Marcelo Rufrano wins 9th Annual NAPA Auto Parts SK 5k at Stafford

Stafford Speedway hosted the biggest and richest SK Modified® race of the 2022 season with the 9th annual NAPA Auto Parts SK 5k on Friday, August 5. A draw just before the start of the race determined that the feature distance would be either 60, 70, or 80 laps and the 80 lap number was drawn by NAPA representative Bruce Pinto. Marcelo Rufrano took his first career SK Modified® victory in the biggest race of the season. Rufrano’s win gave him $5,725 in wallets and contingency from posted prizes totaling more than $35,000. Other feature wins in the night were scored by Tom Fearon in the Late Model feature, Tyler Alkas in the SK Light feature, Jeremy Lavoie in the Limited Late Model feature, and Travis Downey in the Street Stock feature.

In the 80-lap NAPA Auto Parts SK 5K feature event, John Puleo finished second with Dan Wesson at the start of the race. Mickey Flynn was third, followed by Corey DiMatteo and Michael Christopher, Jr. Christopher went to fourth on lap-4 around DiMatteo, Marcelo Rufrano moved past DiMatteo in fifth place, Wesson took the lead from Puleo on lap-5. Flynn moved up to second with Flynn in third as Puleo slipped to seventh. Ronnie Williams was in fifth with Todd Owen in fourth and Stephen Kopsych in sixth.

Rufrano took the lead from Wesson lap-12 with Williams and Flynn in front of Owen in third place. The caution flag flew with 14 laps to go for DiMatteo, who came to rest against the wall of Turn 2.

Rufrano took the lead on the restart with Wesson in second. Owen went by Williams on lap-18 with Flynn in fifth place to go for third. Caution returned with a spin by Noah Koerner and RJ Marcotte on the backstretch for 22 laps complete and a spin by Williams in Turn 4.

Rufrano continued to lead on the restart, but the caution was returned for a multi-car incident, completed 24 laps, when Stefan Kopsyk and Wesson touched the wheels, which sent Wesson into the wall of Turn 1. and collected Flynn’s car. As well as many others.

Rufrano stopped the resume challenge to keep the lead from Owen. Keith Rocco is now third ahead of Rufrano and Owen while Puleo is in fourth and Christopher and Arute duel in fifth. Arute took to the high groove to be received by Christopher and finished fifth on lap-28, while Owen was putting heavy pressure on Rufrano for the lead. Owen was finally able to make a pass on Rufrano to move into the lead with a pass coming out of Turn 4 on lap-33. As Corner got into the wall of Turn 1, the caution came back with 36 laps to go.

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Rufrano resumed from Owen with Rocco moving to second. Owen was locked in a duel with Pulio in third place with Tyler Hines in fifth. With 50 laps on the board, Rufrano continued to lead the race with Rocco still in hot pursuit. With Owen Hines in fourth and David Arute in fifth place was third. Anthony Bello was sixth, followed by Puleo, Andrew Moleur, Michael Gervais, Jr. and Anthony Flannery.

With 20 laps to go, the top-5 remained the same with Rufrano extending his lead over Rocco to several car lengths. Owen finished second to Owen on lap 68 but was 1.5 seconds behind Rufrano in the fight for the lead. Owen could not close the gap for Rufrano in the final 12 laps as Rufrano secured his first career SK Modified® victory in the biggest race of the season. Rocco finished third with Hines and Arute and dropped out of the top-5.

In the 30-lap late model feature event, Paul Arute, Adam Grey, and John Blake all entered the Turn 1 wall at the start to bring out the caution flag before a lap was completed.

Wayne Corey, Jr. took the lead in the door-to-door restart with Michael Ray and Andrew Durand for second. Tom Fearon was fourth in the row, followed by the side-by-side pair of Paul Varicchio, Jr. and Kevin Gambacorta. Fearon finished second on lap-4 and dropped Ray to third with Waricho in fourth and Durand in fifth as Corey continued to lead. Varricchio brought back the caution with lap 4 full as he went straight into the Turn 1 wall after developing a flat tyre.

Fearon took the lead from Corey on the resume, with Ray and Durand going home to third and Gambacorta going to fifth. Rey cleared Durand to take third on lap-5, while Gambacorta finished fourth on lap-6. Gray had recovered from his earlier misfortune and was on Gambacorta’s rear bumper for fifth place when 7 laps of a turn were completed by Durand.

Fearon took the lead under the green with Ray and Gray behind him. Gambacorta finished fourth with Darrell Keane in fifth. Andrew Moleur was sixth in the row, followed by Kauri, Paul Arute, Michael Bennett and Durand. Gray made a move to go around Ray to take second on lap-11, and then Gambacorta put heavy pressure on his bumper for third. After several laps, Gambacorta was finally able to make a move to get inside Rey and move to third on lap-18. Keane and Corey both followed Gambacorta by Ray to finish fourth and fifth, dropping Ray back to sixth on lap 19.

