RPW Exclusive: Chase Dowling, Keith Rocco Among Big Winners Friday Night At Stafford

Column By: BRITTANY NUTILE / RPW – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – The VMRS Modified series was in town Friday at the Stafford Motor Speedway and Chase Dowling showed to be the man at the top of the mountain when the night was over, grabbing the win in the feature event.

Chase has won at Stafford Speedway many different times in different cars and in different divisions, but he was the man to beat on this night. His mindset going into a longer race though is to not show his cards in the beginning he waits drives around doesn’t use up all of his stuff in the beginning and then by halfway he is up near the front and ready to battle for the top position.

In this case Chase started 3rd so he was already in the front but, didn’t use up all of his equipment in the first half of the race. He was in 2nd for the first 23 laps, then got up to the front and lead the rest of the laps from lap 24 to lap 80.

Keith Rocco had a good night, he won the Sk Mod race and then finished second in the MRS 80 lap feature. Rocco started 6th in the race and got up to the top 5 in the first 2 laps. Then stayed in 4th for 21 laps and just was buying his time also not wasting his equipment just in case Chase had a slip up or something Rocco could pounce but, didn’t get that opportunity but, had a good night overall.

Matt Galko had a good night in the MRS 80 feature, he has been struggling in the Sk Mod with not qualifying well or starting off well and then something happening during the race or practice that wasn’t his fault, just the car being not itself that night. Matt started the race 9th tonight and got himself up in the top 5 by lap 3 and then dropped back to 6th and 7th positions for 11 laps than back up to 5th place. By lap 25 he was 4th place and settled in there for over 30 laps and was again like other drivers just buying time till there were only like 10 laps left and then got himself into 3rd where he finished the race. He had a strong outing at Stafford tonight and hopefully puts them in a good spot moving forward with momentum on their side.

Top 5 finishers:
1. Chase Dowling
2. Keith Rocco
3. Matt Galko
4. Anthony Flannery
5. Les Hinckley Jr.

SK Modifieds

Keith Rocco is getting hot at the right time at Stafford, and won another SK Modified feature last Friday.

He started the race in the back starting 14th and was very fast and by lap 11 he was in the top 5 in 4th and passed a lot of cars in the first 10 laps of the race. Then, Rocco was battling with Glen Reen for 3rd and had a good battle for 4 laps with less than 10 laps to go in the race and then the top 3 went three wide and Rocco ended up saving his car and getting his way to the lead with the other two cars getting collected in a wreck. With winning the last two races, Keith is only 14 points back in 3rd for the championship.

Ronnie Williams had a good race, he is a closer in most races, you seen him towards the back of the top 10 and then with the last half he’s in the top 5 for the rest of the race and battling his way up to get to the top 3 and then fighting his way to possibly win the race. He didn’t get the win tonight but, got up to the top 5 and then there was a wreck between the 2 drivers in the top 3 so, on lap 28 Williams restarted 2nd and stayed in 2nd for the finish, he had some good battles again with Rocco but, Keith was just too fast.

Michael Gervais Jr. finished 3rd in tonight’s race. We haven’t talked too much about Gervais lately, in the first 8 races he finished in the top 10 and then had one top 20 and then back to having top 10s for the rest of the races so far. He’s been very consistent through the season and still in the top 5 in points.

Top 5 finishers:
1. Keith Rocco
2. Ronnie Williams
3. Michael Gervais Jr.
4. Todd Owen
5. Troy Talman

Top 5 in points:
1. Ronnie Williams 750points+8
2. Todd Owen 742points-8
3. Keith Rocco 736points-14
4. Michael Gervais Jr. 716points-34
5. Glen Reen 624points-126

SK Lights

Bryan Narducci did it again in the SK Lights.

Bryan started the race 15th and got into the top 10 by lap 8 and is always super competitive when he comes to race. He is always face when he gets in the car no matter what car or what track he is at. By lap 10 he was in the top 5 and where he stayed inside the top 5 until the finish. Bryan led 6 laps form lap15 to 20. Bryan is still in the top 5 in points and still in the hunt for the championship with the other drivers in the top 5.

Chris Matthews finishes tonight’s race 2nd, he had a very good race tonight he started the race 6th and stayed in the top 5 for the whole race. He was very consistent during the race tonight. Haven’t talked about him a lot this year but, he’s a consistent driver where he usually is in the middle of the pack and doesn’t get into too much trouble or get lots of DNFs.

Alexander Pearl had another good race tonight he started the race 10th and worked his way through the field to finish the race in 3rd. Alexander has had a good season so far this year with a couple of wins and lots of podium finishes. He’s had some tough nights but, it gives you a little bit of momentum towards the next week to do good and be able to get back up to podium finishes and maybe even a win.

Top 5 finishers:
1. Bryan Narducci
2. Chris Matthews
3. Alexander Pearl
4. Bob Charland
5. Wesley Prucker

Top 5 in points:
1. Steven Chapman-R 714points+4
2. Teddy Hodgdon 710points-4
3. Alexander Pearl 694points-20
4. Bryan Narducci 656points-58
5. Wesley Prucker 622points-92

Late Models

Tyler Leary took the win in the Late Model feature.  This was Tyler’s first win of the season and will be a confidence booster for the rest of year.

