(Stafford Springs, CT)—Stafford Speedway was back on track under the lights for the first time in 2015 with the BFF Friday program on Friday night, May 1st. Ronnie Williams took the lead early and then had to hold off challenges from Eric Berndt, Rowan Pennink, and then Keith Rocco to claim victory in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, Josh Wood was the winner in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Joey Ferrigno was the winner of the 20-lap SK Light feature, Cliff Saunders won the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, Trace Beyer won the 15-lap DARE Stock feature, and Dana DiMatteo won the 20-lap Legend Cars feature.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Jeff Rocco didn’t come up to speed on the start in the outside groove and it backed things up throughout the field to where Woody Pitkat and Tyler Hines got into the frontstrech wall to bring the caution out.
Ronnie Williams led the first lap back under green but Eric Berndt quickly worked his way past Williams and took the lead on lap-2. Williams came back strong and nearly made a pass going into turn 3 on lap-3, but he settled backinto line behind Berndt. Matt Galko was third, with Joey Cipriano and Ryan Preece in fifth.
Williams was able to make a pass stick on lap-5 and he retook the lead from Berndt. Cipriano and Berndt were now side by side for second with Berndt getting the batter of that battle. Jeff Rocco, Todd Owen, and Jeff Baral spun in turn 4 to bring the caution out with 6 laps complete.
The restart saw Williams and Berndt side by side for two laps before Williams got clear into the lead. Cipriano won the duel for third with Rowan Pennink moving up to fourth and Matt Galko taking fifth. The caution came out with 11 laps complete as Michael Gervais, Jr. got loose in turn 4 and several cars got collected as they tried to avoid Gervais, including Ted Christopher, Mike Christohper, Jr., and Dan Avery.
Back under green, Berndt took the lead with Williams tucking into line in second. Pennink was now up to third with Cipriano and Tom Bolles locked in a side by side duel for fourth. Williams made a move to the low side of Berndt on lap-15 but Berndt was able to keep Williams behind him. Williams tried the move again in turns 3+4 and this time he was able to pull alongside Berndt. They raced side by side for the next lap with Williams taking the lead at the stripe by a half car length. Williams cleared Berndt for the lead on lap-18 and Pennink made a move to get by Berndt on lap-19. Pennink’s move on Berndt opened the door for Cipriano to get alongside Berndt while Keith Rocco was all over the back bumper of both Cipriano and Berndt.
With 25 laps complete, there was a 5-car train consisting of Williams, Pennink, Berndt, Rocco, and Cipriano that were pulling away from Ryan Preece, Galko, and Bolles in sixth, seventh, and eighth. The order up front changed on lap-32 as Rocco went by Berndt to move up to third place while Williams continued to hold the lead with Pennink right behind him.
With 5 laps to go, Pennink was right on Williams’ back bumper with Rocco glued to his bumper in a 3-way fight for the lead. Rocco made an amazing move to the inside of Pennink, going as low in turn 3 as he could possibly drive his car to take over second with 3 laps to go. Rocco was right there but he couldn’t get close enough to Williams in the closing laps to make a move as Williams scored his first win of the 2015 season. Pennink finished third, with Berndt and Cipriano rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Josh Wood took the lead from the pole while Tom Butler and Cory Casagrande were side by side for second. Butler quickly cleared Casagrande and Ed Ricard was now alongside Casagrande for third. Ricard moved into third with Michael Scorzelli fourth and Jim Mavlouganes in fifth as Casagrande slid backwards all the way to 11th place.
Wood and Butler were pulling away from Ricard in third before Ricard lost third to Mavlouganes on lap-9. The next lap saw Tom Fearn, Adam Gray, Scorzelli Kevin Gambacorta, Kyle Casagrande, Michael Bennett, and Cory Casagrande all get by Ricard as he slipped from third all the way back to 11th place.
At the halfway point of the race, Wood had pulled away from Butler, who in turn had pulled away from Mavlouganes in third. But the battle for third was a hotly contested duel with Mavlouganes, Fearn, and Gray locked in a nose to tail three car train. Fearn was trying the low line on Mavlouganes while Gray was trying the low line on Fearn, but the cars stayed in order as no one was able to make a pass. Cory Casagrande spun in turn 2 to bring the caution out with 19 laps complete to erase Wood’s large lead.
