in turn 3. Keith Rocco was now up to third behind Christopher and Bonsignore with Glen Reen moving by Foster to take over fourth place. Ronnie Williams was challenging Foster for fifth place on lap-13 and he took the spot on lap-14. Rowan Pennink and Ryan Preece were lined up behind Williams. The caution came out with 14 laps complete as Rocco got loose and spun in turn 4, which collected the car of Williams.
Christopher took the lead back under green with Bonsignore behind him in second. Pennink was third, with Matt Galko up to fourth and Preece was up to fifth. Foster took a look to the inside of Preece on lap-17 but Preece was able to hold him off. Pennink moved by Bonsignore for second on lap-17 and he pulled alongside Christopher for the lead on lap-18. Christopher led the lap by a nose but Pennink cleared Christopher on lap-19 and took over the race lead. Preece was now on the outside of Christopher for second with Bonsignore, Galko, and Foster behind them.
Pennink was beginning to stretch out his lead as Preece was dueling with Christopher for second place. Preece was finally able to make a pass stick on lap-24 and Preece, Christopher, Bonsignore, Foster, Galko, Rocco, and Gervais were now lined up single file behind Pennink. The caution came out with 28 laps complete as David Webb spun in turn 4 and erased Pennink’s lead over the rest of the field.
On the restart, Pennink and Preece were locked in a side by side duel with Christopher right on the back bumper of both cars. Preece was beating Pennink to the line by a nose, but on lap-33 Preece slid back to third and then to fourth on lap-34 as Christopher and Bonsignore moved up to second and third as Pennink continued to lead.
Bonsignore worked his way by Christopher on lap-36 to move back up to second as Pennink was starting to stretch out his advantage like he did earlier in the race. Pennink looked like he was heading to victory, but Tyler Hines spun coming off turn 4 to bring the caution out with 43 laps complete and set up an green white checkered finish.
Pennink took the lead at the green with Bonsignore immediately attaching himself to Pennink’s bumper. Bonsignore tried to make a move but Pennink was too strong to be overtaken and he nailed down his fourth win of the 2015 season. Preece finished third, with Foster and Christopher rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Michael Scorzelli and Rich Hammann ran the first lap side by side for the lead with Scorzelli taking the top spot. Ed Ricard was third, with Michael Bennett quickly up to fourth and Kevin Gambacorta was fifth.
Bennett was on the move as he took third and then moved up to second on lap-5. Ricard and Hammann got sideways in turn 4 but the field was able to avoid the two cars and the race stayed green with Scorzelli leading Bennett, Tom Fearn, Ricard, and Gambacorta.
Fearn’s car slowed with an apparent problem and he limped his way back to pit road as Scorzelli had a large lead with 10 laps complete with nearly a half straightaway advantage over Gambacorta. Bennett’s car dropped off the pace with issues and he limped back to pit road on lap-12.
With 10 laps to go, Gambacorta had closed the gap to Scorzelli out front and Butler was several lengths behind Gambacorta. Ricard was fourth and Josh Wood was right on Ricard’s bumper in fifth.
Gambacorta could never get close enough to Scorzelli to mount a challenge for the lead as Scorzelli took down his first win of the season. Butler finished third, with Ricard and Wood rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap SK Light feature event, Kyle Trayner and Payton Henry touched in turn 4 with Henry getting loose and collecting the of Geoff Boisjolie into the turn 4 wall at the front of the pack. As cars were looking to avoid the melee in turn 4, Cory Casagrande climbed up and over another car and ended up on his roof to bring the yellow and red flags out.
Todd Douillard took the lead back under green with Stephen Kopcik side by side with Jay Goff for second. Nick Salva was fourth behind Kopcik and Goff and Vinny Anglace was fifth, just in front of Tony Membrino, Jr.
Kopcik powered his way to the front on lap-3 and Salva followed him by Douillard to move into second. Goff was third, with Douillard slotting into line in fourth. Anglace got by Douillard to move into fourth, but a lap later he got loose in turn 4 and he fell back several spots as Membrino took third, Goff fourth, and Anglace fifth. Douillard’s misfortune continued as he looked to have a flat tire that shot him into the turn 3 wall to bring the caution out with 7 laps complete.
Kopcik and Salva were side by side for the lead back under green with Membrino, Goff, and Glenn Griswold slotting into single file behind them. Kopcik led lap-8 but Salva had the lead on lap-9 and he got clear of Kopcik at the stripe.
Kopcik got into the back of Salva on lap-13, but Salva was able to hang onto his car and he maintained the lead. The caution did come out with 14 laps complete as Aaron Goff spun in turn 2.
