Archive for the 'Stafford' Category

Champion Christopher Passes Away

Connecticut Driver Involved In Plane Crash

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR champion Ted Christopher passed away Saturday after being involved in a plane crash in Connecticut. He was 59.

Christopher is one of two drivers to win the NASCAR Whelen All-Amercian Series national title and a touring series championship. The Plainville, Connecticut, driver won the short-track national title in 2001 and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour crown in 2008. He was the winningest driver at a pair of Connecticut’s historic tracks: Stafford Motor Speedway and Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

He was one of two people on board a plane that went down in Guilford, Connecticut, Saturday afternoon. The crash claimed the life of both.
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Galko, Bennett, Gonyaw, Provost, & Chambrello Score 5-Star Series Feature Wins at Stafford Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Speedway returned to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action with a 5-Star Series program. Taking feature wins on the night were Matt Galko, who outlasted Chase Dowling, Ryan Preece, and Ted Christopher in thrilling side by side duel that went on for 20 laps to win the SK Modified® feature, Michael Bennett took down his fourth win of the season in the Late Model feature, Brett Gonyaw scored his second win in the SK Light feature, Duane Provost won his third race of the season in the Ltd. Late Model feature, and Nicole Chambrello scored her first DARE Stock feature win in nearly two years to the day.

In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Cam McDermott and Tyler Hines were side by side for the first lap dueling for the lead and on lap-2 Glen Reen nearly went 3-wide for the lead but backed out of the move. With 4 laps complete it was still Hines and McDermott side by side for the lead with Reen in third. Matt Galko and Keith Rocco were side by side for fourth behind them.

The order continued to shuffle as Hines got clear to the lead with Reen behind him in second. Galko was by himself in third with Chase Dowling and McDermott side by side for fourth with Tom Bolles in sixth. Reen moved to the front on lap-9 with a move in turns 1+2 and Galko came with him into second. Dowling also followed the two leaders by Hines as he moved into third with Hines slotting into line in fourth with Bolles fifth and Eric Berndt in sixth.

Dowling got by Galko on lap-12 to move into second and Ryan Preece moved into sixth after starting in the back of the pack. With 15 laps complete the order was Dowling out front with Reen, Galko, and Hines behind him. Preece got by Bolles for fifth just as the caution came out for a multi-car spin behind him that involved Joey Mucciacciaro, Jr., Payton Henry, Dan Avery, and D.J. Burnham.
Dowling took the lead back under green with Galko in second. The field stacked up a bit in turn 4 but everyone was able to gather their cars up and it was Preece emerging in third with Bolles in fourth and Berndt fifth before the caution came out with 17 laps complete for a spin on the backstretch involving Tony Membrino, Jr. and Rocco.

Stephen Kopcik got loose on the restart and came to a stop in turn 2 to bring the caution right back out. Dowling took the lead on the restart but only one lap could be completed before a melee broke out coming out of turn 4 with Nick Salva, Josh Wood, Mike Christopher, Jr., Todd Owen, and Tommy Membrino, Jr., all involved to bring the caution back out.

Galko got a good run in the outside lane and took the lead from Dowling on the restart. Dowling and Reen were side by side for second with Preece and Berndt side by side for fourth. With 20 laps complete, Berndt’s car got turned into the frontstretch wall to bring the caution out.
Galko and Dowling were side by side for the lead back under green with Reen and Preece side by side for third with Ted Christopher up to fifth. The two lead duos were still side by side until lap-25 when Preece got clear of Reen and took third. Christopher was now on the outside of Reen in a fight for fourth as Galko and Dowling were still side by side for the lead.

With 28 laps complete, Galko and Dowling were still side by side for the lead but it was now single file behind the two leaders with Preece, Christopher, and Reen making up the top-5 with Bolles still hanging strong in sixth.

With 5 laps to go, Galko and Dowling were still side by side for the race lead with Preece, Christopher, and Reen lined up behind them. As they completed lap-36 it was now two by two as Galko and Dowling were out front with Preece and Christopher and lined up behind them.
As they took the white flag, it was a 5-car train for the lead. Galko was able to get a good run coming out of turn 4 to beat Dowling and Preece to the line by a car length. Dowling took second by inches over Preece with Christopher beating Reen to the line by inches for fourth place.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Matt Vassar took the lead at the green and he led the first three laps before Michael Bennett moved to the front with a pass in turn 2. Kevin Gambacorta and Josh Wood were sice by side for third with Gambacorta finally getting the spot on lap-4. Tyler Leary was now side by side with Wood for fourth with Tom Fearn behind them in sixth. Leary got clear of Wood and Fearn got around Wood to move into fifth on lap-6 with Bennett, Vassar, and Gambacorta still making up the top-3.

Wood’s car dropped off the pace on lap-9 and he slowly made his way to pit road. After a quick pit stop, he came back out on track a lap down. Bennett was still leading Vassar but the battle for third was heating up with Gambacorta, Leary, and Fearn all nose to tail.

Leary got around Gambacorta and then Fearn was able to get by Gambacorta to move into fourth on lap-18 and Glen Reen muscled his way by Gambacorta right behind Fearn to take fifth and drop Gambacorta back to sixth. With 9 laps to go, Reen was all over the back bumper of Fearn in a fight four fourth as Bennett continued to hold the lead with Vassar in second and Leary in third.

Reen’s car dropped off the pace on lap-28 while at the front Vassar was closing down the gap to Bennett. Vassar ran out of laps as Bennett took down his fourth win of the 2017 season. Leary finished third with Fearn and Gambacorta rounding out the top-5.

In the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, the feature got started with a bang as several cars touched wheels at the start and Cassandra Cole, Kyle Jette, and Joe Graf, Jr. all took damage to their cars which brought the yellow and red flags out before the first lap could be completed.
The restart saw a pileup in turn1 involving Marcello Rufrano, Ed Chicoski, Rit Dulac, Norm Sears, Tony Santangelo and Amanda West to bring the yellow flag back out before a lap could be completed.
Todd Douillard took the lead on the third restart with Glenn Korner moving into second. Wesley Prucker took third with Joey Ferrigno and Bob Charland side by side for fourth.

Prucker made a move around Douillard to take the lead on lap-7 while behind the two leaders, Joey Ferrigno pulled alongside Brett Gonyaw in a bid for third. Gonyaw was able to hold Ferrigno off and he went outside of Douillard to take second on lap-10. Douillard slotted into third with Ferrigno in fourth and David Arute was side by side with Dan Wesson for fifth. Arute made the pass on Wesson on lap-13 to take fourth as Gonyaw was looking to take the lead from Prucker. The action heated up behind the leaders as Arute went to the outside groove to move into third with Wesson moving into fourth. Douillard spun coming out of turn 4 to bring the caution out with 15 laps complete.

