Story By: SCOTT RUNNING / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – Stafford Speedway hosted another round of Stafford Weekly Racing on Friday, August 6th with the Whelen Modified Tour also on hand for the GAF Roofing 150. Taking down feature wins were Todd Owen for the second consecutive week in the SK Modified® feature, Kevin Gambacorta in the Late Model feature, Derek Debbis in the SK Light feature, Jeremy Lavoie in the Limited Late Model feature, and Nickolas Hovey in the Street Stock feature.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Doug Meservey, Jr. and Michael Gervais, Jr. ran the first lap side by side for the lead before Meservey was clear on lap-2. Mikey Flynn was third followed by the side by side duo of David Arute and Matt Vassar for fourth with Tyler Hines and Chase Dowling behind them.
Gervais made a move to the inside of Meservey and he took over the lead on lap-5. Flynn was still third but Hines was now fourth with Dowling and Arute behind him. Just behind Arute was a side by side battle between Stephen Kopcik and Keith Rocco in a fight for seventh place. After some shuffling, Gervias and Meservey were still the two lead cars with 14 laps complete but Hines was now up to third with Dowling fourth and Flynn fifth. Rocco and Todd Owen were side by side for sixth with Kopcik right behind them in eighth place. Vassar spun coming out of turn 4 to bring the caution flag out with 19 laps complete.
Gervais took the lead on the restart with Meservey in second and Owen in third. Dowling was fourth with Rocco in fifth. Hines was sixth followed by Kopcik, Michael Christopher, Jr., Marcello Rufrano, and Flynn. Bryan Narducci spun coming out of turn 2 to bring the caution back out with 23 laps complete.
Gervais again took the lead on the restart while Owen got by Meservey to take second. Rocco was up to fourth behind Meservey with Kopcik in fifth. Hines was sixth in line followed by Dowling, Christopher, Flynn, and Rufrano. Owen stalked Gervais until lap-38 when he made his move to take over the lead. Owen then led Gervais to the checkered flag to pick up his second consecutive win of the 2021 season. Meservey finished third with Rocco and Kopcik rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Rick Lanagan spun in turn 4 before a lap could be completed to bring the caution flag out. John Blake took the lead with Paul Varricchio, Jr. in second. Andrew Molleur was third in line followed by Paul Arute and Michael Wray. Molleur took second from Varricchio on lap-5 with Blake still out front and Arute in fourth. Kevin Gambacorta was side by side with Wray for fifth on lap-5 and he took fifth place on lap-6. Tom Butler followed Gambacorta by Wray to move into sixth and drop Wray back to seventh. Rob Dow spun in the middle of turns 3+4 to bring the caution out with 7 laps complete.
The field completed one lap after the restart before Arute spun in turn 1 and collected the car of Tom Fearn with Tyler Leary and Rob Dow both also involved to bring the caution back out. Molleur took the lead from Blake on the restart with Wray, Al Saunders, and Andrew Durand behind him. Blake drifted up the track coming out of turn 2 on lap-11 and he fell back several spots, but the caution flew for a spin on the backstretch by Trace Beyer, which put Blake back into second for the next restart.
Molleur took the lead on the restart with Varricchio taking second. Gambacorta moved up to third with Durand in fourth and Michael Bennett came up to fifth in line. Tom Fearn and Arute touched going into turn 3, which sent Al Saunders backing into the turn 3 wall, but he was able to pull his car to pit road and the race stayed green. The caution came out with 13 laps complete for Dow, who came to a stop at the pit road entrance.
Back under green, Molleur took the lead with Varricchio and Gambacorta side by side for second. Bennett was fourth with Durand right behind him in fifth. Durand went by Bennett to move into fourth on lap-15 while Gambacorta went around Varricchio to move into second place as Molleur continued to lead. The caution came back out with 16 laps complete as Darrell Keane and Blake touched with Blake going around in turn 3.
Molleur took the lead on the restart after holding off a challenge from Gambacorta. Varricchio was third with Bennett and Durand side by side for fourth. A multi-car incident broke out coming out of turn 4 to bring the caution back out with 18 laps complete.
On the restart, the cars of Fearn and Lanagan got hooked together and went into the turn 1 wall to bring the caution right back out. Varricchio got out of shape on the restart and fell from third to outside the top-10 while Molleur took the lead followed by Gambacorta, Durand, Bennett, and Keane.
Gambacorta and Molleur were starting to pull away from the trio of Durand, Bennett, and Keane and Gambacorta was searching high and low for a way to get around Molleur and take the race lead. Gambacorta made his move on lap-26 with a pass in turns 1+2 to move into the lead.
