Speedway Digest Staff
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Stafford Speedway returned to Friday night racing action with a Stafford Weekly Series program on Friday night, June 18th. There were two first time winners on the night with Bryan Narducci winning his first career SK Modified® feature event in a Keith Rocco Racing prepared car after getting fired from the Bear Calicchio owned ride he began the 2021 season in and Adrien Paradis, III scored his first career win in the Street Stock feature. Wayne Coury, Jr. won the Late Model feature, Brian Sullivan won the SK Light feature, and Gary Patnode won the Limited Late Model feature.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature event, Matt Vassar took the early lead at the drop of the green flag with Doug Meservey, Jr. taking second from Mikey Flynn after racing side by side for the opening lap. The caution flew with 2 laps complete for Chris Viens, who got into the turn 4 wall.
Meservey took the lead from Vassar on the restart with Bryan Narducci moving up to third. Mikey Flynn and David Arute were side by side for fourth place with Michael Gervais, Jr. right behind them. Arute got clear into fourth place on lap-6 while Gervais was now side by side with Flynn for fifth as Meservey continued to lead Narducci and Vassar.
Narducci made a move to the inside of Meservey for the lead on lap-9 and he took the lead coming out of turn 4. Vassar moved into second with Arute now side by side with Meservey for third place and Gervais in fifth. Meservey began to slide backwards as he was stuck in the outside lane and he fell back to tenth place with 15 laps complete. As the race hit the halfway mark of 20 laps, the order was Narducci followed by Vassar, Arute, Gervais, Stephen Kopcik, Flynn, Tyler Hines, Marcello Rufrano, Todd Owen, and Michael Christopher, Jr.
Arute was applying heavy pressure to Vassar for second place, but he was unable to complete a pass. Narducci was starting to slowly stretch out his lead over Vassar and Arute while Kopcik was closing in on the back bumper of Arute with 11 laps to go.
With 5 laps to to, Narducci was still slowly pulling away from Vassar in second, who still had Arute looking for a way to make a pass and take over second. Hines had caught up to Kopcik to make it a four-car fight for second. No one could catch Narducci as he took the checkered flag to pick up his first career SK Modified® victory the very next week after he lost his regular ride with Bear Calicchio. Arute finished third with Kopcik and Hines rounding out the top-5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature, Rick Lanagan led the field to the green and he took the early lead at the start of the race. Michael Wray was second with Wayne Coury, Jr. in third. Duane Provost was fourth in line followed by Andrew Durand, Tom Fearn, Andrew Molleur, Kevin Gambacorta, Darrell Keane, and Paul Varricchio, Jr.
In the 20-lap SK Light feature event, Alina Bryden took the lead at the drop of the green flag with Tyler Chapman and Amanda West side by side for second. Brian Sullivan was fourth in line with Steven Chapman and George Bessette, Jr. lined up behind him.
Tyler Chapman made a move to the inside of Bryden on lap-4 to take over the lead. Sullivan pulled alongside Bryden for second place on lap-5 with Steven Chapman now fourth and West and Nick Anglace side by side for fifth. Bryden got into the backstretch wall coming out of turn 2 to bring the caution flag out with 5 laps complete. Tyler Barry also spun but he was able to rejoin the field at the rear. Durand spun in turn 4 and collected several other cars to bring the caution out with 6 laps complete.
Lanagan and Wray went side by side for the lead on the restart with Lanagan getting clear on lap-8. Coury took second with Wray falling back into a side by side duel with Tom Fearn for third place. Fearn took third on lap-9 while Coury went by Lanagan to take over the lead. Lanagan spun coming off turn 2 to bring the caution back out with 9 laps complete. Michael Bennett spun to avoid hitting Lanagan but both cars were able to continue in the race.
Coury took the lead on the restart but he would only lead one more lap as Fearn shot into the lead on lap-11. Gambacorta followed him through to move into second and drop Coury back to third place. Just behind Coury was Tyler Leary and Molleur. Wray was sixth in line followed by Varricchio, Paul Arute, Provost, and Zack Robinson. Coury went back by Gambacorta to move into second and he was applying heavy pressure to Fearn for the race lead before retaking the lead on lap-19. Gambacorta followed Coury by to move into second and drop Fearn back to third place. Gambacorta spun in turn 2 to bring the caution out with 19 laps complete. Fearn was penalized to the rear of the field for making contact with Gambacorta.
