Story By: SCOTT RUNNING / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – Stafford Speedway returned to NASCAR weekly racing action with the Late Model division taking center stage with their extra distance Paradiso Insurance Late Model 50 feature event.
Tom Fearn was the big winner of the night by winning the 50-lap Paradiso Insurance 50-lap race for his first career extra distance victory among his now 61 career Late Model feature wins at Stafford.
Other feature winners on the night were Cory DiMatteo in the SK Modified® feature, Tyler Barry in the SK Light feature, Damian Palardy in the Limited Late Model feature, and Adrien Paradis, III in the Street Stock feature. There were two kids big wheel races and they were won by Joseph Davenport and Alexander Ayers.
In the Paradiso Insurance 50-lap Late Model feature, Paul Arute led the field to the green flag and he set the early pace at the start of the race with Wayne Coury, Jr. right behind him in second. Michael Wray was third in the opening laps followed by Kevin Gambacorta and Tom Fearn. Coury made a move to the inside of Arute on lap-4 coming out of turn 4 to take over the lead. Coury got loose in turn 2 on lap-5 which also slowed Arute and allowed Wray to take over the lead. Gambacorta, Tom Fearn, Michael Bennett, and Ryan Fearn were the new top-5 cars behind Wray.
Gambacorta was applying heavy pressure to Wray and he was able to make a move in turn 2 to take over the lead on lap-11. Tom Fearn came up to second with Bennett, Wray, and Coury behind him. Ryan Fearn spun coming out of turn 4 to bring the caution out with 11 laps complete.
Tom Fearn took the lead from Gambacorta on the restart, but Darrell Keane spun in turn 4 to bring the caution out before a lap could be completed. Fearn and Gambacorta were door to door for the lead on the next restart with Fearn taking the lead by a nose at the line. They were still side by side on lap-13 with Fearn again the leader by a nose. Fearn got clear of Gambacorta on lap-14 and Gambacorta now had Adam Gray all over his back bumper looking to take over second. Gray took third on lap-15 with Gambacorta falling back to fourth and Coury was fifth in line. The caution came back out with 15 laps complete for a spin in turn 4 by Michael Bennett that also collected the car of Keane.
Tom Fearn took the lead back under green with Gambacorta, Coury, Wray, and Tom Butler lined up behind him. At the halfway point of the race, Tom Fearn was still in command with Gambacorta, Coury, Butler, and Wray making up the top-5. Gray was back up to sixth followed by Molleur, Arute, Ryan Fearn, and John Blake. The caution came back out with 26 laps complete for a spin in turn 2 by Arute after contact from Ryan Fearn. Fearn was sent to the rear of the field for making contact with Arute.
Tom Fearn took the lead back under green but only one lap was completed before the caution came back out for a spin in turn 2 by Adon Burrell. Paul Varricchio, Jr. was sent to the rear of the field for making contact with Burrell.
Tom Fearn charged back into the lead on the restart with Coury taking second. Butler worked his way past Gray for third on lap-29 but Gray came right back on lap-30 to retake third. Gambacorta took over fourth with Butler sliding back to fifth after Gray retook third from him. Gray took second from Coury on lap-34 with a pass going into turn 3 and Andrew Molleur followed him by Butler to take over fifth place and drop Butler back to sixth.
With 10 laps to go, Fearn had a lead of just over 1 second back to Gray in second with Coury, Gambacorta, and Molleur still making up the top-5. Duane Noll’s car dropped off the pace and came to a stop on the access road in turn 1 to bring the caution out with 41 laps complete.
