(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 5th Annual VMRS 80. Taking down weekly feature wins on the night were Keith Rocco in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, Tom Fearn scored in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Joey Ferrigno in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Andrew Hayes in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, Tyler Trott in 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, Ted Christopher got around Glen Reen at the start to take the early race lead. Matt Galko was third behind Reen with Ronnie Williams and Todd Owen making up the top-5. Galko took over second on lap-4 and Williams pulled alongside Reen in a fight for third. Dan Avery and Joey Cipriano were side by side for fifth when the caution came out with 6 laps complete for a spin by Mike Christopher, Jr.
Christopher chose the outside groove for the restart and Galko went by to move into the lead. Christopher was now side by side with Williams for second. Williams took the spot on lap-9 and Dan Avery pulled alongside Christopher on lap-10. Avery had Keith Rocco glued to his bumper and they both went by Christopher on lap-11.
Up front, Williams was making a challenge to Galko for the lead and he made a pass in turn 4 to take the lead at the line. Rocco went around Avery for third on lap-13 and his momentum carried him alongside Galko. Rocco went by Galko on lap-15 and he was immediately applying pressure to Williams for the lead but the caution came out with 15 laps complete for a spin by Michael Gervais, Jr. in turn 4.
Williams and Rocco resumed their side by side duel back under green with one lap after the restart Williams spun in turn 2 to bring the caution out.
Rocco took the lead back under green with Galko slotting into second. Woody Pitkat got around Avery to take over third with Rowan Pennink in fifth. Rocco was beginning to pull away but the caution came out with 23 laps complete as Tommy Membrino, Jr. spun on the frontstretch. Debris on the track brought the caution right back out.
The next restart saw Rocco take the lead with Pitkat pulling alongside Galko for second. Pennink and Avery were side by side for fourth. Pitkat took second and Pennink took third as Galko slid back to fourth and Avery to fifth as Rocco continued to lead the race.
Pennink made a move under Pitkat to take second on lap-28 and he began to set his sights on Rocco in the lead. The caution came out with 32 laps complete for a spin by Membrino and Anthony Ryan in turns 1+2.
Rocco took the lead back under green with Pitkat sticking his nose alongside Pennink for second. Pitkat nearly was able to get his nose inside of Rocco but Rocco was able to hold off his challenge. Pennink got clear of Pitkat and the caution came back out with 35 laps complete as Ted Christopher, Owen, Williams, and Sean Foster ended up in the turn 3 wall.
The caution came right back out as there was a pileup on the backstretch after Dan Avery and Eric Berndt got into the wall on the backstretch and collected several others.
Rocco and Pennink drifted up the track in turn 1 on the restart and Pitkat nearly made a 3-wide move for the lead but he fell back line behind Rocco and Pennink. Rocco got clear of Pennink while Preece was now on the outside of Galko for third with Pitkat and Reen behind them. Rocco led the field back to the checkered flag to pick up his third win of the 2015 season. Pennink finished second with Galko beating Preece to the line for third by a nose and Pitkat rounded out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Tom Butler took the early lead but the car on the charge was Tom Fearn. He streaked by Michael Bennett to move into third and he then got around Kevin Gambacorta for second several laps later.
At lap-9, Butler had a lead of just over a second back to Fearn in second with Gambacorta, Bennett, and Josh Wood making up the top-5. At the halfway point of the race, Butler had stretched his lead out to just over 2 seconds with Fearn, Gambacorta, Bennett, and Wood still giving chase.
Butler was still in control of the race when the caution flew with 27 laps complete as Michael Scorzelli’s car had flame erupt from under the hood and he came to a stop in turn 2. The caution erased Butler’s lead and set up a 3-lap dash to the finish.
On the restart, Butler spun and the caution came out. This put Fearn and Gambacorta on the front row for the next restart. Fearn took the lead with Bennett pulling alongside Gambacorta for second. Ricard was third and Butler made a 3-wide move to get by Rick Lanagan and Ed Ricard to move up to fourth. Fearn led the field back to the checkered flag to pick up his fourth win of the 2015 season. Bennett finished second, with Gambacorta, Butler, and Rick Lanagan rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap SK Light feature event, several cars spun in turn 2 including Bob Charland, Stephen Kopcik, Kyle Trayner, and D.J. Burnham to bring the caution out before a lap could be completed.
Matt Swanson took the lead back under green while Joey Ferrigno was side by side with Jay Goff for second. Ferrigno got clear of Goff on lap-3 and he made a move to the inside of Swanson to take over the race lead at the line. Geoff Boisjolie went by Goff to move into third on lap-4 and Tony Membrino, Jr. and Nick Salva were right behind Goff in fifth and sixth.
