Jesse Hinze Wins at Stafford
Puts BFR Limited Late Model in Victory Lane
(Stafford Springs, CT)—Stafford Speedway returned to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action with Girls Night Out / Mid-Season Stretch program with all 6 divisions of racing going an extra two laps in feature distance. Taking down feature victories were on the night were Ronnie Williams in the SK Modified® feature, Jay Stuart in the Late Model feature, Joey Ferrigno in the RH2Way Going the Extra Mile SK Light Modified feature, Jesse Hinze in the Limited Late Model feature, and Trace Beyer in the DARE Stock feature.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Ronnie Williams took the lead from the pole with Joey Cipriano and Keith Rocco right behind him. Matt Galko was fourth, but he lost that spot to Sean Foster on lap-4. Galko was now in a side by side duel with Michael Gervais, Jr. for fifth. Gervais won that battle and up front, Rocco went to the front on lap-6 with a pass in turns 3+4 to move by Williams.
Ryan Preece was also charging to the front in his usual fashion, taking fifth from Gervais on lap-8. The next lap saw Preece get by Foster to move into fourth and the caution came out with 9 laps complete as Tony Membrino, Jr. and Todd Owen got together and spun through the infield grass.
Rocco took the lead on the restart while Preece made a charge in the outside lane to move into second. Preece was looking to the inside of Rocco for the lead when the caution flew with 11 laps complete for Tommy Membrino, Jr., who came to a stop with his nose facing the backstretch wall just coming off of turn 2.
The restart saw a show between Rocco and Preece. Preece took the lead at the restart only to have Rocco come back and take the lead back from Preece on the next lap. Preece then came back to the inside of Rocco and the two cars touched wheels as Preece made a move in turn 4 to lead the next lap by a nose. The two cars remained side by side for the next several laps with neither driver giving the other an inch. Preece was able to clear Rocco on lap-17 but Rocco came back to the inside of Preece on lap-18 in turns 3+4 to move back to the lead. While Rocco and Preece were swapping the lead back and forth between themselves, Williams was third, with Foster fourth and Cipriano fifth. Eric Berndt did a quick spin in turn 2 on lap-21 but he was able to get moving and the race stayed green.
Preece was now back to the inside of Rocco challenging for the race lead. The two cars ran side by side with Preece able to lead the laps by a nose at the start/finish line. With the two leaders side by side, Williams was closing down the small gap he had to the front two and was looking to make it a 3-car fight for the lead. Foster continued to run fourth with Gervais fifth, Ted Christopher sixth, Doug Coby seventh, Chase Dowling eighth, Cipriano ninth, and Chris Jones tenth with 12 laps to go.
Preece and Rocco were still side by side with 10 laps to go and Williams had closed to within a car length of the two race leaders. Rocco fell back into line behind Preece on lap-32 as the top-3 cars were now single file. Rocco made a power move to the inside of Preece on lap-34 getting into turn 3 to move back to the race lead while Williams continued to run in third behind Preece.
The great racing came to an end with 37 laps complete as Preece made contact with Rocco coming out of turn 2 and Rocco spun on the backstretch to bring the caution out. Preece was sent to the rear of the field by Stafford officials for the contact with Rocco.
Williams was now the leader with Foster to his outside for the restart. Foster took the lead at the line but Williams was on his inside and he took the lead by a nose as they took the white flag. Williams beat Foster back to the checkered flag by a nose to take down his first career SK Modified® victory. Christopher made a move around Gervais as the field was coming to the white flag to take third with Coby rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Josh Wood grabbed the early race lead with Tom Fearn right behind him in second. Michael Scorzelli was third with Jay Stuart charging his way through the field in the first five laps to take fourth and last week’s winner Adam Gray was right behind Stuart in fifth. Cory Casagrande brought the caution out with 8 laps complete with a spin in turn 2.
Back under green, Wood took the lead ahead of Fearn but before a lap could be completed, several cars spun in turn 3 including J.J. Hill and Rich Hammann, while Scorzelli spun in turn 4.
The restart got called back and on the second restart, Wood took the lead while Fearn didn’t come up to speed and he bottlenecked the outside groove behind him. Stuart got around Wood to take the lead on lap-10 and Kevin Gambacorta also got by Wood to move into second and then Gray spun in turn 3 to bring the caution out with 10 laps complete.
Stuart took the lead on the restart with Wood moving by Gambacorta to take second. Jim Peterson was making a move around Scott Cook to move into fourth and Scorzelli followed Peterson by Cook to move into fifth. Cory Casagrande spun in turn 4 to bring the caution back out with 12 laps complete.
Stuart took the lead back under green with Gambacorta now returning the favor to Wood as he took second, just as Wood took second from Gambacorta on the previous restart. Peterson took third with Woody Pitakt moving up to fourth behind the wheel of Dennis Botticello’s #28 car and Wood fell from second back to fifth in the running order.
