Story By: SCOTT RUNNING / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – Stafford Speedway returned to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action on Friday, July 24 with Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night.
Stafford’s SK Lights took center stage with a 40-lap feature that paid over $10,000 in total posted awards. SK Light rookie driver Derek Debbis, who failed to qualify for the season opening event at Stafford back on June 26 was the big winner of the night, taking his first career victory in the biggest race of the season that was worth $2,358 in purse and contingency awards.
Ronnie Williams scored his first win of 2020 in the SK Modified® feature, Ryan Fearn took down the Late Model feature, Jeremy Lavoie won the Limited Late Model feature, and Jason Lafayette scored the Street Stock checkered flag.
In the 40-lap Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night SK Light feature event, Derek Debbis took the lead at the green flag with Steven Chapman taking second. Wesley Prucker was third in line with Mark Bakaj going around Joey Ferrigno to take fourth. Andrew Les took fifth from Ferrigno on lap-3 and several other cars, including Alexander Pearl, Peter Bennett, and George Bessette, Jr. were able to get by Ferrigno as he slid back to ninth place. Josh Carey brought the first caution out with 13 laps complete with a spin in turn 4 with Debbis still in command followed by Chapman, Prucker, Pearl, and Bakaj.
Debbis took the lead back under green with Chapman in second. Pearl worked his way into third with Prucker and Bakaj side by side for fourth place. Les and Bennett were side by side for sixth with Puleo and Bessette behind them. The caution came back out with 17 laps complete for spins in the middle of turns 1+2 by Nathan Pytko and Bert Ouellette.
The restart saw Pearl and Chapman touch with Chapman going around in turn 4 in front of the field to bring the caution out before a lap could be completed. The next restart saw Pearl charge into the lead but by the time the cars reached the backstretch Debbis had came back strong and got back into the lead. Ouellette and Carey spun on the frontstretch to bring the caution out with 18 laps complete.
Pearl again initially got the better restart than Debbis but Debbis was back in the lead as the cars came off turn 4 to complete lap-19. Bakaj was third in line with Les up to fourth and Puleo fifth. Prucker was back to sixth followed by Bennett, Bessette, Nick Anglace, and last week’s winner Brian Sullivan. Puleo took fourth from Les on lap-24 while Debbis was starting to stretch out his advantage over Pearl and Bakaj out front.
Debbis led lap-33 to pick up a $333 bonus bonus that was put up by Doug Dunleavy from Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair in memory of Wade Cole with Pearl, Bakaj, Puleo, and Les still giving chase. Debbis took the checkered flag to record his very first victory at Stafford. Pearl came home in second with Bakaj, Puleo, and Les rounding out the top-5.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Bryan Narducci and Troy Talman dueled side by side for the lead with the 2 rows behind hem side by side for position. Cory DiMatteo made a strong move to go from third to the lead going into turn 3 on lap-4 with Talman in second. Ronnie Williams was up to third with Narducci and Michael Christopher, Jr. side by side for fourth. Williams moved into second on lap-6 with Talman falling back to third. Christopher was fourth and Keith Rocco was up to fifth as Narducci had fallen back to eighth in line.
With 10 laps complete it was DiMatteo out front with Williams, Christopher, Rocco, and Todd Owen making up the top-5. Stephen Kopcik was sixth followed by Talman, Membrino, Narducci, and Mikey Flynn.
The order remained the same until lap-20 when Williams went by DiMatteo coming out of turn 2. Christopher was still in third with Rocco in fourth and Owen in fifth. The caution came out with 21 laps complete for a spin in the middle of turns 3+4 by Marc Burke.
Williams took the lead on the restart with Christopher taking second. Owen moved into third with Kopcik moving up to fourth and Rocco was fifth. DiMatteo slid back to sixth in line with Talman, Michael Gervais, Jr., Andrew Molleur, and Membrino behind him. Tyler Hines spun through the frontstretch grass to bring the caution back out with 25 laps complete.
Williams took the lead on the restart with Christopher and Owen side by side for second behind him. Rocco and Kopcik were side by side for fourth behind Christopher and Owen. Owen took second on lap-28 with Kopcik taking fourth and dropping Rocco back to fifth as Williams continued to lead.
