Rocco & Leary Score NAPA Fall Final Wins At Stafford Speedway; Rocco & Reen Clinch Track Championships
STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – Stafford Motor Speedway concluded its 2017 NASCAR racing season with feature events for the SK Modified® and Late Model divisions as part of its NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final Weekend. Taking down feature wins were Keith Rocco in the SK Modified® feature and Tyler Leary in the Late Model feature. Rocco’s victory clinched the 2017 SK Modified® track championship while Glen Reen became the Late Model champion with a 5th place finish in the Late Model feature.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, a melee broke out right at the start with Josh Wood turning into the frontstretch wall with Glen Reen, Austin Pickens, Tom Bolles, and Tyler Hines also involved to bring the caution out before a lap could be completed.
Todd Owen took the lead on the restart with Glen Reen and Tony Membrino, Jr. side by side for second. Rowan Pennink was fourth with Michael Gervais, Jr. and Matt Galko fighting for fifth. Reen took second and Pennink moved into third on lap-3. Reen pulled alongside Owen for the lead on lap-5 with Membrino and Pennink side by side for third and Gervais and Galko side by side for fifth. The caution came out with 8 laps complete as Membrino spun coming off of turn 4 which collected several other cars.
Reen and Owen were side by side for the lead back under green with Pennink and Gervais side by side for third and Galko was side by side with Ronnie Williams for fifth. Owen got clear into the lead on lap-11 with Gervais now on the outside of Reen in a fight for second with Pennink and Williams side by side for fourth.
Gervais made a move to the inside of Owen and he took over the race lead at the line on lap-14. Ryan Preece’s car dropped off the pace on lap-15 and the yellow came out with 16 laps complete as Pennink’s car erupted in a plume of smoke from underneath the hood of his #99 machine.
Williams powered into the lead on the restart with Keith Rocco coming up to second. Rocco made a move to the inside of Williams to take the lead on lap-18 but Williams came back strong and the two cars raced side by side before Williams got clear back to the lead on lap-19. Rocco then retook the lead on lap-20 with a move in turns 3+4. Chase Dowling was up to third with Owen in fourth and Gervais was in fifth.
Gervais was challenging Owen for fourth place on lap-24 and he took the spot with a move in turn 4. With 12 laps to go, Rocco was still in command but Williams was looking high and low for a way to get by and Dowling was right on the back bumper of Williams with Gervais closing on the lead trio of cars. Curt Brainard spun in the middle of turns 3+4 to bring the caution out with 9 laps to go.
Rocco took the lead back under green with Dowling nearly making a 3-wide move in turns 1+2. Williams slotted into second with Dowling and Gervais side by side for third. Williams got loose and Dowling took second with Owen taking third and Galko moving up to fourth with Williams sliding back to fifth as the field completed 35 laps with Rocco in command of the race.
Rocco led Dowling to the checkered flag to pick up his second consecutive win of the 2017 season. Owen finished third with Galko and Gervais rounding out the top-5. Rocco’s win also made him the 2017 SK Modified® track champion for the third time in his career.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature, Tom Butler took the lead at the green flag with Tyler Leary pulling alongside Matt Vassar for second. Leary took second on lap-2 with Darrell Keane in fourth and Tom Fearn was up to fifth. Butler’s car got loose and Leary took the lead on lap-5 with Vassar, Keane Fearn, and Mike Quintiliano all moving into second through fifth as Butler slid back to ninth.
Fearn went by Keane to take over third on lap-8 as Leary continued to lead Vassar with Keane, Quintiliano, Kevin Gambacorta, and Glen Reen lined up behind Fearn. Chase Cook spun in turn 3 to bring the caution out with 16 laps complete and erase the large lead that Leary had built up.
Leary took the lead on the restart with Fearn moving into second. Vassar was third with Quintiliano and Gambacorta right behind him in fourth and fifth. Quintiliano took third from Vassar on lap-25 as Leary was pulling away from Fearn. Leary led Fearn to the checkered flag to pick up his second win of the 2017 season. Quintiliano finished third with Vassar and Gambacorta rounding out the top-5. Following the race, Quintiliano refused technical inspection and he was disqualified from his third place finish, moving Vassar to third, Gambacorta to fourth, and Reen to fifth. With the 5th place finish, Reen clinched the 2017 Late Model track championship.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.
SK MODIFIED® (40)
1) Keith Rocco, Berlin
2) Chase Dowling, Roxbury
3) Todd Owen, Somers
4) Matt Galko, Meriden
5) Michael Gervais, Jr., Southbury
6) Ronnie Williams, Tolland
7) Stephen Kopcik, Newtown
8) Josh Wood, Palmer, Ma
9) Cam McDermott, Canterbury
10) Dan Avery, Somers
11) Marcello Rufrano, North Haven
12) Sean Foster, Willington
13) Eric Berndt, Cromwell
14) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, Ma
15) Troy Talman, Oxford, Ma
16) Austin Pickens, Orlando, Fl
17) Frank Ruocco, Cheshire
18) Tommy Membrino, Jr., Prospect
19) Curt Brainard, Canton
20) Ryan Preece, Berlin
21) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa
22) Tony Membrino, Jr., Plantsville
23) Tom Bolles, Ellington
24) Tyler Hines, North Haven
LATE MODEL (30)
1) Tyler Leary, Hatfield, Ma
2) Tom Fearn, East Longmeadow, Ma
3) Matt Vassar, Plantsville
4) Kevin Gambacorta, Ellington
5) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, Ma
6) Darrell Keane, Enfield
7) Paul Arute, Tolland
8) Michael Wray, Northford
9) Tom Butler, Stafford Springs
10) Eric Finkbein, Jr., Manchester
11) Mike Mordino, Southington
12) Chase Cook, Oakdale
13) Rich Hammann, Tolland
14) Peter Thickett, Bethlehem
15) Andy Marchese, Tolland
16) Paul Varricchio, Jr., Berlin
17) Wayne Coury, Sr., Shelton
DQ) Mike Quintiliano, Shelton