Tag Archives: NAPA Fall Final

Todd Owen, Wayne Coury, Jr., & Teddy Hodgdon Score NAPA Fall Final Wins At Stafford; Ronnie Williams & Hodgdon Clinch Track Championships

(Stafford Springs, CT)—Stafford Motor Speedway concluded its 2019 NASCAR racing season with feature events for the SK Modified®, Late Model, and SK Light Modified divisions as part of its NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final Weekend.  Taking down feature wins were Todd Owen in the SK Modified® feature, Wayne Coury, Jr. in the Late Model feature, and Teddy Hodgdon in the SK Ligh feature.  Owen’s win meant he ended the season tied with Ronnie Williams in the points standings, but Williams had 5 wins this season to Owen’s 4 to make him the champion for the second consecutive season.  Hodgdon came into the NAPA Fall Final as the SK Light points leader and he won his first Stafford championship in grand style by winning the race.

In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, Marcello Rufrano took the lead at the green with Joey Cipriano second and Tyler Hines in third.  Andrew Molleur took fourth with Michael Gervais, Jr. in fifth.  Behind Gervais was a side by side duel between Keith Rocco and Todd Owen for sixth.  The caution came out with 10 laps complete for a spin by Shawn Thibeault in the middle of turns 1+2. 

Rufrano took the lead on the restart with Owen all over his back bumper in second.  Rocco came up to third with Michael Christopher, Jr. and Cipriano side by side for fourth.  Stephen Kopcik was up to fifth with Gervais behind him in sixth.  Owen took the lead from Rufrano on lap-12 and Rocco followed him through to take second and drop Rufrano back to third in line.  Kopcik was now fourth with Gervais fifth and Cipriano sixth.  The caution came back out with 20 laps complete for Curt Brainard, who came to a stop in the middle of turns 3+4 with smoke pouring from his car.

Owen took the lead back under green with Rocco in second.  Rufrano and Kopcik were side by side for third with Gervais and Christopher side by side for fifth.  Rufrano got clear to third on lap-25 with Gervais and Kopcik now side by side for fourth with Owen still leading Rocco out front.  The caution came back out with 25 laps complete for spins in turn 1 by Matt Vassar and Thibeault. 

The caution came right back out on the restart as Chase Dowling nearly spun and came to a stop at the pit road exit in turn 2.  Owen took the lead on the next restart with Rocco still in second.  Rufrano was third with Gervais and Kopcik side by side for fourth.  Cipriano spun and collected the car of Andrew Molleur to bring the caution back out with 26 laps complete.

Owen took the lead with Rocco and Kopcik behind him on the restart.  Rufrano slid back to fourth while Gervais and Dan Avery were side by side for fifth with Ronnie Williams up to seventh.  Mike Christopher spun coming out of turn 2 to bring the caution back out with 28 laps complete.

Troy Talman, Tyler Leary, and Tyler Hines all spun on the backstretch to bring the yellow right back out on the restart.  Owen again took the lead on the restart while Kopcik was able to take second from Rocco.  Rocco was third in line with Gervais and Rufrano side by side for fourth and Williams in sixth.  Williams took fifth on lap-31 as Rufrano slid back to sixth.  With 8 laps to go, the order was Owen, Kopcik, Rocco, Gervais, and Williams.  With Owen in the lead, Williams needed to be at least fourth to win the SK Modified® championship.

Williams was able to get to the inside of Gervais on lap-37 to take fourth and put himself in a championship clinching position.  Owen led Kopcik to the checkered flag to pick up his fourth win of the 2019 season.  Rocco finished third with Williams fourth and Gervais fifth.  Williams fourth place finish saw him tied with Owen in points but Williams had 5 wins to Owen’s 4 this season, which made him the 2019 SK Modified® track champion.

In the 30-lap Late Model feature, Michael Bennett took the lead from polesitter Paul Varricchio, Jr. and Al Saunders moved into second with Varricchio falling back to third, just ahead of Paul Arute in fourth.  Ed Ricard spun in turn 4 to bring the caution out with 1 lap complete.

Bennett took the lead with Saunders in second on the restart. Ryan Fearn moved around Varricchio to take third with Varricchio slotting into fourth and Arute in fifth.  Ryan Fearn went by Saunders on lap-5 to move into second and began to try to close down the gap to Bennett, who had pulled away from the field in the opening laps.  Andy Marchese spun in the middle of turns 1+2 to bring the caution back out with 7 laps complete.

Ryan Fearn ran Bennett down and made a pass for the lead but just as he made his move the caution came out with 12 laps complete for spins in turn 1 by Rob Dow and R.J. Surdell. 