The restart saw Butler spin coming to the green, which brought the caution right back out. Tom Fearn took the lead with Gray glued to his back bumper on the restart. Gambacorta was third in line followed by Molleur and Coury. With 5 laps to go, Fearn and Gray were starting to pull away from Gambacorta in third with Gray about a car length behind Fearn. Gray couldn’t get close enough to Fearn as Fearn took down his fourth win of the 2022 season and his first ever Late Model victory out of 61 career Stafford Late Model wins in an extra distance feature event. Gambacorta finished third with Molleur and Coury rounding out the top-5.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, Noah Korner took the early lead at the green with Troy Talman quickly working his way into second. Cory DiMatteo moved up to third with Todd Owen going from 10th to 4th and Bryan Narducci was fifth in line. The caution came out with 6 laps complete as Ronnie Williams and Chris Jones came together in turn 3.
On the restart, DiMatteo nearly went 3-wide with Talman and Korner for the lead but he backed out of the move before the cars hit turn 3. Korner and Talman ran wheel to wheel for a lap before Korner got clear into the lead. Talman got into line in second but Owen took second on lap-9. DiMatteo was fourth behind Talman in third with Jon Puleo in fifth, just ahead of David Arute. Puleo made a move to the inside of Talman in a fight for fourth but coming off turn 4, Anthony Flannery got into the wall and collected the car of John Montesanto to bring the caution out with 12 laps complete.
DiMatteo took the lead from Korner on the restart with Owen in third but the field only completed 2 laps before the caution came back out for a multi-car incident in turn 1 involving the cars of Bryan Narducci, Ronnie Williams, Tyler Leary, Michael Gervais, Jr., Chris Jones, and several others.
Korner took the lead back from DiMatteo on the restart but DiMatteo worked his way back to the inside of Korner on the following lap to run wheel to wheel for the lead. Behind them, Owen and Talman were wheel to wheel for third with Arute in fifth. The caution came back out with 17 laps complete for spins in turn 1 by John Sandberg and Tyler Leary.
DiMatteo took the lead back under green with Arute working his way into second. Korner was third in line with Owen in fourth and Keith Rocco and Puleo wheel to wheel for fifth. Arute applied heavy pressure to DiMatteo’s back bumper for several laps before he got to the inside of DiMatteo on lap-23. The duo ran side by side for several more laps until Arute cleared DiMatteo on lap-25 only to have DiMatteo come right back in the next corner with a crossover move to retake the lead. Arute got sideways coming out of turn 4 on lap-27 and he dropped back to the rear of the field, which gave DiMatteo a large cushion over Korner in second. Owen was third behind Korner with Rocco fourth and Anthony Bello fifth with 10 laps to go.
Korner couldn’t get close enough to DiMatteo over the final 10 laps as DiMatteo took down his second win of the 2022 season. Owen finished third with Rocco and Bello rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap SK Light feature, Norm Sears led the field to the green and he took the lead in the first corner, but Ron Midford, Jr. went by Sears to take over the lead at the end of the first lap. Tyler Barry quickly took second from Sears on lap-2 with Sears slotting into third. Just behind Sears was Derek Debbis with Chris Matthews in fifth. Matthews was looking to the inside of Debbis but was unable to make a pass at the field approached the halfway point of the race with Midford still leading Barry.
Debbis made a move to the inside of Sears to take third on lap-10 and the caution came back out with 10 laps complete for George Bessette, Jr., who ended up facing backwards at the end of the frontstretch.
Barry took the lead from Midford on the lap-11 restart but the caution came right back out before a lap could be completed as Amanda West spun in turn 4 which collected the cars of Chris Bagnall and Hailey Desaulniers while a host of other cars took evasive action.
Back under green, Barry again took the lead with Midford and Debbis going wheel to wheel for second. Matthews was fourth in line with Nick Anglace in fifth. Midford was able to fend off the challenge from Debbis and he began to close in on Barry’s back bumper and he nearly took the lead on lap-16, but Barry was able to hold him off. The caution came back out with 17 laps complete for Andy Marchese, who spun in turn 1.
