(Stafford Springs, CT)—Stafford Speedway returned to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action on Friday, June 23 with the ISMA SuperModifieds also in the house for a 60-lap feature event. Ben Seitz led the 60-lap ISMA SuperModified feature from start to finish to score a dominating win; Ted Christopher outlasted Chase Dowling and Keith Rocco in a barnburner over the final 5 laps for his second SK Modified® win of the season; Glen Reen scored his first win of the year in the Late Model feature; Cory DiMatteo won for the third time in the SK Light feature; Al Saunders scored his first Ltd. Late Model feature win; and Johnny Walker was the DARE Stock feature winner for the second consecutive week.
In the 60-lap ISMA SuperModified event, Ben Seitz shot into the lead at the green with Mike Orway, Jr., Timmy Jedrzejek, Moe Lilje, and Otto Sitterly making up the top-5. Sitterly quickly worked his way around Lilje to move into fourth. Dave McKnight came to a stop in the middle of turns 1+2 to bring the caution out with 13 laps complete. Under the caution, Lilje lost an engine and he retired from the race.
Seitz took the lead on the restart with Jedrzejek applying heavy pressure to Ordway for second. Sitterley was fourth with Mike McVetta fifth and Jon McKennedy in sixth. Jerdzejek kept the pressure on Ordway for second and he was finally able to make a pass on lap-23 to move into second.
Seitz began to hit lapped traffic on lap-27 which allowed Jerdzejek to close right in on the back bumper of Seitz but Seitz was able to fend off his challenges and once they got through the lapped cars, Seitz was able to stretch out his lead. While this duel for the lead was going on, Sitterly moved into third with McKennedy moving up to fourth and Mike Lichty up to fifth.
With 10 laps to go, Seitz was still in command with Jedrzejek still giving chase. Sitterly was still running third with McKennedy and Lichty still behind him. Jedrzejek made a strong run in the final handful of laps and he was able to get to Seitz’s rear bumper at the the checkered flag but came up just short of taking the win. Sitterly, McKennedy, and Lichty rounded out the top-5.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Tom Abele, Jr. and Michael Gervais, Jr. ran wheel to wheel for the first lap before Abele got clear to take the early race lead. Mike Christopher, Jr. was third in the early running with Stephen Kopcik in fourth and Dylan Izzo in fifth. Ronnie Williams nearly got into the turn 4 wall on lap-9 but he avoided the wall and got back into line in 18th place as Abele continued to lead the race. Dylan Izzo came to a stop in turn 4 to bring the caution out with 9 laps complete.
Todd Owen, Dan Avery, Tom Bolles, Josh Wood, and Matt Galko were all involved in a pileup in turn 4 before the field could complete a lap and brought the caution back out.
Gervais took the lead on the restart with Abele behind him in second. Christopher, Jr. was third with Cam McDermott up to fourth and Ted Christopher was up to fifth. Kopcik was sliding backwards as Christopher continued his charge towards the front as he took fourth from McDermott on lap-14. McDermott now had Keith Rocco to deal with as Rocco was applying heavy pressure. Christopher got around Christopher, Jr. to take over third on lap-15 and he was working the outside lane against Abele in a bid for second on lap-17. Abele was able to maintain the spot and Christopher settled back into line in third.
Gervais drifted high in turn 4 on lap-18, which allowed Abele to pull alongside and then take over the lead. Abele’s move opened the door for Christopher and Christopher, Jr. to both get by Gervais to drop him back to fourth. Christopher took the lead from Abele on lap-21 with a pass in turn 4. Owen hit the wall in turn 1 to bring the caution out with 21 laps complete.
Christopher took the lead back under green with Abele, Christopher, Jr., McDermott, and Chase Dowling lined up behind him. Kopcik spun in turn 2 to bring the caution back out with 24 laps complete. Rowan Pennink was sent to the rear of the field for overaggressive driving under the caution.
Christopher took the lead back under green with Christopher, Jr. making a strong move in turn 3 to overtake Abele for second. Abele came right back on the next lap to move back into second while Dowling was able to move into third and Rocco took fourth as Christopher, Jr. fell back to fifth. Ed Spiers spun in turn 3 to bring the caution out with 28 laps complete.
Christopher took the lead on the restart with Dowling and Rocco in chase but he lost the lead to Dowling on lap-33. Christopher came back in turn 3 on lap-34 and gave Dowling a shot to the bumper, but that actually slowed Christopher and allowed Rocco to move into second. Christopher got back around Rocco on lap-36 and he took the lead from Dowling at the line on lap-37. Dowling got to the inside of Christopher in turn 3 on lap-38 to move back into the lead and Christopher made the very same move on lap-39 and he had the lead coming to the white flag. Rocco pulled alongside Dowling on the final lap in a duel for second and that allowed Christopher to maintain his gap to the two cars and he took his second win of the 2017 season. Dowling nipped Rocco at the line for second with Abele and Christopher, Jr. rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Rich Hammann took the lead at the green flag but Wayne Coury, Jr. was right with him in a fight for the lead. There was a 3-wide scramble in turn 4 and as the field completed the first lap, Coury got into frontstretch wall and came to a stop to bring the caution out.
