(Stafford Springs, CT)—With the 2017 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season at Stafford Speedway heading into its final 3 races of the 2017 season, the race for the SK Light championship is in full swing with an an ultra tight race. David Arute currently leads the standings and he becomes the fifth driver to hold the SK Light point lead this season. Arute leads Cory DiMatteo by only 4 points and Dan Wesson is third in the standings, 20 points behind.
Arute has spent much of the 2017 season climbing out of the hole a 22nd place finish in the season opening NAPA Spring Sizzler left him in. Since his Sizzler finish, Arute has posted 12 top-8 finishes, including a win on July 21st, that has seen him slowly but steadily climb his way back to the head of the points table.
“At the beginning of the year I would say we hoped to be where we are right now with the experience we gained last season,” said Arute. “We started off the year 22nd in points but we’ve had a good car all season long and it’s been a process of moving on up ever since. Other than that, it’s been mostly top-5 finishes. After that first week at the Sizzler, I thought we just had to go for wins all season long but the car was good and we kept on gaining points here and there. With 3 races left to go we’re finally on top. I’ve been waiting to get there while guys like Dan Wesson, Cory DiMatteo, George Nocera, and Wesley Prucker have all led the points. The past few weeks have been nerve wracking just knowing I had to finish in front of those guys to gain points. Now finally they’re all chasing me and I try not to think about points but you can’t help but think about it when you’re buckling in.”
DiMatteo has had an up and down season in his first season of SK Light competition at Stafford. DiMatteo began the season strong with wins in each of the first 2 races. With three finishes of 15th or worse from May to the first race of July, DiMatteo dropped as far down as 5th place in the standings, 48 points behind the leader. DiMatteo is currently on a streak of 7 consecutive top-6 finishes, including 2 more victories, that has him right on the heels of Arute for the championship lead.
“The season has been up and down for us and now our focus is to try to not wreck the car these last 3 races and try to get top-3 finishes,” said DiMatteo. “It’s hard to find a balance between racing hard and being conservative, but you just have to be aware of who is around you and know who you can trust and who can hold a good line. We just have to beat the 75 [Arute] car, that’s all that really matters. I don’t care if we finish 7th, as long as he is 8th or worse. We really didn’t expect to be leading the points the first couple of weeks with wins and it’s been fun to have our name at the top of the list and being the guy to beat.”
Wesson is currently third the standings, 20 points behind Arute, which is only 10 positions on the track. Wesson has only 1 win this season after winning 5 times last season, but he just might have an ace up his sleeve for the final three races.
“We’ve been searching for speed in the car and Brian and Jimmy Sullivan have been coming to the shop every week to try to make it faster,” said Wesson. “They tried something new on the car and I think we’ll be good for the remainder of this season. With the competition being so strong, it’s going to be hard to get more wins but that’s what we’ll be trying for. The key for us will be finishing races and if we can finish races, hopefully we can be up front with those guys and have a little luck on our side as well.”
The SK Light championship race resumes this Friday night, September 15th with a 20-lap feature event. The SK Lights will be joined by the SK Modifieds®, Late Models, Ltd. Late Models, and DARE Stocks in feature action with tickets priced at $17.50 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seat tickets are $20.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Stafford Motor Speedway offers plenty of free parking along with overnight parking available for self contained Recreational Vehicles.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.