Story By: SCOTT RUNNING / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – Stafford Speedway returned to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action on Friday, July 20th with the Girls Night Out / Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund Track Walk with the Limited Late Model cars going an extra distance 30 laps in their feature event.
Ronnie Williams continued his hot streak with his third win in the last four races and fourth overall win of the 2018 season, Glen Reen picked up his second win of the 2018 season in the Late Model feature, Mark Bakaj was a first time winner this season in the SK Light feature, Duane Provost was the big winner of the 30-lap Limited Late Model feature, and George Bessette, Jr. scored his third win of the season in the Street Stock feature.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Matt Vassar took the lead at the green with Tyler Hines and Michael Gervais, Jr. lined up behind him. Joey Cipriano and Matt Galko were side by side for fourth. Hines took took the lead from Vassar on lap-5 with Gervais moving into second. Cipriano pulled alongside Vassar on lap-7 and he took the spot with Galko following him through to move into fourth and drop Vassar back to fifth. Just behind Vassar was Keith Rocco with Eric Berndt in seventh.
Hines pulled alongside Gervais for the lead on lap-9 and Vassar spun in turn 4 to bring the caution out with 9 laps complete. Rocco was sent to the rear of the field for making contact with Vassar.
Gervais took the lead back under green but Cipriano pulled alongside Gervais and he took the lead on lap-11. Berndt was now side by side with Gervais for second with Ronnie Williams fourth and Galko fifth.
Berndt got clear of Gervais and he made a move going into turn 1 on lap-16 to take the lead from Cipriano. Williams was now third with Gervais back to fourth and Galko was fifth with Hines right behind him in sixth. Williams took second from Cipriano on lap-17 and he made a power move in turn 3 on Berndt but couldn’t complete the pass on lap-18. Williams came back in turns 3+4 and he took the lead from Berndt on lap-19. Glen Reen spun coming out of turn 4 to bring the caution out with 20 laps complete.
Williams took the lead on the restart but the field could only complete one lap before ht caution came back out for a spin by Nick Salva.
Williams took the lead back under green with Berndt, Gervais, Galko, Dan Avery, Stephen Kopcik, and Todd Owen lined up behind him. With 10 laps to go, Williams had pulled away from Berndt in second while Galko was applying heavy pressure to Gervais for third. Reen spun coming out of turn 4 to bring the caution out with 37 laps complete and set up a 3 lap dash to the finish.
The restart saw spins in turn 2 by Doug Meservey, Salva, and Hines to bring the caution back out. Rocco pulled his car behind the wall under the caution and was finished 3 laps early.
Williams took the lead on the restart with Gervais and Berndt side by side for second. Berndt got clear to second as the cars took the white flag. Berndt drove it in deep but he could catch Williams as Williams scored his fourth win of the 2018 season. Gervais finished third with Galko and Avery rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Chase Cook took the lead at the green with Tyler Leary in second. Michael Wray briefly went 3-wide with Glen Reen and Tom Fearn for third with Reen emerging in third, Fearn in fourth, and Wray in fifth. Leary and Cook came together on lap-4 with Cook spinning into the wall in the middle of turns 1+2 to bring the caution out. Leary was sent to the rear of the field for the contact with Cook, making Reen the leader for the restart with Fearn lined up alongside.
Reen took the lead on the restart with Wray moving into second and dropping Fearn back to third. Paul Arute was up to fourth and Wayne Coury, Jr. was now fifth. Fearn got back around Wray to move back in to second on lap-6 and he was all over the back bumper of Reen for the race lead on lap-9.
At the halfway point, Reen was still out front with Fearn right behind him in sec ond. Wray was third with Arute and Coury still making up the top-5. Tom Butler spun on the backstretch to bring the caution out with 19 laps complete.
Reen took the lead back under green with Fearn holding off a charge from Wray to maintain second place. Arute was fourth in line with Leary back up to fifth after his early race penalty.
