Story By: SCOTT RUNNING / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – Stafford Speedway hosted Stafford Weekly Racing on Friday, July 7th with Open Modified cars on hand for the GAF Roofing Open 80.
Scoring feature wins were Keith Rocco in the SK Modified® feature, Tom Fearn in the Late Model feature, Tyler Barry in the SK Light feature, Jeremy Lavoie in the Limited Late Model feature, and Travis Downey in the Street Stock feature.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Tyler Leary took the lead at the green flag with Keith Rocco right behind him in second. Tyler Hines was third in line followed by R.J. Marcotte and Anthony Bello. Rocco made a move to the inside of Leary in turn 3 on lap-3 to take over the lead. Marcotte got around Hines to take third and his move brought Bello up to fourth as Hines fell back to fifth, just in front of Michael Gervais, Jr.
With 10 laps complete, it was still Rocco in the lead with Leary, Bello, Marcotte, and Mikey Flynn making up the top-5. Hines was sixth followed by Jimmy Blewett, Gervais, Marcello Rufrano, and Michael Christopher, Jr. At the halfway point of the race, the top-5 remained the same with the only exception being Bello was now in second behind Rocco and Leary was in third ahead of Marcotte and Flynn.
Bello was starting to apply pressure to Rocco for the lead on la-23 but Rocco was able to maintain the lead. Marcotte took third from Leary with pass in turn 1 on lap-25 and that allowed Flynn to take fourth. Steven Chapman spun on the backstretch to bring the caution flag out with 26 laps complete.
Rocco took the lead on the restart with Bello in second. Marcotte took third with Flynn fourth and Leary and Blewett were wheel to wheel for fifth. Leary took that spot on lap-28 while Bello made a move to the inside of Rocco for the lead. Bello was able to complete the pass on lap-29 in turns 3+4 to become the new race leader. Michael Gervais, Jr. and Rich Gautreau both spun in the middle of turns 3+4 to bring the caution back out with 29 laps complete.
Bello took the lead with Rocco right behind him in second. Marcotte was third with Blewett fourth and Flynn fifth when the cuaiton came back out with 31 laps complete for spins by Curt Brainard and Leary in turn 4.
Rocco took the lead back from Bello on the restart with Blewett up to third, Todd Owen fourth, and Marcotte fifth before the caution came back out with 34 laps complete for spins in turn 4 by Gervais and Anthony Flannery.
Rocco took the lead back under green with Blewett taking second from Bello. Bello slotted into third place with Owen fourth and Marcotte in fifth with Stephen Kopcik up to sixth and looking to take fifth from Marcotte. Blewett was hounding Rocco for the lead but Rocco was able to fend off his challenges. Blewett was able to get alongside Rocco coming to the checkered flag but Rocco took down his first win of the 2023 season by a half car length. Owen finished third with Marcotte and Flynn rounding out the top-5 as Bello drifted up the track in turn 3 on the final lap and came home in sixth place.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Alexandra Fearn took the lead at the drop of the green flag with Chris Meyer taking second. Tom Fearn quickly moved from sixth to third on the start with Wayne Coury, Jr. fourth and Andrew Durand fifth. Tom Fearn took second from Meyer on lap-4 while Adam Gray and Kevin Gambacorta were up to sixth and seventh, just behind Durand in fifth.
Tom Fearn took the lead from Alexandra Fearn on lap-6 while Gray was starting to apply heavy pressure to Durand for the fifth position. Gray made his move on lap-8 to take over fifth place and his move allowed Gambacorta to follow him past Durand to take sixth and drop Durand back to seventh. Gambacorta was applying heavy pressure to Gray for fifth place and he was able to make the pass on lap-11. Undeterred, Gray came right back on lap-12 with a crossover move to retake fifth from Gambacorta. Durand followed Gray by Gambacorta to take sixth when the caution came out with 12 laps complete for Adon Burrell, who came to a stop in the turn 1 infield.
Tom Fearn took the lead on the restart with Coury moving up to second. Meyer and Alexandra Fearn were door to door for third with Gray and Durand door to door for fifth place. Meyer took third, Gray took fourth, and Gambacorta took fifth on lap-14 to drop Alexandra Fearn back to sixth while Tom Fearn was starting to stretch out his advantage over Coury in second.
With 10 laps to go, Tom Fearn was comfortably leading Coury with Gambacorta now third, Gray fourth, and Meyer fifth. Darrell Keane was up to sixth and he was looking for a way to get by Meyer and take over fifth place. With 5 laps to go, Gambacorta was looking high and low for a way to get around Coury for second place but Coury was able to hold him off. Gambacorta was finally able to make a move on lap-29 to take second but there was no catching Tom Fearn as he scored his second win of the 2023 season. Gambacorta finished second while Gray and Coury touched in turn 4 with Coury spinning coming to the checkered flag and collecting the car of Michael Wray. This left Meyer to take third, Keane fourth, and Paul Varricchio, Jr. fifth as Coury crossed the line in seventh place, just behind Gray in sixth.
