Story By: SCOTT RUNNING / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – Stafford Speedway returned to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action on Friday, May 25 with Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night. Stafford’s SK Lights took center stage with a 40-lap feature that paid over $10,000 in total posted awards while thanks to Doug Dunleavy, the winners of the SK Modified® Late Model, Limited Late Model, and Street Stock feature events all had their winner’s purse doubled. Also providing bonus money was John and Maina Rufrano from Wheelers Auto Service with the second and third place finishers in the SK Modified® and Late Model feature events taking home an extra $200 while the second, third, fourth, and fifth place finishers in the SK Light, Limited Late Model, and Street Stock features each received a $100 bonus. Taking the big win on the night was Marcello Rufrano in the 40-lap SK Light feature, Rowan Pennink in the SK Modified® feature, Tom Fearn in the Late Model feature, Jeremy Lavoie, and Johnny Walker in the Street Stock feature.
In the 40-lap SK Light feature event, Teddy Hodgdon took the early lead with Geoff Nooney in hot pursuit from second. Marcello Rufrano was third with Alexander Pearl and Mikey Flynn making up the top-5. Rufrano took second from Nooney on lap-7 while Flynn was up to fourth with Brett Gonyaw in fifth.
Bryan Narducci was charging his way towards the front as he took sixth on lap-11 while at the front, Rufrano took the lead from Hodgdon on lap-13. Nooney and Flynn were still third and fourth with Narducci now in fifth after he got around Andrew Molleur. The caution came out with 16 laps complete for Rich Hammann, who got into the wall in turn 1.
Rufrano took the lead on the restart with Hodgdon, Flynn, Narducci, and Nooney lined up behind him. The caution came back out with 20 laps complete for Chris Viens, who spun in turn 2.
Rufrano and Hodgdon were again the lead duo back under green with Flynn third, Narducci fourth and Mark Bakaj in fifth. The caution came back out with 23 laps complete for a spin in turn 4 by Bob Charland.
Rufrano took the lead with Flynn taking second but the field could only complete one lap before the caution came out for a spin in turn 2 by Molleur. On the restart, Bakaj’s car got out of shape and collected the car of Narducci to bring the yellow right back out.
Rufrano took the lead on the restart with Flynn right behind him in second. Hodgdon and Nooney were dueling side by side for third with Gonyaw in fifth. Nooney hung tough in the outside lane and he was able to take third on lap-27 before the caution came out for a multi car incident in turn3 involving Pete Lopuch, Viens, Raymond Grassetti, and Todd Douillard.
Rufrano took the lead on the restart with Flynn slotting into second after running side by side with Rufrano for a lap. Nooney was third with Hodgdon in fourth and Gonyaw fifth. Just behind Gonyaw, Chris Matthews and Alexander Pearl were side by side for sixth. Matthews took the spot while Rufrano was slowly starting to pull away from Flynn.
Rufrano took the checkered flag to pick up his second win of the 2018 season. Flynn came home in second with Nooney, Hodgdon, and Gonyaw rounding out the top-5.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Matt Vassar took the early lead with Tyler Hines in second. Matt Galko was third with Todd Owen fourth and Chase Dowling fifth. Hines took the lead from Vassar on lap-3 with Galko moving ot the lead on lap-5. Owen was on the inside of Galko and as he was making a pass for the lead on lap-6, a melee broke out behind the two leaders that involved several cars including Keith Rocco, David Arute, Vassar, Michael Christopher, Jr., Cory DiMatteo, and Dan Wesson to bring the caution out.
Owen and Galko ran side by side for a lap before Owen got clear to the lead on lap-7. Galko was now side by side with Joey Cipriano for second with Dowling in fourth and Rowan Pennink in fifth. Cipriano began to slide backwards after several laps of side by side racing with Galko as Dowling took third and Pennink was fourth. Cipriano spun in turn 2 after contact with Nick Salva to bring the caution out with 11 laps complete. Salva was sent to the rear of the field for the contact.
Owen took the lead back under green with Dowling applying heavy pressure from second. Dowling was able to get alongside Owen on lap-13 and they crossed the line side by side. Dowling got clear to the lead on lap-15 while Pennink was now side by side with Owen for second. Pennink took that position and now Galko was on the inside of Owen for third with Ronnie Williams right behind him. Galko took third on lap-17 with Williams now side by side with Owen while Rocco was recovered from his earlier misfortune as was right on Williams’ bumper. Williams was able to finally take the spot on lap-19 and he took third from Galko on lap-21 as Pennink continued to lead a hard charging Dowling.
Rocco took fourth from Galko on lap-23 and Williams got around Dowling to move into second on lap-30 as Pennink was still in command of the race. Williams was slowly closing the gap to Pennink for the lead when the caution came out with 34 laps complete for Doug Meservey, Jr., who spun in turn 2.