Bennett took the lead back under green with Wayne Coury, Jr. coming up to second.  Al Saunders was third in line with Ryan Fearn back to fourth and Rom Fearn was fifth.  Ryan Fearn got back by Saunders for third on lap-18 and Tom Fearn followed him through to drop Saunders back to fifth and the caution came back out with 18 laps complete for a spin in turn 4 by Scott Bouley.

The field completed one lap with Bennett still holding the race lead before the caution came back out for a spin in turn 2 by Ryan Fearn. 

On the restart, Scott Bouley came to a stop with fluid leading from his car and Tom Fearn got collected and had damage to his front bumper to bring the caution right back out.  The next restart saw Bennett again take the lead with Coury second.  Darrell Keane and Al Saunders were side by side for third with Michael Wray in fifth.  Saunders got loose on lap-20, which allowed Keane to take third and dropped Saunders back into a side by side fight with Wray for fourth place.

Coury was working Bennett over for the race lead and the two cars touched coming out of turn 4 on lap-24.  The two cars touched again on lap-25 in turn 2 with Bennett maintaining the lead.  Coury came back to Bennett’s inside on lap-27 to take the lead.  Coury was heading towards the checkered flag when R.J. Surdell brought the caution out with a spin in the middle of turns 3+4 to set up a green white checkered finish.

Coury took the lead on the restart with Bennett giving chase in second.  Bennett couldn’t get close enough to Coury as Coury took down his first career win at Stafford.  Kevin Gambacorta finished third with Al Saunders and Wray rounding out the top-5.

In the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, a multicar incident in turn 3 involving Fred Nees, Jr., Alina Bryden, Brett Gonyaw, and Chris Viens brought the caution out before a lap could be completed. 

Norm Sears took the early lead but Joey Ferrigno took the lead from Sears on lap-2.  Noah Korner was third with Mark Bakaj and Sami Anderson side by side for fourth.  Bakaj was starting to charge in the outside lane and he took second from Sears on lap-8 with Ferrigno still out front.  Sears was still third in line with Anderson fourth.  Teddy Hodgdon, who came into the race as the SK Light points leader, narrowly avoided disaster on lap-8 as Bob Charland spun and nearly collected Hodgdon to bring the caution out. 

Ferrigno took the lead back under green with Bakaj on his outside in second.  Anderson was third in line with Sears and Korner side by side for fourth.  Hodgdon powered his way around Korner to move up to fourth on lap-11 and Bryan Narducci took fifth on lap-13 as Ferrigno continued to lead Bakaj.  Hodgdon got by Anderson to move into third place on lap-14 and he pulled alongside Bakaj for second place on lap-15.  The caution came out with 15 laps complete for a spin in turn 2 by Steven Chapman and Noah Korner with Alina Bryden’s car also coming to a stop at the entrance to turn 1.

Ferrigno took the lead on the restart with Hodgdon and Bakaj side by side for second.  Narducci was fourth with Anderson and Alexander Pearl lined up behind him.  The caution cmae back out with 16 laps complete for Bobby Jones, who came to a stop on the backstretch infield.

Ferrigno again took the lead with Bakaj and Hodgdon side by side for second.  Hodgdon cleared Bakaj and pulled to the outside of Ferrigno for the lead on lap-18.  Amanda West came to a stop against the turn 4 wall to bring the caution back out with 18 laps complete to set up a green white checkered finish.

Ferrigno took the lead at the green but going into turn 3 Hodgdon dove to the inside of Ferrigno to take the lead.  Ferrigno and several other cars spun in turn 4 coming to the checkered flag, allowing Hodgdon to cruise to the checkered flag.  The win was Hodgdon’s second consecutive win and fifth win of the 2019 season and clinched the 2019 SK Light championship.  Pearl came home in second with Nick Anglace, Brian Sullivan, and Chapman rounding out the top-5.  Bryan Narducci was penalized by NASCAR Officials to the rear of the field for causing the last lap contact and since he was on probation from earlier this season, he was disqualified from the finishing order.

