Story By: SCOTT RUNNING / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – Stafford Speedway returned to Friday night racing action with a Stafford Weekly Series program on Friday night, May 21st.
It was another dynamite night of spectacular racing action at the Connecticut half-mile facility with Chase Dowling coming out on top of a 3-wide duel that lasted several laps after a mid-race restart to pick up his first SK Modified® feature win of the 2021 season.
Kevin Gambacorta borrowed a ride from Andy Marchese and drove to his first Late Model win in nearly 2 years; Nick Anglace scored his first career SK Light win in a thrilling duel with Alexander Pearl that came down to the last lap with Anglace taking the win by the nose of his car; Alexandra Fearn won for the second time this season in the Limited Late Model feature, and Frank L’Etoile, Jr. his second consecutive Street Stock feature.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Tom Bolles and Dan Wesson spun on the backstretch to bring the caution out before a lap could be completed. Bryan Narducci took the lead on the restart with Matt Vassar coming up to second. Chase Dowling and Doug Meservey, Jr. were side by side for third place with Teddy Hodgdon taking fifth from Ronnie Williams on lap-4. Dowling made a move to the inside of Vassar to move into second on lap-5 while Hodgdon was side by side with Meservey for fourth place. Bolles and Wesson spun in turn 1 to bring the caution out with 5 laps complete.
Dowling took the lead from Narducci by a nose at the line on the restart and he got clear to the lead on lap-6 but the caution came back out for a multicar incident in turn 3 involving Todd Owen, Mikey Flynn, Noah Korner, and Andrew Molleur.
Dowling and Narducci ran side by side for a lap and a half for the lead before Dowling got clear on lap-8. Vassar was third in line with Michael Gervais, Jr. up to fourth and Marcello Rufrano and Meservey side by side for fifth. Another multi-car incident in turn 3 involving Molleur, Keith Rocco, Jon Puleo, Tyler Leary, and Flynn brought the caution back out with 9 laps complete.
Dowling took the lead again on the restart with Narducci in second. Gervais settled into third with Vassar fourth and Rufrano in fifth. Hodgdon made a move under Rufrano to take fifth on lap-13 with Tyler Hines taking sixth as Rufrano fell back to seventh. Rufrano got loose in turn 4 on lap-15 and lost several more spots as Todd Owen took seventh and Stephen Kopcik eighth with Rufrano dropping back to ninth place.
At the halfway point of the race, Dowling held a lead of several car lengths over a 5-car train of Narducci, Gervais, Vassar, Hines, and Hodgdon. Gervais made a move to the inside of Narducci on lap-21 to move into second. Hodgdon spun coming down the frontstretch that brought the caution out with 22 laps complete.
On the restart, Narducci spun which collected the cars of Hines, Meservey, Wesson, and Korner to bring the caution right back out. Vassar was sent to the rear by Stafford officials for making contact with Narducci. The restart saw a flurry of action at the front of the field as Gervias took the lead on the outside of Dowling but Dowling came right back to make it 3-wide with Gervais and Rufrano with Dowling coming away with the lead before Rufrano went to the front on lap-26. Owen was on a charge, moving into third behind Rufrano and Dowling on lap-27. Dowling went back to the front on lap-28 with a pass in turns 3+4. With 10 laps to go, Dowling held the lead with Rufrano, Owen, Michael Christopher, Jr., and Gervais right behind him.
Christopher got by Owen to move into third and he took second from Rufrano on lap-38 to move into second place with 2 laps to go. Christopher couldn’t catch Dowling as Dowling notched his first win of the 2021 season. Rufrano finished third with Owen and Gervais rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature, Tom Butler took the early race lead from pole position. Marc Curtis was second but he began to fade on lap-2 in the outside lane as John Blake took second, Andrew Molleur third, Kevin Gambacorta fourth and Darrell Keane fifth. Curtis fell all the way back to 14th place while up front Molleur was all over the back of Blake looking to move into second place.
Blake was able to hold Molleur off and he took the lead from Butler on lap-9. Butler’s move opened the door for Gambacorta, who got around Molleur for second, Molleur, and Keane to all get by Butler and drop Butler back to fifth place. Michael Bennett, who won the first 2 races of the season, was off the pace and he fell a lap down to the leaders on lap-11.
Gambacorta made a move to the inside of Blake in turn 2 to take over the race lead on lap-14. Molleur and Keane followed Gambacorta by Blake to move into second and third and drop Blake back to fourth place, just in front of a group of cars including Butler, Tom Fearn, Ryan Fearn, and Adam Gray. Butler would lose several more spots as on lap-18 Tom Fearn, Ryan Fearn, and Gray all got by to drop Butler back to eighth place. The caution came out with 22 laps complete as Armand Cote, Jr. got into the turn 1 wall.
Gambacorta took the lead with Molleur taking a look to his inside before slotting back into second. Gray spun in turn 1 and collected several other cars, including Wayne Coury, Jr. with 23 laps complete to bring the caution back out.
