Story By: SCOTT RUNNING / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – Stafford Speedway returned to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action on Friday, September 13 with the First Responders Friday / Final Friday Night Shoot-Out program that paid tribute to Ambulance, EMS, Fire, Police, and all First Responder personnel.
Scoring feature wins on the night were Stephen Kopcik in the SK Modified® feature, Cliff Saunders in the Late Model feature, Teddy Hodgdon in the SK Light feature, Jeremy Lavoie in the Limited Late Model feature, and Dave Secore in the Street Stock feature. Tom Fearn was officially crowned as the 2019 Late Model track champion.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Marcello Rufrano took the lead at the drop of the green with Glen Reen taking second, Joey Cipriano third, and Stephen Kopcik fourth. Tyler Leary was sliding backwards after starting from pole position and he slotted into line in ninth place.
Reen was challenging Rufrano for the race lead on lap-6 with Kopcik nearly going 3-wide for the lead on lap-7. Ronnie Williams was up to fourth behind the lead trio of cars with Todd Owen fifth and Michael Christopher, Jr. in sixth. Reen took the lead from Rufrano on lap-9 with Kopcik on his inside. Reen bounced off the backstretch wall on lap-11 but kept on going and he only fell back to fourth place as Rufrano took second and Williams moved into third while Kopcik was in the lead.
Kopcik began to slightly pull away from Rufrano in second with Williams, Reen, Owen, and Christopher still making up the top-6. The caution came out with 18 laps complete for a spin in turn 2 by Reen.
Kopcik took the lead back under green with Rufrano in second. Williams and Owen were side by side for third with Dan Avery in fifth. Michael Gervais, Jr. was up to sixth with Keith Rocco in seventh. Kyle Armstrong brought the caution out with 23 laps complete with a spin coming out of turn 4.
Kopcik took the lead once again on the restart with Williams moving into second. Owen was third in line but Rufrano bounced off the backstretch wall and spun to bring the caution back out with 25 laps complete.
Kopcik was the leader on the restart with Owen and Williams going side by side for second. Owen got clear to second on lap-28 while Rocco was up to fourth and Gervais was fifth in line. Spins by Fran Siana, Patrick Yuhas, Armstrong, and Nick Giardina in turn 1 brought the caution back out with 30 laps complete.
Kopcik took the lead on the restart with Owen slotting into second. Williams and Rocco were sie by side for third with Gervais in fifth. Reen was sixth and he took fifth from Gervais on lap-33. Owen was hounding Kopick for the lead while Williams and Rocco were still side by side for third place with 4 laps to go.
Williams was able to finally get clear of Rocco on lap-38 while Owen was still looking high and low for a way around Kopcik. Kopcik led Owen to the checkered flag to pick up his second win of the 2019 season. Williams finished third with Rocco and Gervais rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Al Saunders took the lead at the green with Kevin Gambacorta quickly working his way up to second. Ryan Fearn slotted into third with Tyler Leary up to fourth and Tom Fearn was up to fifth with 5 laps complete.
Tom Fearn got around Leary to move into fourth while Gambacorta was applying heavy pressure to Al Saundes for the race lead. Tom Fearn took third from Ryan Fearn on lap-11 while Al Saunders was able to fend off the challenges of Gambacorta to maintain the race lead. Gambacorta made a move to the outside of Saunders on lap-12 but was unable to make the pass and in the process Tom Fearn took second place. The caution came out with 14 laps complete for spins in turn 1 by Andy Marchese, Paul Arute, and Michael Bennett.
Al Saunders took the lead back under green while Gambacorta was side by side with Tom Fearn for second. Cliff Saunders was up to fourth with Ryan Fearn in fifth. Cliff Saunders took third from Tom Fearn on lap-16 with Ryan and Tom Fearn now side by side for fourth place. Ryan Fearn took fourth from Tom Fearn on lap-18 with a pass coming out of turn 4 while Gambcorta was still looking for a way to get around Al Saunders. Gambacorta made the pass on lap-20 going down the backstretch to take over the race lead. Cliff Saunders followed Gambacorta’s tire tracks and took second to drop his brother Al back to third with Ryan and Tom Fearn fourth and fifth. The caution came out with 22 laps complete for a spin by Mike Mordino in turn 3.
Gambacorta took the lead back under green with Al Saunders in second. Tom Fearn was third with Ryan Fearn fourth and Michael Bennett was back up to fifth after his early race misfortune. Tom Fearn took second from Al Saunders on lap-24. Arute and Dave Wray both spun going into turn 3 to bring the caution out with 25 laps complete.
