Christopher, Pitkat, Goff, Wood and Bessette Score June 15th Feature VictoriesJune 16, 2012
(Stafford Springs, CT)---Stafford Speedway welcomed the beginning of summer with it’s 12th Annual Town Fair Tire Summer Blast-Off Fireworks program on Friday night, June 15th. Providing the fireworks on the track were Ted Christopher, who picked up his second win of the season in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, Woody Pitkat, who picked up his first win of the season in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Jay Goff, who picked up his first career victory in the 20-lap SK Light feature, Josh Wood, who took a thrilling fourth win of the season with a last lap pass in the 20-lap Ltd. Late Model feature, and Austin Bessette, who scored his first career victory in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Keith Rocco took the lead ahead of Glen Reen, Dan Avery, Ted Christopher, and Tom Bolles, but the field was only able to get two laps complete before the caution came out for Curt Brainard, who hit the frontstretch wall coming out of turn 4.
Back under green, Rocco was in command, with Reen behind him. Avery was third, with Bolles and Christopher behind him. Christopher moved by Bolles for third, he got around Avery on lap-9 for third, and the charge continued with a pass on Reen for second on lap-11.
At lap-15, Rocco was still in the lead, several car lengths ahead of Christopher. Avery ran in third, with rEen and Bolles behind him. The caution came out with 16 laps for a spin by Kyle Spencer.
Back under green, Christopher stayed behind Rocco for a lap before making a run to the inside of Rocco to take over the race lead at the stripe on lap-18. Rocco was hanging tough on the outside, but the caution came out fro a multicar accident in turn 3 involving the cars of Nick Boivin, Joe Gada, Frank Ruocco, John Jensen, Todd Owen, Michael Bennett, and points leader Michael Gervais, Jr. with 18 laps complete.
Christopher was able to get clear of Rocco on his outside in the fight for the race lead, while Ryan Preece made a strong run to the outside of Avery to move into third place. Sean Foster spun in turn 4 to bring the caution back out with 22 laps complete.
The race for the lead was in full swing on the restart with Christopher holding off Rocco on his outside and Preece on his bumper. The caution came back out with 24 laps complete for a spin by Richie Pallai, Jr. in turn 2.
On the restart, there was another multicar crash on the backstretch that involved Pallai, Woody Pitkat, Kyle Spencer, Reen, Brainard, Nichole Morgillo, Tommy Membrino, Jr., Joe Gada, and Michael Bennett that brought the caution back out.
Christopher and Rocco were again side by side for the lead, with neither driver giving an inch as they raced side by side wheel to wheel. The field was only able to complete two laps before the caution came back out for a spin by Matt Galko on the backstretch with 26 laps complete.
Back under green, Christopher again took the lead with Preece and Rocco side by side for second. Avery was fourth, just in front of Eric Berndt and Pitkat. Christopher continued to lead while Preece and Rocco were putting on a whale of a fight for second with Preece finally able to make a pass for second place on lap-33. Once Preece got past Rocco, he immediately closed in on Christopher’s bumper with 6 laps to go.
Preece took a look to the inside of Christopher on lap-35 in turn 3, but fell back in line behind Christopher. Preece was searching for a groove that would give him enough momentum to make a pass for the lead, but Christopher was able to hold Preece off. The jockeying between Christopher and Preece allowed Rocco to close in on Preece’s bumper to make it a three-way fight for the race lead with 3 laps to go.
Christopher was able to hold off Preece and Rocco to the line to pick up his second feature win of the 2012 season. Avery came home in fourth with Pitkat rounding out the top-5 behind Christopher, Preece, and Rocco.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Tom Butler led the first lap of the race, but Mike Quintiliano was on the charge and he took the lead from Butler on lap-2. Quintiliano led the race until lap-6 when Woody Pitkat moved to the front of the pack. Corey Hutchings spun in turn 2 with 9 laps complete to bring the caution out with Pitkat still in front.
On the restart, going into turn 3, Tom Fearn’s car looked like it lost an engine while running in third place and the majority of the field piled into the turn 3 wall, which brought out a red flag. The order for the restart was Pitkat and Kevin Gambacorta on the front row, Peter Portante and Paul Varricchio, Jr. in the second row, and Quintiliano and Hutchings in the third row.
Pitkat took the lead at the green with Gambacorta behind him. Quintiliano streaked into third, with Keith Rocco moving up to fourth as Hutchings ran in fifth. Quintiliano made a move by Gambacorta to move into second on lap-12 and Rocco followed Quintiliano by. Rocco then put a pass on Quintliano to move into second while Pitkat was pulling away in the race lead. Jim Mavlouganes was able to get by Gambacorta on lap-17 as Gambacorta was fading backwards since the restart.