Coury took the lead on the restart with Wray and Molleur going side by side for second. Wray won that battle while behind the lead trio was the side by side duo of Leary and Al Saunders racing for fourth place. Saunders took fourth on lap-22 with Leary falling back to fifth, just ahead of Arute in sixth place. Marc Curtis spun and collected Varricchio in turn 2 to bring the caution flag back out with 23 laps complete.
Coury took the lead on the restart with Wray in second. Leary made a 3-wide move to take third place with John Blake coming up to fourth and Adam Gray, who was on pit road under an earlier caution getting a tie-rod welded back together, was up to fifth. Arute spun in turn 3 to bring the caution back out with 24 laps complete.
Coury took the lead back under green with Wray in second. Leary was third in line with Bennett and Al Saunders side by side for fourth and Blake in sixth. The caution came back out with 26 laps complete for spins by Trace Beyer and Armand Cote, Jr.
Coury again took the lead with Wray, Bennett, Leary, Saunders, and Blake lined up behind him. Bennett made a move to the inside of Wray on the final lap to take second but it was all Coury as he took down his first win of the 2021 season. Wray finished third with Leary and Al Saunders rounding out the top-5.
Tyler Chapman and Sullivan went side by side for the lead on the restart with Steven Chapman in third, West in fourth and Bessette and Anglace side by side for fifth place. Sullivan got clear into the lead on lap-8 with Tyler Chapman in second. Steven Chapman and Anglace were now side by side for third with West in fifth place. Anglace made a move to the outside of Tyler Chapman for second but he got hard into the turn 4 wall and suffered heavy damage to his car that brought the caution and red flags out. Also collected in the incident were the cars of Bessette and Alexander Pearl. All 3 drivers were ok.
Sullivan took the lead back under green with brothers Steven and Tyler Chapman now side by side for second. Bob Charland was up to fourth with Derek Debbis cracking into the top-5. Steven Chapman won the duel for second with Charland moving into third to drop Tyler Chapman back to fourth with Debbis still fifth as Sullivan continued to lead the field.
Steven Chapman took a look to the inside of Sullivan for the lead on lap-15 but fell back into line in second. Chris Bagnall brought the caution back out with 15 laps complete as he came to a stop in turn 2 after making contact with the wall.
Sullivan again took the lead on the restart with Steven Chapman and Charland behind him. Debbis and Tyler Chapman were side by side for fourth with Debbis taking fourth one lap after the restart. Charland looked to the inside of Steven Chapman for second as the field came to the white flag but couldn’t make a pass. Sullivan led Steven Chapman to the checkered flag to pick up his second win of the 2021 season. Debbis got around Charland on the final lap to take third with Tyler Chapman rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, Gary Patnode led the field to the green and he took the early lead with Devon Jencik behind him in second. Matt Clement quickly slotted into third with Jeremy Lavoie in fourth and Jay Clement in fifth. Alexandra Fearn was on an early race charge moving up to sixth. She took fifth from Jay Clement on lap-3 while Matt Clement took second from Jencik. Clement’s move opened the door for Lavoie to move into third, Fearn into fourth, and Rich Hammann into fifth as Jencik fell back to sixth.
At the halfway point of the race, Patnode was still in command with Matt Clement following closely behind. Fearn was now in third with Hammann fourth and Lavoie back to fifth. Jencik was still sixth followed by R.J. Surdell, Jay Clement, Matt Scappini, and Damian Palardy.
Fearn and Hammann were able to close down the gap to Patnode and Matt Clement but couldn’t get close enough to make a move a Patnode took down his first win of the 2021 season. Matt Clement finished second with Fearn, Hammann, and Lavoie making up the top-5.
