(Stafford Springs, CT)—Open Modified cars returned to Stafford Motor Speedway for their second of five visits of the 2023 season on Friday, May 19th for the Call Before You Dig Open 81. Reen slowly worked his way to the front and he spent the majority of the second half of the race in the lead and he scored his first Open Modified win at Stafford.
Teddy Hodgdon and Marcello Rufrano brought the field to the green and they took turn swapping the lead over the first two laps before Hodgdon got clear to the lead on lap-3. Jeff Gallup spun through the turn 1 infield to bring the caution flag out with 3 laps complete.
Ronnie Williams took the lead on the restart but he got loose on lap-5, which allowed Hodgdon to retake the lead, but the caution flew for Anthony Bello, which negated the pass by Williams.
Williams and Hodgdon went wheel to wheel for the lead on the restart and after a lap of side by side action, Williams took the lead on lap-6. Glen Reen and Hodgdon were side by side for second but Reen dove to the inside of Williams on lap-7 to charge into the lead. Joey Cipriano followed him by Williams to move into second and Woody Pitkat took third to drop Williams back to fourth with Hodgdon in fifth. Rufrano took fifth from Hodgdon on lap-10 while Reen continued to lead Cipriano, Pitkat, and Williams.
Cipriano made a move to get to the inside of Reen on lap-20 to move to the front of the field. Pitkat was still third in line with Williams and Rufrano making up the top-5. Hodgdon was still sixth followed by Matt Gallo, Chris Pasteryak, Gallup, and Todd Owen.
With the race nearing the halfway point, Reen was applying heavy pressure to the bumper of Cipriano as the two lead cars had pulled away from Pitkat in third. Williams and Hodgdon were still fourth and fifth with Gallup, Matt Gallo, Pasteryak, Rufrano, and Lutz making up the top-10. Reen took the lead from Cipriano on lap-41 before Rufrano spun coming out of turn 2 to bring the caution out with 44 laps complete. Under the caution all cars came to pit road for 2 fresh tires and adjustments. Reen won the race off pit road with Cirpiano, Williams, Pitkat, Eric Goodale, Lutz, Hodgdon, Gallup, Buddy Charette, and David Arute lined up behind him.
Cipriano took the lead on the restart while Pitkat shot into second and nearly took the lead. Pitkat and Reen ran side by side for a lap in the fight for second before Reen got clear on lap-46. Williams was fourth with Lutz in fifth. Goodale was sixth followed by Hodgdon, Gallup, Charette, and Arute. The caution came back out with 51 laps complete for Bessette and Artie Pedersen, who got into the turn 4 wall.
Cipriano took the lead on the restart but his lead only lasted one lap as Reen went back to the front on lap-53. Pitkat moved into second to drop Cipriano back to third, just in front of Williams and Hodgdon. Hodgdon took fourth from Williams on lap-55 while Reen was starting to stretch out his lead over Pitkat. Cipriano made a move to the inside of Pitkat on lap-57 but backed out of the move and fell back to fourth. Hodgdon went by Pitkat on lap-58 to move into second while Reen continued to lead.
Arute was on a charge as he moved into fifth and was applying heavy pressure to Cipriano for fourth place with 15 laps to go. With 5 laps to go, it was still Reen leading Hodgdon with Pitkat in third. Arute was finally able to get around Cipriano and take fourth place with Williams, Goodale, Lutz, Charette, and Gallup making up the top-10.
Reen led Hodgdon to the checkered flag to win the CBYD 81. Pitkat finished third with Arute and Cipriano 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.