The race went back to green with a huge pileup of 13 cars in turn 3 that brought the caution immediately back out. The next restart attempt saw Midford spin after contact with Anglace, which also collected the car of Matt Scappini and brought the caution back out before a lap could be completed. The third attempt at the lap-17 restart saw Barry take the lead with Matthews taking second from Alexander Pearl. Tyler Chapman was fourth in line with Tyler Alkas and Frank L’Etoile, Jr. wheel to wheel for fifth place. Geoff Nooney was disqualified from the feature finish for using a spotter/2-way radio communications.
Matthews couldn’t get close enough to Barry to make a bid for the lead as Barry scored his second win of the 2022 season. Pearl finished third behind Barry and Matthews with Tyler Chapman and Alkas rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, Damian Palardy took the lead at the green as polesitter Jay Clement got loose in turn 2, which allowed Alexandra Fearn to go 4-wide down the backstretch to nearly take second, but she slotted into third behind Palardy and Devon Jencik. The caution came out with 3 laps complete as Fearn and Matt Clement made contact in turn 2 with Clement spinning and collecting the car of Rich Hammann. Fearn was sent to the rear of the field for making contact with Clement.
Palardy took the lead on the lap-4 restart with Devon Jencik in second. Matt Scappini and Gary Patnode raced door to door for third with Jeremy Lavoie in fifth. Scappini finally was able to make a pass on Patnode on lap-6 to take third place and that move opened the door for Lavoie to take fourth and drop Patnode back to fifth place.
At the halfway point Palardy was still comfortably in command with Lavoie now giving chase from second place. Scappini was third in line followed by Devon Jencik, Patnode, Kevin Cormier, Fearn, Matt Clement, Jay Clement, Ari Jencik, Dana Wray, and Trinity Provost.
With 4 laps to go, Lavoie had closed the gap to Surdell and was right on his back bumper for the lead. Lavoie took a slight hit into the wall coming out of turn 2 on lap-17, which allowed Scappini to pull alongside Lavoie and then take second place on lap-18. Palardy led Scappini to the checkered flag to pick up his second win of the 2022 season. Lavoie finished third with Patnode and Cormier rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Street Stock feature, Adrien Paradis, III looked like he was shot out of a cannon as he made a power move to go from third to the lead at the drop of the green flag. Travis Hydar followed in Paradis’ tire tracks and took second at the start with Jason Lafayette, Travis Downey, and Chris Danielczuk making up the top-5 in the early going. Danielczuk began to slide backwards as Bobby Stirk, III took over fifth place while on lap-5 Downey went by Stirk to move into third place behind Paradis and Hydar. The caution flew with 8 laps complete as John Johnson spun in turn 3 right in front of Paradis and Hydar.
Paradis took the lead back under green with Downey taking second. Hydar and Stirk were now door to door for third with Lafayette in fifth place. Bill Cote spun but he was able to keep going and the race stayed green with 8 laps to go. With 4 laps to go, Hydar had taken third from Stirk and he closed down the gap to Paradis and Downey at the front of the field to make a three-car duel for the lead and the race win. Downey and Hydar couldn’t get close enough to Paradis as Paradis notched his second win of the 2022 season. Stirk and Lafayette rounded out the top-5 behind Paradis, Downey, and Hydar.
There were two Kids Big Wheel races held and the winners were Joseph Davenport of Cranston, RI and Alexander Ayers of East Longmeadow, MA.
