Christopher, Pitkat, Barrett, Yardley & Casagrande Score Aug. 27th NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Victories at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Speedway was back in action with a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program on Friday night, August 27th. Ted Christopher scored his first victory of the 2010 season in the 40-lap SK Modified┬« feature, Woody Pitkat took advantage of a green white checkered restart to nail down his sixth victory of 2010 in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Tommy Barrett, Jr. scored his eighth win of 2010 in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Dave Yardley won his second feature of 2010 in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Cory Casagrande matched his brother Kyle as a three-time winner in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.

In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Jeff Malave took the lead at the green and set the early pace ahead of Sean Foster, Curt Brainard, Dan Avery, and Jeff Baral. Christopher Jones found the turn 3 wall to bring the caution out with 4 laps complete.

Malave took the lead back under green with Foster in second. Brainard was third, but he washed up the track on lap-7 and lost a host of positions. Baral was now third with Ted Christopher and Ryan Preece behind him. Christopher moved into third on lap-8 and he brought Preece with him by Baral to drop him back to fifth place. Christopher continued his march to the front by taking second place from Foster on lap-13.

[Photo Gallery] by Nicholas Teto

The order shuffled again on lap-17 as Keith Rocco moved by Baral for fifth place and Christopher made a move to the inside of Malave for the lead on lap-18. Preece took third away from Foster on lap-19 and Woody Pitkat and Avery moved by Baral.

Preece quickly closed in on Christopher and Malave at the front of the field and the top-3 cars were running nose to tail on lap-22. Rocco was slowly running down Foster for the fourth position and Rocco was able to take the spot on lap-28. Meanwhile, Malave and Preece were locked in a side by side duel for second place while Christopher continued to lead the race. Christopher pulled several car lengths on the second place battle before Preece settled into line behind Malave. Rocco had closed the gap to Preece and it was now a four car train at the front of the pack.

Christopher led the field around to the checkered flag to take down his first victory of the 2010 season. Malave was second, with Preece, Rocco, and Pitkat rounding out the top-5.

In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Corey Hutchings lost a right front tire and spun to the infield and Ryan Posocco lost a left rear tire and ended up in the turn 3 wall to bring the caution out. Posocco was able to come to pit road and change the tire while Hutchings was finished for the race.

Scott Cook powered by Dave Wray on the restart to take the lead. Wray settled into second with Dillon Moltz moving into third with Jim Peterson and Keith Rocco behind him. Moltz quickly moved by Wray as did Rocco, Michael Bennett, and Woody Pitkat. Wray was stuck in the outside groove and he fell back to 17th place in the running order.

At the lap-10 marker, Moltz had caught up to Cook and Rocco was right behind Moltz in a three-car train for the lead. Pitkat was fourth with Tom Fearn moving into fifth as Bennett fell back to sixth place. Moltz was all over the back of Cook but Cook was able to keep himself at the front of the field as they clicked off the halfway point of lap-15.


#88 – Woody Pitkat

With 10 laps to go, it was still Cook holding the lead, but the 3-car train was now a 7-car train with Moltz, Rocco, Pitkat, Fearn, Bennett, and Peterson lined up behind Cook. On lap-23, Moltz made a run to the inside of Cook, but he got sideways in turn 1 which allowed Pitkat to make a three-wide move on Moltz and Rocco to move from fourth into second. Rocco was third behind Pitkat with Fearn, Bennett, Peterson, and Moltz making up the running order. The move allowed Cook to build up a cushion over Pitkat in second.

Cook was half a lap away from heading to victory on the white flag lap, but John Blake hit the wall on the backstretch to bring the caution out and set up a green white checkered finish.

Cook appeared to spin his tires on the restart, which gave Pitkat the advantage he needed to take over the lead. Pitkat led the final two laps to score his sixth win of the 2010 season with Cook finishing second. Bennett finished third, with Moltz and Peterson rounding out the top-5.

In the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature event, Harry Wheeler took the early lead, but he drifted up the track in turn 3 which allowed Zach Aszklar to move into the race lead. Steve Greer spun in turn 3 to bring the caution out with one lap complete. Aszklar took the lead back under green but Erica Santos and Earl Pelletier were side by side for second behind Aszklar. Aszklar and Santos got out of shape on lap-2 and Santos nearly hit the wall but was able to get the car stopped in time. Santos was not able to get restarted and the caution came out with 2 laps complete.

