(Stafford Springs, CT)—Stafford Speedway hosted First Responder Friday on September 10 with the TC 13 Shootout joining Stafford’s five weekly divisions in feature action. The SK Modified® division ran their regularly scheduled 40-lap feature as well as the 3rd Annual TC 13 Shootout, a 13 lap race contested between the top-13 finishers from the 40-lap feature that paid the winner an extra $1,313 from a purse of over $7,000. David Arute won the TC 13 Shoot Out while Stephen Kopcik remained the hottest driver at Stafford with his third consecutive SK Modified® victory in the 40-lap feature event. John Blake was a career first time winner in the Late Model feature, Derek Debbis scored his Stafford leading 6th win of the season in the SK Light feature, Alexandra Fearn notched her fifth win of 2021 in the Limited Late Model feature, and Chris Meyer took down his fifth win of 2021 in the Street Stock feature. Quinn Christopher awarded one driver from each division with a new Bell helmet through the Ted Christopher Safety Initiative and the five lucky winners were Tyler Hines in the SK Modified® division, John Blake in the Late Model division, Paul French in the SK Light feature, Mike Hopkins in the Limited Late Model feature, and Frank L’Etoile, Jr. in the Street Stock feature.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Doug Meservey, Jr. took the lead at the green flag with Marcello Rufrano in hot pursuit from second place. Matt Vassar was third with David Arute fourth and Keith Rocco fifth. Arute made a move to the inside of Vassar on lap-5 to move into third and his pass brought Rocco up to fourth and kicked Vassar back to fifth in line. Vassar would continue to slide backwards to eighth place as Bryan Narducci took fifth, Michael Gervais, Jr. sixth, and Andrew Molleur seventh.
Rocco worked his way around Arute to move into third while Meservey and Rufrano were still holding down the top-2 spots on lap-12. Arute went back by Rocco but spun with 13 laps complete to bring the caution flag out. Narducci was sent to the rear of the field by Stafford officials for making contact with Arute.
Meservey took the lead on the restart with Stephen Kopcik working his way into second. Rufrano was third with Rocco and Todd Owen lined up behind him. The caution came back out with 17 laps complete as Narducci spun in turn 2 and Fran Siana and Curt Brainard also spun.
Kopcik took the lead from Meservey on the restart with Rufrano, Rocco, and Owen still making up the top-5. Michael Christopher, Jr. spun in turn 2 to bring the yellow back out with 19 laps complete.
Back under green, Kopcik again took the lead with Meservey staying right on his bump[er in second. The two leaders touched in turn 3 but both were able to continue without losing any positions. Rocco took third with Rufrano fourth and Owen still fifth. Owen took fourth place from Rufrano on lap-24 and Cory DiMatteo took fifth from Rufrano on lap-25. The caution came back out for a multicar crash in turn 3 involving Noah Korner, Christopher, Dylan Kopec, Vassar, and Narducci.
Kopcik took the lead back under green with Meservey holding second. Rocco was third with Owen fending off a challenge from DiMatteo to maintain fourth place. Just behind DiMatteo, Jon Puleo was up to sixth followed by Gervais, Rufrano, Troy Talman, and Arute. Kopcik led Meservey to the checkered flag to pick up his third consecutive win and fifth overall win of the 2021 season. Rocco came home third with Owen and DiMatteo rounding out the top-5.
In the 13-lap TC Shootout, Troy Talman and Marcello Rufrano both got out of shape in turn 1 with Rufrano collecting the cars of Keith Rocco, Michael Christopher, Jr., and Stephen Kopcik to bring the caution out before a lap could be completed. David Arute and Troy Talman went wheel to wheel for the lead on the restart, but Dan Wesson spun on the backstretch to bring the yellow back out before the first lap could be completed. The third start saw Arute power his way into the lead before the caution came back out with 1 lap complete for a spin in turn 2 by Michael Gervais, Jr.
Arute took the lead on the restart while Owen was all over Talman for second place. Owen made the pass for second onlap-3 with DiMatteo in fourth and Keith Rocco in fifth. DiMatteo took third from Talman on lap-5 with a pass in turn 3 while Arute was still in command out front.
Rocco got around Talman to move into fourth place and he made a move to the inside of DiMatteo for third on lap-11. DiMatteo came right back to the inside of Rocco in turn 3 but the two cars touched with Rocco spinning to bring the caution out with 11 laps complete and set up a green white checkered finish. DiMatteo was sent to the rear of the field by Stafford officials for making contact with Rocco.
Arute cleared Owen for the lead as the two lead cars came to the white flag. Owen couldn’t make a move on the final lap as Arute took the checkered flag to win the TC 13 Shoot Out and the $1,313 bonus that comes with the win. Owen finished second with Talman, Gervais, and Tyler Hines rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Al Saunders took the lead at the green flag with John Blake right behind him in second. Blake made a move to the inside of Saunders to take over the lead on lap-2. Paul Arute was third in line followed by the side by side duo of Tom Fearn and Zack Robinson. Fearn won that battle on lap-4 and Kevin Gambacorta followed Fearn by Robinson to take fifth place and Adam Gray took sixth as Robinson fell back to seventh place.
