(Stafford Springs, CT)— Stafford Speedway returned to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action with The Final Friday Night Shoot-Out, the final Friday night event before the season ending NAPA Fall Final next weekend on October 3-4. Taking down NASCAR Whelen All-American Series weekly feature wins on the night were Eric Berndt for the first time this season in the SK Modified® feature, Tom Fearn was disqualified from a win in the Late Model feature due to a technical infraction, making Michael Wray a first time winner, Joey Ferrigno scored his fifth win of 2015 in the SK Light feature, Paul Arute took down his very first career victory in the Limited Late Model feature, Trace Beyer scored his third win of 2015 in the DARE Stock feature, and Mikey Flynn scored his second win of 2015 in the Legend Cars feature.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Tyler Hines took the lead at the drop of the green flag with Dan Avery moving into second. Eric Berndt went around Mike Christopher, Jr. to take third and Keith Rocco followed in Berndt’s tire tracks to take fourth.
Avery made a move to the inside of Hines on lap-5 and he completed the pass to take the lead on lap-6. Berndt took second from Hines on lap-7 and he nearly took the lead from Avery but Berndt backed out and he fell back into line in third. Rocco went to the outside of Berndt on lap-9 but fell back into a side by side duel with Michael Gervais, Jr. for fourth place. Todd Owen was now on the outside of Gervais on lap-10 as Rocco was clear into fourth behind Avery, Berndt, and Hines.
Berndt made a move to the inside of Avery to take over the lead with a pass in turn 4 on lap-13. Gervais was working over the back bumper of Rocco for fourth place and he took fourth from Rocco on lap-15. Owen followed him through as Rocco fell back to sixth.
Berndt was beginning to stretch out his lead as Avery and Gervais were nose to tail in second and third. Owen was fourth and Ryan Preece was fifth with 11 laps to go. Berndt had nearly a full straightaway lead but Gervais, Avery, Owen, Preece, and Hines were lined up in a train of cars behind him. Preece was hounding Owen for fourth place but Owen was able to fend off his challenges.
Berndt cruised to his first victory of the 2015 season with Gervais, Avery, Owen, and Preece rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Michael Wray used the high line to get around Scott Cook at the drop of the green and take the early lead. Josh Wood and Ed Ricard were side by side for second with Tom Fearn and Michael Scorzelli closing in as Cook was fading backwards to 10th place. Fearn went by Wood to take over second on lap-4 and Michael Bennett took fifth from Ricard and he then took fourth from Scorzelli on lap-5.
Fearn stalked Wray until lap-9 when he made a move to take over the race lead. Wray continued to run in second with Wood third. Bennett retook fourth from Scorzelli on lap-15 and then he ran down Wood and took over third on lap-21 as Fearn continued to lead Wray.
Fearn led Wray to the checkered flag to pick up his 11th win of the 2015 season. Following the checkered flag, Fearn’s car was found to have an unapproved tire on his car and his team failed to execute technical inspection with the #92 car and he was disqualified from the race, making Michael Wray a first time winner in the Late Model ranks. Bennett moved up to second, with Wood, Scorzelli, and Rick Lanagan making up the new top-5. Bennett’s finish was good enough to clinch the Late Model track championship, his second career track title at Stafford.
In the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature event, Wesley Prucker took the early lead with Glenn Griswold hot on his bumper. Carlos Gray was third, with Todd Douillard and Joey Ferrigno making up the top-5 but the caution came out with 1 lap complete for a spin in turn 2 by Jay Goff.
Prucker took the lead back under green with Griswold again right on his bumper. Daniel Wesson was third when the caution came back out with 2 laps complete for a spin in turn 1 by Nick Salva that collected the car of D.J. Burnham.
Prucker took the lead back under green but Griswold quickly made a move to his outside to take over the race lead. Douillard was now second with Joey Ferrigno in third. Geoff Boisjolie was fourth with Payton Henry behind him in fifth but the caution came out with 4 laps complete as Aaron Goff spun on the backstretch.
Griswold restarted in the outside lane as the leader and Douillard ran him tough in a side by side fight for the lead but they were only able to complete one lap before the caution came back out for Aaron Goff, who came to a stop in turn 2.
Griswold and Douillard were side by side again for the lead but Ferrigno made a 3-wide move in turns 3+4 to move into the race lead. The caution came back out with 6 laps complete for a multicar incident in turn 4 that involved Daniel Wesson, Todd Clark, Rit Dulac, Tony Membrino, Jr., Salva, and Stephen Kopcik.
