Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway returned to racing with the 2nd Annual Lincoln Tech 80 on Friday, September 14th. Taking wins in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series feature action was Todd Owen in the SK Modified® feature, Woody Pitkat in the Late Model feature, Zach Aszklar in the SK Light feature, Cory Casagrande in the Ltd. Late Model feature, and Austin Bessette in the DARE Stock feature.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Tom Bolles took the lead at the green with Matt Galko, Glen Reen, Dan Avery, and Todd Owen lined up behind him. Avery and Owen got by Reen to move up to third and fourth, and Ryan Preece was on the charge in the early laps, breaking into the top-5 on lap-4, dropping Reen back to sixth place. The caution came out with 5 laps complete for spins by Donny Travaglin and Nichole Morgillo on the frontstretch.
Avery took the lead from Bolles on the restart and Owen moved up to second, dropping Bolles back to third. Bolles lost another spot to Preece one lap after the restart and Preece was able to get by Owen to move into second before the caution came back out with 13 laps complete for spins by Michael Bennett, Morgillo, Danny Cates, and Mike King in turn 1.
The restart saw some great side by side racing between Avery and Preece for the lead, as Preece was keeping pace with Avery in the outside groove, but was unable to get in front of Avery. Owen was right behind the lead duo in third place, with Bolles and Frank Ruocco now making up the top-5.
Owen got by Preece to move into second on lap-19, but Preece went back by Owen to retake the spot on lap-22. Preece then made a move to the low side of Avery to move into the lead on lap-24. Preece’s pass for the lead opened the door for Owen to also get by Avery. Ruocco was in fourth behind Avery, with Ted Christopher now in fifth place.
With 10 laps to go, the running order was still Preece in the lead, with Owen and Avery behind him. Christopher made a pass on Ruocco to move into fourth and this was the order when the caution came back out for a spin by Kurt Lenahan in turn 1.
There was debris on the track on the restart, which brought the yellow right back out before a lap could be completed. On the restart, Owen used a power move in the outside lane to get by Preece and take over the race lead. Christopher moved into second, dropping Preece back to third. Curt Brainard spun to bring the yellow out with 38 laps complete and set up a green white checkered finish.
Owen took the lead on the restart and he wasn’t challenged over the final two laps as he picked up his first victory of the season. Christopher finished second, with Preece, Ruocco, and Michael Gervais, Jr. rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Tony Lafo took the lead at the green and began to set the pace, but the caution came out with 2 laps complete for spins by Jim Peterson, Tom Fearn, and Jim Mavlouganes in turn 1.
Lafo was the leader on the restart, with Mike Quintiliano getting around Kevin Gambacorta to move into second place. Mark St. Hilaire followed Quintiliano by Gambacorta to drop Gambacorta back to fourth, just in front of Peter Portante, who shot through the field in the first several laps.
The caution came back out with 4 laps complete for a spin by Kevin Kennedy in turn 1. Lafo took the lead on the restart with Mark St. Hilaire moving into second. Quintiliano was third, with Adam Gray and Woody Pitkat right behind him. The caution came back out with 7 laps complete for a spin by Corey Hutchings that collected the car of Patrick Townsend in turn 1.
Lafo again took the lead back under green, but his time at the front ended on lap-10 as St. Hilaire moved to the point. Pitkat had a good restart and was up to third behind Lafo and St. Hilaire, and when St. Hilaire made his move for the lead, Pitkat followed him by Lafo to move into second. Two laps later, Pitkat moved by St. Hilaire to take over the race lead and he began to pull away from St. Hilaire. Gray was now third behind Pitkat and St. Hilaire, with Quintiliano and Portante rounding out the top-5.
The order remained the same until lap-18 when Gray and Quintiliano were able to get by St. Hilaire with Pitkat still comfortably in the race lead. Pitkat’s margin was erased by the caution flag with 24 laps complete as Lafo and Jay Stuart spun on the frontstretch.