Saunders was applying heavy pressure to Blake for the lead while Fearn was all over Saunders for second. Gambacorta took fourth and Gray took fifth as Arute slid from third back to ninth place. The caution came out with 8 laps complete as Josh Wood and Michael Wray came together with Wray collecting the car of Michael Bennett. All three cars were able to continue.
Blake took the lead on the restart with Fearn and Gray both getting by Saunders to move into second and third and drop Saunders back to fourth on what would have been lap-10 but those passes were negated by the caution flag, which flew for a spin in the middle of turns 1+2 by Rob Dow with 9 laps complete.
The restart brought the caution right back out as Arute, Wayne Coury, Jr., and Mike Mordino all spun through the frontstretch infield. The next restart saw a turn 1 melee involving the cars of Arute, Dow, Marc Curtis, and Robinson that brought the caution right back out. The third restart saw Bennett spin in turn 3 to bring the yellow out before a lap could be completed. Blake took the lead on the next restart with Fearn setting into second after the two leaders touched in turn 3. Gray was third in line followed by Andrew Molleur and Dave Wray. At the halfway point of the race, it was Blake still in the lead with Fearn, Gray, and Molleur behind him. Kevin Gambacorta took fifth from Wray and Tyler Leary took sixth as Wray slid from fifth back to seventh.
The order remained the same until lap-23 when Gray made a move to the inside of Fearn for second place. Gray completed the pass on lap-24 and his move brought Gambacorta up to third and Molleur fourth as Fearn slid back to fifth. Blake stretched out his advantage over Gray in the closing laps and he took the checkered flag to pick up his first career win at Stafford. Gambacorta finished third with Molleur and Fearn rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap SK Light feature event, several cars got loose at the start with Alina Bryden spinning and Peter Bennett was also involved and he parked on pit road, done for the evening.
Steven Chapman took the lead back under green with Tyler Barry right behind him in second. Norm Sears worked his way up to third with Derek Debbis streaking through traffic to come up to fourth and Tyler Chapman was in fifth. The caution came back out with 9 laps complete as Amanda West and Chris Matthews both spun coming out of turn 2.
Cassandra Cole spun in turn 2 on the restart to bring the yellow flag right back out. The next restart saw Steven Chapman take the lead but by the time the cars got back to the line to complete lap-10, Barry had made a crossover move and was now on the inside of Chapman. Chapman cleared Barry on lap-11 and Debbis went by Barry to take over second place. Debbis took the lead from Steven Chapman on lap-15 but before the lap could be completed, the caution came back out for a spin by Barry coming off turn 4, putting Chapman back in the lead and Debbis in second for the restart.
Debbis streaked into the lead on the restart with George Bessette, Jr. pulling alongside Steven Chapman for second. Brian Sullivan was fourth followed by Norm Sears in fifth. Debbis pulled away from Chapman and took down his sixth win of the 2021 season. Bessette finished third with Sullivan and Sears rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, Damian Palardy took the lead at the green flag with his father R.J. Surdell right behind him in second after running the first lap side by side. Jeremy Lavoie got sideways and then spun in turn 2 while Devon Jencik spun in turn 1 to bring the caution flag out with 2 laps complete.
Palardy took the lead on the restart with Matt Clement going side by side with Surdell for second place. Clement took second and then he took the lead from Palardy on lap-4. Alexandra Fearn was quickly working her way through the field and she took second behind Clement. As the leaders hit turn 3, Clement spun to bring the caution back out with 4 laps complete. Palardy was sent to the rear of the field by Stafford officials for making contact with Clement.
Fearn took the lead on the restart with last week’s winner Matt Scappini working his way into second. Lavoie was back up to third with Mike Hopkins in fourth and Devon Jencik back up to fifth. The caution came back out with 9 laps complete as Surdell came to a stop against the turn 3 wall with heavy smoke billowing from his car.
Fearn took the lead back under green with Lavoie moving into second. Jencik was up to third with Hopkins still in fourth and Scappini slipped back to fifth place from second. Lavoie stayed right with Fearn but was unable to find a way to get around and Fearn took down her fifth win of the 2021 season. Hopkins finished third with Jencik and Scappini rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Street Stock feature event, Travis Downey took the lead at the green flag with Bert Ouellette in second. Kyle Johnson was third with Adrien Paradis, III fourth and Nickolas Hovey in fifth. Paradis took third from Johnson on lap-2 and that move allowed Hovey to take fourth, Travis Hydar fifth, and Chris Meyer sixth as Johnson slid back to seventh place.
At the halfway point of the race, Downey was still in the lead with Ouellette, Paradis, Hovey, and Meyer behind him. Hydar spun in turn 2 to bring the caution out with 13 laps complete.
Meyer took the lead on the restart with Downey, L’Etoile, Hovey, and Bobby Stirk, III behind him. The caution came back out with 14 laps complete as Brandon Michael and Alexander Fuller both got sideways and into the turn 3 wall.
Meyer took the lead on the restart with L’Etoile taking second. Hovey and Stirk were side by side for third with Downey in fifth. Hovey won the duel with Stirk to take third place on lap-16 while L’Etoile was trying to get close enough to Meyer to make a bid for the lead. L’Etoile couldn’t get close enough to Meyer as Meyer scored his fifth win of the 2021 season. Hovey finished third with Stirk and Downey 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.