Ryan Preece The Man At The Top Of The Heap After Open Mod 80 Win At Stafford Motor Speedway
Story By: SCOTT RUNNING / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – Open Modified cars returned to Stafford Motor Speedway for their fourth and final visit of the 2021 season on Friday, August 20th for the Lincoln Tech Open 80.
NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Preece charged his way through the field over the final 31 laps after coming out of the pits during a caution period outside the top-10 to win the Lincoln Tech Open Modified 80.
Ryan Preece led the field to the green and he took the lead at the green flag Noah Korner and Patrick Emerling going side by side for second. Korner took second on lap-2 with Chris Pasteryak now side by side with Emerling for third. Pasteryak took third and then went by Preece to move into the lead on lap-4. Michael Christopher, Jr. was up to second with Andrew Molleur and Preece side by side for third on lap-6. Molleur took third on lap-7 and Woody Pitkat took fourth as Korner and Preece were side by side for fifth place on lap-8.
Pitkat made a move to the inside of Christopher on lap-9 to take over third place as Molleur was giving chase to Pasteryak for the lead. With 15 laps on the board, it was still Pasteryak in command followed by Molleur, Pitkat, Christopher, Korner, Preece, Emerling, Bobby Santos, III, Ronnie Williams, and Dana DiMatteo. Korner made a move to take fourth place from Christopher on lap-21.
Korner fell back to sixth as Preece moved into fourth and Christopher took fifth as Pasteryak still held the lead with Molleur in second and Pitkat in third with 34 laps complete.
At the halfway point of the race, it was still Pasteryak in the lead with Molleur in second. Pitkat, Preece, and Christopher made up the remainder of the top-5 cars with Korner, Santos, Emerling, Williams, and Chase Dowling rounding out the top-10. The caution came out with 49 laps complete for a spin in turn 4 by Robert Bloxsom, III.
Under the caution, everyone came to pit road for a fresh tire and adjustments. Pasteryak won the race off pit road followed by Christopher, Pitkat, Santos, Eric Goodale, Emerling, Chase Dowling, Todd Owen, Marcello Rufrano, and Joey Cipriano.
Back under green, Pasteryak took the lead with Christopher in second. Santos took third with Pitkat in fourth and Dowling in fifth. Dowling worked his way around Pitkat to move into fourth on lap-53 while Pasteryak continued to hold the lead. Christopher was starting to apply heavy pressure to Pasteryak but Pasteryak was able to hold him off on lap-57.
Christopher made a bottom shot move going into turn 1 on lap-60 to take the lead from Pasteryak. Santos was third followed by Dowling with Pitkat leading a train of cars including Emerling, Rufrano, and Owen several car lengths behind the four lead cars. The caution flew with 69 laps complete for Earl Paules, who spun in the middle of turns 3+4.
Christopher took the lead on the restart with Rufrano taking second from Santos on lap-71. Preece followed Rufrano by Santos and he then took second from Rufrano on lap-72. With 6 laps to go, the order was Christopher, Preece, Rufrano, Santos, and Pasteryak. Dowling was sixth followed by Owen, Molleur, Emerling, and Kopcik. Several cars, including Cipriano, Dave Etheridge, and Bloxsom all spun coming off turn 4 to bring the caution flag back out with 76 laps complete.
The restart saw Christopher and Preece race side by side for a lap before the caution came back out for spins by Cipriano, Korner, Nick Anglace, and Jeff Gallup on the backstretch with 77 laps complete. The caution allowed Preece to take the lead for the restart as Preece led Christopher by a nose at the line to complete lap-77.
Preece took the lead on the restart with Christopher in second. Rufrano was third with Santos in fourth and Dowling in fifth. Preece lead Christopher to the checkered flag to win the Lincoln Tech 80. Rufrano finished third with Santos and Owen rounding out the top-5.
LINCOLN TECH OPEN MODIFIED 80 (80)
1) Ryan Preece, Kannapolis, NC
2) Michael Christopher, Jr., Wolcott, CT
3) Marcello Rufrano, North Haven, CT
4) Bobby Santos, III, Franklin, MA
5) Todd Owen, Somers, CT
6) Chase Dowling, Roxbury, CT
7) Chris Pasteryak, Moosup, CT
8) Stephen Kopcik, Newtown, CT
9) Andrew Molleur, Shelton, CT
10) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, NY
11) Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, NY
12) Ronnie Williams, Ellington, CT
13) Anthony Bello, Newtown, CT
14) Michael Gervais, Jr., Wolcott, CT
15) Jeff Gallup, Agawam, MA
16) Noah Korner, Avon, CT
17) Earl Paules, Palmerton, PA
18) Dana DiMatteo, Farmington, CT
19) Robert Bloxsom, III, Branford, CT
20) Dave Etheridge, Portland, CT
21) Nick Anglace, Seymour, CT
22) Tommy Barrett, Jr., Millis, MA
23) Joey Cipriano, Plymouth, CT
24) Woody Pitkat, Bellingham, MA
25) Matt Galko, Meriden, CT