Pitkat and Arute Take Checkers at Stafford
2nd Win for Both BFR Drivers
PREECE, PITKAT, MEMBRINO, ARUTE, & SAUNDERS SCORE JULY 26 5-STAR SERIES FEATURE WINS AT STAFFORD SPEEDWAY
For Immediate Release
Contact: Scott Running
July 26, 2013
(Stafford Springs, CT)---Stafford Speedway returned to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action with a 5-Star Series event on Friday, July 26th. Ryan Preece picked up his division leading 6th win of the 2013 season in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, Woody Pitkat scored his second win of 2013 with a thrilling finish in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Tony Membrino, Jr. picked up his second win of the 2013 season in the 20-lap SK Light feature, David Arute took his second win of the 2013 season with a thrilling last lap pass in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Cliff Saunders scored his second win of the 2013 season in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, the race took the green flag with Tom Bolles taking the lead from Curt Brainard, but before the field could complete a lap Frank Ruocco and Dave Salzarulo came together and hit the turn 3 wall to bring the caution out.
Bolles again took the lead from Brainard on the restart with Matt Galko pulling even with Brainard for second. Michael Bennett and Todd Owen were side by side for fourth behind Galko and Brainard with Woody Pitkat behind Bennett and Owen. Galko took second from Brainard, Owen moved into third, and Pitkat also got around Brainard to move into fourth.
The order continued to shuffle at the front as Owen and Pitkat got by Galko to move into second and third. Ted Christopher was in fifth behind Galko with 10 laps on the scoreboard. Christopher got around Galko to move into fourth and he began to run down the top-3 cars of Bolles, Owen, and Pitkat. Eric Berndt spun on the backstretch on lap-15, but he was able to keep his car moving and the race stayed green.
Owen was alongside Bolles for the lead when Bolles’ car lost power and he limped his way back to pit road. This put Owen into the lead with Pitkat, Christopher, Ryan Preece, and Rowan Pennink lined up behind him. Tommy Membrino went around in turn 2 to bring the caution out with 21 laps complete.
Back under green Owen and Pitkat were side by side for the lead with neither driver giving an inch. Preece got by Christopher to move into third and he pulled alongside Pitkat for second on lap-24 as Owen had gotten clear into the lead. Pitkat got back by Preece on lap-25 to retake second place with Christopher and Pennink behind them as they were all chasing after Owen. Galko spun on the backstretch to bring the caution back out with 26 laps complete.
The caution came back out after one lap was completed as Nichole Morgillo, Galko, and Rit Dulac all spun heading into turn 3.
Pitkat took the lead back under green with Owen fighting hard to Pitkat’s outside. Owen got a bit out of shape and slid back several spots on lap-30 as Preece and Christopher got by with Coby pulling alongside Owen in a fight for fourth place. Berndt spun in turn 4 to bring the caution back out with 31 laps complete.
On the restart, Preece powered his way by Pitkat in the outside groove to take over the race lead. Pitkat slotted into second with Owen, Christopher, and Keith Rocco lined up behind him. Coby was sixth behind Rocco, with Pennink right behind him in seventh. Morgillo and Zach Aszklar spun in turn 3 to bring the caution out with 38 laps complete and set up a green white checkered finish.
Pitkat and Preece were side by side on the restart and Preece got loose as they came to the white flag. Preece gathered his car back in and maintained the lead. Preece led the field back to the checkered flag to pick up his division leading 6th win of the 2013 season. Christopher nipped Pitkat at the line for second with Owen and Coby rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, George Nocera, Jr. and Michael Scorzelli were side by side for the first lap in a fight for the lead before Nocera got cleared on lap-2. Behind Nocera, Woody Pitkat made a three-wide move for second with Rick Charette and Scorzelli, but fell back into line behind them both.
