Celebrating 25 years, 1995 - 2020

Jesse Hinz Wins Limited Late Model Feature at Stafford Motor Speedway

For Immediate Release
Scott Running 
June 20, 2013

(Stafford Springs, CT)---(Stafford Springs, CT)---Stafford Speedway returned to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action with the Valenti Modified Racing Series in the house for the Inaugural VMRS 80.  Taking down weekly feature wins on the night were Ted Christopher in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, Adam Gray in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Joey Ferrigno in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Jesse Hinze in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and 14-year old rookie Ryan Fearn in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.  Both Hinze and Fearn were first-time winners at Stafford.

In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Michael Gervais, Jr. led the field to the green flag and took the lead on the first lap, but Tom Bolles and Todd Owen quickly moved by Gervais on lap-2.  Bolles had the lead going into turn 3, but Owen powered by him and he was the race leader on lap-2.  Curt Brainard was third behind Owen and Bolles, with Keith Rocco fourth and Eric Berndt in fifth place.  Gervais was stuck on the outside groove and he fell outside the top-10 before he got settled back into line.

The order continued to shuffle among the top-5 as Berndt moved into fourth and Frank Ruocco moved into fifth place as Rocco fell from fourth to the bottom half of the top-10.  With 8 laps complete, Ryan Preece’s car came to a stop on the frontstretch to bring the caution out.  Preece’s car was pushed back to the pits and his crew went to work under the hood of his car.

Owen took the lead back under green with Bolles in second.  Berndt was third, with Brainard in fourth and Sean Foster and Rowan Pennink were side by side for fifth place.  Foster edged ahead of Pennink on lap-11 to claim the position while Owen continued to lead the pack.  Tommy Membrino, Jr. came to a stop with a spin in turn 4 to bring the caution out with 12 laps complete.

Owen took the lead back under green with Berndt moving into second.  Bolles was third, with Foster, Pennink, Dan Avery, Ted Christopher, and Woody Pitkat lined up behind him.  Berndt got a good run on the outside of Owen to take over the lead on lap-18 and once Berndt was clear of Owen he immediately pulled away by several car lengths.  Foster as now looking to the outside of Bolles for third on lap-22.  The action was slowed by the caution flag, which came out with 26 laps complete for Avery, who came to a stop in the middle of the turn 4 infield.

‘Berndt and Owen resumed their fight for the lead back under green with Berndt getting ahead of Owen.  Bolles was still third with Christopher moving up to fourth and Pitkat moving up to fifth.  Owen got a good run to the inside of Berndt on lap-31 and he moved back to the front of the pack.  Bolles, Christopher and Pitkat were lined up behind him, with Pennink, Foster, Doug Coby, Michael Bennett, and Frank Ruocco making up the top-10.  Bennett spun in turn 4 to bring the caution back out with 33 laps complete.

On the restart, Berndt got a good run to the outside of Owen and he powered into the race lead.  Bolles spun in the middle of turns 1+2 and collected the car of Gervais to bring the caution out with 34 laps complete.
On the restart, Christopher shot into the race lead with Berndt and Pitkat side by side for second place.  Berndt got loose in turn 4 and spun, which collected Foster and Pennink and brought the caution back out with 36 laps complete.

Back under green, Christopher took the lead with Doug Coby getting alongside Pitkat for second.  Coby took the spot while Avery and Owen were side by side for fourth place behind Pitkat.  Owen got the spot and at the front of the field, Coby was hounding Christopher for the lead. 

Christopher held the lead going into turn 3 on the last lap of the race.  Coby made a charge to the inside of Christopher as they came off the corner and they banged wheels several times coming down the frontstretch with Christopher taking the checkered flag by half a car length over Coby.  Pitkat finished third, with Owen and Avery rounding out the top-5.

In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Andrew Durand took the lead at the start, but the start wasn’t good to Michael Scorzelli as he brushed the wall coming out of turn 2.  Jim Peterson settled into second behind Durand with Peter Portante right behind Peterson.  Mark St. Hilaire was fourth, with Kevin Gambacorta behind him.  Gambacorta got by St. Hilaire on lap-3 and Jim Mavlouganes followed Gambacorta by St. Hilaire.  At the front of the field, both Peterson and Portante got by Durand to drop him from the lead back to third place.

With one third of the race complete at lap-10, Peterson, Portante, Durand, and Gambacorta were locked in a four car train for the lead, but that all changed when Portante went by Peterson to take the lead on lap-11.  Portante’s time in the lead was short lived as he appeared to lose his engine going into turn 1 with 12 laps complete to bring the caution out.  Portante limped his way back to pit road and had to be pushed down pit road, ending his great night prematurely.  Portante’s misfortune put Durand back in front of the field with Gambacorta, Peterson, Adam Gray, and Mavlouganes lined up behind him for the restart.

Durand powered into the lead with Peterson moving into second.  Mavlouganes was third with Jay Stuart moving into fourth and Cory Casagrande taking fifth place.  Contact from behind sent Casagrande around in turn 4 and several others including St. Hilaire and J.J. Hill were collected and brought the caution out with 13 laps complete.