In the 20-lap SK Light feature event, Cassandra Cole took the lead at the drop of the green flag with Nickolas Hovey in second. Jason Chapman was thirdn in line with Paul Arute fourth and Ron Midford, Jr. taking fifth from Bob Charland on lap-2. The caution flew with 3 laps complete for a spins by Hailey Desaulniers in turn 4.
The field completed one lap before the caution came back out for Matt Brewer, who came to a stop in the turn 1 infield area.
Hovey took the lead on the next restart but before the lap was complete, Nick Anglace took the lead from Hovey. Hovey and Tyler Barry were wheel to wheel for second with Barry taking the position and then taking the lead from Anglace on lap-7. The caution came back out with 7 laps complete for a spin coming out of turn 4 by Alexander Pearl.
Barry took the lead on the restart with Anglace glued to his back bumper in second. Jason Chapman and Hovey were wheel to wheel for third place with Arute in fifth and Cole back to sixth. Brian Sullivan took sixth from Cole on lap-12 while Anglace was looking high and low for a way to take the lead from Barry. Sullivan continued his charge to the front by taking fifth place on the outside of Arute on lap-15 while Anglace was still searching for a way to get by Barry at the front of the field.
Barry began to stretch out his lead over Anglace in the closing laps with Jason Chapman coming up to challenge Anglace for second. Barry took the checkered flag to pick up his first win of the 2023 season while Anglace held off Jason Chapman by a nose to take second. Sullivan finished fourth with Hovey rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, Gary Patnode took the early lead in front of Connor Jencik, Rich Hammann, Devon Jencik, and Jeremy Lavoie. Adrien Paradis, III got out of shape and limped back to pit road with a flat right front tire, which meant he was done for the evening, while Matt Clement dropped back several spots but kept going as the race stayed green. Lavoie quickly moved up to third behind Patnode and Devon Jencik on lap-3 with Hammann in fourth and Kevin Cormier took fifth from Connor Jencik just before the caution flew with 4 laps complete for a spin in turn 4 by Dana Wray.
Patnode took the lead back under green with Lavoie taking second from Devon Jencik one lap after the restart. Lavoie took second on lap-7 with Cormier following Lavoie by Devon Jencik to move into third on lap-7. Damian Palardy got by Devon Jencik on lap-7 to move into fifth and he then overtook Patnode for third place on lap-8 while Lavoie was now in the lead with Cormier in second.
With 5 laps to go, it was Lavoie in command with Cormier giving chase from second. Palardy was third and he was followed by Matt Clement, Devon Jencik, Rich Hammann, Patnode, Connor Jencik, Kevin Crosby, and Christopher Phelps. Cormier couldn’t get close enough to Lavoie to make a bid for the lead as Lavoie scored his second win of the 2023 season. Palardy finished third with Matt Clement and Devon Jencik rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Street Stock feature event, Jeff Asselin took the lead at the start after a side by side duel with Marvin Minkler. Minkler settled into second with Ryan Perry in third. Bert Ouellette took fourth from Jason Raymond on lap-3 and Aaron Plemons followed Ouellette by Raymond to take fifth as Raymond continued to slide backwards in the outside lane.
Plemons took fourth from Ouellette on lap-6 and that move brought Ryan Waterman up to fifth as Ouellette fell back to sixth place, just before the caution flag came out with 7 laps complete for Cindy Stirk, who came to a stop on the frontstretch infield.
The caution came right back out on the restart as Ouellette spun and sustained damage to the front of his car with Bill Porter also spinning.
Minkler took the lead on the next restart with Plemons taking second but only 1 lap could be completed as the caution came back out for debris on the frontstretch.
Plemons took the lead back under green with Travis Downey coming up to second. Travis Hydar worked his way up to third with Minkler fourth and Ryan Waterman was up to fifth. The caution came back out with 12 laps complete for a spin in turn 4 by Tyler Trott.
Hydar nearly went 3-wide for the lead on the restart but he settled back into third place behind Plemons and Downey. Waterman was now fourth behind Hydar with Perry in fifth. Downey took a look to the inside of Plemons on lap-16 coming out of turn 4 but was unable to make a pass. The caution came back out with 16 laps complete for Minkler, who hit the turn 2 wall.
Plemons and Downey resumed their fight for the lead on the restart while Hydar’s car got out of shape and nhe nearly lost third but recovered and maintained the spot in front of Waterman in fourth and Perry in fifth. Downey was finally able to make a move to the inside of Plemons on lap-19 coming out of turn 2 to take over the lead. Hydar also got by Plemons to take second but he couldn’t catch Downey on the final lap as Downey scored his first win of the 2023 season and became the first driver other than Waterman or Hydar to win a Street Stock feature this season at Stafford. Plemons finished third with Waterman and Perry rounding out the top-5.