In the 20-lap Street Stock feature event, Bobby Stirk, III took the lead at the start and set the early pace. Tyler Trott was second followed by Nickolas Hovey in third. Bert Ouellette worked his way into fourth on lap-4 and right behind him was Travis Hydar. The caution flew with 6 laps complete for spins in turn 1 by Bill Cote and Joe Fawkes.
Hovey drifted up the track on the restart and he fell back to 9th as Stirk took the lead ahead of Trott and Hydar but the caution came back out with 7 laps complete for a spin in turn 1 by Daltin McCarthy.
Trott took the lead on the restart with Ouellette coming up to second. Adrien Paradis, III was third followed by Chris Meyer, Frank L’Etoile, Jr., Hydar, and Hovey. Stirk faded all the way back to eighth place before he got back in line. Ouellette was starting to apply heavy pressure to Trott for the lead with 5 laps to go but on lap-16 Paradis took second fro Ouellette. That move opened the door for Meyer, L’Etoile, and Hydar to all move up and drop Ouellette back to sixth place.
Paradis took the lead from Trott on lap-19 and he led Trott to the checkered flag to pick up his first career Street Stock win at Stafford. L’Etoile took third by a nose with Hydar fourth and Meyer 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.
Stafford Speedway PR
There have been many memorable moments that have taken place on the backstretch of Bristol Motor Speedway over the years. On Friday night, the dudes from Dude Perfect had a smash-banging good time on the iconic racetrack during their special Chaos at the Colosseum event, which was presented by Food City, Coca-Cola and BODYARMOR.
As part of a night of hilarious comedy, fun challenges and a wide variety of motorsports demonstrations, the dudes filmed a live challenge in front of the more than 15,000 fans who came out to The Last Great Colosseum to enjoy their antics and hi-jinx. It was the first time Dude Perfect has filmed a challenge in front of a live audience and their performance didn’t disappoint.
Four of the members – Tyler Toney, Garrett Hilbert, Cody Jones and Cory Cotton – were joined by Kevin “Sparky” Sparkman, widely considered the “sixth” member of Dude Perfect, to participate in an epic five-car demolition derby on the famed Bristol dirt. The live BMS challenge, which will air in the future on their YouTube channel, had dirt flying as the big sedans careened into each other. You definitely don’t want to miss that challenge once it airs on the Dude Perfect YouTube channel to see how it all turns out as the ending was dramatic and BMS fans played a big role in determining the winner.
The show opened with Tyler Toney, aka “The Beard,” making a grand entrance at the controls of a high-horsepower Monster Truck called The Jester. In a bucket list activity, he performed some of the smaller jumps placed throughout the infield to open things up, then closed the show by climbing back aboard Jester and taking on the biggest jump while fireworks blasted off in the distance. Another monster truck, The Kraken, also put on quite a show for the fans during the event, as it soared high during a freestyle run with plenty of big jumps and skillful pirouettes.
In the dudes’ first competition, all team members were driving Bass Pro Shops TRACKER OFF ROAD side-by-side utility vehicles in the UTV Punt Challenge. A field goal from the 2016 Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol was positioned in the BMS infield and the dudes would drive their UTVs ,which were adorned with special nose-pieces, at speed to try to punt the balls through the goalposts. All of them aced the 10 and 20-yard attempts, but once the 30-yard distance came up only Cory and Coby remained in the challenge. The pair had a thrilling overtime shootout to decide the winner with each one taking several attempts before Cory was able to get a favorable wind and knock his final ball through the uprights.
In another challenge, twins Cory and Coby Cotton participated in a football toss where they tried to get nerf footballs into a large trash can that was positioned inside the motorized Food City Shopping Cart. Coby eventually won the challenge as he lobbed a perfect spiral that bounced off the back side of the cart and into the trash barrel. Earlier a young fan named Max from North Carolina took on several fans and won a similar nerf toss challenge into the Food City cart from a closer distance.
