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Stafford Speedway hosted the Whelen Modified Tour for the NAPA Auto Parts 150 with the SK Lights, Limited Late Models, and Vintage All-Stars also in feature action. Derek Debbis scored his 7th win of the 2021 season in the SK Light feature, Mike Hopkins took down his second win of the 2021 season in the Limited Late Model feature, and Ben Levangie won the Vintage All-Stars feature with a last lap pass.
In the 20-lap SK Light feature event, Tyler Barry took the lead at the drop of the green flag with Meghan Fuller right behind him in second. Amanda West and Chris Matthews were side by side for third with Nick Anglace and Tyler Chapman side by side for fifth. West and Fuller slid backwards on lap-7 as Matthews moved up to second, Tyler Chapman third, Anglace fourth, and Alexander Pearl fifth. Fuller fell back to ninth place and West faded back to eleventh place. The caution came out with 10 laps complete for Geoff Boisjolie, who came to a stop on the frontstretch infield.
Matthews took the lead on the restart with Tyler Chapman taking second. Pearl was looking to take third, but his car got loose in turn 2 which bottlenecked the field behind him and saw Casey Vogt spin to bring the caution flag back out with 11 laps complete.
Matthews again took the lead back under green with Pearl taking second. Tyler Chapman was third in line with Derek Debbis fourth and Barry fifth. Nick Halkowicz spun coming out of turn 4 to bring the caution back out with 13 laps complete.
Matthews continued to hold the lead on the restart with Tyler Chapman moving up to second. Pearl was third but he was able to get around Chapman on lap-15 to move into second. Debbis followed him by to take third and drop Chapman back to fourth, just in front of Barry. The caution came back out with 17 laps complete as Alina Bryden ended up against the turn 4 wall with several other cars spinning.
Matthews took the lead with Debbis getting by Pearl to move up to second on the restart. Tyler Chapman was fourth in line with Brian Sullivan in fifth. Debbis got into the back of Matthews as they took the white flag but Matthews was able to stay out front. Debbis took the lead from Matthews in turns 3+4 coming to the checkered flag and he picked up his seventh win of the 2021 season. Matthews finished second with Pearl, Tyler Chapman, and Sullivan rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, R.J. Surdell led the field to the green but Ari Jencik took the lead on the opening lap. Mike Hopkins went around Surdell on lap-2 to move into second with Matt Clement and Rich Hammann lined up behind Surdell. Alexandra Fearn was on the charge, moving up to fifth by lap-5 after starting at the rear of the field. Clement slid back to sixth place while Hammann was up to fourth.
Hammann went by Surdell on lap-9 to move into third and Fearn followed him by Surdell on lap-10 to move up to fourth and drop Surdell back to fifth place. The caution flag came out with 12 laps complete as Gary Patnode had a flat right front tire and rode the frontstretch wall until he came to a stop at the entrance of turn 1.
Ari Jencik took the lead back under green with Hopkins settling into second after taking a look for the lead. Hammann was third with Fearn in fourth and Surdell in fifth. Jeremy Lavoie got by Surdell to move into fifth on lap-18 and lap-19 saw Hopkins take the lead from Jencik. Jencik slid back to fourth place as Hammann moved into second and Fearn took third place. Jencik got into the turn 1 wall to bring the caution out with 19 laps complete and set up a green white checkered finish.
Hopkins took the lead with Hammann, Fearn, Lavoie, and Clement lined up behind him. That is the way they came to the checkered flag as Hopkins took down his second win of the 2021 season.
In the 15-lap Vintage All-Stars feature event, Ben Levangie took the lead at the green but Jim Lowrey streaked into the lead before the first lap was completed. Boots Jasinsksi was third in line followed by Glen Billings and Mark Miller.
Lowrey and Levangie were pulling away from Jasinski in third while simultaneously putting on a great race for the lead. With laps to go, it was still Lowrey and Levangie nose to tail for the lead with Jasinski, Miller, and Wade Gagner making up the top-5.
The duel for the lead lasted all the way to the final lap where Levangie got around Lowrey and took the checkered flag to back up his Vintage All-Stars feature win from the NAPA Spring Sizzler back in April at Stafford. Jasinski finished third with Gagner and Miller 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
Justin Bonsignore Wins NAPA Auto Parts 150 at Stafford Speedway and Clinches 2021 Whelen Modified Tour Championship
Stafford Motor Speedway welcomed the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour to Stafford Speedway for its third and final visit of the 2021 season on Friday, September 25 for the NAPA Auto Parts 150.
Anthony Nocella took the early race lead from pole position while Justin Bonsignore slid from second at the start back to fifth place as Jon McKennedy took second, Doug Coby third, and Craig Lutz fourth. With 20 laps complete, the top-3 remained the same while Bonsignore worked his way around Lutz to take over fourth place and drop Lutz back to fifth.
