Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway welcomed a guest list of over 500 people consisting of teams, drivers, and employees this past Friday night, November 14, 2008 at the La Renaissance Banquet Facility in East Windsor to officially honor Keith Rocco, Ryan Posocco, Joe Allegro, Jr., Bill Davis, and Norm Sears as the 2008 Stafford Motor Speedway NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track champions.
With Stafford Motor Speedway broadcasters Matt Buckler and Tony Sutton serving as the Masters of Ceremony, the 39th annual Stafford Motor Speedway NASCAR Champions Awards Ceremony not only honored the five track champions, it also honored the top-20 points finishers from the SK Modified®, Late Model, SK Light, Limited Late Model, and DARE Stock divisions. Other awards that were presented during the evening’s festivities were Most Popular Driver Awards, Most Improved Driver Awards, and the Reliable Welding & Speed Rookie of the Year awards.
The race for the SK Modified® track championship came down to a two-man race between Keith Rocco and Ted Christopher. Rocco and Christopher see-sawed the points lead back and forth over the course of the season, but it was Rocco’s amazing level of consistency down the stretch that allowed him to outlast Christopher. Rocco closed out the 2008 season with a dominant five-race stretch that saw him score a win and four second place finishes to lock up the championship. Rocco posted 2 wins, 14 top-5, and 14 top-10 finishes in 17 starts.
The race for the Late Model track championship came down to a two-man race between Stafford veteran Ryan Posocco and second year man Dillon Moltz. Moltz quickly established himself as the championship favorite with an early season three race winning streak, but Moltz could not match the superior consistency exhibited by Posocco. Posocco ended Moltz’ streak at three wins and went on a three-race win streak of his own that put him into the points lead, a position that he would hold for the remainder of the season. For the season, Posocco posted 7 wins, 16 top-5 and 17 top-10 finishes, which included 14 podium finishes in 17 starts. Posocco’s championship is the fourth of his career at Stafford, placing him behind only Ted Christopher with 6, and Bob Potter with 5, for career championships earned at Stafford Motor Speedway.
The race for the SK Light Modified championship was the closest points battle of Stafford’s five divisions. Heading into the CARQUEST Fall Final Weekend, four drivers were in the running for the championship. While three of the drivers experienced problems during the race, Joe Allegro, Jr. stayed out of trouble and rode to a third place finish and the 2008 championship. Allegro didn’t reach victory lane during the 2008 season, but he posted 11 top-5 and 15 top-10 finishes to outlast Chris Matthews, Mark Bakaj, and Raymond Grassetti for the title.
The chase for the Limited Late Model championship was a two-man battle between Bill Davis and defending champion Sean Foster. Davis won the Spring Sizzler and he remained consistent throughout the season, leading the points standings for all but one week during the 2008 season. Davis posted three victories along with 15 top-5 and 16 top-10 finishes to hold off Foster at season’s end for the title.
Norm Sears drove to his third consecutive DARE Stock track championship, putting him into the Stafford record books alongside Phil Rondeau and Ryan Posocco as the only drivers to win three consecutive Stafford track championships. Sears posted 2 wins, 10 top-5, and 14 top-10 finishes to nip Scott Roy by an 8-point margin at season’s end.
Receiving awards for Most Improved Driver were Kirk Zervas in the SK Modified® division, Michael Bennett in the Late Model division, Tony Santangelo in the SK Light division, and Michael Chaves in the Limited Late Model division. The Most Improved Driver award is given to a driver who exhibits the greatest degree of improvement in on-track performance over the past season. Nominees are selected and voted upon by a committee of select Stafford Motor Speedway management and track officials.
The Reliable Welding & Speed Rookie of the Year awards were presented by Brad and Linda Hietala of Reliable Welding and Speed to Steven Reed from the SK Modified® division, Brian Chapin from the Late Model division, Adam Skowyra from the SK Light division, and Carla Botticello from the Limited Late Model division. The awards will be worth a $700.00 bonus to Reed, and $500.00 bonus to Chapin, Skowyra, and Botticello from Reliable Welding and Speed. Each Rookie of the Year bonus will be paid out in $100.00 weekly increments to each driver as they attend events during the 2009 season.
The winners of the Most Popular Driver Awards were Ted Christopher in the SK Modified® division, Ryan Posocco in the Late Model divisions, Chris Matthews from the SK Light division, Carla Botticello from the Limited Late Model division, and Kyle Casagrande from the DARE Stock division. The Most Popular Driver Awards are voted on by the fans who attend Stafford Motor Speedway race events and fill out the ballots found weekly in the track’s PitStopper Magazine.
For more information about the 2008 Stafford Motor Speedway Champions Awards Ceremony, or to order a video of the night’s festivities, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway’s track office at (860) 684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.
Sources: Scott Running/Stafford Motor Speedway PR