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** CORRECTED ** June 30 Stafford Speedway Results Story
Jul 3, 2006 - updated Jul 3rd, 2006 11:07pm
Web posted by Scott Running

Stafford Springs, CT --

Ryan Posocco Wins 12Th Annual Asb Late Model 100; Todd Owen, Richie Pallai, Jr., & Lori-Jo Rzeszutek Score Feature Wins

Stafford Springs, CT.

The Late Models took center stage at Stafford Motor Speedway this past Friday night for the 12th annual American Sleeve Bearing Late Model 100. Ryan Posocco was the big winner of the 100-lapper, recovering from an early race spin to drive back through the field under a prolonged green flag run. Todd Owen was the winner of the SK Modified® feature, while there were two first-time winners in the SK Lights and DARE Stocks. Richie Pallai, Jr. captured his first career win in the SK Light feature, while Lori-Jo Rzeszutek scored her first career victory in the DARE Stock feature. The Limited Late Model feature was tentatively rescheduled to Tuesday, July 4th due to time constraints. The 12th annual American Sleeve Bearing Late Model 100 took the green flag with the leaders settling into line as they knew the race was 100-laps long, and they would need to save their equipment for later in the race. Ed Ricard held the early race lead in the #77 AA Budget Repair Chevrolet, with John Warren sitting in second in the #55 Neco Systems Chevrolet. Tom Fearn was third in the #92 JV III Construction Chevrolet, Scott Foster, Jr. was fourth in the #44 Infoshred, LLC. Chevrolet, and Todd Owen was fifth in the #90 Cliff Nelson Motorsports Chevrolet. The running order remained the same until the first of several caution flags flew with 18 laps complete for Bobby Leone and Brad Boissonneault, who spun and hit the turn 2 wall. The restart saw contact between Woody Pitkat and Charlie Christoforo, which sent Christoforo spinning and collected the cars of Wayne Coury, Jr., Michael Bennett, and J.J. Hill in turn 3. The next restart attempt saw Ricard not come up to speed while Rick Lanagan spun through the frontstretch grass and the car of Hill stalling out in turn 1 to bring the yellow back out.

The race restarted with Ricard taking the lead, while the car of Warren was drastically off the pace and he pulled to the inside and behind the wall, finished for the evening. Fearn was now second behind Ricard and he was hounding Ricard for the lead. Fearn was finally to make a pass for the lead on lap-28. Fearn’s pass opened the door for both Foster and the #7 JMR Chassis & Fabrication Chevrolet of Mike Quintiliano to move past Ricard, dropping him back to fourth after leading the first 27 laps. Ricard’s strong run ended on lap-40 when his car dropped off the pace going down the backstretch and pulled behind the wall. Ricard’s misfortune moved Owen into fourth and the #3 Eagle Leasing Chevrolet of Ryan Posocco up into fifth. Posocco had recovered from early race troubles as he and the car of Brad Boissonneault made contact back on lap-16, which resulted in Posocco getting loose and having to drive through the grass in turns 3+4, losing several positions and rejoining the action. Fearn and Foster were beginning to stretch their advantage over the rest of the field, and with Fearn beginning to encounter lapped traffic, Foster was closing in on Fearn’s bumper. Fearn held the lead until lap-59 when Foster made a move underneath Fearn in turn 1 to take over the lead. Quintiliano followed Foster past Fearn, dropping Fearn back to third in the running order.

