Patrick Emerling Wins NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler at Stafford Speedway

(Stafford Springs, CT)—Stafford Motor Speedway welcomed the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour to Stafford Speedway for its first of three visits of the 2021 season on Friday, April 30 for the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler.  Patrick Emerling capitalized on a late race move that saw race leaders Ryan Preece and Ron Silk come together and spin right before rain hit Stafford Motor Speedway to inherit the lead and win the 49th Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler, which was called with 130 of 150 laps complete.

Matt Swanson set the fast time in qualifying and he brought the field to the green flag and took the early lead with Jon McKennedy, Craig Lutz, Doug Coby, and Anthony Nocella making up the top-5.  Chuck Hossfeld’s car came to a stop coming out of turn 4 to bring the caution out on lap-5.

The race went back to green on lap-7 with Swanson taking command.  Lutz took second with Coby, Woody Pitkat, and Nocella making up the top-5 as McKennedy slid all the way back to eighth place behind Timmy Solomito and Eric Goodale.

With 25 laps complete, Swanson was still out front with Coby now in second.  Lutz was third followed by Pitkat, Nocella, Ryan Preece, McKennedy, Tyler Rypkema, Solomito, and Goodale.

Swanson was still comfortably in command of the race with 50 laps complete followed by Coby, Lutz, Pitkat, Preece, McKennedy, Rypkema, Justin Bonsignore, Nocella, and Ron Silk.  With the leaders navigating lapped traffic at this stage of the race, Coby took the lead from Swanson on lap-52.  The race action was slowed on lap-62 for a spin on the backstretch by Gary Byington.

The pits opened on lap-66 and Coby led Swanson, Lutz, Pitkat, and Preece down pit road with the remainder of the lead lap cars also coming to pit road.  Coby won the race off pit road followed by Swanson, Bonsignore, Preece, McKennedy, Lutz, Pitkat, Goodale, Ronnie Williams, Nocella, and the remainder of the lead lap cars.  Coby’s quick pit work enabled him to keep the race lead with Swanson to his outside and Bonsignore and Preece lined up in the second row for the restart.

Swanson shot into the lead on the restart with Coby in second and Bonsignore and Preece side by side for third.  Bonsignore took third from Preece and then he took second from Coby just before the caution came back out on lap-72 for an incident in turn 4 involving the cars of Dave Sapienza, Rypkema, and several others who were able to drive away from the accident scene.

Back to green on lap-79 Swanson again took the race lead with Bonsignore right on his bumper in second.  McKennedy was third in line followed by Williams and the side by side duo of Nocella and Pitkat.  Nocella got the better of that duel and took fifth with Silk, Lutz, Andrew Krause, and Kyle Bonsignore making up the remainder of the top-10 behind Pitkat.

Bonsignore and McKennedy swapped second place back and forth between themselves on lap-89 with Swanson continuing to hold the race lead.  Williams was up to third with Justin Bonsignore fourth.  Silk and Nocella were side by side for fifth place with Lutz in sixth.  Positions continued to shuffle as the race was closing in on lap-100 but the action was slowed on lap-96 for a spin in the middle of turns 3+4 by Patrick Emerling.

Swanson took the lead on the lap-102 restart with Silk taking second.  Silk then took the lead from Swanson on lap-103 and his move brought Lutz up to second, Preece to third, Nocella to fourth, and Justin Bonsignore fifth as Swanson slid all the way back to the rar of the field.  The caution came back out on lap-105 for a multicar accident on the backstretch.

The lap-112 restart saw Preece power his way into the lead with Silk slotting into second.  The caution came right back out for an incident in turn 2 involving Kyle Bonsignore, Rob Summers, Williams, Matt Galko, and Swanson.

Silk shot into the lead on the restart, but behind him Coby spun in turn 2 and collected the car of J.B. Fortin to bring the caution right back out and put Preece back in the lead for the next restart.