The field went back to green with Gonyaw and Prucker side by side for the lead with Arute and Wesson side by side for third behind them. With 18 laps complete, Gonyaw had the lead with Prucker and Wesson side by side for second with Arute in fourth and Cory DiMatteo in fifth. Prucker made one last ditch effort in turn 3 on the final lap but wasn’t able to muster up enough momentum to complete the pass as the top-4 came across the line in what looked like a race speed pace lap. Gonyaw beat Prucker to the line by inches with Wesson taking third from Arute by inches with DiMatteo rounding out the top-5.

In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, Gary Patnode took the lead at the green and he led the first lap before giving way to Robert Bloxsom, III on lap-2. Duane Provost followed Bloxsom past Patnode to take second and drop Patnode back to third. Al Saunders was fourth with his twin brother Cliff right behind him in fifth place.

The order remained the same until lap-8 when the Saunders twins both got by Patnode to move into third and fourth. Alexandra Fearn followed the Saunders twins by Patnode to take fifth as Patnode slid back to sixth. Provost was applying heavy pressure to Bloxsom for the lead and he made a move to Bloxsom’s inside coming out of turn 2 and was able to complete the pass in turn 3 on lap-11 to move to the lead.

Provost led Bloxsom to the checkered flag to pick up his third win of the 2017 season. Al Saunders finished third with Cliff Saunders and Alexandra Fearn rounding out the top-5.

In the 15-lap DARE Stock feature event, Nicole Chambrello took the lead at the drop of the green with Chuck Harrison in second and Brandon Michael moved into third. Michael quickly got around Harrison to move into second on lap-2 while George Bessette, Jr. was fourth behind Harrison and Chris Bagnall was fifth.

Bagnall took fourth from Harrison on lap-7 and his pass brought Johnny Walker into fifth as Harrison slid back to sixth with Chambrello and Michael still out front. Vince Gambacorta and Travis Hydar came together and spun in turn 1 to bring the caution out with 8 laps complete.

Chambrello took took the lead back under green with Michael slotting into second. Bessette was third with Walker fourth and Bagnall in fifth. Chambrello led Michael to the checkered flag to pick up her first win of the 2017 season. Walker finished third with Bessette and Bagnall 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) Matt Galko, Meriden
2) Chase Dowling, Roxbury
3) Ryan Preece, Broad Book
4) Ted Christopher, Plainville
5) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, Ma
6) Tom Bolles, Ellington
7) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa
8) Michael Gervais, Jr., Southbury
9) Keith Rocco, Berlin
10) Mike Christopher, Jr., Wolcott
11) Joey Cipriano, III, Waterbury
12) Josh Wood, Palmer, Ma
13) Ronnie Williams, Tolland
14) Cam McDermott, Canterbury
15) Dan Avery, Somers
16) Tyler Hines, North Haven
17) Tommy Membrino, Jr., Prospect
18) Stephen Kopcik, Newtown
19) Eric Berndt, Cromwell
20) Nick Salva, Cheshire
21) Todd Owen, Somers
22) Tony Membrino, Jr., Berlin
23) D.J. Burnham, East Hartford
24) Joey Mucciacciaro, Jr., Wolcott
25) Payton Henry, Willington
26) John Catania, Agawam, Ma

LATE MODEL (30)
1) Michael Bennett, Willington
2) Matt Vassar, Plantsville
3) Tyler Leary, Hatfield, Ma
4) Tom Fearn, East Longmeadow, Ma
5) Kevin Gambacorta, Ellington
6) Darrell Keane, Enfield
7) Paul Arute, Tolland
8) Mike Mordino, Southington
9) Wayne Coury, Jr., Shelton
10) Eric Finkbein Jr., Manchester
11) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, Ma
12) Josh Wood, Palmer, Ma
13) Tom Butler, Stafford Springs

SK LIGHT (20)
1) Brett Gonyaw, Vernon
2) Wesley Prucker, Stafford
3) Dan Wesson, Monson, Ma
4) David Arute, Tolland
5) Cory DiMatteo, Farmington
6) Glenn Griswold, Vernon
7) Glenn Korner, Canton
8) Joey Ferrigno, East Hartford
9) Bob Charland, Stafford
10) Alexander Pearl, Salem
11) Todd Douillard, Palmer, Ma
12) Ed Chicoski, New Hartford
13) Rit Dulac, Plantsville
14) Marcello Rufrano, North Haven
15) Norm Sears, Andover
16) Mark Bakaj, Lebanon
17) Amanda West, Colchester
18) Tony Santangelo, Middlefield
19) Cassandra Cole, Westbrook
20) Kyle Jette, New Milford
21) Joe Graf, Jr., Mahwah, Nj

LIMITED LATE MODEL (20)
1) Duane Provost, Palmer, Ma
2) Robert Bloxsom, III, Stratford
3) Al Saunders, Stafford
4) Cliff Saunders, Stafford
5) Alexandra Fearn, East Longmeadow, Ma
6) Jeremy Lavoie, Windsor Locks
7) Gary Patnode, Barkhamsted
8) Bryan Narducci, Colchester
9) Matt Clement, Wethersfield
10) Ryan Fearn, East Longmeadow, Ma

DARE STOCK (15)
1) Nicole Chambrello, Kensington
2) Brandon Michael, Granville, Ma
3) Johnny Walker, Ludlow, Ma
4) George Bessette, Jr., Danbury
5) Chris Bagnall, Norfolk
6) Phil Jacques, Dudley, Ma
7) Dave Secore, Jr., Union
8) Chuck Harrison, Woodstock Valley
9) Greg Demone, Ludlow, Ma
10) Vince Gambacorta, Ellington
11) Nick Bendiak, Hopkinton, Ma
12) Richard Ciriello, Reading, Ma
13) Rob Sears, Stafford Springs
14) Paul Bourdon, Jr., Jewett City
15) Armand Cote, Jr., Rocky Hill
16) Travis Hydar, Woodbury

Sources: Scott Running/Stafford Speedway PR

Cassie Rocco & Maina Rufrano Racing For The Cure in Stafford DARE Stock Division at NAPA Fall Final

Stafford Springs, CT — When Stafford Speedway’s DARE Stocks take the green flag for the NAPA Fall Final on September 30th, there will be 2 guest drivers racing for a special cause.  Maina Rufrano, the wife of SK Modified® and SK Light car owner John Rufrano and mother to SK Light driver Marcello Rufrano along with Cassie Rocco, wife of 2-time SK Modified® track champion and 2010 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Champion Keith Rocco, will both take to the track to raise money for cancer research.

