Category Archives: Modified Racing Series

Chase Dowling Scores Valenti Modified Racing Series Victory in Lincoln Tech VMRS 80 At Stafford Speedway

Tom Morris/Myracenews photos

(Stafford Springs, CT)—The Valenti Modified Racing Series returned to Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday, August 30th for the Lincoln Tech VMRS 80.  Chase Dowling took the lead on lap-24 of the 80-lap event and he led the rest of the way, holding off Keith Rocco on several late restarts to win the Lincoln Tech 80.

The race took the green flag with Cam McDermott going outside polesitter Brad VanHouten to take the early race lead.  Chase Dowling was quickly took second with Ronnie Williams coming up to third.  Keith Rocco was fourth with Matt Galko up to fifth as VanHouten was side by side with Les Hinckley, Jr. for sixth place on lap-5. 

With 20 laps complete, the order remained the same up front with McDermott leading Dowling, Williams, Rocco, and Hinckley.  Anthony Flannery was up to sixth with Matt Galko seventh, Anthony Nocella eighth, Donnie Lashua ninth and Dave Etheridge tenth.

Dowling made a power move to the outside of McDermott going into turn 3 on lap-24 to move into the lead.  Williams followed him into second and it appeared that McDermott’s car began to drop off the pace and he pulled on pit road on lap-26.  Rocco was now third behind Dowling and Williams with Galko fourth and Flannery fifth. 

With 45 laps complete Dowling was still in command with Williams, Rocco, Galko, Flannery, and Lashua lined up behind him.  Etheridge was now seventh followed by Nocella, Hinckley, and Mike Willis, Jr. to make up the top-10.

Dowling was still comfortably in the lead with 10 laps to go with Williams, Rocco, Galko, and Flannery all still giving chase.  Lashua, Etheridge, Nocella, Willis, and Dan Meservey, Jr. made up the top-10.  The complexion of the race changed drastically when the caution came out with 75 laps complete for George Sherman, who came to a stop in the turn 4 grass to set up a 5-lap sprint to the finish.

DiMatteo and VanHouten both spun on the backstretch to bring the caution back out on the restart.  The next restart saw spins in turn 4 by Etheridge and Meservey.  Dowling took the lead on the third restart with Williams in second.  Williams dropped off the pace with a flat right front tire and was limping back to pit road when the caution came back out with 76 laps complete.  Williams’s misfortune put Rocco alongside Dowling for the next restart with Flannery and Owen making up the second row.

Dowling took the lead on the restart with Rocco in second and Galko in third.  Rocco couldn’t get close enough to Dowling to make a move as Dowling took the checkered flag to win the Lincoln Tech 80.  Galko finished third behind Dowling and Rocco with Flannery and Hinckley rounding out the top-5.



1) Chase Dowling, Midland, NC

2) Keith Rocco, Berlin, CT

3) Matt Galko, Meriden

4) Anthony Flannery, East Hampton, CT

5) Les Hinckley, Jr., Windsor Locks

6) Todd Owen, Somers

7) Ronnie Williams, Ellington

8) Mike Willis, Jr., Grantham, NH

9) Donnie Lashua, Canaan, NH

10) Anthony Nocella, Woburn, MA

11) Andrew Molleur, Shelton, CT

12) Derek Robbie, Bellingham, MA

13) Dan Meservey, Jr., Brewster, MA

14) Brad VanHouten, Wading River, NY

15) CJ Bolton, Weare, NH

16) Cory DiMatteo, Farmington

17) Dave Etheridge, Portland, CT

18) Cameron Sontag, Sterling, MA

19) Sal Accardi, Jr., Deer Park, NY

20) George Sherman, Framingham, MA

21) Artie Pedersen, III, Center Moriches, NY

22) Cam McDermott, Canterbury

23) Kreig Heroth, Fort Plain, NY

Cory DiMatteo Set for VMRS Debut in Lincoln Tech 80 at Stafford Speedway

Tom Morris/Myracenews photos

(Stafford Springs, CT)—When the Valenti Modified Racing Series takes the green flag this Friday, August 30 at Stafford Speedway for the Lincoln Tech 80, Cory DiMatteo will be making his series debut behind the wheel of the John Fredericks owned #10.  DiMatteo will carry sponsorship from Sign Pro and Island Cove Yacht Sales for his VMRS debut.

