Archive for the 'Stafford' Category

Ronnie Williams Geared Up for NAPA SK 5k at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — For Stafford Speedway SK Modified® driver Ronnie Williams, the 2017 season has been the best start to a season since he started his young career at the half-mile.  The Ellington native has scored top-5 finishes in each of the first 5 races of the 2017 season and recorded his first victory of the season last Friday night.  The positive momentum Williams and his #49 Advice One sponsored team have built up thus far has Williams excited about his prospects for the upcoming $5,000 to win NAPA SK 5k at Stafford on July 7.

“Our confidence is pretty high right now,” said Williams.  “I know we’re due to have some off tire weeks soon and that’s the only thing that we’re concerned about.  We know we probably won’t win races with old tires on the car, but at the same time we have to go out there and stay consistent and keep on getting top-5 finishes, which we’ve been doing.  Having confidence that we have a fast car is also huge and if we can stay out of trouble, we can be there at the end of races.  The NAPA SK 5k is always a fun race and it’s the biggest race of the season for us.  We’ve always seemed to do pretty well in that race.  We go to the track every week wanting to win and I think we have a good chance at putting our #49 back in victory lane in the 5k race.”

A win in the NAPA SK 5k would be something of a redemption for Williams.  In 2015, he was leading the race in the late stages but spun out after contact from another car.  Williams was able to recover to finish third in that race and he notched another top-5 finish with a 4th place effort in last season’s edition of the NAPA SK 5k.

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Stafford Speedway June 16 NASCAR Racing Program Canceled

Stafford Springs, CT — Due to the impending rain forecasted for this afternoon and evening, tonight’s scheduled NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Weekly Racing event has been canceled.  The exhibition race for the Junior Outlaw division scheduled for this evening has been rescheduled for July 14th.  

Racing at Stafford Speedway is back next Friday night with the return of the ISMA SuperModifieds.  The ISMA Supers will join Stafford’s five NASCAR five NASCAR Whelen All-American Series weekly divisions next Friday night with qualifying beginning at 6:30 pm.  Tickets for this event are on sale now and are priced at $30.00 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seat tickets are $32.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Stafford Motor Speedway offers plenty of free parking along with overnight parking available for self-contained Recreational Vehicles.

For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.

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Rob Summers Up to Speed in ISMA SuperModified at Stafford Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — When the ISMA SuperModified cars return to Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday, June 23rd for the first time since the 2013 season, one driver who will be looking forward to the race is Rob Summers.  The Ellington native has made starts in 7 of the 10 ISMA races that were held at Stafford between 2004 and 2013 and he has notched 1 win, 2 top-5, and 5 top-10 finishes.  Summers average finish in his 7 ISMA starts at Stafford is 10.1.  Summers win at Stafford came back in 2007 and is one of his 4 career ISMA Supermodified victories.  Summers brought his ISMA Supermodified machine to Stafford recently, for a test session, in preparation for the 60-lap feature scheduled for Friday, June 23.

“I have a lot of confidence coming back to Stafford,” said Summers.  “We have a really good car and I’m working with some really good people so hopefully we can figure out some things today so we can be really good for the race next Friday.  My experience here will definitely help but it’s a tough group out there with good drivers and good equipment.  It’ll be a tough race but it’s going to be a good race.”

The car that Summers brought to the test session and will race in next Friday night’s 60-lap ISMA Supermodified feature is a car that Summers and his crew have had sitting in their garage since 2012.  Although the car last saw action on a track 5 years ago, Summers is confident that he can be among the contenders for victory.

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Brett Gonyaw Wins $2,775 in Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night

Stafford Springs, CT — The inaugural Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night is in the record books.  The SK Lights raced 40-laps for the biggest purse in the history of the division thanks to Doug Dunleavy.  Vernon native Brett Gonyaw was the big winner taking home $2775, driving his #81 Johnny’s Mud Run sponsored machine into NAPA Victory Lane.  The total posted awards in the race exceeded $14,000. Bill Gaston of Gaston Racing Enterprises (gre6.com), put up a total bonus of $1,500 that was split among the top-4 finishers in each heat race.  Don Wood from R.A.D Automachine and Tony Alteri from T/A Engines both put up $1,500 that was split among the top-3 finishing cars with a R.A.D. or T/A engine.  Gonyaw won the $750 bonus from R.A.D. Automachine for being the top finishing car with a R.A.D. engine and the weekly contingency bonuses from Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair, Maybury Material Handling, and New England Racing Fuel, Sunoco Brand.  Gonyaw says he and his team will put that money right back into their car, which reached victory lane with a bent clip.