Both Rocco and Rufrano will be behind the wheel of Rent A Racecar machines for their DARE Stock debuts.  Rocco and Rufrano have set a goal of raising $5,000 and all proceeds they raise go directly to the American Cancer Society as part of their Racing for the Cure efforts.

“We decided to make a night of fun into a purpose for a great cause,” said Rufrano.  “We’ve both had cancer in our families and right now Cassie’s father is fighting cancer.  When you look at the racing community as a whole, there’s a lot of people who have been affected by cancer.  We’re working hard to stir up interest online and I’m really looking forward to getting out on the track.  Our goal is to raise $5,000 but we’d obviously love to go way above and beyond that number.”

Continue reading ‘Cassie Rocco & Maina Rufrano Racing For The Cure in Stafford DARE Stock Division at NAPA Fall Final’

Stafford Speedway NAPA Fall Final Weekend Sept. 30-Oct. 1

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway will host the 45th Annual NAPA Fall Final Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, September 30 and October 1 to close out the 2017 NASCAR season of racing.  The NAPA Fall Final will host the penultimate race of the 2017 season for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour as well as determining the 2017 Whelen All-American Series Track Champions.  The NAPA Fall Final will also play host to the Mr. Rooter Truck Series.

The NAPA Fall Final Weekend will kick off on Saturday, Sept. 30 with practice sessions for the Whelen Modified Tour, Stafford’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions and the Mr. Rooter Truck Series from 10 am to 2:15 pm.  The Whelen Modified Tour cars will take the track for time trials to set the field for the NAPA Fall Final 150 at 2:30 pm.  Stafford’s NWAAS divisions and the Mr. Rooter Truck Series will qualify for their features at the conclusion of NWMT time trials.  Feature events for the SK Lights, Limited Late Models, DARE Stocks, and Mr. Rooter Truck Series will conclude Saturday’s festivities.

The NAPA Fall Final Weekend continues on Sunday with the famous NAPA Pit Party, a meet and greet with drivers and teams, taking place from 11:00 am to noon on Sunday, Oct. 1.  Feature racing will begin at 1 pm with the SK Modifieds® first on track followed by the Late Models and the Whelen Modified Tour.

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Stafford Speedway to Auction “Welcome to The Show” Banner for Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund at NAPA Fall Final

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Speedway and NAPA Auto Parts will be auctioning off the “Welcome to the Show” banner at the NAPA Fall Final on Sunday, October 1.  The banner is currently displayed at the General Admission entrance.  All proceeds from the auction will benefit the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, a charity set up to support the men and women of the Armed Forces and their families.

The “Welcome to the Show” banner would look great in your race shop, garage, or anywhere!  Bidding for the banner is currently at $200.  Bids will be taken through the NAPA Fall Final weekend and the announcers will keep the fans apprised as to the current bid amount.  Bids may be made by visiting the announcer’s tower on race day or by contacting the speedway office.  The highest bid and winner of the banner will be announced prior to the start of the NAPA Auto Parts 150 Whelen Modified Tour event on Sunday afternoon October 1.

In addition to the “Welcome to the Show” banner auction NAPA Auto Parts will also be selling NAPA T-Shirts as well as an assortment of raffle items during the course of Sunday’s events with all proceeds going to the fund.  T-shirts and raffle tickets will be available Sunday at the NAPA Auto Parts display on the midway.

Continue reading ‘Stafford Speedway to Auction “Welcome to The Show” Banner for Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund at NAPA Fall Final’

Stafford’s SK Lights Locked in Ultra Tight Championship Race

Stafford Springs, CT — With the 2017 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season at Stafford Speedway heading into its final 3 races of the 2017 season, the race for the SK Light championship is in full swing with an an ultra tight race.  David Arute currently leads the standings and he becomes the fifth driver to hold the SK Light point lead this season.  Arute leads Cory DiMatteo by only 4 points and Dan Wesson is third in the standings, 20 points behind.

Arute has spent much of the 2017 season climbing out of the hole a 22nd place finish in the season opening NAPA Spring Sizzler left him in.  Since his Sizzler finish, Arute has posted 12 top-8 finishes, including a win on July 21st, that has seen him slowly but steadily climb his way back to the head of the points table.

“At the beginning of the year I would say we hoped to be where we are right now with the experience we gained last season,” said Arute.  “We started off the year 22nd in points but we’ve had a good car all season long and it’s been a process of moving on up ever since.  Other than that, it’s been mostly top-5 finishes.  After that first week at the Sizzler, I thought we just had to go for wins all season long but the car was good and we kept on gaining points here and there.  With 3 races left to go we’re finally on top.  I’ve been waiting to get there while guys like Dan Wesson, Cory DiMatteo, George Nocera, and Wesley Prucker have all led the points.  The past few weeks have been nerve wracking just knowing I had to finish in front of those guys to gain points.  Now finally they’re all chasing me and I try not to think about points but you can’t help but think about it when you’re buckling in.”

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Matt Vassar Puts Season of Struggles Behind at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — The 2017 Late Model season at Stafford Speedway has seen its fair share of struggles for Matt Vassar and the #69 Don’s Home Improvements team.  The team got a late start to the season, missing the first three races of the season before making their debut on June 2nd.  Through their first 10 starts, they accumulated 1 top-5 and 5 top-10 finishes, but the team put their season of struggles behind them this past Friday night with a second place finish that saw Vassar take the lead at the green flag and lead the first 27 laps before Glen Reen took the lead on lap-28 and led the final 3 laps of the race.

“The race last Friday was thoroughly satisfying,” said Vassar.  “I go to the track every week to have fun.  It was great seeing the reaction of the crew guys, the car owners, my friends, and the sponsors that were on hand.   Their excitement was what made it really fulfilling for me.  It made me happy to see how much fun everyone had and I have to thank all our sponsors for their support this season.  Don Cote and Don’s Home Improvements, Ackert Electric, Hair Trendz, Your Personal Mechanic, and the Rent A Racecar guys, who have helped me a bunch.”

In addition to winning for all of his crew members and sponsors, Vassar has some special motivation that is driving him to pick up his first Late Model win at Stafford.

