Stafford Springs, CT -- Stafford Motor Speedway concluded its 2014 NASCAR racing season with feature events for the SK Modified® and Late Model divisions as part of its NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final Weekend. Ryan Preece scored his sixth win of the 2014 season in the SK Modified® feature, but Ted Christopher finished third after overcoming an early race penalty for contact on the track to clinch his record 9th career SK Modified® track championship at Stafford. Tom Butler scored a wire to wire victory in the 30-lap Late Model feature event while Adam Gray celebrated his second consecutive Late Model championship.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, Matt Galko took the lead at the green getting by Curt Brainard with Eric Berndt moving into second and Ted Christopher taking third with Brainard falling back to fourth. Keith Rocco spun in the middle of turns 3+4 and collected the car of Glen Reen and several others to bring the caution out with 1 lap complete.
Galko took the lead on the restart with Berndt getting by Brainard to take over second. Ted Christopher was side by side with Brainard for third when the caution came out with 2 laps complete for Chris Jones, who spun in the middle of turns 1+2.
Berndt took the lead on the restart with Ryan Preece and Rowan Pennink moving up to second and third. Preece made a move to get around Berndt for the lead but the caution came out for a spin by Joey Cipriano, III in turn 2 to negate Preece’s pass and put Berndt back into the lead for the restart.
Preece got a good run on the outside of Berndt to take the lead at the line by a nose on the restart. Preece cleared Berndt the lap after the restart with Pennink third. Christopher was fourth with Michael Gervais, Jr. and Dan Avery side by side for fifth. Gervais got around Avery for fifth and Pennink was shown the black flag for jumping the restart. Berndt spun coming out of turn 2 to bring the caution out with 10 laps complete. Christopher was black flagged to the rear of the field for making contact with Berndt.
Preece powered into the lead on the restart with Avery taking second ahead of Gervais. Rocco was now back up to fourth after his earlier misfortunes and Galko was running in fifth. Cam McDermott spun coming out of turn 4, David Webb spun in the middle of turns 3+4, and Chris Jones came to a stop against the wall coming out of turn 4 to bring the caution out with 13 laps complete.
Preece took the lead back under green with Avery right behind him in second. Gervais settled into third, with Rocco and Galko making up the top-5. Todd Owen was right behind Galko in sixth, with Woody Pitkat in seventh. Shawn Thibeault was eighth, with Chase Dowling in ninth and Christopher back up tenth after his earlier penalty. Rocco made a move around Gervais to move into third on lap-18 as Preece began to ever so slightly pull away from Avery in second. Jay Sundeen brought the caution out with 24 laps complete with a spin coming out of turn 2.
Preece again took the lead back under green with Avery holding off a hard charge from Rocco to stay in second. Gervais was fourth behind Rocco with Owen in fifth. Pitkat was up to sixth and Christopher was up to seventh but the caution came back out with 27 laps complete for spins in turns 3+4 by Sundeen and Richie Cooper.
Preece streaked into the lead with Avery and Rocco lined up behind him. Owen and Gervais were side by side for fourth place with Christopher in sixth. Sundeen and Webb spun in turn 2 to bring the caution back out with 29 laps complete.
Preece, Avery, and Rocco resumed their top-3 spots with Owen moving in front of Gervais for fourth place. Ronnie Williams and Joe Allegro, Jr. spun in turn 2 to bring the caution back out with 30 laps complete.
Avery got a good run on the restart and he was side by side with Preece, but the caution came right back out as Ronnie Williams got turned into the frontstretch wall and came to a stop in turn 1.
Avery again got a good run and he was able to stay wheel to wheel with Preece in a side by side duel for the race lead on the restart. Owen was third with Christopher right behind him in forurth. Christopher went around Owen one laps after the restart to take over third and the caution came out with 32 laps complete for Jones, who came to a stop on the backstretch.
Preece and Avery resumed their side by side duel for the lead with Christopher taking third. Rocco was side by side with Owen for fourth with Rocco getting clear of Owen one lap after the restart. Avery was able to hang on Preece’s outside until lap-35 when Preece got clear. Christopher was right behind Avery in third, which is all he needed to clinch his record 9th championship.