The lap-124 restart saw Preece take the lead on the initial green but he slid up the track in turn 1 and allowed Silk to power his way into the lead.  Going into turn 3, Preece and Silk touched with Silk spinning and collecting several other cars to bring the caution back out.  The crash put Emerling into the lead with Goodale in second, Tommy Catalano in third, Solomito in fourth and Lutz in fifth.  Rain started falling while the race was under caution and eventually the red/checker was shown, making Emerling the winner for the second time in his Whelen Modified Tour career.  Goodale finished second with Catalano, Solomito, and Lutz rounding out the top-5.

1 07    Patrick Emerling Captain Pip Marina   (Jennifer Emerling) Chevrolet 130  
2 58    Eric Goodale GAF Roofing   (Edgar Goodale) Chevrolet 130 1.855
3 54    Tommy Catalano FX Caprara   (David Catalano) Chevrolet 130 3.657
4 66    Timmy Solomito New England Gear High Marie Bldg   (Jerry Solomito) Chevrolet 130 5.311
5 46    Craig Lutz RHD Building Supply   (Russell Goodale) Chevrolet 130 6.793
6 7    Jon McKennedy Ultra Wheel   (Tommy Baldwin) Chevrolet 130 8.623
7 24    Andrew Krause Supreme Mtg   (Diane Krause) Chevrolet 130 11.245
8 2    Chuck Hossfeld Gershow Recycling   (Joe Bertuccio, Sr.) Chevrolet 130 14.586
9 50    Ronnie Williams Empower Financial Service / RB Enterprises   (Paul Les) Ford 130 16.615
10 22    Kyle Bonsignore Chalew Performance   (Kyle Bonsignore) Chevrolet 130 19.225
11 77    Max McLaughlin Curb Records   (Mike Curb) Chevrolet 130 22.181
12 10    Doug Coby Mayhew Tools   (Philip Moran) Ford 130 24.084
13 51    Justin Bonsignore Coastal Fiber LLC   (Ken Massa) Chevrolet 130 27.506
14 85    Ron Silk Stuart’s Automotive   (Kevin Stuart) Chevrolet 130 30.120
15 1    Woody Pitkat Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer   (Eddie Harvey) Chevrolet 126 4 Laps
16 34    J.B. Fortin Johns Fuel Oil Inc / Whip it Jerky / PAC Auto   (Nicole Fortin) Chevrolet 125 5 Laps
17 6    Ryan Preece Riverhead Raceway   (Ed Partridge) Chevrolet 124 6 Laps
18 82    Anthony Nocella Horton Avenue Materials   (Danny Watts Jr.) Chevrolet 123 7 Laps
19 59    Matt Galko BNP Machine   (Jody Lauzon) Dodge 111 19 Laps
20 3    Matt Swanson Propane Plus / Jericho Performance Road   (Jan Boehler) Chevrolet 111 19 Laps
21 18    Ken Heagy Buoy Seaford Market and Restaurant   (Robert Pollifrone) Chevrolet 104 26 Laps
22 64    Rob Summers Luminere Electrical   (Mike Murphy) Toyota 102 28 Laps
23 26    Gary McDonald Lakeland Landscape   (Sean McDonald) Chevrolet 99 31 Laps
24 32    Tyler Rypkema Welcorp   (Dean Rypkema) Chevrolet 71 59 Laps
25 36    Dave Sapienza SAP Enterprises   (Judy Thilburg) Chevrolet 71 59 Laps
26 01    Melissa Fifield Pine Knoll Auto Sales   (Kenneth Fifield) Chevrolet 70 60 Laps
27 30    Gary Byington Hudson Speedway / Sunoco   (Gary Byington) Chevrolet 65 65 Laps
28 78    Walter Sutcliffe, Jr. Last Minute Racing   (Steven Sutcliffe) Chevrolet 23 107 Laps
Rookie drivers are denoted with an asterisk.
* Race shortened to 130 laps due to rain.