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Christopher, Reen, Rufrano, Fearn, & Walker Score First Responders Appreciation Night Feature Wins at Stafford Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Speedway returned to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action with a First Responders Appreciation Night that recognized Fire, Police, EMS, and all First Responder personnel.  Taking down weekly feature wins on the night were Ted Christopher in the SK Modified® feature, Glen Reen in the Late Model feature, Marcello Rufrano in the SK Light feature, Alexandra Fearn in the Ltd. Late Model feature, and Johnny Walker in the DARE Stock feature.

In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Glen Reen made a 3-wide move at the front of the field to take the lead but a crash on the backstretch involving Mike Christopher, Jr., Tyler Hines, and Todd Owen brought the caution out before a lap could be completed.

On the restart, Reen’s car didn’t come up to speed, which bottlenecked the entire outside line as Stephen Kopcik took the lead with Chase Dowling, Keith Rocco, Eric Berndt, and Ted Christopher lined up behind him.  The caution came back out with 3 laps complete for a spin on the backstretch by Tommy Membrino, Jr. and Payton Henry.

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Glenn Griswold Goes from the Sidelines to NAPA Victory Lane at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — Prior to the start of the 2017 season, Stafford SK Light driver Glenn Griswold had no plans to be racing.  Enter car owner Ed Chicoski, who originally contacted Griswold to ask how he could help Chicoski land behind the wheel of a car for the 2017 season.  After Chicoski bought a car that Griswold put together for him to drive, Chicoski went out and bought a second car.  Originally meant to be a backup to his #45 machine, that second car became the #60 car that Griswold has piloted all season long.

“Ed Chicoski owns [the #45 and #60 cars] and I’m the lucky guy that gets to drive his backup car,” said Griswold.  “Ed was looking to drive a car and he called me over the winter and asked me what I could do to help get him in a car.  I told him that I didn’t own a car and if he wanted to buy a car, I’d work on it for him.  Ed purchased Josh Galvin’s #13 car over the winter and I put it together.  Right before the season started, Ed said let’s get another car so he bought the #77 car that was run at Stafford by Anthony Massaro back in 2011 and 2012 and we put that together.  Originally I wasn’t going to be racing at all this season.  When Ed bought the #60 car, that gave me the opportunity to run some shows.”

After not having a ride lined up, Griswold has made the most of his opportunity behind the wheel of the #60 Precision Mechanical Chevrolet.  Griswold recorded back to back third place finishes in early June and he was as high as second in the points at the end of June.  A series of bad finishes in July plus a wreck that sidelined him for a race has dropped Griswold out of championship contention but he is still in the top-10 in the standings and any misfortunes during the season were washed away this past Friday night when Griswold drove the #60 into NAPA Victory Lane for his first SK Light win at Stafford since 2014.

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Tom Fearn Facing Uphill Climb to Win 2nd Consecutive Championship

Stafford Springs, CT — After winning 10 races and coming up short of a Late Model title in 2015, Tom Fearn came back and won 7 races last season and claimed the Late Model championship in 2016.  Fearn and the #92 King Ward Coach Lines team are once again in the thick of the Late Model championship chase, entering the final 4 races of the 2017 season sitting third in the points, 20 points behind Glen Reen.  With four races left, Fearn needs to make up a total of 10 positions over leader Glen Reen.

“The only thing we can do is go out and try to win every one of them,” said Fearn.  “If you break it down, 4 races, 5 points a race, you need to make up 6 points a race or three spots.  It can be done but the likelihood isn’t that great.  Not that we’re not going to try.  We have a game plan with things like tire strategy and what we have to do going into things and we’ll see how things go from there.  We’d just like to have a chance at it come the Fall Final.  I think we made up 8 points last Friday night and if we can keep on doing that, it would be good for us.  You don’t wish anything bad on anyone else, but it’s probably going to take a bad night for the guys ahead of us to get back into position.  It’s tough to try to finish ahead of someone every week but we’ll come out with guns loaded and try to win.  If we have a little luck we can get right back in the thick of it come the Fall Final and make things really exciting.”

If anything, Fearn certainly has experience on his side.  Fearn has 7 career track championships to his name and he has also been the winningest Late Model driver at Stafford over the past 3 seasons with a total of 20 feature wins.  If Fearn could change one thing about his current points situation, he would prefer to be leading the standings rather than chasing the drivers who are in front of him.

Continue reading ‘Tom Fearn Facing Uphill Climb to Win 2nd Consecutive Championship’

Ronnie Williams Looking for Strong Finish to SK Modified® Campaign at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — With only 4 races left in the 2017 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season at Stafford, drivers are angling to position themselves to make a run for the track championships.  One driver in such a situation is Ronnie Williams, driver of the #49 Advice One SK Modified®.  Williams enters the final 4-race stretch currently second in the points standings, 10 points behind Chase Dowling.

“I would say the season has been pretty consistent,” said Williams.  “We haven’t had the fastest car at times but we definitely haven’t had the slowest.  We’ve kept ourselves in contention.  Chase has been fast and of course, Teddy has been quick and we’re ahead of Teddy in the points and Chase is only a short distance away from us.  We could definitely be in a better position than we are now even though we’re not in a bad position, 10 points is almost nothing and there’s a lot of racing left to go.”

With 4 races left in the season, Williams can’t afford to be conservative in his race approach as there is only a 38 point spread, or 16 positions on the track, between the top-6 drivers in the SK Modified® standings.  Williams and Keith Rocco are tied for second, 10 points behind, Ted Christopher is 24 points behind in fourth, Rowan Pennink is 28 points behind in fifth, and Todd Owen is sixth, 38 points behind.  With such a close spread, one bad night could spell doom for one of the championship hopefuls.

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Pennink Rolls to Stafford Victory

Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford Springs, September 1,2017

The annual Stafford VMRS 80 drew a full field of potent Valenti Modified Racing Series competitors and when three heats and a consi was completed the field was set for a highly competitive event.

Dave Ethridge (Portland, CT) led from the pole for the first 58 laps until Rowan Pennink (Huntingdon Valley, PA) took over after a restart and went on to a highly contested victory. The 2013 VMRS champion took down his first MRS victory of the year and second series win at Stafford putting him 5th on the all time win list.

Keith Rocco (Berlin, CT) ran in the top five all race long and made a late race charge for the win but came up 0.608 seconds short behind Pennink on a green white checkered finish.

