Christopher and Rocco Score Carquest Tech-Net Spring Sizzler Feature VictoriesApril 30, 2012
(Stafford Springs, CT)---Stafford Motor Speedway’s CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler Weekend continued on Sunday with feature events for the SK Modified® and Late Model divisions. Ted Christopher held off Eric Berndt in a green white checkered finish to capture his 95th career SK Modified® victory and his 115th overall feature victory at Stafford Motor Speedway. Keith Rocco held off Woody Pitkat to capture the checkered flag in the 30-lap Late Model feature event.
In the 40-lap SK Modified feature, Eric Berndt led the first lap, but he was quickly overtaken by both Ryan Preece and Frank Ruocco, who were side by side for the race lead at the conclusion of lap-2. Ted Christopher followed Preece and Ruocco by Berndt into third, while Berndt settled into fourth, just ahead of the side by side duo of Keith Rocco and Dan Avery.
Matt Gallo spun with 6 laps complete to bring out the first caution of the race with Preece leading Ruocco, Christopher, Berndt, and Rocco.
On the restart, Preece took the lead with Christopher getting to the inside of Rucoco for second. Rocco didn’t come up to speed and fell to the rear of the field as did Michael Bennett. Christopher continued his charge, pulling alongside Preece on lap-8 but Rocco’s car came to a stop on track to bring the caution back out, which put Preece back in front of Christopher for the restart.
Preece powered into the lead on the restart while Christopher was able to slot into line behind Preece. Berndt was third, with Rucoco and Todd Owen making up the top-5. Woody Pitkat was sixth behind Owen, with Mike King, Chris Jones, Nichole Morgillo, and Kirk Zervas making up the top-10.
Preece held the lead until lap-12 when Christopher was able to get by. Berndt, Ruocco, and Owen were still the remainder of the top-5. A multicar incident in turn 3 involving the cars of Jesse Ruocco, John Jensen, Chris Matthews, John Montesanto, Matt Gallo, and Sean Foster brought the caution back out with 12 laps complete and this time Christopher was able to stay out front for the restart.
On the restart, Preece initially got a good run through turns 1+2 to pull slightly ahead of Christopher, but Christopher came back strong on the inside and the two cars remained side by side for the race lead for a lap and a half before Christopher got cleared into the lead. Behind Preece was Berndt, Chris Jones, and Morgillo. Danny Cates took sixth from Michael Gervais, Jr. on lap-18 after starting shotgun on the field in 30th place, and Doug Coby, Curt Brainard, and Zervas rounded out the top-10.
At lap 25, Christopher and Preece were still at the front of the field, with Berndt several car lengths behind Preece in third place. Jones was several car lengths behind Berndt, and Morgillo and Cates were right behind Jones in fifth and sixth place.
As the field clicked off lap-30 on the scoreboard, Preece was beginning to search for a way to get around Christopher and take over the race lead. Morgillo got loose in turns 3+4, but was able to keep going after falling back to 10th place. The leaders began to encounter lapped traffic, which allowed Berndt to close right in on Christopher and Preece with 4 laps to go. Adam Skowyra spun in turn 2 to bring the yellow out with 37 laps complete and set up a 3-lap dash to the finish.
The order for the restart was Christopher and Preece on the front row, Berndt and Cates in row 2, and Jones and Gervais in row 3. At the drop of the green flag, Christopher got clear into the lead while Berndt pulled alongside Preece. Berndt got by Preece on lap-39, but as the field completed lap-39, the caution came back out for a spin by Zervas, Brainard, and Chris Matthews, setting up a green white checkered finish.
Christopher and Berndt were side by side for the lead with Preece right on Christopher’s bumper as they took the white flag. Matthews and Bennett spun in turn 3 to bring the caution back out and set up another green white checkered finish.
Christopher again took the lead at the green, but Berndt came back strong on the outside as they hit the white flag side by side. Christohper was able to clear Berndt going into turn 3 on the final lap and he was able to hold off Berndt at the checkered flag to capture his 95th career SK Modified® victory and his 115th overall feature victory at Stafford. Berndt finished second, with Preece, Cates, and Jones rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature, Jim Mavlouganes and Keith Rocco were side by side for nearly the entire first lap before Mavlouganes cleared Rocco into the race lead. Jim Peterson was third, with Mike Quintiliano, and Corey Hutchings making up the top-5 in the early stages.
Tom Butler spun in turn 1, but was able to keep going and the race stayed green. Mavlouganes was still out front at lap-10 with Rocco, Hutchings, Woody Pitkat, and Peterson behind him. On lap-15, Mavlouganes’ car suddenly dropped off the pace and he headed to pit road, giving the race lead to Rocco. Pitkat was now in second, with Hutchings, Peterson, and Adam Gray making up the top-5. Without the benefit of a caution flag, Pitkat was slowly closing the gap that Rocco had built up and with 10 laps to go, Pitakt was within a car length of Rocco’s bumper while Hutchings was only several car lengths behind Pitkat in third.
With 5 laps to go, Rocco was still in front of Pitkat with Hutchings and Peterson not able to keep pace with the two leading cars. Once Pitkat got to Rocco’s bumper, he was unable to close in any further and Rocco led Pitkat home to the checkered flag to take the victory. Hutchings finished third, with Peterson and Gray 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.