Keith Rocco Scores Victory Friday Night At Stafford Motor Speedway

Story By: SCOTT RUNNING / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – Stafford Speedway was back in action on Friday, August 2nd with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour on hand for the 29th Annual Stafford 150.

Scoring Whelen All-American Series feature wins were Keith Rocco in the SK Modified® feature, Tom Fearn in the Late Model feature, Teddy Hodgdon in the SK Light feature, Matt Clement in the Limited Late Model feature, and Zack Robinson in the Street Stock feature.

In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, David Arute led the field to the green and he led the first 3 laps before Michael Christopher took the lead on lap-4. Eric Berndt followed Christopher by Arute to move into second while Tyler Hines took third. Berndt then took the lead from Christopher on lap-6 but Christopher came back and retook the lead on the same lap. The caution flew with 7 laps complete as Arute came to a stop against the turn 1 wall.

Berndt took the lead on the restart with Andrew Molleur coming up to second and Keith Rocco to third. Christopher was fourth with Glen Reen up to fifth. This was the order when the caution flew with 12 laps complete for a spin coming out of turn 2 by Dan Wesson.

Berndt took the lead back under green with Rocco coming up to second. Molleur slotted into third in line with Glen Reen fourth and Christopher fifth. Rocco took the lead from Berndt on lap-16 but Berndt came back to Rocco’s inside on lap-18 to retake the lead. Not to be outdone, Rocco steamed his way back past Berndt in turn 3 on lap-19 to take the lead at the line. Rocco cleared Berndt on lap-20 while Molleur and Reen were side by side for third. Reen finally got clear of Molleur on lap-24 and Christopher followed him by Molleur to take fourth and drop Molleur back to fifth place.

With 10 laps to go, Rocco was still in command with Berndt, Reen, Christopher and Cory DiMatteo in the top-5. Molleur had slid back to eighth as Ronnie Williams was up to sixth and Owen was seventh. Reen got by Berndt with a pass in turn 4 on lap-34 to move into second with Christopher right behind Berndt in fourth.

Rocco led Reen to the checkered flag to pick up his third win of the 2019 season. Berndt finished third with Christopher and DiMatteo rounding out the top-5.

In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Tyler Leary took the early lead from pole position with Paul Arute right behind him in second. Michael Bennett and Kevin Gambacorta were side by side for third with Cliff Saunders in fifth, Al Saunders and Michael Wray side by side for sixth, and Tom and Ryan Fearn side by side for eighth. Tom Fearn quickly sliced his way through traffic and on lap-7 he took fourth from Cliff Saunders. Fearn then took third from Bennett on lap-9 as Leary was pulling away from Arute in second.

Fearn chased Arute down and he took second on lap-16. Fearn’s move opened the door for Bennett to take third and Ryan Fearn fourth as Arute slid back to fifth in line. With 10 laps to go, Leary had a comfortable margin over Tom Fearn, Bennett, Ryan Fearn, and Wayne Coury, Jr.

Ryan Fearn’s great run came to an end on lap-21 as he dropped off the pace and limped back to pit road with a flat right front tire. Richard Ciriello spun coming out of turn 4 to bring the caution out with 25 laps complete and erase the large lead that Leary had built up over the field.

On the restart, Bennett made contact with Leary fighting for the lead and Leary spun coming out of turn 2 to bring the caution back out with 26 laps complete. Bennett was held for a one lap penalty for the contact with Leary.

Fearn was now the leader on the restart with Coury in second. Cliff Saunders was third with Gambacorta and Arute fighting for fourth place. Fearn led Coury to the checkered flag to pick up his seventh win of the 2019 season. Arute and Gambacorta made contact on the last lap with Gambacorta spinning. Arute was penalized to the last car on the lead lap, making Cliff Saunders, Al Saunders, and Wray the remainder of the top-5.

In the 20-lap SK Light feature event, Teddy Hodgdon streaked into the early lead with Joey Ferrigno, Jonathan Puleo, Alexander Pearl, and Mark Bakaj lined up behind him. Puleo pulled to the outside of Ferrigno on lap-5 and he took second on lap-7. Bakaj’s car was smoking from the right front of his car and he was black flagged on lap-8.

Hodgdon still had the lead at the halfway point of the race with Puleo, Ferrigno, Pearl, and Bryan Narducci making up the top-5. The caution came out with 12 laps complete as Robert Bloxsom, III spun coming out of turn 4.

Hodgdon took the lead back under green with Puleo right behind him in second. Ferrigno and Pearl were side by side for third with Narducci and Wesley Prucker right behind them in fifth and sixth. Narducci got around Pearl to move into fourth on lap-17 and he was challenging Ferrigno for third on the outside on lap-18.

Puleo couldn’t get close enough to Hodgdon to make a move as Hodgdon took down his third win of the 2019 season. Narducci finished third with Ferrigno and Pearl rounding out the top-5.

In the 15-lap Limited Late Model feature event, David Tefft took the lead from the pole. Alexandra Fearn was second but she lost second to Matt Clement on lap-2. Jeremy Lavoie was fourth and Duane Provost was fifth in line. The cars ran in line until lap-4 when Provost took fourth to drop Lavoie back to fifth. Provost continued his charge to the front as he took third on lap-6 with Fearn taking fourth and Lavoie fifth as Tefft and Clement were still out front. The caution came out with 9 laps complete for a spin in turn 2 by Kevin Crosby.