“This is the biggest win we’ve ever had,” said Gonyaw.  “We’re still riding the high.  We didn’t have the best car out there, but I think we were a little more patient.  Now we have to work on getting the car to be good for 20 laps.  We’ve been struggling at Stafford a little bit so the win helps to have the right mindset of going to the track to win races.  The extra cash we won will also be a big help.  We’ve been going race to race with whatever we have in the bank and if we can line up a tire sponsor for the week then that’s a plus.  We’ve been really lucky this year with people coming on board and helping us out.  Our car actually needs to be clipped because it’s been bent since we raced it at Thompson and we’ve just been trying to work with it.  Hopefully we’ll be able to find even more speed in the car once we put the new clip on it.  Our main thing will be to get everything prepped so we can have a successful middle and end of the season.”

Patience was definitely a virtue for Gonyaw and the #81 team during the 40-lap race.  Gonyaw started the race from 7th and he raced in the bottom half of the top-10 for the first half of the race.  He didn’t crack into the top-5 until a restart with 7 laps to go and he took over the race lead when race leaders George Nocera, Jr. and Cory DiMatteo made contact and brought the caution out with 7 laps to go.  Once Gonyaw was in the lead, he never relinquished it over the final 7 laps and he took down his first career victory at Stafford Speedway.

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Gonyaw & Williams Score Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night Feature Wins at Stafford; Wray, Provost, & Walker Also Win

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Speedway returned to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action on Friday, June 9th with the Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night.  Stafford’s SK Lights took center stage with a 40-lap feature that paid over $14,000 in total posted awards while the SK Modifieds® ran an extra 10-laps in feature distance for an extra $4,000 in their purse.  Taking down the biggest win of the night was Brett Gonyaw, who took the checkered flag and a paycheck of over $2,700 in the 40-lap SK Light feature.  Ronnie Williams took the checkered flag in the extra distance SK Modified® feature, Michael Wray won the Late Model feature, Duane Provost took down his second consecutive Limited Late Model feature win, and Johnny Walker won the DARE Stock feature.

In the 40-lap SK Light feature event, Keith Caruso took the lead at the green on the outside of Noah Korner.  Korner was side by side with Todd Douillard for second with Glenn Korner side by side with Jay Goff for fourth behind them.  Goff got clear into fourth on lap-4 as Noah Korner and Douillard were still side by side for second.  The caution came out with 5 laps complete for a multi-car wreck coming out of turn 2 involving Tony Santangelo, Marcello Rufrano, Wesley Prucker, and several others.

Caruso powered into the lead on the restart with Noah Korner all over his back bumper.  Goff slotted into third with Glenn Korner fourth and Douillard in fifth.  Dan Wesson got around Douillard to move into fifth on lap-7 and up front, Noah Korner made a move to the inside of Caruso to take the lead by a nose at the line.  Another multicar accident in turn 3 involving Rufrano, Glenn Griswold, Joe Graf, Jr., and Chris Matthews brought the caution back out with 10 laps complete.

Continue reading ‘Gonyaw & Williams Score Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night Feature Wins at Stafford; Wray, Provost, & Walker Also Win’

Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night Offers Prizes for Fans and Modified Drivers

Stafford Springs, CT — When the green flag flies for the June 9th Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night at Stafford Speedway, the SK Light division will be racing 40-laps for over $14,000 in total posted awards, and the SK Modified® division will race 50-laps for an extra $4,000 in purse.  But those aren’t the only bonuses that will be up for grabs.  Following the completion of each feature event during the night, the top-3 finishing drivers will each pick a winner out of the Dunleavy’s Pick of the Hat.  All modified drivers who attempt to qualify as well as three lucky fans will be eligible to win one of many great prizes that Doug Dunleavy from Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair has lined up for the evening’s race program.

“Any of the modified teams who attempt to qualify and any fan who purchases a Pitstopper Program has a shot to walk away with a great prize,” explained Doug Dunleavy of Dunleavy Truck and Trailer Repair. “We wanted to get the fans involved in the fun as well, so make sure you’re here for the big show and grab a program!”

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Joey Ferrigno Riding Winning Momentum Into Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night

Stafford Springs, CT — For Joey Ferrigno and the #87 RH2 Way Radio Communications team, the 2017 SK Light Modified season at Stafford Speedway hadn’t quite gone as planned over the first three races of the 2017 season.  Coming off a 2016 season where Ferrigno collected 2 wins and challenged for the championship right up to the final checkered flag, he had yet to collect a top-10 finish in 2017.  But Ferrigno’s luck turned around last Friday night at Stafford as he piloted his #87 machine to NAPA Victory Lane to give his team and himself some positive momentum heading into this Friday night’s Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night feature, the biggest race in the history of the SK Light division with over $14,000 in total posted awards up for grabs.

“It definitely helps getting the monkey off our back,” said Ferrigno.  “I knew I had a fast car all season.  The first couple of races we ran up front but we had some unfortunate circumstances.  This week the car was there, we didn’t have any trouble, and we showed them what we have.  We always go to the track with the best car we can and I always like to think we have a chance of winning.  Pulling off that win last Friday night shows we can still get the job done and it definitely puts the team’s spirits high.”