Several laps later, Fearn would lose the fourth spot to Posocco, who moved past Fearn on lap-63. Posocco had the fastest car on the track at this stage of the race, and he was slowly lap after lap closing the gap to Foster and Quintiliano. After being a full straightaway behind Fearn in third place, Posocco had closed the distance to Fearn in third by lap-65 and on lap-68 he took the third spot from Fearn. By lap-70, Foster enjoyed a half-straightaway lead over Quintiliano and Posocco, who was still closing fast. Owen held the fourth position, and Fearn rounded out the top-5. Posocco’s charge towards the front continued as he moved past Quintiliano for second place on lap-72. After Posocco took second, the war of attrition began to set in on the Late Model field. First it was Fearn who slowed and pulled behind the wall on lap-83. Quintiliano’s great run ended with a flat tire the very next lap and he ended up finishing 14 laps down. Several laps later, Posocco had completed his charge to the front of the field as he had caught Foster and was beginning to look for a way around. Posocco’s wish was granted when Foster dropped off the pace on lap-88 with a broken transmission that brought the caution flag out after 68 consecutive laps of green flag racing. The order for the restart was now Posocco in front with Owen alongside in second. Jim Peterson was third in the #17 Flamingo Motorsports Pontiac, Scott Cook was fourth in the #99 Cook Brothers Racing Chevrolet, Mark Lewis was fifth in the #38 Industrial Electric & Construction Ford, Tom Butler was sixth in the #13 OJS Landscaping Excavation Dodge, and Rick Lanagan was seventh in the #82 nerac.com Chevrolet, the only cars left on the lead lap. Posocco took the lead, with Peterson moving into second. Cook took third, with Owen fourth and Lewis fifth. The caution flew with 91 laps complete for J.J. Hill, who spun in turn 1. Posocco took the lead again on the restart, with Owen moving past Peterson into second and Cook settling into line behind him in third, dropping Peterson back to fourth. Lewis continued to run in the fifth position. This was the running order with 98-laps complete when Steve McQuillan spun in turn 4 to bring out the final caution of the race and set up a two-lap sprint to the finish. Posocco powered into the lead, with Peterson moving into second. Cook was third, with Lewis fourth and Owen fifth. Contact between Lewis and Cook on the last lap moved Cook up the track in turn 1 and he fell back to sixth, but it was all Posocco at the front as he won by several car lengths over Peterson to take his first win of the 2006 season. Rounding out the top-5 behind Posocco and Peterson was Lewis, Butler, and Owen fifth. “It seemed like I was catching those guys, it looked like they were all a little tight, and I was able to get a run on them and get under them, and then we almost ran into the back of Scott [Foster, Jr.] going into three, we just had the breaks go our way tonight and we capitalized on that,” said Posocco. “It was discouraging early on, but tonight it was ok because we had a lot of laps to take care of it. If it had been a normal 30-lap race tonight, we were in trouble, but being 100 laps worked out in our favor tonight. I wish every one of these races were 100 laps long. With the races being only 30-laps long, you have to get to the front pretty quick. In the first practice the car wasn’t good, it wasn’t good in the second practice, we were still running some good times, but it was pushing really, really bad going into the turns, so we knew something was wrong. After the heat, we checked the shocks, and sure enough we had a bad shock, so we put four new shocks on it and went back to our base setup and it worked out. We always try to set the car up to come to us, and tonight we stuck to our game plan and it definitely paid off for us.”

In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, Curt Brainard led the field to the green flag in the #96 Kart Trak Chevrolet with Frank Ruocco moving the #91 Earth Technology Pontiac around the #51 XtraMart Chevrolet of Zach Sylvester after several laps to take over second. Todd Owen was the car on the charge, moving the #90 Cooker Construction / Reliable Welding and Speed Pontiac swiftly to the front of the pack, using the outside groove to his advantage. Brainard held the lead until lap-9 when Owen moved past to take over the lead. Owen’s pass allowed Ruocco to follow Owen past Brainard, dropping him back to third in the running order. Bo Gunning was fourth in the #84 Parker Motorsports Chevrolet and Willie Hardie rounded out the top-5 in the #7 Mystic Pizza / Arbitell Convenience Stores Chevrolet with 10-laps complete. Over the next 10 laps of the race, Owen and Ruocco began to distance themselves from the rest of the pack. Brainard continued to run in third, with Gunning and Hardie right behind him. With 23 laps complete, the cars of Gunning and Brainard touched in turn 4 which resulted in Brainard spinning and the caution flag being displayed to the field. Only one lap was completed before Scott Bennett spun on the backstretch and Vinny Anglace also spun in turn 4 to bring out the caution. Owen kept the lead on the restart, with Ruocco glued to his bumper. Hardie was now third, with the #54 North End Auto Parts Pontiac of Eric Berndt fourth and the #9 Reliable Welding and Speed Pontiac of Brad Hietala fifth. Jeff Malave moved past Berndt to take third in the #3 Davidson Specialty Foods Chevrolet on lap-28. Hardie dropped back a spot to fourth, while Hietala occupied fifth after Berndt fell back several spots. This was the running order when the caution came back out for Scott Bennett, who spun in turn 2.

