Stephen Kopcik Captures First Win Of 2020 Season At Stafford Motor Speedway Friday

Story By: SCOTT RUNNING / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – Stafford Speedway hosted Weekly Racing action on Friday, September 25 with all 5 of its divisions in feature action.

Stephen Kopcik used a mid-race charge to the front of the field to come away with his first SK Modified® victory of the 2020 season, Wayne Coury, Jr. picked up his second Late Model win of 2020, Alexander Pearl won his 2nd consecutive and fourth overall race of 2020 in the SK Light feature, Matt Clement scored his first win of the 2020 season in the Limited Late Model feature, and Meghan Fuller notched her 2nd consecutive and third overall feature win of 2020 in the Street Stock feature.

In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, there was a pileup of cars in turn 1 at the start involving the cars of Dan Avery, Tyler Leary, Glen Reen, Jonathan Smith, PJ Peters, and John Catania to bring the caution out before a lap could be completed. The second start saw another pileup of cars in turn 3 that involved several cars including Keith Rocco, Marcello Rufrano, Teddy Hodgdon, Jeff Malave, and several others. The third start saw Tony Membrino, Jr. take the early lead with David Arute right behind him in second. Michael Gervais, Jr. was third followed by Michael Christopher, Jr. and a side by side duel for fifth between Andrew Molleur and Matt Vassar.

Christopher got around Gervais for third on lap-5 while Stephen Kopcik and Todd Owen were both challenging Vassar for fifth place. Arute made a move to the inside of Membrino on lap-8 but Membrino was able to hold him off. Arute and Christopher were now side by side for second with Gervais, Kopcik and Owen lined up behind them. Christopher got clear into second place on lap-11 and Gervais took third from Arute on lap-12. Kopcik took fourth from Arute on lap-13 and Owen took fifth to drop Arute back to sixth in line. Kopcik was charging his way towards the front as he took second on lap-17 and then took the lead on lap-18. Christopher took second from Membrino on lap-19 with Owen now in fourth, Gervais fifth, and Arute sixth. Malave, Rufrano, and Smith all spun in turn 4 to bring the caution back out with 23 laps complete.

Kopcik took the lead on the restart with Christopher in second. Owen was third followed by Membrino, Gervais, Arute, Molleur, and Rocco, who had recovered from his misfortune at the start of the race. With 10 laps to go it was still Kopcik in command followed by Owen, Christopher, Gervais, Membrino, Arute, Rocco, Molleur, Vassar, and Hodgdon. Kopcik cruised to his first win of the 2020 season with Owen, Christopher, Gervais, and Membrino rounding out the top-5.

In the 30-lap Late Model feature, there was a pileup of cars coming to the green flag that involved the cars of Paul Arute, Kevin Gambacorta, Duane Provost, Michael Wray, Tyler Leary, and John Blake that brought out the caution flag.

Dave Wray took the lead on the next start with Michael Bennett and Darrell Keane locked in a side by side duel for second. Ryan Fearn was fourth with Wayne Coury, Jr. in fifth. Bennett got clear of Keane on lap-4 but he didn’t last very long in second place as Ryan Fearn charged his way by. Bennett spun through the frontstretch grass to bring the caution back out with 5 laps complete with Keane getting sent to the rear of the field for making contact with Bennett.

Wray took the lead back under green but he only led one more lap as Coury went to the front on lap-7. Coury’s move opened the door for Ryan Fearn to follow him through and take second. Wray continued to slide backwards as Al Saunders took third, Tom Fearn fourth and Leary fifth. Keane spun coming out of turn 2 on lap-9 but he was able to quickly rejoin the field and the race stayed green but Keane’s car came to a stop at the end of the backstretch to bring the caution back out with 9 laps complete.

The restart saw Tom Fearn and Ryan Fearn split Coury for the lead with Tom Fearn emerging in the lead followed by Saunders, Adam Gray, Coury, and Gambacorta as Ryan Fearn slipped back to seventh in line behind Bennett. Gray got around Saunders to move into second on lap-13 and Coury took third on lap-14 to drop Saunders back to fourth in line. Gray was applying heavy pressure to Tom Fearn for the lead and Gray was able to get to Fearn’s inside on lap-16 but Fearn still had the lead by a nose at the line. Gray got clear into the lead on lap-17 with Coury taking second on lap-18. Saunders pulled alongside Fearn but fell back into line in fourth.

With 10 laps to go, Gray was still in the lead but Coury was all over his back bumper looking to take the lead away. Tom Fearn was third followed by Leary and Ryan Fearn. Gray suddenly slowed coming off turn 4 as his engine appeared to shut off on lap-21 and he spun after Coury got into his back bumper to bring the caution out. Gray immediately got out of his car and his car was towed behind the wall, finished for the evening.

