Story By: SCOTT RUNNING / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – Stafford Speedway hosted Stafford Weekly Racing on Friday, June 16th with Open Modified cars on hand for the Casella Waste Open 80.
Stephen Kopcik scored his first win of the 2023 season in the SK Modified® feature.
Tom Butler returned to NAPA Victory Lane for the first time in nearly 7 years in the Late Model feature, Tyler Chapman dominated the SK Light feature, leading all 20 laps for his first win of the season, Kevin Cormier took down his second win of the season in the Limited Late Model feature, and Ryan Waterman continued his white hot streak to start the 2023 season with his fourth win in five races in the Street Stock division.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Stephen Kopcik spun from midpack and Dylan Kopec and Keith Rocco both ended up in the frontstretch wall before they got to the start/finish line to bring the caution out. SK Modified® points leader Jimmy Blewett had to come to pit road for a new tire and Tyler Hines also had damage and came to pit road under the caution.
David Arute took the lead on the restart but Mikey Flynn moved to the lead on lap-2. Tyler Leary was looking to follow Flynn by Arute but he couldn’t make the pass and settled into third. Noah Korner was up to fourth with Todd Owen and RJ Marcotte wheel to wheel for fifth place. Owen took fifth with Kopcik taking sixth to drop Marcotte back to seventh.
Arute made a bid for the lead on lap-10 but Flynn was able to fend off that challenge. Kopcik was now wheel to wheel with Leary for third place and he took third on lap-12. Owen followed him by to take fourth and drop Leary back to fifth, just in front of Korner.
Kopcik made a move to the inside of Arute on lap-15 to take over second place and he took the lead from Flynn on lap-16. Owen got by Arute to take third with Arute fourth, just in front of Korner. Michael Christopher, Jr. was up to sixth with Marcello Rufrano seventh, Leary eighth, Cory DiMatteo ninth, and Jon Puleo tenth. With 25 laps complete the order was still Kopcik, Flynn, Owen, Arute, and Korner. Christopher and Rufrano were just behind Korner in fifth to make a 7-car train at the front of the field. Leary developed a flat right front tire and got into the turn 1 wall to bring the caution out for the first time with 32 laps complete.
Kopcik powered into the lead back under green with Owen taking second. Flynn slotted into third with Korner and Arute going wheel to wheel for fourth place. Korner took fourth on lap-35 and Rufrano got by Arute to take fifth and drop Arute back to sixth place. Kopcik led the field to the checkered flag to pick up his first win of the 2023 season. Owen finished second with Flynn, Korner, and Rufrano rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Duane Noll led the field to the green and he led the first lap before giving way to Tom Butler on lap-2. Paul Varricchio, Jr. took second and Darrell Keane third on lap-3 to drop Noll back to fourth, just in front of Michael Wray. Wray took fourth from Noll on lap-4 and John Blake took fifth from Noll on lap-5. Noll was able to get back in line in sixth place while Butler was pulling away from Varricchio, who was fending off a determined Keane to maintain second place.
Chris Meyer took fifth place from Blake on lap-10 and he brought Tom Fearn, Adam Gray, and Kevin Gambacorta with him past Blake as Blake fell back to ninth place. Butler was still the race leader with Keane still trying to chase down Varricchio for second. Wayne Coury, Jr. dropped off the pace on lap-13 with smoke pouring from the rear of his car and he parked his car on pit road.
With 10 laps to go, it was still Butler out front with Varricchio and Keane right behind him. Wray was fourth with Meyer in fifth. Tom Fearn was still sixth, followed by Gray, Gambacorta, Blake, and Andrew Durand. Butler led the field to the checkered flag to pick up his first win of the 2023 season. Keane finished second Varricchio, Wray, and Meyer rounding out the top-5. Gray spun and hit the wall in the middle of turns 3+4 on the final lap and he finished 16th.
In the 20-lap SK Light feature event, Tyler Chapman led the field to the green and he immediately streaked into the lead. Meghan Fuller and Tyler Barry quickly worked their way up to second and third and were putting on a wheel to wheel duel for second place. Nickolas Hovey took fourth and Ron Midford, Jr. was fifth with Paul Arute just behind him in sixth.
Midford took fourth from Hovey on lap-13 and Arute followed him by on lap-14 to take fifth and drop Hovey back to sixth as Tyler Chapman continued to stretch out his lead over Barry and Fuller. Ed Chicoski and Sami Anderson both spun in turn 2 to bring the caution out with 15 laps complete and erase Chapman’s large lead.
