(Stafford Springs, CT)—As the 2017 season at Stafford Speedway heads into September and the final 5 races of the year, the races for the track championships keep on getting tighter and tighter. The August 25 Back 2 SK®ool program saw the point lead change hands in both the SK Modified® and SK Light divisions and the point lead in the Late Model and Limited Late Model divisions both shrunk. The DARE Stocks were the only division that saw the point leader extend their lead.
In the SK Modifieds®, Keith Rocco endured a mechanical issue for the second consecutive race, relegating him to a 13th place finish after he was contending with Ted Christopher for the race lead. Chase Dowling’s fourth place finish last Friday night combined with Rocco’s misfortune vaulted him back to the top of the SK Modified® standings by 12 points over Rocco. Ronnie Williams is now third in the standings, 16 points behind Dowling. After suffering two consecutive mechanical issues of his own, Ted Christopher has won the last 2 SK Modified® feature events to climb back to fourth in the standings, 36 points behind Dowling. With 2-time defending track champion Rowan Pennink fifth, 42 points behind, and Todd Owen sixth, 48 points behind, there are 6 drivers within 50 points or 1 race victory of the point leader.
In the Late Model division, Glen Reen continues to hold down the point lead but his margin shrunk from 12 points down to 10 points after last Friday night with Kevin Gambacorta sitting in second. Defending track champion Tom Fearn is third, 28 points behind with Michael Wray in fourth, 32 points behind. Michael Bennett had climbed back into contention with 6 consecutive top-4 finishes from June 9 to August 4 but two consecutive finishes outside the top-10 have left him 58 points behind Reen.
Stafford’s SK Lights continue to have a see-saw duel for the point lead. Throughout the first 12 races Cory DiMatteo, Wesley Prucker, George Nocera, Jr., and Dan Wesson have each taken a turn leading the points. The lead changed hands again after last Friday night with DiMatteo’s fourth win of the 2017 season vaulting him back to the top spot with David Arute only 4 points behind in second. Last week’s point leader Wesson is third, 10 points behind DiMatteo with Nocera fourth, 24 points behind. Brett Gonyaw is currently fifth, 32 points behind and Prucker is sixth in the standings, 40 points behind. Just like the SK Modified® division, there are 6 drivers who are less than one feature win’s worth of points behind the leader.
The Limited Late Model division continues to be led by Jeremy Lavoie, but defending champion Duane Provost has trimmed Lavoie’s lead down to a mere 2 points or one position on the track. Bryan Narducci has been coming on like gang busters with a second and two consecutive wins in the last three races to sit in a tie with Al Saunders for third in the standings, 16 points behind Lavoie. Robert Bloxsom, III is currently fifth, 48 points behind Lavoie.
The DARE Stocks continue to be dominated by defending champion Johnny Walker. Last Friday night saw Walker score his third consecutive feature victory and it was also his 11th consecutive podium finish after opening the season with a 12th place finish in the NAPA Spring Sizzler feature. DARE Stock rookie George Bessette, Jr. is currently second, 54 points behind Walker with Vince Gambacorta third, 88 points behind.
With only 5 races to go and such tight margins the races for the track championships are sure to provide plenty of excitement and drama throughout the month of September leading into the season ending NAPA Fall Final on Sept. 30-Oct. 1.
The September stretch run kicks off this Friday night, September 1st with the Valenti Modified Racing Series coming to Stafford for an 80-lap feature with Stafford’s five NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions all in action. In addition to the on track action, there will be a fireworks presentation at the conclusion of feature racing events and fans will also be able to walk the track for a $10 donation to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which will be collected by NAPA representatives. The track walk will take place following the conclusion of the VMRS qualifying heats and before the feature events get started. Tickets for Friday, September 1st VMRS 80 event are on sale now and priced at $30.00 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seat tickets are $32.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Stafford Motor Speedway offers plenty of free parking along with overnight parking available for self contained Recreational Vehicles.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.