By lap-35 Coby was starting to apply heavy pressure to McKennedy in a fight for second place. Coby took several looks to the inside of McKennedy, but McKennedy was able to hold Coby off and maintain second place. Coby was finally able to make a passing move on McKennedy on lap-54 to move into second as Nocella continued to lead the race. Bonsignore followed Coby past McKennedy to move into third place and drop McKennedy back to fourth with Woody Pitkat now in fifth just behind McKennedy.
Eric Goodale got by McKennedy to take over fifth place on lap-64, several laps after Pitkat had taken fourth from McKennedy as Nocella was still in the lead, but he now had Coby and Bonsignore right behind him in a 3-car train for the lead.
Bonsignore worked his way to the inside of Coby for second lnlap-69 but a lapped car prevented him from completing the pass. Bonsignore again got to the inside of Coby on lap-70 and this time he was able to complete the pass for second. Pitkat and Goodale were both closing in on the lead trio to make it a 5-way fight for the race lead. Bonsignore was now applying heavy pressure to Nocella on lap-74 and he was able to make a pass to take the lead from Nocella on lap-78. Pitkat took third from Coby on lap-79 with Goodale still in fifth.
With 90 laps complete the running order was Bonsignore followed by Pitkat, Coby, Lutz, and Goodale. Rounding out the top-10 was Nocella, Ronnie Silk, Matt Swanson, Joey Cipriano, and Ronnie Williams.
The first caution flew on lap-130 for debris on the track with Bonsignore still in the lead with Pitkat, Coby, Lutz, and Goodale making up the top-5. Bonsignore led the field on to pit road on lap-132 and he won the race off of pit road followed by Swanson, Coby, Goodale, Pitkat, Lutz, Patrick Emerling, Williams, Kyle Bonsignore, and Tyler Rypkema.
The race went back to green on lap-137 with Bonsignore taking the lead followed by Coby and Swanson. Nocella was back up to fourth and Emerling was fifth. Nocella went by Swanson on lap-138 to take third and Emerling followed him through to take fourth and drop Swanson back to fifth. Swanson spun in turn 2 with several other cars collected on lap-146 to bring the caution back out and set up a green white checkered finish.
The lap-151 restart saw Coby briefly edge in front for the lead but Bonsignore was back in the lead to take the white flag. Bonsignore led Coby to the checkered flag to end an 0 for 40 streak at Stafford and clinch the 2021 Whelen Modified Tour championship in grand style. Emerling finished third with Kyle Bonsignore and Lutz rounding out the top-5.
Stafford Speedway PR
Following post-race inspection of the Friday, September 24, 2021 SK Modified® feature at Stafford Motor Speedway, the first place finisher Stephen Kopcik and third place finisher Jon Puleo have been disqualified from the finishing order, making Todd Owen the race winner.
Both the #21 car of Kopcik and the #7 car of Puleo were penalized due to not meeting rule 20E – 12.3 Coil Over Shocks.
#21 SK Modified - Illegal Parts, Parts did not meet rule: 20E - 12.3 Coil Over Shocks per the Stafford Speedway SK Modified rulebook
#7 SK Modified - Illegal Parts, Parts did not meet rule: 20E - 12.3 Coil Over Shocks per the Stafford Speedway SK Modified rulebook
Please see below a revised finishing order for the Friday, September 24, 2021 SK Modified® feature event.
SK MODIFIED® (40)
1) Todd Owen, Somers
2) Keith Rocco, Berlin
3) David Arute, Stafford Springs
4) Michael Christopher, Jr., Wolcott
5) Noah Korner, Avon
6) Ronnie Williams, Tolland
7) Cory DiMatteo, Farmington
8) Woody Pitkat, Bellingham, MA
9) Michael Gervais, Jr., Wolcott
10) Bryan Narducci, Colchester
11) Doug Meservey, Jr., Chatham, MA
12) Matt Swanson, Acton, MA
13) Andrew Molleur, Shelton
14) Marcello Rufrano, North Haven
15) Anthony Flannery, East Hampton
16) Troy Talman, Oxford, MA
17) Dylan Kopec, Feeding Hills, MA
18) Matt Vassar, Berlin
19) Daniel Wesson, Monson, MA
20) Tyler Hines, North Haven
21) John Montesanto, North Branford
22) P.J. Peters, Oxford
23) Curt Brainard, Canton
24) Fran Siana, Enfield
For more information, visit www.staffordspeedway.com, checkout Stafford Speedway on Facebook or Twitter, or contact the track office at 860-684-2783.
Stafford Speedway PR
One down, two to go: The miracle is still alive for Josef Newgarden.
