PREECE, ROCCO, KOPEC, BURNHAM, & CASAGRANDE SCORE JUNE 1st USG EVENT NIGHT FEATURE VICTORIES AT STAFFORD SPEEDWAY
(Stafford Springs, CT)---Stafford Speedway returned to racing on Friday, June 1st with USG Event Night. In feature action, Ryan Preece scored his first SK Modified® feature victory of the season, Keith Rocco picked up his second Late Model feature win, Dylan Kopec picked up his second consecutive and fourth SK Light feature win, D.J. Burnham picked up his second consecutive Limited Late Model feature victory, and Kyle Casagrande won his second consecutive and third DARE Stock feature event of the 2012 season.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, the outside line didn’t come up to speed on the start and Curt Brainard, John Jensen, Tommy Membrino, Jr., and Joe Gada spun into the frontstretch wall to bring the caution out before a lap could be completed.
Nichole Morgillo led the field to the green flag and she took the lead ahead of Matt Gallo. Kurt Lenahan was third, but he quickly slid back outside the top-10 as Glen Reen, Todd Owen, Woody Pitkat, Dan Avery, Michael Bennett, Ted Christopher, Keith Rocco, Ryan Preece all moved by. Morgillo stayed out front until lap-11 when Gallo made a pass in turns 3+4 to take over the race lead.
Owen took to the outside groove to move past Reen and Pitakt was ready to follow Owen by Reen, but the caution came out with 12 laps complete for a spin by Matt Galko. Back under green, Gallo took the lead with Owen pulling to the inside of Morgillo. Morgillo was able to keep Owen behind her as Pitakt moved by Reen to take over fourth place.
Morgillo was hounding Gallo for the lead, but Gallo was able to keep Morgillo behind him as Owen, Pitkat, and Reen closed in on the top-2 cars. Owen pulled to the outside of Morgillo on lap-18 and he went around to move into second place. The caution came out with 19 laps complete for a spin by Bennett, Lenahan, and Tom Bolles in turn 4.
Back under green, Gallo took the lead while sparks flew from under Owen’s car and he slowed with a flat tire. Morgillo was right behind Gallo, but Pitkat took that position from Morgillo on lap-22. Preece and Reen went three wide with Morgillo on lap-23 and they both got by as Preece went to the high side and Reen went to the inside. The caution came back with 23 laps completed for Matt Galko, who spun in turn 2.
Pitkat got a good run to the outside of Gallo and he took the lead on the restart. Gallo held second until lap-26 when Preece got a run coming out of turn 2 and he made the pass. aS the field completed lap-26, Morgillo got loose in turn 1 and set off a chain reaction that saw 9 cars involved, including Joe Gada, Tommy Membrino, Jr., Nick Boivin, Todd Owen, Kurt Lenahan, Michael Gervais, Jr., Danny Cates, Matt Galko, and Michael Bennett.
Pitkat and Preece went side by side for the lead on the restart with Preece pulling a crossover move coming out of turn 4 to move into the lead. Pitkat settled into line in second, with Morgillo, Gallo, and Curt Brainard making up the top-5. John Montesanto spun in turn 2 to bring the caution out with 31 laps complete.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Scott Cook led the field to the green flag but a melee on the backstretch involving Cook, Mike Quintiliano, Adam Norton, Corey Hutchings, Kevin Gambacorta, Mark St. Hilaire, Tom Butler, and Jim Peterson brought the caution out before a lap could be completed. This put Tony Lafo and Patrick Townsend on the front row for the restart with Keith Rocco and Woody Pitkat in the second row.
Rocco and Gray were beginning to pull away from Townsend in third, while Fearn was right on Townsend’s bumper with Pitkat now in fifth, just ahead of Mavlouganes at the lap-10 mark of the race. Lafo spun in turn 3 to bring the caution out with 11 laps complete.
On the restart, J.J. Hill and Peterson spun with Hill taking a hard hit into the turn 1 wall to bring the caution back out.
Rocco took the lad back under green with Townsend in second. Pitkat moved up to third with Mavlouganes and Fearn rounding out the top-5. Fearn got around Mavlouganes for fourth place on lap-14 and Joe Rzeszutek and Mike Quintiliano followed Fearn by Mavlouganes on the next lap.
Mavlouganes and Gray made contact on lap-17 and nearly spun, but both cars were able to continue on. Gray was given a drive thru penalty under green for making contact with Mavlouganes.
With 10 laps to go, Rocco had pulled out to a several car length lead over Townsend, while Fearn, Pitkat, and Quintiliano were holding down the remainder of the top-5 spots. The top-5 continued to run in line until lap-25 when Fearn appeared to lose an engine as smoke poured from his car. Fearn’s misfortune brought the caution flag out and set up a 5-lap sprint to the finish.