Aszklar was the leader back under green, but Pelletier was hanging tough to his outside. Pelletier made the outside groove work in his favor and he moved ahead of Aszklar to take over the lead on lap-7. Tommy Barrett, Jr. was third behind Pelletier and Aszklar with Joey Cipriano fourth and Tommy Membrino, Jr. fifth. Cipriano and Aszklar made contact in turn 4 with Aszklar spinning around to bring the caution out with 8 laps complete. Cipriano was sent to the rear for overaggressive driving.

Barrett went around Pelletier on the restart to take over the lead with Matt Galko also getting by Pelletier to move into second. Pelletier settled into line in third with Membrino in fourth and David Webb in fifth. Galko moved to the inside of Barrett and took over the race lead, but the caution came out for a spin by Heather DesRochers in turn 3, which put the restart lineup back to the previous lap and negated Galko’s pass for the lead.

On the restart, Galko hit the turn 1 wall and Cipriano ended up climbing over the right rear of another car to bring the caution out. Back under green, Barrett took the lead, but he and Pelletier drifted up the track in turn 4 which allowed Aszklar to dive to the bottom groove and move from third to the lead. Barrett settled into second behind Aszklar with Pelletier third, Membrino fourth, and Jay Goff fifth. Ted Cain spun in turn 2 to bring the yellow out with 14 laps complete.

Aszklar took the lead on the restart with Pelletier moving into second. Barrett fell back to third with Goff fourth and Membrino fifth. Pelletier moved by Aszklar for the lead on lap-16 and he brought Barrett with him to drop Aszklar back to third. Barrett then took the lead from Pelletier on lap-17. Pelletier made a strong move to the inside of Barrett on lap-18, but he couldn’t make the pass stick. From there, Barrett pulled away and he nailed down his eighth win of the 2010 season. Membrino made a strong run to come home in second with Aszklar, Pelletier, and Goff rounding out the top-5.

In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, Dan Flannery charged into the lead with Dave Yardley and Jesse Hinze behind him. Carla Botticello was fourth with George Nocera, Jr. taking fifth. Shawn Thibeault’s car was smoking heavily from the start of the race and he pulled off the track to take an early exit from the feature. On lap-5, Limited Late Model points leader Andrew Durand got out of shape in turn 4 and fell to the rear of the field as the race stayed under green flag conditions.

Yardley got by Flannery to take over the lead on lap-4 with Hinze, Nocera, Kevin Gambacorta, and Botticello running nose to tail behind him. Gambacorta got out of shape and lost several spots before the caution came out with 9 laps complete for a spin by Rob Farrington, Jr.

As the race went back to green, Yardley took the lead with Nocera moving into second. Flannery settled into line in third place with Hinze in fourth and Botticello was running fifth. Chris Cook and Farrington spun in turn 3 to bring the yellow back out with 13 laps complete.

Yardley again took the lead with Nocera and Flannery behind him on the restart. Botticello spun sideways but was able to keep going and the race stayed green. Andrew Durand was given a consultation for over aggressive driving. Hinze was fourth and Rob Dow was now into fifth place with Durand’s penalty.

Nocera was working Yardley over for the lead and he was able to get to the inside of Yardley as they came to the white flag, but Farrington spun in turn 2 to bring the yellow out and set up a green white checkered finish.

Yardley powered into the lead on the restart with Nocera diving to his inside. Yardley was able to hold him off as they headed down the backstretch. Nocera made one final run to the inside of Yardley as they came around turn 4 heading to the checkered flag, but he came up just short as Yardley scored his second win of the 2010 season. Flannery finished third, with Rob Dow and Hinze rounding out the top-5.

In the 15-lap DARE Stock feature event, Albert Saunders charged into the lead from the outside pole and set the early pace with Josh Wood right on his bumper. Donald Cook was third, but he was overtaken by Cory Casagrande and Andrew Hayes on lap-3 to drop him back to fifth in the running order.

Wood went by Saunders for the race lead on lap-4 and he brought Cory Casagrande with him by Saunders to drop him back to third with Hayes in fourth and Cook in fifth.

Wood held the lead until lap-8 when Casagrande made a move in turn 3 to take over the top spot. Saunders was still third with Hayes right behind him in fourth. Vince Gambacorta was now in the fifth position, but he was a half straightaway behind the top-4 cars. Casagrande was beginning to stretch his lead out and he cruised to his third victory of the season, matching the feat that his brother Kyle accomplished a week ago. Wood came home in second with Hayes, Saunders, and Kyle Casagrande 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


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