Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway returned to racing with a Limited Late Model / DARE Stock double feature night. Taking wins in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series feature action was Ryan Preece in the SK Modified® feature, Adam Gray in the Late Model feature, Dylan Kopec in the 20-lap SK Light feature, Cory Casagrande in the 20-lap Ltd. Late Model feature, and Kris Fluckiger in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature. Rain began to fall during a caution period during the SK Modified® feature, which brought the night to a premature end. The Limited Late Model feature will be made up next Friday night, August 24th and the DARE Stock feature will be made up on Friday, September 7th.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Dan Avery shot into the lead at the drop of the green to take the early race lead, but Ryan Preece was quickly on the move at the start. He worked his way up to second behind Avery and he made the pass for the lead on lap-6, but Avery wasn’t going away quietly as he came right back to the inside of Preece on lap-8. Avery went back to the lead on lap-9 and Michael Gervais, Jr. was now side by side with Preece for second.
Matt Galko was fourth behind Gervais with Ted Christopher in fifth place. The caution came out with 10 laps complete as Tommy Membrino, Jr. spun in turn 4.
Avery and Preece resumed their side by side fight for the lead on the restart with Gervais right behind them in third. Keith Rocco made a strong move on the restart to take over fourth place with Christopher in fifth. Gervais and Rocco were able to get past Preece, who had a bobble in the high groove, before the caution came back out with 13 laps complete as Tom Bolles spun in turn 2.
Avery and Gervais were side by side fro the elad with Preece and Rocco side by side right behind them on the restart. Avery got clear of Gervais on lap-15 and Preece was able to slide by Gervais to move into second. Christopher got around Rocco for fourth on lap-16, but Rocco came right back on Christopher and retook the spot on lap-17.
Preece moved back to the lead on lap-19 with a pass in turn 4 and he brought Gervais with him as Avery fell from the lead back to third. Rocco was fourth with Christopher behind him, but the caution came out with 20 laps complete as Rocco took a slide through the backstretch grass and Woody Pitkat came to a stop in the turn 1 grass.
Preece took the lead back under green while Gervais and Christopher were side by side for second behind him. Avery was fourth and Curt Brainard was now up to fifth, but he would lost that spot to Todd Owen on lap-24. Gervais got a good run and he pulled alongside Preece in the high groove on lap-25, but Preece was able to maintain the lead by a nose. The caution came back out with 26 laps complete as Owen and Brainard spun on the backstretch.
Preece and Gervais were side by side for the lead on the restart with Christopher closing in on Preece’s bumper. The order settled down with Preece just ahead of Gervais and Christopher and avery right behind him. Gervais went to the high side on lap-30 and tried to take the lead from Preece, but slight contact between the two cars sent Gervais around and brought the caution back out.
Preece took the lead on the restart with Christopher moving into second. Avery was third, with Glen Reen and Kurt Lenahan side by side for fourth place. The cars of Matt Gallo and Frank Ruocco touched wheels coming down the frontstretch, which sent both cars into the wall and collected several others to bring the caution out with 31 laps complete. With rain beginning to fall, the race was red/checkered with 31 laps complete, making Preece the winner. Christopher finished second, with Avery, Reen, and Lenahan rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Adam Gray took the lead at the drop of the green and he immediately pulled out to a several car length lead over Jim Peterson in second. Ed Ricard was third behind Peterson, with Kevin Gambacorta and Corey Hutchings making up the early top-5.
Tom Fearn was able to get by Hutchings for fifth place on lap-5 and he brought a host of cars with him as Hutchings got out of shape in the high groove and he fell back to 13th place.
With 10 laps complete, Gray was still in command of the race with Peterson right behind him in second. Ricard was still running third, with Gambacorta and Fearn making up the top-5 runners. Woody Pitkat, Mark St. Hilaire, and Mike Quintiliano were lined up right behind Fearn, with Joe Rzeszutek and Rick Charette rounding out the top-10.
After riding behind Gray, Peterson began to look for a way around Gray and he nearly had a pass made on lap-20, but he couldn’t make the pass stick. Woody Pitkat made a pass on Fearn to move into fifth place with 5 laps to go after riding behind Fearn for much of the race. Pitkat’s move opened the door for Quintiliano, St. Hilaire, and Charette to all get by Fearn.