PARADISO INSURANCE LATE MODEL 50 (50)
1) Tom Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA
2) Adam Gray, Granby, Ma
3) Kevin Gambacorta, Ellington
4) Andrew Molleur, Shelton
5) Wayne Coury, Jr., Fairfield
6) Ryan Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA
7) Michael Wray, Durham
8) Paul Arute, Northbridge, M
9) Duane Provost, Palmer, MA
10) Adon Burrell, Barkhamsted
11) John Blake, North Haven
12) Tom Butler, Stafford Springs
13) Marc Curtis, Brookfield, MA
14) Duane Noll, Monroe
15) Michael Bennett, Willington
16) Paul Varricchio, Jr., Berlin
17) Darrell Keane, Enfield
18) Andrew Durand, Chicopee, MA
SK MODIFIED® (40)
1) Cory DiMatteo, Farmington
2) Noah Korner, Avon
3) Todd Owen, Somers
4) Keith Rocco, Berlin
5) Anthony Bello, Newtown
6) Marcello Rufrano, North Haven
7) Tyler Hines, North Haven
8) Jon Puleo, Branford
9) Bryan Narducci, Colchester
10) Andrew Molleur, Shelton
11) Michael Christopher, Jr., Wolcott
12) Troy Talman, Oxford, MA
13) Ronnie Williams, Tolland
14) David Arute, Stafford Springs
15) Teddy Hodgdon, Danbury
16) Curt Brainard, Canton
17) Nick Halkowicz, Shelton
18) Tyler Jones, New Milford
19) John Sandberg, South Windsor
20) Tyler Leary, Hatfield, MA
21) Michael Gervais, Jr., Wolcott
22) Chris Jones, New Milford
23) Anthony Flannery, East Hampton
24) John Montesanto, North Branford
SK LIGHT MODIFIED (20)
1) Tyler Barry, Griswold
2) Chris Matthews, Stafford
3) Alexander Pearl, Salem
4) Tyler Chapman, Ellington
5) Tyler Alkas, Berlin
6) Nick Anglace, Seymour
7) Frank L’Etoile, Jr., Wethersfield
8) Brandon Michael, Granville, MA
9) Andy Marchese, Tolland
10) Joey Ferrigno, East Hartford
11) Glenn Bartkowski, Manchester
12) Charles McDougall, Wallingford
13) Matt Scappini, Litchfield
14) Todd Clark, Bristol
15) Ron Midford, Jr., Ellington
16) Derek Debbis, Oakdale
17) Steven Chapman, Ellington
18) Jason Chapman, Ellington
19) Bob Charland, Stafford
20) Meghan Fuller, Auburn, MA
21) Cassandra Cole, Westbrook
22) Ed Chicoski, New Hartford
23) Amanda West, Colchester
24) Anthony Forino, Waterbury
25) Brandon Hunt, East Windsor
26) Brett Casey, Meriden
27) Norm Sears, Coventry
28) Zach Aszklar, Newtown
29) Casey Vogt, Windsor Locks
30) David Webb, Nashville, TN
31) Chris Bagnall, Norfolk
32) Hailey Desaulniers, Windham
33) Alina Bryden, West Springfield, MA
34) George Bessette, Jr., Danbury
35) Brady Parolo, West Sprinfield, MA
LIMITED LATE MODEL (20)
1) Damian Palardy, Willington
2) Matt Scappini, Litchfield
3) Jeremy Lavoie, Windsor Locks
4) Gary Patnode, New Hartford
5) Kevin Cormier, Agawam, MA
6) Devon Jencik, Canton
7) Matt Clement, Wethersfield
8) Jay Clement, Wethersfield
9) Alexandra Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA
10) Ari Jencik, Canton
11) Dana Wray, Durham
12) Trinity Provost, Holland, MA
13) Rich Hammann, Tolland
STREET STOCK (20)
1) Adrien Paradis, III, Plainville
2) Travis Downey, Barkhamsted
3) Travis Hydar, Woodbury
4) Bobby Stirk, III, Naugatuck
5) Jason Lafayette, Somers
6) Bert Ouellette, Ellington
7) Tyler Trott, East Hartford
8) Patrick Grady, Berlin
9) Brandon Warren, Chicopee, MA
10) Sam Calvo, East Berlin
11) Marvin Minkler, Stamford
12) Chris Danielczuk, Goshen
13) Rob Sears, Stafford Springs
14) Ryan Perry, West Suffield
15) Cindy Stirk, Naugatuck
16) Samantha Dell, Harrisville, RI
17) Bill Cote, Belchertown, MA
18) John Johnson, Prospect
19) David Macha, Jr., Columbia
20) Shawn Wrisley, Chicopee, MA
21) Brayden Aitken, Canton