On the restart, Kevin Gambacorta spun through the frontstretch grass, Joe Rzeszutek got turned hard into the frontstretch wall, and Jim Peterson sustained damage to the front end of his racecar which brought the caution right back out.
The next restart saw Pitkat spin in turn 2 in front of the field to bring the caution back out. Pitkat’s spin collected the cars of Hutchings and Ed Ricard.
Rocco took the lead back under green with Quintiliano getting by Townsend to move into second place. Hutchings was in fourth behind Townsend with Tony Lafo in fifth place. Rocco led Quintiliano to the checkered flag to pick up his second Late Model feature win of the 2012 season. Rounding out the top-5 behind Rocco and Quintiliano was Townsend, Hutchings, and Lafo.
In the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature event, Joey Ferrigno took the lead at the green and he immediately opened up a lead of several car lengths over Harry Wheeler in second. Behind Wheeler was Ronnie Williams, Rick Williams, and the side by side duo of Dylan Kopec and Jay Goff. Goff was able to keep Kopec behind him until lap-7 when Kopec made a pass going into turn 1.
Ferrigno was still setting the pace out front with Wheeler and Ronnie Williams behind him, but his lead was erased by the caution flag for a spin by Dylan Campbell with 8 laps complete.
Ferrigno took the lead back under green but Ronnie Williams was all over his back bumper. Ronnie Williams made a move to the inside of Ferrigno to take the lead, but that pass was negated by the caution flag for a spin by Zach Aszklar. Aszklar was able to get a push start and he rejoined the race at the rear of the field.
Ronnie Williams made a strong move to the outside of Ferrigno on the restart to take over the race lead. Kopec also took to the high side to move by Ferrigno, dropping him from the lead back to third place. The caution came back out with 12 laps complete as Wheeler spun in turn 2.
On the restart, Tony Santangelo, Frank Cardile, and Tyler Hines spun in turn 1 to bring the caution back out.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, Carla Botticello took the lead at the start with Jesse Hinze, D.J. Burnham, Josh Wood, and Cory Casagrande making up the top-5. Joe Nogiec and Andrew Hayes spun in turn 1 to bring the caution out with 3 laps complete.
Botticello took the lead back under green, but she was only able to stay out front until lap-7 when Burnham took over the top spot. Burnham’s move opened the door for Casagrande and Wood to follow him by Botticello, who would lose one more spot as her father Dennis Botticello also was able to get by Carla.
Burnham, Casagrande, and Wood were locked in a three car train for the lead with Casagrande hounding Burnham for the race lead. Casagrande was looking both high and low, but was not able to make a pass. On lap-16, Casagrande nearly made a pass for the lead coming out of turn 4, but Burnham was able to stay out front.
In the 15-lap DARE Stock feature event, Jeremy Lavoie took the lead at the green while James Carroll and Kris Fluckiger were side by side for second. Carroll cleared Fluckiger for the spot and behind them was Johnny Walker and Kyle Casagrande.
The caution came out with 3 laps complete as Carroll made contact with Lavoie and both cars spun in turn 2. The spin handed the race lead over to Fluckiger with Walker alongside for the restart. Behind them in the second row was Casagrande and Cliff Saunders.
Fluckiger took the lead back under green with Casagrande quickly moving into second. Walker settled into line in third, with Austin Bessette and Monte Gibbs side by side for the fourth position. Fluckiger had pulled out to a lead, but Casagrande ran him down in 2 laps and nearly made a pass for the lead on lap-7. While Casagrande’s first attempt at making a pass for the lead was unsuccessful, he came back the very next lap and was able to make the pass on Fluckiger to take over the race lead. Bessette was now running in third behind Fluckiger, with Albert Saunders and Gibbs rounding out the top-5. Doug Phelps spun in turn 2 to bring the caution out with 11 laps complete.
Casagrande took the lead on the restart with Bessette moving under Fluckiger to take voer second. Fluckiger was kicked to the high side and Albert Saunders was also able to get by Fluckiger, dropping him from second back to fourth place. Gibbs was in fifth just behind Fluckiger.
Bessette wasn’t able to close the gap to Casagrande as Casagrande led the field to the checkered flag to pick up his second consecutive DARE Stock victory of the 2012 season. Bessette finished second, with Albert Saunders third, Fluckiger fourth, and Cliff Saunders edged out Gibbs at the line to finish in fifth.
For more information contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at (860) 684-2783, or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.