Durand took the lead back under green with Mavlouganes and Peterson behind him.  Mavlouganes got loose in turn 2 and got into Peterson, which sent Peterson’s car into the turn 2 wall and brought the caution back out.  Under the caution, Durand surrendered the lead by coming to pit road, where his crew went to work on the left rear tire of his car.  This put Mavlouganes and Stuart on the front row for the restart, with Gray, Gambacorta, Woody Pitkat, and Tom Fearn lined up behind them.

Mavlouganes took the lead on the restart, but Gray charged his way by Mavlouganes in turn 4 to move into the lead.  Stuart was second with Pitkat third, Fearn fourth, and Mavlouganes fell back to fifth.  Stuart was keeping pace with Gray, but the lead duo had several car lengths back to Pitkat in third and Fearn in fourth with 10 laps to go.

On lap-22, Durand and Scorzelli got out of shape on the backstretch, but it was Pitkat who backed his car into the turn 3 wall to bring the caution out.

Gray took the lead back under green with Fearn sliding his way by Stuart to take over second.  Stuart settled into line in third, with Casagrande recovered from his earlier spin in fourth and St. Hilaire was back up to fifth after his earlier troubles.  Gray was pulling away from Fearn, Stuart, and Casagrande with 5 laps to go.
Gray led the field back to the checkered flag to pick up his second feature victory of the 2013 season.  Fearn finished second, with Stuart, Casagrande, and Durand rounding out the top-5.

In the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature event, Joey Ferrigno made an amazing three-wide move in the first corner of the race to move into the race lead.  Dylan Menditto was second, with Troy Talman and Glenn Griswold side by side for third.  Talman quickly disposed of Griswold and Menditto to move into second place behind Ferrigno on lap-3.  Cam McDermott spun in turn 2 to bring the caution out with 3 laps complete.

On the restart Ferrigno edged into the lead but Talman was staying right with Ferrigno in the outside groove.  Menditto was third, with Jay Goff and Griswold side by side for fourth.  Talman made a crossover move on Ferrigno to get a run on the low groove in turn four on lap-4 and he took the lead from Ferrigno on lap-5, but the caution came out for an incident on the backstretch that collected the cars of McDermott, last week’s winner Bob Charland, Todd Douillard, and Payton Henry.

Ferrigno took the lead back under green with Talman settling into second.  Menditto was third, with Goff and Rich Hammann right behind him.  Tony Membrino, Jr. was up to sixth, with Chase Dowling and Tyler Hines locked in a side by side duel for eighth place on lap-12.  At the front of the pack, Talman went by Ferrigno to take over the race lead on lap-12.  The lead swap between Talman and Ferrigno allowed the top-6 cars to close up and make a 6-car train.

Ferrigno took a look to the low side of Talman on lap-17, but Talman was able to hold Ferrigno off.  Ronnie Williams spun on the frontstretch to bring the caution out with 18 laps complete and set up a green white checkered finish.

Ferrigno and Talman took the green flag side by side for the lead and they were still side by side as they hit the white flag.  Going into turn 1 on the final lap, Ferrigno powered past Talman and cleared into the lead.  Ferrigno held Talman off through turns 3+4 and led him back to the checkered flag to pick up his first win of the 2013 season.  Rounding out the top-5 behind Ferrigno and Talman was Goff, Hammann, and Menditto.

In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, Jesse Hinze took the lead at the green flag while Andrew Hayes and Albert Saunders were locked in a side by side duel for second place.  D.J. Burnham was fourth and Josh Wood was fifth.  Right behind Josh Wood was Don Wood, Austin Bessette, David Arute, and Glenn Bartkowski.
Saunders and Hayes fought side by side for three laps before Saunders took the position.  The side by side action allowed Hinze to pull out to a nearly half straightaway lead over Saunders while the action was single file behind him with 8 laps complete.  The order was Hinze, Saunders, Hayes, Burnham, Josh Wood, Bessette, Don Wood, Arute, and Bartkowski.

The running order got shook up on lap-9 as Burnham and Josh Wood got by Hayes to drop Hayes from third place back to fifth.  Bessette was sixth and Arute got by Don Wood to move into seventh place on lap-12.  At the front of the field, Hinze still had a commanding lead but Burnham and Josh Wood got by Saunders to drop Saunders from second back to fourth place.  Bessette followed suit, getting by Saunders to move into fourth place, but it was still all Hinze at the front of the field.

In the 15-lap DARE Stock feature event, Andy Marchese led the field to the green and took the lead on the opening lap of the race.  Ryan Fearn slotted into second behind Marchese, with Brandon Michael, David Comeau, and Cliff Saunders making up the top-5.  Johnny Walker was on the charge in the early laps, making time in the outside groove and cracking into the sixth position in the first two laps of the race.  Kris Fluckiger was riding in Walker’s tire tracks, and he took seventh place on lap-5 while Marchese continued to lead.

The top-6 cars were running in a nose to tail train at the completion of lap-5.  Fluckiger got a bit loose and fell back several spots on lap-7 while there was a lead change as Ryan Fearn moved by Marchese.  Michael was now pressuring Marchese for second place, but Marchese was able to hold him off. 

Once Fearn was in the lead, he began to pull away from the rest of the field.  Michael got around Marchese to take over second place, while Marchese, Comeau, and Cliff Saunders continued to hold down the top-5 spots.  Fearn led the field back to the checkered flag to pick up his first career victory at Stafford.  Michael finished second, with Marchese, Comeau, and Cliff Saunders 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.