Newgarden, who needs a perfect weekend in the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach to have any chance of winning his third NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship, kept his narrow chances afloat in the shadow of the Queen Mary ocean liner by winning the NTT P1 Award for the season-ending race on the Streets of Long Beach. Newgarden entered this race 48 points behind leader Alex Palou and needed to win the pole today and win the race and lead the most laps Sunday to have any chance to hoist the Astor Challenge Cup.
Team Penske driver Newgarden led the Firestone Fast Six with a top lap of 1 minute, 8.2241 in the No. 2 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet to earn his series-leading fourth NTT P1 Award of the season. His best lap came on his final trip around the 11-turn, 1.968-mile street circuit.
The pole came after Newgarden qualified 18th on Sept. 14 at Portland and 17th last Saturday at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca despite showing impressive speed in practice.
“I was pretty much screaming that whole last lap,” Newgarden said. “I’m so happy. It’s been a little bit demoralizing the last couple of weekends with where we qualified. We’ve had really good cars. To start where we’ve started these last couple of races, it’s just taken the life out of me a little bit.
“I’m so pumped we were able to be quick here. I think we’ve got the package, for sure, with Team Chevy. We’ve accomplished our job for today. Now we have to go after tomorrow.”
Live coverage of the 85-lap race starts at 3 p.m. (ET) Sunday on NBCSN and the INDYCAR Radio Network. A 30-minute warmup starts at noon (ET), live on Peacock Premium.
Palou must finish 12th or better – or 13th or better if he leads a lap – to clinch his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship in the No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. He’ll start 10th on the grid after a dramatic end to the round of 12 in qualifying in which a handful of drivers, including Palou and closest title rival Pato O’Ward, on fast final laps were forced to slow due to a local yellow flag for an incident involving Will Power.
Newgarden’s only chance to win the title is to win and lead the most laps Sunday, with Palou finishing 25th or worse in the 28-car field.
“It’s very improbable for us to win this championship,” Newgarden said. “So, our goal is to win the race tomorrow. Let’s finish our season on a high note, and we’ll see what happens. I think it’s pretty unlikely, but you never say never in this sport.”
The other title contender, O’Ward, will start eighth in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet.
O’Ward is second in the standings, 35 points behind Palou. Like Newgarden, O’Ward needs to win Sunday and have Palou finish 25th or lower. He also could claim his first title by finishing second and earning at least one bonus point for leading a lap, if Palou finishes 25th or lower.
Six-time and reigning series champion Scott Dixon will join Newgarden on the front row after qualifying second at 1:08.4422 in the No. 9 PNC Bank Grow Up Great Honda.
Four-time Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge winner Helio Castroneves qualified third at 1:08.4827 in the No. 06 Meyer Shank Racing Honda, easily the best start of his partial season. Castroneves’ previous best start was eighth for the Indy 500, which he won. His best start in four previous road or street course races this season was 15th at Nashville.
Joining Castroneves on the second row will be 2016 series champion Simon Pagenaud, whose best lap was 1:08,6514 in the No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet.
Felix Rosenqvist qualified fifth at 1:08.7461 in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, while rookie Romain Grosjean rounded out the Firestone Fast Six at 1:08.7577 in the No. 51 Nurtec ODT Honda.
Drama gripped the paddock and grandstands from the first round of NTT P1 Award qualifying and never relented.
Colton Herta, quickest in both practice sessions this weekend, was eliminated from the first round of qualifying and will start 14th. Herta hit the concrete retaining wall with the left side of his No. 26 Gainbridge Honda late in the second group while running on Firestone primary “black” tires. He came to the pits for a set of Firestone alternate “red” tires, but the toe link suspension piece bent by the earlier contact broke on his final flying lap on “reds,” and he was forced to abandon the run.
“It was a handful until it wasn’t bent anymore and just broke,” Herta said. “It was my fault, unfortunately. It will make for an interesting race, though. We’re starting 14th and have two sets of new reds. Could be a good thing, a charge to the front tomorrow.”
Another flashpoint came at the end of the Firestone Fast 12, when Power slowed to a stop in Turn 10 after clipping the wall in his No. 12 Verizon 5G Team Penske Chevrolet, triggering a local yellow flag. O’Ward, Palou and a handful of other drivers on fast laps were forced by the rules to slow in that area, and Ed Jones lost his fast lap in the No. 18 SealMaster Honda that would have put him in the Firestone Fast Six after officials judged he didn’t slow for the local yellow.
NTT IndyCar Series PR
2020 Pettit Shootout champion Bobby Hogge IV of Salinas started off the 2021 edition with a bang, taking the $1003-to-win Friday night victory at the eleventh running of the IMCA Modified classic at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville. Hogge’s win in the 33-lapper was one of three winners on the night with over 100 cars competing.