Salva took the lead on the restart with Membrino locked in a side by side duel with Kopcik for second with Griswold behind them. The caution came out with 15 laps complete as Jay Goff spun in turn 1 after Bob Charland touched wheels with Goff.
Salva again took the lead ahead of Kopcik, Membrino, and Griswold, but debris on the track brought the yellow back out with 17 laps complete.
Salava again took the lead with Kopcik and Membrino lined up behind him. Anglace worked his way by Griswold to move into fourth as the cars took the white flag. Kopcik made on last ditch effort in turn 4 but Salva was able to stay out front as he took down his second feature win of the 2015 season. Membrino finished third, with Anglace and Griswold rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, David Comeau took the lead at the start with Kelsey Rottino and Jeremy Lavoie behind him. Glenn Bartkowski was fourth and he held off a strong challenge from Justin Bren who was side by side for fifth with Paul Arute. Arute made the move by Bren on lap-4 to move into fifth and his pass brought his brother David Arute and Andrew Hayes with him as Bren fell back to eighth.
Bartkowski was on the move as he went by Rottino for second on lap-6. Rottino nearly made a crossover move to retake the spot, but Bartkowski was able to hold him off. Lavoie continued to run in fourth with Paul and David Arute behind him as Comeau continued to lead the race.
Bartkowski made a move on the inside of Comeau to take over the race lead on lap-12. Rottino and Lavoie continued to run in third and fourth while David Arute was now side by side with Paul Arute in a fight for fifth place.
After three laps of side by side racing, David was finally able to make a pass on Paul and move into fifth place. Hayes, Al Saunders, and Austin Bessette all followed David Arute by Paul Arute as Paul fell back to ninth in the running order.
Bartkowski led Comeau to the checkered flag to pick up his first win of the 2015 season. Rottino finished third, with Lavoie and David Arute rounding out the top-5 in a tight fight between the three cars for third as they took the checkered flag.
In the 15-lap DARE Stock feature, Paul Bourdon, Jr. didn’t come up to speed at the start, which bottlenecked the inside row and as the field rumbled through turns 1+2, Bourdon came together with Zack Robinson which in turn collected the car of Trace Beyer and brought the caution out with one lap complete. Marcello Rufrano took the lead with Alexandra Fearn giving chase before the caution flew.
On the restart, Dan Dembek got turned into the frontstretch wall to bring the caution right back out. The next restart saw Fearn take the lead from Rufrano while Frank L’Etoile, Jr. moved into third. Robinson was recovered from his early trouble to move into fourth behind L’Etoile with 22 car in fifth. Nicole Chambrello spun to bring the caution out with 3 laps complete.
Fearn and Rufrano were locked in a side by side duel for the race lead back under green with L’Etoile looking to make a 3-wide move for the lead. L’Etoile made his move for the lead in turn 3 but that pass was negated by the caution flag, which came back out with 4 laps complete for a spin by Chambrello.
Fearn and Rufrano resumed their duel for the lead back under green but the caution came back out only one lap later as Chambrello once again had trouble in turn 1 and came to a stop against the wall.
Fearn pulled out to the lead back under green with L’Etoile and Rufrano side by side for second. Tyler Trott spun in turn 2 but was able to keep going and the race stayed green. Dembek was recovered from his hit against the wall and he powered his way by Rufrano to move into third behind Fearn and L’Etoile. Robinson also got by Rufrano to move into fourth at the halfway point of the race.
Dembek made a move in turn 3 to get by L’Etoile for second on lap-11 and Robinson pulled alongside L’Etoile for third on the very next lap. L’Etoile was able to hold off the challenge of Robinson and he held down the third spot. As the field came to the white flag, Dembek pulled alongside Fearn in a fight for the lead. The two cars ran side by side for the final lap and they came to the checkered flag with Fearn beating Dembek by a nose and it was side by side behind them as L’Etoile beat Robinson to the line for third by a nose. Rufrano rounded out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Legends Car feature event, Teddy Hodgdon took the early lead and began to streak away from Cory DiMatteo in second. As the field completed six laps, Hodgdon spun in turn 1 and he slid to the rear of the field before getting back up to speed. This moved Cory DiMatteo inot the lead with his brother Dana DiMatteo and Devin O’Connell right on his bumper. The caution flew with 10 laps complete for a spin by Mikey Flynn in turn 4 of the mini-mile.
Cory DiMatteo resumed the lead on the restart while Joe Graf, Jr. was hanging tough on the outside of Dana DiMatteo in a fight for second place. DiMatteo won that battle two laps after the restart and O’Connell moved by Graf to slot into third behind the two DiMatteos. Kyle Rogers was fifth, with Andrew Molleur and Hodgdon lined up behind him.
