(Stafford Springs, CT)—Stafford Speedway returned to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action with the Valenti Modified Racing Series in the house for the 2nd Annual VMRS 80. Taking down weekly feature wins on the night were Rowan Pennink in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, Michael Bennett scored his third win of the season in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Joey Ferrigno won for the second time in 2015 in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Duane Provost won the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, Frank L’Etoile won the 15-lap DARE Stock feature, and Devin O’Connell was the winner of the 20-lap Legend Cars feature.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Woody Pitkat led the field to green and he and Tom Bolles stayed side by side for the first two laps before Bolles got out of shape in turn 2, allowing Pitkat to get clear into the lead. Ted Christopher was now second and he made a move to Pitkat’s inside on lap-4 and he moved to the lead on lap-5. Matt Galko was now on Pitkat’s inside for second with Todd Owen and Joey Cipriano lined up behind them.
Pitkat was able to hang strong in the outside groove and he cleared Galko for second on lap-7. Owen got around Galko to move into third with Galko now side by side with Bolles for fourth place.
Owen was looking hard to Galko’s inside in a duel for second and he was finally able to take the position on lap-13 as Christopher continued to lead the race. Pitkat also got by Galko to move into third and Cipriano was now on the inside of Galko for fourth place on lap-15. The caution came out with 18 laps complete as Bolles spun in turn 3, which collected Branden Dion and Tyler Hines. Mike Christopher, Jr. spun ahead of the turn 3 melee and he was able continue at the rear of the field.
Christopher took the lead back under green with Owen right on his bumper. Pitkat was third, with Rowan Pennink behind him in fourth and Glen Reen was up to fifth. Owen and Christopher touched on lap-21, with Owen falling back several car lengths but able to maintain second. Owen was right back on the hard charge and he closed right back up to Christopher’s bumper as behind them, Pennink moved into third, with Pitkat in fourth and Ryan Preece was up to fifth.
Preece went around Pitkat to move into fourth on lap-25 and Owen nearly got on the inside of Christopher for the race lead. Owen tried the outside groove on lap-26 but Christopher was able to hold him off and Pennink was now on the inside of Owen for second. Preece was right behind Pennink and Owen in fourth with Glen Reen holding off Justin Bonsignore for fifth.
Preece got around Owen to move into third on lap-30 and the caution came out for Ronnie Williams, who came to a stop in the middle of turns 3+4.
Christopher took the lead on the restart while Preece slid to the inside of Pennink in a duel for second. Pennink got a good run in the outside groove and he pulled back alongside Christopher in a fight for the lead on the next lap. Things settled into single file briefly on lap-33 with Christopher leading Preece, Pennink, Owen, and Reen.
Pennink made a power move on the inside of Preece to move back up to second on lap-35 with Christopher still in the lead. Pennink was now glued to Christopher’s back bumper with Preece, Owen, and Reen lined up behind them.
Pennink again used turns 3+4 as his strong point on lap-37 as he got to the inside of Christopher and he took over the race lead. Christopher tried to return the favor on lap-38, but he got sideways and backed into the turn 3 wall to bring the caution out.
Pennink and Preece were side by side for the lead on the restart, but as the cars came to the white flag, Owen made a move to get by Preece and move into second. Owen gave it all he had, but he couldn’t make a move on the final lap as Pennink took down his first win of the 2015 season. Owen finished second, with Preece, Reen, and Galko rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Kevin Gambacorta took the lead on lap-1, but Michael Bennett moved around him on lap-2 to move to the front. Tom Fearn was third, with Ed Ricard and Michael Wray lined up behind him. Fearn began to slide backwards as it appeared that his car possibly lost a cylinder as he was able to keep pace in the corners, but was losing time on the straightaways.
Bennett and Gambacorta were beginning to pull away from the rest of the field with Gambacorta in third, Rick Lanagan fourth, and Josh Wood fifth. This was the running order with 10 laps complete. Stu Fearn spun in turn 1 to bring the caution out with 11 laps complete and erase the large lead that Bennett and Gambacorta had built up in the first third of the race.
There was carnage on the restart as Lanagan went around in turn 1 and collected the car of Stu Fearn to bring the caution right back out.
Bennett took the lead on the restart while Ricard made a strong move to take over second place. Wood moved into third with Gambacorta falling back to fourth, just in front of Michael Scorzelli. Wood got around Ricard to move into second on lap-17 but Bennett had quickly pulled out to a comfortable lead of 1.3 seconds. Scorzelli moved around Ricard to take over third, while Gambacorta was still fifth behind Ricard as Bennett was maintaining his margin back to Wood at the front of the pack.
With 5 laps to go, Wood began to reel Bennett back in and he was closing down the gap with Scorzelli right behind him. Wood wasn’t able to get close enough to Bennett as Bennett took down his third win of the 2015 season. Wood finished second, with Scorzelli, Gambacorta, and Ricard rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap SK Light feature event, Wesley Prucker and Todd Douillard ran side by side for three laps before Prucker got clear into the lead. Kyle Trayner was making quick work of the competition in the outside groove as he was up to third and he took over second on lap-3. Jay Goff and Bob Charland were side by side for fourth as the field completed lap-4.
Trayner was now working Prucker over in a fight for the lead but Prucker was able to keep him behind him. The caution came out with 6 laps complete for a 4-car incident in turn 3 that involved Kyle Jette, Stephen Kopcik, Daniel Wesson, and Bob Charland. Carlos Gray came to a stop in turn 4.