Wood took the lead back under green with Mavlouganes getting by Butler to take over second. Gray took third with Fearn in fourth as Butler began to slide backwards. Fearn made a move coming out of turn 2 to pass Gray on lap-24 but Gray came back strong with a tap to Fearn’s back bumper in turn 3 to pull back alongside Fearn. As the two cars headed towards turn 1, they touched again and Fearn spun backwards into the wall to bring the caution out.
Wood took the lead on the restart with Gray looking hard to Wood’s inside. Mavlouganes was third and Kevin Gambacorta made a strong move to climb into fourth. Cory Casagrande spun in turn 4 to bring the caution back out with 25 laps complete.
Wood held off a strong challenge from Gray on the restart to keep the lead while Mavlouganes, Gambacorta, and Kyle Casagrande ran in single file behind the two leaders. Gray was looking high and low for a way around Wood but Wood was able to keep Gray behind him. The caution came out with 28 laps complete as Chase Cook took a hard hit into the turn 4 wall to set up a green white checkered finish.
After a start was called back, the next start saw Wood take the lead with Gray hot on his back bumper. Mavlouganes was third with Kyle Casagrande side by side with Gambacorta for fourth. Wood led Gray back to the checkered flag to pick up his first win in the Bob Peterson owned #17 car. Mavlouganes finished third, with Gambacorta and Kyle Casagrande rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature event, Glenn Griswold took the lead from the pole but Joey Ferrigno made a crossover move on Griswold in turns 1+2 and nearly took the lead but Griswold was able to hold him off. Geoff Boisjolie was third with Stephen Kopcik and Bob Charland making up the top-5. Ferrigno continued to hound Griswold and he took over the race lead on lap-3. Matt Swanson was on the move early, taking fifth from Charland on lap-4 and D.J. Burnham followed Swanson by Charland to drop him from fifth back to seventh place.
The order remained the same until lap-8 when Kopcik made a strong move to take third from Boisjolie as Ferrigno was pulling away from Griswold in second. Kopcik continued to charge towards the front as he went by Griswold to move into second on lap-10. Boisjolie followed Kopcik by Griswold to drop Griswold back to fourth while Swanson and Burnham were dueling for fifth place.
Kopcik quickly reeled Ferrigno in and he was on his back bumper by lap-12 but the action was slowed with 13 laps complete for a spin by Rit Dulac in turn 2.
The restart saw a huge melee with Kopcik getting sideways and turning into the low lane, which collected the cars of Swanson, Griswold, Tony Membrino, Jr., Todd Douillard, and Wesley Prucker to bring the caution back out.
Ferrigno took the lead back under green with Boisjolie, Burnham, Charland, Kyle Jette lined up behind him. Daniel Wesson spun in turn 2 to bring the caution out with 14 laps complete.
Boisjolie stayed on the outside of Ferrigno on the restart as they dueled side by side for the lead. Burnham was third with Jette moving by Charland to take over fourth. Ferrigno and Boisjolie ran side by side for 2 laps before Ferrigno got clear of Boisjolie. Burnham then made a move to the inside of Boisjolie to take over second on lap-17. Carlos Gray and Wesley Prucker got into the turn 3 wall to bring the caution out with 17 laps complete.
Boisjolie again hung tough on the outside of Ferrigno in a side by side duel for the race lead back under green. Burnham was third with Jette behind him in fourth and Kyle Trayner was up to fifth. Ferrigno got clear of Boisjolie as they came to the white flag and Burnham then was locked in a side by side duel with Boisjolie for second. Ferrigno led the trio back to the checkered flag for his first win of the 2015 season with Boisjolie, Burnham, Jette, and Trayner rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, Cliff Saunders set the early pace while Paul Arute quickly took second. Kelsey Rottino was third with Justin Bren fourth and David Arute was fifth. Austin Bessette nearly got out of shape several cars behind David Arute, but he gathered the car up and continued.