The order shuffled on lap-5 as Charette moved into second and Pitkat into third. Pitkat moved by Charette for second on lap-6 and Kevin Gambacorta was now alongside Charette for third. Gambacorta took the spot and Andrew Durand also got by Charette to drop Charette back to fifth. Peter Portante shot out of line and got into the wall in turns 3+4 to bring the caution back out with 7 laps complete as Portante dumped fluid on the track and spun after getting into the wall.
Back under green, Pitkat and Nocera were side by side for the lead. The two cars were side by side for a lap and a half before Nocera and Pitkat went wide in turn 4, allowing Kevin Gambacorta to move into the lead with a 3-wide move on lap-9. Pitkat came back strong on the following lap and made a 3-wide move to take over second place. Durand was third, with Tom Fearn fourth and Charette was fifth. J.J. Hill spun coming out of turn 4 to bring the caution out with 12 laps complete.
Pitkat got a good run to the outside Gambacorta to move into the lead on the restart. Gambacorta settled into second, but Paul Varricchio, Jr. and Kyle Casagrande spun in turn 3 to bring the caution back out with 13 laps complete.
Pitkat took the lead on the restart with Durand moving into second. Adam Gray moved into third with Gambacota falling back to fourth, just in front of Mark St. Hilaire. Jim Peterson’s car was smoking heavily and dumping fluid to bring the caution out with 14 laps complete.
On the restart, Durand was hanging with Pitkat in a side-by-side duel for the lead. The duo ran side by side for 2 laps before Pitkat got cleared of Durand. Durand and Fearn touched on the frontstretch, which sent Fearn into the outside wall and then through the infield before he got back on the track in turn 1. In the course of the melee, Hill and Jim Mavlouganes both spun in turn 1 and the caution came back out with 17 laps complete. Durand was sent to the rear of the field for the contact with Fearn.
There was a huge wreck on the backstretch as the field went back to green that involved Dennis Botticello, Cory Casagrande, Durand, Rick Charette, Nocera, and several others and brought the caution back out.
Pitkat took the lead on the restart with St. Hilaire pulling alongside Gray for second. Gray took the spot and was now hounding Pitkat for the lead on lap-19. Gambacorta was third with St. Hilaire fourth and Charette was running fifth. Gray got into the back of Pitkat on lap-20, but Pitkat was able to keep Gray behind him.
Gray got a good run on the outside of Pitkat and he took the lead at the stripe on lap-23. Pitkat got back in front of Gray on lap-24 and pulled away by several car lengths. Gray regrouped his car and slowly began to reel Pitkat back in. St. Hilaire was third, with Gambacorta and Charette behind him.
Gray caught back up to Pitkat’s bumper with 2 laps to go. Pitkat was guarding the bottom lane, forcing Gray to try the outside groove. Gray got loose in turns 3+4 on the last lap to give Pitkat a margin to the checkered flag as he picked up his second win of the 2013 season. St. Hilaire finished a close third behind Gray, with Gambacorta and Scorzelli rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature event, Rich Hammann took the lead from the pole, but Ronnie Williams got loose and spun in turn 2, which collected the car of Chase Dowling and brought the caution out.
Hammann took the lead on the restart with Joey Ferrigno moving into second. Dylan Menditto was third, with Bob Charland fourth and Payton Henry was fifth. Troy Talman, Jay Goff, Tony Membrino, Jr., Dylan Campbell, and Williams rounded out the top-10 in the early laps.
Goff took to the high groove to get around Talman and Membrino followed him past as Talman lost two spots. At the front of the field, it was now a four-car fight for the lead with Hammann leading Ferrigno, Menditto, and Charland. Ferrigno made a move to the inside of Hammann to take over the lead on lap-12 as Charland got by Menditto to move into third place. Williams spun in turn 2 to bring the caution back out with 13 laps complete.
Ferrigno took the lead back under green with Hammann applying heavy pressure in second. Charland settled into third, with Menditto and Membrino lined up behind him. Debris on the track brought the caution back out with 16 laps complete.