In addition to picking up the his team’s morale and giving them some positive momentum to work with, the win also gives Ferrigno and his Horsepower Hill crew time during the week to work on the #87 car and make any necessary changes for the 40-lap feature this Friday night that will be twice as long as a normal SK Light feature event.

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Matt Galko Scores Emotional First SK Modified® Victory

Stafford Springs, CT — During the cool down lap of last Friday’s SK Modified® 40-lap feature the race winner’s car came to a stop in turn 4.  Matt Galko had just scored his first career SK Modified® victory and had stopped in turn 4, not to celebrate but instead to gather his emotions and reflect on a journey that has brought him to victory lane of an SK Modified® feature at Stafford Speedway.

The two-time SK Light Modified Champion (2011 & 2012) joined the SK Modified® ranks for the 2013 season and has progressed as a driver throughout the last 4 seasons.  Galko had been close to victory in 2016 but had not been to NAPA Victory Lane since August 12, 2011, when he scored his last SK Light Modified win

“It’s been since 2011 since I’ve been in victory lane, 5 full years in the SK Modified® division and 6 years since we last won in the SK Lights,” explained Galko. “I have to thank all the crew for giving me a good car, the stars finally aligned for us.”

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Jon McKennedy Scores Exit Realty Modified Touring Series 125 Victory at Stafford Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — The Exit Realty Modified Touring Series made its first ever visit to Stafford for the MTS 125. Taking the checkered flag was Jon McKennedy, who passed Ryan Preece with 4 laps to go to take the win.

Ted Christopher streaked into the lead on the outside of Keith Rocco to take the early lead. Kirk Alexander looked like he was shot out of a cannon as he quickly bolted from fourth up to second at the start with Dylan Kopec taking third with Rocco falling back to fourth and Eric Goodale in fifth. The caution came out with 2 laps complete for a wreck in turn 3 that involving Les Hinckley.

Christopher took the lead with Kopec and Alexander side by side for second. Alexander took second with Tommy Barrett, Jr. muscling his way by Rocco into third before he spun in turn 2 to bring the caution out with 4 laps complete. Sam Rameau also came to a stop against the backstretch wall just at the exit of turn 2.

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Galko, Fearn, Ferrigno, Provost, & Hydar Score Modified Touring Series 125 Feature Wins at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Speedway returned to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action on Friday, June 2nd with the Exit Realty Modified Touring Series making their Stafford debut along with Stafford’s five NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions.  Taking down weekly feature wins on the night were Matt Galko, who scored his first SK Modified® feature victory after 6 seasons, Tom Fearn in the Late Model division, Joey Ferrigno in the SK Light feature, Duane Provost in the Limited Late Model feature, and Travis Hydar was a first time career winner in the DARE Stock feature.

In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Dan Avery took the lead at the green and he led the first lap before a melee broke out in turn 2 when Tony Membrino, Jr. spun in turn 2 in front of the entire field.  Nearly two-thirds of the field were involved in a pileup and brought the caution out.

Avery took the lead back under green with Matt Galko hounding him for the race lead while he was side by side with Cam McDermott for second.  Mike Christopher, Jr. was fourth and Glen Reen was fifth.  Galko finally got by McDermott and he took the lead from Avery on lap-5.  McDermott followed Galko by Avery and Christopher, Jr. took third from Avery on lap-8.  Reen was now side by side with Chase Dowling for fifth with Dowling taking the spot on the outside on lap-9.

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Jon McKennedy Lists His Entry for Stafford Exit Realty MTS 125

Stafford Springs, CT — When the Exit Realty Modified Touring Series comes to Stafford Motor Speedway this Friday, June 2nd for the Inaugural MTS 125, Chelmsford, MA native Jon McKennedy is sure to be among the prerace favorites to take the checkered flag.  McKennedy has two Modified Racing Series wins at Stafford, coming in Sept. 2012 and just last September.  McKennedy will be returning to Stafford with the very same #29 Exit Realty Chevrolet that he piloted to victory just 7 months ago at Stafford.

“We’re coming back to Stafford with the same car that we won with in September with minor updates,” said McKennedy.  “We have some good notes and that’s always a plus since the tires are a little different.  We’ll have a good baseline to start off with.  We’re coming to Stafford to win and I don’t see why we can’t win the race.  We’ll be racing against guys we’ve raced with in the past and have won some of those races so we’ll see what happens.  It’ll be interesting for sure being a new series and it’ll be a long race with a pit stop involved with a tire change allowed.  It’s been a pretty good track for me the past few years and we’ve won a couple races so I’m looking forward to the race.  There’s a lot of good cars and teams so it should be a good race.”

