Michael Christopher, Jr. Wins Casella Waste Open 80

(Stafford Springs, CT)—Open Modified cars returned to Stafford Motor Speedway for the completion of the final 75 laps of the Casella Waste Open 80 that was originally scheduled for June 6.  The race took the green flag on June 6 and completed 5 laps with Woody Pitkat in the lead.  Michael Christopher, Jr. worked his way into the lead just before the halfway point of the race and he lead the rest of the way holding off George Bessette, Jr. at the finish to take down the victory.

The race originally took the green flag on June 6th with Woody Pitkat taking the lead with Anthony Bello right behind him in second.  Teddy Hodgdon and Michael Christopher, Jr. were wheel to wheel for third place with Chris Pasteryak in fifth.  Hodgdon moved into second on lap-4 and lap-5 Christopher take third with Bello fourth and Pasteryak fifth.  The caution flew with 5 laps complete as Pasteryak went around coming out of turn 2, which collected the cars of Keith Rocco, Anthony Flannery, Nick Salva, George Bessette, Jr., and Eric Goodale.  Under the caution flag, rain again started to fall and delayed the proceedings to Friday, June 21st where the race resumed from lap-6.

Pitkat resumed the race in the lead with Teddy Hodgdon taking second.  Michael Christopher, Jr. was third and he pulled alongside Hodgdon on lap-7 to race wheel to wheel for second.  Christopher took the spot on lap-9 with Marcello Rufrano following him by Hodgdon to move into third and drop Hodgdon back to fourth.  Running in fifth position was Dylan Izzo with Dan DiMatteo, Ronnie Williams, Tyler Barry, Chris Pasteryak, and George Bessette, Jr. making up the top-10.

Hodgdon worked his way around Rufrano to move into third on lap-20 while Christopher had closed down the gap to Pitkat and was right on his back bumper in the fight for the lead.

With 30 laps complete, Christopher had worked his way into the lead overtaking Pitkat, who now had Hodgdon on his bumper in the fight for second.  Rufrano was still in fourth place with Izzo holding down fifth.  DiMatteo was sixth in line followed by Williams, Barry, Anthony Flannery, and Pasteryak.

Christopher was still holding down the lead as the Casella 80 hit the halfway mark with Pitkat, Hodgdon, Rufrano, and DiMatteo all trying to chase him down.

With 30 laps to go, Christopher was still the leader while Hodgdon had worked his way around Pitkat to move into second place.  Pitkat was third in line with DiMatteo fourth and Izzo fifth.  The first caution of the event came out with 57 laps complete for a spin in the middle of turns 1+2 by Rufrano.  This caution period brought the leaders to pit road for tires and adjustments.  Christopher won the race off of pit road with Hodgdon, Pitkat, DiMatteo, Izzo, Williams, Barry, Flannery, Pasteryak, and Bessette all following him off pit road to set the restart order,

Christopher powered into the lead on the restart with Pitkat taking second.  Hodgdon was third in line behind Pitkat with Izzo and DiMatto making up the top-5.  Williams spun in turn 2 and collected the car of Rufrano to bring the caution flag back out with 58 laps complete.

Christopher again took the lead with Hodgdon fighting his way to the inside of Pitkat to take second on lap-60 after several laps of wheel to wheel racing.  DiMatteo was fourth in line with Izzo in fifth.  Flannery was in sixth with Rufrano, Bessette, Nick Salva, and Keith Rocco making up the top-10.  Pasteryak’s car came to a stop on the grass in turn 3 to bring the caution flag back out with 63 laps complete.

Christopher was back out front on the restart with Hodgdon taking second.  Pitkat and Rufrano went wheel to wheel for third with Bessette in fifth.  Rufrano moved into second with Bessette and Hodgdon taking third and fourth on lap-69 to drop Pitkat back to fifth.

With 5 laps to go it was still Christopher in command with Rufrano, Bessette, Hodgdon, and Williams making up the top-5.  Pitkat was sixth followed by DiMatteo, Salva, Flannery, and Rocco.  Nick Halkowicz brought the caution flag back out with 75 laps complete with a spin in the middle of turns 3+4.

Christopher shot out into the lead as he had done all race long on the restart with Bessette working his way into second.  Hodgdon was third with Williams fourth and Pitkat wheel to wheel with Rufrano for fifth.  Christopher led Bessette to the checkered flag to win the Casella Waste Open 80.  Bessette finished second with Williams, Hodgdon, and Pitkat rounding out the top-5.

Casella Waste Open 80 Results

For more information contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at (860) 684-2783, or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.