Pennink took the lead with Williams, Dowling, Rocco, and Michael Gervais, Jr. quickly getting into a single file line. Williams made one final charge in turns 3+4 on the final lap, but Pennink held him off to become the first driver other than Keith Rocco to win an SK Modified® feature this season. Following post-race inspection, Dowling’s car was found to be 10 pounds underweight and he was penalized 10 positions, one position for each pound his car was underweight, moving him to 13th in the finishing order. The new remainder of the top-5 was Rocco, Gervais, and Stephen Kopcik.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Cliff Saunders took the lead at the green on the outside of Chase Cook with Tyler Leary moving around Cook on lap-2 to take second. Darrell Keane took third on lap-3 and Cook continued to slowly slide backwards as Michael Wray took fourth and Mike Quintiliano moved into fifth. Tom Fearn moved around Quintiliano to take over fifth place on lap-6 as Saunders continued to lead Leary, Keane, and Wray.
Fearn took fourth from Wray on lap-8 and Leary was applying heavy pressure to Saunders for the lead. Fearn took third from Keane on lap-13 and up front Leary got by Saunders but just as that happened, the caution came out for Glen Reen, who spun in turn 2 to bring the caution out. This put Saunders back up front for the restart with Leary alongside.
Saunders took the lead on the restart while Fearn pulled alongside Leary for second. Fearn took the lead from Saunders on lap-15 and his moved opened the door for Wray to follow him into second and Kevin Gambacorta to third as Saunders slid back to fourth. Keane took fourth from Saunders on lap-16 while Gambacorta took second from Wray and brought Keane with him into third as Wray fell back to fourth.
With 10 laps to go, Fearn held the lead with Gambacorta, Keane, Wray, Quintiliano, and Paul Arute lined up behind him. Gambacorta couldn’t catch Fearn as Fearn took down his second consecutive win. Keane finished third with Wray and Quintiliano rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, Steven Midford led the field to the green but he lost the lead to Gary Patnode on the first lap. Midford slid back to seventh in line as Alexandra Fearn took second from R.J. Surdell on lap-3 with Jeremy Lavoie fourth, Ryan Fearn fifth, and Justin Bren sixth. The positions continued to shuffle as Surdell slid back to sixth as Lavoie took third with Ryan Fearn fourth and Bren fifth.
Alexandra Fearn made a move to take the lead in turn 1 on lap-8 and she brought Lavoie with her as Patnode fell back to third. Ryan Fearn was still fourth with Bren all over his back bumper in fifth. Bren got loose and nearly spun on lap-9 but he gathered his car and only lost one position as Surdell took fifth. Up front, Lavoie took the lead at the stripe from Alexandra Fearn on lap-10. Ryan Fearn was closing the gap to his sister and the caution came out with 18 laps complete as Ryan made contact with Alexandra and Alexandra spun in turn 2. Ryan was sent to the rear of the field for the contact.
Andy Marchese and Alexandra Fearn got together on the restart as the field was coming to the green flag to bring the caution right back out. The next restart saw Lavoie take the lead with Bren on his bumper. Patnode drifted up the track but held onto third place as the field came to the white flag. Lavoie held off Bren to the checkered flag for his third win of the 2018 season while Duane Provost spun in turns 3+4. Patnode held on to finish third with Ryan Fearn and Surdell rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Street Stock feature event, Richard Ciriello and Vince Gambacorta brought the field to the green and they side by side for the first lap before Ciriello got clear into the lead on lap-2. Gambacorta settled into second with Chris Bagnall, Jason Lafayette, and Travis Hydar making up the top-5. Mike Hopkins and Johnny Walker touched in turn 4 with Walker spinning around to bring the caution out with 3 laps complete.
Bagnall nearly made a 3-wide move on the restart but he slotted back into third behind Ciriello and Gambacorta. Bagnall came back on lap-5 and took the lead. Ciriello drifted up the track in turn 4, which created a 4-wide situation and several cars touched with Tess Beyer spinning on the frontstretch, which brought the caution back out with 5 laps complete.
Bagnall took the lead back under green with Hydar moving into second. Lafayette was third with Meghan Fuller and Gambacorta side by side for fourth place. Lafayette went by Hydar to move into second on lap-8 as Bagnall continued to lead the race. The caution came back out with 9 laps complete as Gambacorta got into the turn 4 wall and came back across traffic and collected several other cars including Ciriello and Chuck Harrison.
Bagnall took the lead on the restart with Hydar behind him in second. Lafayette slid back outside the top-10 as he drifted up the track while Brandon Michael took third, Mike Hopkins fourth and Johnny Walker was back up to fifth after his earlier spin. Samantha Anderson spun in turn 1 to bring the caution out with 12 laps complete.
Back under green, Bagnall and Hydar ran a lap side by side for the lead before Hydar got clear to the lead on lap-14. Bagnall did a half spin in turn 4 and slid back to the rear of the field on lap-15 as Walker moved up to second. Trace Beyer was third with Michael fourth and Nicole Chambrello in fifth when Hopkins spun in turn 1 to bring the caution back out with 15 laps complete.
