(Stafford Springs, CT)—Stafford Speedway returned to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action on Friday, August 31st with the Valenti Modified Racing Series in the house for the 9th Annual Lincoln Tech VMRS 80. Keith Rocco outdueled Ronnie Williams in the closing laps to take down his 6th win of the season in the SK Modified® feature, Tom Fearn scored his 11th win of the year in the Late Model feature, Bryan Narducci made possibly the move of the season to get by both Marcello Rufrano and Teddy Hodgon in the final corner to win his fourth SK Light race of the season, Alexandra Fearn wired the field to score her first win of 2018 in the Limited Late Model feature, and Travis Hydar was also a first time winner in 2018 in the Street Stock feature.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Michael Gervais took the lead at the green flag with Tyler Hines in second. Ronnie Williams quickly moved into third with Stephen Kopcik fourth and Tom Bolles fifth. David Arute brought the caution out with 4 laps complete when he came to a stop in turn 4 with a flat right front tire.
Gervais and Hines were side by side for the lead on the restart with Williams taking third and Kopcik fourth. Bolles was side by side with Michael Christopher, Jr. for fifth. Williams took second from Hines on lap-7 with Christopher moving into fourth. Joey Cipriano moved into fifth with Glen Reen taking sixth as Kopcik slid back to seventh place.
Williams took the lead from Gervais on lap-10 while Christopher took third from Hines. Cipriano got a good run to the outside of Hines on lap-12 and he moved into fourth. The caution came back out with 14 laps complete as Tommy Membrino, Jr., Matt Vassar, Troy Talman, and Arute came together on the frontstretch and then after the fact, Eric Berndt, Josh Wood, and Kopcik got into the turn 2 wall.
Williams and Gervais were side by side for the lead back under green with Gervais taking the lead on the outside of Williams by a nose at the line. Gervais got clear to the lead on lap-16 and Williams was now in a side by side duel with Keith Rocco for second place. Rocco took second from Williams on lap-19 with Cipriano now up to fourth and Chase Dowling was fifth with Christopher sixth.
Rocco took the lead from Gervais at lap-20 and Williams followed him by Gervais on lap-22 to move into second. Dowling and Cipriano were side by side for fourth with Christopher right behind them in sixth. Cipriano took fourth on the outside of Dowling and that was the running order when the caution came back out with 25 laps complete for Todd Owen, who got into the turn 2 wall.
Rocco took the lead on the restart with Williams glued to his back bumper. Cipriano took third with Gervais fourth and Dowling and Christopher side by side for fifth. Dan Avery spun in turn 4 to bring the caution back out with 28 laps complete.
Rocco took the lead on the restart with Williams again glued to his back bumper. Gervais was third with Christopher up to fourth and Cory DiMatteo up to fifth. Cipriano went around DiMatteo to take fifth but he would lose the spot to Glen Reen before the caution came back out for a spin in turn 1 by Josh Wood with 37 laps complete to set up a 3 lap dash to the finish.
Rocco held off a challenge from Williams on the restart to maintain the lead. Gervais was third in line with Christopher and Reen side by side behind them. Williams would get a good run on Rocco through turns 1+2 and then Rocco would have the advantage in turns 3+4. Williams got close to Rocco’s bumper several times, but he couldn’t make a pass as Rocco scored his sixth win of the 2018 season. Gervais finished third with Reen and Christopher rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, the caution came out right away as several cars came together on the backstretch with Paul Arute getting turned into the wall. Tyler Leary took the lead on the restart with Darrell Keane and Al Saunders side by side for second. Keane got clear to second place on lap-2 with Michael Wray in fourth and Tom Fearn was up to fifth.
Fearn took fourth from Wray on lap-4 and he got by Saunders for third on lap-5. He continued his charge to the front by taking second from Keane on lap-7 and at the completion of lap-10 he was right on the back bumper of Leary for the race lead. Keane was still third with Saunders fourth and Wray in fifth. Fearn made a move to the inside of Leary on lap-11 and he took over the race lead.
Saunders began to slide backwards as Wray took over fourth and Kevin Gambacorta moved into fifth to drop Saunders back to sixth in line as Fearn continued to lead Leary and Keane.