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

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SK MODIFIED® (40)

1) Todd Owen, Somers

2) Stephen Kopcik, Newtown

3) Keith Rocco, Berlin

4) Ronnie Williams, Tolland

5) Michael Gervais, Jr., Wolcott

6) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, MA

7) Dan Avery, Somers

8) Marcello Rufrano, North Haven

9) Timmy Jordan, Brooklyn

10) Michael Christopher, Jr., Wolcott

11) Cory DiMatteo, Farmington

12) Anthony Flannery, East Hampton

13) Tony Membrino, Jr., Berlin

14) David Arute, Stafford Springs

15) Chase Dowling, Midland, NC

16) Ed Spiers, Beacon Falls

17) Mike Christopher, Plainville

18) Mikey Flynn, Hampden, MA

19) Tyler Leary, Hatfield, MA

20) Tyler Hines, North Haven

21) Troy Talman, Oxford, MA

22) Shawn Thibeault, Plainville

23) Joey Ternullo, Jr., Middletown

24) Joey Cipriano, III, Waterbury

25) Andrew Molleur, Shelton

26) Matt Vassar, Plantsville

27) Curt Brainard, Canton

LATE MODEL (30)

1) Wayne Coury, Jr., Fairfield

2) Michael Bennett, Willington

3) Kevin Gambacorta, Ellington

4) Al Saunders, Stafford

5) Michael Wray, Northford

6) Darrell Keane, Enfield

7) Tyler Leary, Hatfield, MA

8) Ed Ricard, Stafford Springs

9) Cliff Saunders, Stafford

10) Dave Wray, Durham

11) Tom Butler, Stafford Springs

12) John Blake, North Haven

13) Ryan Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA

14) Tom Fearn, East Longmeadow, MA

15) Robert Surdell, Willington

16) Richard Ciriello, Reading, MA

17) Greg DeMone, Ludlow, MA

18) Gary Theriault, Enfield

19) Rob Dow, Stafford Springs

20) Jacob Perry, Stonington

21) Andy Marchese, Tolland

22) Mike Mordino, Southington

23) Paul Arute, Northridge, MA

24) Eric Finkbein, Jr., Vernon

25) Scott Bouley, Thomaston

26) Paul Varricchio, Jr., Berlin

SK LIGHT (20)

1) Teddy Hodgdon, Danbury

2) Alexander Pearl, Salem

3) Nick Anglace, Oxford

4) Brian Sullivan, South Windsor

5) Steven Chapman, Ellington

6) Chris Bagnall, Winsted

7) Mark Bakaj, Lebanon

8) Norm Sears, Andover

9) Ethan Durocher, Canterbury

10) Robert Bloxsom, III, Stratford

11) George Bessette, Jr., Danbury

12) Alina Bryden, West Springfield, MA

13) Joey Ferrigno, East Hartford

14) Sami Anderson, Wolcott

15) Amanda West, Colchester

16) Bobby Jones, Palmerton, PA

17) Noah Korner, Canton

18) David Webb, Nashville, TN

19) Wesley Prucker, Stafford

20) Glenn Griswold, Vernon

21) Bob Charland, Stafford

22) Chris Matthews, Stafford

23) Jonathan Puleo, Branford

24) Brett Gonyaw, Vernon

25) Chris Viens, Putnam

26) Fred Nees, Jr., New Milford

Craig Lutz Breaks Into Victory Lane in NAPA Fall Final at Stafford

KYLE SOUZA NASCAR.COM SEPTEMBER 29, 2019

Photos Tom Morris/Myracenews

STAFFORD, Conn. — For the second straight year, the NAPA Fall Final at Stafford Motor Speedway produced a first-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour winner.

Craig Lutz in Victory Lane after winning the NAPA Fall Final at Stafford Motor Speedway October 29th 2019 Tom Morris/Myracenews

Craig Lutz took the lead from Doug Coby on a restart with 33 laps to go, and drove away from Coby, and defending series champion Justin Bonsignore, to earn his first career checkered flag in his 66th series start.

Prior to Sunday, Lutz had finished inside the top five in four of his 12 Stafford starts, including the last three. He had also finished inside the top five in eight of the 14 races in 2019.

For the first time, the Miller Place, New York, driver was able to celebrate a trophy.

RACING-REFERENCE: NAPA Fall Final 150 Race Results

“The first win is always special,” Lutz said. “Everyone kept on asking me when it was coming. To finally knock one off, it’s an amazing feeling.”

Lutz started ninth and rode inside the top 10 for the duration of the race, but shined when it mattered most. Chris Pasteryak earned his first career Mayhew Tools Dominator Pole award in qualifying, and led the first six laps, before Coby took control.

Bonsignore took the lead from Coby just before halfway, and paced the field until a caution just after lap 100, when leaders pitted multiple times for tires. It would be the only caution of the day that Coby, Bonsignore and Lutz entered pit road.

Pasteryak would lead eight more laps after cycling back to the lead, but couldn’t hold the top spot, as Coby slid by, then a restart gave Lutz his opportunity. Lutz passed Coby and never looked back, minding a gap back to Bonsignore for the final 10 laps.

