RPW Exclusive: Kids Night At Stafford Speedway Goes To Eric Berndt

Column By: BRITTANY NUTILE / RPW – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – Eric Berndt won the SK Modified race on Whelen event night/kids’ night at Stafford Speedway.

Berndt started the race in 6th place, by lap 10 he took the lead. He had a good run going but, had to keep an eye on the rear-view mirror because Keith Rocco was right behind him catching him.

“We made some changes but, definitely don’t want to see the 88 on your mirror because he can pull something out of a hat. Our car was strong, I think both me and Keith’s cars were good in the same spots. So, it’s hard to make a move. Then, Rocco caught him and took the lead away from Berndt for two laps and then Eric had drove by Rocco for the lead once again and kept the lead until the checkered flag. Rocco Also had a good race, didn’t get the win but, still had a good race and finish. Keith started the race in 8th place and made his way up to the front pretty fast. By lap 4 he was in the top 5 and going forward.

Glen Reen finished 3rd, started the race 13th and had to make his way through the field to get up to the top spots. By lap 3 Reen was battling with Marcello Rufrano for 6th place. He had a fast car that was getting around a lot of cars to get to the top 5 by lap 25.

Troy Talman finished in the 4th spot, he started the race on the pole. He had another fast car again this week and he stayed in the top 5 for the entire race, he was in the top 3 until lap 37 until Reen took over the 3rd spot.

Top 5 finishers
1. Eric Berndt
2. Keith Rocco
3. Glen Reen
4. Troy Talman
5. Cory DiMatteo

Top 5 in the points standings
1. Michael Gervais Jr. 262 pts. +6
2. Todd Owen 256 pts. –6
3. Keith Rocco 220 pts. -42
4. Eric Berndt 216 pts. -46
5. Glen Reen 208 pts. -54

SK Lights
Alexander Pearl won the SK light race at Stafford Speedway.  Pearl started the race in 5th place.

Todd Douillard had the pole for the start of the race, he took the lead right off the bat and then lost the lead and went back to the 4th position but, was driving well and kept a good pace not falling back too far. But, at lap 7 there was a caution which involved Douillard and Glenn Griswold and both were out of the race. Todd finished the race in 23rd place, and Glenn Griswold finished the race in 22nd place.

Alexander Pearl in an interview talking about his win after the race: “We started up front, after having a rough last couple of weeks, but can’t thank everyone enough. Got out front early and just never looked back. This is awesome.”

Nick Anglace started the race 5th and had a good car for the race, kept it up front and drove a clean race. Anglace stayed in the top 5 fell back to 6th for a few laps and 7th for a lap. But, from lap 8 to lap 20 he stayed in 2nd place and finished there. He’s had a good few races and definitely seems to be approving.

Bryan Narducci finished 4th and had to work his way through a lot of traffic when starting in 14th. He started the first few races either winning or not finishing the race but, now he seemed to be having more consistent runs and just getting better finishes and trying to get a lot more wins in his 2019 season.

Top 5 finishers
1. Alexander Pearl
2. Nick Anglace
3. Teddy Hodgdon
4. Bryan Narducci
5. Mikey Flynn

Top 5 in points standings
1. Teddy Hodgdon 244 pts. +10
2. Noah Korner-R 234 pts. -10
3. Steven Chapman-R 228 pts. -16
4. Jonathan Puleo-R 216 pts. -28
5. Alexander Pearl 210 pts. -34

Late Models
Kevin Gambacorta has been having a very good start to the season. This was his second win in the first six races.

For the Gambacorta family, it was an amazing day at the racetrack. Kevin’s son Kolton won the big wheel race and then after that race Kevin won the late model race. Its also Kevin and Sarah’s anniversary, they are celebrating being married for 11 years. Kevin started the race in 10th place. He has been very fast and moved up through the field and had Tom Fearn right behind him, who started the race in front of him in 9th place.

“For half that race I was like we aren’t going to be on the podium this week we were like 8th. But all of a sudden, I don’t know if the guys drop off or I get better, but, I started picking up spots. We’ve run decent, been a top 5 car but, never the dominant car. We are going to just embrace it and keep trying to do what we’ve been doing. It seems to be working.” Kevin says in an interview after his win.

Tyler Leary won the pole for the start of the race. He did very well in the race, he stayed in the top 5 for the whole race. He finished the race 3rd behind Tom Fearn and Kevin won the race. He’s in the top 5 in points being in 3rd place in the points, 40 points out of the lead for the point standings.

Top 5 finishers
1. Kevin Gambacorta
2. Tom Fearn
3. Tyler Leary
4. Cliff Saunders
5. Michael Wray

Top 5 in point standings
1. Tom Fearn 278 pts. +34
2. Kevin Gambacorta 244 pts. -34
3. Tyler Leary 238 pts. -40
4. Michael Wray 236 pts. -42
5. Michael Bennett 234 pts. -44

Limited Late Models
Gary Patnode won his first race in the Limited Late model division.

Gary started the race in 3rd place. In the first 6 races he has had a very fast car and has been up front for most of the race and has finished 2nd twice, 4th twice, a 3rd place and a win this week. After tonight’s race Gary is 2nd in the point standings behind the current points leader and defending champion, Jeremy Lavoie.

Gary talked about how good this first win feels and how he got started in motorsports in an interview after the race: “It means the world; I don’t even know how to describe it. I know we have been really close this whole year we’ve had a winning car, I finally put it together. I knew Jeremy was nipping at my heels, I just knew I couldn’t let him get by me so, I held the bottom. If I let Jeremy get by me that was it because Jeremy knows what he’s doing. Wow! Good stuff.”

Jeremy Lavoie has been having good finishes in the last few weeks, after he did some changes this week and last week Jeremy has been doing very well in the race. He started the race 5th and had a fast car and got up to the front in the first few laps and drove a good clean race against Gary and finished 2nd.

Top 5 finishers
1. Gary Patnode
2. Jeremy Lavoie
3. Matt Clement
4. Alexandra Fearn
5. Kyle Casagrande

Top 5 in the point standings
1. Jeremy Lavoie 282 pts. +2
2. Gary Patnode 280 pts. -2
3. Matt Clement 274 pts. -8
4. Alexandra Fearn 258 pts. -24
5. Duane Provost 236 pts. -46

Street Stocks
Zack Robinson won the Street Stock race Friday night at Stafford Speedway.  Zack started the race in fifth place.

He has had a very car and made his way into the top 3 by lap 5 and was fighting for the lead with Travis Hydar by lap 10. Travis Hydar had a good car and almost won the race tonight. He started 3rd in the race and had taken the lead by lap 5 and then led for 5 laps until Robinson took the lead. Travis finished the race in 3rd place.

Zack talks about his win in an interview after the race: “This car is good; we had a good finish at Thompson this ends the week in good. Travis definitely had a good car tonight, I didn’t want to get into him, I gave him a little nudge going into 3. Its racing I had to do what I had to do to get the top spot.” Meghan Fuller had another fast car this week she started the race 4th and seemed to just be a dominant car every week and this week staying up in the top 3 for the whole race.

Top 5 finishers
1. Zack Robinson
2. Meghan Fuller
3. Travis Hydar
4. George Bessette Jr.
5. Nicole Chambrello

Top 5 in the point standings
1. Meghan Fuller 276 pts. +6
2. Travis Hydar 270 pts. -6
3. George Bessette Jr. 248 pts. -28
4. Zack Robinson 244 pts. -32
5. Adrien Paradis III-R 234 pts. -42