KOPEC, BOTTICELLO, & SAUNDERS SCORE
(Stafford Springs, CT)---Stafford Motor Speedway returned to racing on Friday, July 13th and extra distance was the theme of the night as the SK Modifeds®, Late Models, SK Lights, and Limited Late Models each raced an extra 2 laps, while the DARE Stock feature was one lap longer as part of the 5 Star Series Mid-Season Stretch. Ted Christopher picked up his third win of the season in the 42-lap SK Modified® event, Woody Pitkat picked up win number 2 in the 32-lap Late Model feature, Dylan Kopec got his fifth win in the 22-lap SK Light feature, Dennis Botticello got his first win of the season in the 22-lap Ltd. Late Model feature, and Albert Saunders picked up his third win of the year in the 16-lap DARE Stock feature.
In the 42-lap SK Modified® feature event, Glen Reen powered into the lead with Curt Brainard settling into second behind him. Matt Galko got around Tom Bolles for third, and Todd Owen was fifth, but the caution came out with 2 laps complete as Kyle Spencer spun in turn 2.
Reen took the lead back under green while Galko moved into second. Galko’s time in second was short as Owen made a move for second and he brought Ted Christopher with him. Frank Ruocco was also able to get by Galko as Galko fell from second back to fifth place.
Owen’s hard charge continued on lap-5 as he took the lead from Reen. Christopher followed Owen by Reen as Reen fell from the lead back to third place. Spencer spun again in turns 1+2 to bring the caution back out with 7 laps complete.
Owen took the lead back under green, but Christopher was glued to Owen’s bumper. Danny Cates moved into third, with Reen falling back to fourth and Ruocco was fifth. The caution came back out with 9 laps complete for debris on the track in turn 4.
Christopher got a good run the outside of Owen, but Owen came back strong and he maintained the lead at eh line on the restart. One lap after the restart, Cates pulled to the outside of Christopher, but he couldn’t make a pass. Frank Ruocco got by Cates for third and the caution came back out with 12 laps complete as Nichole Morgillo spun on the frontstretch.
Owen again took the lead back under green with Christopher right behind him. Ruocco and Cates were fighting side by side for third with Cates taking the spot on the high side. Reen was in fifth behind Ruocco, with Michael Gervais, Jr., Ryan Preece, Galko, Keith Rocco, and Eric Berndt making up the top-10. The top-4 cars were able to pull out a gap to Reen in fifth.
Gervais took fifth place from Reen on lap-18 and Ryan Preece and Keith Rocco were able to follow Gervais by Reen. Owen held the race lead until lap-22 when Christopher moved to the front. Owen wasn’t giving up as he was running nose to nose with Christopher in the outside groove. Neither car was able to get an advantage over the other as they raced side by side with Ruocco, Cates, and Rocco lined up single file behind them. Owen and Christopher ran side by side for four laps before Owen was able to get clear of Christopher on lap-26 after running in the outside groove.
With 14 laps to go, the order was Owen, Christopher, Ruocco, Rocco, Cates, Gervais, Berndt, Preece, Reen, and Galko. Once Owen got back in front of Christopher, he was able to pull away by several car lengths. Ruocco continued to run in third, although Rocco was all over his back bumper, looking for a way to get past. Cates continued to run in fifth, with Gervais and Berndt lined up several car lengths behind. The action was slowed with 38 laps complete as Nick Boivin spun in turn 1 to bring the caution out.
On the restart, Owen didn’t quite come up to speed as Rocco and Christopher went side by side into turn 1 for the lead. Coming out of turn 2, Christopher moved back ahead of Rocco, but Matt Gallo went around in front of a group of cars to bring the caution out before a lap could be completed. That put Owen back out front with Christopher alongside for the restart.
Christopher got a good run to the outside of Owen on the restart to move into the lead. Rocco made a power move to the outside of Ruocco to move up to third, with Cates running in fifth just behind Ruocco. Rocco got by Owen going into turn 1 on the white flag lap, but he came up just short as they came back around to the checkered flag as Christopher took his third win of the 2012 season. Owen finished third behind Christopher and Rocco, with Ruocco and Cates rouding out the top-5.