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Pennink, Fearn, Griswold, Saunders, & Walker Score VRMS 80 Feature Wins at Stafford Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Speedway returned to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action on Friday, September 1st with the Valenti Modified Racing Series in the house for the 8th Annual VMRS 80.  Taking down weekly feature wins on the night were Rowan Pennink in the SK Modified® feature, Tom Fearn in the Late Model feature, Glenn Griswold in the SK Light feature, Cliff Saunders in the Limited Late Model feature, and Johnny Walker in the DARE Stock feature.

In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Glen Reen took the early lead with Keith Rocco in second.  Tyler Hines was third with Josh Wood fourth and Matt Galko fifth in the early laps.  Rocco hounded Reen for the lead until lap-8 when he was able to make a move going into turn 3 to take over the race lead.  Rowan Pennink went around Galko to move into fifth on lap-10 with Hines and Wood still third and fourth.

Ted Christopher got around Wood to move into sixth on lap-13 and he was applying heavy pressure to Pennink for fifth when the caution came out with 17 laps complete for Tommy Membrino, Jr., who spun on the backstretch.

Continue reading ‘Pennink, Fearn, Griswold, Saunders, & Walker Score VRMS 80 Feature Wins at Stafford Speedway’

Rowan Pennink Scores Valenti Modified Racing Series Victory in 8th Annual VMRS 80 At Stafford Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — The Valenti Modified Racing Series made its second of two visits during the 2017 season to Stafford Motor Speedway for the 8th Annual VMRS 80.  Taking the checkered flag was XXX

Dave Etheridge took the lead at the drop of the green flag with Rowan Pennink working his way around Dave Schneider to take second.  Dan Meservey, Jr. was third with Keith Rocco fourth.  Schneider slid back to fifth and he lost fifth on lap-4 to Carl Medeiros, Jr.  Blake Barney was on the charge early in the race, checking into the top-5 in the first 10 laps of the race after starting 12th.

Barney was now looking to the inside of Rocco for third and he took the spot on lap-14.  Medeiros spun on the frontstretch but was able to get his car going and the race stayed green.  Etheridge had pulled out to a slightly larger than a half second lead over Pennink, who now had Barney closing in on his back bumper as the field approached 20 laps complete in the race.  Andrew Molleur spun in turn 4 to bring the caution out with 25 laps complete.

Continue reading ‘Rowan Pennink Scores Valenti Modified Racing Series Victory in 8th Annual VMRS 80 At Stafford Speedway’

Stafford Track Championship Races Continue to Tighten Up

Stafford Springs, CT — As the 2017 season at Stafford Speedway heads into September and the final 5 races of the year, the races for the track championships keep on getting tighter and tighter.  The August 25 Back 2 SK®ool program saw the point lead change hands in both the SK Modified® and SK Light divisions and the point lead in the Late Model and Limited Late Model divisions both shrunk.  The DARE Stocks were the only division that saw the point leader extend their lead.

In the SK Modifieds®, Keith Rocco endured a mechanical issue for the second consecutive race, relegating him to a 13th place finish after he was contending with Ted Christopher for the race lead.  Chase Dowling’s fourth place finish last Friday night combined with Rocco’s misfortune vaulted him back to the top of the SK Modified® standings by 12 points over Rocco.  Ronnie Williams is now third in the standings, 16 points behind Dowling.  After suffering two consecutive mechanical issues of his own, Ted Christopher has won the last 2 SK Modified® feature events to climb back to fourth in the standings, 36 points behind Dowling.  With 2-time defending track champion Rowan Pennink fifth, 42 points behind, and Todd Owen sixth, 48 points behind, there are 6 drivers within 50 points or 1 race victory of the point leader.

In the Late Model division, Glen Reen continues to hold down the point lead but his margin shrunk from 12 points down to 10 points after last Friday night with Kevin Gambacorta sitting in second.  Defending track champion Tom Fearn is third, 28 points behind with Michael Wray in fourth, 32 points behind.  Michael Bennett had climbed back into contention with 6 consecutive top-4 finishes from June 9 to August 4 but two consecutive finishes outside the top-10 have left him 58 points behind Reen.

Continue reading ‘Stafford Track Championship Races Continue to Tighten Up’

Marcello Rufrano Rebounding Nicely After Rough Start in Stafford’s SK Lights

Stafford Springs, CT — Fresh off a 6-race rookie stint in Stafford’s SK Light Modified division in 2016 that saw him win his very first start, Marcello Rufrano was looking for big things coming into the 2017 season.  While Rufrano has put together an impressive season with 2 victories thus far behind the wheel of his #88 Wheelers Automotive machine, his season got off to the worst possible start as he got caught up in wrecks in each of the first three races and recorded finishes of 24th, 26th, and 26th in those three races.

“I think it was just a matter of getting some better luck and experience,” said Rufrano.  “At the start of the year, we had the worst luck you could ever imagine.  We wrecked 3 weeks in a row and basically had to rebuild the right front suspension every week.  As soon as we got those out of the way, it seemed like we got back to our roots and winning races and finishing in the top-5.  The car has been fast all season long, we just didn’t have any luck to start out.”

With a lackluster start to his 2017 campaign, Rufrano says that frustration was starting to set in but the #88 team didn’t let their bad luck keep them down for very long.

Continue reading ‘Marcello Rufrano Rebounding Nicely After Rough Start in Stafford’s SK Lights’

Matt Galko Geared Up for Double Duty at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — When the green flag falls on the Valenti Modified Racing Series this Friday night, September 1st, Meriden native and SK Modified® regular Matt Galko will be racing double duty as he will drive the #76 Norm Perry owned machine in the VMRS 80 as well as his familiar #3 SK Modified®.  Galko has made one previous start at Stafford with the Perry team back in August 2014 where he finished 14th.

“Norm Perry does the engines for the SK car that I drive at Waterford so I got to know the family,” said Galko.  “Talking with them over the past couple of years, they’re a family oriented team so they usually have either Dennis or Shelly driving the car.  This was a good opportunity for me to get some experience behind the wheel of a tour type modified car.  I drove for them back in 2014 at Stafford, which was my first time in a tour type car and we ran the Tri-Track race at Star last weekend.  We finished 10th, which was pretty respectable with the competition at Star and not having a lot of experience.  I think a top-10 would be a good goal for us.  I’d like to finish all the laps and get as much experience as I can racing with the extra horsepower.”