On the restart, Goff spun on the backstretch to bring the yellow right back out. The next restart saw contact at the front of the field that turned Charland and Hammann into the frontstretch wall and Menditto spun in turn 1 to bring the caution out again. This put Membrino into second alongside Ferrigno for the restart with Talman and Henry on row 2 and Williams and Fred Nees, Jr. on row 3.
The next restart saw Ferrigno and Membrino in a dead heat for the lead. Henry and Williams were side by side for third with Talman in fifth place. Ferrigno overdrove turn 1 on lap-19, which allowed Membrino the room to make a pass for the lead. Membrino led Ferrigno back to the checkered flag to pick up his second win of the 2013 season. Williams finished third, with Talman and Nees rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, Duane Provost took the early lead and began to pull away from the field. D.J. Burnham was up to second after two laps with Jesse Hinze, Andrew Hayes, Josh Wood, Albert Saunders, and Don Wood lined up behind him. The Hinze machine was black flagged for leaking fluid and Justin Bren spun on the backstretch to bring the caution out with 3 laps complete.
On the restart, Burnham didn’t get a good restart which set off a chain reaction behind him that saw Hayes and Don Wood spin. Joe Nogiec also spun and had heavy damage to the front end of his car while Don Wood pulled his car behind the wall as the caution was displayed without completing a lap.
Provost took the lead on the restart with Burnham slotting into second. Josh Wood took third, with David Arute fourth and Hayes was fifth. At the halfway point of the race, the top-4 cars of Provost, Burnham, Josh Wood and Arute were lined up in a 4-car train and Burnham took the lead from Provost on lap-11. Burnham’s move opened the door for Josh Wood and Arute to follow him past Provost, who fell back to fourth place.
Arute pulled alongside Josh Wood for second on lap-11 and he completed the pass on lap-12 to move into second behind Burnham. Arute was applying heavy pressure to Burnham but Burnham was able to keep Arute behind him. That all changed on the final lap as Arute got a strong run to the inside of Burnham in turns 3+4 and came out with the lead as the two cars touched and banged doors. Arute led Burnham back to the checkered flag by less than a car length to pick up his second win of the 2013 season. Josh Wood finished third, with Hayes and Provost rounding out the top-5.
In the 15-lap DARE Stock feature event, Alexandra Fearn led the field to the green flag and she took the early lead. Frank L’Etoile, Jr. slotted into second with Kelsey Rottino behind him in third. Dave Comeau and Brandon Michael were side by side for fourth place with Jeff Jolly, Dave Secore, Johnny Walker, and Ryan Fearn behind him.
Fearn and Walker got together and nearly spun in turn 2, but behind them Allison Coelho and Stacey Botticello did spin to bring the caution out with 3 laps complete.
The race went back to green with L’Etoile taking the lead. Fearn slotted into second just in front of Michael, but those two cars touched in turn 4 and spun to bring the caution right back out with 4 laps complete.
Rottino powered his way into the lead on the restart with Walker moving up to second. Jolly got a great restart and was challenging Walker for second when the two cars touched and Walker spun to bring the caution back out. Jolly was sent to the rear of the field for the contact with Walker.
Comeau pulled alongside L’Etoile back under green and he took the lead after a side by side lap with L’Etoile. Cliff Saunders was up to second behind Comeau with Rottino moving into third as L’Etoile fell back to fourth. Fran Siana was fifth, with Secore right behind him in sixth.
Siana drifted up the track on lap-8 and he fell back several spots as Secore moved into fifth place. Comeau held the lead until lap-11 when Saunders was able to get by him in turn 4. Rottino was still running third, with Secore in fourth and Ryan Fearn in fifth.
Comeau hounded Saunders for the lead over the final laps and nearly had a pass made on the final lap, but Saunders was able to hold him off to pick up his second feature win of the 2013 season. Rottino finished third, with Secore fourth and Ryan Fearn got around Jolly to round 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.