As confident as McKennedy is feeling about his chances in the MTS 125, he says that Stafford hasn’t always been a track that he looked forward to coming to and it was a stint in Art Barry’s #21 machine that helped pave the way for his Stafford victories last season and in 2012.

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Christopher and Preece Headline Exit Realty Modified Touring Series Entries at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — The Exit Realty Modified Touring Series will make its Stafford Speedway debut this Friday, June 2nd with a strong contingent of top modified talent lining the roster.  Headlining the current entry-list are two of the top modified drivers in the region, Ted Christopher, and 2017 NAPA Spring Sizzler® Champion Ryan Preece.

Ted Christopher, the all-time winningest driver at Stafford with 126 career victories including 104 SK Modified® wins, will pilot his familiar Brady #00 in Friday’s 125 lap feature. Christopher scored his most recent open modified victory behind the wheel of that same car in the June 2016 Stafford Valenti Modified Series 80.  During his last time out with the Brady team, Christopher scored a top 5 at the NAPA Spring Sizzler® and was a contender for another victory in the closing laps.

“It’s all different, different drivers you’re racing against and new tires,” explained Christopher. “We know the car goes good but it’s all a matter of how the tires are going to work.  We’re bringing the same car back that we won with last year with a spec engine in it and we’ll have pit stops that we can make if the car isn’t handling like we want, so I think we should be pretty good for the race.”

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Dunleavy Modifiedz Night Postponed to Friday June 9th

Stafford Springs, CT — Due to a change in weather patterns and forecast for the rest of the afternoon and early evening, Stafford Speedway officials have decided to postpone the Inaugural Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer Modifiedz Night to Friday, June 9th.  All activities scheduled for tonight’s Dunleavy Modifiedz Night will be held on Friday, June 9th including the 40-lap SK Light Modified $2,500 to win special event, 50-lap SK Modified event, Fireworks, as well as special pricing for members of the Armed Services.

“We hate to postpone events especially new events that everyone is so excited about,” explained Stafford General Manager Mark Arute.  “With such a full schedule for the Dunleavy Modifiedz special we need maximum track time and current weather conditions will not allow for that.  We’ll give it another go June 9th, we’re all looking forward to this big event for the weekly guys.”

Stafford Speedway returns to action next Friday, June 2nd for the inaugural Modified Touring Series 125.  The Modified Touring Series will take to the track with qualifying heats beginning at 6:15 pm.  Stafford’s five NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions will also be in action.  Tickets for this event are on sale now and are priced at $30.00 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult.  Reserved seat tickets are $32.00 for all ages.  All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax.  Stafford Motor Speedway offers plenty of free parking along with overnight parking available for self-contained Recreational Vehicles.

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Wesley Prucker Fueled Up For Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night

Stafford Springs, CT — As Stafford Speedway’s SK Lights gear up for the biggest race in the 12-year history of the division, Stafford native Wesley Prucker sits atop the points standings for the very first time in his career.  Coming off of a career tying best finish of second last Friday night, Prucker is excited about the prospects of picking up his first career victory in the Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night 40-lap SK Light feature event that will offer $14,790 in total posted awards with the race winner having the potential to take home a check for $2,925 with purse and contingency bonuses factored in.

“I think it’s going to be a great race and I’m looking forward to it,” said Prucker.  “I think the first 30 laps might be a little iffy, but those last 10 laps you’re really going to see guys going for the win.  Our next goal is to get a couple of wins.  I think we’re really close and if there had been another caution flag last Friday, I think we could have won the race on the outside.  I would have driven the car through the wall if I had to.  I’m more confident than ever.”

With 40-laps on tap, the SK Light cars will race twice as long as they’re accustomed to racing on a Friday night.  While Prucker says that this will be the longest race he’s ever taken part in, he and his #22 Prucker Motorsports team aren’t planning on making any adjustments to their car for the race.

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Dunleavy’s All-Out Modifiedz Night Ready for Green Flag at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — The Inaugural Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer Repair set for this Friday, May 26th will play host to the largest purse in SK Light Modified history.  Total posted awards for the 40-Lap SK Light Modified feature is an unprecedented $14,790 with the winner taking home a potential pay day of $2,925 after bonuses.

SK Light teams will be racing to collect bonuses from Gaston Racing Enterprises, R.A.D. Automachine, and T/A Engines.  Bill Gaston from GRE will be providing a $375 bonus for each SK Light heat race with 1st place paying $150, 2nd place $100, 3rd place $75, and 4th place $50.  Don Wood from R.A.D. Automachine and Tony Alteri from T/A Engines will each pay out a total bonus of $1,500 for the top-3 finishing cars utilizing their engines with the highest placed finisher winning $750, the 2nd highest car winning $500, and the third highest finishing car winning $250.

