CHRISTOPHER & ROCCO SCORE CARQUEST SK 150 TWIN 75 FEATURE VICTORIES AT STAFFORD
(Stafford Springs, CT)---Stafford Motor Speedway returned to racing on Friday, July 27th with the 9th Annual CARQUEST SK 150 Twin 75 program. Taking home the big wins of the night were Ted Christopher and Keith Rocco in the twin 75-lap SK Modified® feature events, Tom Fearn was the winner of the 30-lap Late Model feature, Joey Ferrigno was a first time winner in the 20-lap SK Light feature, Dennis Botticello picked up his second consecutive win in the 20-lap Ltd. Late Model feature, and Kyle Casagrande picked up his fifth win of the season in a photo finish with Cliff Saunders.
In the first 75-lap SK Modified® feature event, Tom Bolles and Curt Brainard ran the first lap side by side with Bolles the leader at the line. Woody Pitkat and Glen Reen were side by side for third behind Bolles and Brainard while Ryan Preece was fifth. Bolles and Brainard remained side by side for three and a half laps before Bolles was able to get clear. Pitkat made a move to the inside of Bolles to move into the lead on lap-5 and he brought Preece with him past Bolles, who fell from the lead back to third. The caution came out with 5 laps complete for a multicar spin in turn 4 involving the cars of Nichole Morgillo, Bo Gunning, Kyle Spencer, and Richie Pallai, Jr.
Back under green, Pitkat pulled out to the lead with Preece falling back into line in second. Preece didn’t wait very long behind Pitkat as he pulled to the outside of Pitkat one lap after the restart and began to challenge for the race lead. Behidn Pitkat and Preece, Sean Foster was third, with Bolles in fourth and Ted Christopher was now up to fifth. Eric Berndt and Michael Bennett spun in turn 2 to bring the caution back out with 9 laps complete.
Pitkat took the lead back under green with Preece, Foster, Christopher, and Bolles making up the top-5. The field completed three laps before the caution came back out for a multicar spin at the end of the backstretch that involved the cars of Tommy Membrino, Jr., Matt Galko, Todd Owen, and Nick Boivin.
Pitkat again took the lead on the restart with Preece falling into line behind him. Christopher moved up to third, with Foster and Glen Reen side by side for the fifth place. Foster took the spot from Reen and Frank Ruocco moved by Reen to move up to fifth place on lap-15.
Ruocco continued his charge to the front as he moved by Foster for third place on lap-17 while Pitkat and Preece were running nose to tail at the front of the field. The caution came back out with 18 laps complete for a spin by Pallai in turn 4 as a result of contact from Kyle Spencer. Spencer was black flagged for making contact with Pallai and he restarted at the rear of the field.
Pitkat powered into the lead while Christopher briefly pulled to the inside of Preece for second before Preece pulled ahead of Christopher and continued to run in second. Ruocco was fourth behind Christopher with Foster running in fifth. Spencer spun in turn 3 to bring the caution out with 21 laps complete.
Pitkat took the lead back under green with Preece behind him. Preece didn’t stay behind Pitkat for very long as he pulled to the inside of Pitkat on lap-23 and he moved into the lead on lap-24, but the caution came out for a spin by Chris Jones in turn 2, which put Pitkat back at the front of the field for the restart. Lined up behind Pitkat and Preece for the restart was Christopher and Ruocco, Foster and Reen, Danny Cates and Tom Bolles, and Dan Avery and Donny Travaglin.
Pitkat took the lead back under green with Preece, Christopher, Ruocco, and Reen behind him, but the field was only able to complete two more laps before Bolles spun in turn 3 which set of a chain reaction behind him that collected the cars of Brainard, Spencer, Morgillo, Membrino, Kurt Lenahan, Brian Sullivan, Shawn Thibeault, and Joe Gada.
Pitkat took the lead but Preece pulled to the outside of Pitakt one lap after the restart and he began to challenge Pitkat for the lead. Christopher was running third, with Ruocco and Foster right behind him. Thibeault spun in turn 1 to bring the yellow back out with 26 laps complete.
Pitkat again took the lead back under green with Preece, Christopher, Ruocco, and Foster behind him. Danny Cates was now up to sixth, with Travaglin, Reen, Keith Rocco, Michael Gervais, Jr., and Dan Avery making up the top-10. Preece was looking to the outside of Pitkat, but he remained in line behind the race leader. Ruocco was beginning to apply pressure to Christopher for third and he took the spot from Christopher on lap-33. Lap-33 also saw a lead change as Preece made a move to the inside of Pitkat. Christopher was falling back from Ruocco and into the clutches of Foster and Cates, but Christopher was able to stay in front of both cars and maintain the fourth position.