Side-by-side battling at the start of the feature ended with Prunedale’s Tim Balding leading lap one. Fast-time qualifier Paul Stone of Winton drove up to second by lap six. Three-wide action for fifth developed including Hogge and 2021 Ocean Speedway champion Cody Burke. Tenth-starting Hogge emerged in fifth by lap nine. A caution flew for 21st starting Rick Diaz and Oakley’s Troy Foulger tangling in turn two. Diaz returned after replacing a flat left rear tire. Hogge charged up the inside to enter a two-by-two battle for the lead. Stone took over the lead from Balding on lap 13.
Hogge took over third on lap 14 then was up to second by lap 15. 14th starting Jim Pettit II was also on the move, advancing to sixth by lap 17. Hogge looked inside of Stone for the point, then went outside, clearing him on lap 20 for the top position. They entered lapped traffic just one lap later. 2017 Ocean Speedway champion Nick Decarlo spun from third for a caution on lap 21, then had contact again on the restart with JC Elrod to end Decarlo’s night prematurely.
Pettit mounted a charge to pass Balding on the outside for third. Hogge grabbed the victory over Stone, Pettit, Balding, and Foulger. Decarlo was declared the Hard Luck driver while Hard Charger honors went to Rick Diaz who finished ninth.
Frazier Park’s Cale Kanke earned his breakthrough IMCA Sport Modified win in the 23-lap, $503-to-win feature. Bakersfield’s Nick Spainhoward took the lead on the outside from 2020 Antioch champion Trevor Clymens. Clymens then spun which collected Tracy’s KC Keller and 2018 Ocean Speedway champion Jim DiGiovanni.
Kanke used the outside to drive in to second place then started showing his nose inside of Spainhoward. Kanke tried the inside on at least three occasions in lapped traffic, finally passing Spainhoward on lap 13. Spainhoward fought back on the top to lead laps 14 and 15. The side-by-side action concluded with Kanke taking over on lap 16. Kanke topped Spainhoward, seven-time Ocean Speedway 2021 winner Fred Ryland of Brentwood, 2021 Ocean champion Randy Miller of San Jose, and Oakley’s Andrew Pearce. Hard Luck honors went to Andrew Peckham of Grass Valley while Keller came back to finish seventh to earn the Hard Charger.
Watsonville’s Billy Nelson led all 23-laps for the Hobby Stock triumph on Friday night. Ballico’s Dexter Long suffered a flat tire while running third on lap three. 2021 Ocean Speedway champion Joe Gallaher spun on lap 15 in turn two for a caution flag.
Galt’s Les Friend used the inside line to move into second position in only his second race in his new Hobby Stock. Nelson won by 2.936 seconds over Friend. DJ Keldsen won a race-long battle with Terry Campion for third with Joe Willoughby finishing fifth. Dos Palos’ Ryan Hart won the Hard Charger with an eighth place finish from 19th on the grid, while Long was deemed the Hard Luck driver.
The 11th Pettit Shootout concludes Saturday night at Ocean Speedway including the 53-lap, $3003-to-win IMCA Modified feature plus action for the IMCA Sport Modifieds and Hobby Stocks. Drivers meeting is set for 2:45 with a complete night of IMCA Modified qualifying, heat races, B-Mains, and features to follow. Tickets are available at the gate with more details at www.OceanSpeedway.com
Ocean Speedway PR
Joey Gase & Nevada Donor Network to Honor Local Donor Heroes and Their Families During the South Point 400 NASCAR Cup Series Race
This weekend, for the South Point 400 NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, one car holds very special meaning. The images and/or names of 5 local organ donor heroes will adorn Joey Gase’s Nevada Donor Network car. In 2011, Gase’s mother, Mary, died of a brain aneurysm and helped save and heal the lives of 66 people as an organ, eye and tissue donor. Nevada Donor Network and Gase have partnered together since 2013 to promote the gift of life and health through donation by honoring local heroes and their courageous families each time he races at LVMS. Below is the list of our incredible honorees.
Several Hand Prints of Hope with messages written by families of heroic donors will also be displayed on Gase’s vehicle, including, but not limited to:
Bridgette Laney’s tribute reads “Life isn’t forever, but we can help others live longer!”
These special honoree tributes and messages of hope are intended to inspire Nevadans to say
‘YES’ to registering as an organ, eye and tissue donor. We all have the power to bring hope to the nearly 600 Nevadans and over 100,000 Americans in need of a lifesaving organ transplant. Visit www.nvdonor.org to learn more and register as a hero today.
“I am so thankful to Nevada Donor Network for teaming up with us this weekend so we can not only race, but, more importantly, raise awareness for organ, eye and tissue donation and honor all of these incredible heroes,” said Gase.
Joey Gase PR