(Stafford Springs, CT)—Stafford Speedway returned to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action with a Five-Star Series event on August 15th. Taking down NASCAR Whelen All-American Series weekly feature wins on the night were Keith Rocco in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, Adam Gray in the 30-lap Late Model Feature, Nick Salva in the 20-lap SK Light feature, Norm Sears in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, Andy Marchese in the 15-lap DARE Stock, and Cory DiMatteo in the 20-lap Legend Cars feature.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Matt Galko took the early lead ahead of Michael Gervais, Jr. in a duel of two former SK Light track champions at Stafford Motor Speedway. Gervais made a move to the inside of Galko on lap-2 and he took over the lead. Behind them, Chase Dowling was taking third from Dan Avery after running a lap side by side. Keith Rocco was on the move in the early stages as he moved into fourth on lap-5 to drop Avery back to fifth place. Ryan Preece was also on the charge as he was right behind Rocco working his way into the top-5.
With 10 laps complete, Gervais held the lead with Rocco getting around Dowling for second. Preece and Eric Berndt followed Rocco by Dowling to drop him from second back to fifth place. The order changed again on lap-12 as Rocco made a move to the inside of Gervais in turns 3+4 to take over the race lead.
Preece got around Gervais on lap-15 to move into second and Berndt nearly followed suit on lap-16 but Gervais was able to hold him off and keep the third spot. Preece was now all over the back bumper of Rocco as they dueled for the lead. Berndt made another move to the inside of Gervais on lap-18 and this time he was able to make the pass stick and move into third. Ronnie Williams spun coming out of turn 2 to bring the caution out with 18 laps complete.
Rocco and Preece were locked side by side for the lead on the restart with Preece taking the lead by a nose at the line. Preece led the next lap by a nose again and they remained side by side for a third lap. Berndt settled into third with Dan Avery in fourth and Rowan Pennink was side by side with Avery for fifth place. Tom Bolles and Tommy Membrino, Jr. spun in turn 2 to bring the caution back out with 21 laps complete.
Rocco and Preece resumed their side by side duel for the lead back under green while behind them, Berndt took an unplanned trip through the frontstretch infield before rejoining at the rear of the field. The action was heating up at the front as Preece was able to make a cross over move on Rocco on lap-25 and he now had the inside line as they continued to race wheel to wheel in a fight for the lead. Pennink was now up to third behind Preece and Rocco with Avery fourth, Ted Christopher fifth, and Woody Pitkat sixth.
Preece got clear of Rocco on lap-28 for the race lead and the top-6 cars were now all single file. Pitkat made a moe to the inside of Christopher to take over fifth on lap-31 and at the same time, Rocco made a move to the inside of Preece to move back to the front. But unlike Pitkat, who immediately got clear of Christopher, Rocco and Preece were back to their wheel to wheel duel with Pennink glued to their back bumpers to make it a 3-car fight for the lead.
Rocco got clear of Preece on lap-35 and Pennink was almost alongside Preece but he fell back into line in third. Pennink got ahead of Preece on lap-37 but Preece came back the very next corner and moved back in front of Pennink for second. With all the shuffling going on behind him, Rocco had pulled out to a slight lead and he led the field back to the checkered flag to pick up his first win of the 2014 season. Preece finished second, with Pennink, Pitkat, and Avery rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Josh Wood took the lead at the green but before the field could complete the first lap, points leader Jay Stuart backed his #42 hard into the turn 3 wall to bring the caution out.
Wood took the lead on the restart but his lead only lasted one lap as Scott Cook took the lead on lap-2. As the field was coming around to complete the third lap, Cook spun and collected the car of Kyle Casagrande to bring the caution back out.
Wood again took the lead but Cory Casagrande was keeping pace with Wood in the outside land and he took th lead at the stripe by a nose. Wood came back and led the next lap but he and Casagrande were still side by side for the lead. Wood got clear of Casagrande on lap-5 and Tom Fearn pulled alongside Casagrande in a fight for second. Mike Quintiliano took a hard hit into the turn 3 wall to bring the caution out with 5 laps complete. Under the caution, Wood came to pit road, which handed the race lead over to Casagrande.
Casagrande took the lead back under green but on lap-6 Peterson and Casagrande touched going into turn 1 and Casagrande spun and got into Fearn to bring the caution out. Peterson was sent to the rear of the field for making contact with Casagrande, moving Kevin Gambacorta and Adam Gray up to the front row for the restart.
Gray powered into the lead on the restart with Gambacorta falling back to second. Michael Scorzelli got around Cook to move up to third with Wood and Lanagan making up the top-5. The caution came back out with 8 laps complete as Peterson and Paul Varricchio spun in turn 1.
Gray took the lead back under green with Scorzelli moving up to second. Lanagan moved up to third as Wood was fourth and Gambacorta fell back to fifth. Cook spun in the middle of turns 3+4 to bring the caution back out with 9 laps complete.