Peterson made a last ditch effort on the white flag lap in turn 2, but Gray was able keep Peterson behind him. Peterson again tried to make a move in turns 3+4, but he couldn’t get close enough to Gray to make the pass as Gray took his first win of the 2012 season. Rounding out the top-5 behind Gray and Peterson was Ricard, Gambacorta, and Pitkat.
In the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature event, Payton Henry and Scott Bouley ran side by side for the race lead for the first lap, but the caution came out as the field completed the first lap as he spun through the infield grass.
Henry took the lead on the restart ahead of Bouley with Rick Williams and Ronnie Williams side by side for third. The caution came back out with 2 laps complete as Bob Charland spun in turn 1 and Tony Santangelo hit the wall.
Henry took the lead back under green with Rick Williams moving up into second place as Bouley’s car dropped off the pace. Joey Ferrigno was now third, with Dylan Kopec and Ronnie Williams making up the top-5, but the caution came back out with 5 laps complete as Bo Gunning spun coming out of turn 4.
Henry took the lead back under green with Ferrigno moving into second. Kopec was third in line, but he made a pass on Ferrigno to take over second one lap after the restart. Ronnie Williams was fourth behind Ferrigno and Zach Aszklar was in fifth. The caution came back out with 9 laps complete as Tony Membrino came to a stop on the frontstretch grass with a damaged left front tire.
Back under green, Henry again took the lead while Ferrigno and Kopec were side by side for second place. Aszklar was fourth and Ronnie Williams was fifth. Kopec was all over the back bumper of Henry in a fight for the lead, but Henry was able to hold Kopec off. The caution came back out with 13 laps complete as Gunning and Charland spun in turn 1.
Henry took the lead back under green, but before he could get back to the stripe, Kopec had inched his way ahead of Henry to take over the race lead. Kopec quickly moved ahead of Henry while Ferrigno also was able to move in front of Henry to take over second. Henry and Frank Cardile were side by side for third, but the caution came back out with 17 laps complete as Harry Wheeler spun in turn 4.
Kopec took the lead on the restart with Ferrigno taking second. Cardile made a strong run on the high side to move up to third, with Henry and Aszklar behind him. Kopec held Ferrigno off to the checkered flag to pick up his sixth win of the 2012 season. Cardile tried to make a run on Ferrigno for second in the high groove, but he brushed up against the wall and he finished fourth behind Henry with Aszklar rounding out the top-5.
In the first 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, Michael Wray took the lead at the green and he began to pull away from the rest of the field. There was a mad scramble for second behind Wray as Justin Bren moved into second with D.J. Burnham, Andrew Hayes, and Cory Casagrande making up the top-5 after 5 laps.
Wray was continuing to lead while Casagrande was making moves and working his way into second place behind Wray. Josh Wood was following Casagrande through traffic and he was now third behind Casagrande with 5 laps to go. Wray’s once large lead was being quickly erased by Casagrande and with 2 laps togo, Casagrande was right on Wray’s bumper fighting for the race lead.
Casagrande made a move on Wray going down the backstretch on lap-14 to take over the race lead. Casagrande pulled away from Wood, who also got by Wray to pick up his first win of the 2012 season. Rounding out the top-5 behind Casagrande, Wood, and Wray was Bren and Burnham.
In the first 15-lap DARE Stock feature event, Jeremy Lavoie and Monte Gibbs were side by side for the lead on the opening lap before Gibbs took the lead on lap-2. Kris Fluckiger quickly got by Lavoie and he pulled alongside Gibbs and then took the lead on lap-3 with a pass in turns 3+4. Stephanie Berardi was third behind Fluckiger and Gibbs, with Johnny Walker and Lavoie rounding out the top-5.
Austin Bessette was slicing his way through traffic and he moved into sixth place just behind Lavoie on lap-7 while Fluckiger continued to hold the race lead. Bessette made the move around Lavoie for fifth place on lap-9.