The show featured the high-soaring Team FMX motocross riders, which put on two demonstrations that included many stunts like cliff-hangers, heel-clicks and the fan-favorite backflips. There was also two drifting exhibitions from the cars from East Tennessee Drift that got fans on their feet. At the end of the second drift run, Cory, Garrett and the Dude Perfect mascot, Panda, all jumped into the passenger seats of two of the drift cars and the popular Rat Rod IV drift pickup truck, and had an impromptu drift challenge, which Cory’s car was eventually declared the winner after some intense drifting action.
The beloved Panda also got the crowd going by joining the dudes in shooting Dude Perfect stress balls into the crowd with a Gatlin-gun style gift shooter.
DJ Sterl the Pearl, from the University of Tennessee football team served as the official DJ for the event, mixing up some great jams and keeping the crowed pumped, while Jose Castillo served as the emcee.
Rookie Romain Grosjean led the first practice for the REV Group Grand Prix presented by AMR on Friday afternoon at Road America, continuing his strong pace this season.
Formula One veteran Grosjean’s top lap was 1 minute, 47.6781 seconds in the No. 51 NURTEC ODT Honda fielded by Dale Coyne Racing with RWR on the 14-turn, 4.014-mile road course. Grosjean has qualified in the top seven at four of his five starts in the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season, including the NTT P1 Award for the GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis, as he is contesting only the road and street circuits.
“It’s a good start,” Grosjean said. “The track is very different from when we came testing. I think we’ve got some work to do on setup. We managed to get a good lap in at the end. That’s good for the race weekend.”
The second practice starts at 11:10 a.m. (ET) Saturday (live on Peacock), followed by NTT P1 Award qualifying on Peacock at 2:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday, with delayed coverage at midnight Saturday on NBCSN. Final practice is live on Peacock at 5:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday.
Live coverage of the 55-lap race starts at noon (ET) Sunday on NBCSN and the INDYCAR Radio Network.
2012 NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, looking to put a tough first half of the season behind him, was second fastest at 1:47.8024 in the No. 28 DHL Honda. Hunter-Reay is 15th in the series standings after eight of 16 races.
Two-time series champion Josef Newgarden was third overall at 1:47.8417 in the No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet.
Alex Palou, just one point behind Pato O’Ward for the series points lead, was fourth at 1:47.8515 in the No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Graham Rahal rounded out the top five at 1:48.0938 in the No. 15 Hy-Vee Honda.
Championship leader O’Ward was 11th at 1:48.4251 in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet. His new teammate this weekend, Formula One veteran Kevin Magnussen, was 23rd at 1:50.4921 in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet in his first-ever laps in an INDYCAR SERIES car.
Magnussen is substituting for Felix Rosenqvist, who was not cleared to drive at this event by INDYCAR medical officials after a heavy crash last Saturday in Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual at Detroit.
Another pinch-hitter, Oliver Askew, impressed in his second new ride in as many weeks. Askew was ninth at 1:48.3000 in the No. 21 Direct Supply Chevrolet fielded by Ed Carpenter Racing while substituting for Rinus VeeKay, who suffered a broken clavicle in a cycling accident Monday.
2019 Indy Lights champion Askew substituted for Rosenqvist for Arrow McLaren SP last Sunday in Race 2 at Detroit, placing 25th in an early exit due to mechanical problems during his first start of the season.
Air temperatures were in the mid-to-high 80s under brilliant sunshine in Wisconsin, but engineers and drivers will be forced to work overtime as conditions look to change Saturday and Sunday. The forecast calls for high temperatures in the mid-70s, with morning rain, on Saturday and similar temperatures and afternoon rain Sunday.
“I think the weather is going to be changing here, so we just need to adapt to that,” Grosjean said. “As a rookie, I don’t know what that means for the car. I guess you find out.”
NTT IndyCar Series PR
The NASCAR Foundation Partners with Nashville Superspeedway on Speediatrics Fun Day Festival for Boys & Girls Clubs of Rutherford County
Today, The NASCAR Foundation partnered with Nashville Superspeedway to host its first Speediatrics Fun Day Festival with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee, providing special programming for children. This is the first Speediatrics Fun Day Festival held at a racetrack since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This NASCAR-themed Speediatrics Fun Day Festival is the highlight of a two-week program designed to inspire more than 125 children to lead a healthy lifestyle. In addition to learning about healthy living habits through the lens of NASCAR, children participated in NASCAR-themed field day activities such as a Goodyear Tire Race, Champ’s Looking for Lug Nuts, Chase’s Gas Can Relay, Safety Sam’s Stop & Go Relay and Pit Stop Pete’s Puzzling Placement to encourage them to stay active while having fun.