Peter Thickett and J.J. Hill spun in turn 2 on the restart to bring the yellow back out.
Gray again took the lead on the restart with Scorzelli taking second ahead of Lanagan and Wood. Cory Casagrande was back up to fifth, just in front of Gambacorta. Gambacorta was applying heavy pressure to Wood in a duel for fifth as the front four were beginning to pull away from Wood with 10 laps to go in the race.
With 4 laps to go, Michael Bennett, who earlier in the race dropped to the rear of the field on a restart with transmission issues, got around Gambacorta to move back into the top-5. At the front of the field, Scorzelli was closing in on Gray’s bumper and with 2 laps to go, he was within several car lengths.
Scorzelli couldn’t get close enough to Gray to make a move as Gray picked up his third win of the 2014 season. Cory Casagrande finished third behind Gray and Scorzelli with Lanagan and Bennett rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature event, Nick Salva took the lead at the green with D.J. Burnham behind him in second. Dylan Menditto got hard into the frontstretch wall coming out of turn 4 to bring the caution out with 2 laps complete.
Salva took the lead back under green with Jay Goff getting by Burnham to move into second. Branden Dion was up to fourth and Tyler Hines was fifth. Burnham came back strong on lap-4 to the inside of Goff, but he was unable to make a pass. Burnham then lost a position to Dion on lap-5 as Dion utilized the outside groove and Hines also got around Burnham on the high side on lap-6 to drop Burnham back to fifth place.
As the field complete the halfway point of the race, Salva continued to hold the lead with Goff in pursuit. Dion was third, with Hines and Burnham making up the top-5. SK Light points leader Jeremy Sorel was up to sixth, with Joey Ferrigno, Glenn Griswold, Bob Charland, and Stephen Kopcik making up the top-10.
Salva led to the checkered flag to pick up his second win of the 2014 season. Goff finished second, with Hines, Dion, and Sorel rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, Norm Sears got a good run on the outside of Paul Arute to take the early race lead. Arute settled into second with Brian Clement third and the Saunders twins behind him, Cliff in fourth and Albert in fifth. Jesse Hinze got into the frontstretch wall with 3 laps complete to bring the caution out.
Back under green Sears resumed the lead with Arute in second. Cliff Saunders went to the outside of Clement to try to take third away with Glenn Bartkowski in fifth and Austin Bessette in sixth. Clement was able to hold Saunders off to keep third while Bessette moved from sixth up to fourth. Behind Bessette, David Arute was making a 3-wide move down the frontstretch to move into fifth place on lap-7.
Chris Cook dropped off the pace on lap-11 as Sears continued to lead Paul Arute, Clement, Bessette, and David Arute. Bessette made a move to get around Clement and move into third and with 4 laps to go, David Arute was applying heavy pressure to Clement in a bid for fourth place. Just in front of that battle, Bessette was applying heavy pressure to Paul Arute for second.
Sears led the field to the checkered flag to pick up his first win of the 2014 season driving Kelsey Rottino’s car after Sears badly damaged his primary car several races ago. Paul Arute held off Bessette for second, with Bessette, Clement, and David Arute rounding out the top-5.
In the 15-lap DARE Stock feature event, Andy Marchese took the lead at the drop of the green flag with Gus Coelho, Jr. slotting into second. Dan Dembek was third with Alexandra Fearn, Brandon Michael, and Trace Beyer all lined up behind him.
Fearn made contact with Dembek on lap-7 as they fought for third place. Both cars spun but they were both able to get back moving and the race stayed green with Marchese still leading Coelho. Michael was now up to third, with Beyer fourth and Jeff Jolly up to fifth.
Michael got around Coelho for second on lap-11 and he closed in on Marchese but he ran out of time as Marchese picked up his first win of the season. Beyer finished third behind Marchese and Michael with Coelho and XXX rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Legends Car feature event, Jordan LaMothe and Kyle Rogers ran the first lap of the race side by side for the lead with LaMothe winning the battle at the line. Mikey Flynn moved into second with Cory And Dana DiMatteo behind him but he caution came out with 2 laps complete for Chris Fuller, who spun in turn 4.
LaMothe took the lead back under green with Cory DiMatteo moving into second. Dana DiMatteo pulled even with Flynn a battle for third and Cory DiMatteo got by LaMothe on lap-5 to take over the lead. Dana DiMatteo followed Cory by LaMothe as he moved into second with LaMothe falling back to third. Just behind LaMothe was Mike Christopher, Jr. and Flynn.
Dana DiMatteo made the pass on his brother Cory on lap-6 to move to the front of the pack. The top-5 of Dana and Cory DiMatteo, LaMothe, Christopher, and Flynn settled into a single file line with the top-4 beginning to pull away from Flynn in fifth as the laps clicked off the scoreboard.
