Woody Pitkat Doubles Up At Stafford
(Stafford Springs, CT)---Stafford Motor Speedway welcomed the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour for the third of four visits during the 2012 season on Friday, August 3rd with the 22nd Annual Stafford 150 program. In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series feature action, Woody Pitkat was the big winner of the evening by doubling up and taking the checkered flag in both the SK Modified® and Late Model feature events. The SK Modified® victory was Pitkat’s second of the season and the Late Model win was his third of the season. Also scoring feature wins were Frank Cardile in the 20-lap SK Light feature, David Arute in the 20-lap Ltd. Late Model feature, and Cliff Saunders in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature. Cardile’s win was his first of the season, Arute’s win was the first win of his career, and Saunders’ win was his second of the season.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Matt Galko charged into the lead from the pole with Eric Berndt quickly moving into second. Curt Brainard was third, with Michael Gervais, Jr. fourth and Todd Owen fifth. Berndt quickly overtook Galko for the race lead and Gervais was looking to follow Berndt by Galko.
Gervais made the pass for second on lap-4 and he brought Owen with him as Galko fell from second back to fourth. Tom Bolles and Brainard were now side by side for fifth place. Tommy Membrino, Jr. spun in the turn 3 grass to bring the caution out with 6 laps complete.
Back under green, Gervais steamed into the lead with Berndt in second. Woody Pitkat made a strong move to take over third place, with Galko and Ted Christopher making up the top-5. Christopher moved by Galko to move into fourth and he brought Owen with him as Galko fell back several spots. Gervais was now opening up his lead over Berndt while Pitkat and Christopher were virtually glued together in the fight for second place. Tom Bolles spun in turn 2 on lap-12, but he was able to get going again and the race stayed under green flag conditions.
Christopher moved around Pitkat for third and he moved by Berndt for second on lap-15. Christopher’s pass on Berndt allowed Pitkat to get alongside Berndt and take the spot. Owen followed in Pitkat’s tire tracks and he also got by Berndt, who fell from second back to fifth place in a matter of several laps.
Ryan Preece had a flat right rear tire and he scraped the turn 3 wall and came to a stop in turns 1+2 to bring the caution out with 19 laps complete.
On the restart, Christopher got a good run, but Gervais came back strong and he maintained the race lead. Pitkat was right behind Christopher in a three-car train for the race lead. Owen was fourth, with Dan Avery and Brainard side by side for fifth place. Christopher was finally able to make a pass stick for the lead on lap-22 after several tries and Pitkat moved into second as Gervais fell from the lead back to third. Brainard’s good run came to an end on lap-23 with a plume of smoke trailing from his car as he entered turn 3. Brainard quickly pulled off the track and the race was able to stay green.
Christopher, Pitkat, and Gervais were still nose to tail for the race lead, and Owen and Avery were the tail end of the top-5 cars. Danny Cates was sixth and Sean Foster was right behind Cates in seventh place. Pitkat and Gervais were briefly side by side for second before Pitkat cleared Gervais, Gervais came back strong to the inside of Pitkat, but Heather DesRochers spun in turn 4 to bring the caution out with 29 laps complete.
Christopher took the lead back under green while Gervais and Pitkat were side by side for second place. Cates was fourth, just behind Gervais and Pitkat, but the caution came out with 30-laps complete as Kyle Spencer spun through the infield grass on the frontstretch.
Christopher took the lead back under green while Pitkat was able to get into line just behind Christopher in second. Gervais and Cates were side by side for third, but Membrino and Berndt spun and came to a stop on the infield grass to bring the caution back out with 31 laps complete.
Christopher took the lead back under green with Pitkat slotting into second. Cates was third, with Owen in fourth and Gervais in fifth. Cates had to check up behind Pitkat on lap-34 and he fell back to fifth behind Owen as Pitkat was searching all over for a way to get by Christopher. Pitkat made a bottom shot move in turn 3 to get by Christopher on lap-37 and take over the race lead. Owen was now to the outside of Gervais for third place while Pitkat was able to pull away from Pitkat by several car lengths. Foster and Cates came together and spun in turn 3 to bring the caution out with 38 laps complete and set up a green white checkered finish.
Pitkat took the lead ahead of Christopher but several cars spun in turns 3+4 to bring the caution back out. Pitkat and Christopher were side by side for the lead and Pitkat was able to clear Christopher as they took the white flag. Pitkat led the field around to the checkered flag to pick up his second victory of the season. Christopher finished second, with Gervais, Owen, and Avery rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Scott Cook took the lead at the drop of the green with Kevin Gambacorta moving up to second place. Ed Ricard was third, with Tom Butler and Corey Hutchings behind him, but the caution came out with 2 laps complete as Adam Gray backed his car into the turn 3 wall.
On the restart, Cook took the lead while Mark St. Hilaire moved into second and Woody Pitkat got by Tom Butler to take over third place. Mike Quintiliano moved up to fourth and Patrick Townsend was fifth as Gambacorta and Butler fell backwards on the restart.
