(Stafford Springs, CT)—Stafford Motor Speedway’s 44th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler Weekend continued on Sunday with feature events for the SK Modified® and Late Model divisions. Rowan Pennink scored the win in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature and Michael Bennett took the checkered flag in the 30-lap Late Model feature event.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, Todd Owen led the field to the green flag and he led the first 3 laps before Ryan Preece moved to the front. Eric Berndt started on the outside pole, but slipped back several spots on the start before settling into line in 7th place. Owen was second behind Preece with Joey Cipriano, Dan Avery, Keith Rocco, Rowan Pennink, and Glen Reen making up the top-6 in front of Berndt in 7th.
Cipriano, Avery, and Rocco all got by Owen on lap-7 to move into second, third, and fourth. Pennink got around Owen to take over fifth several laps later as Preece continued to hold down the race lead. The caution came out with 14 laps complete for John Catania and Branden Dion, who spun in turn 3.
The restart saw Preece take the lead but Rocco made a strong move to the inside of Preece down the backstretch coming out of turn 2 and he took the lead at the line. Pennink was now side by side with Preece for second place with Reen and Cipriano side by side for fourth and Ted Christopher was side by side with Avery for sixth. Preece settled into line in third behind Rocco and Pennink with Reen, Christopher, Avery, and Cipriano making up the running order once the cars got into single file. Chris Jones spun in turn 1 to bring the caution out with 18 laps complete.
Several cars got tangled up on the restart with David Webb, Jeff Baral, and Tom Bolles all taking damage on their racecars to bring the caution right back out. Rocco was sent to the rear of the field for aggressive driving on the restart, making Pennink leader for the restart.
Pennink took the lead back under green with Reen getting by Preece for second several laps after the restart. Avery was fourth behind Preece, with Christopher, Cipriano, Justin Bonsignore, Woody Pitkat, Jeremy Sorel, and Ronnie Williams making up the top-10. Todd Owen made hard contact with the turn 1 wall to bring the caution out with 26 laps complete.
Ronnie Williams made slight contact with the turn 1 wall and Branden Dion spun to avoid hitting Williams to bring the caution right back out.
Glen Reen got a great restart on the outside of Pennink to move into the race lead while Preece settled into third behind Pennink. Christopher and Avery were side by side for fourth with Avery taking the spot. Bonsignore, Cipriano, Woodhy Pitkat, Sorel, and Rocco made up the remainder of the top-10 with 10 laps to go.
Pennink came back strong with an inside move on Reen in turn 4 on lap-32 to retake the race lead. Preece continued to run in third with Avery and Christopher making up the top-5. Bonsignore was hounding the rear bumper of Christopher’s car in a fight for fifth.
Pennink led Reen to the checkered flag to pick up the first SK Modified® victory of the 2015 season. Preece finished third, with Avery and Christopher rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature, Kyle Casagrande and Rick Lanagan spun into the turn 1 wall to bring the caution out. Mike Scorzelli took the lead on the restart and he began to set the early pace with Cory Casagrande, Don Wood, Tom Fearn, and Adam Gray lined up behind him. Tom Butler, Kevin Gambacorta, Michael Wray, Ed Ricard, and Michael Bennett rounded out the top-10 in the early laps.
Fearn made a move to the inside of Don Wood for third place on lap-6 as Scorzelli and Cory Casagrande continued to run in first and second. Casagrande was applying heavy pressure to Scorzelli, but he was unable to make a pass for the lead. Scorzelli and Casagrande were stretching out their advantage over the four-car pack of Fearn, Don Wood, Gray, and Butler with 10 laps on the scoreboard.
Casagrande made a strong move to the inside of Scorzelli in turns 3+4 on lap-16 to move to the front of the pack. Fearn followed him past Scorzelli into second. The two cars of Casagrande and Fearn then touched going down the backstretch on lap-18 with Fearn climbing over the left front fender of Casagrande. Fearn spun and rejoined the race at the rear of the field while Casagrande continued to run in second. All that action put Scorzelli back into the lead with Gray in third behind Casagrande. The caution came out with 19 laps complete for debris on the track.
The race went back to green with Scorzelli taking the lead. Butler moved into second, but that didn’t last as Michael Bennett overtook Butler before the first lap was completed after the restart. Gambacorta took third, Jim Mavlouganes took fourth, and Gray slid from second on the restart back to fifth. Butler fell back to seventh as Bennett powered his way past Scorzelli to take over the race lead on lap-23. Gambacorta followed Bennett by Scorzelli to move into second and drop Scorzelli back to third.
Bennett began to pull away from Gambacorta in the closing laps and he took the checkered flag to win the first Late Model feature of the 2015 season. Gray nipped Gambacorta for second at the line in a photo finish, with Fearn and Mavlouganes 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.