Keith Rocco Puts An Exclamation Point On Stafford Season With Another SK Mod Win
Story By: SCOTT RUNNING / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – Stafford Speedway hosted its final Friday night race program of the 2020 season with NAPA Auto Parts Championship Night on October 9.
Taking down feature wins on the night were Keith Rocco in the SK Modified® feature, Ryan Fearn in the Late Model feature, Jonathan Puleo in the SK Light feature, Alexandra Fearn in the Limited Late Model feature, and Frank L’Etoile, Jr. in the Street Stock feature.
With NAPA Championship Night serving as the final night to earn track championship points in 2020, Adam Gray clinched his third career Late Model crown at Stafford, Brian Sullivan clinched the SK Light championship, Andrew Durand scored his second career Limited Late Model title at Stafford, and Zack Robinson went back to back by securing the Street Stock championship. Keith Rocco had already clinched his fourth career Stafford SK Modified® title last week.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, Marcello Rufrano took the lead at the green flag on the outside of Tyler Leary with Tony Membrino, Jr. third and Bryan Narducci in fourth. Membrino spun in turn 2 to bring the caution out with 2 laps complete.
Rufrano took the lead back under green with Narducci moving up to second. Leary was third while Michael Gervais, Jr., Teddy Hodgdon, and Keith Rocco briefly went 3-wide with Gervais emerging in fourth and Hodgdon and Rocco were side by side for fifth place. Gervais got by Leary to move into third on lap-7 and Rocco was looking to follow him by Leary. Gervais cleared Leary on lap-9 and Rocco took fourth with Leary sliding back to fifth with Narducci still giving chase to Rufrano for the race lead.
Rocco got around Gervais to move into third and he took second from Narducci on lap-14. Rufrano was still in the lead with Gervais in fourth and Leary still in fifth. Rocco took the lead from Rufrano on lap-16 with a pass coming out of turn 4 which allowed Narducci and Gervais to close back in on the two lead cars.
Gervais was applying heavy pressure to Narducci for several laps and he was finally able to make a pass to move into third on lap-21. With 10 laps to go, the order was still Rocco followed by Rufrano, Gervais, Leary, and Ronnie Williams. Williams made a move to take fifth from Leary on lap-33 and he was looking to the inside of Rufrano for second when the two cars touched and Rufrano spun to bring the caution out with 34 laps complete. Gervais was sent to the rear of the field for the contact with Rufrano.
Rocco took the lead on the restart with Todd Owen taking second. Williams was third in line with Michael Christopher, Jr. and Leary side by side for fourth place. Membrino, Matt Vassar, and Tyler Hines got into the turn 2 wall to bring the caution back out with 36 laps complete.
Rocco took the lead on the restart with Owen and Williams side by side for second. Owen quickly cleared Williams for second with Christopher and Leary side by side for fourth. Rocco led Owen to the checkered flag to pick up his sixth win of the 2020 season. Williams finished third with Christopher and Leary rounding out the top-5. Rocco wrapped up his fourth career SK Modified® championship one week ago.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature, Paul Varricchio, Jr. took the lead at the green flag with Dave Wray, Tom Fearn, Paul Arute, and Michael Bennett lined up behind him. Marc Curtis took a trip through the backstretch grass on lap-3 but he was able to keep going and the race stayed green.
Fearn and Arute both got by Wray on lap-5 to move into second and third behind Varricchio with Al Saunders up to fourth and Darrell Keane fifth as Wray slid back to eighth place. Fearn was applying heavy pressure to Varricchio for the lead and he was able to make a pass for the lead on lap-9. Arute looked to follow Fearn by Varricchio, but Varricchio was able to fend off his challenge for now and remained in second. Arute came back on lap-10 the inside of Varricchio and this time he made the pass stick and he took over second place. Adam Gray was on the move, working his way into fifth place behind Fearn, Arute, Saunders, and Keane.