He has been consistent for the season and in the last few weeks and has been starting up in the top 3 and has been up front competing with the other drivers that are usually up in the front like Tom Fearn and Michael Wray. With this win Tyler is now in the top 5 in points and looking to cap off the year with some more wins. “It feels really good, man going into the 2018 season with the fall final win behind us, I thought we would have a dominant car for years to come. It just hasn’t gone exactly the way we wanted but, we have been getting it dialed in the past few weeks and can’t thank everyone for all the support.”

Tom Fearn finishes 2nd in tonight’s race. He has another podium finish and is another race away from clinching the championship. He has been dominant this season and going for back to back championships in the late model race. It would be tom’s 3rd late model track championship but, his 9th career track championship overall. That’s a huge accomplishment for Tom Fearn, he’s had an astounding career so far and still going strong.

Ryan Fearn finishes the race in 3rd tonight. Ryan has had a better 2nd half of the season and after winning the extra distance late model race, he has been on the podium and been consistent through the last few races. Being in his first season in the late model division, he has had some ups and downs and a win but, he has had a really good season overall.

Top 5 finishers:
1. Tyler Leary
2. Tom Fearn
3. Ryan Fearn
4. Kevin Gambacorta
5. Wayne Coury Jr.

Top 5 in points:
1. Tom Fearn 848points+122
2. Michael Wray 726points-122
3. Kevin Gambacorta 706points-142
4. Al Saunders 696points-152
5. Tyler Leary 690points-158

Limited Late Models

Duane Provost was victorious in Limited Late Model action.

Provost started the race 3rd and had a good race. He has been itching to get another win this season and had been consistent with getting top 5 finishes and the last couple of weeks has had 2nd place finishes and getting closer to getting that win and finally got it tonight. Provost has been very consistent this season and running in the top 3 for most of the race and on the podium for a lot of the races. He led 8 laps in tonight’s race and was the in the top 2 for the whole night. Duane talks about his race and how its been awhile since he has won. “It’s been a while since we had a win but, it was fun tonight to get to victory lane. The car wasn’t that great, it was sliding around and had to use the outside lane a lot but, it was fun to get to the front and get a win again.”

Jeremy Lavoie finished the race 2nd tonight, he started the race 4th and got into the top 3 within the first lap and was working himself up to 2nd and finally leading the race by lap 5th. Jeremy led 10 laps from lap 5 to lap 12 then lost the lead to Duane and was in 2nd place for the last 3 laps of the race. He stayed ahead of Matt Clement in the race and is still holding on to his points lead by 4 points. Its been a tight and exciting battle for the championship.

Matt Clement had a good race tonight and finished the race 3rd. He started the race 2nd but, dropped to 4th place for a few laps and then dropped again to 5th for 4 laps. Then his car got was getting fast again in the last half of the raced and got back up to 3rd for the last 7 laps of the race.

Top 5 finishers:
1. Duane Provost
2. Jeremy Lavoie
3. Matt Clement
4. Gary Patnode
5. Dave Gargaro Jr.-R

Top 5 in points:
1. Jeremy Lavoie 838points+4
2. Matt Clement 834points-4
3. Gary Patnode 806points-32
4. Alexandra Fearn 786points-52
5. Duane Provost 694points-144

Street Stocks

George Bessette Jr. won the street stock race.

They raced later than they usually do on a regular night, they were 2nd to last and its different when your racing 1st or 2nd in the program and they are usually racing in the sun. Tonight, they raced in the dark and had 4 other divisions go before them. It didn’t phase Bessette a lot that they had to run the race 2nd to last and in the dark when they race in the sunlight. “The car has been good and always consistent. Tonight, was out night again and played our cards right. We worked our way up through the mess in the beginning and passed Meghan and Zack cleanly and couldn’t be happier with the win tonight.” Bessette Jr. talks about his win and his season so far.

Zack Robinson had a good race; he started the race and finished the race 2nd. He had a consistent race was working his way up to the front spot but, Bessette Jr. was too fast to catch. On lap 12 Meghan Fuller and Zack Robison were battling together for 3rd and made a bit of contact with each other.

Travis Hydar had a really good race; he started the race dead last and had a very fast car. He was passing cars left and right and got up into the top 10 fairly quickly. By lap 12, Hydar was in the top 5 and working his way up still. There was another restart on lap 15 and Travis started 3rd and was making his move to battle with Robinson but, Bessette Jr and Robinson were too fast.

Top 5 finishers
1. George Bessette Jr.
2. Zack Robinson
3. Travis Hydar
4. Adrien Paradis III-R
5. Meghan Fuller

Top 5 in points
1. Zack Robinson 802points+38
2. Meghan Fuller 764points-38
3. George Bessette Jr. 756points-46
4. Travis Hydar 744points-58
5. Adrien Paradis III-R 692points-110