In the 32-lap Late Model feature event, Patrick Townsend took the lead at the drop of the green flag and immediately he began to pull away from Tony Lafo in second. Mark St. Hilaire was third behind Lafo, with Corey Hutchings and Tom Fearn making up the top-5. Jim Peterson was in sixth, with Mike Quintiliano in seventh, Keith Rocco in eighth, Woody Pitkat in ninth, and Adam Gray rounding out the top-10.
Townsend was continuing to set a blistering pace at the front of the field as he continued to open up the lead over Lafo. St. Hilaire made a move to the inside of Lafo on lap-12 to move into second and Fearn was able to also get alongside and pull ahead of Lafo. Peterson and Quintiliano were also able to get by Lafo as Townsend continued to lead the race.
At the halfway point of the race, Townsend was still the leader, but St. Hilaire was closing the gap to Townsend. St. Hilaire had a large gap back to Fearn in third place. Just behind Fearn was Quintiliano, Peterson, and Rocco. Quintiliano made contact with Fearn in turn 4 and Fearn spun to bring the caution out with 19 laps complete. Quintiliano was sent to the rear of the field for the contact with Fearn.
Back under green, St. Hilaire got a good run on the outside of Townsend to move into the lead as the cars came back to the start/finish line. Townsend was glued to St. Hilaire’s back bumper while Peterson was third, just ahead of the side by side duo of Rocco and Pitkat.
Townsend was hounding St. Hilaire for the lead and Peterson stuck his nose in to briefly make it three wide for the lead on lap-24 before he backed off. St. Hilaire kept the lead with Townsend behind him while Pitkat was now up to third. Rocco was fourth and Gray was fifth as Peterson fell from third back to sixth place. Quintiliano spun in turn 1 after contact from Fearn to bring the caution out with 26 laps complete. Fearn was given a penalty for the contact with Quintiliano.
St. Hilaire took the lead back under green while Pitkat moved by Townsend to move into second place. Gray also got by Townsend as Townsend fell from second back to fourth. Pitkat was able to pull to the inside of St. Hilaire on lap-29 to take over the race lead. St. Hilaire came back strong and he almost retook the lead from Pitkat on lap-31, but he was unable to complete the pass. Pitkat then held off St. Hilaire to the line for his second win of the 2012 season. Rounding out the top-5 behind Pitkat and St. Hilaire was Townsend, Peterson, and Rocco.
In the 22-lap SK Light Modified feature event, Rick Williams led the field to the green flag but he was quickly overtaken by Frank Cardile. Ronnie Williams quickly moved into second with Payton Henry and Dylan Kopec behind them. The caution came out with 3 laps complete for spins by Joey Ferrigno and Tyler Hines.
Cardile took the lead back under green with Williams hanging strong to the outside of Cardile. Kopec was running in the lead duo’s tire tracks with Bob Charland and Tony Membrino, Jr. behind Kopec. Kopec got by Williams on lap-7 and he made a move to the inside of Cardile on lap-8, but couldn’t complete the pass. The caution came back out with 8 laps complete for debris on the track in turn 2.
On the restart, Harry Wheeler, Joe Boivin, and Zach Aszklar came to a stop in turn 1 to bring the caution right back out. Cardile took the lead back under green with Kopec settling into line right behind him. Charland ran in third with Williams in fourth and Membrino in fifth. Dylan Campbell and Fred Nees, Jr. brought the caution back out with 9 laps complete as they got together in turn 1.
Cardile took the lead back under green with Charland moving into second as Kopec didn’t get a good restart. Kopec quickly came back strong to the outside of Charland and he moved back into second place. Membrino was fourth behind Charland while Henry and Williams were side by side for fifth place.