With 10 laps to go, the top-3 of Tom Fearn, Arute, and Saunders remained the same while Gray was now up to fourth and Ryan Fearn was up to fifth place. Ryan Fearn took fourth from Gray on lap-21 while Tom Fearn was starting to stretch out his lead over Arute. Saunders began to slide backwards and Ryan Fearn took second from Arute on lap-26 while Gray was all over Arute for third place. Gray made the move to take third on lap-29 while Ryan Fearn was all over the back bumper of Tom Fearn for the lead and the win. Ryan made his move to the inside of Tom in turns 3+4 on the final lap and he beat Tom to the checkered flag by inches to take his second win of the 2020 season. Gray finished third, which made him the Late Model champion for the third time in his career at Stafford. Arute finished fourth with Keane rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap SK Light feature, Norm Sears took the lead from Bob Charland on the opening lap. Chris Matthews was third and he quickly went by Charland for second just before Jonathan Puleo spun on the frontstretch and collected the car of David Webb to bring the caution out with 2 laps complete.
Matthews took the lead from Sears on the restart with Charland and Amanda West side by side for third place. Tyler and Steven Chapman were side by side for fifth behind Charland and West with George Bessette, Jr. right behind the Chapman brothers.
Steven Chapman made a move to get by West on lap-6 to move into third with Bessette and West now side by side for fourth place while Matthews was still out front with Sears giving chase. Sears made a move to the inside of Matthews for the lead on lap-10 while Chapman and Bessette were side by side for third behind them, making for a high speed pace lap with cars lined up two by two. Sears got clear to the lead on lap-13 with Chapman in second. Chapman took the lead from Sears on lap-14 while Puleo was back up to third with Derek Debbis in fourth. Matthews slid back to fifth in line.
With 5 laps to go the order was Chapman in the lead with Puleo, Debbis, Sears, and Matthews behind him. Puleo went to the outside of Chapman for the lead on lap-16 and they ran side by side for 2 laps before Puleo took the lead on lap-18. Debbis moved up to second with Chapman falling back to third. Puleo held Debbis off to the checkered flag to pick up his third win of the 2020 season. Chapman finished third with Bessette and Sears rounding out the top-5. Brian Sullivan finished the race in 10th place which was good enough to make him the 2020 SK Light champion despite missing two races during the season.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, Rich Hammann took the lead at the green flag with Alexandra Fearn quickly taking second. Andrew Durand was also on the move in the early going, streaking his way into third behind Fearn. Jeremy Lavoie was fourth with Matt Clement in fifth. Fearn took the lead from Hammann on lap-3 and Durand took second from Hammann on lap-4. The caution came out with 7 laps complete for Devon Jencik, who did a half spin in turns 1+2 and collected the car of Damian Palardy.
Fearn and Durand went side by side for the lead on the restart with Fearn getting clear of Durand as they hit the line to complete lap-8. Lavoie was third in line with Clement applying heavy pressure from fourth and Lucas Leone was fifth in line. Clement took third from Lavoie on lap-10 with Fearn starting to stretch out her lead over Durand.
Fearn pulled away from Durand over the closing laps and took down her third win of the 2020 season. With Durand finishing second, Fearn and Durand finished the season tied in the points standings, but Durand held the tiebreaker over Fearn with 7 wins to Fearn’s 3 wins this season. Clement finished third with Leone and Lavoie rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Street Stock feature, Brandon Michael took the early lead at the green flag with Nickolas Hovey, Adrien Paradis, III, Chris Meyer, Zack Robinson, Frank L’Etoile, Jr. and Meghan Fuller lined up behind him. Meyer went by Paradis to take over fourth place on lap-4 with Robinson following him through to take fourth and drop Paradis back to fifth. L’Etoile got by Paradis to move into fifth on lap-6 and Fuller took sixth with Paradis falling back to seventh.
At the halfway point of the race, Michael was still in the lead with Hovey, Meyer, Robinson, L’Etoile, and Fuller lined up behind him. Robinson made a move to the inside of Meyer to take over third place on lap-12 while Fuller fell back to seventh place as Travis Hydar took over sixth place.
Robinson took third from Meyer on lap-14 and he took second from Hovey on lap-15. With 5 laps to go, Fuller was one position away from where she needed to be to clinch the championship while Robinson was right where he needed to be to win the title. The caution came out with 16 laps complete for a spin by Daltin McCarthy in turn 4.
Michael took the lead back under green with L’Etoile and Robinson side by side for second. L’Etoile took second on lap-18 while Meyer was third and Fuller and Robinson were side by side for fourth place. Fuller took fourth from Robinson on lap-18 just before Jason Lafayette spun in turn 2 to bring the caution out with 18 laps complete and set up a green white checkered finish.
