(Stafford Springs, CT)—Stafford Speedway hosted Weekly Racing on Friday, August 11th with 5 divisions of racing action. David Arute scored his first win of the 2023 season with a dominating drive in the SK Modified® feature, Kevin Gambacorta took his fourth win of the season in the Late Model feature, Meghan Fuller was a career first-time winner in the SK Light feature, Rich Hammann used a last lap pass to pick up his first win of the season in the Limited Late Model feature, and Travis Hydar scored his fourth win of the season in the Street Stock feature.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, David Arute powered into the early lead with Jon Puleo taking second. Michael Gervais, Jr. was third in line with Jimmy Blewett up to fourth and Dylan Kopec fifth as RJ Marcotte slid from pole position back to sixth place. With 10 laps complete, Arute was comfortably in command with Puleo still holding second. Kopec was third in line with Blewett and Gervais making up the top-10. Kopec made a move to the inside of Puleo for second on lap-12 and he was able to complete the pass on lap-13. The caution came out with 14 laps complete for Wesley Prucker, who came to a stop at the exit of turn 2.
Arute took the lead on the restart but Kopec made a move to Arute’s inside and he took the lead by a nose at the line to complete lap-15. Kopec completed the pass on lap-16 but Arute came right back to the inside of Kopec on lap-17 to move back into the lead. Puleo was third behind the two leaders with Anthony Flannery up to fourth and Blewett fifth.
Flannery took third from Puleo on lap-22 while Keith Rocco and Todd Owen were now sixth and seventh behind Blewett in fifth. Kopec was starting to apply heavy pressure to Arute for the lead on lap-24 but Arute was able to hold off his challenges and maintain the lead. Flannery and Blewett both went by Puleo on lap-25 to move into third and foruth and Puleo fell back to sixth as Owen took fifth.
Owen took fourth from Blewett on lap-29 while Arute was starting to slightly stretch out his lead over Kopec, who was banging on Arute’s bumper several laps earlier. Flannery was all by himself in third with Owen and Blewett rounding out the top-5 with 10 laps to go.
Arute led the field to the checkered flag to pick up his first win of the 2023 season. Kopec finished second with Flannery, Owen, and Puleo rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Bobby Stirk, III took the lead at the green but a pileup midpack involving the cars of Alexandra Fearn, Matt Vassar, Darrell Keane, Chris Meyer, PJ Zarrella, and Paul Varricchio, Jr. brought the caution out before a lap could be completed.
Stirk took the lead on the restart with Wayne Coury, Jr. and Zack Robinson going door to door for second. Coury took the spot on lap-2 while Andrew Durand was up to fourth and Tom Fearn was fifth in line. Fearn went by Durand for fourth on lap-3 and that opened the door for Kevin Gambacorta to take fifth as Durand fell back to sixth as Stirk continued to hold the race lead with Coury in second.
Fearn took third from Robinson on lap-6 and Gambacorta followed him through on lap-7 to take fourth and drop Robinson back to fifth. Fearn and Gambacorta continued their march to the front on lap-9 as Fearn took second from Coury and Gambacorta took third one lap later to drop Coury back to fourth. Robinson pulled alongside Coury on lap-10 and he took the position on lap-11. Jacob Perry was briefly in fifth as Coury was continuing to slide backwards towards 10th place but Chris Meyer took fifth from Perry on lap-12. Gambacorta was able to get around Fearn and move into second on lap-15 and he faced a gap of nearly 3 seconds to catch Stirk in the lead.
With 5 laps to go, Gambacorta had closed the gap down to a car length behind Stirk for the lead. Fearn was still comfortably in third with Meyer in fourth and Robinson in fifth. Gambacorta made a move to the inside of Stirk on lap-29 to take over the lead in turn 2. Gambacorta led Stirk to the checkered flag to pick up his third win of the 2023 season. Fearn finished third with Meyer fourth and Varricchio rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap SK Light feature event, Tyler Alkas and Bob Charland led the field to the green but before the first lap could be completed the caution came out for Hailey Desaulniers, who stalled in turn 1 after trying to avoid hitting a car in front of her as there was a huge puff of smoke from someone locking their brakes.
Alkas took the lead on the restart but the caution again came out before a lap could be completed as Chris Viens, Cassandra Cole, Paul Arcari, Amanda West, Sami Anderson, Todd Clark, Norm Sears, Paul Arute, Matt Brewer, Josh Morrison, and several other cars were all involved in a pileup that began at the entrance of turn 3.
