(Stafford Springs, CT)—Stafford Speedway returned to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action with a Five-Star Series event on July 31st. Taking down NASCAR Whelen All-American Series weekly feature wins on the night were Ronnie Williams in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, Tom Fearn in the Late Model feature, Joey Ferrigno in the SK Light feature, Andrew Hayes in the Limited Late Model feature, Phil Evans in the DARE Stock feature, and Devin O’Connell in the Legend Cars feature.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Todd Owen took the lead at the green but Ted Christopher was all over his back bumper and nearly made a move for the lead in turn 3 before backing out. Eric Berndt got a good run on the outside and he went to the lead at the line. Jeff Malave took a hard hit into the turn 1 wall to bring the red and yellow flags out.
The race went back green with Berndt taking the lead. Rowan Pennink was side by side with Owen for second and Ronnie Williams was right behind them in fourth with Ted Christopher fifth. Pennink got clear to second on lap-5 and he made a move to the inside of Berndt on lap-6 to take over the race lead. Williams was now third with Owen fourth and Christopher fifth. Ryan Preece, who started last in the field, was already up to sixth and going by Christopher to move into fifth on lap-8.
Preece took fourth from Owen on lap-9 as Pennink was starting to pull away from Williams and Berndt, who were running side by side for second. Williams got clear of Berndt on lap-11 and Preece was closing in on Berndt’s bumper. Preece made his move to take over third on lap-14 while behind them, Mike Christopher, Jr. went by Owen, Keith Rocco, and Ted Christopher to move up to fifth place. The caution came out with 21 laps complete for spins in turn 1 by Richie Cooper and John Catania.
Back under green, Preece made a bid for the lead to the inside of Pennink, but he fell back in line. Williams went by Pennink to take over the lead on lap-25 with Preece and Berndt now side by side for third behind Williams and Pennink.
The fight for the lead was beginning to heat up with 10 laps to go as Pennink was looking to the high and low sides of Williams with Preece right behind the lead duo. The three leaders deftly avoided lapped traffic on lap-32 and resumed their fight for the lead.
Pennink nearly got his nose under Williams in turn 1 on lap-36 but Williams was able to keep his car out front. Williams held Pennink off to the checkered flag to pick up his second consecutive and fourth overall win of the 2015 season. Preece finished third, with Mike Christopher, Jr. fourth and Berndt rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Rich Hammann and Josh Wood spent the first lap side by side for the lead before Wood went into the lead on lap-2. Ed Ricard followed Wood by Hammann to move into second and Tom Butler also got by Hammann to move into third.
Hammann continued to slide backwards as Wayne Coury, Jr. and Tom Fearn took over fourth and fifth with Fearn getting by Coury to move into fourth on lap-7 as Ricard was all over Wood’s back bumper up front with Butler in third. Ricard and Wood touched coming off turn 4 which allowed Fearn and Butler to close in on the lead duo.
Fearn was on a charge, taking second from Ricard on lap-13 and he then went by Wood to take over the race lead on lap-19. With 10 laps to go, Coury was now up to third behind Fearn and Wood with Ricard and Butler behind him. Michael Bennett was now the car on the charge as he got around both Butler and Ricard to move into fourth with 5 laps to go behind Fearn, Wood, and Coury.
Coury was hounding Wood for second and he was able to finally make a pass for the position on lap-27. Coury’s move opened the door for Bennett to follow him through as Wood fell from second back to fourth. Fearn led the field back to the checkered flag to pick up his sixth win of the 2015 season. Coury was second, with Bennett, Wood, and Ricard rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature event, Wesley Prucker and Bob Charland were locked in a side by side duel for the lead with Jay Goff in third and Joey Ferrigno and Aaron Goff side by side for fourth. Prucker spun coming out of turn 2 to bring the caution out with 3 laps complete.
Charland took the lead on the restart, but Ferrigno got a run down the backstretch and took the lead going into turn 3. Tony Membrino, Jr. was up to third with D.J. Burnham fourth and Jay Goff fifth. Ferrigno was beginning to stretch out his advantage over Charland and Charland then lost second to Membrino and third to Burnham. Burnham and Membrino then began racing side by side for second before Burnham got clear on lap-10 while Ferrigno continued to lead the race. Charland was still fourth with Payton Henry moving up to fifth. Geoff Boisjolie spun coming off turn 2 to bring the caution out with 14 laps complete.
