(Stafford Springs, CT)—Stafford Speedway returned to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action with the Lincoln Tech Back 2 SK®ool Blitz. Taking down feature wins on the night were Rowan Pennink in the SK Modified® feature, Tom Fearn in the Late Model feature, Tony Membrino, Jr., in the SK Light feature, Frank L’Etoile, Jr. in the Ltd. Late Model feature, Mike Hopkins in the DARE Stock feature, and Teddy Hodgdon in the Legend Cars feature.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Matt Galko took the lead on the outside of Tom Bolles at the start to set the early pace. Stephen Kopcik and Tyler Hines were side by side for third with Ronnie Williams in fifth. Just behind Williams was Mike Christopher, Jr. and Rowan Pennink.
By lap-10 the order had settled into single file at the front with Galko leading the cars of Kopcik, Bolles, Williams, Pennink, and Christopher, Jr. Nick Salva’s car dropped off the pace and he limped back to pit road on lap-12. Pennink got around Williams to move into fourth on lap-13 and he nearly took third from Bolles on lap-15.
After several laps of applying heavy pressure and nearly making a pass, Pennink was able to finally get by Bolles for third and he took second from Kopcik on lap-24. Williams, Christopher, Jr., Ted Christopher, Keith Rocco, Woody Pitkat, Todd Owen, Hines, and Danny Cates all got by Bolles on lap-25 as Bolles drifted high in turn 3 and slid back to twelfth place.
At the front of the field Pennink was starting to apply heavy pressure to Galko and he made a move on the backstretch on lap-31 to take the lead. The caution came out with 33 laps complete for spins in turn 1 by Brian Sullivan and Jeff Gallup.
Pennink took the lead back under green with Kopcik and Galko side by side for second. Ted Christopher was fourth with Mike Christopher, Jr. in fifth. Kopcik took second and Ted Christopher moved into third as Galko slid back to fourth. Galko would lose fifth to Mike Christopher, Jr. and Ted Christopher took second from Kopcik before Pitkat spun on the frontstretch to bring the caution out with 37 laps complete. Kopcik was parked by officials for overaggressive driving on the track.
Pennink took the lead with Christopher and Christopher, Jr. side by side for second with Rocco right on both of their bumpers in fourth. Ted Christpher took second on lap-39 and he was right behind Pennink as they took the white flag. Christopher couldn’t get close enough to Pennink as Pennink took down his fifth win of the 2016 season. Mike Christopher, Jr. finished third with Galko and Rocco rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Tyler Leary took the early lead with Joel Monahan behind him in second but in some frantic action behind them, Kevin Gambacorta, Rich Hammann, Josh Wood, Mike Mordino, and Tom Butler all spun in turn 1 to bring the caution out with 2 laps complete.
Back under green Leary held for one lap before Tom Fearn streaked his way past and took over the top spot. Michael Wray moved into second with Monahan falling back to third. Gambacorta was fourth with Wood in fifth. The caution came back out with 4 laps complete for debris on the track in turns 1+2.
Fearn took the lead on the restart with Wray falling into line behind him in second. Monahan was third with Wood and Gambacorta side by side for fourth. Wood took fourth and brought Glen Reen with him into fifth as Gambacorta fell back to sixth.
At the halfway point of the feature Fearn was still out in front with Wray and Monahan giving chase. Things were heating up behind the lead trio as Reen got around Wood and Gambacorta to move into fourth with Gambacorta fifth and Wood sixth.
Fearn led Wray to the checkered flag for his seventh overall and fourth consecutive win of the 2016 season. Monahan finished third with Reen and Gambacorta rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature event, Wesley Prucker took the lead by going around Ted Cain at the drop of the green. Joe Graf. Jr. made a quick move to take third on lap-2 and he took second from Cain on lap-3. Fred Nees, Jr. was fourth with Al Wisialko and David Arute side by side for fifth place.
Prucker was comfortably ahead of Graf who had a gap back to Nees and Arute in third on lap-8. Arute moved into third on lap-9 and Tony Membrino, Jr. followed him through to move up to fourth. Arute spun on the frontstretch on lap-11 with Membrino moving up to third. Daniel Wesson was now fourth behind Membrino with Jay Goff getting by Wisialko to take fifth.
Graf had caught up to Prucker on lap-14 and he was applying heavy pressure for the lead. The caution came out with 14 laps complete for debris on the track in turn 2.
Marcello Rufrano spun on the backstretch on the restart to bring the caution right back out. Luckily the entire field except for Ryan Charland missed Rufrano and Charland only made light contact with the stationary car of Rufrano and both cars were able to rejoin the race at the rear of the field.