Avery took to the outside of Preece on the final lap but Preece was able to hold him off to the checkered flag to pick up his sixth win of the season. Christopher finished third, which was good enough to give him his 9th SK Modified® championship by a mere 2 point margin. Rocco came home fourth with Owen rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature, Jim Peterson brought the caution out before a lap could be completed with a spin in turn 3. Tom Butler took the lead back under green with Cory Casagrande right behind him in second. Josh Wood was third, with Tom Fearn all over his back bumper in foruth and J.J. Hill was fifth. Fearn made a move around Wood to move up to third on lap-6 as Butler began to stretch out his lead over Casagrande. Gray got around Hill to move into fifth and Butler was continuing to stretch out his advantage over Casagrande as the race was 10 laps complete.
The positions held station until Gray worked his way past Hill to move into fourth place on lap-15. The caution then came out with 16 laps complete for a spin by Rick Lanagan, III in turn 3 to erase Butler’s lead over Casagrande.
Butler streaked into the lead with Fearn taking second. Gray moved up to third as Casagrande fell from second back to fourth, just ahead of Kevin Gambacorta and Hill. Gray made a move to the inside of Fearn on lap-20 to take over second place. Jim Mavlouganes backed into the turn 1 wall after contact from Darrell Keane to bring the caution out with 21 laps complete and once again erase the lead Butler had built up over Gray. Keane was sent to the rear of the field for the contact with Mavlouganes.
Gambacorta’s car began to smoke heavily on the restart and the caution came right back out as there was fluid on the track from Gambacorta’s smoking car.
Butler took the lead back under green and he again began to stretch out his lead over Gray. Fearn was third while Casagrande was all over Fearn’s back bumper in fourth. Michael Scorzelli rounded out the top-5 with Rick Lanagan recovered from his earlier spin to sit in sixth place.
Butler cruised to his first win of the season in a dominating performance, leading all 30 laps. Gray finished second, with Fearn, Casagrande, and Scorzelli rounding out the top-5.
-Stafford Motor Speedway Press Release. Photo Credit: Speed51.com
NWAAS Fall Final Unofficial Results
Stafford Motor Speedway - Stafford Springs, Connecticut
September 28, 2014
SK MODIFIED® (40)
1) Ryan Preece, Berlin
2) Dan Avery, Somers
3) Ted Christopher, Plainville
4) Keith Rocco, Berlin
5) Todd Owen, Somers
6) Chase Dowling, Roxbury
7) Michael Gervais, Jr., Southbury
8) Woody Pitkat, Stafford Springs
9) Diego Monahan, Quaker Hill
10) Shawn Thibeault, Plainville
11) Curt Brainard, Canton
12) Tom Bolles, Ellington
13) Rich Vasseur, Ellington
14) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield
15) David Webb, New Milford
16) Joe Allegro, Jr., Vernon
17) Richie Cooper, West Long Branch, Nj
18) Tommy Membrino, Jr., Prospect
19) Matt Galko, Meriden
20) Ronnie Williams, Tolland
21) Jay Sundeen, Douglas, Ma
22) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa
23) Joey Cipriano, III, Waterbury
24) Chris Jones, New Milford
25) Cam McDermott, Scituate, Ri
26) Eric Berndt, Cromwell
27) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, Ma
LATE MODEL (30)
1) Tom Butler, Stafford Springs
2) Adam Gray, Belchertown, Ma
3) Tom Fearn, East Longmeadow, Ma
4) Cory Casagrande, Stafford Springs
5) Michael Scorzelli, Feura Bush, Ny
6) Rick Lanagan, III, Broad Brook
7) J.J. Hill, Stafford Springs
8) Rich Hammann, Tolland
9) Kyle Casagrande, Stafford Springs
10) George Nocera, Jr., Plainville
11) Peter Thickett, Watertown
12) Jim Mavlouganes, Bethany
13) Skip Breunig, Milford
14) Darrell Keane, East Lomgmeadow, Ma
15) Kevin Gambacorta, Ellington
16) Josh Wood, Palmer, Ma
17) Bobby Stirk, Naugatuck
18) Michael Bennett, Willington
19) Andrew Marchese, Tolland
20) Stu Fearn, East Longmeadow, Ma
21) Jim Peterson, Monson, Ma