Fearn led Leary to the checkered flag to pick up his 11th feature win of the 2018 season. Keane finished third with Wray and Gambacorta rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap SK Light feature event, the field took the green flag with Wesley Prucker and Chris Matthews in the front row, Joey Ferrigno and Alexander Pearl in the second row, and Andrew Molleur and Brett Gonyaw in the third row. After five laps, the top-6 cars were all still side by side, turning high speed pace laps. The caution came out with 5 laps complete for a spin in turn 2 by Gonyaw after he and Bryan Narducci touched wheels.
Prucker and Matthews resumed their side by side duel for the lead on the restart with Andrew Molleur going 3-wide with Ferrigno and Pearl before backing out of the move. Prucker spun coming out of turn 4 to bring the caution back out with 8 laps complete.
Matthews took the lead on the restart with Mark Bakaj pulling alongside Pearl in a duel for second. Marcello Rufrano was fourth with Ferrigno and Teddy Hodgdon side by side for fifth with Molleur in seventh. Bakaj got clear to second with Rufrano taking third from Pearl on lap-13. Hodgdon followed Rufrano by Pearl to take fourth and Rufrano drifted up the track in turn 2 on lap-14 and fell back to seventh as Mark Bakaj was black flagged and give and stop and go penalty. Amanda West came to a stop on the backstretch infield to bring the caution back out with 16 laps complete and set up a four lap sprint to the finish.
Hodgdon took the lead on the restart on the outside of Matthews with Bryan Narducci following him by Matthews in the outside line to move into second and drop Matthews back to third. Rufrano then took third from Matthews on lap-18 and as the cars took the white flag it was Hodgdon in front with Narducci and Rufrano side by side for second. Going into turn 3 on the final lap, Rufrano made a power move to take the lead from Hodgdon but he opened the door just enough for Narducci to get a good run through turn 4 to the inside of Rufrano and Narducci took the checkered flag by a nose with Rufrano finishing second. Hodgdon took third with Matthews and Molleur rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, Steven Midford took the lead at the green flag with a 3-wide battle behind him on lap-2 for second between Alexandra Fearn, R.J. Surdell, and Matt Clement. Fearn emerged in second and she took the lead from Midford on lap-3 with a pass in turns 1+2. Jeremy Lavoie was quickly working his way to the front as he took third on lap-4 with Duane Provost up to fourth and Surdell was back to fifth with Clement right behind him in sixth.
Lavoie made a move for second on lap-6 and Provost followed him by Midford to move into third and drop Midford back to fourth with Surdell still holding fifth. Ryan Fearn made a move to get by Surdell on lap-9 to move into fifth with Alexandra Fearn still comfortably leading Lavoie and Provost.
With 5 laps to go, it was still Alexandra Fearn out front with Lavoie and Provost giving chase. Ryan Fearn was up to fourth and Midford was back up to fifth with Surdell sliding back to sixth. The trio of Lavoie, Provost, and Ryan Fearn caught up to Alexandra Fearn but couldn’t get close enough to make a move as Alexandra took down her first feature win of the 2018 season. Lavoie finished second with Provost, Ryan Fearn, and Midford rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Street Stock feature event, Greg DeMone got around Richard Ciriello for the lead at the start and he began to pull away from Ciriello. Samantha Anderson was third with Jason Lafayette fourth and Travis Hydar fifth. The caution came out with 4 laps complete for Vince Gambacorta and Mike Hopkins, who both got into the turn 1 wall.
A multicar melee broke out on the restart to bring the caution right back out. The next restart saw DeMone take the lead but Hydar went to the lead on lap-6. With DeMone kicked to the high side, Brandon Michael moved into second with George Bessette, Jr. third and Johnny Walker fourth as DeMone slid back to fifth. Walker made a move to the insdie of Michael to move into third on lap-8 with Hydar leading Bessette. Meghan Fuller spun in turn 2 to bring the caution back out with 8 laps complete. Under the caution, Michael came to pit road with a flat left front tire and he was finished for the evening.
Hydar and Bessette were side by for the lead on the restart with Walker third and Nicole Chambrello side by side with DeMone for fourth. Hydar got clear to the lead on lap-11 and Bessette and the top- cars ran in line until the caution came out with 17 laps complete for a spin coming out of turn 2 by Chambrello.
Hydar and Bessette were side by side for the lead on the restart with Walker third, Fuller fourth and DeMone fifth. The two leaders hit the stripe for the white flag in a dead heat. Hydar got a good run htrough turns 3+4 coming to the checkered flag and he was able to get in front of Bessette and take down his first feature win of the 2018 season.
For more information contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at (860) 684-2783, or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.