Gambacorta took the lead on the restart but his car took a spin through the grass on the backstretch before sliding into the turn 3 wall to bring the caution flag right back out. Tom Fearn was sent to the rear of the field for making contact with Gambacorta.
Al Saunders and Michael Bennett went side by side for the lead on the restart with Cliff Saunders getting sideways before slotting into third. Cliff Saunders got to the inside of both Al Saunders and Bennett on lap-27 to move into the race lead but the caution came out for a spin in turn 4 by Richard Ciriello, nullifying the move and putting Al Saunders and Bennett back out front for the restart.
Cliff Saunders went 3-wide to take the lead on the restart with Ed Ricard nearly taking second before slotting back into third place. Bennett was back to fourth with John Blake up to fifth. The fast and furious action was slowed by the caution the flew with 28 laps complete for a spin by Ciriello that collected the car of Marchese.
Cliff Saunders took the lead on the restart with Bennett and Al Saunders side by side for second. Bennett took second from Al Saunders on the final lap but he couldn’t get close enough to make a bid for the lead as Cliff Saunders took his second win of the 2019 season. Ryan Fearn finished third with Al Saunders and Ed Ricard rounding out the top-5. Tom Fearn was crowned as the 2019 Late Model track champion with his seventh place finish.
In the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Nick Anglace took the lead at the green but Jonathan Puleo shot into the lead on lap-2. Teddy Hodgdon was up to third with Mark Bakaj fourth and Chris Matthews in fifth. Anglace slid back to sixth place on lap-3, moving Bakaj into third, Matthews into fourth and Noah Korner in fifth. The caution came out with 6 laps complete for a spin by Charlie McDougall on the frontstretch.
Hodgdon took the lead on the restart with Puleo in second. Matthews was third in line Anglace fourth and Bakaj in fifth. Korner spun in turn 2 and collected several other cars including Joey Ferrigno and Chris Bagnall to bring the caution back out with 10 laps complete.
Hodgdon took the lead on the restart with Puleo in second, Matthews third, and Bakaj fourth. The action was hotting up with 5 laps to go as Anglace and Alexander Pearl were side by side for fifth and Steven Chapman and Amanda West were side by side for seventh place.
Hodgdon was starting to pull away from Puleo, Matthews, and Bakaj while Pearl took fifth. Hodgdon led Puleo to the checkered flag to pick up his fourth win of the 2019 season. Matthews finished third with Bakaj and Pearl rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, Gary Patnode took the lead at the drop of the green and he led the first lap but he gave way to Jeremy Lavoie on lap-2. Matt Clement quickly moved into second with Duane Provost taking third. Patnode fell back to a side by side battle with Alexandra Fearn for fourth place. Fearn took fourth on lap-5 to drop Patnode back to fifth in line. Andrew Durand brought the caution out with a spin with 9 laps complete.
Lavoie took the lead back under green with Provost taking second. Clement was third in line with Patnode and Fearn making up the top-5. Patnode spun in turn 2 on lnap-11 but the race stayed green with Devon Jencik moving in to fourth and David Tefft fifth. Damian Palardy spun in turn 2 to bring the caution out with 12 laps complete.
Lavoie took the lead back under green with Provost right behind him in second. Clement was still third in line while Fearn came up to fourth and Patnode took fifth. Fearn got loose on lap-15 and slid back to sixth as Patnode moved up to fourth and David Tefft took fifth while Lavoie was still in command with Provost and Clement giving chase.
Lavoie led Provost and Clement to the checkered flag to pick up his fifth win of the 2019 season. Patnode finished fourth with Tefft rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Street Stock feature event, Marvin Minkler took the early race lead but he lost the lead to Tyler Trott on lap-2. Dave Secore moved into second with Meghan Fuller taking third as Minkler fell back to fourth in line, just in front of Adrien Paradis, III. Minkler spun coming out of turn 4 to bring the caution out with 4 laps complete.
Trott and Secore ran side by side on the restart with Secore taking the lead at the line. Fuller took to the outside line to get by Trott for second place on lap-6 with George Bessette, Jr. and Travis Hydar side by side for fourth place behind the lead trio of Secore, Fuller, and Trott.
Bessette made a move to take over third from Trott on lap-8 and Hydar followed him through to take fourth and drop Trott back to fifth place. Fuller was applying heavy pressure on Secore for the race lead but Secore was able to maintain the lead.