Swanson pulled back alongside Ferrigno in the outside groove on lap-6 and Boisjolie was looking to Ferrigno’s low side in a 3-car fight for the lead. Boisjolie settled back in line while Ferrigno and Swanson continued to run wheel to wheel in a fight for the lead. With Ferrigno and Swanson continuing to run side by side for the lead, Membrino and Salva were able to close in on the top-3 and at lap-13 it was now a five car train for the lead. Boisjolie spun in turn 4 to bring the caution back out with 14 laps complete.
Back under green Ferrigno was now side by side with Membrino for the lead and Membrino tried a crossover move in turns 1+2, but the caution came out with 15 laps complete as Carlos Gray spun in turn 4.
Ferrigno took the lead back under green with Kopcik pulling alongside Membrino for second. Salva was fourth and Swanson was right on his bumper in fifth. Kyle Jette spun to bring the caution out with 18 laps complete and set up a green white checkered finish.
Ferrigno took the lead on the restart while Membrino was side by side with Kopcik for second. Salva was fourth and Charland was back up to fifth. Ferrigno led the field back to the checkered flag to pick up his xx win of the 2015 season. Membrino finished second, with Kopcik, Salva, and Charland rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, the caution came right out after the green as David Comeau spun in turn 1 and collected the car of David Arute with Al Saunders also involved. Justin Bren streaked into the lead on the restart with Kelsey Rottino taking second. Austin Bessette got by Jeremy Lavoie to take third and Paul Arute was right behind Lavoie in fifth.
Andrew Hayes got around Arute to take over fifth on lap-3 and Duane Provost followed him by to drop Arute back to seventh. Hayes continued his charge as both he and Provost went by Lavoie to move into fourth and fifth. Up front, Bessette got around Rottino to move into second on lap-6 as Bren continued to lead the race.
Bessette made his move for the lead on lap-9 with a pass in turn 4 and the caution then came out as Lavoie spun in turn 3.
The action was fast and furious at the point back under green as Bessette dueled side by side with Bren for a lap before taking the lead. Rottino stuck his nose under Bessette on lap-10, but wasn’t able to make the pass. Provost and Hayes then both got around Rottino to drop him back to fourth with Al Saunders up to fifth. R.J. Surdell spun on the frontstretch to bring the caution out with 17 laps complete and set up a 3-lap dash to the finish.
Bessette took the lead on the restart with Hayes moving into second. Provost was able to slot into third with Al Saunders fourth and a side by side fight for fifth between David Arute and Cliff Saunders. Bessette slid up the track in turn 4 coming to the white flag, which allowed Hayes to streak his way into he lead. Hayes led the final lap to pick up his second win of the 2015 season. Provost finished second, with Bessette, Al Saunders, and David Arute rounding out the top-5.
In the 15-lap DARE Stock feature event, Paul Bourdon, Jr. hit the turn 3 wall on the first lap in a wreck that also involved the cars of Zack Robinson, Phil Evans, and Jake Higginson which brought out the red flag.
On the restart, Nicole Chambrello and Doug Phelps came together while fighting for the lead in turns 1+2 to bring the caution right back out. Tyler Trott took the lead on the restart with Trace Beyer, Frank L’Etoile, Jr., Dan Dembek, and Marcello Rufrano lined up behind him.
Trott was still in command of the race when the caution flew with 13 laps complete as Dembek spun coming out of turn 4. Trott took the lead back under green with L’Etoile pulling alongside Beyer in a fight for second. Alexandra Fearn was side by side with Rufrano for fourth and Dembek was right behind them. Trott led the field to the checkered flag to pick up his second win of the 2015 season. L’Etoile came home second, with Beyer, Fearn, and Rufrano rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Legends Car feature event, Noah Korner streaked into the lead at the drop of the green flag and immediately began to pull away from the pack. Dana and Cory DiMatteo settled into second and third behind Korner, with Devin O’Connell in fourth and Teddy Hodgdon in fifth.
By lap-7 the DiMatteos and O’Connell had erased the gap to Korner and were now challenging for the lead. Cory DiMatteo made a move to get around his brother and take over second and O’Connell followed him past to drop Dana DiMatteo back to fourth as Hodgdon continued to run in fifth.
O’Connell made a move under Cory DiMatteo to take over second on lap-12 and the caution flag flew for the first time on the next lap for a spin by Jerry Macchia in turn 2 of the mini-mile.
O’Connell made a 3-wide move on the restart to pass both Korner and Cory DiMatteo and take over the race lead. Cory DiMatteo slotted into second with Korner, Dana DiMatteo, and Hodgdon lined up behind him. Hodgdon got by Korner to take over fourth on lap-17 but Korner came right back on lap-18 and retook the place. The battle continued on lap-19 as Hodgdon went back by Korner for fourth.
It was all O’Connell at the front as he took down his fourth consecutive win and fifth win of the season. Cory DiMatteo finished second, with Dana DiMatteo, Hodgdon, and Korner 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.