Stafford Springs, CT — Friday night, May 30th was CARQUEST Dealer Night at Stafford Speedway with fireworks in the air and on the track as the Whelen All-American Series returned to action. Bo Gunning outdueled Ted Christopher to take the win in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Ryan Posocco extended his record for career Late Model victories with his 29th career feature win in the Late Model feature event, Mark Bakaj took down his first career victory in the SK Light Modified feature, Rob Dow was the winner of the first of two Limited Late Model feature events, while Andrew Durand took the victory in the regularly scheduled Limited Late Model feature event, and Dan Flannery took down the DARE Stock feature event victory.
The 40-lap SK Modified® feature came down to an old-fashioned shoot-out between the two winningest drivers in Stafford SK Modified® history. Bo Gunning and Ted Christopher, who are also two of the most tenured drivers in Stafford’s SK Modified® division, turned back the clock and put on a show that was reminiscent of years gone by with Gunning outdueling Christopher in the final laps to take the victory.
Richie Pallai, Jr. led the first lap before giving way to Eric Berndt, who held the lead until lap-7 when Todd Owen took over the top spot. Owen held the lead until lap-16 when he and Berndt made contact on a restart that saw both cars spin, which handed the race lead over to Gunning. Once the race went back to green after several lap-16 restart situations, Gunning and Kenny Horton began to pull away from the field. Christopher, who had earlier been black flagged for rough riding, was back into the top-5 and was running the top-2 cars down lap by lap. Christopher took second from Horton on lap-30 and set his sights on Gunning for the final 10-laps. Several times Christopher nearly had a pass made, but couldn’t complete a pass. The two cars made contact in turn 2 on lap-37, but heady driving by both competitors kept the action going. Christopher reeled Gunning in for one last try at victory, but Gunning was too strong to be overtaken. Horton finished third behind Gunning and Christopher, with Woody Pitkat and Keith Rocco rounding out the top-5.
The 30-lap Late Model feature saw Ryan Posocco drive to a dominating feature win for his first win behind the wheel of the Kretschman Racing car and his 29th career Late Model victory, extending his division record for wins. The race took the green flag with Scott Foster, Jr. moving past polesitter Patrick Townsend on lap-2. Corey Hutchings took the lead from Foster on a lap-3 restart and Hutchings held the race lead until lap-10 when Posocco moved out front. Once Posocco was in the lead, he was too strong to be overtaken. A late caution set up a three-lap sprint to the finish, but Posocco was once again up to the task and he took the checkered flag. Joe Rzeszutek drove a strong race and took second place away from Foster on the final lap of the race. Foster came home third, with Woody Pitkat fourth and Tom Butler fifth.
The 20-lap SK Light Modified saw Mark Bakaj drive to his first career victory. Heather DesRochers took the lead from the pole and led the first several laps before being overtaken by Joe Allegro, Jr. Allegro held the lead until lap-15 when the caution came out. On the restart, Bakaj powered past Allegro to take the race lead. Allegro stayed glued to Bakaj’s bumper over the final four laps, but couldn’t make a pass to get back by as Bakaj took the checkered flag. Rounding out the top-5 behind Bakaj and Allegro was George Nocera, Jr., Raymond Grassetti, and Neil Provost, Jr.
In the first of two 20-lap Limited Late Model feature events, Rob Dow wired the field, leading from green to checker to pick up his first victory of the 2008 season. Dow charged into the lead on the first lap of the race, overtaking polesitter Michael Chaves. Andrew Durand, Sean Foster, and Bill Davis were in lockstep as they moved towards the front of the field together, cracking into the second, third, and fourth positions on a lap-5 restart. Durand, Foster, and Davis would take turns swapping positions while Dow continued to lead the pack. A late caution set up a three-lap sprint to the finish, but Dow couldn’t be overtaken in the final laps. Foster finished second, with Durand third, Davis fourth, and Charlie Newman rounded out the top-5.
In the regularly scheduled Limited Late Model feature, it was Andrew Durand taking down the victory. Ed Charette led the opening lap, but was quickly passed by Durand for the lead in a 3-wide pass. Durand and Charette ran 1-2 for much of the race, but Charette’s car began to fade in the second half of the race. Bill Davis marched his way to Durand under green flag conditions and he made one final attempt at the win on the last lap of the race, but he couldn’t find a way around Durand. Charlie Newman finished third behind Durand and Davis, with Joey Ferrigno fourth, and Sean Foster fifth.
The 15-lap DARE Stock feature was a rough and tumble feature that saw several drivers out front, but it was Dan Flannery who outlasted the competition to take his first feature win of the 2008 season. Jim Brice took the lead from the pole and slowly began to drive away from the pack. Brice led the race until a caution came out with 9 laps complete. Under the caution, Brice pulled his car to the infield as it was leaking fluid, ending his strong run. The race went back to green with Bill Dunn and Vince Gambacorta dueling for the lead. Don Wood began to pick up steam and he moved past Gambacorta for second and took the lead briefly from Dunn, who drifted up the track in turn 4. As Dunn and Wood came off turn 4, contact was made which sent Wood into the turn 4 wall and brought the caution back out. Dunn was parked for the remainder of the race for rough riding. This put Gambacorta and Dan Flannery on the front row for the restart. Flannery and Gambacorta dueled for the lead over the final laps, but Gambacorta caught the wall coming off the fourth turn, which sent him back through the field and gave Flannery the cushion he needed on the final lap to take the win. Norm Sears finished second, with Jeff Jolly, Kyle Casagrande, and Scott Roy 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.
Sources: Scott Running/Stafford Motor Speedway PR