Cain and Norm Sears both got out of shape on the restart but were able to keep from spinning out and Prucker took the lead with Graf hot on his trail. Prucker spun when he hit turn 1 one lap after the restart and brought the caution right back out. SK Light points leader Joey Ferrigno retired to pit road with heavy damage to his right front tire under the caution.
Wesson got a good run on the outside of Graf to take the lead but a multicar spin on the backstretch involving Cain and Arute brought the caution out before a lap could be completed and nullified the pass.
Wesson again used the outside groove to his advantage as he took the lead from Graf on the restart. Membrino settled into third with Wisialko fourth and Vinny Anglace was up to fifth. The caution came out with 18 laps complete for a spin on the backstretch by Mark Alkas to set up a green white checkered finish.
The restart shuffled the order as Wesson spun into the turn 1 wall to bring the caution out and put Graf and Membrino on the front row for a restart.
Membrino went around Graf in the high line to take the lead with Anglace third and Wisialko fourth. Graf made a move in turn 2 on the final lap but Membrino shut the door. Graf tried one last move coming to the checkered flag but he couldn’t make a pass as Membrino scored his sixth win of the season. Anglace finished third behind Graf with Wisialko and Nees rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, R.J. Surdell took the lead at the green with Jeremy Lavoie slotting into second behind him. Frank L’Etoile, Jr. was third with Bryan Narducci fourth and Duane Provost was fifth with Al Saunders all over his back bumper in sixth. Surdell spun in the middle of turns 3+4 after contact with Lavoie to bring the caution out with 4 laps complete. Lavoie was sent to the rear of the field for the contact with Surdell.
L’Etoile was able to work his way under Narducci to take the lead on the restart with Provost, Paul Arute, and Al Saunders behind them. Arute took third on lap-6 with Narducci fourth and Cliff Saunders got around his brother to move into fifth place.
Arute took second from Provost on lap-11 with Provost and Cliff Saunders coming together briefly. Saunders had a flat tire and limped back to pit road as the caution came out with 11 laps complete for a spin in turn 4 by Doug Phelps.
L’Etoile took the lead on the restart with Provost and Arute side by side for second. Al Saunders was fourth and Narducci was in fifth. Neither Arute or Provost were giving up easy but Arute was finally able to take the position on lap-14. Provost was now dueling with Provost and Narducci for third and they came off turn 4 three wide on lap-1`5 with Provost taking third ahead of Narducci and Saunders.
Provost and Brian Clement spun in turn 4 to bring the caution out with 17 laps complete. Provost’s spin collected the car of Al Saunders, who was able to rejoin at the rear of the field.
L’Etoile took the lead back under green with Saunders and Arute locked in a duel for second. Saunders took second but Arute got back by Saunders as the cars took the white flag. L’Etoile led the field to the checkered flag for his first career Ltd. Late Model feature victory. Al Saunders finished third with Surdell and Lavoie rounding out the top-5.
In the 15-lap DARE Stock feature event, Michael Hopkins took the early race lead with Brandon Michael, Johnny Walker, and Tyler Trott all quickly moving up to second, third, and fourth. Zack Robinson was running in fifth as Michael, Walker, and Trott were quickly reeling Hopkins in for the lead.
At the halfway point of the race it was a four car train for the lead with Hopkins leading the way. Josh Taylor spun in turn 3 to bring the caution out with 8 laps complete.
Hopkins streaked into the lead on the restart with Walker taking second. Trott moved into third with Michael falling back to fourth. Robinson was locked in a side by side duel with Alexandra Fearn for fifth place. Robinson took the spot on lap-10 as Hopkins continued to lead.
Walker couldn’t catch Hopkins as Hopkins led the field to the checkered flag to pick up his first career victory. Michael finished third with Trott and Robinson rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Legend Cars feature, Noah Korner made a 3-wide move on the opening lap to scoot past Andrew Quealy and Steve Chapman to take the race lead. Teddy Hodgdon followed Korner through and took second with Chapman third, Glenn Korner fourth and Quealy fifth. Quealy’s car came to a stop with 6 laps complete to bring the caution out.
Noah Korner kept the lead on the restart with Hodgdon in second. Glenn Korner was third with Chapman back to fourth. Hodgdon got a good run to the inside of Noah Korner on lap-8 to move to the front and take over the race lead. Chapman got by Glenn Korner to move into third on lap-14 as Noah Korner was trying everything he had to get back around Hodgdon for the lead.
Hodgdon held Noah Korner off to the checkered flag to pick up his third win of the 2016 season. Chapman finished third with Glenn Korner and Quealy 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.