Molleur briefly took the lead from Gambacorta by a nose but by the time they got back to the start/finish line Gambacorta was back in the lead. Blake was able to take second from Molleur on lap-26 with Butler in fourth and Keane in fifth. Molleur came right back on Blake and he moved back to second place on lap-27. Molleur and Blake swapping positions allowed Gambacorta to pull away by several car lengths. Keane got by Butler on lap-29 to move into fourth but it was all Gambacorta at the front as he scored his first win in nearly 2 seasons. Molleur finished second with Blake, Keane and Tom Fearn rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap SK Light feature event, Nicole Chambrello spun in turn 1 on the start to bring the caution out right after the green flag was displayed to the field. Joey Ferrigno took the lead on the restart with Nick Anglace taking second. Alexander Pearl was quickly up to third with Tyler Barry and Josh Carey side by side for fourth place. Anglace took a look to the inside of Ferrigno on lap-4 but was unable to make a bid for the lead. Pearl went around Anglace to take over second on lap-4 and on lap-5 he made a move the inside of Ferrigno for the lead and he completed the pass on lap-6. Pearl’s move allowed Anglace to follow him by Ferrigno and take over second place. Tyler Chapman spun coming out of turn 2 to bring the caution back out with 6 laps complete.
Pearl and Anglace were side by side for the lead back under green with Ferrigno and Carey side by side for third and Steven Chapman in fifth. Pearl was able to get clear from Anglace on lap-10 with Carey getting clear of Ferrigno for third place with Steven Chapman still holding down fifth place. Cassandra Cole spun in turn 3 to bring the caution back out with 12 laps complete.
Pearl took the lead back under green with Anglace in second. Ferrigno was third in line followed by the side by side duo of Brian Sullivan and Carey, Derek Debbis, and Steven Chapman. Sullivan took third from Carey on lap-17 and Debbis was looking to take fourth from Carey when the two cars touched, sending Carey around and bringing the caution back out with 17 laps complete to set up a 3 lap dash to the finish. Debbis was sent to the rear of the field by Stafford officials for making contact with Carey.
Anglace went deep into turn 3 on the restart to almost take the lead by a nose at the line but Ferrigno spun and collected the car of Amanda West to bring the caution back out with 18 laps complete.
Anglace powered around Pearl on the restart to take the lead. Steven Chapman was third followed by Sullivan and Bob Charland. Pearl came back to the inside of Anglace going down the backstretch on the final lap and he inched his nose in front of Anglace going into turn 3. Anglace kept his foot in the gas and they came off turn 4 side by side nose to nose with Anglace nipping Pearl by the slightest of margins to collect his first career SK Light victory at Stafford. Steven Chapman finished third with Bob Charland and Brian Sullivan rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, Gary Patnode used a strong 3-wide move at the drop of the green to take the early race lead. Jeremy Lavoie and R.J. Surdell were side by side for second with Lavoie taking the spot on lap-2. Matt Clement moved into third on lap-3 with Rich Hammann taking fourth and Alexandra Fearn fifth as Surdell slid back to sixth place. Damian Palardy spun in turn 3 to bring the caution out with 2 laps complete.
Lavoie powered his way around Patnode to take over the race lead on the restart. Fearn was third in line behind Patnode and Lavoie with Matt Clement fourth and Hammann fifth. Fearn went by Patnode in turn 3 on lap-6 to move up to second and drop Patnode back to third.
At the halfway point of the race Lavoie was still in command but Fearn was right on his back bumper. Fearn made a move to the inside of Lavoie in turn 1 on lap-11 and she took over the race lead. Matt Clement was third followed by Hammann and Patnode. Fearn was slowly starting to stretch out her lead over Lavoie while Clement and Hammann were right behind Lavoie to make a 3-car train for second place. Hammann made a move around Clement to take third place on lap-18 while Fearn was still comfortably ahead of Lavoie for the lead.
Fearn led the field to the checkered flag to pick up her second win of the 2021 season with Lavoie, Hammann, Matt Clement, and Patnode rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Street Stock feature event, Adrien Paradis, III took the early race lead while Chris Danielczuk went around Marvin Minkler to take second place. Bobby Stirk, III and Travis Downey went by Minkler for third and fourth place on lap-2 and Minkler continued to slide backwards as he was stuck in the outside lane. Minkler fell outside the top-10 to 15th place while Paradis was starting to stretch out his lead over Stirk with 5 laps complete. Downey was still third with Frank L’Etoile, Jr. fourth, Chris Meyer fifth and Travis Hydar sixth. Meyer took over fourth on lap-6 and his move allowed Hydar and Bert Ouellette to follow him through and drop Downey back to seventh in line. Meyer continued his charge to the front as he took third from Stirk on lap-9 with Paradis and L’Etoile the two cars in front of him. Hydar and Ouellette followed Meyer past Stirk to drop Stirk back to sixth.