“This will be my first time in a car with a lot of horsepower so I’m excited about the opportunity,” said DiMatteo.  “John’s shop is close to ours and one of my crew member’s father is good friends with John, so we were able to work out a deal.  The plan is to try to keep all 4 wheels on the car for 80 laps and hopefully we can get a top-5 finish.  I have to thank Sign Pro and Island Cove Yacht Sales for coming on board and supporting me in John’s car for the VMRS race.  Right now there aren’t any future plans so I’m focused on this race to get a good finish for John and for myself.”

Although DiMatteo is a former SK Light champion at Stafford and he is in his second season of SK Modified® competition at the Connecticut half-mile, he knows that he will face a balancing act of how hard to push the #10 car during the race while at the same time trying to conserve his tires for the closing laps.  In order to help prepare himself for the Lincoln Tech 80, DiMatteo has been reviewing old video to pick up some tips.

“I think the car is going to be fine, the hard part is going to be monitoring my pace throughout the race and saving the tires,” said DiMatteo.  “I watched Tommy Barrett for a lot of years so I’m going to try to do what he used to do when he won a bunch of MRS events and I’ve been watching the Sid’s View in-car camera deals that he did last year at Stafford.  I was watching Ronnie Silk and Woody Pitkat and listening to how they said the car felt at the start of the race and how it was at the halfway point of the race and that’s something that I want to mimic.  I remember watching Rowan Pennink when he was driving the 25 car and if you have better tires than everyone else with 10 laps to go, you’re going to be way faster.  Once the tires are gone, they’re gone and there’s no getting them back so it’s going to be all about finding where that line is with the tires and hopefully we can get lucky and have that figured out.  We’ll see how it goes.  Tire management is going to be the biggest lesson I’m going to learn and hopefully take that knowledge with me for future races.”

In addition to the Lincoln Tech 80, DiMatteo will be one of 10 Stafford regulars from the SK Modified® and SK Light divisions that will be pulling double duty.  DiMatteo isn’t worried at all about splitting time between his #6 SK Modified® and #10 VMRS cars.

“Last year I ran a legend car and SK at Waterford but this is going to be my first time driving two modifieds,” said DiMatteo.  “I like getting as many laps as I can.  If I could drive 5 cars in a night then I would.”

As the 2019 SK Modified® season draws closer to its conclusion, DiMatteo and the #6 team are closing in on nailing down their first SK Modified® feature win.  DiMatteo nearly won the July 19 SK Modified® feature, leading the first 36 laps before contact after a late race caution relegated him to a 14th place finish.  DiMatteo and the #6 team had notched three top-5 finishes in their previous 4 starts before an engine issue didn’t allow them to start the feature last Friday.  DiMatteo and his crew have the #6 ready to go for this Friday night’s Lincoln Tech 80 program.

“The SK is all ready to go and it’ll be back at the track Friday,” said DiMatteo.  “We’re still trying to get our first win.  The car has been really good, we just need to have the cards fall the right way for us.  The car has been a lot faster, especially in practice.  The drivability has been much better and much more comfortable for me the last 5 weeks than it’s been all year.  If we can keep putting ourselves in contention, anything can happen on a Friday night at Stafford.  If we can keep on doing what we’ve been doing the last couple weeks putting ourselves in the top-5 and racing for the lead, eventually we’ll get our first win.”

The Lincoln Tech 80 Valenti Modified Racing Series takes to the track this Friday, August 30 with qualifying beginning at 6:30pm.  Stafford’s five NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions will also be in action.  Tickets for this event are priced at $30.00 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult.  Reserved seat tickets are $32.00 for all ages.  All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax.  Stafford Motor Speedway offers plenty of free parking along with overnight parking available for self contained Recreational Vehicles. 

For more information, checkout Stafford Speedway on Facebook, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783, or visit us on the web at

Lincoln Tech & Stafford Speedway Celebrate 10-Year Partnership With August 30 VMRS 80

(Stafford Springs, CT)—When the Valenti Modified Racing Series cars take the green flag this Friday, August 30 in the Lincoln Tech 80 at Stafford Speedway, it will mark a continuous 10-year partnership between Stafford and Lincoln Tech.  The relationship began during the 2010 season with Lincoln Tech becoming the title sponsor of Stafford’s Late Model 100 event and Lincoln Tech has been associated with several different Stafford events since then such as the Valenti Modified Racing Series, Modified Touring Series, Back to SK® Blitz, and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.