Ray lost several more spots on lap-26 as Bennett moved up to sixth and Mallur dropped seven to leave Ray back in eighth as Fearon continued to lead Grey, Gambacorta, Keane and Cory. Fern took the checkered flag to secure his second Late Model victory of the 2022 season. Gray dropped out of the top-5 with Gambacorta, Keane and Corey in second place.

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In the 20-lap SK Light feature event, Frank L’Etoile, Jr. took the lead from Brandon Michael at the start and led the first lap before Brandon Hunt cautioned for a spin at Turn 2.

L’Etoile took the lead on the restart but Tyler Alkas took the lead from L’Etoile on lap 3. Michael was in fourth with Chris Matthews in third, Cassandra Cole in fifth and Meghan Fuller in sixth. The position shuffle continued behind Alcas, L’Etoile, Mathews and Michael as Bob Charland finished fifth ahead of Amanda West on lap-8 and Derek Debbies looked to meet both West and Fuller. Charland moved to fifth on lap-10 just before flying cautiously with Charlie McDougall completing 11 laps for a spin on the frontstretch.

Alkas again took the lead on the green, with Mathews finishing second. L’Etoile was in third place followed by Charand and George Bessette, Jr. Bessette took fourth from Charland on lap-14, while Alkas continued to lead Matthews and L’Etoile. After several attempts to make a move, Debris was able to complete a pass over Charland to move to fifth on lap-18. This dropped Tyler Chapman to sixth and Alexander Pearl to seventh as Charland moved back to eighth. Alkas took the field to the checkered flag for the first win of his career. Mathews finished second with Bassett, L’Etoile and Debris rounding out the top-5.

In the 20-lap limited late model feature, Ari Jencic took the lead early in the race and held that lead until lap-3 when Kevin Cormier took the top spot. Jeremy Lavoie moved to second place with Gary Patnod and Alexandra Fearon fourth as Jencic slipped to fifth in the row. Lavoie made a move to take the lead of the race inside Cormier on lap-5, while Rich Hamann finished fifth ahead of Ari Jencic.

At the halfway point of the race, Lavoie was still in command with Cormier, Patnod, Fearon and Hamman. Devon Jensick was now in sixth place, followed by Matt Scapini, Jay Clement, Matt Clement and Ari Jensik. Lavoie was starting to open a gap on Cormier in second. The caution was completed with 15 laps to go as Devon Jencic came to a stop on the frontstretch grass and Scapini was driving back to the pit road with a flat right front tire after the two cars came together and came out of the house. Door to door contact was made. turn 4.

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Lavoie took the lead back under the green with Cormier in second. Patnod was third, followed by Fearon and Hyman. Hamman was looking to take fourth from Fearon on lap-18, but Faier was able to overcome Hayman’s challenge. Cormier could not get close enough to Lavoie as Lavoie secured his second win of the 2022 season. Patnod finished third and Fern and Hyman dropped out of the top-5.

In the 20-lap street stock feature, Tyler Trott took the lead on the green flag, with Jason Finkbein finishing second. Travis Downey went in fourth with Nicholas Howie in third and last week’s winner Bert Ouellet in fifth. Ouellet moved to fourth and Travis Hader took fifth, while Howie dropped to seventh behind Adrian Paradis, III.

Finkbein took the lead on lap-4, with Downey second and Ouellet third, as the trot dropped out of the top-5. Ouellet completed the caution flag with 5 laps to go as he ran into the Turn 1 wall.

Downey nearly took the lead over Finkbein at the restart but fell back to second behind Finkbein. Paradis was in third place, followed by trot in fourth and side-by-side pairing of Jason Lafayette and Nicolas Howie in fifth. Howie and Brandon Warren almost came up with Warren climbing the wall and Howie swung on the backstretch to bring the caution flag back with 8 laps full.

Downey was able to keep up with Finkbein at the restart, and Downey took the lead as he completed lap 9. Paradis Lafayette finished third with Lafayette fourth and David Macha, Sr., fifth. Trott’s car fell out of shape but was able to collect it and he fell into seventh place, just behind Pat Grady. Debris on the frontstretch brought the caution flag back out after 13 laps had been completed.

Lafayette briefly went 3 wide with Downey and Finkbein and came third behind both leaders. Lafayette spun as Bobby Stirk, III, in turn 2 on lap-14, but both cars were able to move forward and the race remained green. Paradis was third ahead of Downey and Finkbein, Trott was fourth and David Macha, Sr. was still fifth. Downey led the field to secure his second win of the 2022 season. Ouellette and Macha, Sr. made contact with each other to arrive at the checkered flag, in which Macha’s car overturned on its roof not far from the start/finish line. Finkbein finished second with Paradis, Trot and Haider out of the top-5.

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