Stafford’s SK Modified® division will be racing an extra 10-laps in distance with an additional $4,000 added to their purse payout.  The SK Modified® feature winner will take home $2,000 in purse money with the potential payout of $2,325 with 1st place contingency bonuses factored in.  In addition to the big-time purse for the two modified divisions, Dunleavy’s Pick of the Hat will add more prize money and giveaways for fans and Modified teams.

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Rick Williams Excited for Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — With the 2017 season underway at Stafford Speedway, one of the feel good stories of the season has to be the performance of East Hampton native and SK Light driver Rick Williams.  Williams began his racing career in the SK Light division back in 2009 and he ran every year before taking a break following the 2013 season.  While Williams recorded a total of 17 top-10 finishes with a best finish of third in those five seasons, his 2017 season has been a break-out performance.  Williams has recorded three consecutive top-7 finishes to start of the year and he is currently sitting in second place in the SK Light points standings.

“Yeah, I’m very surprised,” said Williams.  “My goal at the beginning of the year was to just make the shows with all the cars we have right now at Stafford.  We worked really hard on the car over the winter.  We haven’t been burning it up by any means, but we have some real good consistency going right now.  I’d like to think we can carry this over for the remainder of the season but we’re not 100% sure what our plans are going to be after the big Dunleavy’s race this Friday night.  We’re going race to race to see what we can do.”

One area that Williams can point to for the uptick in his on track performance is the assistance of Dave Etheridge on his crew.  Etheridge formerly was a weekly competitor in Stafford’s ProStock division and he ran the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour before chasing checkered flags with the Valenti Modified Racing Series.

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Nocella Drives to Victory in New Car at Stafford

Stafford Springs CT– Woburn, MA, driver Anthony Nocella, like the ten other drivers that finished on the lead lap, weathered the storm of 11-caution flags and a long run to score the season opening win Friday night, May 19, in Valenti Modified Racing Series action at Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford Springs, CT.

The victory was Nocella’s first at Stafford and his 7th VMRS career win.

Nocella started in the 8th position in a 25-car field. Early race leader Dave Etheridge led the first 11-laps before Keith Rocco, the fastest car in pre-race practice, took the lead. Rowan Pennink and Woody Pitkat would also be front-runners in the 80-lap main event.

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Anthony Nocella Scores Valenti Modified Racing Series Victory in 4th Annual VMRS 80 at Stafford Speedway

(Stafford Springs, CT)—The Valenti Modified Racing Series made its first of two visits during the 2017 season to Stafford Motor Speedway for the 4th Annual VMRS 80.  Taking the checkered flag was Anthony Nocella, his first career Stafford VMRS victory.

Dave Etheridge took the early lead at the drop of the green flag with Rowan Pennink, Keith Rocco, Woody Pitkat, and Donnie Lashua lined up behind him.  Rocco took to the outside groove on lap-6 and he took second from Pennink and slotted himself in second right behind Etheridge.

Rocco made a move around Etheridge on lap-12 to move to the lead with Pennink and Pitkat lined up right behind them in a 4-car train that was starting to pull away from the rest of the field.  Lashua was fifth with Dylan Kopec in sixth, Anthony Nocella in seventh, Richard Savary eighth, Mike Willis ninth, and Les Hinckley tenth.

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Dowling, Gambacorta, Nocera, Lavoie, & Robinson Score VRMS 80 Feature Wins at Stafford

(Stafford Springs, CT)—Stafford Speedway returned to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action on Friday, May 19th with the Valenti Modified Racing Series in the house for the 4th Annual VMRS 80.  Taking down weekly feature wins on the night were Chase Dowling in the SK Modified® feature, Kevin Gambacorta in the Late Model feature, George Nocera, Jr. in the SK Light feature, Jeremy Lavoie in the Limited Late Model feature, and Zack Robinson in the DARE Stock feature.

In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Dan Avery took the early lead with Todd Owen, D.J. Burnham, Glen Reen, and Rowan Pennink behind him.  The caution came out with 3 laps complete as Owen and Burnham spun into the turn 1 wall.

Reen took the lead on the outside of Avery and Cam McDermott was right with Reen and he was now side by side with Avery for second with Pennink in fourth and Tony Membrino, Jr. was up to fifth.  McDermott took second on lap-6but Avery came right back and retook the spot on lap-7 as Pennink was looking to get by both cars in fourth.  Avery settled into second with Pennink taking third from McDermott on lap-8 as Reen continued to lead the race.

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Tom Abele, Jr. Running with the Big Dogs at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — Entering the 2017 SK Modified® season at Stafford Motor Speedway, Baltic native Tom Abele, Jr. had very little in the way of seat time at the Connecticut half-mile.  After striking up a deal with Keith Rocco to pilot his #32 machine with sponsorship from Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair, Course Legend, and 32 Signs Abele decided to run Stafford for the full 2017 season. Abele has made the most of the opportunity, racking up top-5 finishes in each of the first two races and currently sits 5th in the points standings, only 8 points outside the lead.

