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Cory Casagrande Wins 1st Ever Late Model Feature at Stafford Motor Speedway

For Immediate Release
Scott Running 
September 6, 2013

(Stafford Springs, CT)---Stafford Speedway returned to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action with a 5-Star Series program on Friday night, September 6th.  Woody Pitkat took down his second consecutive victory of the seasno in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, Cory Casagrande was a first time winner in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Payton Henry took down his first career victory in a photo finish in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Duane Provost took down his first win of the season in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and championship leader Dave Secore scored his second win of the season in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.

In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Dan Avery took the lead at the green with Tom Bolles quickly moving into second.  Keith Rocco was third but he took second from Bolles on lap-3.  Bolles now had Doug Coby on his outside and both Coby and Ted Christopher went around Bolles to move into third and fourth.  Joey Cipriano was also able to get by Bolles, which dropped Bolles from second back to sixth in a matter of a few laps. 

Rocco was all over the back bumper of Avery at the front of the field and he made his move to take over the lead from Avery on lap-11.  Christopher was now third behind Rocco and Avery with Cipriano and Coby side by side for fourth place.  Avery was staying right on Rocco’s bumper and he nearly made a pass for the lead on lap-14 but Rocco was able to keep Avery behind him.  Rocco couldn’t keep Avery behind him on the next lap as Avery retook the lead with a power move in turns 3+4.  The caution came out with 15 laps complete for a spin by Rowan Pennink in turn 3.

Avery took the lead on the restart with Christopher moving by Rocco to take over second place.  Rocco settled into third with Coby and Cipriano side by side for fourth.  Coby took the spot on lap-19 and one lap later Eric Berndt got by Cipriano as Avery continued to lead Christopher and Rocco.  The caution came back out with 24 laps complete for Tommy Membrino, Jr., who spun on the backstretch.

Avery took the lead back under green with Rocco getting by Christopher to move back into second.  Coby and Berndt were side by side for fourth place and Woody Pitkat was right behind Coby and Berndt.  The caution came back out with 28 laps complete as Zach Aszklar and Rowan Pennink spun into the turn 1 wall and Dave Salzarulo nearly spun as he drove through fluid from Aszklar’s car.

Rocco and Avery were side by side for a lap before Rocco got clear of Avery in the outside groove back under green.  Pitkat got by Avery to move into second while Coby, Christopher, and Ryan Preece were lined up single file behind Avery.  Pitkat got a good run to the inside of Rocco on lap-32 and he moved to the lead with Rocco slotting in right on Pitkat’s bumper.  Christopher made a move around Coby to take over fourth and Preece was now side by side with Preece with 5 laps to go.

Rocco was able to get to the outside of Pitkat on lap-36 and they stayed side by side for the lead with Pitkat the leader at the line by a half car length.  Rocco was hanging with Pitkat on the outside but Pitakt was able to get clear of Rocco as they took the white flag.  Rocco made one last bid on the outside of Pitkat on the final lap but Pitkat held him off to pick up his second consecutive victory.  Avery finished third with Christopher and Preece rounding out the top-5.

In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Cory Casagrande took the lead from the pole with Michael Scorzelli in second.  Art Caruso was third with Kevin Gambacorta fourth and J.J. Hill in fifth.  Tom Fearn was sixth, just in front of Late Model points leader Adam Gray.

Gambacorta got around Caruso to move into third on lap-6 and Fearn and Gray both got by Caruso on lap-8 to move up to fourth and fifth behind Casagrande, Scorzelli, and Gambacorta. 

At the midway point of the race, Casagrande had built up nearly a half straightaway lead over Scorzelli while Gray was hounding Scorzelli for the second position.  Fearn was still fourth with Gambacorta right behind him in fifth.  Gray made a move to the inside of Scorzelli to move into second on lap-22 and he had 8 laps left to make up a full straightaway gap to Casagrande in the lead.

Fearn got by Scorzelli to move into third on lap-25 but Casagrande was beginning to pull away from Gray as he picked up his pace once Gray moved into second.  Casagrande led the field back to the checkered flag to pick up his first Late Model feature victory in domination fashion.  Gray finished second, with Fearn, Scorzelli, and Gambacorta rounding out the top-5.

In the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature event, Payton Henry and Bob Charland got good runs on the outside of polesitter Dylan Campbell to move into the first two spots at the drop of the green flag.  Dylan Menditto was fourth behind Campbell with Tony Membrino, Jr. in fifth.  The action was slowed with 2 laps complete as the caution came out for Rick Williams, who got into the frontstretch wall.

Charland took the lead from Henry on the restart with Menditto moving into third.  Troy Talman was right behind Menditto in fourth but Todd Douillard came to a stop in turn 3 and brought the caution out with 3 laps complete.
On the restart, contact in turn 3 saw Robert Palmer, Cam McDermott, and Rich Hammann come together and spin to bring the caution right back out.