The battle for second heated up on lap-21 as Quintiliano made a move to the inside of Rocco to take over the spot. Quintiliano’s pass opened the door for Mavlouganes to follow Quintiliano by Rocco to drop Rocco from second back to fourth place. Pitakt was in cruise control in the lead, a full straightaway ahead of Quintiliano and Mavlouganes.
Pitkat cruised to the checkered flag to pick up his first victory of the 2012 season. Quintiliano held Mavlouganes off at the line for second, with Rocco and Gambacorta rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature event, two cars touched wheels going down the backstretch and the chain reaction crash caught up the cars of Scott Bouley, Dylan Kopec, Frank Cardile, Nick Salva, and Shawn Brule to bring the caution out. The restart saw Joe Boivin spin on the frontstretch to bring the yellow out again before a lap could be completed.
Bob Charland took the lead at the green with Jay Goff right behind him. Joey Ferrigno was third, with Tony Membrino, Jr. in fourth and Zach Aszklar in fifth. Tyler Hines made a move to the high side of Aszklar on lap-5 to take over fifth place while Goff was hounding the back bumper of Charland for the race lead.
Goff made a move to the inside of Charland to take over the lead on lap-8. Ferrigno almost made it a three-wide bid, but he backed out and fell into line behind Goff and Charland. Aszklar and Ferrigno made contact going into turn 1 on lap-13 with both cars getting sideways and Ferrigno going into a half spin and falling to the rear of the field.
Goff continued to lead the race with Charland in second. Membrino was now up to third, with Hines and Ronnie Williams making up the top-5. Goff led the field to the checkered flag to pick up his first career victory. Charland came home in second, with Membrino, Hines, and Williams making up the top-5.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, the field was able to complete one lap with Carla Botticello in the lead ahead of Jesse Hinze. The caution came out with one lap complete as Brian Clement, Justin Bren, Joe Nogiec, and Cory Casagrande spun into the turn 1 wall.
Back under green, Hinze quickly moved by Botticello to move into the race lead. At the halfway point of the race, Hinze had built himself a comfortable lead over Wood in second, with Hayes behind him in third. Casagrande was back up to fourth place after his early misfortune, and Dennis Botticello was now in fifth place. Wood was beginning to close the gap to Hinze in the lead, and Casagrande made a move to the inside of Hayes on lap-17 to take over third place.
Wiith 2 laps to go, Wood had moved right in on Hinze’s bumper for the race lead. Wood made a move to the inside of Hinze in turns one and two on the final lap, but wasn’t able to complete the pass. Heading down the backstretch, Wood pulled alongside Hinze and he was able to make the pass heading into turn 3. Wood lead Hinze back to the checkered flag to pick up his fourth feature victory of the 2012 season. Rounding out the top-5 behind Wood and Hinze was Casagrande, Hayes, and D.J. Burnham.
In the 15-lap DARE Stock feature event, James Carroll took the lead at the green while Johnny Walker got loose trying to get by Vince Gambacorta for second and he slipped back to eighth in line as Austin Bessette, Norm Sears, Kyle Casagrande, Cliff Saunders, and Albert Saunders all moved by Walker.
Bessette quickly overtook Gambacorta to move into second on lap-2 and on lap-3 Sears nearly made a move on Gambacorta, but he settled back into line. Sears came back strong on lap-5 and this time he made the pass stick on Gambacorta. Also on lap-5, Bessette went around Carroll and charged into the lead. Casagrande then pulled to the inside of Sears for third as the Saunders twins were also able to get by Gambacorta, who settled into line in seventh place, just ahead of Walker. Sears’ met with misfortune as he spun in turn 2 to bring the caution out with 7 laps complete.
Back under green, Bessette resumed control of the race in the lead while Casagrande made a strong move into second. Albert Saunders was able to move up to third, and the top-3 cars began to pull away from Monte Gibbs, Walker, and Cliff Saunders, who made up the remainder of the top-6 cars.
With three laps to go, Casagrande was right on Bessette’s bumper, searching high and low for a way to put his car into the lead. Bessette was able to outrun Casagrande to the checkered flag to pick up his very first feature victory. Ronding out the top-5 behind Bessette and Casagrande was Albert Saunders, Gibbs, and Walker.
For more information contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at (860) 684-2783, or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.