(Stafford Springs, CT)—Stafford Speedway returned to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action with Girls Night Out / Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund Track Walk program with all 6 divisions in action plus a track walk that raised money for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Following SK Modified® post-race inspection, Ronnie Williams’ car did not meet the minimum frame height requirement and he was disqualified from his victory, making Todd Owen a feature winner at Stafford for the first time since September 2012. Taking down feature victories were on the night were Josh Wood in the Late Model feature, Tony Membrino, Jr. in the SK Light feature, Bryan Narducci in the Ltd. Late Model feature, Zack Robinson in the DARE Stock feature, and Teddy Hodgdon in the Legend Cars feature.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, the field didn’t complete a lap before the caution came out for Tyler Hines, who came to a stop against the turn 3 wall.
Tom Bolles led the first lap after some 3-wide action with Todd Owen and Tyler Hines before Owen moved to the lead on lap-2. Matt Galko found a lane on the bottom and he moved into second with Hines in third. Dan Avery moved up to fourth as Bolles slid back to fifth.
Galko made a bid for the lead in turn 3 on lap-9 but couldn’t make a pass stick. He took another shot at Owen in turn 3 on lap-10 but again he couldn’t make the pass stick. Behind the lead duo Hines was still third with Avery in fourth and Bolles in fifth. Keith Rocco was up to sixth and Rowan Pennink was up to seventh.
Galko was continuing to hound Owen for the lead when the caution came out with 16 laps complete as Pennink backed his car into the SAFER barrier in turn 1. Pennink came to pit road with damage to the left rear of his car.
Owen took the lead on the restart with Hines pulling alongside Galko for second. Hines took the spot with Avery also getting by to move into third. Bolles got by Galko for fourth on lap-19 and Mike Christopher, Jr. was now side by side with Galko for fifth on lap-20.
Owen took the lead on the restart and the action behind him was wild. Dan Avery’s car dropped off the pace and the caution came out with 22 laps complete for Jeff Baral, who ended up stranded in turn 4.
Christopher, Jr. nearly made a 3-wide move with Owen and Bolles for the lead but he settled back into line as Owen took the lead. Christopher, Jr. was side by side with Bolles for second with Galko and Ronnie Williams side by side for fourth. The caution came back out with 25 laps complete for Payton Henry, who spun in turn 4.
Owen again took the lead on the restart with Bolles and Christopher, Jr. side by side for second. Williams was fourth and Berndt was side by side with Galko for fifth place. Bolles took second with Williams moving into third with Christopher, Jr. falling back to fourth. Williams charged by Christopher, Jr. on lap-29 and he then took second from Bolles on lap-30. Christopher, Jr. followed Williams by Bolles to drop Bolles back to fourth in the order as Owen continued to lead the race.
With 5 laps to go Owen was holding Williams off with Christopher, Jr. lurking in third. Berndt was now in fourth and Galko was fifth, just in front of Ted Christopher. Williams took the lead from Owen on lap-37 but Owen wasn’t going away quietly. Owen tried to make a move on the final lap but Williams was too strong to be overtaken.
In post-race inspection, Williams’ car did not the minimum frame height requirement and he was disqualified from his feature victory, making Todd Owen the winner. Christopher, Jr. finished second with Bolles, Berndt, and Galko rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Josh Wood took the lead from Rich Hammann by a nose at the line to complete the first lap of the race, but behind them, Scott Cook and Austin Bessette got together to bring the caution out.
Wood took the lead back under green with Tom Fearn right on his bumper in second. Michael Wray moved into third with Kevin Gambacorta taking fourth as Hammann slid back to fifth. Fearn made a move to the inside of Wood on lap-4 to move to the lead with Wray and Gambacorta closing in on the lead duo.
Wood was hounding Fearn for the lead as Gambacorta had moved around Wray to move into third place as they completed 10 laps. Gambacorta had closed up to Wood’s bumper to make it a 3-car train for the lead as they were pulling away slightly from Wray in fourth.
Wood touched bumpers with Fearn on lap-15 but Fearn was able to stay out front with Gambacorta still in third behind them. Wray was starting to close down the gap to the top-3 cars to make it a 4-car train for the lead. The two lead cars again made contact in turn 2 on lap-18 but everyone maintained their positions.
Wood made his move for the lead into turn 1 on lap-19 and he moved back to the front. Gambacorta also got by Fearn to move into second. Fearn fell back to fourth as Wray also got by Fearn to move into third. Fearn got back by Wray in turn 3 on lap-24 to move into third place but he was a half straightaway behind the lead duo of Wood and Gambacorta.