The action behind Gambacorta and Molleur got wild on lap-28 as Bennett tried to make a move for third but got out of shape and fell back to sixth as Durand maintained third. Keane, Durand, and Wray went 3-wide on lap-29 with Keane coming out in third with Durand fourth and Wray in fifth. Up front, Molleur couldn’t catch Gambacorta as Gambacorta took down his third win of the 2021 season. Keane finished third with Durand and Wray rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap SK Light feature event, Steven Chapman took the early lead with Norm Sears, Amanda West, Tyler Chapman, and Chris Matthews lined up behind him. Brian Sullivan went by Bob Charland to move into sixth place on lap-3 and he pulled to the outside of Matthews on lap-4 to fight for fifth place. Sullivan took fifth and he continued his charge towards the front as he moved by West and took third on lap-6. Steven Chapman and Sears were still the two leaders but Derek Debbis was now up to fourth behind Sullivan with West in fifth with 8 laps complete. Josh Carey took a hard hit into the turn 1 wall to bring the red and yellow flags out with 10 laps complete.
Sullivan took the lead from Chapman on the restart but by the time the cars got back to the line to complete lap-11, Debbis had taken the lead from Sullivan. Steven Chapman was third in line with his brother Tyler in fourth and Charland was up to fifth. Anthony Forino spun in turn 4 along with Mark Bakaj to bring the caution back out with 13 laps complete.
Debbis took the lead on the restart with Sullivan in second. Steven Chapman was third with Charland taking fourth and Alexander Pearl moving up to fifth and dropping Tyler Chapman back to sixth in line. Debbis led Sullivan to the checkered flag to pick up his fifth win of the 2021 season. Steven Chapman finished third with Charland and Pearl rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, R.J. Surdell took the early lead with Matt Scappini going around Gary Patnode to move into second place on lap-2. Devon Jencik was fourth behind Patnode with Alexandra Fearn quickly moving up to fifth. Jencik and Fearn both got around Patnode on lap-4 to move into third and fourth and drop Patnode back to fifth as Surdell continued to hold the lead.
Jencik took second place from Scappini on lap-5 and the caution flew with 6 laps complete as Fearn and Jencik made contact and spun on the frontstretch.
Surdell took the lead on the restart but by the time the cars hit the backstretch, Surdell’s car appeared to temporarily drop off the pace, allowing Scappini to move into the lead. Jeremy Lavoie and Surdell were side by side for second with Patnode and Mike Hopkins side by side for fourth. The caution came back out with 9 laps complete as David Shinder and Kevin Crosby came together in turn 4 with Crosby taking a trip through the grass and Shinder spinning.
Surdell and Scappini went side by side for the lead on the restart with Lavoie briefly making things three wide coming out of turn 4 to complete lap-10. Lavoie emerged with the lead on lap-11 with Fearn moving up to second. Jencik took third with Surdell falling back to fourth and Scappini falling back to fifth. Patnode spun on the backstretch with Damian Palardy also getting out of shape to bring the caution back out with 12 laps complete.
Lavoie took the lead back under green with Fearn right on his back bumper in second. Jencik was third in line followed by Surdell and Scappini. Fearn made a move to the inside of Lavoie on lap-15 to take over the lead. Jencik followed Fearn by Lavoie to drop Lavoie back to third just before Scappini and Hopkins both got into the turn 2 wall to bring the caution back out with 15 laps complete.
Contact between Matt Clement and Surdell sent Surdell spinning in turn 3 on the restart before a lap could be completed. Clement was sent to the rear of the field by Stafford officials for the contact.
The restart saw another 3-wide move as Jencik went 3-wide with Fearn and Lavoie for the lead. Lavoie emerged with the lead while Jencik took second and dropped Fearn back to third. Hopkins was fourth with Clement going around Palardy to take fifth on lap-18. Hopkins took third from Fearn on lap-19 but Fearn came right back on the final lap to retake third. Lavoie led Jencik to the checkered flag to pick up his first win of the 2021 season. Fearn, Hopkins, and Matt Clement rounded out the top-5 behind Lavoie and Jencik. Following post-race inspection, Jencik’s car was found to have illegal spindles and he was disqualified from his second place finish, making the new top-5 Lavoie, Fearn, Hopkins, Clement, and Palardy.
In the 20-lap Street Stock feature event, Travis Downey took the lead at the green and set the early pace. Jason Finkbein and Tyler Trott both got into the turn 2 wall to bring the caution out with 1 lap complete.
Downey charged back into the lead on the restart with Nickolas Hovey going 3-wide to move into second. Bert Ouellette took third with Travis Hydar and Adrien Paradis, III side by side for fourth place with Frank L’Etoile, Jr. in sixth and Chris Meyer in seventh.
L’Etoile and Meyer both went by Paradis on lap-5 to move into fourth and fifth while Hovey made a move to the inside of Downey on lap-6 but couldn’t complete the pass as Downey maintained the lead. Hovey made another move for the lead on lap-7 and this time the pass stuck as he moved into the lead. Meyer moved up to second in the scramble behind Hovey with Ouellette third, Hydar fourth, and L’Etoile fifth.