Pitkat took the lead on the restart and Quintiliano moved into second with St. Hilaire moving up to third. Pitkat went unchallenged to the checkered flag as he picked up his fourth feature win of the 2012 season. Rounding out the top-5 behind Pitkat and Quintiliano were St. Hilaire, Jim Peterson, and Portante.
In the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature event, Harry Wheeler took the lead at the green and he led the first two laps before Zach Aszklar took over the race lead on lap-3. The caution came out with 3 laps complete for Jay Goff, who spun in turn 1.
On the restart, Tony Membrino, Jr. powered his way by Aszklar to take over the lead. The next several laps saw a great fight at the front of the field between Membrino and Aszklar with Aszklar looking high and low to try to take the lead back, but Membrino was able to keep Aszklar behind him. Behind the lead duo, Joey Ferrigno was third, Wheeler was fourth, and Dylan Kopec was in fifth.
Kopec made a move to get by Wheeler and his pass brought Payton Henry along with him to drop Wheeler back to sixth. Membrino was still fending off the challenges of Aszklar at the front, with Ferrigno running in third. This was the order when the caution came out with 14 laps complete for a spin by Nick Salva in turn 4.
On the restart, Kopec and Ferrigno touched tires, which saw Kopec’s car climb over the Ferrigno car and spin into the turn 3 wall to bring the caution back out. The caution came back out one lap after the restart for Bo Gunning, who came to a stop at the exit of turn 2.
The next restart saw the field complete two more laps before a multi-car spin in turn 4 involving Ronnie Williams, Gunning, Rick Dyer, and Dylan Campbell brought the yellow back out. The field completed one more lap before the caution came out again for a spin by Bob Charland in turn 1, setting up a green white checkered finish.
Membrino and Aszklar went back to green side by side and they were still side-by-side as they took the white flag. Aszklar made a move to the inside of Membrino in turn 2 and he was able to complete the pass in turns 3+4 to take down his second feature win of the season in a thrilling finish. Ferrigno finished third, with Henry and Tyler Hines rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, there was a pileup of cars coming out of turn 2 on the very first lap involving Joe Nogiec, Carla Botticello, and Justin Bren. Brian Clement took the lead on the restart and he led the first three laps before Dennis Botticello got by Clement to take over the lead. Clement spun in turn 4 with 4 laps complete to bring the yellow out.
Botticello took the lead on the restart with Andrew Hayes, Josh Wood, Cory Casagrande, and David Arute making up the top-5. Arute dropped off the pace with a flat tire on lap-5 and Botticello lost the lead to Wood on lap-6. Wood’s time in the lead was short as Casagrande powered his way by Wood on lap-7 to move into the lead. Wood spun in turn 4 to bring the caution out with 8 laps complete.
Casagrande took the lead back under green with Dennis Botticello, Jesse Hinze, Hayes, and Glenn Bartkowski behind him. Hinze made a move around Botticello for second and opened the door for Hayes and Wood to follow Hinze by Botticello.
The cars ran in line until lap-14 when Hayes went by Hinze for second and Wood followed, dropping Hinze from second back to fourth place. The cars ran in line to the checkered flag with Casagrande taking his 4th feature win of the 2012 season. Hayes, Wood, Hinze, and Dennis Botticello rounded out the top-5.
In the first 15-lap DARE Stock feature event, Johnny Walker took the race lead at the start and he pulled out to a lead of several car lengths over Andy Marchese in second. Cliff Saunders was third, with Austin Bessette in fourth and Josh Parker in fifth. Saunders made a move to the inside of Marchese for second on lap-6 and Bessette, Parker, Jeremy Lavoie, and Monte Gibbs to all get by Marchese as he fell from second back to seventh.
Bessette got by Saunders to take over second place on lap-7 and he was closing in on Walker for the lead. Right behind Bessette was Saunders, with Parker, Lavoie, Gibbs, and Marchese lined up behind Saunders.
Bessette pulled away from Saunders in the closing laps and he took the checkered flag for his second win of the 2012 season. Rounding out the top-5 behind Bessette and Saunders was Walker, Parker, and Lavoie.
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