Having raced weekly at Stafford since the 2010 season in both the SK Light and now SK Modified® divisions, Galko feels like his weekly experience at Stafford will help to overcome the lack of experience he has as a driver/team combination with the Perry team.  Galko will be looking to build upon the 10th place finish he enjoyed last week driving the #76 car in the Tri-Track race at Star Speedway.

Continue reading ‘Matt Galko Geared Up for Double Duty at Stafford’

Christopher, Arute, DiMatteo, Narducci, Walker, & Chapman Score August 25 Back 2 SKRool Blitz Feature Wins at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Speedway returned to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action with the Wild Thing Karts Junior Outlaws joining Stafford’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions as part of the track’s Back 2 SK®ool Blitz program.  Ted Christopher took down his fifth and second consecutive win of the 2017 season in the SK Modified® feature, Paul Arute was a first time Late Model feature winner, Cory DiMatteo won a thrilling duel with Brett Gonyaw to nail down his fourth SK Light feature win of 2017, Bryan Narducci was the Limited Late Model feature winner for the 2nd consecutive race and fourth overall in 2017, Johnny Walker  scored his third consecutive and fifth overall DARE Stock feature win of 2017, and Tyler Chapman was the winner of the special Wild Thing Karts Junior Outlaws feature event.

In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, Glen Reen took the early lead from the pole with Ronnie Williams second, Keith Rocco third, Josh Wood fourth, and Dan Avery fifth.  Avery got around Wood to take fourth on lap-3 with Michael Gervais, Jr. taking fifth as Wood was slowly fading back outside the top-10.

Williams went to the lead on lap-5 with Rocco moving up to second as Reen fell back to third in line.  Avery was fourth and Matt Galko got around Gervais to take over fifth.

Continue reading ‘Christopher, Arute, DiMatteo, Narducci, Walker, & Chapman Score August 25 Back 2 SKRool Blitz Feature Wins at Stafford’

Anthony Nocella Looking for Repeat Stafford Victory in VMRS 80

Stafford Springs, CT — As the Valenti Modified Series prepares to return to Stafford Speedway for the second time in 2017 on Friday, September 1st for the VMRS 80, things could not be going any better for Anthony Nocella, driver of the #92 Nocella Paving Chevrolet.  Nocella won the first VMRS race at Stafford back in May and he just won the series’ most recent race at Beech Ridge to extend his lead in the VMRS championship standings.

“We started out going real good this season and then we had a few tough races and then we won again this past weekend so I think we’ll have a pretty good chance,” said Nocella.  “It’s always tough racing when you go to Stafford.  There’s a lot of good cars and guys who race there weekly are always tough to beat.  If we can come back with the car prepared just like it was and if it runs like it did back in May then I think we’ll have a decent shot at getting another win or at least a top-3 finish.”

If Nocella is to repeat his Stafford victory from May, he faces an uphill climb as VMRS rules state that the previous race winner can start no higher than 18th in the following race.  Despite the long odds he’ll be faced with starting the VMRS 80 from the back of the pack, Nocella feels confident that he can still get to the front.

Continue reading ‘Anthony Nocella Looking for Repeat Stafford Victory in VMRS 80’

Duane Provost Looking For Back to Back Limited Late Model Titles

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Speedway’s Limited Late Model division is in the midst of one of the tightest championship races in recent memory.  Jeremy Lavoie has led the standings for the majority of the 2017 season with defending track champion Duane Provost right on his heels.  Through the first 11 races of the season, the largest margin between first and second in the points standings has been 8 points, or 4 positions on the track.  For the past 6 races, the margin between Lavoie and Provost at the top of the standings has fluctuated between 6 and 8 points.  Provost won 2 races in a row at the start of June and with temperatures becoming cooler, Provost is looking to return to his winning form.

“Jeremy [Lavoie] has been consistent, I’ve been consistent, and Al [Saunders] is not too far behind us, so consistency has been the key this season,” said Provost.  “I usually go pretty strong at the beginning of the season and the end of the season when it’s a little cooler outside and mellow out in the middle, so we have to see if we can pick our performance back up towards the end of the season.  We need to finish ahead of Jeremy a little more than I have been for the last 6 races.  Lately it seems like one week I’ll finish one spot ahead of him and then the next week he’ll finish one spot in front of me.  We didn’t have as much bad luck this summer as we normally do so if I can run like I typically perform when its cooler out, I’m hoping that the next 6 races will side in my favor.”

The fact that Provost and Lavoie have been finishing within one position of each other for the past 5 weeks begins to paint a picture of just how competitive the race for the championship has been this season.  Provost is tied for the division lead with 2 wins and he has 10 top-5 finishes in 11 races thus far.  But as good as Provost has been, Lavoie has been just a bit better as he has scored top-5 finishes in all 11 races, including his first career Limited Late Model feature win back in May.  The lone blemish on Provost’s 2017 record is an 11th place finish back on May 12th, which was the second race of the season.  With Lavoie finishing 5th in that race and picking up 12 points on Provost, that race is making the difference in the race for the championship.

Continue reading ‘Duane Provost Looking For Back to Back Limited Late Model Titles’

Kids Win at Stafford Speedway Back 2 SKool Blitz Event

Stafford Springs, CT — This Friday, August 25th Back 2 SK®ool Blitz program at Stafford Speedway will feature the best short track racing in New England and also a program filled with fun and games for kids.  Even though summer is winding down and school is just around the corner there is still plenty of action at Stafford Speedway.

As part of the Back 2 SK®ool Blitz program, all kids 14 & under wearing a team shirt or jersey this Friday night will receive a free general admission ticket when accompanied by an adult.  Upon entrance every kid will receive a K&N drawstring bag and a raffle ticket.  The raffle ticket can be presented at the Kids Zone tent for a spin of the prize wheel.  Every spin wins a prize, thanks to Wild Thing Karts.  The winning continues by entering the bike raffle presented by Big Haus USA Racing Products, Casagrande Builders and Stafford Speedway.  Not just one but 3 bikes will be raffled.

In addition to the bike raffles and prizes, there will be a variety of games such as Cornhole, Ladder Toss, Lawn Tic Tac Toe, Lawn Twister, Chalk Art and Hula Hoops.  Drivers will be visiting the Kids Zone throughout the night trying their skills off the track.

Continue reading ‘Kids Win at Stafford Speedway Back 2 SKool Blitz Event’

Stafford Speedway Cancels Aug. 18 Racing Program

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway has announced that due to weather, tonight’s racing program has been canceled.