Coury took the lead on the restart with Leary coming up to second. Ryan Fearn was third in line followed by Saunders and Keane. Gambacorta and Tom Fearn were side by side for sixth with Gambacorta getting the better of that duel. Keane took fourth from Saunders on lap-24 with Bennett taking fifth from Saunders on lap-27 while Coury was still leading Leary and Ryan Fearn.

Coury held off Leary and Ryan Fearn to the checkered flag to pick up his second win of the 2020 season. Following post race inspection, Leary’s car was found to have an unapproved trailing arm and he was disqualified from the finish. This made the new top-5 Coury, Ryan Fearn, Keane, Bennett, and Saunders.

In the 20-lap SK Light feature, Joey Ferrigno took the lead at the green but on lap-2 Bob Charland made a move to his inside with Andrew Les to Ferrigno’s outside and the cars ran 3-wide for a lap before Ferrigno emerged with the lead. Charland came back to Ferrigno’s inside and the two cars touched in turn 3 with Ferrigno nearly spinning and several other cars were involved to bring the caution out with 4 laps complete. Ferrigno and Charland brought their cars to pit road, finished for the evening with Les and Peter Bennett the new front row with Norm Sears and Steven Chapman making up row 2 for the restart.

Bennett took the lead on the restart with Sears in second. Jonathan Puleo came up to third with Derek Debbis in fourth and Alexander Pearl in fifth. Sears made a move to the inside of Bennett on lap-6 but Bennett was able to maintain the lead by a nose. Sears and Bennett remained side by side until lap-8 when Bennett got clear into the lead. Debbis tok second with Pearl third, Puleo fourth and Brian Sullivan in fifth as Sears slid back to sixth. Les came to a stop in the middle of turns 1+2 to bring the caution out with 9 laps complete.

Bennett took the lead back under green with Puleo coming up to second. Debbis was third in line with Pearl in fourth but the field could only complete one lap as Sears got into the wall coming out of turn 4 and came to a stop on the frontstretch to bring the caution back out with 10 laps complete.

Bennett again took the lead on the restart with Pearl coming up to second. Puleo was third in line followed by Steven Chapman and Debbis. Pearl made a move to the inside of Bennett on lap-13 but Bennett still had the lead at the line. Pearl completed his pass for the lead on lap-14 and Puleo was now side by side with Bennett for second. Puleo fell back to third in line on lap-15 and he had Debbis and Sullivan behind him with Pearl and Bennett in front of him.

Debbis went around Puleo to take over third on lap-17 and he made a charge to the inside of Bennett for second on lap-18 but Bennett was able to hold off his challenge. Pearl led the field to the checkered flag to pick up his second consecutive win and his 4th overall win of 2020. Bennett finished second with Debbis, Puleo, and Sullivan rounding out the top-5.

In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, Lucas Leone took the lead at the drop of the green but before the first lap was complete, Matt Clement stuck his nose in front of Leone to take the lead at the line. Clement cleared Leone on lap-2 and Leone slid back to fifth in line as Jeremy Lavoie took second, Andrew Durand third, and Alexandra Fearn fourth. Jay Clement came to a stop coming out of turn 4 to bring the caution out with 8 laps complete with Matt Clement still leading Lavoie, Durand, Fearn, and Leone.

On the restart, the caution came right back out for a spin in turn 1 by Durand. Durand pulled his car to pit road and was finished for the evening. Matt Clement powered his way back to the lead on the restart with Fearn coming up to second. Lavoie was third in line followed by Rich Hammann and Jay Clement.

With 5 laps to go, Matt Clement was still in the lead with Fearn, Lavoie, Hamann, and Jay Clement giving chase. Gary Patnode got around Jay Clement on lap-16 to move into fifth place while Fearn was trying her hardest to make a run and get around Matt Clement for the lead.

Fearn couldn’t get close enough to Clement to make a move as Clement scored his first win of the 2020 season. Lavoie finished third with Hammann and Patnode rounding out the top-5.

In the 20-lap Street Stock feature, Christopher Phelps spun in turn 3 to bring the caution out before a lap could be completed. The next restart saw Marvin Minkler and William DesJardins come together in turn 2 with DesJardins’ car rolling over onto its roof to bring out the red and yellow flags before a lap could be completed. The third start saw George Yuska take the early lead with Adrien Paradis, III in second. Nickolas Hovey was third but he lost third to Frank L’Etoile, Jr. on lap-2. Meghan Fuller took fourth and Chris Meyer took fifth as Hovey slid back to eighth.

