STAFFORD, CT: This past weekend we had great weather to close out the season at Stafford Motor Speedway for their NAPA Fall Final. On Saturday all divisions qualified for the weekend show. The first feature race held on Saturday was the Limited Late Models. The winner of the Fall Final was Ryan Fearn but the points winner and champion for the Limited Late Models for the 2018 season was Jeremy Lavoie. The second feature of the day was the Street Stocks.
They put on one great show and not only the feature winner but the 2018 champion was one in the same, George Bessette Jr. He had a great season, showed he is a strong and talented young driver. The Vintage All-Star's Modifieds were the next feature to hit the track. It is always great seeing all the well prepared, beautiful cars racing out there. The winner of the feature was Scott Dion, in second Jeff Hummel and third was Greg Massini.
The final event of the night was the Ladies Challenge. They did a great job not only raising money for charity but also putting on a show. All the Ladies teamed up with a Street Stock driver and drove their car in the name of a charity for the event. It was a good battle up front between Debbie DeSanctis and Nicole LaRose. DeSanctis was wheeling the #01 of Johnny Walker and LaRose was in the #11 of Travis Hydar. Debbie DeSanctis would be the winning followed by Nicole LaRose and Maina Rufrano would be third in the event.
Sunday was kicked off with the Pit Party. This is always an event that the fans look forward to as they get to go out on the track, meet the drivers, get up close and personal with their cars as well. It's an added bonus that teams hand out signed hero cards and candy! Sunday's features included the SK Modifieds, Late Models, SK Lights and the much looked forward to Whelen Modified Tour.
The SK Modifieds took to the track to start the feature racing. In an early wreck the points leader Ronnie Williams would find himself out of the race. As the feature went on Mike Christopher Jr would work his way to the front and win his third feature in a row! It has been great watching that team come together, grow together and show how successful they have the potential to be as the season went on. Mike Christopher Jr would be the winner of the Fall Final with Keith Rocco in second and Todd Owen third. Ronnie Williams was the SK Champion for the
2018 season followed by Keith Rocco, Mike Christoper Jr, Matt Galko and Eric Berndt would round out the top five in points on the season. The second feature of the day was the Late Models. Tom Fearn had already sealed up the championship for the season but the winner on Sunday was Michael Wray.
One of the more looked forward to events of the weekend was the SK Lights. Going into the race Bryan Narducci and Marcello Rufrano were tied for points. We all knew that the two of them would put on a show. It would come down to a racing deal between these two. They would get into each other on the backstretch and the end result would be that neither one could continue. Marcello Rufrano was leading on the last completed lap, the accident ruled as a racing deal meant that Rufrano was the 2018 SK Light Champion!
The rest of the race was a good show as it has been all season. Alexander Pearl has been getting stronger with each trip to Stafford this year and he was able to grab his first ever SK Light win. Andrew Molleur would finish P2 and Glenn Griswold was third. The points would end up with Marcello Rufrano winning followed by Bryan Narducci, Mark Bakaj, Andrew Molleur and Teddy Hodgdon would finish off the top five for the 2018 season. This has been the best division week in and week out at Stafford this season. This is always a wild division with a vast degree of different talent, experience and funding ranges. It is also very interesting to so who moves up, who may have moved up to fast and who maybe should move up but do not have the funding to do so. We have seen the division as a whole get much faster this season and much of this speed was found center off for most teams. This has lead to more passing and more attempts to pass.
The SK Lites have become more of a premier division not only by the racing put on as well as the talent levels but also being one of the fan favorites at Stafford. The fans interaction and car counts prove this. I think Stafford has also taken note as they have moved the division to later in the show most nights, and we agree that is where they belong. We do wish that they will become a 30 lap feature. Yes the racing was exciting this season but there were plenty of wrecks that may have been avoided if drivers were not in such a rush to get to the front in a short and fast 20 laps for this division.
It may make strategy come into play more as well. Many of these SK Lite drivers make the big jump right into SK Modifieds with their 40 lap features. Going to 30 laps may help the teams making that jump up by helping driver stamina, strategy, tire and fuel management as well as bringing the "weekly" cost a "little" closer to SK mods and may help teams have a better feel if financially they can make the jump. Yes it may add a little to the weekly cost for the drivers but lets face it, SK Lites are no longer an "affordable" division and a far from an entry level division. For many they are a stepping stone. Also, who would not want to see 10 more laps of great racing from this division every week.
The Whelen Modified Tour was the final event of the weekend. This was a race that very few would have predicted. It had a few 'first' in it. For starters Andrew Molleur would make his first ever Whelen Modified Tour appearance and he did well. He looked like a pro carving up the field on the outside early on as he started in the rear of the field after a penalty that only allowed him one lap to qualify. He would be involved in a minor incident and the car would not perform the same after.
Early in the race Chase Dowling got out front and lead most the race. He clearly had the car to beat all day. The way the cautions fell the #15 team never took tires. They stayed out for the whole 150 lap event. He had by far the strongest car and was fast but unfortunately with out taking tires late in the race he could not hold on as a couple late race cautions would fall and allow cars to come in and take tires. The 15 was banking on no late race yellows and would have had the win if that was the case. It looked as if Justin Bonsignore may find his way to the front of the pack but his cousin Kyle Bonsignore had other ideas.
