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Kyle Casagrande Wins DARE Feature at Stafford Motor Speedway

Visits Victory Lane Two Years In A Row in BFR Chassis




For Immediate Release
Scott Running
April 28, 2012

(Stafford Springs, CT)---Stafford Motor Speedway kicked off its 2012 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season with feature events for its SK Light, Limited Late Model, and DARE Stock divisions as part of the Saturday CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler Weekend festivities.  There were two first time winners as Dylan Kopec took the checkered flag in the 20-lap SK Light feature and Josh Wood was the winner of the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Kyle Casagrande won the 15-lap DARE Stock feature for the second year in a row.

In the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Dylan Kopec took the lead at the green flag and immediately began to pull away from Harry Wheeler in second.  Jay Goff was third, with Zach Aszklar and Dylan Liseo behind him.  Kopec was continuing to stretch out his lead over Wheeler in second while Liseo and Aszkler were looking for a way past Goff.  Both Aszklar and Liseo both got by Goff on lap-5 and with 5 laps complete, the cars of Dylan Campbell, Payton Henry, Tyler Hines, and 21 all spun in turn 3 to bring the caution out.

On the restart, Kopec maintained the lead while Aszklar and Wheeler were side by side for second.  Aszklar got by Wheeler while Liseo was behind Wheeler in fourth place.  Tony Santangelo rounded out the top-5 with Ronnie Williams and Tony Membrino, Jr. behind him.

At the halfway point of the race, Kopec had built up a several second lead over Aszklar.  Santangelo was now up to third, witih Williams and Membrino right behind him in fourth and fifth. 

Kopec led from start to finish in dominating fashion, taking the checkered flag by a half straightaway over Aszklar in second.  Membrino came home in third place, with Santangelo and Williams rounding out the top-5.

In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, Jesse Hinze took the lead at the green, but the action behind him was fast and furious as Duane Provost moved into second, D.J. Burnham took third, Josh Wood took fourth, Cory Casagrande moved into fifth, and David Arute was sixth to round out the train of cars at the front of the field.
Provost made a bid for the lead to the inside of Hinze on lap-5, but he couldn’t complete the pass.  Provost tried the move again on lap-6, but he got loose and fell back several spots as Burham, Wood, and Casagrande all got by.  Arute got by Provost on lap-8 to drop him from second back to sixth place while Hinze continued to lead the race with Burnham right on his bumper.

Hinze held the lead until lap-9 when Burnham had the lead by a nose at the start/finish line.  Wood made a three-wide move into turn 1 and he went by both Burnham and Hinze to take over the race lead.  Behind Wood, Casagrande moved into second with Burnham and Arute right behind him.  Hinze fell from the lead back to fifth place, just ahead of Provost.

Wood led the final 11 laps to take the victory in his very first start in the division.  Casagrande finished second, with Burnham, Arute, and Provost rounding out the top-5.

In the 15-lap DARE Stock feature, Kris Fluckiger took the lead from the pole position and began to set the pace ahead of Cliff Saunders.  Kyle Casagrande moved into third on lap-3, with Andy Marchese and Vince Gambacorta right behind him.  Monte Gibbs, Austin Bessette, and Stephanie Berardi were nose to tail right behind Gambacorta with Trevor Barry and Johnny Walker making up the early top-10.

Saunders got around Fluckiger on lap-4 to take over the race lead.  Kelsey Rottino’s car began to smoke heavily with 4 laps complete, which brought out the first caution flag of the event.

Saunders took the lead on the restart with Casagrande moving by Fluckiger to take over second.  Fluckiger settled into line in third, with Bessette and Gambacorta making up the top-5.  One lap after the restart, Berardi spun in turn 2 and her spin collected the car of David Macha, Sr. and brought the caution flag back out.

The next restart saw Casagrande overtake Saunders to move into the race lead.  Fluckiger tried to follow Casagrande by Saunders, but he fell back into line in third.  One lap after the restart, Bessette pulled to the outside of Fluckiger and the pair raced side by side for third place before they came together in turns 3+4 and Bessette spun to bring the caution out.

Back under green, Casagrande again took the lead ahead of Saunders with Gambacorta in third.  Walker was now up to fourth and J.P. Carroll was up to fifth, just behind Walker.  Gibbs was sixth and Bessette was back up to seventh after his spin.  Fluckiger was one spot behind Bessette, with Jeremy Lavoie and Brandon Michael rounding out the top-10.

Casagrande and Saunders pulled away from the rest of the field in the closing laps to settle the race between themselves.  Saunders kept in close contact with Casagrande, but for the second consecutive year Casagrande took the checkered flag in the CARQUEST Spring Sizzler.  Saunders finished second, with Walker, Gambacorta, and Carroll rounding out the top-5.

For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit them on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.