Prucker and Trayner resumed their duel for the lead on the restart with Douillard and Goff side by side for third. Joey Ferrigno and Tony Membrino, Jr. were side by side for fifth behind Douillard and Goff. At the halfway point of the race, Prucker and Trayner had settled into single file while it was still two by two behind them. Trayner spun in turn 2 and collected the car of Douillard to bring the caution out with 10 laps complete.
Goff got a great restart and he powered his way to the lead on the outside of Prucker. Membrino moved into second and Ferrigno took third as Prucker fell back to fourth. Nick Salva went around Prucker to move into fourth and Matt Swanson moved up to fifth as Prucker continued to slide backwards. Salva was on the charge as he moved into third and was applying pressure to Membrino for second. Membrino was in turn applying heavy pressure to Goff for the race lead.
Membrino made a move to the inside of Goff to take over the lead on lap-16 and Salva also got by Goff to drop him back to third. Salva took a look to the inside of Membrino, but fell back into line as they completed lap-17. Salva again made a move to Membrino’s inside and they completed lap-18 side by side for the lead. Salva took the lead in turn 1 but as the cars hit turn 3, Membrino made a move to Salva’s inside but he carried too much speed into the corner and he shot up the track into Salva and both cars headed into the turn 4 wall to bring the caution out. Goff was now the leader with Ferrigno to his outside and Swanson and D.J. Burnham behind them in the second row for the green white checkered restart.
Ferrigno took advantage of the restart to power his way past Goff to take the lead. Goff’s car touched the grass coming out of turn 2 and Goff spun and collected Swanson to bring the caution back out.
Ferrigno took the lead back under green with Burnham right behind him in second. Ferrigno led Burnham back to the checkered flag to pick up his second win of the 2015 season. Glenn Griswold finished third, with Payton Henry fourth and Geoff Boisjolie fifth.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, Robert Bloxsom, III took the early lead, but he surrendered that lead to Justin Bren on lap-3. Bren’s time at the front was even shorter as Duane Provost took over the lead on lap-4. Bloxsom began to slide backwards as Andrew Hayes took second, Justin Bren third, Austin Bessette fourth and Kelsey Rottino fifth.
At the halfway point of the race, it was still Provost out front, followed by Hayes, Bren, Bessette, and Rottino. Cliff Saunders had caught up to Rottino and was beginning to apply pressure for the fifth spot. Bessette made a move to the inside of Bren to take over third on lap-16 while Al Saunders had gotten around his brother Cliff and was now taking fifth from Rottino. Provost and Hayes had a healthy margin over the rest of the field and Provost took down his first win of the 2015 season. Hayes finished second, with Bessette, Bren, and Al Saunders rounding out the top-5.
In the 15-lap DARE Stock feature event, Zack Robinson started on the pole but he spun in turn 2, which allowed Frank L’Etoile, Jr. to streak into the lead. Robinson did a full 360 and the race stayed green as cars avoided hitting him. Dan Dembek spun in turn 4 to bring the caution out with 1 lap complete.
L’Etoile took the lead on the restart with Tyler Trott going door to door with Alexandra Fearn for second place. They ran side by side for a lap before Trott got clear into second. Robinson had recovered from his earlier spin and was up to fourth with Dembek also recovered and back up to fifth.
Trott’s car was loose for several laps and he went around in turn 4 to bring the caution out with 8 laps complete. L’Etoile took the lead back under green with Dembek moving up to second, but Trott spun again in turn 4 to bring the caution back out one lap later.
L’Etoile took the lead on the restart while Fearn took over second. Dembek was third, but he went back by Fearn to retake second one lap later with Robinson in fourth and Beyer in fifth. Trott was recovered from his two spins and he was challenging Beyer for fifth and he took fifth on lap-12.
L’Etoile led the field back to the checkered flag to pick up his first win of the season. Dembek finished second, with Trott, Robinson, and Fearn rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Legends Car feature event, Mikey Flynn jumped into the lead at the green flag with Devin O’Connell slotting into second behind him. Cory DiMatteo took third and the top-3 immediately opened up a gap back to fourth place Dana DiMatteo, who had Kyle Rogers right on his bumper. Gerry Macchia spun to bring the caution out with 3 laps complete.
O’Connell took the lead on the restart with Dana DiMatteo moving up to second. Cory DiMatteo took third with Flynn falling back to fourth as Rogers continued to run in fifth place. Macchia spun in turn 2 to bring the caution back out with 10 laps complete.
O’Connell again took the lead back under green with Cory DiMatteo moving up to second and Dana DiMatteo fell back to third. Rogers moved up to fourth and Chris Fuller got by Flynn to take over fifth, but Flynn came back on lap-14 to retake the fifth position. O’Connell was pulling away from Cory DiMatteo when Macchia spun in turn 2 to bring the caution out with 14 laps complete.
Cory DiMatteo made a move to the inside of O’Connell on the restart to make a bid for the lead. As they came back to complete lap-15, Dana DiMatteo briefly made it 3-wide for the lead but O’Connell took the lead going into turn 1 on lap-16. Cory DiMatteo slotted into second with Dana DiMatteo third. Flynn was running fourth with Rogers holding down the fifth position. O’Connell once again pulled away from the DiMatteo brothers and he picked up his first win of the 2015 season. Cory and Dana DiMatteo finished second and third, with Flynn and Rogers 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.