Story By: SCOTT RUNNING / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – Stafford Speedway returned to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action with a NASCAR Weekly Racing program on Friday, August 9. Ronnie Williams was the winner of the SK Modified® feature, Adam Gray won the Late Model feature, Mark Bakaj won the SK Light feature, Jeremy Lavoie won the Limited Late Model feature, and Meghan Fuller won the Street Stock feature.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, David Arute took the early lead from pole position but the field completed only one lap before the caution flew as point leader Todd Owen got into the turn 3 wall and came to pit road with heavy damage to his right front suspension.
Michael Christopher, Jr. took the lead on the restart with Arute and Marcello Rufrano side by side for second. Eric Berndt was up to fourth with Michael Gervais, Jr. fifth in line. Rufrano took second from Arute on lap-7 and immediately began to apply pressure to Christopher for the lead.
With 15 laps complete, Christopher was still leading Rufrano and Arute with Ronnie Williams up to fourth and Glen Reen fifth. Keith Rocco was now sixth with Gervais back to seventh in line. The caution came out with 26 laps complete for a spin in turn 2 by Dan Wesson with Christopher still leading Rufrano, Arute, Williams, and Reen.
Christopher took the lead back under green with Rufrano in second. Arute and Williams were side by side for third with Williams taking third on lap-29 with a pass in the outside lane. Rocco was fifth right behind Arute as the field completed 30 laps.
Williams got a good run to the inside of Rufrano on lap-31 and he took second with a pass going into turn 3. Williams was right on Christopher’s back bumper as they completed lap-33 with Rufrano, Arute, Rocco, Reen, and Gervais lined up behind them. Williams was looking high and low and he made a move to the inside of Christopher in the middle of turns 3+4 to take the lead on lap-35. Christopher came right back with a crossover move to retake the lead on lap-36.
The two leaders took the white flag with Christopher leading Williams into turn 1. Williams got a good run through the first two corners and as the cars headed into turn 3 Williams sent it in deep to the inside of Christopher and the two cars touched with Williams coming off turn 4 to take the checkered flag by a nose in front of Christopher with Rufrano nearly making it a 3-wide finish. Arute finished fourth with Reen rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Darrell Keane took the lead from pole position with Paul Arute in second. Tyler Leary was third in line with Kevin Gambacorta taking fourth before Al Saunders went 3-wide with Gambacorta and Michael Bennett to move into fourth on lap-3. Adam Gray followed Saunders through to take fifth as Gambacorta fell back to seventh with Bennett in eighth as Ryan Fearn was sixth.
Gray took fourth from Saunders on lap-6 and that move opened the door for Ryan Fearn to follow him through and drop Saunders back to sixth as Arute was applying heavy pressure to Keane in the fight for the lead. With 13 laps complete, Arute was still hounding Keane for the lead with Leary and Gray now lined up behind Arute to make a 4-car train for the lead.
Gray got around Arute to move into second on lap-19 and he took the lead from Keane on lap-21 with a pass going into turn 3. Arute was now third in line with Leary fourth and Tom Fearn up to fifth.
Gray led Keane to the checkered flag to pick up his first win of the 2019 season. Arute finished third with Leary and Tom Fearn rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature event, Robert Bloxsom, III and Amanda West were side by side on the first lap fighting for the lead with Bloxsom getting clear on lap-2. Chris Matthews was third in the early going with Alexander Pearl fourth and Jonathan Puleo in fifth. The caution flew with 5 laps complete for a spin in turn 4 by Rit Dulac.
The field completed one lap with Bloxsom still in the lead befor the caution came back out for Charlie McDougall, who came to a stop in the mini mile off of turn 4.
Back under green, Pearl took the lead with Bryan Narducci quickly moving up to second. Mark Bakaj was third in line with Bloxsom falling back to fourth with Puleo in fifth. Narducci took the lead from Pearl on lap-11 and that move opened the door for Bakaj to pull alongside Pearl for second. Cassandra Cole spun coming off turn 4 to bring the caution back out with 11 laps complete.
Narducci took the lead back under green with Bakaj right behind him in second. Pearl was third with Bloxsom fourth and West in fifth. Wesley Prucker spun coming out of turn 2 to bring the caution back out with 14 laps complete.
Things got bottled up on the restart and Pearl and Joey Ferrigno touched and got into the turn 1 wall to bring the caution out before a lap could be completed. Narducci’s car didn’t come up to speed on the restart and he brought his car to pit road under the caution period and was done for the evening. This put Bloxsom and Bakaj on the front row for the restart with West and Puleo in the second row.
Bakaj powered his way into the lead on the outside of Bloxsom on the restart with Puleo taking second in the high line. Glenn Bartkowski spun coming out of turn 4 to bring the caution back out with 15 laps complete.
Bakaj selected the outside lane for the restart as the leader and he and Puleo were side by side for the lead. The two cars were still side by side as they came to the white flag but the caution came out for a spin in turn 2 by Teddy Hodgdon to set up a green white checkered finish. Bob Charland was black flagged and sent to the rear of the field for making contact with Hodgdon.
Bakaj got a great restart and charged into the lead with Puleo and Bloxsom side by side for second. Puleo got clear on the final lap and pulled to the outside of Bakaj going down the backstretch and into turns 3+4. Bakaj was able to beat Puleo to the checkered flag by a half car length to pick up his second win of the 2019 season. Steven Chapman finished third with Mikey Flynn and Bloxsom rounding out the top-5. Chapman’s car was found to be 2 pounds underweight in post race inspection and he was penalized two positions back to fifth, promoting Flynn to third and Bloxsom to fourth.