Cook held the lead until lap-5 when St. Hilaire moved to the front of the pack. Over the next several laps, Pitkat, Quintiliano, Townsend and Hutchings all moved up as Cook fell from the lead back to eighth place. Tom Fearn had moved from the back of the pack at the start to seventh place.
Rzeszutek took over fourth place from Townsend on lap-27 and Fearn followed suit a lap later. At the front St. Hilaire was able to hold the lead until the white flag when Pitkat made a move to the inside of St. Hilaire to take over the lead. Pitkat led the final lap to pick up his third win of the 2012 season and Quintiliano was able to edge out St. Hilaire for second by a nose at the stripe. Rzeszutek came home in fourth and Fearn rounded out the top-5.
In the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature event, Frank Cardile took the lead ahead of Payton Henry. Nick Salva slotted into third with Jay Goff and Rick Williams behind him. Goff quickly moved to the inside of Salva with Salva going around in turn 4, which in turn saw Williams and Tyler Hines also spin, which brought the caution out with 1 lap complete. Under the caution, last week’s winner Joey Ferrigno and Dylan Kopec both came to pit road and were finished for the race.
Back under green, Cardile
took the lead while Goff moved up to second.
Henry was third, with Harry Wheeler in fourth
and Tony Membrino, Jr. was side by side with Bob
Charland for fifth place. Wheeler spun coming
off turn 4 on lap-4, but he was able to get
going and the race stayed green. Henry made a
move to the inside of Goff on lap-4, but he went
into the wall in turn 3 and collected Goff,
which brought the caution out with 4 laps
Membrino made a move to the inside of Cardile to move into the lead on lap-9 with Charland, Aszklar, and Campbell behind him. Rick Williams spun in turn 4 to bring the caution out with 9 laps complete.
Back under green, Cardile was the leader, with Membrino right behind him. Aszklar was third, with Charland and Campbell behind him. Membrino closed in on Cardile’s bumper with 5 laps to go and he was all over the track looking for a way to get by Cardile, but Cardile was able to keep his car out front. Membrino was able to get alongside Cardile as the cars came to the white flag. Cardile and Membrino raced side by side for the final lap with Cardile getting a good run off the final corner to take his first win of the season. Aszklar made a strong run and nearly made it three wide for the win, but Membrino was able to take second with Aszklar third. Charland finished fourth and Hines recovered from his earlier misfortune to take fifth.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, Justin Bren took the lead at the green with Michael Wray in second. Joe Nogiec was third, but D.J. Burnham took that spot from him on lap-5. Jesse Hinze followed Burnham by Nogiec to move into fourth and David Arute got by Nogiec several laps later to move into fifth place as Bren continued to lead.
Burnham continued his charge to the front as he moved by Wray for second and Hinze again followed Burnham by Wray to drop Wray from second back to fourth. The caution came out with 9 laps complete as Glenn Bartkowski and Carla Botticello spun in turn 3.
Bren took the lead back under green with Burnham falling into line behind Bren in second. Cory Casagrande made a hard charge on the restart to move up to third and he went by Burnham one lap after the restart to take over second. Casagrande was trying to go by Bren for the lead when he spun in turn 2 and set off a chain reaction that saw Burnham, Dennis Botticello and Jesse Hinze spin to bring the caution back out with 11 laps complete.
Bren took the lead back under green, but David Arute made a strong move in turn 3 to move to the front of the pack. Josh Wood followed Arute by Bren to take over second with Andrew Hayes behind Bren in fourth and Carla Botticello was now back up to fifth place with 7 laps to go.
Wood was trying to stick his car to the inside of Arute, but Arute was able to fend off Wood’s challenge and maintain the race lead. Arute bobbled a bit going into turn 1 on lap-19 and Wood moved out front. Arute came back strong in turns 3+4 and he retook the lead in turns 3+4 with a crossover move. Arute led Wood back to the checkered flag to pick up his very first career feature victory. Wood finished second, with Hayes, Bren, and Carla Botticello rounding out the top-5.
In the 15-lap DARE Stock feature event, Andy Marchese charged into the lead at the drop of the green and he began to pull away from the rest of the field. Monte Gibbs moved through traffic to sit in second, just ahead of Kris Fluckiger, Cliff Saunders, and James Carroll. Austin Bessette and Kyle Casagrande both came to pit road with damage to their cars on lap-4, which eliminated them from the race.
Fluckiger moved around Gibbs for second and he began to eat into Marchese’s lead. Cliff Saunders was third behind Fluckiger, while Carroll was fourth and Gibbs, who was running second earlier in the race, was now back to fifth place with 6 laps to go.
Cliff Saunders caught Fluckiger for second and he took the spot on lap-12 and Carroll followed Saunders by Fluckiger as Marchese continued to hold the race lead.
Marchese held the lead until the final lap when he went a bit hard into turn 1 and slipped up the track. Cliff Saunders was able to take advantage of the opening and he took the lead and he led the field back to the checkered flag to pick up his second victory of the 2012 season. Marchese finished second, with Carroll, Fluckiger, and Albert Saunders 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.