Alkas took the lead on the next restart with Chris Matthews coming up to second. Meghan Fuller held third with Tyler Chapman taking fourth from Bob Charland on lap-4. Alexander Pearl took fifth from Charland on lap-5. Chapman went to the outside of Fuller on lap-9 but wasn’t able to complete a pass as Fuller actually held off Chapman and then pulled alongside Matthews for second and she took the spot on lap-11. George Bessette, Jr. was quickly working his way towards the front and he took fourth on lap-11 and then took third from Chapman on lap-12. Chapman slid back to sixth as Tyler Barry took fourth and Alexander Pearl fifth while Alkas continued to lead the race with Fuller in second.
Fuller caught Alkas with 4 laps to go and on lap-18 she made her move to the inside of Alkas and emerged with the lead. Bessette followed her by Alkas to move into second on lap-19 while Pearl took third and Barry fourth as Alkas fell back to fifth. Pearl dove to the inside of Bessette on the final lap to take second but Fuller led the field to the checkered flag to score her very first SK Light feature win. Pearl finished second with Bessette, Barry, and Alkas rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, Gary Patnode took the lead at the drop of the green flag with Adrien Paradis, III in second. Paradis took the lead from Patnode on lap-3 and that opened the door for Rich Hammann to take second as Patnode fell back to third in line. Kevin Cormier was up to fourth and Matt Clement was fifth with Jeremy Lavoie sixth, Devon Jencik seventh, and Damian Palardy eighth.
Patnode would fall back to eighth in line as Cormier took third, Matt Clement fourth, Lavoie fifth, Devon Jencik sixth, and Palardy seventh. With Paradis leading Hammann at the front of the field, this was the running order as the race hit the halfway point. Connor Jencik and Christopher Phelps came together coming out of turn 2 and they crashed to bring the caution flag out with 11 laps complete.
Paradis took the lead on the restart with Cormier pulling alongside Hammann for second. Matt Clement was fourth in line but he nearly went 3-wide with Hammann and Cormier before falling back in line. Hammann held off Cormier to take second with Clement taking third from Cormier on lap-15. Lavoie followed him through to take fourth and drop Cormier back to fifth place.
With 2 laps to go, Hammann was right on the back bumper of Paradis in the fight for the lead. Hammann made his move to the inside of Paradis in turn 3 on lap-19 and he took the lead by a nose as the two leaders took the white flag. Hammann cleared Paradis on the final lap and he held the lead to the checkered flag to pick up his first win of the 2023 season. Clement finished third with Lavoie and Cormier rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Street Stock feature event, Bert Ouellette took the early lead at the green flag with Sean Petlock, Johnny Walker, and Aaron Plemons behind him. Marvin Minkler dropped off the pace and parked on pit road after the first lap and the caution came out with 1 lap complete for Travis Hydar, who spun in turn 3.
The field completed one lap before the caution came back out for spins in turn 2 by Petlock and Bill Cote. Travis Downey had heavy damage to the right front of his car and he parked on pit road, finished for the evening.
Johnny Walker nearly took the lead from Ouellette on the restart but the two cars touched with Aaron Plemons passing them both to move into the lead while Walker began to slide backwards before he got back in line in seventh place. Brandon Warren was now second behind Plemons with Ouellette third, Hydar fourth, Tyler Trott fifth and Ryan Waterman sixth.
Hydar took third from Ouellette on lap-9 and Ouellette dropped off the pace and parked on pit road, done for the evening. Waterman moved up to fourth behind Hydar on lap-10 while Plemons continued to hold the lead. Hydar moved by Warren to take second on lap-12 and he took the lead from Plemons on lap-13. Waterman was now in third behind the two leaders with Trott in fourth and Walker in fifth. The caution came back out with 14 laps complete for a spin by Alex Spinnato in turn 3. After running in the top-5 for the entire race, Warren brought his car to pit road under the caution and was finished for the night.
Plemons took the lead back under green with Hydar right behind him in second. Jason Raymond and Trott were side by side for third with Walker in fifth. Hydar made a move for the lead on lap-16 and he and Plemons touched, but Hydar was able to take over the race lead. Raymond won the battle for third with Walker up to fourth and Chris Danielczuk fifth as Trott slipped back to sixth. Hydar led the field to the checkered flag to pick up his fourth win of the 2023 season. Plemons finished second with Raymond, Walker, and Danielczuk 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.