Clement charged into the lead on the restart with Tefft and Fearn fighting for second. The two cars touched with Fearn getting into the backstretch wall to bring the caution back out with 10 laps complete. Tefft was sent to the rear of the field for the contact with Fearn.

Clement took the lead on the restart with Lavoie and Provost side by side for second. Gary Patnode was fourth with R.J. Surdell in fifth. Lavoie got clear from Provost and Patnode then took third from Provost on lap-13. Lavoie couldn’t get close enough to Clement to make a bid for the lead as Clement took down his sixth win of the 2019 season. Patnode finished third with Provost and Surdell rounding out the top-5.

In the 20-lap Street Stock feature event, the caution flew at the start as Paul Bourdon, Jr. and Tess Beyer spun in turn 1. Dave Secore set the early pace on the restart with Meghan Fuller, and Adrien Paradis, III lined up behind him. Nicole Chambrello and Zack Robinson were side by side for fourth. By lap-4 Robinson had gotten around Paradis for third and was applying heavy pressure to Fuller for second. Robinson made the move to take second on lap-7 with Secore still out front. The caution flew with 7 laps complete as Beyer spun in turn 4.

Robinson streaked into the lead on the restart with George Bessette, Jr. coming up to second. Secore fell from the lead back to third with Chambrello fourth and Travis Hydar up to fifth. Hydar took fourth from Chambrello on lap-11, opening the door for Fuller to move into fifth and drop Chambrello back to sixth.

Hydar went to the outside lane on lap-13 to overtake Secore for third and Fuller followed suit in the outside lane to move into fourth and drop Secore back to fifth in line. Bessette made a move to the inside of Robinson on lap-17 but Robinson was able to fend off the challenge and maintain the lead. Bessette wouldn’t get close enough over the final 3 laps to make a move as Robinson scored his fifth win of the 2019 season. Hydar finished third with Fuller and Secore rounding out the top-5.

1) Keith Rocco, Berlin
2) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, MA
3) Eric Berndt, Cromwell
4) Michael Christopher, Jr., Wolcott
5) Cory DiMatteo, Farmington
6) Ronnie Williams, Tolland
7) Todd Owen, Somers
8) Tony Membrino, Jr., Berlin
9) Andrew Molleur, Shelton
10) Michael Gervais, Jr., Wolcot
11) Marcello Rufrano, North Haven
12) Tyler Hines, North Haven
13) Tyler Leary, Hatfield, MA
14) Troy Talman, Oxford, MA
15) Dan Wesson, Monson, MA
16) Matt Galko, Meriden
17) Stephen Kopcik, Newtown
18) David Arute, Stafford Springs

1) Tom Fearn, East Longmeadow, M
2) Wayne Coury, Jr., Fairfield
3) Cliff Saunders, Stafford
4) Al Saunders, Stafford
5) Michael Wray, Northford
6) Tyler Leary, Hatfield, MA
7) Greg DeMone, Ludlow, MA
8) Mike Mordino, Southington
9) Richard Ciriello, Reading, MA
10) Kevin Gambacorta, Ellington
11) Paul Arute, Northridge, MA
12) Gary Theriault, Enfield
13) Michael Bennett, Willington
14) Ryan Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA
15) Darrell Keane, Enfield

1) Teddy Hodgdon, Danbury
2) Jonathan Puleo, Branford
3) Bryan Narducci, Colchester
4) Joey Ferrigno, East Hartfor
5) Alexander Pearl, Salem
6) Wesley Prucker, Stafford
7) Steven Chapman, Ellington
8) Amanda West, Colchester
9) Bob Charland, Stafford
10) Nick Anglace, Oxford
11) Chris Matthews, Stafford
12) Glenn Bartkowski, Manchester
13) Ethan Durocher, Canterbury
14) Chris Viens, Putnam
15) Robert Bloxsom III, Stratford
16) Chris Bagnall, Winsted
17) Alina Bryden, West Springfield, MA
18) Paul French, Andover
19) Mark Bakaj, Lebanon
20) Norm Sears, Andover
21) Sami Anderson, Wolcott
22) Charles McDougall, Derby
23) Todd Clark, Bristol

1) Matt Clement, Wethersfield
2) Jeremy Lavoie, Windsor Locks
3) Gary Patnode, Barkhamsted
4) Duane Provost, Palmer, MA
5) R.J. Surdell, Willington
6) Devon Jencik, Canton
7) David Tefft, Southampton, MA
8) Kevin Crosby, Coventry
9) Alexandra Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA

1) Zack Robinson, Putnam
2) George Bessette, Jr., Danbury
3) Travis Hydar, Woodbury
4) Meghan Fuller, Auburn, MA
5) Dave Secore, Union
6) Nicole Chambrello, Kensington
7) Jason Lafayette, Somers
8) Tess Beyer, Stratton, VT
9) Adrien Paradis, III, Plainville
10) Vince Gambacorta, Ellington
11) Chris Danielczuk, Goshen
12) Marvin Minkler, Stamford
13) Paul Bourdon, Jr., Jewett City
14) Ed Dion, Stafford