Leary was working Arute over for the fourth position and the two cars traded some paint coming out of turn 4 on lap-26 with Arute able to fend off the challenge from Leary. Up front Reen was starting to slightly extend his advantage over Fearn and Wray. Reen led Fearn to the checkered flag to pick up his second feature win of the 2018 season. Wray finished third with Arute and Leary rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap SK Light feature event, Geoff Nooney took the lead at the green but Wesley Prucker was right alongside Nooney as they completed the first lap. Prucker got clear to the lead on lap-3 with Bob Charland moving into third. Chris Viens fell back to fourth with Charland’s move and Alexander Pearl was side by side with Andrew Molleur for fifth place. Ed Chicoski spun coming out of turn 4 to bring the caution out with 5 laps complete.
Prucker took the lead back under green with Molleur moving into second. Nooney slid back to third with Charland fourth and Mark Bakaj fifth. Chris Viens got into the turn 4 wall to bring the caution out with 8 laps complete.
Molleur took the lead from Prucker on the restart with Nooney third, Bakaj fourth, and Bryan Narducci was up to fifth. Molleur drifted up the track in turn 2 on lap-14 and Prucker shot into the lead. As Molleur came out of turn 2, his car began to shower sparks and he had a flat left front tire and he brought the caution out as his car came to a stop at the entrance to turn 3.
Prucker took the lead on the restart with Bakaj taking second. Bakaj then pulled alongside Prucker on lap-16 and took the lead. Behind the lead duo, Rufrano and Teddy Hodgdon were side by side for third with Nooney and Narducci side by side for fifth. Amanda West spun in the middle of turns 1+2 and collected the cars of Rob Dow and Pete Lopuch to bring the caution out with 18 laps complete and set up a green-white-checkered finish.
Pearl got turned around on the restart and collected the car of Chicoski in turn 3 to bring the caution out before a lap could be completed. The second G-W-C restart saw Bakaj take lead but Prucker wasn’t going away quietly on the outside. The two cars ran side by side to the checkered with Bakaj taking down his first SK Light win since the 2008 season. Narducci came through to third at the finish with Rufrano fourth and Teddy Hodgdon rounding out the top-5.
In the extra distance 30-lap Limited Late Model feature event, Steve Midford took the lead at the green while Duane Provost shot up to second behind him. Gary Patnode was third with Jeremy Lavoie fourth and Justin Bren fifth. Andy Marchese backed into the turn 3 wall but was able to keep going and the race stayed green. Bren got around Patnode to move into fourth on lap-2 and he brought Ryan Fearn with him into fifth as Patnode slid back to sixth.
Lavoie got around Midford for second and he brought Bren with him into third as Midford fell back to fourth with Provost continuing to set the pace out front.
With 10 laps to go, Provost was still out front with Lavoie giving chase. Bren was still third with Fearn and Midford making up the top-5 behind him. Midford spun in the middle of turns 3+4 to bring the caution out with 22 laps complete.
Provost took the lead back under green with Lavoie in second. Bren and Ryan Fearn were side by side for third with Ryan Fearn taking the spot. Alexandra Fearn followed in her brother’s tire tracks and also got by Bren to take fourth and drop Bren back to fifth after Bren nearly had second from Lavoie on the restart.
Provost took the checkered flag to pick up his second win of the 2018 season. Lavoie came home in second with Ryan Fearn, Alexandra Fearn, and Bren rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Street Stock feature event, Richard Ciriello took the lead from polesitter Dan Soucie on the first lap. Lap-2 saw some 3-wide action behind Ciriello with Jason Lafayette taking second, Meghan Fuller third, and Brandon Michael fourth with Soucie falling back to fifth. Samantha Anderson spun in turn 2 to bring the caution out with 3 laps complete.
Lafayette took the lead on the restart but just as the field completed lap-4 Michael and Tess Beyer spun in turn 3 to bring the caution back out. Lafayette took the lead back under green with Mike Hopkins moving into second. Fuller was third with George Bessette, Jr. working his way into fourth and Nicole Chambrello moved into fifth.
At the halfway point of the race Hopkins was looking high and low for a way to get around Lafayette and take over the lead. Hopkins was able to make a pass stick on lap-12 and he moved into the race lead. Lafayette drifted up the track, allowing Hopkins to take second, Chambrello third, Fuller fourth, and Michael fifth as he slid back to seventh in line.