“This is pretty much a new thing for me,” said Abele.  “I’ve ran a couple of Whelen Modified Tour and MRS races at Stafford but that was a while ago so it’s been a bit since I’ve raced at Stafford.  I’ve been racing the SK Modified® division at the bowl [Waterford] the last couple of seasons so the SK’s aren’t new but it is new racing at Stafford and working with Keith.  Our original plan was to run Waterford and everyone knows what happened there.  So we decided to come to Stafford and see how things went the first couple of races.  Now I think we’re going to stick at Stafford, it’s been a lot of fun so far.  If I was racing at Waterford, I would have had pretty high expectations but going to Stafford with the competition they have and being a newer track that I don’t have a lot of experience at, I really didn’t have any expectations.  After these first couple of races, I feel pretty confident that we can be a top-5 car every week.”

After running his own team for the majority of his career, Abele says that the partnership with Rocco has enabled him to race stress-free as well as being a blessing in disguise in that Rocco always has an answer for how the #32 car might be handling on a particular day.

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Richard Savary Ready to Challenge Stafford Regulars in VMRS 80

Stafford Springs, CT — History has shown that when the Valenti Modified Racing Series rolls into Stafford Speedway, the odds of winning are not in your favor if you’re coming in as an outsider.  In the 17 VMRS races that have been run at Stafford since 2010, 70% have been won by Stafford weekly competitors.  Richard Savary, driver of the #99 Alloy Wheel Repair Chevrolet, will be looking to score a victory for the outsiders this Friday night in the VMRS 80.

“We have a good car and we’ve had a good car at Stafford in the past,” said Savary.  “Of all the tracks that we run at, I think that Stafford is one of the toughest tracks to compete against the regulars like Rowan Pennink, Ted Christopher, Keith Rocco, and Woody Pitkat.  They’ve all raced there weekly for many years and it seems like one of them always wins the race.  We’ve been able to get close to them and race with them, but we just haven’t been able to win a race yet.  We’re hoping to change that Friday night.  It’s a huge advantage for those guys racing at Stafford.  The car has been good enough to win in the past, it just needed a driver that understands the track a little better than I do behind the wheel.  We have the same amount of speed in the car as those guys do, it’s just being able to set up passes in the best spots and those guys also race each other a little differently.  One of the biggest things for us success-wise was having Joey Kourafas coming on board as the crew chief.  He’s helped us out tremendously with his knowledge.”

Perhaps one of the main reasons why Stafford regulars have found so much success in the VMRS races is they have a better idea of how to save their tires over the 80-lap feature distance.  VMRS competitors must qualify and race on the same set of tires and tire management is always a key factor in the outcome of the races.

Continue reading ‘Richard Savary Ready to Challenge Stafford Regulars in VMRS 80’

Six of Top-10 SK Modified® Drivers are Stafford SK Light Graduates

Stafford Springs, CT — After 2 SK Modified® races in the 2017 season trends have begun to emerge.  The headline of the season so far has to be the renewed rivalry between two of the best modified drivers in the history of Stafford, Ted Christopher, and Keith Rocco, but the other revolves around the youth movement that has taken over the half-mile.  Entering the third SK Modified® race of the 2017 season, Friday, May 19th, 6 of the top-10 drivers in the SK Modified® point standings are graduates of the SK Light Modified division with 17 total SK Light graduates attempting to start a feature this season.

“When we started the SK Light Modified division in 2006 we had a goal of creating an entry level modified to feed the SK Modified division,” explained Stafford General Manager Mark Arute.  “Chase Dowling won the SK feature on opening day and nearly won the Sizzler [WMT], Ronnie Williams has proved he is contender each week, Matt Galko will get his first win in 2017, Mike Gervais has scored multiple SK wins since he won the 2009 SK Light Championship, Glen Reen scored his first SK Modified® win last fall, and of course its been fun to watch Mike Christopher, Jr. run with Uncle Ted.  I’d say this is working.”

As mentioned above the 6 SK Light Graduates that currently sit in the top 10 in SK Modified® points, Ronnie Williams, Chase Dowling, Matt Galko, Michael Gervais, Michael Christopher Jr., and Glen Reen all started their Whelen All-American Series careers in the SK Light division.  Combined the 6 drivers have 3 SK Light Championships, 25 SK Light wins and 3 SK Light Rookie of the Year titles.  Just outside the top-10 sits Tony “Hollywood” Membrino, with 15 wins and 2 SK Light Championships in the record books. Continue reading ‘Six of Top-10 SK Modified® Drivers are Stafford SK Light Graduates’

Strong Field Expected for 4th Annual VMRS 80 at Stafford

Canaan, NH. –  When the Valenti Modified Racing Series rolls into Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway Friday night, May 19, 30-race teams have indicated they are preparing to compete in the 2017 season opener for New England’s premier modified touring division at the famed half-mile speedway.