Racing returns to Stafford next Friday night, August 25 with the Back 2 SK®ool program that will feature the Wild Thing Karts Jr. Outlaws along with Stafford’s five NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions.  All kids 14 & under who wear a team shirt or uniform to the track will be given a free general admission ticket and there will be raffle prizes for kids as well as a bike giveaway.

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

Continue reading ‘Stafford Speedway Cancels Aug. 18 Racing Program’

Stafford Speedway’s Championship Races Starting to Come Into Focus

Stafford Springs, CT — With only 7 races left in the 2017 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season at Stafford Motor Speedway, the track championship races are starting to come into focus.  Friday, August 11th saw some shuffling at the top of the standings as some leaders encountered trouble while some other championship hopefuls got right back into the thick of the race.  Here is a look at how the standings stack up in each of Stafford’s five weekly divisions.

SK Modified® Division – Up until last Friday night, 2-time SK Modified® champion Keith Rocco had things going his way with 10 consecutive top-9 finishes since the beginning of the season.  His streak came to an end last Friday night with a mechanical issue limiting him to a 16th place finish, which saw his point lead shrink from 26 points down to 6 points.  Chase Dowling was the beneficiary of Rocco’s misfortune as his second place finish vaulted him from third to second behind Rocco.  Ronnie Williams fell a spot in the standings down to third after a 15th place finish, while 2-time defending track champion Rowan Pennink moved up to fourth and Ted Christopher moved up to fifth after his 4th feature win of the season.  The top-5 drivers are separated by 48 points, which is 2 points less than what a feature victory is worth and with 7 races to go, the race for the title will be wide open.

Continue reading ‘Stafford Speedway’s Championship Races Starting to Come Into Focus’

Chris Bagnall Enjoying Breakout Season in Stafford’s DARE Stocks

Stafford Springs, CT — After struggling for 2 seasons to crack into the top-10 in Stafford Speedway’s DARE Stock ranks, the 2017 season has seen Chris Bagnall enjoy a breakout season.  The driver of the #77 Sullivan’s Premier Glass Chevrolet entered the 2017 season with 19 top-10 finishes in 29 starts but he had not yet recorded a top-5 finish.  That all changed back in June when Bagnall recorded not only his first top-5, but it was a third place effort that found him celebrating on the podium.  Bagnall credits a new car acquired during the winter as the impetus for his change in fortune.

“I would say the biggest thing for us was I was running an older car with a 305 engine and in the off-season, we bought Ryan Fearn’s old #3 car that has a crate engine in it,” said Bagnall.  “It needed a few updates but it was a much better piece that what I was running.  My goal at the start of the season was to get into the top-5 and winning is the ultimate goal.  Getting into the top-5 and running with guys like Johnny Walker is where we want to be and I think we’ve done a great job progressing to where we are now with having to work with a small budget.  Obviously we’d like to be champion, as would everyone else, but if we can maintain in the top-5, that would be great for us.  We’re meeting our goals right now, but we’re not done.  We want more and that’s what we’re working towards. Maintaining some consistency and getting a couple of wins is the next step.  We’re very proud of where we are right now in the top-5.”

In 11 starts this season, Bagnall has posted a total of 4 top-5 and 10 top-10 finishes and he is currently fifth in the DARE Stock points standings.  Bagnall is also currently riding a streak of 8 consecutive top-8 finishes and he feels like his first DARE Stock victory lies just around the corner for the #77 car.

Continue reading ‘Chris Bagnall Enjoying Breakout Season in Stafford’s DARE Stocks’

Todd Owen Closing In on First Win of 2017 at Stafford Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — With the second half of the 2017 season at Stafford Motor Speedway well underway, Todd Owen is closing in on his first win of the year.  The Somers native has already won SK Modified® feature events at Thompson and Waterford this season and he is looking for a Stafford victory to complete the Connecticut state trifecta.

“We had a slow start to the season but between all 3 tracks, we had a 12 or 14 race top-10 streak, which was pretty cool,” said Owen.  “Everything is going really good right now for us.  The motor program is great with R.A.D. Automachine, the car is going good, and the whole shop is clicking right now.  I would love to have a win at all 3 tracks this year.  We’ve been pretty close at Stafford, we just haven’t been able to seal the deal.  We’re still working hard, Stafford is still our priority, and Stafford is the hardest challenge for us.  I think we’re knocking on the door.  There’s definitely some strong competition at Stafford but I feel like we’re a top-5 car and if things go our way one night, we can definitely grab a win.  I’d be disappointed at the end of the season if we don’t have at least one win at Stafford.  I have to give a big thanks to all my supporters Cooker Construction, Barnes Pools, R.A.D. Automachine, Start/Finish Motorsports, Cliff Nelson, Big Haus USA, Chassis Pro, Tommy’s Tattoo, R&D Construction, and Austin Auto Body.”

Owen began the 2017 season with finishes of 20th and 14th, which left him sitting 15th in the SK Modified® standings.  Starting with the race on June 2, Owen reeled off 6 consecutive top-8 finishes, including 3 podium efforts.  Even after a 14th place finish the last time out at Stafford on Aug. 11, Owen now sits 6th in the standings, 58 points behind Keith Rocco.  Owen is looking to finish the season out strong and get himself into the top-3 for the final points standings of 2017 after the season ending NAPA Fall Final on Sept. 30-Oct. 1.

Continue reading ‘Todd Owen Closing In on First Win of 2017 at Stafford Speedway’

Christopher, Reen, Rufrano, Narducci, Walker, & Buffone Score August 11 CBYD Night Feature Wins at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Speedway returned to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action with the Wild Thing Karts Senior Outlaws joining Stafford’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions as part of CBYD 811 Night.  Before the racing hit the track, Stafford Speedway honored the five winners of the CBYD 811 Challenge with each driver winning an $811 bonus from CBYD.  The five winners were Chase Dowling, Michael Bennett, Bryan Narducci, Robert Bloxsom, III, and George Bessette, Jr.  Taking down feature wins on the night  were Ted Christopher in the SK Modified® feature, Glen Reen in the Late Model feature, Marcello Rufrano in the SK Light feature, Bryan Narducci in the Limited Late Model feature, Johnny Walker in the DARE Stock feature, and Christopher Buffone in the special Wild Thing Karts Senior Outlaws feature.

In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, the action at the front was fast and furious as Tom Abele, Jr. went by polesitter Glen Reen to lead the first lap before giving way to Rowan Pennink, who took the lead on lap-2.  Mike Christopher, Jr. was second behind Pennink with Ted Christopher quickly moving up to third.  Tommy Membrino, Jr. spun in the middle of turns 3+4 brought the caution out with 5 laps complete.

