(Stafford Springs, CT)—Stafford Speedway returned to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action with its Facebook Friday 5-Star Series program. Taking down NASCAR Whelen All-American Series weekly feature wins on the night were Michael Gervais, Jr. in a wild 40-lap SK Modified® feature, Tom Fearn was a winner for the third consecutive week in the Late Model feature, Daniel Wesson was a first time winner in only his 8th start in the SK Light feature, David Arute got his first win of the season in the Limited Late Model feature, Alexandra Fearn recorded her first win of the season in the DARE Stock feature, and Devin O’Connell got his third win of the season in the Legend Cars Feature.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Ted Christopher took the lead at the green with Tyler Hines and Dan Avery dueling side by side for second. Sean Foster and Michael Gervais, Jr. were side by side for fourth behind Avery and Hines as Christopher continued to lead. A multicar melee erupted in turn 2 with 4 laps complete to bring the caution out. The cars of Ed Flemke, Keith Rocco, Tyler Hines, Glen Reen, Sean Foster, Frank Ruocco, Justin Bonsignore, Rowan Pennink, and Eric Berndt were all involved along with several others as nearly half the field came to a stop.
Back under green, Gervais took a look to the inside of Christopher in turn 2 while Avery powered by Christopher in the outside groove to take over the lead. Ryan Preece also got by Christopher at the restart and one lap later he went by Avery to take over the race lead. Christopher was third with Jeremy Sorel in fourth and Justin Bonsignore was up to fifth.
Avery briefly retook the lead from Preece but Preece was able to power his way back to the lead on lap-8. Christopher was glued to Avery’s bumper with Woody Pitkat moving into fourth and Rocco was fifth with 12 laps complete.
Preece continued to lead the race with Christopher in second. Rocco was up to third but he was shown the black flag on lap-17 and he reported to pit road, moving Avery into third, Pitkat to fourth and Foster to fifth. Both Pitkat and Foster got by Avery to move into third and fourth on lap-20 as Preece continued to lead Christopher. Flemke spun to bring the caution out with 26 laps complete and erase the 1 second margin that Preece enjoyed over Christopher in the fight for the lead.
Preece got clear to the lead on the restart while Pitkat briefly pulled alongside Christopher for second before falling into line in third. Foster was fourth and Gervais was fifth, with Sorel right on Gervais’ bumper in sixth. Foster got a good run to the outside of Pitkat on lap-30 and at the line they were even for third as Christopher was beginning to work Preece over for the lead.
Christopher made a move to the inside of Preece on lap-31 in turn 4 and his car got loose and shot up the track into Preece before spinning back to the inside of the track, which collected the car of Sorel. Sorel’s car hopped over Christopher’s car and he limped to pit road and the race stayed under green flag conditions as Pitkat was now in the lead but Preece was right on his bumper.
Pitkat and Preece raced side by side for the lead on lap-35 with neither driver giving an inch. Pitkat was able to edge Preece at the line for the lead on lap-36 and they remained side by side on lap-37 with Pitkat again leading by a nose at the line. That scenario repeated itself on lap-38 but as they raced out of turn 2 on lap-39, they touched wheels and both cars spun with Preece climbing over Pitkat’s front tire to bring the caution out and set up a green white checkered finish. This put Rowan Pennink into the lead with Gervais on his outside and Eric Berndt was now third with Hines on his outside in fourth. Pitkat was done for the evening, while Preece was able to keep going and he restarted in seventh place.
Gervais got a great restart and he powered his way past Pennink and into the lead but Pennink came back strong and was right on Gervais’ bumper as they took the white flag. Pennink made on last effort in turn 4 on the final lap but Gervais was able to hold him off and record his first win of the 2015 season. Hines finished third, with Avery and Berndt rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Ed Ricard took the early lead but it was 3-wide behind him as Michael Scorzelli moved into second, Josh Wood took third, and Tom Fearn was side by side with Kevin Gambacorta for fourth place. Fearn took the spot on lap-3 and he immediately began to apply pressure to the back bumper of Wood.
Wood made a move to the inside of Scorzelli to move into second on lap-5 and Fearn followed him by, dropping Scorzelli back to fourth place. As the top-4 were shuffling positions, Jim Mavlouganes was up to fifth with Tom Butler right behind him in sixth.
Wood got by Ricard to move to the lead on lap-7 and Fearn followed him by to drop Ricard back to third. Fearn then took a look to the inside of Wood on lap-8 but he settled back into line in second. After taking several looks, Fearn was able to make a pass stick on lap-12 as he went by Wood to take over the race lead. Ricard continued to run in third, with Scorzelli fourth and Mavlouganes fifth.
Butler got around Mavlouganes for fifth place on lap-15 and Michael Bennett followed him by, but Bennett spun coming out of turn 4 with a flat right rear tire to bring the caution out with 15 laps complete.
Fearn took the lead from Wood back under green while Mavlouganes had a flat left front tire and he limped his way back to pit road as the race stayed green. Ricard was third behind Fearn and Wood with Scorzelli fourth and Butler and Gambacorta were side by side for fifth place.
Fearn led Wood to the checkered flag to pick up his third consecutive Late Model feature win. Ricard finished third, with Bennett and Scorzelli rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap SK Light feature event, Daniel Wesson took the lead from the pole and he began to set the early pace. By the halfway point of the race, Wesson and Tony Membrino, Jr. were dueling for the race lead with Bob Charland trying to hold off a hard charging Nick Salva. Salva made his move by Charland on lap-12 to move into third place and Geoff Boisjolie followed him by Charland to move into fourth. Membrino was still giving chase to Wesson at the front of the pack as they had a half straightaway cushion back to Salva in third place.