The fourth annual ‘VMRS 80’ is the first of two races scheduled at Stafford this season.

Last year’s winner, Rowan Pennink, of Huntingdon Valley, PA, will be shooting for his second consecutive win in the spring race.  He will wheel the Gary Casella # 25 Roscoe Racing Chevrolet.  The Pennink/Casella combo scored the 2013 VMRS championship. They have 10-series victories to their credit.

Continue reading ‘Strong Field Expected for 4th Annual VMRS 80 at Stafford’

Keith Rocco Chasing Checkered in Modified Racing Series 80 at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — For SK Modified® regular Keith Rocco, Friday’s (May 19th) Valenti Modified Racing Series 80-lapper will be a throwback. Rocco will chase the checkered flag behind the wheel of Mark Payne’s #57 machine rather than his usual #68 John & Maina Rufrano owned car. Rocco has been campaigning the Rufrano owned car for the past several seasons in Valenti Modified Racing Series competition. Rocco won his very first VMRS race at Stafford behind the wheel of the #57 machine and would like to make a repeat trip to NAPA Auto Parts Victory Lane.

“The 68 car isn’t quite ready yet, so we’ll be in the 57,” said Rocco. “We should have a pretty good shot at the race. We just have to hope everything goes accordingly since we haven’t run that car at Stafford in a while. If we can nail down the setup we should be good for the race. The first MRS win I ever got was at Stafford with that car, so hopefully, we can pull it off again.”

The 4th Annual VMRS 80 is the season opening race for the Valenti Modifieds and the door is wide open for a new face to sit in NAPA Victory Lane at the end of the night. Stafford has been a track that is notorious for drivers with weekly experience to have the upper hand. Rocco noted that the advantage might be a bit overhyped and that the race should be smooth and most likely will see familiar faces dueling for the win during the 80-lap race.
Continue reading ‘Keith Rocco Chasing Checkered in Modified Racing Series 80 at Stafford’

Michael Bennett Wins Call Before You Dig 811 Late Model 50 at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Speedway returned to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action with the Late Models taking center stage with the Call Before You Dig 811 50-lap extra distance feature event. Michael Bennett was the big winner, leading all 50 laps to take home the $1,811 winner’s check. Other feature winners were Ted Christopher, who outdueled Keith Rocco with a last lap pass in the SK Modified® feature, Cory DiMatteo won the SK Light feature for the second race in a row, Cliff Saunders outlasted his twin brother Al to take the checkers in the Limited Late Model feature, and Zack Robinson came out on top of a hard fought duel between himself and Johnny Walker to win the DARE Stock feature.

The CBYD 811 Late Model 50 feature event took the green with Michael Bennett streaking into the led with Skip Breunig in second. The field could only complete one lap before the caution came out as Rich Hammann spun through the frontstretch grass.

Bennett again took the lead back under green with Wayne Coury, Jr. getting around Breunig for second. Tom Butler was in fourth behind Breunig with Tyler Leary rounding out the top-5. With 10 laps complete, Bennett was all by himself out front with a several car length lead over Coury with Butler a similar distance behind in third. Breunig and Leary were waging a hard battle for fourth place when the caution came out with 14 laps complete for Jim Mavlouganes, who came to a stop in the infield on the frontstretch.
Continue reading ‘Michael Bennett Wins Call Before You Dig 811 Late Model 50 at Stafford’

Rowan Pennink Ready to Go for 2 in a Row at Stafford Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — While Rowan Pennink is certainly no stranger to NAPA Victory Lane at Stafford Speedway with 12 feature wins and 2 championships over the last 2 years in the SK Modified® division, he was still looking for a breakthrough win in a touring modified car. That breakthrough finally came last May in the Valenti Modified Racing Series 80 with Pennink behind the wheel of Gary Cretty’s red #25 machine. Pennink is looking forward to returning to Stafford next Friday night and defending his win in the 4th Annual VRMS 80.

“Last year we had good cars in all the Stafford races,” said Pennink. “I ran the MTS race at Monadnock with the 25 team and we’re excited to come back to Stafford. We had a couple of good runs there last season with the 25 car and it’s always good to get 2 races in one night with the 25 team and the 99 team in the SK Modified® division. We won the first race in 2016 and we had a good run going but we broke an axle in the second race and then we finished second in the third race. If the car is as good as it was last year hopefully we can be in contention for the win.”