On lap-16 there was contact up front between the DiMatteo brothers with Cory spinning and Dana losing the lead to O’Connell as the race stayed under green flag conditions. O’Connell led Dana DiMatteo to the checkered flag to pick up his fourth overall win and third consecutive win of the 2015 season. Rogers finished third, with Graf and Hodgdon rounding 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® (45)
1) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa
2) Justin Bonsignore, West Islip, Ny
3) Ryan Preece, Berlin
4) Sean Foster, Willington
5) Ted Christopher, Plainville
6) Matt Galko, Meriden
7) Todd Owen, Somers
8) Keith Rocco, Berlin
9) Michael Gervais, Jr., Southbury
10) Jeff Malave, Manchester
11) Michael Christopher, Jr., Wolcott
12) Eric Berndt, Cromwell
13) Jeremy Sorel, Westfield, Ma
14) Tommy Membrino, Jr., Prospect
15) Tyler Hines, North Haven
16) David Webb, New Milford
17) Dan Avery, Somers
18) Ronnie Williams, Tolland
19) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, Ma
20) Joey Cipriano, III, Waterbury
LATE MODEL (30)
1) Michael Scorzelli, Feura Bush, Ny
2) Kevin Gambacorta, Ellington
3) Tom Butler, Stafford Springs
4) Ed Ricard, Stafford Springs
5) Josh Wood, Palmer, Ma
6) Michael Wray, Northford
7) Rich Hammann, Tolland
8) Scott Cook, Oakdale
9) Chase Cook, Oakdale
10) Michael Bennett, Willington
11) Tom Fearn, East Longmeadow, Ma
SK LIGHT MODIFIED (20)
1) Nick Salva, Prospect
2) Stephen Kopcik, Newtown
3) Tony Membrino, Jr., Plantsville
4) Vinny Anglace, Ansonia
5) Glenn Griswold, Vernon
6) Kyle Trayner, Marlborough, Ma
7) Jay Goff, Stafford Springs
8) Aaron Goff, Stafford Springs
9) Bob Charland, Stafford
10) Pete Lopuch, West Redding
11) Rit Dulac, Plantsville
12) Mark Alkas, Berlin
13) Wesley Prucker, Stafford
14) Carlos Gray, Manchester
15) Todd Douillard, Palmer, Ma
16) Payton Henry, Willington
17) Geoff Boisjolie, East Hampton, Ma
18) Joey Ferrigno, East Hartford
19) Daniel Wesson, Monson, Ma
20) D.J. Burnham, East Hartford
21) Matt Swanson, Acton, Ma
22) Cory Casagrande, Stafford Springs
23) Kyle Jette, New Milford
LIMITED LATE MODEL (20)
1) Glenn Bartkowski, Manchester
2) David Comeau, Palmer, Ma
3) Kelsey Rottino, Willimantic
4) Jeremy Lavoie, Windsor Locks
5) David Arute, Tolland
6) Albert Saunders, Stafford
7) Austin Bessette, Stafford Springs
8) Andrew Hayes, Charlton, Ma
9) Paul Arute, Tolland
10) Duane Provost, Indian Orchard, Ma
11) Cliff Saunders, Stafford
12) Robert Bloxsom, III, Stratford
13) Justin Bren, Palmer, Ma
14) R.J. Surdell, Manchester
DARE STOCK (15)
1) Alexandra Fearn, East Longmeadow, Ma
2) Dan Dembek, Hampden, Ma
3) Frank L’Etoile, Jr., Wethersfield
4) Zack Robinson, Putnam
5) Marcello Rufrano, North Haven
6) Trace Beyer, West Dover, Vt
7) Chris Bagnall, Norfolk
8) Bryan Granger, Keene, Nh
9) Paul Varricchio, Jr., Berlin
10) Jake Higginson, Waterbury
11) Tyler Trott, East Hartford
12) David Macha, Sr., Columbia
13) Nicole Chambrello, Kensington
14) Doug Phelps, Jr., New Salem, Ma
15) Paul Bourdon, Jr., Jewett City
LEGEND CARS (20)
1) Devin O’Connell, Madison
2) Dana DiMatteo, Farmington
3) Kyle Rogers, Waterbury
4) Joe Graf, Jr., Mahwah, Nj
5) Teddy Hodgdon, Danbury
6) Andrew Molleur, Shelton
7) Mikey Flynn, Hampden, Ma
8) Connor Holderbach, Wolcott
9) Brett Crowther, Belchertown, Ma
10) Michael Hopkins, Springfield, Ma
11) Ryan DeCandia, Chaplin
12) Cory DiMatteo, Farmington
– Stafford Motor Speedway press release
– Photo credit: Rick Ibsen for Speed51.com