Chapman powered into the lead on the restart with Barry and Fuller again going wheel to wheel for second. Nick Anglace was up to fourth and Midford was fifth in line with Bob Charland and Arute just behind him. Tyler Chapman led the field to the checkered flag to pick up his first win of the 2023 season in a dominating performance with Fuller nipping Barry at the line for second. Anglace finished fourth with Midford rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, Gary Patnode took the lead at the green flag and began to set the early pace with Rich Hammann getting overtaken by Matt Clement on lap-3 for second place. Hammann slotted into third with Kevin Cormier behind him in fourth and Jeremy Lavoie in fifth place. Hammann slid back to fifth place on lap-6 as Cormier took third and Lavoie fourth while Patnode continued to hold the lead with Matt Clement right behind him.
Matt Clement made a move to the inside of Patnode on lap-8 and he took over the lead but the caution flew for Christopher Phelps, who spun in turn 4, which put Patnode back at the front of the pack for the restart with Clement alongside in second place.
Patnode took the lead on the restart with Cormier taking second from Matt Clement. Hammann was fourth in line with Lavoie holding off a 3-wide challenge from Adrien Paradis, III and Jay Clement to hold fifth place. Matthew Winter, II got into the turn 3 wall to bring the caution out with 11 laps comlete.
Cormier took the lead back under green with Matt Clement in second. Hammann and Patnode were door to door for third with Jay Clement and Lavoie door to door for fifth. Patnode spun on lap-13 as the field rumbled down the backstretch to bring the caution flag back out.
Cormier again took the lead back under green with Matt Clement right behind him. Jay Clement worked his way up to third with Hammann fourth and Paradis fifth. Lavoie took fifth from Paradis on lap-17 while the two Clement brothers were trying to close in on Cormier for the lead. Comier led Matt and Jay Clement to the checkered flag to pick up his second win of the 2023 season. Hammann finished fourth with Lavoie rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Street Stock feature event, Bill Cote led the field to the green and he took the early lead. Jeff Asselin quickly worked his up to second with Ryan Perry, Tyler Trott, and Travis Downey making up the top-5. Johnny Walker spun in turn 3 to bring the caution out with 3 laps complete.
Cote powered into the lead on the restart with Asselin taking second. Perry was third with Downey fourth and Travis Hydar fifth. Downey took third from Perry on lap-6 but the caution came out for Cindy Stirk, who came to a stop a the entrance of pit road, which put Perry back in third for the restart.
Cote took the lead back under green with Asselin again taking second. Downey was third with Hydar going to the outside of Perry to take fourth on lap-7. Trott took fifth from Perry on lnap-8 with Ryan Waterman in sixth. Waterman took fifth from Trott on lap-8 and that move brought Jason Finkbein into sixth as Trott fell back to seventh. The caution came back out with 9 laps complete for a spin by Michael Chesley in turn 2.
Cote took the lead again while Downey moved up to second. Waterman moved up to third behind Downey with Hydar taking fourth and Trott fifth. Downey went to the lead on lap-11 with Cote getting sideways. Cote getting out of shape led to Hydar going through the infield grass with Asselin later spinning and hitting the back of Hydar’s car to bring the caution out with 11 laps complete.
Cote and Waterman went door to door on the restart for the lead but the caution came right back out as Cote spun in front of almost the entire field and collected the car of Sean Petlock. Street Stock points leader Bert Ouellette also got some damage in the mishap and he brought his car to pit road with heavy right front damage, done for the evening.
Downey took the lead on the restart with Waterman behind him in second. Waterman took the lead on lap-13 with Aaron Plemons third, Finkbein fourth, and Trott fifth. Downey retook the lead from Waterman on lap-16 but Plemons went from third to first on lap-17 to take over the lead. Downey settled into second behind Plemons with Waterman third, Finkbein fourth, and Trott fifth.
Downey took the lead from Plemons on lap-19 but as the field took the white flag, Waterman powered his way into the lead with Downey in second and Finkbein in third. Waterman led to the checkered flag to pick up his fourth win in five races this season with Finkbein taking second. Downey edged out Plemons at the line for third with Hydar rounding out the top-5.
