Written by: Matt Buckler
STAFFORD — Nicole Vasseur of Ellington has enjoyed a busy summer, including performing the National Anthem on national television prior to a NASCAR Xfinity race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
There was one place she wanted to visit, however, before the summer was over — the winners’ circle at Stafford Speedway.
That moment took place Monday when she won the second Senior Outlaw features during the Ceric Fabrication Wild Thing Karts Series, sponsored by Lasco Roofing.
Vasseur was in second place with six laps remaining, trailing leader Bryan Narducci. When Narducci was black-flagged because of a damaged rear bumper, however, Vasseur moved into the lead. She held off Dan Gayman and Mike Royce to wrap up her first Kart victory.
Just to get into second place, however, was an accomplishment. She got off to a slow start in the feature and was in sixth place after two laps.
“I told myself that this feature was worth full points,” Vasseur said. “So regardless of what happened at the start of the race, I had to regroup and stay focused and try to pass the cars that passed me.”
After a mid-race caution Vasseur moved into second, where she had a first-hand view of Narducci’s bruised bumper.
“I saw the sparks,” aid Vasseur, who is about to start her freshman year at the University of Hartford.. “I didn’t know there was a rule that said you couldn’t race with a damaged bumper. It sure didn’t slow him down. He was still very fast. But I heard over the radio that he was black-flagged and that I was in the lead.
“We put in so much hard work during the past four years,” Vasseur said. “It was really worth it.”
Vasseur came close to winning the first race. She had the lead on the final lap, but Narducci made a blistering move on the backstretch to pull out his second win of the season.
Scott Foster Jr. held off points leader Tim Sullivan over the final two laps to win his first Senior Champs race of the season.
“We’ve been working hard all season, and we finally got the car to turn,” Foster said. “We’ve struggled all year and kept trying new things. And tonight we finally pulled it off.
“With Tim Sullivan behind me, I knew I couldn’t make a mistake. I just stayed smooth and I had a little more for him at the end.”
Steven Chapman took the lead on the second lap to win the Junior Outlaw feature. Christopher Buffone was second and Jonathan Puleo was third.
Jake Hines held off Tyler Chapman and Tyler Palmer down the stretch for his seventh Tiger A win. Casey O’Sullivan won for the third time in Tiger B, followed by Ryan Magliano and Shane Russo. Jaden Lage won the Tiger C feature with Damian Palardy second and Parker Berndt third.
Jonny D’Amour won the Cubs race. He was chased across the line by Nicholas O’Sullivan and Luke Gengenbach was third.