The order remained the same until lap-38 when Foster was able to get by Christopher with a pass in turn 4. Foster’s move allowed Cates to also get by Christopher as Christopher fell from fourth back to sixth place in the running order while Preece continued to lead Pitkat and Ruocco.
With 30 laps to go, the race had settled down into a green flag run with Preece, Pitkat, and Ruocco running in close contact. Foster and Cates were several seconds behind the lead trio and Christopher was about a half second behind Cates. Reen was running seventh, just ahead of Rocco, Brainard, and Gada.
The caution came out with 52 laps complete as Rocco and Reen came together in turn 2 with Reen spinning as Rocco climbed up and over Reen’s left side tires. Rocco’s car had a toe issue with his tires, but he and his team decided to stay out and he restarted from the seventh spot.
Preece took the lead back under green with Ruocco pulling alongside Pitkat to move into second. Pitkat settled into line in third with Foster and Cates side by side behind him. Ruocco pulled to the inside of Preece on lap-54 and the duo ran side by side for the lead. Dan Avery spun on the backstretch to bring the yellow back out with 54 laps complete.
On the restart, Ruocco got a good run to the outside of Preece and Foster was looking to make it three wide on the outside of both Preece and Ruocco for the lead before Joe Gada took a hard hit into the turn 1 wall along with Pallai, which brought out the red flag.
Preece and Ruocco were again side by side on the restart for the lead while Foster and Christopher were able to get by Pitkat to drop him from third back to fifth. The caution came back out one lap after the restart as Lenahan, Membrino, Brainard, and Thibeault spun into the turn 1 wall.
On the restart, there was a pileup at the front of the field as Preece went from the lead through the infield grass and Foster had damage to his right front tire. This put Christopher and Pitkat on the front row, Travaglin and Cates were on the second row, and Rocco and Gervais were on the third row for the restart.
Christopher took the lead under green with Pitkat slotting into second behind Christopher. Travaglin and Cates were side by side for third with Rocco just behind them in fifth place. Brian Sullivan was up to sixth, Gervais was seventh, Reen was eighth, Spencer was ninth and Avery was tenth.
Preece was on the move after restarting at the rear of the field as he went by Gervais for seventh place on lap-60. Pitkat was applying heavy pressure to Christopher at the front of the field with Cates now up to third.
Preece got by Sullivan to move into sixth place on lap-63 and he followed Rocco by Travaglin on lap-64 to move into fifth place. Pitkat was all over Christopher for the lead, but Christopher was able to stay out front. Preece continued to charge his way to the front as he went around Rocco for fourth place on lap-68.
The caution came out with 71 laps complete as Ruocco and Travaglin touched wheels and spun down the frontstretch, slowing the field and setting up a 4-lap sprint to the finish. This put Cates and Preece on the second row behind Christopher and Pitkat for the restart with Rocco and Sullivan making up the third row.
Christopher got a good run on the start, but Pitakt came back strong on the outside and he was keeping pace with Christopher. Preece was right behind both cars in third with Cates fourth and Rocco in fifth. Christopher was able to stay out front and he took the checkered flag to pick up his 98th career SK Modified® victory. Pitkat edged out Preece at the line for second, with Cates and Rocco rounding out the top-5.
In the second 75-lap SK Modified® feature event, Matt Galko took the lead at the drop of the green with Michael Gervais, Jr. slotting into second behind Galko. Curt Brainard was third, but Danny Cates went around Brainard to move into third on lap-4 and Ryan Preece followed Cates by Brainard on the outside to move into fourth. Frank Ruocco was in fifth, with Woody Pitkat behind him.
Cates took second on lap-6 and he moved into the lead on lap-7. Preece was right on Cates’ bumper in second and Ruocco and Pitkat were both able to get by Galko as Galko went from the lead back to fifth place in a matter of two laps. The caution came out with 9 laps complete as Pitakt and Ruocco made contact in turn 1 and Ruocco spun. Behind them, there was a pileup of cars including Kyle Spencer, Brainard, Tommy Membrino, Jr., Donny Travaglin, Chris Jones, Eric Berndt, Nichole Morgillo, Kurt Lenahan, and Sean Foster.
Preece muscled his way by Cates on the restart with a good run in the outside groove to take over the lead. Gervais was third, with Keith Rocco, Brian Sullivan, Galko, and Ted Christopher behind him. Rocco shot by Gervais for third on lap-12 and he took second from Cates on lap-15.