SK MODIFIED® (40)
1) Stephen Kopcik, Newtown
2) Todd Owen, Somers
3) Mikey Flynn, Hampden, MA
4) Noah Korner, Avon
5) Marcello Rufrano, North Haven
6) David Arute, Stafford Springs
7) Anthony Flannery, East Hampton
8) Steven Chapman, Ellington
9) RJ Marcotte, Millville, MA
10) Anthony Bello, Newtown
11) Cory DiMatteo, Farmington
12) Wesley Prucker, Stafford Springs
13) Tyler Leary, Hatfield, MA
14) Michael Gervais, Jr., Wolcott
15) Curt Brainard, Canton
16) Troy Talman, Oxford, MA
17) John Sandberg, South Windsor
18) Tyler Hines, North Haven
19) Jon Puleo, Branford
20) Michael Christopher, Jr., Wolcott
21) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, NJ
22) Keith Rocco, Berlin
23) Dylan Kopec, East Longmeadow, MA
LATE MODEL (30)
1) Tom Butler, Stafford Springs
2) Darrell Keane, Enfield
3) Paul Varricchio, Jr., Berlin
4) Michael Wray, Durham
5) Chris Meyer, Franklin
6) Tom Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA
7) Kevin Gambacorta, Ellington
8) John Blake, North Haven
9) Andrew Durand, Chicopee, MA
10) Zack Robinson, Putnam
11) Jacob Perry, Pawcatuck
12) Ryan Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA
13) Alexandra Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA
14) Chase Cook, Norwich
15) Duane Noll, Monroe
16) Adam Gray, Granby, MA
17) Bobby Stirk, III, Naugatuck
18) Richard Ciriello, Reading, MA
19) Wayne Coury, Jr., Fairfield
SK LIGHT MODIFIED (20)
1) Tyler Chapman, Ellington
2) Meghan Fuller, Auburn, MA
3) Tyler Barry, Griswold
4) Nick Anglace, Seymour
5) Ron Midford, Jr., Ellington
6) Bob Charland, Stafford Springs
7) Paul Arute, Tolland
8) Jason Chapman, Ellington
9) Brian Sullivan, Tolland
10) Nickolas Hovey, Chaplin
11) George Bessette, Jr., Danbury
12) Alexander Pearl, Salem
13) Cassandra Cole, Westbrook
14) Chris Matthews, Stafford
15) Amanda West, Colchester
16) Stephen Kalogiannis, New Hartford
17) Tyler Alkas, Berlin
18) Matt Brewer, Norwich
19) Joey Ferrigno, East Hartford
20) Frank L’Etoile, Jr., Wethersfield
21) Casey Vogt, Windsor Locks
22) Paul Arcari, Somers
23) Ed Chicoski, New Hartford
24) Josh Morrison, Ashford
25) Wade Gagner, East Longmeadow, MA
26) Hailey Desaulniers, Windham
27) Norm Sears, Coventry
28) Daltin McCarthy, Oxford, MA
29) Sami Anderson, Wolcott
30) Anthony Forino, Waterbury
LIMITED LATE MODEL (20)
1) Kevin Cormier, Agawam, MA
2) Matt Clement, Wethersfield
3) Jay Clement, Wethersfield
4) Rich Hammann, Tolland
5) Jeremy Lavoie, Windsor Locks
6) Adrien Paradis, III, Plainville
7) Connor Jencik, Canton
8) Gary Patnode, Barkhamsted
9) Christopher Phelps, New Salem, MA
10) Damian Palardy, Willington
11) Kevin Crosby, Coventry
12) Samantha Dell, Pascoag, RI
13) Dana Wray, Durham
14) Scott Clement, Wethersfield
15) Trinity Provost, Holland, MA
16) Matthew Winter, II, Springfield, VT
17) Devon Jencik, Canton
STREET STOCK (20)
1) Ryan Waterman, Danielson
2) Jason Finkbein, Manchester
3) Travis Downey, Barkhamsted
4) Aaron Plemons, Uncasville
5) Travis Hydar, Woodbury
6) Tyler Trott, East Hartford
7) Jason Lafayette, Somers
8) Johnny Walker, Agawam, MA
9) Sam Calvo, East Berlin
10) Ryan Perry, West Suffield
11) Chris Danielczuk, Goshen
12) Jason Raymond, Somers
13) David Macha, Sr., Columbia
14) Rob Sears, Stafford Springs
15) Alex Spinnato, Wallingford
16) Michael Chesley, Candia, NH
17) Marvin Minkler, Stamford
18) Bill Cote, Belchertown, MA
19) Bert Ouellette, Ellington
20) Sean Petlock, Ware, MA
21) Bill Porter, Canterbury
22) Jeff Asselin, Granby, MA
23) Cindy Stirk, Naugatuck
24) Sal Calvo, East Berlin