Ferrigno took the lead on the restart with Douillard and Griswold resuming their side by side battle although for second instead of for the lead. Douillard took the spot on lap-8 and Henry was now on the inside of Griswold and he moved into third as Griswold spun in to the turn 4 wall to bring the caution out.
Carlos Gray spun on the restart to bring the caution right back out. The next restart saw Ferrigno resume command of the race but Douillard spun in turn 4 to bring the caution out with 10 laps complete after contact with Jay Goff. Douillard got refired and spun Goff out under caution and he was parked for the remainder of the race by NASCAR Officials.
Ferrigno powered back into the lead on the restart with Daniel Wesson in second. Burnham and Membrino were side by side for third with Geoff Boisjolie running in fifth. With 5 laps to go, Ferrigno was beginning to pull away from Membrino in second. Burnham, Wesson, Boisjolie, and Kopcik were lined up in a 5-car train behind Ferrigno, who had opened his lead up to 1.5 seconds.
Ferrigno cruised to the checkered flag to pick up his fifth win of the 2015 season. Membrino finished second, with Burnham, Wesson, and Kopcik rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, Matt Clement took the lead at the green while David Comeau slid from second at the start back to twelfth place as Glenn Bartkowski took second, Justin Bren third, Duane Provost fourth, and Paul Arute fifth. The caution came out with 2 laps complete as Cliff Saunders, Robert Bloxsom, and R.J. Surdell spun through the infield grass.
Bartkowski took the lead back under green with Provost and Bren lined up behind him. The caution came back out with 3 laps complete as Comeau, Clement, and Jeremy Lavoie were all involved in a spin in turn 1 and points leader Al Saunders was nearly collected in the melee.
Provost didn’t come up to speed on the restart and he limped his way back behind the wall as Bartkowski resumed the race lead with Bren, Paul Arute, Andrew Hayes, and David Arute lined up behind him. Paul Arute made a move to take over second place on lap-6 and Hayes followed him through as Bren fell from second back to a side by side battle with David Arute for fourth. Arute took the spot on lap-7 and Al Saunders followed him by as Bren slid back to sixth place.
Paul Arute went by Bartkowski on lap-11 to take over the race lead with Hayes, David Arute, and Al Saunders all following him by as Bartkowski fell back to fifth place. Hayes took a low line coming off turn 4 on lap-18 but continued in second. Arute led Hayes to the checkered flag to pick up his first career victory. David Arute finished third with Al Saunders and Bartkowski fifth.
In the 15-lap DARE Stock feature event, Trace Beyer quickly worked his way through traffic to take the lead with Nicole Chambrello, Marcello Rufrano, Tyler Trott, and Dan Dembek lined up behind him. Beyer was pulling away from Chambrello but his large lead was erased by the caution with 6 laps complete as Paul Bourdon, Jr. spun in turn 4.
The caution came back out with 8 laps complete for debris on the track. Beyer led the field back to the green with Trott behind him in second. Dembek took third but he lost that spot to Phil Evans on lap-11 with Rufrano rounding out the top-5.
The field completed one lap back under green before the caution came back out for a spin in turn 1 by Jake Higginson and Chambrello.
On the restart, Trott stayed even with Beyer until they hit the line to complete lap 13 when Trott settled back into line behind Beyer. Brandon Michael was up to third with Frank L’Etoile, Jr. right on his bumper and Dembek was fifth. Beyer beat Trott to the line by a nose to take down his third win of the 2015 season. Michael finished third, with L’Etoile and Dembek rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Legend Cars feature, Noah Korner took the lead at the green flag with Mikey Flynn moving around Alex McCollum to take second. Teddy Hodgdon was fourth behind McCollum with Devin O’Connell quickly working his way into fifth place.
Hodgdon got around McCollum on lap-4 to move into third and his pass opened the door for O’Connell to follow him through and drop McCollum back to fifth place. At the halfway point, Flynn, Korner, Hodgdon, and O’Connell were lined up in a four-car train with McCollum trailing in fifth. The caution came out with 11 laps complete for a spin by Joe Graf, Jr.
Flynn streaked back to the lead on the restart with O’Connell and Korner side by side for second. O’Connell got the spot on lap-14 and Hodgdon followed him by as Korner slotted back into line in fourth. McCollum continued to run in fifth as Flynn had a 1.3 second lead over O’Connell with 5 laps to go. Flynn led O’Connell to the checkered flag to pick up his second win of the 2015 season. Hodgdon finished third, with Korner and McCollum 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.