“I just didn’t look in my mirror,” Lutz said. “I have an awesome spotter, who has a lot of experience, and he kept telling me to stay smooth and hit my marks. That’s what I kept doing.”

Bonsignore would finish second, while Coby settled for third. Chuck Hossfeld, who missed practice and qualifying on Saturday, charged from the rear of the field to finish fourth. Matt Swanson was fifth.

Ron Silk finished sixth, followed by Bobby Santos III, Woody Pitkat, Chase Dowling and Patrick Emerling.

Coby leads Bonsignore by 19 points with one championship points race remaining in search of his sixth NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship.

The NAPA Fall Final 150 will air on NBCSN on Friday, October 4, at 7 p.m.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track for the annual Sunoco World Series at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, the final race of the season, on Sunday, October 13.

Matt Galko to Make Whelen Modified Tour Debut in NAPA Fall Final

Tom Morris/Myracenews photo

(Stafford Springs, CT)—When the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour takes the green flag this weekend at Stafford Speedway for the NAPA Fall Final 150, Meriden, CT native and SK Modified® regular Matt Galko will look to realize a dream by making his NWMT debut.  Galko will be piloting the #41 Chevrolet owned by Susanne Lewis with Steve Mendoza serving as the crew chief.

“This is kind of a combo deal between Susanne Lewis and my crew chief Steve Mendoza,” said Galko.  “It’s a brand new car that they’ve been working on putting together.  I’ve known them for a while and I drove a couple times for Steve on the R.O.C. Tour two years ago so that’s how we got to know each other.  This has been a dream come true for me.  This has been something that my family and myself have worked for since we got started in the SK Lights.  The open modified shows are nice and all but the premier division that everyone wants to run is the Whelen Modified Tour.  I’ve had talks with some owners here and there over the past couple of years but nothing has worked out.  We’re going to have our challenges and growing pains as a brand new team, but it helps that we know the track and we’re hoping that everything will work out for us.”

There is no better track that Galko could have picked than Stafford to make his NWMT debut.  Galko is a two-time SK Light track champion (2010, 2011) and he has won a total of 10 races with 8 SK Light wins and 2 SK Modified® wins at the Connecticut half-mile.  Galko will be relying on his track knowledge to help overcome any learning curve he and the #41 team will face.

“We have to keep our expectations realistic because the Whelen Modified Tour is a whole different ballgame,” said Galko.  “First I want to qualify for the race, after that my goal is to finish on the lead lap.  If we could come out of the race with a top-15 finish or something like that, that would be really, really good for our first time out.  Pit strategy is always a big thing at Stafford and if you have the right strategy you could use that to your benefit.  Kyle Bonsignore won the Fall Final last year, which I think was a surprise to some people, and he was able to catch a lot of the guys off-cycle and had the freshest tires at the end of the race.”

Perhaps the biggest obstacle that Galko will have to overcome is his lack of experience in group qualifying.  In his career, Galko has only qualified through time trials once before and he says he will definitely be feeling some nerves as he prepares to make his qualifying laps in NWMT group qualifying at 2:30pm on Saturday.

“I’m feeling a lot of nerves right now more than excitement,” said Galko.  “I’m sure it’ll get a lot more exciting once we get to the track and start rolling.  I lack experience with group qualifying in the tour modifieds.  Everything I’ve run I’ve qualified through heat races.  I’ve time trialed one time at the Turkey Derby and the nerves I felt that day were unlike any I’ve ever experienced before.”

As Galko and the #41 team prepare for this weekend’s NAPA Fall Final 150, Galko is grateful to everyone who is helping him to realize his dream of making his first NWMT start.  They are also looking for any sponsors who would like to join the #41 team for the NAPA Fall Final.

“We have a lot of good equipment with this new team but we’re a little short on crew for pit road so I couldn’t do this without the help of all the crew members from our SK and Tour teams,” said Galko.  “It’s going to be a big team effort for us this weekend and I’m really looking forward to the race.  We’re funding this out of our pockets and the help of Steve Mendoza and Susanne Lewis.  Any marketing partners that would want to come on board with us would be greatly appreciated and would go a long way towards helping us out.”

Tickets for NAPA Fall Final Weekend, September 28 & 29, are priced at $40.00 for adult general admission, $10.00 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 $45.00 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.  Discount tickets are available through participating NAPA stores. 

For more information, visit www.staffordspeedway.com, checkout Stafford Speedway on Facebook or Twitter, or contact the track office at 860-684-2783.