RPW Exclusive: Berndt Takes The Cake With Victory In SK Mod Feature Saturday At Stafford

Column By: BRITTANY NUTILE / RPW – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – Eric Berndt won the SK Modified race on Spring Sizzler Weekend.

Berndt started in the 6th position for the race. He had a fast car and made his way up to the top spots, by lap two came he was in 3rd place. He started leading the race by lap five and then took off, didn’t seem like anyone could catch him and nobody else did. Berndt talked about how he won the race.

“Car was good, last week put myself in a hole but came back this week and started 6th managed what we could and tried getting up front which we did. The car got better as the run went on.”

Todd Owen had a good day, he started the race 9th and was picking drivers off of their positions one by one, he got to the front a little slower than Berndt did but, he got to 3rd by lap 6 and was all over Berndt’s bumper but couldn’t make a pass or able to get the lead from Eric. Owen finished the race in 2nd place.

“Car was really good, got loose between the last 10 and didn’t have very much for him (Berndt). He was better at the end.” Owen said in a post-race interview.

Michael Gervais Jr. had another good run, Michael started the race in 11th place. But made his way up the field. By lap five he made it up to 9th place. During another restart, Gervais got a huge jump and was battling David Arute and made his way up to the 4th spot. Gervais finished the race in 3rd place.

“Kind of tough at the beginning, avoiding lots of wrecks but once we got up front, the car was good. Tried a little too hard to catch those too guys and just burnt by tires up but, we will take a third-place finish, after even last week too.” Gervais said after his race.

The top five finishers are: First: Eric Berndt, Second: Todd Owen, Third: Michael Gervais Jr., Fourth: Ronnie Williams, and Fifth: Tyler Hines

Top five in the point standings:
1. Michael Gervais Jr. 94 points
2. Todd Owen 90 points -4
3. Eric Berndt 82 Points -12
4. Michael Christopher Jr. 80 Points -14
5. Nick Salva 76 Points -18

SK Lights

Alexander Pearl Won the SK light race on Spring Sizzler Weekend.

Pearl started 12th for todays race. It was a little crazy during the first few laps of the race but, Alexander had a good car and got through a lot of cars and during the restart on lap five Pearl got the lead. He had a very dominate car and led the rest of the race to win.

“Just able to work through traffic really well, started 12th and once I got to the top, we didn’t have the best car tonight but, got it done and it was awesome.” Pearl talks about how his race was today.

Pearl and Teddy Hodgdon had a good battle for the lead for a good number of laps then Pearl and Hodgdon made contact with each and Hodgdon get into the grass and lost the second position to Mark Bakaj. The Sk Light division has a lot of talented young kinds in the field and todays race showed it a lot. In the top five there are three rookies finishing todays race. The three rookies were Jonathan Puleo, Steven Chapman, and Noah Korner.

Top five to finish the race: First: Alexander Pearl, Second: Mark Bakaj, Third: Jonathan Puleo-Rookie, Fourth: Steven Chapman-Rookie, Fifth: Noah Korner-Rookie.

The top five in the points standings:
1. Alexander Pearl 94 points
2. Mark Bakaj 90 points -4
3. Noah Korner 88 points -6
4. Steven Chapman 84 points -10
5. Mikey Flynn 78 points -16

Late Model
Cliff Saunders won the Late Model race on Spring Sizzler Weekend.

Saunders started the race from the pole position and dominated the race from start to finish. There’s a couple of times when the caution came out where Saunders had to fight for the spot for the lead.

“I thought it was going to take some time to get use to the new car and new setup, and all the changes we have for the season. Wasn’t sure how the car was going to be this week after having problems on opening day last week. Ended up being a good car, didn’t know how the race was going to go but it turned out to be well”.

Kevin Gamacorta had a fantastic run today, after last weekend where his win was disallowed. Gamacorta started 12th and by lap 10 he was up to 6th place. He had a very fast car and it showed. Kevin finished second in the race.

“We had a mission today, it was unfortunate what happened last week, there was always more to the story but the tires were good, they fall right into my wheelhouse, got to have a balance car and you have to drive smart and that’s what we do, so this is good after last week”.

Top five finishes are: First: Cliff Saunders, Second: Kevin Gamacorta, Third: Tom Fearn, Fourth: Tyler Leary, Fifth: Michael Bennett.

Top five in point standings:
1. Tom Fearn 92 points
2. Michael Bennett 90 points -2
3. Tyler Leary 88 points -4
4. Michael Wray 82 Points -10
5. Paul Arute 76 Points -16

Limited Late Model

Matt Clement won the Limited late model race on Spring Sizzler Weekend.

Clement started the race third and looked to have a fast car from the start of the race. Clement and Provost battled for second, which Matt then took second and went after the pole sitter, Alexandra Fearn to take the lead. After he took the lead at lap 6, he was the most dominant car and stayed in the lead position to the end of the race to win.

Clement picked up his first career win, he’s had a lot of second place finishes but the winning your first on Spring Sizzler weekend has to feel really good.

“At the end of last season had a lot of good finishes, lot of podiums at the end of the year and now getting the firs win, makes it even sweeter”. Matt talks about how it feels to get his first win.

The finishing order of the seven drivers was: First: Matt Clement, Second: Duane Provost, Third: Jeremy Lavoie, Fourth: Gary Patnode, Fifth: Alexandra Fearn, Sixth: Frank L’Etoile Jr, Seventh: Kevin Crosby.

After the first two races the point standing is as follows:

Matt Clement and Jeremy Lavoie are tied for first place with 96 points apiece, Gary Patnode and Duane Provost are tied for second with 92 points a piece and 4 points out of first. Alexandra Fearn is fifth with 84 points and 12 points out of first, Frank L’Etoile Jr. and Kyle Casagrande are tied for sixth with 40 points a piece and 56 points out and Kevin Crosby in 8th with 38 points and 58 points out of first.

Street Stock Race

Johnny Walker won the Street Stock race on Spring Sizzler Weekend.

Walker started the race seventh. He was battling up front the whole race and by lap two he was in fourth. He had a good battle trying to get the lead and then on the last few laps he was battling with Nicole Chambrello for second. The leader George Bessette Jr. got loose, and Walker was right there to take the lead and win on Sizzler Weekend.

“We had a solid top three car; we didn’t necessarily have the best car out there just the way the ball bounced. To come back from where we were last week, we were plowing, last week the car was just awful. We worked on it all week, threw a couple of big swings at it, we were just a little loose today. Feels great to get a win, the clean way and just getting lucky feels good to get the win.”

The top five drivers to finish were: First: Johnny Walker, Second: George Bessette Jr., Third: Meghan Fuller, Fourth: Travis Hydar, Fifth: Dave Secore Jr.

The top five in points after the first two races are:
1. Meghan Fuller 94 points
2. Johnny Walker 90 points -4
3. Travis Hydar 90 points -4
4. Michael Hopkins 86 points -8
5. Steve Kenneway 80 points -14