A melee erupted at the rear of the pack on the restart with Cory Casagrande, Mark Alkas, Boisjolie, Paul French, Jay Goff, Wesley Prucker, and Carlos Gray coming together and spinning on the backstretch to bring the caution right back out.
Ferrigno took the lead back under green with Membrino and Burnham going side by side for second. Membrino got clear on lap-17 while Henry was up to fourth and Charland was fifth as Ferrigno continued to lead.
Burnham went back by Membrino as they came to the white flag but it was all Ferrigno as he took down his fourth win of the 2015 season. Burnham finished second with Membrino, Henry, and Stephen Kopcik rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, R.J. Surdell took the lead at the green with Kelsey Rottino taking second. Andrew Hayes was third but he made a move to the inside of Rottino to move into second on lap-2. Al Saunders followed him by Rottino as did Paul Arute. Rottino continued to slide backwards as David Arute got by on lap-4 and Justin Bren was just about to complete a pass when the caution flew for spins by Glenn Bartkowski and Duane Provost in turn 1 with 4 laps complete.
Cliff Saunders and Jeremy Lavoie got together on the restart to bring the caution right back out. Andrew Hayes took the lead back under green with Paul Arute moving into second. David Arute was third with Bren in fourth and Bartkowski was back up to fifth after his earlier spin. Rottino backed into the turn 3 wall to bring the caution out with 12 laps complete.
Hayes and Paul Arute were neck and neck on the restart for the lead and as the field came to the stripe to complete the first lap, Paul Arute and Bren came together and then in turn 1, Bartkowski went up the track and right into Arute, which sent Bartkowski spinning as he drove off turn 2 and brought the caution out.
Hayes was the leader again back under green with Bren and Al Saunders side by side for second. Provost was fourth with R.J. Surdell in fifth. Paul Arute came charging his way back through to move into fifth but it was all Hayes at the front as he took down his second consecutive win. Al Saunders finished second, with Bren, Provost, and Paul Arute rounding out the top-5.
In the 15-lap DARE Stock feature event, Phil Evans took the lead at the green while behind him, Alexandra used a 3-wide move to climb into second. Dan Dembek and Trace Beyer were side by side for third with Frank L’Etoile, Jr. in fifth and Tyler Trott in sixth.
At the halfway point of the race, Evans was still in command with Fearn, Dembek, L’Etoile, Trott, and Beyer lined up in a single file six car train. Dembek made a move to get around Fearn on lap-9 and move into second. Dembek’s move opened the door for L’Etoile, Trott, and Beyer to all follow him by as Fearn fell from second back to sixth. Fearn then fell under attack from Brandon Michael on lap-12 as Michael took sixth and dropped Fearn back another spot to seventh.
Up front, L’Etoile had gotten around Dembek for second and he was applying heavy pressure to Evans’ bumper for the lead. Nicole Chambrello spun in the middle of turns 1+2 to bring the caution out with 14 laps complete and set up a green, white, checkered sprint to the finish.
Evans took the lead on the restart with Dembek pulling alongside L’Etoile for second with Trott and Beyer side by side for fourth behind them. The two side by side duels kept anyone from making a run as Evans led the field to the checkered flag to pick up his second win of the 2015 season. Dembek edged out L’Etoile for second while Trott edged out Beyer for fourth.
In the 20-lap Legends Car feature event, Mikey Flynn took the lead at the green while Noah Korner and Teddy Hodgdon were side by side for second. Korner took the spot on lap-2 and with Hodgdon on the high side, he lost third to Devin O’Connell and fourth to Dana DiMatteo. Jerry Macchia spun in turn 1 to bring the caution out with 4 laps complete.
Flynn took the lead again back under green and he held the lead until lap-9 when O’Connell went to the front. The caution came out one lap later to slow the field.
O’Connell took the lead on the restart with Flynn behind him in second. DiMatteo was up to third after restarting in fifth with Hodgdon in fourth and Korner slid from second back to fifth. O’Connell led Flynn to the checkered flag to pick up his sixth win of the season, but the real battle was for third between Hodgdon and DiMatteo. DiMatteo took the spot from Hodgdon as they came to the white flag, but Hodgdon came back strong on the final lap and beat DiMatteo back to the line for third. Ryan DeCandia rounded 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.