With 5 laps to go, Secore was still out front with Fuller, Bessette, Hydar, and Trott lined up behind him. Fuller was looking high and low for a way to get around Secore but Secore was able to keep his car out front. Fuller made one final effort on the last lap but Secore was to strong to be overtaken and he scored his first win of the 2019 season. Hydar finished third with Bessette and Trott rounding out the top-5.
SK MODIFIED® (40)
1) Stephen Kopcik, Newtown
2) Todd Owen, Somers
3) Ronnie Williams, Tolland
4) Keith Rocco, Berlin
5) Michael Gervais, Jr., Wolcott
6) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, MA
7) Joey Ternullo, Jr., Middletown
8) Andrew Molleur, Shelton
9) Tony Membrino, Jr., Berlin
10) David Arute, Stafford Springs
11) Tyler Leary, Hatfield, MA
12) Curt Brainard, Canton
13) Joey Cipriano, Waterbury
14) Tyler Hines, North Haven
15) Ed Spiers, Beacon Falls
16) John Catania, Agawam, MA
17) Nick Giardina, South Salem, NY
18) Patrick Yuhas, Uncasville
19) Kyle Armstrong, New Milford
20) Fran Siana, Enfield
21) Marcello Rufrano, North Haven
22) Dan Avery, Somers
23) Anthony Nocella, Woburn, Ma
24) Michael Christopher, Jr., Wolcott
LATE MODEL (30)
1) Cliff Saunders, Stafford
2) Michael Bennett, Willington
3) Ryan Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA
4) Al Saunders, Stafford
5) Ed Ricard, Stafford Springs
6) John Blake, North Haven
7) Tom Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA
8) Michael Wray, Northford
9) Scott Bouley, Thomaston
10) Paul Varricchio, Jr., Berlin
11) Greg DeMone, Ludlow, MA
12) Gary Theriault, Enfield
13) Richard Ciriello, Reading, MA
14) Tyler Leary, Hatfield, MA
15) Andy Marchese, Tolland
16) Kevin Gambacorta, Ellington
17) Paul Arute, Northridge, MA
18) Dave Wray, Durham
19) Mike Mordino, Southington
SK LIGHT (20)
1) Teddy Hodgdon, Danbury
2) Jonathan Puleo, Branford
3) Chris Matthews, Stafford
4) Mark Bakaj, Lebanon
5) Alexander Pearl, Salem
6) Nick Anglace, Oxford
7) Amanda West, Colchester
8) Steven Chapman, Ellington
9) Wesley Prucker, Stafford
10) Glenn Griswold, Vernon
11) Bob Charland, Stafford
12) Chris Viens, Putnam
13) Sami Anderson, Wolcott
14) Norm Sears, Andover
15) Andrew Les, New York, NY
16) Ethan Durocher, Canterbury
17) Glenn Bartkowski, Manchester
18) Alina Bryden, West Springfield, MA
19) Todd Clark, Bristol
20) Rit Dulac, Plantsville
21) Paul French, Andover
22) Charlie McDougall, Derby
23) Noah Korner, Canton
24) Joey Ferrigno, East Hartford
25) Brian Sullivan, South Windsor
26) Bryan Narducci, Colchester
27) Chris Bagnall, Winsted
28) Jonathon Avery, Norwich
LIMITED LATE MODEL (20)
1) Jeremy Lavoie, Windsor Locks
2) Duane Provost, Palmer, MA
3) Matt Clement, Wethersfield
4) Gary Patnode, Barkhamsted
5) David Tefft, Southampton, MA
6) Lucas Leone, Southington
7) Devon Jencik, Canton
8) Alexandra Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA
9) Kevin Crosby, Coventry
10) Damian Palardy, Willington
11) Andrew Durand, Chicopee, MA
STREET STOCK (20)
1) Dave Secore, Jr., Union
2) Meghan Fuller, Auburn, MA
3) Travis Hydar, Woodbury
4) George Bessette, Jr., Danbury
5) Tyler Trott, East Hartford
6) Zack Robinson, Putnam
7) Adrien Paradis, III, Plainville
8) Bobby Stirk, III, Naugatuck
9) David Macha, Sr., Columbia
10) Chris Danielczuk, Goshen
11) Marvin Minkler, Stamford
12) Nick Bendiak, Hopkinton, MA
13) George Yuska, S. Glastonbury
14) Chris Kuczo, Stamford
15) Chris Hickey, Esperance, NY
16) Nicole Chambrello, Kensington
17) Chris Ciriello, Beacon Falls