Henry got a good restart and powered into the lead on the outside of Charland.  Charland settled into second with Talman third, Joey Ferrigno fourth, and Menditto fifth.  The action behind Menditto was fast and furious as Ronnie Williams, Membrino, and Chase Dowling were slicing and dicing for position, looking for the fast lane that would take them to the front of the field.  The action came to a halt with 8 laps complete as Williams spun in turn 4 to bring the caution out.

Henry took the lead back under green while Ferrigno was alongside Charland for second.  Membrino was fourth and Talman was fifth.  Just behind Talman was Dowling, Geoff Boisjolie, and Jay Goff.  Ferrigno got by Charland to move into second and he immediately closed on Henry’s bumper and began to apply pressure for the race lead.

Ferrigno made a move to the inside of Henry on lap-15 and he led the lap by a nose at the line.  The two cars were still side by side for the lead on the next lap with Henry leading the lap by the length of his nose but the caution came out with 16 laps complete for Rit Dulac, who spun in the middle of turns 3+4.

On the restart Talman spun in turn 1 and both Membrino and Dowling, the two leading drivers in the SK Light championship standings, were involved and came to pit road done for the evening.

Henry again took the lead with Ferrigno right behind him in second.  Goff and Menditto were side by side for third with Menditto taking the spot.  Ferrigno made a move to the inside of Henry as they came to the white flag.  Ferrigno followed Henry through turns 1+2 and he got to Henry’s inside in turns 3+4.  They came off turn 4 side by side with Henry taking the checkered flag by inches over Ferrigno to pick up his first win of the season.  Menditto finished third, with Goff and Talman rounding out the top-5.

In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, Justin Bren took the lead at the green with Duane Provost moving by Joe Nogiec to take second.  Provost continued his charge to the front by taking over the lead from Bren on lap-3.  Behind Provost and Bren, D.J. Burnham quickly sliced his way through traffic to move into third.  Jesse Hinze followed Burnham through the field and he was fourth when the caution came out with 9 laps complete as Paul Arute spun in turn 1.

Back under green Provost took the lead with Burnham pulling alongside Bren for second.  Josh Wood, Hinze, and Andrew Hayes were fighting for fourth with David Arute right behind the trio.  Burnham took second with Josh Wood, Hayes, and Austin Bessette making up the top-5.  Hinze fell back to sixth with Arute behind him, but they both worked their way by Bren to move into fourth and fifth. 

Provost had pulled out to a nice lead over Bren but that lead was erased with 16 laps complete as David Arute spun in the middle of turns 1+2 to bring the caution out.

Provost streaked into the lead on the restart with Josh Wood moving into second.  Bessette was third with Hinze fourth and Burnham fifth.  Bessette made a power move to get past Josh Wood on lap-18 and move into second.  Nogiec spun in turn 2 to bring the caution back out and set up a green white checkered finish.

Provost took the lead on the restart with Wood and Bessette fighting side by side for second.  Wood got clear of Bessette and took the spot but it was all Provost at the front as he took down his first win of the season.  Wood finished second with Burnham, Bessette, and Hinze rounding out the top-5.

In the 15-lap DARE Stock feature event, Bryan Iwaniuk took the lead at the green but there was a spin mid pack that collected the cars of Brandon Michael, Kelsey Rottino, Jeremy Lavoie, and James Carroll that brought the caution out before a lap could be completed. 

Iwaniuk again took the lead on the green with Fran Siana right behind him in second.  Alexandra Fearn was third with Dave Secore fourth.  Kyle Casagrande spun in turn 4 to bring the caution out with 2 laps complete.

Iwaniuk was again the leader back under green with Alexandra Fearn moving into second.  Secore was third and as the field completed lap 4, Iwanuik spun in turns 1+2 and collected the car of Ryan Fearn, who made nose to nose contact with Iwanuik’s car and brought the red flag out.  Kyle Casagrande was also caught up in the wreck and he was finished for the night with a damaged race car.

On the restart Secore drove by Alexandra Fearn to take over the race lead.  On lap-6 Fearn and Kris Fluckiger came together and spun through the grass but were able to get going and the race stayed green.  David Comeau was now second behind Secore with Johnny Walker third, Jeremy Lavoie fourth and Michael in fifth.
By lap 10 Comeau had ran Secore down and he was on Secore’s back bumper looking to make a pass for the lead.  Behind Secore and Comeau, Walker, Lavoie, and Michael were locked in a 3-car train in a duel for third place.  Secore was able to hold Comeau off to take down his second win of the 2013 season.  Walker held off Lavoie by a nose to finish third with Michael 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.