Rocco pulled to the inside of Preece on lap-17, but Preece led at the line by a nose. Rocco took the lead from Preece on lap-18 and he cleared Preece on lap-19. Right behind Rocco and Preece was Cates. Gervais was several seconds behind Cates in fourth and Sullivan was in fifth, just in front of Christopher. Michael Bennett and Lenahan got together in turn 2 to bring the caution out with 20 laps complete. Under the caution, Christopher brought his car behind the pit wall and his team went to work under the hood of his car.
Rocco and Preece were side by side for the lead on the restart with Cates running third. Rocco got clear of Preece one lap after the restart as Sullivan continued to run fourth and Gervais was running fifth.
Rocco took the lead back under green and he immediately began to pull away from Preece in second. Preece’s car looked to drop of the pace a bit on lap-40 as Cates and Sullivan streaked by, but just as it looked like Preece’s race was over, his car seemed to pick speed back up and he was keeping pace with Sullivan. Matt Galko spun in turn 2 to bring the caution back out with 41 laps complete. Under the caution, Preece brought his car to pit road and his crew went under the hood of his car.
Rocco took the lead back under green with Cates in second. Ruocco was third, with Sullivan and Brainard behind him. Lenahan spun on the backstretch to bring the caution back out with 46 laps complete.
Cates made a power move to the outside of Rocco to briefly take over the lead on the restart, but Rocco came back strong and went back to the front of the pack. Ruocco was up to third, with Sullivan in fourth and Brainard in fifth. Just behind Brainard was Foster, who earlier had been involved in the turn 1 pileup. Foster got by Brainard on lap-53 and Pitkat followed him by Brainard as Rocco had pulled away from Cates in second. Ruocco was several seconds behind Cates in third, with Sullivan a car length behind Ruocco and Foster was a car length behind Sullivan. The caution came back out with 62 laps complete for debris on the track.
Rocco took the lead on the restart with Cates slotting into second. The fight was on for third with Ruocco and Foster side by side with Pitkat right behind them. Ruocco got clear of Foster and Pitkat got by Foster to move into fourth on lap-66. Foster came back strong to the outside of Pitkat as they were both trying to get by Ruocco. The action was slowed with 70 laps complete as Reen, Membrino, and Lenahan spun in turn 4.
Rocco and Cates resumed in first and second on the restart, with Ruocco in third. Foster and Pitkat were side by side contesting fourth place with Tom Bolles and Brainard behind them. Foster got a good run and cleared Pitkat for the spot with 2 laps to go.
Rocco led the field around to the checkered flag to pick up his third win of the 2012 season. Cates finished second, with Ruocco, Foster, and Pitkat rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Ed Ricard spun and Jim Peterson came to a stop just behind Ricard’s car to bring the caution out before a lap could be completed. The next restart saw Tony Lafo spin into the turn 2 wall to bring the caution right back out.
On the restart, Tom Butler got a good run to the inside of Scott Cook to take over the lead on the first lap. Lap-2 saw Tom Fearn go three wide with Butler in the middle and Cook on the outside to move into the lead. The third lap saw Patrick Townsend make a three-wide move going into turn 3 to move into second. With all the shuffling at the front of the field, Woody Pitkat moved from deep in the field into third with Cook fourth and Kevin Gambacorta fifth with 5 laps complete.
On lap-8, Keith Rocco made a move to the inside of Gambacorta to move into fifth place. Rocco’s move opened the door for Mark St. Hilaire to follow Rocco by Gambacorta as Fearn continued to set the pace ahead of Townsend and Pitkat. Rocco continued to move towards the front as he got by Cook for fourth place on lap-10 and he brought St. Hilaire with him as Cook fell from fourth back to sixth. The caution came out with 14 laps complete as Ricard and Peter Thickett spun against the turn 2 wall.
Fearn took the lead on the restart with Pitkat moving into second. St. Hilaire moved up to third behind Pitkat, with Townsend falling back to fourth, just ahead of Mike Quintiliano, who moved up to the fifth spot on the restart. Fearn was able to pull away from Pitkat by several car lengths while St. Hilaire was keeping in close contact with Pitkat. Townsend was still in fourth behind St. Hilaire, while Quintiliano was all by himself in fifth place.
St. Hilaire tried to take second from Pitkat on lap-26 with a pass on the outside, but Pitkat was able to remain in second as Fearn continued to lead the race. Fearn led Pitkat back to the checkered flag to pick up his second feature win fo the 2012 season. Townsend made a run to the inside of St. Hilaire for third, but he came up just short at the checkered flag as St. Hilaire rounded out the podium spots by a nose. Quintiliano came home in fifth place.