Fluckiger held Gibbs off to the line to pick up his very first career DARE Stock feature victory. Gibbs came home in second, with Berardi, Walker, and Bessette 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) Ryan Preece, Berlin
2) Ted Christopher, Plainville
3) Dan Avery, Somers
4) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, Ma
5) Kurt Lenahan, Roxbury
6) Woody Pitkat, Stafford Springs
7) Matt Galko, Meriden
8) Sean Foster, Willington
9) Danny Cates, Chaplin
10) Todd Owen, Somers
11) Brian Sullivan, South Windsor
12) Tom Bolles, Ellington
13) Heather DesRochers, Granby, Ma
14) Curt Brainard, Canton
15) Michael Gervais, Jr., Southbury
16) Chris Matthews, Stafford
17) Kyle Spencer, Montgomery, Ma
18) Raymond Grassetti, Monson, Ma
19) Joe Gada, Salem
20) Michael Bennett, Stafford Springs
21) Frank Ruocco, Cheshire
22) Matt Gallo, Kensington
23) Eric Berndt, Cromwell
24) Tommy Membrino, Jr., Prospect
25) Keith Rocco, Meriden
LATE MODEL (30)
1) Adam Gray, Belchertown, Ma
2) Jim Peterson, Monson, Ma
3) Ed Ricard, Stafford Springs
4) Kevin Gambacorta, Ellington
5) Woody Pitkat, Stafford Springs
6) Mike Quintiliano, Shelton
7) Mark St. Hilaire, Berlin
8) Rick Charette, Vernon
9) Tom Fearn, East Longmeadow, Ma
10) Peter Portante, Plainville
11) James Civali, Meriden
12) J.J. Hill, Stafford Springs
13) Joe Rzeszutek, South Hadley, Ma
14) Wayne Coury, Jr., Milford
15) Corey Hutchings, Salem
16) Paul Varricchio, Jr., Berlin
SK LIGHT MODIFIED (20)
1) Dylan Kopec, Palmer, Ma
2) Joey Ferrigno, East Hartford
3) Payton Henry, Willington
4) Frank Cardile, Bolton
5) Zach Aszklar, Wallingford
6) Jay Goff, Stafford Springs
7) Ronnie Williams, Tolland
8) Nick Salva, Prospect
9) Bob Charland, Stafford
10) Harry Wheeler, Stafford Springs
11) Tyler Hines, North Haven
12) Shawn Brule, West Thompson
13) Paul Tommasino, Meriden
14) Pete Lopuch, West Redding
15) Bo Gunning, Southbury
16) Tony Membrino, Jr., Plantsville
17) Rick Williams, Haddam
18) Scott Bouley, Thomaston
19) Tony Santangelo, Middlefield
20) Dylan Campbell, Southborough, Ma
LIMITED LATE MODEL (15)
1) Cory Casagrande, Stafford Springs
2) Josh Wood, Palmer, Ma
3) Michael Wray, Northford
4) Justin Bren, Monson, Ma
5) D.J. Burnham, East Hartford
6) Andrew Hayes, Charlton, Ma
7) Jesse Hinze, Farmington
8) Joe Nogiec, Bristol
9) Carla Botticello, Manchester
10) Brian Clement, Wethersfield
11) David Arute, Tolland
12) Dennis Botticello, Suffield
13) Duane Provost, Indian Orchard, Ma
14) Glenn Bartkowski, Manchester
DARE STOCK (12)
1) Kris Fluckiger, Enfield
2) Monte Gibbs, Killingworth
3) Stephanie Berardi, Broad Brook
4) Johnny Walker, Ludlow, Ma
5) Austin Bessette, Stafford Springs
6) James Carroll, West Hartford
7) Kyle Casagrande, Stafford Springs
8) Cliff Saunders, Stafford
9) Albert Saunders, Stafford
10) Jeremy Lavoie, Windsor Locks
11) Andrew Marchese, Tolland
12) Trevor Berry, New Preston
13) Doug Phelps, New Salem, Ma
14) Kelsey Rottino, Willimantic
15) Gus Coelho, Jr., Wilberham, Ma
16) Gary Spinnato, Sr., Wallingford
17) Donnie Swan, Manchester
18) Gary Spinnato, Jr., Wallingford
19) Josh Parker, Exeter, Ri
20) David Macha, Sr., Columbia
Sources: Scott Running/Stafford Motor Speedway PR