LaMothe spun as the field came to the white flag and on the last lap of the race Dana DiMatteo’s car dropped off the pace and he slid back to fifth as Cory DiMatteo came through to take the win. Christopher finished second with Flynn, Joey Ternullo, Jr., and Dana DiMatteo 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® (40)
1) Keith Rocco, Berlin
2) Ryan Preece, Berlin
3) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa
4) Woody Pitkat, Stafford Springs
5) Dan Avery, Somers
6) Frank Ruocco, Cheshire
7) Ted Christopher, Plainville
8) Michael Gervais, Jr., Southbury
9) Chase Dowling, Roxbury
10) Zach Sylvester, Lebanon
11) Matt Galko, Meriden
12) Joey Cipriano, III, Waterbury
13) Tom Bolles, Ellington
14) Sean Foster, Willington
15) Curt Brainard, Canton
16) Ronnie Williams, Tolland
17) Bob Georgiades, East Hampton
18) Dave Salzarulo, Monson, Ma
19) Ed Puleo, Branford
20) Eric Berndt, Cromwell
21) Tommy Membrino, Jr., Prospect
22) Chris Jones, New Milford
23) Todd Owen, Somers
LATE MODEL (30)
1) Adam Gray, Belchertown, Ma
2) Michael Scorzelli, Feura Bush, Ny
3) Cory Casagrande, Stafford Springs
4) Rick Lanagan, Enfield
5) Michael Bennett, Willington
6) Kevin Gambacorta, Ellington
7) Josh Wood, Palmer, Ma
8) J.J. Hill, Stafford Springs
9) Dennis Botticello, Suffield
10) George Nocera, Jr., Plainville
11) Peter Thickett, Watertown
12) Rich Hammann, Tolland
13) Jim Peterson, Monson, Ma
14) Paul Varricchio, Jr., Berlin
15) Scott Cook, Uncasville
16) Tom Fearn, East Longmeadow, Ma
17) Mike Quintiliano, Shelton
18) Kyle Casagrande, Stafford Springs
19) Tom Butler, Stafford Springs
20) Jay Stuart, Preston
SK LIGHT (20)
1) Nick Salva, Prospect
2) Jay Goff, Stafford Springs
3) Tyler Hines, North Haven
4) Branden Dion, Taunton, Ma
5) Jeremy Sorel, Westfield, Ma
6) Joey Ferrigno, East Hartford
7) D.J. Burnham, East Hartford
8) Geoff Boisjolie, East Hampton, Ma
9) Bob Charland, Stafford
10) Stephen Kopcik, Newtown
11) Glenn Griswold, Vernon
12) Todd Douillard, Palmer, Ma
13) Jeff Fialkovich, Shelton
14) Carlos Gray, Manchester
15) Pete Lopuch, West Redding
16) Chris Gombos, Naugatuck
17) Paul French, Andover
18) Dylan Menditto, Brooklyn
19) Jodi Johnson, Medway, Ma
LIMITED LATE MODEL (20)
1) Norm Sears, Andover
2) Paul Arute, Tolland
3) Austin Bessette, Stafford Springs
4) Brian Clement, Wethersfield
5) David Arute, Tolland
6) Duane Provost, Indian Orchard, Ma
7) Albert Saunders, Stafford
8) Justin Bren, Palmer, Ma
9) Cliff Saunders, Stafford
10) Glenn Bartkowski, Manchester
11) Joe Nogiec, Bristol
12) R.J. Surdell, Manchester
13) Chris Cook, Pepperell, Ma
14) Andrew Hayes, Charlton, Ma
15) Jesse Hinze, Farmington
DARE STOCK (15)
1) Andrew Marchese, Tolland
2) Brandon Michael, Granville, Ma
3) Trace Beyer, Brewster, Ny
4) Gus Coelho, Jr., Wilbraham, Ma
5) Jeff Jolly, Wallingford
6) David Comeau, Palmer, Ma
7) Frank L’Etoile, Jr., Wethersfield
8) Johnny Walker, Ludlow, Ma
9) Alexandra Fearn, East Longmeadow, Ma
10) Dan Dembek, Hamden, Ma
11) Greg Demone, Ludlow, Ma
12) Doug Phelps, Jr., New Salem, Ma
13) Tyler Trott, East Hartford
14) Allison Coelho, Wilbraham, Ma
15) Nicole Chambrello, Kensington
LEGEND CARS (20)
1) Cory DiMatteo, Farmington
2) Mike Christopher, Jr., Wolcott
3) Mikey Flynn, Hampden, Ma
4) Joey Ternullo, Jr., Middletown
5) Dana DiMatteo, Farmington
6) Jordan LaMothe, Woodstock
7) Kyle Rogers, Waterbury
8) Andrew Molleur, Shelton
9) Teddy Hodgdon, Danbury
10) Art Marrero, Baltic
11) Chris Fuller, Boylston, Ma
– Stafford Motor Speedway press release