L’Etoile took the lead from Yuska on lap-6 and his move opened the door for Fuller to follow him through and take second. Yuska continued to slide backwards to seventh place as Meyer took third, Travis Hydar fourth, Zack Robinson fifth, and Paradis sixth. L’Etoile and Fuller were pulling away from Meyer in third when Hydar took third from Meyer on lap-12. Robinson followed him by to take fourth on lap-13 and drop Meyer back to fifth in line as L’Etoile and Fuller were inches apart at the front of the field. Fuller made a move to the inside of L’Etoile on lap-14 and she took the lead on lap-15.

Fuller led the field to the checkered flag to pick up her second consecutive win and third overall win of 2020. L’Etoile finished second with Hydar, Robinson, and Meyer rounding out the top-5.

1) Stephen Kopcik, Newtown
2) Todd Owen, Somers
3) Michael Christopher, Jr., Wolcott
4) Michael Gervais, Jr., Wolcott
5) Tony Membrino, Jr., Wolcott
6) David Arute, Stafford Springs
7) Keith Rocco, Berlin
8) Andrew Molleur, Shelton
9) Teddy Hodgdon, Danbury
10) Matt Vassar, Plantsville
11) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, MA
12) Tyler Hines, North Haven
13) Mikey Flynn, Hampden, MA
14) David Burnham, East Hartford
15) Troy Talman, Oxford, MA
16) Chase Dowling, Roxbury
17) Bryan Narducci, Colchester
18) Tyler Leary, Hatfield, MA
19) Ronnie Williams, Tolland
20) John Catania, Agawam, MA
21) Jeff Malave, Manchester
22) Marcello Rufrano, North Haven
23) Jonathan Smith, Trumbull
24) Noah Korner, Canton
25) Dan Avery, Somers
26) P.J. Peters, Oxford

1) Wayne Coury, Jr., Fairfield
2) Ryan Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA
3) Darrell Keane, Enfield
4) Michael Bennett, Willington
5) Al Saunders, Stafford
6) Kevin Gambacorta, Ellington
7) Dave Wray, Durham
8) Paul Varricchio, Jr., Berlin
9) Greg DeMone, Ludlow, MA
10) Tom Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA
11) Gary Theriault, Enfield
12) Paul Arute, Northridge, MA
13) Adam Gray, Granby, MA
14) Duane Provost, Palmer, MA
15) John Blake, North Haven
16) Michael Wray, Northford

1) Alexander Pearl, Salem
2) Peter Bennett, Cromwell
3) Derek Debbis, Oakdale
4) Jonathan Puleo, Branford
5) Brian Sullivan, Tolland
6) George Bessette, Jr., Danbury
7) Chris Matthews, Stafford
8) Steven Chapman, Ellington
9) Amanda West, Colchester
10) Paul Charette, Woodstock
11) Tyler Chapman, Ellington
12) Wesley Prucker, Stafford
13) Alina Bryden, West Springfield, Ma
14) Todd Douillard, Palmer, Ma
15) Nick Anglace, Oxford
16) Nicole Chambrello, Kensington
17) Glenn Bartkowski, Manchester
18) Norm Sears, Andover
19) Andrew Les, Palmer, Ma
20) Joey Ferrigno, East Hartford
21) Bob Charland, Stafford

1) Matt Clement, Wethersfield
2) Alexandra Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA
3) Jeremy Lavoie, Windsor Locks
4) Rich Hammann, Tolland
5) Gary Patnode, New Hartford
6) Jay Clement, Wethersfield
7) Lucas Leone, Southington
8) David Shinder, West Granby
9) Andrew Durand, Chicopee, MA
10) Damian Palardy, Willington

1) Meghan Fuller, Auburn, MA
2) Frank L’Etoile, Jr., Wethersfield
3) Travis Hydar, Woodbury
4) Zack Robinson, Putnam
5) Chris Meyer, North Franklin
6) Adrien Paradis, III, Plainville
7) George Yuska, South Glastonbury
8) Jason Finkbein, Manchester
9) Nickolas Hovey, Chaplin
10) Tyler Trott, East Hartford
11) Bobby Stirk, III, Naugatuck
12) Daltin Mccarthy, Oxford, MA
13) David Macha, Sr., Columbia
14) Kyle Johnson, Manchester
15) Jason Futoma, Avon
16) William DesJardins, Bristol
17) Marvin Minkler, Stamford
18) Chris Danielczuk, Goshen
19) Christopher Phelps, New Salem, MA
20) Thomas Hanley, Winsted