Wood and Pitkat banged and rubbed in turn 2 on lap-16 as Wood made a pass to move up to fourth. Scorzelli took advantage of the situation to also get by Pitkat and move into fifth as Stuart continued to lead Gambacorta and Peterson.
After his earlier spin, Gray was back on the move as he took fifth from Scorzelli on lap-20. Stuart had a lead of about 1.5 seconds over Gambacorta, who was getting pressure from Peterson. Gray took a look to the inside of Wood on lap-23 in a bid for fourth, but Wood was able to hold him off. Gray made a move to the inside of Wood on the very next lap and this time he was able to make the pass stick as he took over fourth place.
Stuart pulled away from Gambacorta in the closing laps and he nailed down his second win of the 2014 season. Peterson finished third, with Gray and Wood rounding out the top-5.
In the 22-lap RH2Way Going the Extra Mile SK Light Modified feature event, Bob Charland took the early lead with Todd Douillard behind him. Joey Ferrigno got around Douillard for second on lap-5 while Glenn Griswold and Paul French rounded out the early top-5.
Ferrigno made a move to the inside of Charland on lap-7 to take the lead at the stripe by a nose. Ferrigno got cleared of Charland on lap-8 while Douillard, Griswold, and French continued to run in the top-5 spots. French’s car appeared to be off the pace on lap-12 as he slid back to the rear of the field while Ferrigno continued to lead.
Nick Salva was a driver on the charge in the closing laps as he worked his way through the field to move into third behind Ferrigno and Charland. Ferrigno led Charland back to the checkered flag to pick up his second win of the 2014 season. Salva finished third, with Douillard and Branden Dion rounding out the top-5.
For their top-3 finishes, Ferrigno won a $175 bonus, Charland won a $150 bonus, and Nick Salva took home a $125 bonus from RH2Way Radios.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, Jesse Hinze looked like he was shot out of a cannon as he got a great start and took the lead from the pole. Paul Arute was locked in a side by side duel with Justin Bren for second behind Hinze, with Cliff Saunders fourth and David Arute was up to fifth after three laps.
Bren got clear of Paul Arute on lap-4 to take second and David Arute got the better of his duel with Saunders to move up to third behind his brother. Albert Saunders was now fourth with Norm Sears up to fifth after 7 laps had been completed. Hinze had built up a large lead over Bren with the side by side racing that was going on in the first couple of laps.
David Arute was beginning to fade backwards as he was stuck in the outside groove, falling from third back to ninth as Albert Saunders, Andrew Hayes, Austin Bessette, Duane Provost, and Sears all got by Arute. Hayes got around Albert Saunders to move into fourth on lap-15 and he got by Paul Arute on lap-16 to move into third place. Hayes’ move on Paul Arute opened the door for Bessette to get by Paul Arute and as Cliff Saunders tried to get past Arute, the two cars came together and spun in turn 4 to bring the caution out with 15 laps complete and erase Hinze’s large lead.
Back under green, Hinze again powered his way into the lead with Hayes pulling alongside Bren for second. Just as Hayes was making his move for second, Provost made a 3-wide move to the inside of both Hayes and Bren for second but the caution came out for a melee in turn 1 that involved the cars of Joe Nogiec, Glen Bartkowski, Albert Saunders, and Paul Arute.
Hinze again got a great restart and powered into the lead. Bren was now side by side with Hayes for second. David Arute got around Sears to move into fourth but behind them Provost and Kelsey Rottino came together with both cars spinning. Both cars were able to continue and the race stayed green.
Hinze led the field back to the checkered flag to pick up a commanding victory. Hayes took second, with Bren, Sears, and David Arute rounding out the top-5.
In the 15-lap DARE Stock feature event, Trace Beyer took the early race lead but the car on the move in the early stages was Frank L’Etoile, Jr. L’Etoile started 8th and by lap-2 he had already sliced his way through traffic to move up to second. Andy Marchese was third, with David Comeau fourth and Brandon Michael was fifth.
L’Etoile kept his charge going as he took the lead from Beyer on lap-5. Johnny Walker got around Michael to move into fifth on lap-6. L’Etoile was in charge of the race, but his fortunes would take a turn for the worse several laps later. As he came up on lapped traffic with 10 laps complete, L’Etoile got squeezed into the wall and damaged his car to bring the caution out. Under the caution, Beyer, who had inherited the lead with L’Etoile’s misfortune, began to have smoke appear from his car but just as quickly as it appeared, it disappeared and he took the field back to the green flag.
Beyer’s car looked none the worse for wear as he dueled side by side with Andy Marchese for the race lead for a full lap before he got clear into the lead. Marchese slotted into second with Comeau right behind him in third. Walker was now fourth with Ryan Fearn up to fifth.
Beyer led the field back to the checkered flag to pick up his first career victory. Comeau beat Marchese back to the stripe by inches to take second, but the two cars made contact which turned Comeau into the frontstretch wall and heavily damaged his car. Walker finished fourth with Michael rounding out the top-5.
For more information contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at (860) 684-2783, or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.