Williams led lap-33 to collect a $433 bonus that was put up by Doug Dunleavy from Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair in memory of Wade Cole. Williams led Owen and the field to the checkered flag to pick up his first win of the 2020 season. Kopcik finished third with Christopher and Rocco rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Paul Varricchio, Jr. took the lead at the green flag with Trace Beyer in second. Jordan Hadley was third with Tom Fearn quickly moving his way up to fourth. Fearn moved into third on lap-3 and he took second on lap-4. Hadley slipped back to third with Ryan Fearn fourth and Duane Provost fifth when the caution flew with 4 laps complete for Rick Lanagan, who spun in turn 3.
Tom Fearn took the lead on the restart with Varricchio dropping back to second. Ryan Fearn took third with Provost in fourth and Adam Gray muscled his way into fifth place on lap-6 as Hadley was sliding backwards. With 10 laps complete, Tom Fearn still held the lead with Ryan Fearn now in second, Varricchio in third, Gray in fourth and Provost in fifth. Rich Duranti spun coming out of turn 4 to bring the caution out with 12 laps complete.
Ryan Fearn nearly took the lead on the restart but he fell back into line in second behind Tom Fearn. Varricchio was third but he spun in turn 1 to bring the caution out with 13 laps complete and nullify the pass that Ryan Fearn had just made on Tom Fearn for the race lead.
Ryan Fearn took the lead on the outside of Tom Fearn with Gray nearly going 3-wide with Tom Fearn. Duane Provost spun to bring the caution out one lap after the restart.
Ryan Fearn took the lead on the next restart with Gray getting around Tom Fearn to move into second. Paul Arute came up to fourth and that was the order when the caution came back out with 16 laps complete for Provost, who came to a stop at the entrance to pit road.
The restart was called back before Ryan Fearn again took the lead with Gray in hot pursuit from second place. Tyler Leary moved into third with Arute in fourth and Al Saunders in fifth. Michael Bennett was up to sixth with Wayne Coury, Jr. in seventh and Hadley eighth. Tom Fearn came to pit road with a flat right front tire and eventually pulled behind the wall.
Gray couldn’t catch Ryan Fearn as Fearn took down his first win of the 2020 season. Leary finished third with Arute and Al Saunders 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 flag with Jeremy Lavoie coming up to second. Matt Clement took third with Alexandra Fearn fourth and Devon Jencik in fifth. Lavoie moved to the lead on lap-3 and Clement took second as Patnode was falling backwards. Fearn took third and was able to hold off a challenge from Durand as Patnode slid back to fifth on lap-5. All the side by side action allowed Lavoie and Clement to start to pull away from the trio in third place. Durand took third from Fearn on lap-7 with Fearn slotting into fourth and Patnode was now back to fifth.
With 7 laps to go, Lavoie and Clement were comfortably in front of Durand in third. Patnode and Fearn were dueling side by side for fourth with Fearn coming out as the winner of that battle. Patnode came back to the inside of Fearn on lap-18 to retake fourth place while it was still Lavoie and Clement out front.
Lavoie led Clement to the checkered flag to pick up his first win of the 2020 season. Durand finished third with Patnode and Fearn rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Street Stock feature event, the field went into turn 1 and there was a Talladega style pileup that involved at least 6 cars and brought the red flag out. Brandon Michael took the lead on the restart with Jason Lafayette, Al Stone, III, Larry Barnett, and Nick Hovey behind him. Lafayette took the lead from Michael on lap-2 and Stone began to apply pressure to Michael for third.
Zack Robinson was working his way back through the field and he took fifth on lap-9 while Lafayette was pulling away from Michael and Stone, who were still dueling for second with Barnett still in fourth. Jason Finkbein spun coming out of turn 4 to bring the caution out with 12 laps complete.
Lafayette took the lead on the restart with Stone moving into second. Robinson came up to third with Michael sliding back to fourth, just in front of Meghan Fuller. Fuller took fourth from Michael on lap-17 while Stone and Robinson were still trying to catch Lafayette.
Lafayette led Stone to the checkered flag for his first win of the 2020 season while Fuller got around Robinson on the final lap to take third. Michael rounded out the top-5.
