STAFFORD CT: Friday Night at Stafford Motor Speedway was the night to be at the track. To start, Last year in September, on the way to Riverhead Raceway, we had lost the great Ted Christopher. It was a sad day, and racing has never been the same since. The man who entertained all of us, for years and years, had passed. His nephew, who had been racing against him, Michael, had been working on getting confident and learning SK Modifieds up until this year. In Uncle Ted’s car now this year (rebadged his dads number #82), Michael has made leaps and bounds, and it was just a matter of time before one of Ted’s cars would hit victory lane again. On Friday night, that happened. Michael took the lead over Tyler Hines and did not look back. Ryan Preece and Christopher would trade the lead for a handful of laps, but in the end, Christopher would get the last laugh. A caution would bring out a green white checker, and it was Michael who would get through the gears, and get clear out of 4 coming to the white flag. Preece would get a run, even get the nose in there but Christopher would block the bottom-shot move to win his first ever SK race in his uncle Ted’s car. Rightfully so, Christopher was an emotional mess in victory lane. “Happy fathers day to my dad... It was his birthday last week so happy birthday to him and uncle Ted.” From there, it was all emotion for his team as they would celebrate their first win, with a new driver, in the familiar car.
In the Late Models, it was Tom Fearn, continuing his dominance. Tyler Leary looked to have it locked up, but a late race caution would give Fearn the boost he needed. Fearn, followed by Leary and Michael Wray, rounding out the podium. The Limited Late Model event showed another Fearn, Ryan Fearn having trouble in his feature event. It would be Duane Provost taking down the win, with Jeremy Lavoie, and Steven Midford the podium. The Street Stock event would show a first-time winner, Trace Beyer taking down his first ever win in the division. Brandon Michael, who has been on a hot streak would continue that with a 2nd place finish, and the young shoe Travis Hydar would round out the podium.
Finally, the SK Light Modifieds would put on one damn good show. Brett “The Jet” Gonyaw is known to be one of the most fierce but fair competitors on the track, not giving an inch, Gonyaw would carve his way to the front only to be joined by Andrew Molleur laps later. Andrew and Brett would battle tooth and nail for the remainder of the race. With a late race yellow, Andrew would get the pull and eventually pass Gonyaw. The two went at it hard, but both showed the respect they have for each other, neither one fencing the other. Hard racing, not over the line, is what racing should be. Gonyaw and Molleur gave the fans a true show of racing last Friday night. Andrew Molleur would come out the winner of the 20 lap event, Gonyaw, and Narducci would be the top 3 of the night.
WATERFORD CT: The New London Waterford Speedbowl was in action on Saturday Night, with their NLWS weekly divisions plus the ACT 150 lap event. First, the Mini Stocks would take to the track, and it would be a classic battle between two of the best, but it was last year’s champion, Charles Canfield would beat out Doug Curry in the 25 lap main event. Canfield was great on the top, overall, that was the key deciding factor in winning the race Saturday night. The Street Stocks showed Jon Porter putting on a clinic on how to get to the front, without wrecking a single car. Porter started deep but would rally late to take the lead from Jason Chicolas, who would also lose 2nd to Shawn Gadake. Porter would pull away and win the 30 lap main event with Gadake, and Chicolas on the podium.
The SK Lights would take the track and it would be Jon Puleo looking to go 3 for 3 and would do just that. Behind him was not so easy, however. Late in the race, Brett Gonyaw who started dead last was up to 3rd, passing for 2nd when the 32 of Burroughs would cut down out of 2, sending Gonyaw around. However, Ethan Durocher would go around at the same time. A call from race control would state the 16 was the cause and not Gonyaw, so Gonyaw would get his spot back. With the tires cooked, all Gonyaw could do was stay in line and defend his 3rd place position. Puleo would seamlessly take the win, and stay undefeated, Burroughs would end up 2nd, and Gonyaw 3rd.
The SK Modifieds would get off to a bad start, but in the end would be a great show between two veterans, Todd Owen and Rob Janovic. Janovic may have been faster, but was stuck in 2nd place. This made for a show of the ages, with Kyle James blown up, Janovic and Owen went at it for 15 laps bumper to bumper with Janovic all over him. Overall, it would be Owen taking down his first win overall of this year over Janovic and Izzo who would rebound from an early race mishap to take down the last spot on the podium.
RIVERHEAD, NY- This past Saturday the Islip 300 took place, as it was a rain date from its originally scheduled date. Ronnie Williams took the pole in a beautifully prepared Gershow Motorsports tribute car paying honor to Don Howe's 1994 machine that won a championship for owner Joe Bertuccio. Preece started out the night with in P12. By lap 64 Preece was challenging the second place racer Howie Brode, who is a former three time track champion, for his position. By lap 66 Preece had taken the lead from Williams. Just after the 200 lap mark Preece pitted for tires leaving John Fortin Sr to lead on lap 215 for only a few short laps as the fresh tires would find Preece back out front by lap 222. While Ryan had to work a bit to keep the lead with others on his tail he was able to come out with the win for the Islip 300 and the $7000 in winnings.- BW