Bren made a move under Rottino to move inot third on lap-5 and David Arute followed him by to drop Rottino back to fifth. Arute continued his charge as he went by Bren on the very next lap to move up to third while behind them, Rottino began to slide back several spots as Al Saunders took fourth and Bessette moved up to fifth.
At the halfway point of the feature Cliff Saunders still had a several car length lead over Paul Arute with David Arute slowly closing in on his brother. Al Saunders and Bessette rounded out the top-5 behind David Arute with Andrew Hayes and Duane Provost right behind Bessette in sixth and seventh place.
Cliff Saunders continued to stretch out his lead over Paul Arute while the train of David Arute, Bessette, Hayes, and Al Saunders were lined up nose to tail behind Paul Arute. Cliff Saunders took the checkered flag and the order behind him remained the same with Paul Arute, David Arute, Al Saunders and Provost rounding out the top-5.
In the 15-lap DARE Stock feature event, Trace Beyer took the early race lad while Tyler Trott slotted into second and Alexandra Fearn into third. Frank L’Etoile, Jr. was fourth and last week’s winner Dan Dembek was up to fifth.
Beyer began to stretch out his advantage over Trott, who had a comfortable margin back to Fearn and L’Etoile. Fearn and L’Etoile came together and spun in turn 4 to bring the caution out with 8 laps complete.
Beyer took the lead back under green with Trott second and Dembek climbing up to third. L’Etoile took fourth with Nicole Chambrello moving up to fifth place. Beyer was again stretching out his advantage over Trott but the caution came out with 13 laps complete for a spin in turn 1 by Chambrello.
Beyer took the lead with Trott slotting into second. L’Etoile had a good run on the outside of Dembek and he took third from Dembek as the field took the white flag. Beyer led Trott to the checkered flag while Dembek came back to the inside of L’Etoile to take third by a nose at the line. Doug Phelps rounded out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Legend Cars feature, Andrew Molleur led the field to the green but Charles Purdy spun in turn 2 to bring the caution out. Molleur again led the field to green and he took the early lead with Noah Korner pulling alongside Chris Fuller for second. Dana DiMatteo made it 3-wide with Korner and Fuller at the end of the first lap and he moved by both cars to take over second. Fuller settled into third with Devin O’Connell moving by Teddy Hodgdon for fourth place. Jerry Macchia spun in turn 2 to bring the caution out with 3 laps complete.
Molleur again took the lead on the restart but it was 3-wide again behind him with O’Connell making a bid for second. DiMatteo was able to fend off O’Connell’s challenge to keep second with Fuller in fourth and Mikey Flynn was now up to ffith. Macchia spun again to bring the caution out with 5 laps complete.
DiMatteo got a good jump on the restart and moved inot the lead but the caution came right back out as Fuller and Molleur came together in turn 2.
DiMatteo held off a challenge from O’Connell to take the lead on the restart but Macchia spun again to bring the caution back out before a lap could be completed. DiMatteo got a good restart and took the lead with O’Connell taking second. Flynn took third with Cory DiMatteo fourth and Hodgdon fifth. Flynn spun and collected Hodgdon to bring the caution out with 7 laps complete.
Dana DiMatteo took the lead back under green with Cory DiMatteo getting around O’Connell to take second. Fuller was fourth and Mike Hopkins was up to fifth with Molleur recovered from his earlier misfortune to sit sixth. O’Connell retook the spot from Cory DiMatteo in turn 1 but he then spun in turn 3 to bring the caution out with 13 laps complete.
Dana DiMatteo took the lead back under green with Hopkins using the low lane to his advantage to move up to second. Molleur slotted into third with O’Connell already back up to fourth and Fuller was fifth. O’Connell got around Molleur to take third on lap-16 as Dana DiMatteo was pulling away from the field in the lead. The caution came out with 17 laps complete for a spin by Jessica O’Leary.
Dana DiMatteo took the lead back under green with O’Connell slotting into second. Hopkins was third with Cory DiMatteo and Hodgdon lined up behind him. O’Connell stayed on DiMatteo’s bumper but he couldn’t get close enough to make a move as DiMatteo nailed down his first win of the 2015 season. Cory DiMatteo finished third, with Hodgdon and Molleur 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.