SK MODIFIED® (40)
1) Keith Rocco, Berlin
2) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, NJ
3) Todd Owen, Somers
4) RJ Marcotte, Millville, MA
5) Mikey Flynn, Hampden, MA
6) Anthony Bello, Newtown
7) Michael Christopher, Jr., Wolcott
8) Jon Puleo, Branford
9) Stephen Kopcik, Newtown
10) David Arute, Stafford Springs
11) Marcello Rufrano, North Haven
12) Troy Talman, Oxford, MA
13) Rich Gautreau, Orange, CA
14) Tyler Leary, Hatfield, MA
15) Cory DiMatteo, Farmington
16) Anthony Flannery, East Hampton
17) Dylan Kopec, East Longmeadow, MA
18) Michael Gervais, Jr., Wolcott
19) Tyler Hines, North Haven
20) John Sandberg, South Windsor
21) Curt Brainard, Canton
22) Wesley Prucker, Stafford Springs
23) Steven Chapman, Ellington
LATE MODEL (30)
1) Tom Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA
2) Kevin Gambacorta, Ellington
3) Chris Meyer, Franklin
4) Darrell Keane, Enfield
5) Paul Varricchio, Jr., Berlin
6) Adam Gray, Granby, MA
7) Wayne Coury, Jr., Fairfield
8) Tom Butler, Stafford Springs
9) Andrew Durand, Chicopee, MA
10) Jacob Perry, Pawcatuck
11) John Blake, North Haven
12) Zack Robinson, Putnam
13) Alexandra Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA
14) Bobby Stirk, III, Naugatuck
15) Duane Noll, Monroe
16) Michael Wray, Durham
17) Adon Burrell, Barkhamsted
SK LIGHT MODIFIED (20)
1) Tyler Barry, Griswold
2) Nick Anglace, Seymour
3) Jason Chapman, Ellington
4) Brian Sullivan, Tolland
5) Nickolas Hovey, Chaplin
6) Paul Arute, Tolland
7) Cassandra Cole, Westbrook
8) Tyler Chapman, Ellington
9) Chris Matthews, Stafford
10) Ron Midford, Jr., Ellington
11) Meghan Fuller, Auburn, MA
12) Amanda West, Colchester
13) Tyler Alkas, Berlin
14) Bob Charland, Stafford Springs
15) Alexander Pearl, Salem
16) Daltin McCarthy, Oxford, MA
17) Stephen Kalogiannis, New Hartford
18) Chris Viens, Putnam
19) Zach Aszklar, Newtown
20) Sami Anderson, Wolcott
21) Norm Sears, Coventry
22) Paul Arcari, Somers
23) Anthony Forino, Waterbury
24) Joey Ferrigno, East Hartford
25) Josh Morrison, Ashford
26) Wade Gagner, East Longmeadow, MA
27) Matt Brewer, Norwich
28) Casey Vogt, Windsor Locks
29) Hailey Desaulniers, Windham
30) Frank L’Etoile, Jr., Wethersfield
31) George Bessette, Jr., Danbury
LIMITED LATE MODEL (20)
1) Jeremy Lavoie, Windsor Locks
2) Kevin Cormier, Agawam, MA
3) Damian Palardy, Willington
4) Matt Clement, Wethersfield
5) Devon Jencik, Canton
6) Rich Hammann, Tolland
7) Gary Patnode, New Hartford
8) Connor Jencik, Canton
9) Kevin Crosby, Coventry
10) Christopher Phelps, New Salem, MA
11) Matthew Winter, II, Springfield, VT
12) Samantha Dell, Pascoag, RI
13) Scott Clement, Wethersfield
14) Trinity Provost, Holland, MA
15) Dana Wray, Durham
16) Adrien Paradis, III, Plainville
STREET STOCK 30 (30)
1) Travis Downey, Barkhamsted
2) Travis Hydar, Woodbury
3) Aaron Plemons, Uncasville
4) Ryan Waterman, Danielson
5) Ryan Perry, West Suffield
6) Brandon Warren, Chicopee, MA
7) Chris Danielczuk, Goshen
8) Tyler Trott, East Hartford
9) Jason Raymond, Somers
10) Jeff Asselin, Granby, MA
11) Bill Porter, Canterbury
12) David Macha, Sr., Columbia
13) Sean Petlock, Ware, MA
14) Alex Spinnato, Wallingford
15) Andras Bogi, Macungie, PA
16) Kevin Forts
17) Marvin Minkler, Stamford
18) Bert Ouellette, Ellington
19) Johnny Walker, Agawam, MA
20) Cindy Stirk, Naugatuck