Story By: SCOTT RUNNING / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – Stafford Speedway hosted its first Friday night race of the 2022 season with a Kids Night / Weekly Series program on Friday, May 13th.
David Arute notched the SK Modified® feature victory, his second win in the last 3 races dating to the NAPA Fall Final last season.
FKevin Gambacorta locked down the Late Model feature win, Tyler Chapman won the SK Light feature, Rich Hammann notched the Limited Late Model win, and Bobby Stirk, III was a first-time winner in the Street Stock feature. The kids big wheel race was won by 6-year-old Cameron Chandonnet from Ludlow, MA.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Cory DiMatteo took the lead from pole position but before a lap could be completed, the caution came out for a spin in turn 2 by Dylan Kopec.
Brian Sullivan and DiMatteo went side by side for a full lap on the restart with Sullivan taking the lead at the line by a nose. Sullivan got clear into the lead on lap-2 and behind him DiMatteo and David Arute were side by side for second with Michael Christopher, Jr. in fourth and Ronnie Williams in fifth. Arute took second from DiMatteo on lap-4 and he charged his way past Sullivan on lap-5 to move into the lead. DiMatteo got by Sullivan to move into second place on lap-7 with Williams taking third. Sullivan was now side by side with Bryan Narducci for fourth place when the caution came back out with 7 laps complete for Mikey Flynn, who went around on the backstretch.
Arute held off a challenge from DiMatteo to maintain the lead back under green with DiMatteo slotting back into second. Williams was up to third with Narducci in fourth and Sullivan in fifth. Just behind Sullivan was the side by side duo of Christopher and Marcello Rufrano with Todd Owen right behind Christopher and Rufrano. Rufrano worked his way into fifth place on lap-11 and Owen followed him through to move into sixth as Arute continued to lead with DiMatteo, Narducci, and Williams giving chase.
At the halfway mark, it was still Arute in front followed by DiMatteo, Narducci, Williams, Rufrano, Owen, Stephen Kopcik, Christopher, Matt Swanson, and Jon Puleo. With 10 laps to go, Arute was still in control of the race with Narducci now in second followed by DiMatteo, Rufrano, Williams, Kopcik, Owen, Christopher, Swanson, and Tyler Hines.
Rufrano was able to make a move to the inside of DiMatteo on lap-36 to move into third while Narducci was still trying to get close enough to Arute to make a bid for the lead. Narducci couldn’t get close enough to Arute to make a move as Arute took down his first win of the 2022 season. Rufrano finished third with DiMatteo and Kopcik rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature, Andrew Molleur took the lead at the green flag although Kevin Gambacorta was all over his back bumper and was looking to take the lead but Chris Meyer spun on the backstretch to bring the caution out with 1 lap complete.
Molleur again took the lead with Tom Fearn getting by Gambacorta to move into second. Gambacorta was now third followed by Paul Varricchio, Jr. and Wayne Coury, Jr. Gambacorta didn’t take long to get back to second as he made a move to the inside of Fearn on lap-4 and was able to reclaim the spot. Adam Gray was on the charge in the early laps, moving into seventh place on lap-5 after starting in 15th place. Gambacorta continued his march to the front as he went to the inside of Molleur in turn 4 on lap-8 to move into the lead. Fearn was still third with Varricchio and Michael Wray making up the top-5.
Michael Bennett made a move to get around Coury for sixth place on lap-14 with Gray right behind Coury in eighth place. Wray took fourth from Varricchio on lap-18 and now Bennett was closing in on Varricchio in the fight for fifth. Bennett made the move around Varrichio on lap-20 to move into fourth as Gambacorta was starting to slowly pull away from Molleur and Fearn at the front of the field.
With 5 laps to go, Gambacorta was comfortably leading Molleur, Fearn, Wray, and Bennett. Gambacorta cruised to the checkered flag to pick up his first win of the 2022 season. Molleur finished second with Fearn, Michael Wray, and Bennett rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap SK Light feature event, Cassandra Cole led the field to the green but it was Charlie McDougall going from third to first on the opening lap to take the early lead. Tyler Barry was second behind McDougall and he took the lead from McDougall on lap-3. Josh Carey quickly moved into third after staring seventh but with 3 laps complete there was a multicar pileup of cars in turn 1 involving Brett Casey, Anthony Forino, Todd Clark, Jason Chapman, Cole, Derek Debbis, Alexander Pearl, Alina Bryden, and several others that brought the yellow and red flags out.