SK LIGHT MODIFIED (40)
1) Derek Debbis, Oakdale
2) Alexander Pearl, Salem
3) Mark Bakaj, Lebanon
4) Jon Puleo, Branford
5) Andrew Les, Palmer, MA
6) Brian Sullivan, Tolland
7) Wesley Prucker, Stafford
8) Peter Bennett, Cromwell
9) Kyle Ellwood, Riverhead, NY
10) Nick Anglace, Oxford
11) George Bessette, Jr., Danbury
12) Todd Douillard, Palmer, MA
13) Norm Sears, Andover
14) Sami Anderson, Wolcott
15) Joey Ferrigno, East Hartford
16) Bob Charland, Stafford
17) Chris Matthews, Stafford
18) Tyler Chapman, Ellington
19) Cassandra Cole, Westbrook
20) Alina Bryden, West Springfield, MA
21) Bert Ouellette, Ellington
22) Josh Carey, East Longmeadow, MA
23) Steven Chapman, Ellington
24) Charlie McDougall, Derby
25) Robert Bloxsom, III, Stratford
26) Nathan Pytko, Douglas, MA
27) Amanda West, Colchester
SK MODIFIED® (40)
1) Ronnie Williams, Tolland
2) Todd Owen, Somers
3) Stephen Kopcik, Newtown
4) Michael Christopher, Jr., Wolcott
5) Keith Rocco, Berlin
6) Andrew Molleur, Shelton
7) Troy Talman, Oxford, MA
8) Cory DiMatteo, Farmington
9) Tony Membrino, Jr., Wolcott
10) Michael Gervais, Jr., Wolcott
11) Todd Patnode, Swanzey, NH
12) Marcello Rufrano, North Haven
13) David Arute, Stafford Springs
14) Bryan Narducci, Colchester
15) Tyler Leary, Hatfield, MA
16) Tyler Hines, North Haven
17) Mikey Flynn, Hampden, MA
18) Matt Gallo, Kensington
19) Dan Wesson, Monson, MA
20) Jeff Malave, Manchester
21) Matt Vassar, Plantsville
22) Teddy Hodgdon, Danbury
23) Jonathan Smith, Trumbull
24) Nick Giardina, South Salem, NY
25) Tom Bolles, Ellington
26) Marc Burke, Enfield
27) John Catania, Agawam, MA
LATE MODEL (30)
1) Ryan Fearn, East Longmeadow, Ma
2) Adam Gray, Granby, MA
3) Tyler Leary, Hatfield, MA
4) Paul Arute, Northridge, MA
5) Al Saunders, Stafford
6) Michael Bennett, Willington
7) Wayne Coury, Jr., Fairfield
8) Jordan Hadley, Waterford
9) Darrell Keane, Enfield
10) Michael Wray, Northford
11) Dave Wray, Durham
12) John Blake, North Haven
13) Trace Beyer, Stratton, VT
14) Marc Curtis, Brookfield, MA
15) Gary Theriault, Enfield
16) Duane Provost, Palmer, MA
17) Richard Duranti, Quaker Hill
18) Tom Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA
19) R.J. Surdell, Willington
20) Paul Varricchio, Jr., Berlin
21) Rick Lanagan, Broad Brook
LIMITED LATE MODEL (20)
1) Jeremy Lavoie, Windsor Locks
2) Matt Clement, Wethersfield
3) Andrew Durand, Chicopee, MA
4) Gary Patnode, New Hartford
5) Alexandra Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA
6) Lucas Leone, Southington
7) Devon Jencik, Canton
8) Steven Martel, Barkhamsted
9) Jay Clement, Wethersfield
10) Rich Hammann, Tolland
11) Damian Palardy, Willington
STREET STOCK (20)
1) Jason Lafayette, Somers
2) Al Stone, III, Durham
3) Meghan Fuller, Auburn, MA
4) Zachary Robinson, Putnam
5) Brandon Michael, Granville, MA
6) Chris Meyer, North Franklin
7) Larry Barnett, Moosup
8) Nickolas Hovey, Chaplin
9) Jason Finkbein, Manchester
10) David Macha, Sr., Columbia
11) Craig Landgrebe, Newtown
12) Daltin McCarthy, Oxford, MA
13) Chris Danielczuk, Goshen
14) John Orsini, Morris
15) Kelly Hiatt, Waynesboro, PA
16) Adrien Paradis, III, Plainville
17) George Yuska, S. Glastonbury
18) Travis Hydar, Woodbury
19) Bobby Stirk, III, Naugatuck
20) Kyle Johnson, Manchester
21) Riley Derwin, Southington
22) Marvin Minkler, Stamford
23) Chris Phelps, New Salem, MA