Gambacorta made a move coming out of turn 4 on the final lap but he couldn’t make the pass stick as Wood picked up his first win of the 2016 season. Fearn finished third with Wray and Hammann rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature event, David Arute and Jay Goff ran side by side for the lead with Arute taking the lead at the stripe but behind them Al Wisialko and Ted Cain spin in turn 1 to bring the caution out.
The restart saw Arute and Goff side by side for the lead with Tony Membrino, Jr. and Joey Ferrigno side by side behind them for third. They ran side by side for 2 laps before Membrino got clear of Ferrigno and Goff took the lead from Arute on lap-4.
Membrino took second from Arute on lap-6 and Ferrigno followed him through as Arute fell back to fourth. Joe Graf, Jr. was up to fifth behind Arute. Membrino took to the outside lane to take the lead by a nose at the line on lap-8 and he got clear of Goff on lap-9. Keith Caruso was on the charge and he had moved up to sixth and was looking for a way to get around Graf. He made the move to take over fifth on lap-12 as Membrino continued to lead Goff, Ferrigno and Arute. Arute was searching high and low for a way to get around Ferrigno and Graf came back on Caruso and moved back into fifth on lap-14.
Membrino led the field to the checkered flag for his fifth win of the 2016 season. Ferrigno finished second, with Arute, Graf, and Caruso rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, Matt Clement took the lead at the drop of the green but the field could only complete one lap before the caution came out for a spin on the backstretch by Robert Bloxsom, III. R.J. Surdell parked his car on pit road under the caution and he was finished for the evening.
Bryan Narducci got a great run on the restart and streaked to the inside of Clement to move into the lead. Frank L’Etoile, Jr. moved into second with Clement falling back to a side by side duel with Justin Bren for third place. Bren took the spot on lap-4 and Pau Arute followed him by to drop Clement back to fifth. Clement then spun in turn 1 to bring the caution out with 4 laps complete.
Narducci took the lead back under green with Bren and Arute lined up behind him. Al Saunders dropped off the pace and came to pit road with a flat left front tire that ended his night. Cliff Saunders was fourth behind Narducci, Bren, and Arute with Duane Provost now in fifth.
Arute made a move to the inside of Bren on lap-11 to move into second after stalking him for several laps prior to making the move. Narducci had about a half straightaway lead over Arute with 9 laps to go. Provost was now third behind Narducci and Arute with Cliff Saunders in fourth and Bren was back to fifth.
Arute was able to get within a couple of car lengths of Narducci but he couldn’t get close enough to make a move as Narducci took down his first career feature victory. Provost finished third with Bren and Cliff Saunders making up the top-5.
In the 15-lap DARE Stock feature event, Dan Dembek took the early lead with Zack Robinson moving up to second. Marcello Rufrano moved into third with Ryan Fearn fourth and his sister Alexandra Fearn was fifth. At the halfway point of the race, Dembek was leading a 6 car train consisting of Robinson, Rufrano, Alexandra Fearn, Tyler Trott, and Brandon Michael.
The order shuffled on lap-9 when Robinson took the lead. Behind Robinson, Rufrano went spinning in turn 1 as there was 3-wide action between himself, Dembek, and Alexandra Fearn. Rufrano was able to get his car going and the race stayed under green flag conditions.
Alexandra Fearn took second from Dembek on lap-11 and Trott followed her past as Dembek fell back to fourth as Robinson was staring to ever so slightly stretch out his lead. Michael and Dembek made contact on the final lap with Dembek spinning in turn 1 but Robinson took the checkered flag with Alexandra Fearn, Trott, Johnny Walker, and Trace Beyer making up the top-5.
In the 20-lap Legend Cars feature, Teddy Hodgdon quickly got around Steve Chapman and began to set the pace. Noah Korner was third behind Hodgdon and Chapman with Brett Crowther and Mikey Flynn making up the top-5. Hodgdon was slowly pulling away from Chapman and Korner took second from Chapman on lap-5.
Hodgdon was still in command at the midway point of the race but his lead was erased by the caution flag with 13 laps complete for a spin in turn 2 by Andrew Quealy.
Hodgdon took the lead on the restart with Korner in hot pursuit. Flynn moved into third with Chapman falling back to fourth and Stafford newcomer Austin Teras was now up to fifth. Korner was right on Hodgdon’s bumper as they took the white flag and he made a last ditch effort coming to the checkered flag, but Hodgdon took the victory. Flynn finished third with Teras fourth and Champan fifth.
For more information contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at (860) 684-2783, or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.