The restart saw Barry take the lead before McDougall made a move for the lead in turn 3 but before the lap could be completed Norm Sears spun into the turn 3 wall to bring the caution back out.
Barry took the lead at the restart but Carey took the lead from Barry in turn 4 to take the lead on lap-4. Just as the lap was completed, another accident in turn 1 involving the cars of Amanda West and Joey Ferrigno brought the caution right back out.
Carey took the lead on the restart but Barry was right there with Carey and they completed lap-5 side by side. Carey got clear to the lead on lap-6 with Bob Charland pulling alongside Barry for second. Chris Matthews was fourth with Tyler Chapman in fifth. Barry was able to hold Charland off and he took the lead from Carey on lap-8. At the halfway point of the race, Barry was in command followed by Carey, Charland, Tyler Chapman, and Matthews.
Tyler Chapman was able to get around Charland to move into third place on lap-14 as Barry continued to lead with Carey in second and Matthews in fifth. Bryden spun in the middle of turns 3+4 to bring the caution back out with 16 laps complete.
The restart saw another multicar pileup in turn 1 involving Nick Anglace, Frank L’Etoile, Jr., Todd Clark, Chris Bagnall, Tyler Alkas, Matthews, and Charland that brought the caution right back out.
Tyler Chapman streaked into the lead on the outside of Barry on the restart. Meghan Fuller took third with Zack Aszklar in fourth and Brandon Michael coming up to fifth. Barry made one last charge to try to get back by Chapman on the final lap but he came up just a half car length short at the checkered flag as Chapman picked up his first win of the 2022 season. Aszklar finished third with Michael and Fuller rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, Matt Clement took the lead from pole position with Alexandra Fearn right behind him in second. Damian Palardy settled into third followed by Gary Patnode and Rich Hammann at the end of lap-1. Jeremy Lavoie got around Devon Jencik to move into sixth place on lap-2 while Palardy was looking to the inside of Fearn to try to take over second. Palardy was still looking to the inside of Fearn for second and the two cars touched in turn 4 with Fearn spinning to bring the caution out with 8 laps complete. Palardy retired to pit road with damage to his right front.
Matt Clement took the lead back under green with Lavoie taking second from Hammann on lap-9. Hammann settled into third with Devon Jencik in fourth and Matt Scappini in fifth. Lavoie was starting to close in on the back bumper of Matt Clement for the lead with Hammann right there to make it a 3-car fight for the lead.
Hammann worked his way around Laovie to move into second and he took the lead from Clement as the cars hit the line for the white flag. Hammann cleared Clement on the final lap and he held the lead to the checkered flag to pick up his first win of the 2022 season. Lavoie finished third with Scappini and Devon Jencik rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Street Stock feature event, Marvin Minkler led the field to the green flag and he took the lead at the line after running the first lap side by side with Jason Finkbein. Nickolas Hovey quickly took second from Finkbein on lap-2 with Finkbein slotting into third. Finkbein would continue to slide backwards as Johnny Walker moved into third place on lap-3 and Tyler Trott and Bert Ouellette took fourth and fifth from Finkbein on lap-5 to drop him back to sixth place. At the front of the field, Hovey went by Minkler to take over the race lead and his move brought Walker with him into second. Minkler fell back to seventh place on lap-7 as Bobby Stirk took fifth and Travis Hydar sixth before the caution flew for Rob Sears, who came to a stop in the middle of turns 3+4.
Hovey took the lead on the restart with Stirk, Trott, and Walker going 3-wide for second behind him. Trott emerged in second with Stirk taking third. Hydar moved up to fourth place with Walker fading back to eighth place. Hydar took third on lap-11 and then moved by Stirk to move into second place on lap-12 as Hovey continued to lead the race. Ouellette was now up to fourth place with Adrien Paradis, III up to fifth. Hovey spun from the lead on the backstretch to bring the caution flag back out with 13 laps complete.
Hydar was the leader for the restart but his car did not come up speed and he dropped to the rear of the field as Stirk powered his way into the lead with Ouellette right on his back bumper. Paradis was up to third with Ryan Waterman up to fourth and Trott in fifth.
Trott got around Waterman to move into fourth place on lap-17 and Finkbein took fifth from Waterman on lap-18. No one could catch Stirk as he took down his first career Street Stock feature win at Stafford. Ouellette finished second with Paradis, Trott, and Jason Finkbein rounding out the top-5.
The Kids Big Wheel race was won by 6-year-old Cameron Chandonnet from Ludlow, MA.