Cardile began to stretch his lead out over Kopec while Membrino was looking for a way to get by Charland for third. Henry was now in fifth, with Williams and Aszklar right behind him. The caution came out with 14 laps complete as Jay Goff spun in turn 2.
Cardile again got the jump on the restart and he took the lead, but Kopec got a monster run down the backstretch and by the time the cars got back to the start/finish line, he had taken the lead from Cardile. Aszklar spun in turn 2 to bring the caution back out with 15 laps complete.
Cardile took the lead back under green with Kopec falling into line right on his bumper. Membrino moved into third with Williams and Tyler Hines making up the top-5. Nick Salva was now up to sixth place with Harry Wheeler and Aszklar behind him.
Cardile drifted up the track on lap-19 and he fell back several spots before he dropped off the pace and fell to the rear of the field before he came to pit road and parked his car for the remainder of the race. Kopec led the field to the white flag and he led the field to the checkered flag to pick up his 5th win of the 2012 season. Membrino finished second, with Williams, Hines, and Salva rounding out the top-5.
In the 22-lap Limited Late Model feature event, Joe Nogiec and Justin Bren were side by side for the lead before Bren inched ahead of Nogiec down the backstretch. Bren got loose coming out of turn 4, but he held on to the car and he maintained the lead ahead of Nogiec, Dennis Botticello, Brian Clement, and D.J. Burnham.
At the back of the pack, Cory Casagrande and Josh Wood were slicing their way through traffic and working their way towards the front. Dennis Botticello got by Nogiec for second on lap-7 while Bren continued to hold the lead. Nogiec was now third, just in front of Clement, Burnham, and Duane Provost.
Botticello overtook Bren for the race lead on
lap-10 and Casagrande and Wood were now just behind Provost.
Provost tried a move on Botticello for the lead on the restart, but he wasn’t able to make the pass. Wood got by Provost and was trying to reel in Botticello for the race lead before the caution came out for Bren, who spun coming off turn 4 to set up a second green white checkered finish.
Botticello took the lead back under green while Provost was able to get by Casagrande and Wood to move into second. Provost made one final run at Botticello, but Botticello was able to hold him off at the line for his first win of the 2012 season. Casagrande finished third, with Wood and David Arute rounding out the top-5.
In the 16-lap DARE Stock feature event, Vince Gambacorta and Norm Sears banged wheels on the first lap fighting for the race lead with Gambacorta taking the lead. Kris Fluckiger got around Sears for second while Sears settled into third. Stephanie Berardi was running fourth, but she spun coming out of turn 4 and fell to the back of the field as the race stayed under green. The caution came out with 7 laps complete as Doug Phelps’ car came to a stop in turn 1.
The order for the restart was Gambacorta and Fluckiger on the front row, Sears and Johnny Walker in the second row, and Albert Saunders and Kyle Casagrande in the third row. Gambacorta took the lead back under green while Walker made a strong move to go from fourth to second. Fluckiger settled into line in third, while Sears was fighting side by side with Albert Saunders for the fifth spot.
Gambacorta held the lead until lap-10 when Walker took over the front spot. Fluckiger moved into second, with Saunders moving up to third as Gambacorta fell from the lead back to fourth. The caution came out with 10 laps complete as Trevor Berry spun off turn 4.
Walker took the lead back under green with Fluckiger and Albert Saunders behind him. The caution came back out with 11 laps complete as Kyle Casagrande spun in turn 2.
Back under green walker again took the lead with Albert Saunders moving ahead of Fluckiger to take over second. David Macha, Sr. spun on the backstretch and came to a stop with his nose facing the backstretch wall, which brought the caution right back out.
Walker took the on the restart, but it was short
lived as Albert Saunders made a three wide move in turn 4 to pass
both walker and Fluckiger to move into the race lead. Austin
Bessette moved inot second behind Saaunders while Walker fell back
to third, just in front of Berardi, who had recovered from her early
For more information contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at (860) 684-2783, or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.
SK MODIFIED® (42)