The two lead cars touched in turn 4 on lap-15 with Wesson getting sideways and Membrino taking over the lead. Wesson rejoined in second but he was trying to hold off Salva. Membrino was shown the black flag for making contact with Wesson, which promoted Wesson back to the lead of the race. Membrino didn’t heed the black flag and took the checkered flag first but Wesson was the race winner as Membrino was shown the black flag with the white X, meaning his car was no longer being scored. The victory for Wesson was his first, only 8 races into his SK Light career. Salva finished second, with Boisjolie, Charland, and Joey Ferrigno rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, R.J. Surdell spun on the first lap to bring the caution out. David Arute powered into the lead on the next green with Glenn Bartkowski right on his back bumper. The top-2 cars began to pull away from a train of cars led by Robert Bloxsom that included Justin Bren, Al & Cliff Saunders, and Andrew Hayes. Bloxsom fell back to seventh on lap-5 as the two Saunders, Hayes, and Bren all got by and up front, Bartkowski went around Arute to take over the lead of the race.
Arute was all over Bartkowski and he was finally able to make a pass stick in turns 3+4 as he moved back to the lead on lap-11. Cliff Saunders was third, with Al Saunders and Hayes behind them and Arute’s move closed up the gap between the top-5 cars so that they were now lined up nose to tail. Bloxsom spun in turn 2 to bring the caution out with 11 laps complete.
Arute took the lead back under green with Bartkowski, Cliff Saunders, Al Saunders, and Duane Provost lined up in single file behind him. Arute began to stretch out his lead while behind him, the order was shuffling as Cliff Saunders moved into second and Provost moved into third with Bartkoswki in fourth.
Arute led the field to the checkered flag to pick up his first win of the 2015 season. Cliff Saunders finished second, with Provost third and Al Saunders fourth. Bartkowski was trying to hold off a host of cars for fifth but Hayes was able to take the spot from Bartkowski on the final lap to come home in fifth.
In the 15-lap DARE Stock feature, Alexandra Fearn took the lead at the green with Marcello Rufrano second. Zack Robinson was third in the early laps, with Frank L’Etoile and Tyler Trott making up the top-5. Trott made a move to the inside fo L’Etoile on lap-4 and he took over fourth place. Trott’s pass opened the door for Dan Dembek to follow him past L’Etoile. The next lap saw Trott slide up the track in turn 2 and he fell back to seventh as L’Etoile took fifth and Trace Beyer went up to sixth.
Rufrano got into the back of Robinson in a fight for second on lap-6 and got his car out of shape and slid back several spots to fifth. Rufrano got loose in turn 4 again on lap-8 and he fell back to seventh in line as Fearn continued to lead Robinson, Dembek, L’Etoile, Trott, and Beyer. Paul Bourdon, Jr. spun to bring the caution out with 9 laps complete.
Fearn took the lead back under green while Dembek moved up to second. Trott got by Robinson to move into third and L’Etoile followed Trott by Robinson as did Beyer, which dropped Robinson back to sixth in the running order. Rufrano spun in turn 4 to bring the caution back out with 12 laps complete.
Fearn powered to the lead back under green with Dembek trying to stay glued to her back bumper. L’Etoile moved into third, with Trott and Beyer behind him but the caution came back out for a spin in the middle of turns 3+4 by Nicole Chambrello.
Fearn maintained the lead back under green with L’Etoile pulling alongside Dembek in a fight for second. Beyer and Trott were side by side behind L’Etoile and Dembek for fourth but it was all Fearn at the front as she collected her first win of the 2015 season. L’Etoile beat Dembek back to the line for second and Beyer got the better of Trott for fourth place.
In the 20-lap Legends Car feature event, Dana DiMatteo streaked into the early lead with Devin O’Connell and Teddy Hodgdon giving chase. Mikey Flynn was fourth, with Noah Korner and Cory DiMatteo right on his bumper to make up the top-6.
O’Connell was locking up his brakes in his pursuit of Dana DiMatteo for the lead but the action was slowed with 8 laps complete for a spin by Andrew Molleur.
The top-3 cars all decided to line up in the inside row for the restart, which moved Flynn into second behind Dana DiMatteo on the restart. O’Connell slotted into third with Cory DiMatteo moving up to fourth and Hodgdon was fifth. Flynn spun in turn 4 of the mini mile to bring the caution back out with 12 laps complete.
Dana DiMatteo took the lead back under green after the first start was called back for Cory DiMatteo jumping the start. O’Connell slotted into second with Cory DiMatteo in third, Korner in fourth, and Hodgdon fifth. The top-3 of O’Connell and the two DiMatteo brothers were running nose to tail and there was some bumper banging going on in the fight for the lead before the caution came back out with 17 laps complete for a spin by Jerry Macchia.
Brett Crowther spun on the restart to bring the caution out before a caution could be completed. Cory DiMatteo took the lead at the green but Dana DiMatteo came streaking past his brother down the backstretch to take the lead with 2 laps to go. Flynn spun in turn 3 and collected the cars of Connor Holderbach and Crowther to bring the caution out and set up a green-white-checkered finish. Under the caution, Cory DiMatteo pulled out of line and restarted at the rear of the field and his car wasn’t up to speed when the race restarted.
Dana DiMatteo and O’Connell took the top two spots on the restart and the race for the win would come down to them. O’Connell used a bump and run to take the lead coming out of turn 4 on the final lap and he beat DiMatteo back to the checkered flag. Hodgdon finished third, with Korner fourth and Molleur fifth.
For more information contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at (860) 684-2783, or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.