Story By: SCOTT RUNNING / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – The Valenti Modified Racing Series made its second and final visit of the 2018 season to Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday, August 31st for the 9th Annual Lincoln Tech VMRS 80. Richard Savary took the lead on lap-26 and led the rest of the way to score his first VMRS win at Stafford Motor Speedway.
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.
The race took the green flag without VMRS points leader Anthony Nocella, who blew his engine during his qualifying heat. Chase Dowling took the lead with Jeff Gallup following him around polesitter Joey Cipriano at the start with Anthony Flannery fourth and Dave Etheridge fifth. The caution flew with 9 laps complete for a spin coming out of turn 2 by Steve Masse.
Gallup nearly took the lead from Dowling on the restart but Dowling held him off. Richard Savary was up to third with Ronnie Silk up to fourth and Joey Cipriano fifth. Anthony Flannery did a 360 spin in turn 2 but kept going and the race stayed green. Woody Pitkat was on the charge, as he took fifth from Cipriano and nearly had fourth from Silk before settling back into line. Savary got around Gallup for third as Dowling continued to the lead the race with 20 laps complete.
Silk went around Gallup to take over third on lap-25 while at the front, Savary took the lead from Dowling on lap-26 with a pass coming out of turn 2. Pitkat was fifth behind Gallup with Cipriano sixth and Etheridge in seventh place. Dowling started to slide backwards on lap-29 as Silk took second, Gallup third, and Pitkat fourth with Dowling slotting back into line in fifth place.
At the halfway point of the race Savary was still out front with Silk, Gallup, Etheridge, and Pitkat all giving chase. Dowling was sixth with Cipriano, Sam Rameau, Andrew Molleur, and Dan Meservey, Jr. making up the top-10. Gallup was starting to apply pressure to Savary on lap-55 and he nearly made a pass for the lead on lap-56 but had to fall back into line behind Savary as they navigated lapped cars.
With 10 laps to go, Savary was still out front with Gallup and Etheridge right behind him. Eric Goodale had worked his way up to fourth with Pitkat in fifth. Silk was back to sixth with Cipriano, Rameau, Mike Willis, Jr., and Molleur making up the top-10.
Savary led Gallup and Etheridge to the checkered flag to pick up his first career win at Stafford Motor Speedway. Goodale finished fourth with Pitkat rounding out the top-5.
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.
LINCOLN TECH VMRS 80 (80)
1) Richard Savary, Holbrook, MA
2) Jeff Gallup, Feeding Hills, MA
3) Dave Etheridge, Portland, CT
4) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N
5) Woody Pitkat, Stafford Springs
6) Ron Silk, Norwalk, CT
7) Mike Willis, Jr., Grantham, NH
8) Joey Cipriano, Waterbury, CT
9) Sam Rameau, Westminster, MA
10) Andrew Molleur, Shelton, CT
11) Dan Meservey, Jr., Brewster, MA
12) Keith Rocco, Berlin, CT
13) Todd Patnode, Swanzey, NH
14) Jeff Malave, Manchester
15) Jacob Perry, Pawcatuck, RI
16) Dylan Rock, Enfield, NH
17) Donnie Lashua, Canaan, NH
18) Dave Schneider, Huntington, NY
19) CJ Bolton, Weare, NH
20) Cameron Sontag, Sterling, MA
21) Derek Robbie, Bellingham, MA
22) Chase Dowling, Roxbury, CT
23) Ryan Doucette, Framingham, MA
24) Anthony Flannery, East Hampton, CT
25) Steve Masse, Bellingham, MA
26) Dana DiMatteo, Farmington, CT
SK MODIFIED® (40)
1) Keith Rocco, Berlin
2) Ronnie Williams, Tolland
3) Michael Gervais, Jr., Southbury
4) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, Ma
5) Michael Christopher, Jr., Wolcott
6) Joey Cipriano, Waterbury
7) Cory DiMatteo, Farmington
8) Chase Dowling, Woodbury
9) Todd Owen, Somers
10) Tony Membrino, Jr., Berlin
11) Tyler Hines, North Haven
12) Tom Bolles, Ellington
13) Matt Galko, Meriden
14) David Arute, Stafford Springs
15) Josh Wood, Palmer, Ma
16) Troy Talman, Oxford, Ma
17) Tommy Membrino, Jr., Prospect
18) Dan Avery, Somers
19) Matt Vassar, Plantsville
20) Stephen Kopcik, Newtown
21) Eric Berndt, Cromwell
LATE MODEL (30)
1) Tom Fearn, East Longmeadow, Ma
2) Tyler Leary, Hatfield, Ma
3) Darrell Keane, Enfield
4) Michael Wray, Northford
5) Kevin Gambacorta, Ellington
6) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, Ma
7) Paul Varricchio, Jr., Berlin
8) Jeff Connors, Ellington
9) Al Saunders, Stafford
10) Cliff Saunders, Stafford
11) Paul Arute, Tolland
SK LIGHT MODIFIED (20)
1) Bryan Narducci, Colchester
2) Marcello Rufrano, North Haven
3) Teddy Hodgdon, Danbury
4) Chris Matthews, Stafford
5) Andrew Molleur, Shelton
6) Joey Ferrigno, East Hartford
7) Alexander Pearl, Salem
8) Glenn Griswold, Vernon
9) Wesley Prucker, Stafford
10) Andrew Les, New York, Ny
11) Cassandra Cole, Westbrook
12) Norm Sears, Andover
13) Rob Dow, Stafford Springs
14) Mark Bakaj, Lebanon
15) Amanda West, Colchester
16) Todd Clark, Bristol
17) Paul French, Andover
18) Brett Gonyaw, Vernon
LIMITED LATE MODEL (20)
1) Alexandra Fearn, East Longmeadow, Ma
2) Jeremy Lavoie, Windsor Locks
3) Duane Provost, Palmer, Ma
4) Ryan Fearn, East Longmeadow, Ma
5) Steven Midford, Ellington
6) R.J. Surdell, Willington
7) Justin Bren, Palmer, Ma
8) Matt Clement, Wethersfield
9) Gary Patnode, Barkhamsted
STREET STOCK (20)
1) Travis Hydar, Woodbury
2) George Bessette, Jr., Danbury
3) Johnny Walker, Ludlow, Ma
4) Meghan Fuller, Auburn, Ma
5) Greg DeMone, Ludlow, Ma
6) Chris Bagnall, Winsted
7) Jason Lafayette, Somers
8) Nicole Chambrello, Kensington
9) Rob Sears, Stafford Springs
10) Kevin Terrell, Las Vegas, Nv
11) William Desjardins, Plainville
12) Brandon Michael, Granville, Ma
13) Richard Ciriello, Reading, Ma
14) Samantha Anderson, Wolcott
15) Chuck Harrison, Woodstock Valley
16) Michael Hopkins, Springfield, Ma
17) Vince Gambacorta, Ellington