The top-5 ran in line until lap-18 when Chambrello took over second from Hopkins. Chambrello then spun in turn 2 with 18 laps complete to bring the caution out and set up a green-white-checkered finish.
Bessette charged into the lead on the restart with Michael and Fuller side by side for second. With Michael and Fuller side by side for second, Bessette led them to the checkered flag to pick up his third win of the 2018 season. Michael took second at the line by a nose over Fuller with Beyer fourth and Travis Hydar rounding out the top-5.
SK MODIFIED® (40)
1) Ronnie Williams, Tolland
2) Eric Berndt, Cromwell
3) Michael Gervais, Jr., Southbury
4) Matt Galko, Meriden
5) Dan Avery, Somers
6) Stephen Kopcik, Newtown
7) Todd Owen, Somers
8) David Arute, Stafford Springs
9) Joey Cipriano, Waterbury
10) Tom Bolles, Ellington
11) Nick Salva, Cheshire
12) Tyler Hines, North Haven
13) Doug Meservey, Jr., Chatham, Ma
14) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, Ma
15) Matt Vassar, Plantsville
16) Troy Talman, Oxford, Ma
17) Josh Wood, Palmer, Ma
18) Cory DiMatteo, Farmington
19) Keith Rocco, Berlin
20) Michael Christopher, Jr., Wolcott
LATE MODEL (30)
1) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, Ma
2) Tom Fearn, East Longmeadow, Ma
3) Michael Wray, Northford
4) Paul Arute, Tolland
5) Tyler Leary, Hatfield, Ma
6) Al Saunders, Stafford
7) Paul Varricchio, Jr., Berlin
8) Trace Beyer, Stratton, Vt
9) Wayne Coury, Jr., Shelton
10) Tom Butler, Stafford Springs
11) Chase Cook, Oakdale
SK LIGHT MODIFIED (20)
1) Mark Bakaj, Lebanon
2) Wesley Prucker, Stafford
3) Bryan Narducci, Colchester
4) Marcello Rufrano, North Haven
5) Teddy Hodgdon, Danbury
6) Mikey Flynn, Hampden, Ma
7) Chris Matthews, Stafford
8) Geoff Nooney, Southwick, Ma
9) Bob Charland, Stafford
10) Joey Ferrigno, East Hartford
11) Todd Douillard, Palmer, Ma
12) George Nocera, Jr., Plainville
13) Glenn Griswold, Vernon
14) Pete Lopuch, West Redding
15) Ed Chicoski, New Hartford
16) Norm Sears, Andover
17) Alexander Pearl, Salem
18) Rich Hammann, Tolland
19) Rob Dow, Stafford Springs
20) Amanda West, Colchester
21) Noah Korner, Canton
22) Andrew Molleur, Shelton
23) Chris Viens, Putnam
LIMITED LATE MODEL (30)
1) Duane Provost, Palmer, Ma
2) Jeremy Lavoie, Windsor Locks
3) Ryan Fearn, East Longmeadow, Ma
4) Alexandra Fearn, East Longmeadow, Ma
5) Justin Bren, Palmer, Ma
6) Matt Clement, Wethersfield
7) Gary Patnode, Barkhamsted
8) R.J. Surdell, Willington
9) Andy Marchese, Tolland
10) Steven Midford, Ellington
11) Steven Martel, Barkhamsted
STREET STOCK (20)
1) George Bessette, Jr., Danbury
2) Brandon Michael, Granville, Ma
3) Meghan Fuller, Auburn, Ma
4) Tess Beyer, Stratton, Vt
5) Travis Hydar, Woodbury
6) Chris Bagnall, Winsted
7) Vince Gambacorta, Ellington
8) Richard Ciriello, Reading, Ma
9) Nicole Chambrello, Kensington
10) Samantha Anderson, Wolcott
11) Michael Hopkins, Springfield, Ma
12) Jason Lafayette, Somers
13) Chris Danielczuk, Goshen
14) Paul Bourdon, Jr., Jewett City
15) Dan Soucie, Ashford
16) Chuck Harrison, Woodstock Valley