“Wow, first of all, I can’t believe it’s been 10 years already,” said Rob Wargo, Eastern Connecticut High School Admissions Reps for Lincoln Tech.  “Everything got started with Kris Fluckiger getting me to go onto the internet and explore what Stafford Speedway was all about while he was a student here at Lincoln Tech.  It’s been a great partnership and overall we’re ecstatic, excited, and blessed to have worked with everyone at Team Stafford over the past 10 years.  From the ticket sellers at the main gates down to the kids who sell the PitStopper Magazines in the grandstands, you can see the joy and passion on everyone’s face.  It’s been a great relationship for us and we’ve been treated to 10 years of great racing.  Our new president at Lincoln Tech believes in exploiting our success alongside Stafford’s success and I think I can confidently say that we’re looking forward to continuing our relationship for many more years to come.”

Lincoln Tech began their partnership back in 2010 with Stafford by offering a unique custom air-brushed hood to the winner of the Late Model 100, which was won by Woody Pitkat.  Through the years, Lincoln Tech has continued to offer unique trophy options such as the airbrushed hood or gold, silver, and bronze awards the Lincoln Tech presented to all feature winners in conjunction with the Summer Olympics of 2016.  Lincoln Tech will once again present a custom, airbrushed hood to the winner of the Lincoln Tech VMRS 80.  Lincoln Tech will also begin a new tradition of passing out Lincoln Tech rally towels to the first 250 fans through the admission gates this Friday night.

“We’re looking forward to kicking off a new tradition with the Lincoln Tech rally towels this year,” said Wargo.  “We’re going to be giving away 250 rally towels at the main gate and we’re looking for the fans to wave these towels during the race.  We’re starting with 250 this year and we might expand that to 500 next year if all goes well, so we want to see everyone in the stands waving the towels!”

Lincoln Tech will also present a great prize for Stafford’s Lucky Number PitStopper Magazine program this Friday night.  Lincoln Tech will offer two pit passes for the season ending NAPA Fall Final Weekend on September 28-29 to a Lucky Number winner.

The freshman class of 2019 begins September 23 at Lincoln Tech and the last day that potential 2019 students can take the Lincoln Tech scholarship test is September 21.  That’s an opportunity for students to win up to $15,000 towards their education at Lincoln Tech.  Students can call Lincoln Tech to set up an appointment to take the test or they can visit the campus to make an appointment.  The first Lincoln Tech open house for the freshman class of 2020 will be October 5. 

“Our next open house is Saturday, October 5,” said Wargo.  “Fans can enjoy racing at Stafford right up through the NAPA Fall Final on September 28-29 and then if students have nothing to do the following weekend, they can come to Lincoln Tech.  It’s a full serve open house where students can meet with financial aid, the business office, and career services that does student placement.  We’ll have teachers on hand to answer any questions that students or parents might have and students can also try first hand some of our services like welding to see if that’s something that they would be interested in.” 

From its beginnings as Lincoln Technical Institute in 1946 to its current status as one of the nation’s leading providers of career education and training, the Lincoln Group of Schools are part of Lincoln Educational Services Corporation and are committed to providing students with the quality, hands-on skills and training they need to succeed in an ever-changing employment landscape.  Lincoln currently operates over 40 campuses in 17 states all across the nation, offering curriculum in Automotive, Health Sciences, Business & I.T., Trades, Spa & Cosmetology, and Culinary Arts. 

The East Windsor branch of Lincoln Tech is a destination school with on-campus dorms available that specializes in the fields of Auto, Collision, Diesel, Electrical, HVAC, Welding, Audi Auto, and CNC Manufacturing with HAAS machinery.  The 315,000 square foot campus of Lincoln Tech East Windsor offers shop space for students in Automotive Technology, which includes training dynos, more than 80 booths for their Welding program, a Haas Technical Education Center that houses Lincoln Tech’s newest program in computerized CNC manufacturing, and much more.  The faculty at Lincoln Tech are experienced, dedicated mentors and teachers who share real-life experiences with students and knowledgeable staff members are able to offer years of financial aid, career guidance, and admissions expertise helping students.  For more information about Lincoln Technical Institute and the programs they have to offer, please visit, or contact them by calling 1-800-243-4242.

For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at