SK MODIFIED® (40)
1) David Arute, Stafford Springs
2) Bryan Narducci, Colchester
3) Marcello Rufrano, North Haven
4) Cory DiMatteo, Farmington
5) Stephen Kopcik, Newtown
6) Ronnie Williams, Tolland
7) Todd Owen, Somers
8) Michael Christopher, Jr., Wolcott
9) Matt Swanson, Acton, Ma
10) Tyler Hines, North Haven
11) Jon Puleo, Branford
12) Dan Wesson, Monson, Ma
13) Dylan Kopec, East Longmeadow, Ma
14) Michael Gervais, Jr., Wolcott
15) Doug Meservey, Jr., Dennisport, Ma
16) Keith Rocco, Berlin
17) Andrew Molleur, Shelton
18) Teddy Hodgdon, Danbury
19) John Montesanto, North Branford
20) Troy Talman, Oxford, Ma
21) Noah Korner, Avon
22) Wesley Prucker, Stafford
23) Brian Sullivan, Tolland
24) Chris Jones, New Milford
25) Mikey Flynn, Hampden, Ma
26) Devin O’Connell, Madison
27) Anthony Bello, Newtown
LATE MODEL (30)
1) Kevin Gambacorta, Ellington
2) Andrew Molleur, Shelton
3) Tom Fearn, East Longmeadow, Ma
4) Michael Wray, Durham
5) Michael Bennett, Willington
6) Wayne Coury, Jr., Fairfield
7) Adam Gray, Granby, Ma
8) Paul Varricchio, Jr., Berlin
9) Darrell Keane, Enfield
10) Paul Arute, Northbridge, Ma
11) John Blake, North Haven
12) Dave Wray, Durham
13) Chris Meyer, North Franklin
14) Duane Noll, Monroe
15) Marc Curtis, Brookfield, Ma
SK LIGHT MODIFIED (20)
1) Tyler Chapman, Ellington
2) Tyler Barry, Griswold
3) Zack Aszklar, Newtown
4) Brandon Michael, Granville, Ma
5) Meghan Fuller, Auburn, Ma
6) Charlie McDougall, Wallingford
7) Josh Carey, Belchertown, Ma
8) Bob Charland, Stafford
9) Chris Matthews, Stafford
10) Ed Chicoski, New Hartford
11) Jason Chapman, Ellington
12) Anthony Forino, Waterbury
13) Chris Bagnall, Norfolk
14) George Bessette, Jr., Danbury
15) Todd Clark, Bristol
16) Nick Anglace, Seymour
17) Tyler Alkas, Berlin
18) Frank L’Etoile, Jr., Wethersfield
19) Alina Bryden, West Springfield, Ma
20) Amanda West, Colchester
21) Joey Ferrigno, East Hartford
22) Norm Sears, Coventry
23) Brett Casey, Meriden
24) Ron Midford, Jr., Ellington
25) Cassandra Cole, Westbrook
26) Derek Debbis, Oakdale
27) Alexander Pearl, Salem
LIMITED LATE MODEL (20)
1) Rich Hammann, Tolland
2) Matt Clement, Wethersfield
3) Jeremy Lavoie, Windsor Locks
4) Matt Scappini, Litchfield
5) Devon Jencik, Canton
6) Ari Jencik, Canton
7) Kevin Cormier, Agawam, Ma
8) Gary Patnode, New Hartford
9) Jay Clement, Wethersfield
10) Scott Clement, Wethersfield
11) David Shinder, West Granby
12) Dana Wray, Durham
13) Alexandra Fearn, East Longmeadow, Ma
14) Damian Palardy, Willington
15) Trinity Provost, Holland, Ma
STREET STOCK (20)
1) Bobby Stirk, III, Naugatuck
2) Bert Ouellette, Ellington
3) Adrien Paradis, III, Plainville
4) Tyler Trott, East Hartford
5) Jason Finkbein, Manchester
6) Johnny Walker, Agawam, Ma
7) Travis Downey, Barkhamsted
8) Marvin Minkler, Stamford
9) Patrick Grady, Berlin
10) Bill Cote, Belchertown, Ma
11) Samantha Dell, Harrisville, Ri
12) Ryan Waterman, Danielson
13) David Macha, Sr., Columbia
14) Kyle Johnson, Manchester
15) David Macha, Jr., Columbia
16) Brandon Warren, Chicopee, Ma
17) Rob Sears, Stafford Springs
18) Chris Danielczuk, Goshen
19) Cindy Stirk, Naugatuck
20) Travis Hydar, Woodbury
21) Nickolas Hovey, Chaplin
22) Joe Marek, Stafford Springs