The race went back to green with Owen taking the lead and Ruocco taking chase once again from the second position. Brad Hietala’s strong effort ended prematurely with a spin in turn 1, while Malave lost a host of positions. Hietala was able to refire his car and the race stayed under green. Hardie moved into third, with Jeff Baral taking fourth in the #18 Cliff Nelson / ECI Chevrolet and Kenny Horton taking fifth in the #19 Pasquariello Electric Corp. Pontiac. Ruocco was all over Owen’s bumper looking for a way around, but Owen was too strong and he held Ruocco of to take down his first SK Modified® feature win of the 2006 season. Rounding out the top-5 behind Owen and Ruocco were Hardie, Baral and Horton.

“Everybody’s going to the bottom, why go down there?” said Owen. “The top opened up and I had to try it. I love running the outside here, the car was going great on the outside. Those guys all slow down so much to get to the bottom, I went right by them on the outside, I don’t understand it. Some times, you can drive right by two cars they slow down so much to get to the bottom. The car was so good tonight, I think anyone could have driven that thing tonight and won with it. We’ve been working on it the last couple weeks, and we definitely hit it tonight. Ruocco is first class and he gave me everything he had, but we were able to come off the corner just a little better than him. It was a good night for the whole team.” In the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, things got started with a bang as Duke Place and Tony Santangelo came together right at the start to bring the caution out just after the field took the green flag. On the restart, Brit Andersen took the lead in the #70 Citrix Systems Chevrolet, with the #14 Bosch Fan Experience Chevrolet of Richie Pallai, Jr. moving into second. Chris Matthews moved into third place in the #29 1-800-RADIATOR of Connecticut Pontiac, while the #07 John’s Trucking Chevrolet of Bryan Ghedi fell back from the pole position to fourth place. Wade Mattesen rounded out the top-5 in the #15 Tim & Laura Fournier Dodge. The top-5 remained single file and ran nose to tail for the first 10-laps of the race. On lap-11, the car of Andersen spun after running through fluid on the track, which brought out the caution and handed the lead over to Pallai, with Matthews to his outside for the restart. Pallai powered into the lead on the restart with Matthews right on his bumper. Mattesen moved into third, with Tim Fogg up to fourth in the #2 Frederick’s Autoworks Chevrolet and Shelly Perry fifth in the #76 Ashaway Performance Engines Chevrolet.

That was the running order until lap-17 when Perry’s car drifted up the track in turn 1, allowing Andersen and Ghedi to move past Perry, dropping her from fifth to seventh in the running order. Meanwhile, at the front of the field, Matthews was applying pressure to Pallai, but Pallai was up to the task, maintaining a several car length distance between himself and Matthews, which was enough for Pallai to drive to his first career SK Light feature win. Matthews finished second, with Mattesen, Fogg, and Andersen, rounding out the top-5 behind him.