Walker surged ahead of Hydar on the restart but Hydar pulled back alongside Walker at the line before Walker took the lead on lap-17. Beyer was looking for a way to get by both Walker and Hydar from third with Chambrello up to fourth and Michael back one spot to fifth.
Michael, Chambrello, and Beyer went 3-wide on lap-19 with Chambrello taking third, Michael fourth, and Beyer fifth. Walker led Hydar to the line to pick up his third win of the 2018 season. Chambrello, Michael, and Beyer rounded out the top-5.
SK LIGHT MODIFIED (40)
1) Marcello Rufrano, North Haven
2) Mikey Flynn, Hampden, Ma
3) Geoff Nooney, Southwick, Ma
4) Teddy Hodgdon, Danbury
5) Brett Gonyaw, Vernon
6) Chris Matthews, Stafford
7) Alexander Pearl, Salem
8) George Nocera, Jr., Plainville
9) Andrew Molleur, Shelton
10) Bob Charland, Stafford
11) Cassandra Cole, Westbrook
12) Wesley Prucker, Stafford
13) Chris Viens, Putnam
14) Andrew Les, New York, Ny
15) Glenn Griswold, Vernon
16) Rit Dulac, Plantsville
17) Pete Lopuch, West Redding
18) Raymond Grassetti, Monson, Ma
19) Paul French, Andover
20) Vinny Anglace, Jr., Ansonia
21) Norm Sears, Andover
22) Mark Bakaj, Lebanon
23) Bryan Narducci, Colchester
24) Joey Ferrigno, East Hartford
25) Todd Douillard, Palmer, Ma
26) Rob Dow, Stafford Springs
27) Rich Hammann, Tolland
SK MODIFIED® (40)
1) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa
2) Ronnie Williams, Tolland
3) Keith Rocco, Berlin
4) Michael Gervais, Jr., Southbury
5) Stephen Kopcik, Newtown
6) Joey Cipriano, Waterbury
7) Matt Galko, Meriden
8) Dan Wesson, Monson, Ma
9) John Studley, Framingham, Ma
10) Tyler Hines, North Haven
11) Troy Talman, Oxford, Ma
12) Tom Bolles, Ellington
13) Chase Dowling, Roxbury
14) David Arute, Stafford Springs
15) John Catania, Agawam, Ma
16) Todd Owen, Somers
17) Doug Meservey, Jr., Chatham, Ma
18) Tommy Membrino, Jr., Prospect
19) D.J. Burnham, East Hartford
20) Nick Salva, Cheshire
21) Josh Wood, Palmer, Ma
22) Michael Christopher, Jr., Wolcott
23) Matt Vassar, Plantsville
24) Eric Berndt, Cromwell
25) Cory DiMatteo, Farmington
26) Tony Membrino, Jr., Berlin
LATE MODEL (30)
1) Tom Fearn, East Longmeadow, Ma
2) Kevin Gambacorta, Ellington
3) Darrell Keane, Enfield
4) Michael Wray, Northford
5) Mike Quintiliano, Shelton
6) Paul Arute, Tolland
7) Al Saunders, Stafford
8) Tyler Leary, Hatfield, Ma
9) Cliff Saunders, Stafford
10) Joel Monahan, Whately, Ma
11) Shawn Thibeault, Plainville
12) Chase Cook, Oakdale
13) Paul Varricchio, Jr., Berlin
14) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, Ma
LIMITED LATE MODEL (20)
1) Jeremy Lavoie, Windsor Locks
2) Justin Bren, Palmer, Ma
3) Gary Patnode, Barkhamsted
4) Ryan Fearn, East Longmeadow, Ma
5) R.J. Surdell, Willington
6) Andy Marchese, Tolland
7) Steven Midford, Ellington
8) Matt Clement, Wethersfield
9) Duane Provost, Palmer, Ma
10) Steve Martel, Barkhamsted
11) Alexandra Fearn, East Longmeadow, Ma
12) William Galinski, Winsor Locks
STREET STOCK (20)
1) Johnny Walker, Ludlow, Ma
2) Travis Hydar, Woodbury
3) Nicole Chambrello, Kensington
4) Brandon Michael, Granville, Ma
5) Trace Beyer, Stratton, Vt
6) Meghan Fuller, Auburn, Ma
7) Chris Bagnall, Winsted
8) George Bessette, Jr., Danbury
9) Richard Ciriello, Reading, Ma
10) Chris Danielczuk, Goshen
11) Dan Soucie, Ashford
12) Nick Bendiak, Hopkinton, Ma
13) William Desjardins, Plainville
14) Mike Hopkins, Springfield, Ma
15) Jason Lafayette, Somers
16) Samantha Anderson, Wolcott
17) Tess Beyer, Stratton, Vt
18) Chuck Harrison, Woodstock Valley
19) Vince Gambacorta, Ellington
20) Paul Bourdon, Jr., Jewett City
21) Armand Cote, Jr., Rocky Hill