Michael took the lead on the restart but contact from Meyer got him loose in turn 3 which allowed L’Etoile to move to the lead and Fuller to take second. Going into turn 3 on the final lap, Michael made contact with Fuller with Fuller spinning and falling to the rear of the field while Robinson finished second to claim his second consecutive Street Stock championship and L’Etoile scored his first win of the 2020 season. Michael was disqualified from the race, moving Meyer up to third with Hovey and Paradis rounding out the top-5.
SK MODIFIED® (40)
1) Keith Rocco, Berlin
2) Todd Owen, Somers
3) Ronnie Williams, Tolland
4) Michael Christopher, Jr., Wolcott
5) Tyler Leary, Hatfield, MA
6) Chase Dowling, Roxbury
7) Mikey Flynn, Hampden, MA
8) Troy Talman, Oxford, MA
9) Teddy Hodgdon, Danbury
10) Michael Gervais, Jr., Wolcott
11) Andrew Molleur, Shelton
12) Marcello Rufrano, North Haven
13) David Arute, Stafford Springs
14) Matt Galko, Meriden
15) Tony Membrino, Jr., Wolcott
16) Jeff Malave, Manchester
17) Bryan Narducci, Colchester
18) Chrisr Viens, Putnam
19) P.J. Peters, Oxford
20) Matt Vassar, Plantsville
21) Tyler Hines, North Haven
LATE MODEL (30)
1) Ryan Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA
2) Tom Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA
3) Adam Gray, Granby, MA
4) Paul Arute, Northridge, MA
5) Darrell Keane, Enfield
6) Tyler Leary, Hatfield, MA
7) Wayne Coury, Jr., Fairfield
8) Paul Varricchio, Jr., Berlin
9) Jim Mavlouganes, Bethany
10) Dave Wray, Durham
11) John Blake, North Haven
12) Michael Bennett, Willington
13) Al Saunders, Stafford
14) Cliff Saunders, Stafford
15) Marc Curtis, Brookfield, MA
16) Greg DeMone, Ludlow, MA
17) Gary Theriault, Enfield
18) Michael Mordino, Southington
SK LIGHT MODIFIED (20)
1) Jonathan Puleo, Branford
2) Derek Debbis, Oakdale
3) Steven Chapman, Ellington
4) George Bessette, Jr., Danbury
5) Norm Sears, Andover
6) Tyler Chapman, Ellington
7) Nick Anglace, Oxford
8) Chris Matthews, Stafford
9) Alexander Pearl, Salem
10) Brian Sullivan, Tolland
11) Peter Bennett, Cromwell
12) Amanda West, Colchester
13) Todd Douillard, Palmer, MA
14) Bob Charland, Stafford
15) Glenn Bartkowski, Manchester
16) Joey Ferrigno, East Hartford
17) Nicole Chambrello, Kensington
18) Anthony Forino, Waterbury
19) Alina Bryden, West Springfield, MA
20) Paul French, Andover
21) David Webb, Nashville, TN
LIMITED LATE MODEL (20)
1) Alexandra Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA
2) Andrew Durand, Chicopee, MA
3) Matt Clement, Wethersfield
4) Lucas Leone, Southington
5) Jeremy Lavoie, Windsor Locks
6) Rich Hammann, Tolland
7) Gary Patnode, New Hartford
8) Jay Clement, Wethersfield
9) David Shinder, West Granby
10) Devon Jencik, Canton
11) Damian Palardy, Willington
STREET STOCK (20)
1) Frank L’Etoile, Jr., Wethersfield
2) Zack Robinson, Putnam
3) Chris Meyer, North Franklin
4) Nickolas Hovey, Chaplin
5) Adrien Paradis, III, Plainville
6) Travis Hydar, Woodbury
7) Brent Gleason, Griswold
8) Kyle Johnson, Manchester
9) George Yuska, South Glastonbury
10) Tyler Trott, East Hartford
11) Daltin McCarthy, Oxford, MA
12) Christopher Phelps, New Salem, MA
13) Meghan Fuller, Auburn, MA
14) Cadence DeLorge, Enfield
15) Jason Lafayette, Somers
16) Jason Finkbein, Manchester
17) Ryan Plaxsan, Darien
18) Eric Lee, New York, NY
19) David Macha, Sr., Columbia