“This was so exciting to be in the Nashville Community and working with Nashville Superspeedway for the first time. The children with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Rutherford County were fantastic,” said Nichole Krieger, The NASCAR Foundation Executive Director. “Our Speediatrics Fun Day Festivals are a really fun way for us to connect with children and help communicate the importance of their overall health and wellness.”
The festival is one of eight events to be held in race markets across the country as part of The NASCAR Foundation’s Speediatrics Children’s Fund, a program that supports needs expressed by hospitals, specialty clinics, camps, and others providing children's medical and healthcare services.
As part of the two-week programming provided, students attending Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee participated in a video call on June 15 with Nashville Superspeedway President Erik Moses and NASCAR Cup Series driver Tyler Reddick. On Thursday, the Nashville Superspeedway pace car was on display at the club locations and the children decorated a welcome banner that will be displayed at the speedway this weekend during the Ally 400 NASCAR Cup Series race.
“We’re honored to host a NASCAR Foundation Fun Day Festival here at Nashville Superspeedway leading up to our Father’s Day Weekend tripleheader,” said Erik Moses, Nashville Superspeedway’s president. “The NASCAR Foundation does incredible work throughout the season to promote healthy, active lifestyles for children around the country and we’re excited that so many Middle Tennessee youngsters are taking advantage of this opportunity.”
For more information about The NASCAR Foundation, its programs or how to donate, visit NASCARfoundation.org.
Dover Motorsports PR
Kody Swanson recorded a podium finish of second in the special “Thursday Night Thunder Homecoming” sprint car feature Thursday night at Lucas Oil Raceway in the Doran Racing No. 77 sponsored by Glenn Farms.
The event paid homage to the “Thursday Night Thunder” TV shows of years past and also to one of the stars of those shows, four-time NASCAR Cup champion Jeff Gordon.
Swanson, of Indianapolis, started third in the 40-lap feature in the Doran Racing Beast, which is based in Lebanon, Ohio and is powered by a Binks-prepped Chevy V8. He got under Derek Bischak, who started second beside polesitter Bobby Santos III, before they reached Turn 1 on the first lap to take over second place. Then he chased Santos, the eventual winner, the rest of the race.
Swanson cut the gap to Santos by 0.521 of a second from laps 20 through 24, as he was 0.967 behind on lap 20 but only 0.446 behind on lap 24. At that point there was a yellow flag that turned into a red flag due to a crash between Turns 1 and 2 involving the driver who was running fourth at the time, Taylor Ferns, and Don Hamilton. Luckily neither was hurt. On the restart Santos was able to pad his lead again, however.
Swanson was 0.952 of a second behind Santos at the checkered, and 0.909 of a second ahead of the third-place finisher, Billy Wease. Bischak and Dakoda Armstrong rounded out the top five in the 16-car field.
Like Swanson, Ferns and Wease passed Bischak on the first lap too. Ferns held third for seven laps. Bischak got fourth from Wease on lap six, and passed Ferns for third on lap eight. Wease passed Bischak for third on lap 35, but none of them ever posed a serious threat to Swanson in second.
Swanson set the second-fastest lap of the race with a 21.150 to Santos’s 20.977 as they sped around the 0.686-mile asphalt oval. The top-two finishers both set their fastest race lap on lap four.
The race was broadcast live on FloRacing.com.
"You know, it's tough to come up short when I know how badly we all wanted to win,” Swanson said. “But it wasn't for a lack of effort, and I want to thank everyone on the Doran Racing team for all of their hard work, and our sponsors for their support.
“We've got a great team, and they continued to work on the car all day. We made improvements with each change, but ultimately didn’t end up where we wanted.