In the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature event, the caution came out before a lap could be completed for a spin by Nick Salva in turn 2. Bob Charland took the lead from Rick Williams on the start and Jay Goff followed Charland by Williams to move into second. Frank Cardile was third, with Payton Henry fourth and Ronnie Williams in fifth. Joey Ferrigno was charging his way towards the front and he moved by Williams for fifth place on lap-6.
At the halfway point of the race, the top-8 cars were all in a pack as Charland was leading Goff, Cardile, Henry, Ferrigno, Tony Membrino, Jr., and Williams. Goff spun in turn 2 on lap-12 after contact from Cardile, which collected the cars of Henry and Dylan Kopec as Williams spun to avoid hitting Goff, which brought the caution out. Cardile was black flagged to the rear of the field for the contact with Goff.
Charland took the lead back under green with Membrino in second, but Membrino slipped up the track in turns 3+4, allowing Ferrigno to move into second. Zach Aszklar was now fourth, with Harry Wheeler running in fifth. Ferrigno was pressuring Charland for the lead and he made the pass for the lead on lap-18 and he brought Membrino with him as Charland fell from the lead back to third place.
Membrino made one last bid for the lead on the final lap, but Ferrigno was able to hold him off as he picked up his first career SK Light feature victory. Charland finished third, with Aszklar and Rick Williams rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, Justin Bren got a good run to the outside of Michael Wray to take the lead on the opening lap of the race. Jesse Hinze and Andrew Hayes were side by side for third with Hinze getting the spot. Dennis Botticello was running in fifth, just ahead of D.J. Burnham, Josh Wood, Cory Casagrande, and David Arute.
Bren was pulling away from Hinze, who had fallen from second back to fifth. On lap-7, Hayes and Botticello both moved by Hinze and Cory Casagrande moved by Wray on lap-9 to move into fifth. Josh Wood followed Casagrande through as did Arute and Duane Provost.
Once Hayes was in second, he quickly began to reel in Bren for the race lead. Botticello was right on Hayes’ bumper with Hinze in fourth and Casagrande fifth at the halfway point of the race.
Botticello went around Hayes for second on lap-12 and he was right behind Bren. The top-7 cars were running nose to tail. Botticello was able to move to the front of the pack on lap-15 and his move brought a host of cars with him as Hayes, Casagrande, and Wood all were able to get by Bren. Casagrande had just moved by Hayes for second, but the caution came out with 16 laps complete for Bren, who spun backwards into the turn 3 wall.
Botticello took the lead on the restart, with Casagrande moving into second. Wood was third, with Arute fourth and Provost moved into fifth. Casagrande took several looks at Botticello, but wasn’t able to make a pass. Wood was able to squeeze his way past Casagrande for second on the final lap, but Botticello led the field to the checkered flag to pick up his second consecutive Limited Late Model feature victory. Arute finished fourth and Provost came home in fifth to round out the top-5 behind Botticello, Wood, and Casagrande.
In the 15-lap DARE Stock feature event, Jeremy Lavoie took the outside groove to get by Kelsey Rottino at the start of the race and he led the field to the completion of lap-1. Kris Fluckiger followed Lavoie by Rottino on the high side to move into second on lap-2 while Monte Gibbs went to the low side of Rottino to move into third. Behind Gibbs, Cliff Saunders moved up to fourth place and his twin brother Albert Saunders slid into fifth.
On lap-8, going into turn 1, Gibbs made a move to the inside Lavoie and made contact with Lavoie as he took the lead. Lavoie was able to gather his car up and he continued in fourth place while Gibbs was black flagged for the contact. This allowed Kyle Casagrande to move by both Saunders twins and move into the race lead. Behind Casagrande was Cliff and Albert Saunders, Lavoie, and Fluckiger. The caution came out with 11 laps complete for a spin by Andy Marchese in turn 2.
Casagrande powered into the lead back under green while Cliff Saunders took second. Albert Saunders and Lavoie were side by side for third, with Saunders taking the spot after one lap. Stephanie Berardi and Johnny Walker were putting on a great side by side fight for fifth place. Berardi went around in turn 2 to bring the caution back out with 13 laps complete and set up a green white checkered finish.
On the restart, Cliff Saunders was able to keep pace with Casagrande in the outside groove and he took the lead by a nose as the field took the white flag. Casagrande and Saunders remained side by side on the final lap and it was a drag race back to the checkered flag, which Casagrande won by a matter of inches over Saunders. Albert Saunders finished third, with Walker and Fluckiger 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.