Kyle looked strong all day and had been towards the front of the pack. Justin and Kyle battled it out hard in turn four, Kyle got on Justin's bumper and the rest is history. Kyle has only raced at Stafford a handful of times. He told Mod Squad Racing Media before the race "We feel good, I only have run Stafford a few times. It is a hard track but fun, that is why we come up from North Carolina. I really think we have it figured out. I feel good about today" We told Kyle he has "lucky hero cards" jokingly as he laughed, since we made them for him. Though many of the teams we have done cards for this season have won so there maybe some truth to it. The two other 'firsts' of the event fell into place. Kyle Bonsignore would win the event marking his first Whelen Modfied Tour win and Justin Bonsignore would clinch the championship for the 2018 Whelen Modified Tour. This is his first and over due Championship Title. This team has really nailed it this season, they switched to LFR Race Chassis and picked up a very talented crew cheif in Ryan Stone. A well earned championship for Justin, Ken Massa and the whole Phoenix communications #51 team. The last event for the Tour is Next weekend at Thompson for the World Series.
LEE, NH: This weekend Lee USA Speedway will be closing out their 2018 season with their famed Oktoberfest. They have packed in a lot to their two day show. To kick off the weekend they have practice on Friday. Saturday starts all the racing! They will be having 12 feature races on Saturday. They will have the Classic Lites, Pro 4 Mods, Pure Stocks, Supers, Ironmen, Sport 4's, Sportsmen Mods, Pro Trucks, ACT Type Late Models, Roadrunners, Streetstock Consi and V8 Enduro. At Noon practice will start with heats scheduled for 2 PM with features to follow.
On Sunday, again practice starts at noon with heats at 2 PM and features to follow. The heats will be for the NEMST, GSPSS and MRS. Feature events will be Streetstock, GSPSS, MRS, LMS/Super Streets, MRS and finally a 100 lap 4 Cylinder Enduro race to finish off the day.
The Valenti Modified Racing Series will be racing for the first time in four weeks. Their last race was up in Maine at Beech Ridge. Going into Lee's Oktoberfest young gun Sammy Rameau leads Anthony Nocella by 18 points. Rameau had his first ever VMRS win back in July of this year at Lee. Following Rameau and Nocella in points is Woody Pitkat, who will be driving the Stan Mertz owned #6 that is usually his Thompson modified, Mike Willis Jr and Richard Savary round out the top 5. Sitting in 6th is Cameron Sontag who is leading the chase for rookie of the year.
This will be a twin 50 race just as it was back in July. Along with the twin format it will also be a cone race. Cone race means that they get to pick their lane as they go by so each driver may choose the outside or inside lane even if it drops them back in the running order or may bump them up if they pick what is not the preferred lane by other drivers. It should be a great race with lots of strategy coming into play! Along with the top 5 points leaders expected to race are Todd Patnode, Chase Dowling, Jeff Gallup among others as the current entry list has 26 drivers listed. The always entertaining rivalry between Jacob Perry and Derek Robbie will be front and center on and off the track. These two are good friends, love to bust stones and are fun to follow. For the most current entry list check out the VMRS Facebook page HERE.
Prior years the VMRS has qualified on Saturday but this year they will both qualify and race on Sunday. MRS races always please, Lee can be a very racy track, but it is also known for its very abrasive surface that chews up tires so there will be a lot of strategy in these twin 50 dash's. We are excited to return to Lee as it has been a few years since we have been able to make it. We want to thank MRS for the invitation. We are also looking forward to seeing what the improvements new track owner Norm Wrenn has made, we hear great things are happening at Lee.
The ticket for Oktoberfest is a weekend pass. General Admission is very fair $35 and Pit Admission is $50. Anyone looking to camp or for further information can check out their Webpage HERE and their Facebook page HERE to keep up to date with any changes or updates to the schedule as well.
WATERFORD, CT: Also in action this weekend will be The New London-Waterford Speedbowl. This past week the track launched a new Facebook page to follow all their current race information and feature winners. You can follow that page by clicking HERE.
Last weekend the Bowl put on a full night of racing including two Legend feature events. They had a crazy night with some insane wrecks. In the SK Modifieds Kyle James took down another win making it 8 on the season! Anthony Flannery had another strong win in the Late Model. Peter Bennett was able to win not one but both of the Legend features last Saturday. Jordan Hadley won the Sportsman feature, Duane Noll took the win in the trucks and Charles Canfield held off Curry for the win in the Mini Stock division. In the SK Lites after a crazy start to their feature race where the #74 went air born into the catch fence up high as it spun like a top multiple times in the air and barrel rolled. The driver was amazingly Okay. Jon Puleo took the win and tied Burroughs for the point lead with that win.
This week on the racing card will be NEMA Lites, Late Model, TQ Midgets, SK Lites, Sportsman, NEMA, SK Modifieds and Mini Stocks. It will be $22 Grandstands General Admission, $17 for Seniors, $15 for military, Youth 13-16 $5 and under 16 free. Pit Admission is $30 for this weekends events.
SEEKONK, MA: Also this Saturday Seekonk will be holding their D.A.V. Fall Classic. They will be having a Pro Stock 150 lap feature that is $6000 to win. Along with that will be a Late Model 50 lap feature $1800 to win. The Sportsman and Sports Trucks will also be on hand. Practice starts at 11:30 with qualifying at 2PM. The front gates open at Noon, pit gates open at 9AM. The racing order is Trucks, Late Models, Sportsman then the D.A.V. Pro 150. Admission is $25 for the events. This is always a good show and worth the trip out to the 'Konk to check it out.
The season is winding down, seems like we were just getting started! The weather was great last weekend and we hope for more this weekend. Get out and support your favorite drivers, local short track and catch some racing before the season is gone! #ModOn #ShortTrackNation MT&RG