At the halfway point of the race it was still Hovey in command followed by Meyer, Ouellette, Hydar, and L’Etoile. L’Etoile got around Hydar to move into fourth on lap-13 and Paradis took fifth from Hydar on lap-15 while Meyer was still chasing Hovey for the lead.
Meyer took the lead from Meyer on lap-18 and he held the lead coming to the white flag. Hovey got to the inside of Meyer coming out of turn 2 on the final lap and he was able to complete the pass in turns 3+4 and that move allowed L’Etoile to take second as Hovey nailed down his second win of the 2021 season. Meyer finished third with Ouellette and Paradis rounding out the top-5.
SK MODIFIED® (40)
1) Todd Owen, Somers
2) Michael Gervais, Jr., Wolcott
3) Doug Meservey, Jr., Chatham, MA
4) Keith Rocco, Berlin
5) Stephen Kopcik, Newtown
6) Tyler Hines, North Haven
7) Michael Christopher, Jr., Wolcott
8) Chase Dowling, Bethlehem
9) Dan Wesson, Monson, MA
10) Mikey Flynn, Hampden, MA
11) Marcello Rufrano, North Haven
12) Bryan Narducci, Colchester
13) Jon Puleo, Branford
14) Noah Korner, Avon
15) Curt Brainard, Canton
16) Andrew Molleur, Shelton
17) P.J, Peters, Oxford
18) Teddy Hodgdon, Danbury
19) David Arute, Stafford Springs
20) Matt Vassar, Plantsville
21) Tyler Leary, Hatfield, MA
LATE MODEL (30)
1) Kevin Gambacorta, Ellington
2) Andrew Molleur, Shelton
3) Darrell Keane, Enfield
4) Andrew Durand, Chicopee, MA
5) Michael Wray, Durham
6) Michael Bennett, Willington
7) Al Saunders, Stafford
8) Paul Arute, Northbridge, MA
9) Paul Varricchio, Jr., Berlin
10) Cliff Saunders, Stafford
11) Zack Robinson, Putnam
12) John Blake, North Haven
13) Wayne Coury, Jr., Fairfield
14) Trace Beyer, Stratton, VT
15) Tom Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA
16) Robert Dow, Stafford Springs
17) Rick Lanagan, Broad Brook
18) Adam Gray, Granby, MA
19) Tyler Leary, Hatfield, MA
20) Tom Butler, Stafford Spring
21) Mike Mordino, Southington
SK LIGHT MODIFIED (20)
1) Derek Debbis, Oakdale
2) Brian Sullivan, Tolland
3) Steven Chapman, Ellington
4) Bob Charland, Stafford
5) Alexander Pearl, Salem
6) Tyler Chapman, Ellington
7) George Bessette, Jr., Danbury
8) Nick Anglace, Seymour
9) Tyler Barry, Griswold
10) Norm Sears, Andover
11) Anthony Bello, Newtown
12) Meghan Fuller, Auburn, MA
13) Casey Vogt, Windsor Locks
14) Amanda West, Colchester
15) Peter Bennett, Cromwell
16) Alina Bryden, West Springfield, MA
17) Mark Bakaj, Lebanon
18) Chris Matthews, Stafford
19) Ed Chicoski, New Hartford
20) Cassandra Cole, Westbrook
21) Anthony Forino, Waterbury
22) Brett Casey, Meriden
23) Nicole Chambrello, Kensington
24) Glenn Bartkowski, Manchester
25) Chris Bagnall, Winsted
26) Josh Carey, East Longmeadow, MA
27) Paul French, Andover
LIMITED LATE MODEL (20)
1) Jeremy Lavoie, Windsor Locks
2) Alexandra Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA
3) Mike Hopkins, Stafford Springs
4) Matt Clement, Wethersfield
5) Damian Palardy, Willington
6) David Shinder, West Granby
7) R.J. Surdell, Willington
8) Kevin Crosby, Coventry
9) Matt Scappini, Litchfiel
10) Gary Patnode, New Hartford
STREET STOCK (20)
1) Nickolas Hovey, Chaplin
2) Frank L’Etoile, Jr., Wethersfield
3) Chris Meyer, North Franklin
4) Bert Ouellette, Ellington
5) Adrien Paradis, III, Plainville
6) Travis Hydar, Woodbury
7) Travis Downey, Barkhamsted
8) Daltin McCarthy, Oxford, MA
9) Chris Danielczuk, Goshen
10) Kyle Johnson, Manchester
11) Jeremy Washburn, Willimantic
12) Marvin Minkler, Stamford
13) Patrick Grady, Berlin
14) Bill Cote, Belchertown, Ma
15) Rob Sears, Stafford Springs
16) Samantha Dell, Harrisville, RI
17) Christopher Phelps, New Salem, MA
18) David Macha, Sr., Columbia
19) Andy Crane, Montgomery, NY
20) Bobby Stirk, III, Naugatuck
21) Tyler Trott, East Hartford
22) Jason Finkbein, Manchester