Glen Reen made a power move to take the lead on the restart with Michael Wray moving into second. Kevin Gambacorta slotted in to third with Josh Wood and Hammann making up the top-5. Hammann quickly lost fifth to Tom Fearn and he then was overtaken by Michael Bennett for sixth.
With 10 laps complete, it was still Reen in command with Wray, Gambacorta, Fearn, and Bennett lined up behind him. Josh Wood was now up to sixth with Hammann back to seventh in the order. The order remained the same as the field took the halfway marker at lap-15. The caution came out with 25 laps complete as Hammann got into the turn 4 wall.
Reen took the lead with Gambacorta holding off Wray for second. Bennett got by Wray to move into third on lap-27 and he brought Tom Fearn and Paul Arute with him on lap-28 as Wray fell back to sixth. Reen led Gambacorta to the checkered flag to pick up his first win of the 2017 season. Bennett finished third with Fearn and Wray making up the top-5.
In the 20-lap SK Light feature event, Ted Cain took the early lead but he surrendered the lead to Geoff Nooney on lap-2. Keith Caruso moved into second with Chris Matthews in third, Glenn Korner in fourth, and Cain was fifth after leading the first lap.
Korner was taking a hard look at Caruso for third and he fell back several spots to sixth in line on lap-6 as Dan Wesson moved into fourth and Cory DiMatteo took fifth. Wesson was now looking to the inside of Caruso for third and he was able to make a pass on lap-9 but the caution came out as Wesley Prucker spun in turn 2, which put Caruso back in third.
Nooney and Matthews ran side by side for a lap on the restart with Nooney taking the lead on lap-10. Wesson was third with DiMatteo in fourth and George Nocera, Jr. was up to fifth. Matthews got by Nooney for the lead on lap-16 and he brought DiMatteo with him into second as Nooney slid back to third. DiMatteo then took the lead on lap-17 with Nocera now in second with Wesson and Matthews side by side for third.
Nocera gave one last ditch effort to get around DiMatteo coming to the checkered flag but DiMatteo was able to keep the lead and he scored his third win of the 2017 season. Wesson finished third with Brett Gonyaw and Marcello Rufrano rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, Matt Clement took the early lead with R.J. Surdell hanging strong to his outside in second. Alexandra Fearn was third but she got by Surdell for second on lap-3 while Al Saunders followed her through to fourth and Bryan Narducci followed him through to fifth. Surdell got into the backstretch wall and came to a stop to bring the caution out with 3 laps complete.
Clement led on the restart but Al Saunders took over the lead on lap-5 and Alexandra Fearn moved into second as Clement was sliding backwards in the outside groove. Jeremy Lavoie and Robert Bloxsom, III were side by side for third with Ryan Fearn in fourth and Duane Provost in fifth as Clement fell back to seventh in line behind Cliff Saunders. Narducci spun in the middle of turns 1+2 to bring the caution out with 7 laps complete.
Saunders took the lead on the restart with Lavoie, Alexandra Fearn, Bloxsom, and Ryan Fearn making up the top-5. Duane Provost and Cliff Saunders were right on Ryan Fearn’s bumper in the fight for sixth. Fearn was able to hold them off and he began to hound Bloxsom for the fourth position, looking high and low for a way to make a pass. Fearn nearly had the spot taken on lap-15, but Bloxsom was able to hold him off. Al Saunders continued to hold the race lead with Lavoie giving chase.
Bloxsom was able to get around Alexandra Fearn for third on lap-17 and he brought Ryan Fearn and Provost with him as Alexandra fell back to fifth. Provost then got by her to move into fifth but it was all Al Saunders at the front as he took the checkered flag for his first win of the 2017 season.
In the 15-lap DARE Stock feature event, Chuck Harrison took the lead at the green and began to pull away from Vince Gambacorta, Mike Hopkins, Johnny Walker, and Nicole Chambrello. Chambrello lost fifth to Chris Bagnall on lap-3 while Gambacorta, Hopkins, and Walker were closing in on the back bumper of Harrison for the lead. Chris Sanford brought the caution out with a spin in turn 4 with 4 laps complete.
Harrison took the lead on the restart but by the time the cars got to turn 3, Gambacorta had taken the lead from Harrison with Walker moving into second. Harrison nearly spun in turn 3 on lap-6 but he gathered his car back up and held third with Hopkins and Zack Robinson behind him.
Robinson made a move to the inside of Gambcorta in turn 4 on lap-10 with the two cars touching which resulted in Robinson spinning and bringing the caution out. Gambacorta brought his car to pit road and was finished for the evening while Robinson rejoined at the action at the rear of the field.
Walker and Hopkins ran door to door on the restart with Walker getting clear into the lead at the stripe. George Bessette, Jr. moved into third with Bagnall fourth and Chambrello fifth. Robinson was charging his way back through the pack and was up to sixth with 2 laps to go.
Walker held off Hopkins to the line to pick up his second consecutive DARE Stock feature victory. Bessette finished third with Bagnall and Chambrello rounding out the top-5.
For more information contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at (860) 684-2783, or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.