Pennink took the lead back under green with Ted Christopher taking second from Mike Christopher, Jr.  Todd Owen was now up to fourth with Keith Rocco in fifth.  Ted Christopher then pulled alongside and took the lead from Pennink on lap-9.  The caution came back out with 10 laps complete as Rocco spun in turn 2.

Continue reading ‘Christopher, Reen, Rufrano, Narducci, Walker, & Buffone Score August 11 CBYD Night Feature Wins at Stafford’

Stafford’s SK Lights Locked in Tight Championship Race

Stafford Springs, CT — With the 2017 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season at Stafford Speedway heading into the final 2 months, there is an ultra tight race for the SK Light championship.  Through the first 10 races of this season, 4 different drivers, Cory DiMatteo, Wesley Prucker, George Nocera, Jr., and Dan Wesson, have all taken turns being the points leader.  Heading into this Friday night’s CBYD 811 Night, Dan Wesson leads the standings with DiMatteo, Nocera, and David Arute all tied for second, only 10 points behind Wesson.

DiMatteo led the standings for the first 2 weeks of the season with wins in each of the first 2 races.  Prucker took over the point lead in week 3 with Nocera holding the lead from week 4 through week 8.  Wesson scored his first win last week and he has been the point leader for the last 2 weeks.  With Prucker currently sitting fifth in the standings, 30 points behind Wesson, Arute is the only driver in the top-5 of the standings that has not yet led the points this season.  Despite that fact, Arute says he is comfortable with where he currently sits.

“We started out with a bad finish at the Sizzler, so it’s been moving on up ever since then and now we’re finally at the top,” said Arute.  “I’m fine with staying tied for second and trying to chase those guys down and finish races consistently.  Our car has been good and the challenge is to keep the car in one piece.  We only have a few more points to make up to get to the top of the standings.  I don’t like to points race, I always want to win and like last week when the car was really fast, I really tried to get up to Dan Wesson and challenge him for the win but I couldn’t get to him so we settled for third.  Hopefully we can keep on getting podium finishes.  I think it’s going to get tougher.  This is the first time we’ve had a stretch of four or five races in a row this season so now it’s all about the preparation during the week and getting the cars ready to race.  I’m sure we’re all going to be starting around each other mid-pack and we have to finish ahead of those guys to gain some points.  I think it’s going to be a great finish to the season racing-wise.”

Continue reading ‘Stafford’s SK Lights Locked in Tight Championship Race’

Kevin Gambacorta Looking to Make Stafford History in Late Model Division

Stafford Springs, CT — As the 2017 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season at Stafford Motor Speedway heads into its second half at full speed, Ellington native and Late Model driver Kevin Gambacorta is in search of making Stafford Motor Speedway history.  Gambacorta and the #23 Rafferty Fine Grading team are only 2 points behind Glen Reen in the chase for the 2017 Late Model championship and as a previous track champion in both the DARE Stock and Limited Late Model divisions, a championship this season would make Gambacorta the first driver in Stafford history to win a track championship in three different divisions.  Gambacorta is currently one of 10 different drivers, including Mike Stefanik, Tom Rosati, Jerry Marquis, Tom Fearn, Chuck Docherty, Doug Coby, Woody Pitkat, Tony Membrino, Jr., and Michael Bennett, who have won championships in 2 different divisions.

“When you look back at the history of Stafford Speedway and the names of some of the drivers who have won races and championships in the past, I don’t really think my name deserves to be mentioned along with them,” said Gambacorta.  “I like to stay humble but if we could win a Late Model championship this season and be the first to win championships in 3 different divisions, that would be something that I would really be proud of.”

Being in the thick of a championship race is nothing new for Gambacorta as he has a DARE Stock championship and two Limited Late Model championships to his name at Stafford.  The way the 2017 season has played out thus far has Gambacorta thinking back to his last championship season of 2011.

Continue reading ‘Kevin Gambacorta Looking to Make Stafford History in Late Model Division’

Stephen Kopcik Puts Struggles of 2017 Behind Him to Win First SK Modified® Feature at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — For 19-year old Newtown native Stephen Kopcik, the 2017 SK Modified® season at Stafford Speedway has been filled with struggles and trying times. But his season fortunes took a 180-degree turn for the better this past Friday night, August 4th, at the Connecticut half-mile as Kopcik scored his first career SK Modified® feature victory. The win also doubled as Kopcik’s first top-5 finish of the season. The driver of the #31 Hocon Industrial Gas Chevrolet credits his chassis builder, Mike Paquette, for the uptick in performance.

“This season has been really tough,” said Kopcik. “We struggled through probably the first six or seven races this year to the point where I stepped away from the car and I told Mike Paquette at Chassis Dynamics to do whatever he wanted to do to the car. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you what’s in the car right now for a setup. They got it going pretty good and hopefully, we can make it even better than it was. I’d really like to thank Hocon Industrial Gas for all their support, even when we were struggling and things weren’t looking too good. My father and N.J.K. Automotive, Newtown Pools, and the whole team. It was me behind the wheel but it’s all the guys at the shop and the work that they put in that really made the car shine.”

Kopcik took the race lead for the first time on lap-5, but he gave the lead back to Michael Gervais, Jr. on lap-10. Kopcik stayed glued to Gervais’ back bumper and he was able to retake the lead on lap-23. Once Kopcik took the lead for the second time, he managed to stay out front for the last 17 laps of the race despite heavy pressure from Gervais, Chase Dowling, and Todd Owen behind him.

Continue reading ‘Stephen Kopcik Puts Struggles of 2017 Behind Him to Win First SK Modified® Feature at Stafford’

Preece Continues to Roll at Stafford

Late Pass Of Coby Nets Third NASCAR Whelen Modified Win of Season

STAFFORD, Conn. (Aug. 4, 2017) – Ryan Preece has been nearly unbeatable of late when he straps behind the wheel of a race car.

Last weekend, Preece scored his first career NASCAR XFINITY Series victory at Iowa Speedway. He marked his return to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Friday at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway with another trip to Victory Lane in the Stafford 150. 

The Berlin, Connecticut, driver took the lead from four-time tour champion Doug Coby on a Lap 148 restart and didn’t look back. The win was the 18th career in Whelen Modified Tour action for Preece and also his seventh at the half-mile Stafford. He won the NAPA Spring Sizzler at the track on April 30.

Continue reading ‘Preece Continues to Roll at Stafford’




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