In the 15-lap Limited Late Model feature event, Duane Provost led the field to the green but it was Jeremy Lavoie who took the lead on the first lap of the race. Provost slid from the pole back to fifth in line as Gary Patnode was second, Alexandra Fearn third, and Matt Clement fourth.
Lavoie began to slowly stretch out his lead over Patnode while Clement and Provost got around Fearn to move into third and fourth and drop Fearn back to fifth.
The order shifted again on lap-11 as Clement and Patnode touched while dueling for second with Clement taking second and Provost moving into third as Patnode slid back to fourth in front of Fearn as Lavoie continued to slowly pull away.
Lavoie led Clement to the checkered flag to pick up his fourth win of the 2019 season. Provost finished third with Patnode and Fearn rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Street Stock feature event, Meghan Fuller took the lead at the drop of the green flag with Zack Robinson quickly working his way into second. George Bessette, Jr. was side by side with Adrien Paradis, III for third and he took the spot on lap-6. Tyler Trott was fifth when the caution flew with 7 laps complete as Paradis and Trott both spun in turn 3.
Travis Hydar got a good run to the inside of Fuller on the restart but Fuller still had the lead at the line to complete lap-8. The two cars were still side by side on lap-9 with Fuller still in the lead by a nose. Bessette was third in line with Robinson fourth and Marvin Minkler in fifth.
Hydar and Fuller were still side by side on lap-10 with Fuller again leading by a nose at the line. Minkler spun in turn 2 to bring the caution back out with 11 laps complete.
Fuller took the lead with Hydar slotting into second behind Fuller on the restart. Robinson was third in line with Bessette fourth and Paradis was back up to fifth. With two laps to go, Fuller was still in command of the race with Hydar, Robinson, Bessette, and Paradis giving chase.
Fuller led the field to the checkered flag to pick up her third win of the 2019 season. Hydar finished second with Robinson, Bessette, and Paradis rounding out the top-5.
For more information contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at (860) 684-2783, or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.
SK MODIFIED® (40)
1) Ronnie Williams, Tolland
2) Michael Christopher, Jr., Wolcott
3) Marcello Rufrano, North Haven
4) David Arute, Stafford Springs
5) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, MA
6) Keith Rocco, Berlin
7) Michael Gervais, Jr., Wolcott
8) Tyler Hines, North Haven
9) Andrew Molleur, Shelton
10) Stephen Kopcik, Newtown
11) Joey Ternullo, Jr., Middletown
12) Cory DiMatteo, Farmington
13) Joey Cipriano, Waterbury
14) Tyler Leary, Hatfield, MA
15) Joe Gada, Uncasville
16) Dan Wesson, Monson, MA
17) Troy Talman, Oxford, MA
18) Matt Galko, Meriden
19) Anthony Nocella, Woburn, MA
20) Tony Membrino, Jr., Berlin
21) Eric Berndt, Cromwell
22) Todd Owen, Somers
LATE MODEL (30)
1) Adam Gray, Granby, MA
2) Darrell Keane, Enfield
3) Paul Arute, Northridge, MA
4) Tyler Leary, Hatfield, MA
5) Tom Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA
6) Ryan Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA
7) Kevin Gambacorta, Ellington
8) Wayne Coury, Jr., Fairfield
9) Al Saunders, Stafford
10) Michael Bennett, Willington
11) Cliff Saunders, Stafford
12) Michael Wray, Northford
13) Richard Ciriello, Reading, MA
14) Willie Kuhn, Springfield, MA
SK LIGHT MODIFIED (20)
1) Mark Bakaj, Lebanon
2) Jonathan Puleo, Branford
3) Steven Chapman, Ellington
4) Mikey Flynn, Hampden, MA
5) Robert Bloxsom, III, Stratford
6) Nick Anglace, Oxford
7) Chris Matthews, Stafford
8) Ethan Durocher, Canterbury
9) Amanda West, Colchester
10) Glenn Griswold, Vernon
11) Wesley Prucker, Stafford
12) Teddy Hodgdon, Danbury
13) Norm Sears, Andover
14) Cassandra Cole, Westbrook
15) Glenn Bartkowski, Manchester
16) Bob Charland, Stafford
17) Chris Bagnall, Winsted
18) Rit Dulac, Plantsville
19) Ed Chicoski, New Hartford
20) Bryan Narducci, Colchester
21) Alexander Pearl, Salem
22) Joey Ferrigno, East Hartford
23) Sami Anderson, Wolcott
24) Todd Clark, Bristol
25) Alina Bryden, West Springfield, MA
26) Paul French, Andover
27) Charlie McDougall, Derby
LIMITED LATE MODEL (15)
1) Jeremy Lavoie, Windsor Locks
2) Matt Clement, Wethersfield
3) Duane Provost, Palmer, MA
4) Gary Patnode, Barkhamsted
5) Alexandra Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA
6) R.J. Surdell, Willington
7) Kevin Crosby, Coventry
STREET STOCK (20)
1) Meghan Fuller, Auburn, MA
2) Travis Hydar, Woodbury
3) Zack Robinson, Putnam
4) George Bessette, Jr., Danbury
5) Adrien Paradis, III, Plainville
6) Tyler Trott, East Hartford
7) David Macha, Sr., Columbia
8) Chris Danielczuk, Goshen
9) Vince Gambacorta, Ellington
10) Marvin Minkler, Stamford
11) Zach Mecca, Schenedady, NY