With 5 laps to go, Paradis was still in command but L’Etoile was slowly reeling him in with Meyer and Hydar right behind him. The caution flew with 16 laps complete for Tyler Trott, who spun coming out of turn 4.
Jeremy Washburn spun on the backstretch as the race went back to green but he kept going and there was no caution. L’Etoile took the lead on the outside of Paradis with Meyer now stalking Paradis for second. Hydar was fourth in line with Ouellette in fifth place. L’Etoile led the field to the checkered flag to pick up his second consecutive Street Stock feature win of the 2021 season. Paradis finished second with Meyer, Hydar, and Ouellette rounding out the top-5.
SK MODIFIED® (40)
1) Chase Dowling, Bethlehem
2) Michael Christopher, Jr., Wolcott
3) Marcello Rufrano, North Haven
4) Todd Owen, Somers
5) Michael Gervais, Jr., Wolcott
6) Stephen Kopcik, Newtown
7) David Arute, Stafford Springs
8) Jon Puleo, Branford
9) Ronnie Williams, Tolland
10) Andrew Molleur, Shelton
11) Matt Vassar, Plantsville
12) Dylan Kopec, Feeding Hills, MA
13) Tom Bolles, Ellington
14) Bryan Narducci, Colchester
15) Dan Wesson, Monson, MA
16) Doug Meservey, Jr., Chatham, MA
17) Tyler Hines, North Haven
18) Noah Korner, Avon
19) Teddy Hodgdon, Danbury
20) Keith Rocco, Berlin
21) Mikey Flynn, Hampden, MA
22) Tyler Leary, Hatfield, MA
LATE MODEL (30)
1) Kevin Gambacorta, Ellington
2) Andrew Molleur, Shelton
3) John Blake, North Haven
4) Darrell Keane, Enfield
5) Tom Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA
6) Michael Wray, Durham
7) Adam Gray, Granby, MA
8) Tom Butler, Stafford Springs
9) Ryan Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA
10) Richard Lanagan, Broad Brook
11) Paul Arute, Northbridge, MA
12) Zack Robinson, Putnam
13) Wayne Coury, Jr., Fairfield
14) Andrew Durand, Chicopee, MA
15) Duane Provost, Palmer, MA
16) Marc Curtis, Brookfield, MA
17) Dave Wray, Durham
18) Armand Cote, Jr., Rocky Hill
19) Michael Bennett, Willington
20) Michael O’Sullivan, Wilbraham, MA
SK LIGHT MODIFIED (20)
1) Nick Anglace, Seymour
2) Alexander Pearl, Salem
3) Steven Chapman, Ellington
4) Bob Charland, Stafford
5) Brian Sullivan, Tolland
6) Norm Sears, Andover
7) Derek Debbis, Oakdale
8) Tyler Barry, Griswold
9) Peter Bennett, Cromwell
10) Ed Chicoski, New Hartford
11) Chris Bagnall, Winsted
12) Tyler Chapman, Ellington
13) George Bessette, Jr., Danbury
14) Alina Bryden, West Springfield, MA
15) Todd Clark, Bristol
16) Meghan Fuller, Auburn, MA
17) Anthony Bello, Newtown
18) Anthony Forino, Waterbury
19) Cassandra Cole, Westbrook
20) Glenn Bartkowski, Manchester
21) Joey Ferrigno, East Hartford
22) Chris Matthews, Stafford
23) Amanda West, Colchester
24) Josh Carey, East Longmeadow, MA
25) Nicole Chambrello, Kensington
LIMITED LATE MODEL (20)
1) Alexandra Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA
2) Jeremy Lavoie, Windsor Locks
3) Rich Hammann, Tolland
4) Matt Clement, Wethersfield
5) Gary Patnode, New Hartford
6) Devon Jencik, Canton
7) R.J. Surdell, Willington
8) Damian Palardy, Willington
9) Matt Scappini, Litchfield
10) David Shinder, West Granby
11) Trinity Provost, Holland, MA
12) Jay Clement, Wethersfield
STREET STOCK (20)
1) Frank L’Etoile, Jr., Wethersfield
2) Adrien Paradis, III, Plainville
3) Chris Meyer, North Franklin
4) Travis Hydar, Woodbury
5) Bert Ouellette, Ellington
6) Travis Downey, Barkhamsted
7) Kyle Johnson, Manchester
8) Jason Finkbein, Manchester
9) Nickolas Hovey, Chaplin
10) Daltin McCarthy, Oxford, MA
11) Bobby Stirk, III, Naugatuck
12) Marvin Minkler, Stamford
13) Chris Danielczuk, Goshen
14) Rob Sears, Stafford Springs
15) Tyler Trott, East Hartford
16) Jeremy Washburn, Willimantic
17) David Macha, Sr., Columbi
18) Samantha Dell, Harrisville, RI
19) Bill Cote, Belchertown, MA