One area of expertise that will come in handy for Pennink is his home track knowledge of Stafford. Of the 17 VMRS races held to date at Stafford, 12 of them have been won by drivers who are either currently or formerly weekly racers. Pennink and Ted Christopher were both winners in VMRS events last season at Stafford while Jon McKennedy was the winner of the third race.
Continue reading ‘Rowan Pennink Ready to Go for 2 in a Row at Stafford Speedway’

Wayne Coury, Jr. Hoping to Collect First Stafford Victory in CBYD 811 LM 50

Stafford Springs — For the past 11 seasons, Shelton native Wayne Coury, Jr. has been racing in the Late Model division at Stafford Speedway without reaching NAPA Victory Lane. He has been close several times before with podium finishes but he is still in search of his first trip to the top step of the podium. Coming off a 6th place effort in the season-opening NAPA Spring Sizzler® feature, Coury is hoping that he can put his #10 Wayne’s Auto Body Chevrolet into victory lane for a big payday in this Friday night’s Call Before You Dig 811 50-lap feature.

“I felt like we had a good enough car to win at the Sizzler and I think we’re really close to our first win,” said Coury.  “We’ve been close in the past and I think we’re right there knocking on the door. A win this Friday night would be huge for us. We’ve won at Waterford and Thompson and been competitive elsewhere but Stafford has been elusive for us. To win an extra distance race and a big purse would be a huge boost for the whole team, especially for my Dad. He’s been the main person behind the team since he stopped racing himself and it’s been pretty awesome to have him focusing on the car. I’d really like to be able to win this race for him. I don’t think our finishing record at Stafford is representative of how competitive we’ve been and we’re hoping we can change that this Friday night.”

Coury recorded a 4th place finish in the 50-lap Late Model feature last season and he says his car is well suited to the extra distance, which is 20 laps longer than a normal Late Model feature at Stafford. Coury also says that his car is most likely the oldest car that will be in the starting field for the CBYD 811 Late Model 50.

Continue reading ‘Wayne Coury, Jr. Hoping to Collect First Stafford Victory in CBYD 811 LM 50’

Former Late Model Champion Mike Quintiliano Looking Forward to Call Before You Dig 811 Late Model 50 at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — After taking a year off from the Late Model division in 2016, former track champion Mike Quintiliano returned to competition with a flourish at the season-opening NAPA Spring Sizzler®. He ran among the leaders for much of the 30-lap feature behind the wheel of his #44 The Hideout / Rick’s Auto Body Chevrolet finishing a strong fourth place. With 2 career 100-lap Late Model feature wins at Stafford to his credit, including his first career Stafford victory in 1999, Quintiliano is looking forward to this Friday’s Call Before You Dig 811 Late Model 50.

“The car was a different car so we had to get used to it and we didn’t have a lot of practice with it so our goal is to improve the car week to week,” said Quintiliano. “Depending on where you start, you have extra time to get to the front with the extra distance race. If the car isn’t going good, you have the extra time to make a pit stop and do whatever you have to do with the car. I really like the extra distance races and I have to thank Nap Chenard, Chuck Flynn, Scott and Tracy Ritter, and my wife for letting me get back behind the wheel. Also, I have to thank all the fans, we had a lot of fans that came back to watch us.”

Call Before You Dig is partnering with Stafford Speedway to present the 50-lap Late Model extravaganza with the winner guaranteed to win at least $1,811. The total posted awards for the Late Model 50 is over $10,000. Such a big payday would be a huge boost to an operation like Quintiliano’s for the remainder of the 2017 season.

Continue reading ‘Former Late Model Champion Mike Quintiliano Looking Forward to Call Before You Dig 811 Late Model 50 at Stafford’

Familiar Names – Added to VMRS Officials Roster for 2017

 

Canaan, NH. – For some, it will be a reunion of sorts, others a new experience, and they’ll be some helping out — because it’s what they do.

A new look officials roster is in place for the 2017 season and it will be’all in’ when the Valenti Modified Racing Series kicks off the season on Friday night, May 19, at Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford CT.

New to the series will be Race Director Cory Boudreau, a long-time racer with ties to Seekonk Speedway as a competitive Late Model driver, a former Technical Inspector at Seekonk and Thompson for over 10 years, and Seekonk Race Director for their Friday and Saturday programs last season.

Continue reading ‘Familiar Names – Added to VMRS Officials Roster for 2017’

Familiar Names – Added to VMRS Officials Roster for 2017

Canaan, NH. – For some, it will be a reunion of sorts, others a new experience, and they’ll be some helping out — because it’s what they do.

A new look officials roster is in place for the 2017 season and it will be ’all in’ when the Valenti Modified Racing Series kicks off the season on Friday night, May 19, at Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford CT.

New to the series will be Race Director Cory Boudreau, a long-time racer with ties to Seekonk Speedway as a competitive Late Model driver, a former Technical Inspector at Seekonk and Thompson for over 10 years, and Seekonk Race Director for their Friday and Saturday programs last season.
Continue reading ‘Familiar Names – Added to VMRS Officials Roster for 2017’




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