“Early in the race I knew it was going to be tough to keep up, and started trying to move around the track to find a faster line. On that longer run through the middle of the race I had started to wonder if I was at least matching pace better, and then that red came out.
“I don't think that time we sat under the red flag necessarily helped us any, but that's just part of how races play out sometimes. I really don't know if I'd have been able to close on Bobby if we'd have stayed green, but after that red we lost some of what we had working on the run before, and he was really able to pull away from us to the end.
“Congratulations to Bobby and his team; they did a great job.
“Thanks to Lucas Oil Raceway for bringing an event like this back, and to all of the fans who came out to see us or watched it on Flo. I'm looking forward to our next chance to try again!"
Qualifying was based on each car’s combined time over two laps. After the field was given the opportunity to compete in the first round, the teams were given the option to scrub that run and try again. The Doran Racing squad decided to go for it and moved up one position, from fourth to third, in the starting lineup for their efforts.
Doran Racing’s next event will be the USAC Silver Crown race at Madison International Raceway in Oregon, Wis., on Friday, June 25.
For more information please see DoranRacing.com.
Doran Racing PR
With the U.S./Canadian border still closed due to COVID-19, Super DIRTcar and track officials have been forced to delay or cancel three events scheduled in Canada.
The affected tour stops are Sunday, June 27, at Cornwall Motor Speedway, Monday, June 28, at Le RPM Speedway, and Monday, July 25, at Ohsweken Speedway.
The events at RPM and Ohsweken will be moved to 2022 as both tracks have expressed that they want the stars and cars of the Super DIRTcar Series back in front of their fans. Cornwall is being postponed for now with a possible Sunday date later this summer.
“While it’s been a whole lot easier holding Series events here in the States, Canada has been another story,” said Super DIRTcar Series Director Dean Reynolds. “Even if the border opens, we still don’t know what the parameters are for race teams looking to cross. It’s such a juggling act but the Series, the teams, and the tracks need time to prepare so the hand was forced to make the moves.
“Canada is so important in the whole DIRTcar picture. We have several tracks in Canada and many competitors that race weekly who also like to come to the States and race marquee events like NAPA Super DIRT Week,” Reynolds noted. “I told them just like last year, you will have your dates again in 2022 if you still would like to hold an event. That was an energetic yes! Heck, Ohsweken owner Glenn Stryres even bought a modified to race himself!”
Super DIRTcar Series officials and track promoters are working closely together and keeping an eye on future border regulations to see if new dates for those events can be scheduled.
Follow the Super DIRTcar Series at SuperDIRTcarSeries.com as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for future updates.
The stars of the Super DIRTcar Series return to action at Albany-Saratoga Speedway for the Horsepower 100 on Tuesday, June 22 where Matt Sheppard, Mat Williamson, Billy Decker, and the rest of the stars and cars of the Series will battle for $7,500-to-win.
Super DIRTcar Series PR
The following is a statement from Spire Motorsports co-owners Jeff Dickerson and T.J. Puchyr following today’s announcement that Justin Haley will compete full time in the NASCAR Cup Series with Kaulig Racing in 2022:
“Earlier today, Kaulig Racing announced that it would field a full-time NASCAR Cup Series entry for Justin Haley in 2022. Above all, we’d like to congratulate Justin and Matt Kaulig for their exciting news. Justin is one of the most talented young drivers in the sport. We’re thrilled that he has an opportunity to compete full time for a playoff-caliber team. Matt Kaulig will bring new ownership and new enthusiasm to the NASCAR Cup Series garage.
“NASCAR has created a valuable charter model and we’re grateful to the sanctioning body and all the owners who have come before us. Without team owners like the Wood Brothers, Richard Petty, Rick Hendrick, Chip Ganassi, Joe Gibbs and Barney Visser, for whom we all have the highest respect, the charter system would not be the valuable and sustainable business model it has evolved into.
“Spire Motorsports will sell two of its three charters to Kaulig Racing. We will continue to field the No. 7 with Corey LaJoie as a chartered entry in 2022. We remain committed to NASCAR and the Cup Series and we will continue to look for opportunities to grow and compete in the future.”
Spire Motorsports PR