“I have to thank Jack Arute, Jr. for giving me a great car and an opportunity to race,” said Pallai. “Bosch Spark Plugs, great sponsorship, Bosch Fan Experience, congratulations to our designated car owner. This race is for two people, to Brian, who passed away last week, and Jack Arute, Sr., two people who will be missed. I have to thank Glen, Chris, and everyone at the shop, this is unbelieveable. If Matthews didn’t pass me in the beginning, I never would have been there at the end. I ran behind [Matthews] for three laps before the 70 spun and I learned so much. He ran a totally different line than I did.” In the 15-lap DARE Stock feature, Lori-Jo Rzeszutek led the field to the green flag in the #49 N.E. Surgical Group Chevrolet and immediately began to pull away from Jeff Hubbell, who was second in the #26 Rent A Racecar Chevrolet, and the rest of the DARE Stock field. Carla Botticello settled into third place in the #19 Botticello, Inc. Buick, with Norm Sears fourth in the #8 mypictureperfect.com Chevrolet, and Stacey Botticello fifth in the #18 Botticello, Inc. Buick.

The action was slowed and Rzeszutek’s lead was erased with 5-laps complete as Kyle Nosal came to a stop in turn 1 after his car began to smoke heavily. The race went back to green with Rzeszutek once again taking the lead and pulling away from Hubbell in second place. Sears held third, but one lap after the restart, Carla Botticello moved past Sears to take the third position, dropping Sears back to fourth with David Gambacorta fifth in the #37 Gambacorta Racing Chevrolet. The action was slowed once again with 8 laps complete as John Lampro, Jr. found the turn 1 wall. The ensuing restart saw Rzeszutek power into the lead, with Sears and Hubbell locked in a side-by-side duel for second, with Gambacorta moving into fourth. Sears moved under Hubbell for second, which brought Gambacorta past Hubbell as well. Hubbell would lose several more spots as the bottom groove was opened up with Carla Botticello and Vince Gambacorta going past Hubbell, dropping him from second to sixth in a matter of several laps.

That was the running order when the caution flew with 13 laps complete. Due to time constraints, the decision was made to red/checker the race with Rzeszutek taking her first career DARE Stock feature victory in a dominating drive. Sears, David Gambacorta, Carla Botticello, and Vince Gambacorta rounded out the top-5.

“Wow! I’m just so happy to be here,” said an excited Rzeszutek. “It’s special to be in victory lane where my dad has been, and these guys busted their butts all week long to get this car fixed after last week. I have to thank New England Surgical Group, Dr. John Kasper, he’s an awesome guy, New England Acquatic Design, A+H Service, my mom and dad, the crew, B+S Home Improvement, Hooters of Springfield, I can’t believe it.” In the Late Model 16 feature, Wayne Coury, Jr. led the field to the green flag, but the race was slowed with one lap complete as Tracy Brouillette found the turn 1 wall. Coury took the lead again on the restart, putting the #01 XtraMart Chevrolet in front of Rick Lanagan in the #82 nerac.com Chevrolet. Rick Charette held third in the #14 TSI Harley Davidson Chevrolet, with Jonathan Smith fourth in the #6 Alliance Group Chevrolet. Tom Butler rounded out the top-5 in the #13 OJS Landscaping Dodge. On lap-8, Butler moved around Smith for fourth, and he then chased down Charette for the third position, taking the spot on lap lap-15. But at the front of the field it was all Coury as he held off Lanagan by a car length to take the victory. Rounding out the top-5 behind Coury and Lanagan were Butler, Charette, and Smith.

“I know this is the 16 race, but it feels good to win,” said Coury. “It’s a good start for us for the team to be here in victory lane at Stafford. I have to thank Jim and Patty Mavlouganes for giving me the opportunity to drive this car, it’s been a blast so far, and I have to thank XtraMart for sticking with us. T/A gives us a great motor, I think that’s what got me here tonight. We’re going to have to loosen the car up a little for later tonight, I hope we have a shot at it later tonight, I’d love to be able to run up front in the 100-lapper tonight.” For more information contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at (860) 684-2783, or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.


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