Frank Ruocco Wins Seventh Annual SK 150 at Stafford
Wins For Second Straight Season
Track PR Report
Stafford Speedway returned to racing action with the richest SK Modified® race of the 2010 season, the 7th Annual CARQUEST SK 150.  Frank Ruocco had two early spins, but came storming back through the
field to take his second consecutive victory in the extra distance classic. Woody Pitkat took his fifth victory of the 2010 season in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Tommy Barrett, Jr. picked up his third consecutive and fifth win of the 2010 season in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature, Rob Dow scored his second consecutive victory in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, and Jeff Jolly and Josh Wood were the winners of the 15-lap DARE Stock feature events.

In the 7th Annual CARQUEST SK 150 feature, Eric Berndt took the lead from the pole and set the early pace ahead of Sean Foster, Chris Jones, Jeff Malave, Woody Pitkat, and Dan Avery.  Jones and Malave moved past Foster to drop him from second back to fourth in the running order while Berndt continued to lead.  Ryan Preece spun in turn 2 to bring the yellow out on lap-10.

The race went back to green on lap-13 with Berndt continuing to hold the lead.  Jones was second with Frank Ruocco, Malave, and Zach Sylvester making up the top-5.  Woody Pitkat, Keith Rocco, Sean Foster, Ted Christopher, and Avery made up the back half of the top-10.

On lap-22, Ruocco made a move to the inside of Jones for second, but he got loose and nearly spun, dropping him back to 20th place in the running order and allowing Berndt to open up his lead over Jones, who continued to run second.

The top-5 positions began to change hands on lap-32 as Rocco moved past Sylvester for fourth place and Malave went by Jones for second on lap-35. Berndt continued to hold the race lead with nearly a full straightaway lead over Malave.

Frank Ruocco and Nichole Morgillo spun in turn 4 on lap-42 to bring the caution out and erase Berndt’s lead over Malave and the rest of the field. Under caution, Pitkat came to pit road and his crew went to work under the hood of his racecar before sending him back out onto the track.

The race went back to green on lap-50 with Berndt in command of the race, but Malave was all over Berndt’s back bumper.  Malave made move to the inside of Berndt on lap-53 to take over the race lead.  Rocco followed suit, getting to the inside of Berndt for second on lap-55.  Ted Christopher then moved himself by Berndt on lap-56 for the third position.  Berndt settled into line in fourth place with Jones behind him in fifth.  Mark Bakaj spun in turn 4 on lap-57 to bring the caution out.  Ruocco, who had the earlier spin with Morgillo, was the lucky dog and was able to get himself back on the lead lap for the restart.

Malave and Rocco went side by side for the lead on the restart with Christopher nearly making it three-wide.  Christopher went by Malave for the lead and as he made the move for the lead, Rocco went around in turn 4 and the whole field scrambled behind him to avoid Rocco and the caution came out, putting Malave back out front.  Rocco made several stops under the caution and restarted at the rear of the field.

Malave led the field back under green on the lap-67 restart with Christopher, Berndt, Jeff Baral, and Donny Travaglin making up the top-5. Running sixth through tenth was Ryan Preece, Curt Brainard, Kurt Lenahan,
Ruocco, and Pitkat.

Christopher was working Malave over and he was able to move to the front of the field on lap-73, passing Malave in turns 1+2.  Malave made contact with Christopher on lap-74 in turn 2, which sent Christopher around and Malave was sent to the rear of the field by officials for rough riding.  This put Berndt and Baral on the front row for the restart with Preece and Travaglin lined up behind them.

Berndt took the lead on the lap-78 restart with Preece, Ruocco, Baral, and Travaglin settling into line behind him.  Pitkat, Curt Brainard, Todd Owen, Zach Sylvester, and Tom Bolles made up the remainder of the top-10.  Preece moved by Berndt on lap-81 to take over the race lead.  Ruocco ran behind Berndt until lap-87 when he took over second.  Ruocco’s move opened the door for Baral to follow him past Berndt, dropping him back to fourth place.

At lap-90, Ted Christopher was back into tenth place and the caution cameout for Mark Bakaj, who brushed the wall coming out of turn 4 and spun to the infield.

Preece streaked into the lead on the lap-95 restart with Ruocco settling into line right behind him.  Baral was third, with Berndt foruth and Pitkat fifth.  On lap-97, Ruocco completed his run back to the front of the field after his earlier spin as he took the lead from Preece.

At the lap-100 mark the top-10 running order was Ruocco, Preece, Baral, Pitkat, Travaglin, Brainard, Christopher, Malave, Berndt, and Sylvester.  On lap-102, Christopher and Brainard touched wheels coming out of turn 4 which collected the cars of Rocco, Bolles, Sylvester, and Owen, which brought the yellow back out.

The race went back to green on lap-110 with Preece powering to the outside of Ruocco to move back to the head of the field.  Baral was third, with Pitakt, Travaglin and Rocco behind him.  John Montesanto came to a stop in turn 3 on lap-113 to bring the yellow out.

Preece kept the lead back under green with Baral getting by Ruocco for second, but Sean Foster went around in turn 3 on lap-120 to bring the caution back out.  Preece got the jump on the restart, but Ruocco made a move to the inside of Preece in turn 3 to move to the front with 25 laps to go.  Rocco was now back up to third place with Baral fourth and Pitkat fifth.

With 10 laps to go it was still Ruocco out front with Preece giving Ruocco all he could handle in a duel for the lead.  Ruocco and Preece’s duel allowed Rocco and Bararl to close in and make it a four-car fight to the
finish.  Preece lined up one final charge to the outside of Ruocco on the final lap, but he couldn’t muster enough momentum to get by and Ruocco scored his second consecutive CARQUEST SK 150 feature victory.  Rounding out the top-5 behind Ruocco and Preece was Rocco, Baral, and Pitkat.

In the 30-lap Late Model feature event, Tom Fearn took the early lead with Woody Pitkat moving into second.  Adam Gray fell back to third, with Mark St. Hilaire and Scott Cook making up the top-5.  Fearn held the lead until lap-7 when Pitkat made a pass in turn 2.  The cars of John Kasper and Tony
Lafo got hooked together and brought the caution out with 8 laps complete.

On the restart, Gray didn’t get up to speed right away and he shot through the infield grass and rejoined at the rear of the field.  Pitkat charged into the lead and began to pull away from St. Hilaire, who moved around
Fearn to take second.  Fearn fell back to fourth as Corey Hutchings was also able to get by with Cook, and Keith Rocco rounding out the top-6 before the caution came back out with 11 laps complete for a spin by Tracy Brouillette in turn 2.

Don Acker, Jr. went around in turn 1 on the restart to bring the yellow back out.  The field completed one lap before the caution came back out for a spin by Jim Peterson and Tom Butler in turn 2.

Pitkat bolted into the lead on the restart with Cook moving by Hutchings for second.  Michael Bennett and Ryan Posocco were also able to get around Hutchings before the two cars touched with Bennett sliding backwards into the turn 3 wall to bring the caution out.  The field completed one lap before the caution came back out for a spin by Walt Wosko, Jr. in turn 3.

Pitkat took the lead on the restart as Cook didn’t quite come up to speed and he fell back with Posocco, J.J. Hill, Keith Rocco, and Fearn all moving by Cook.  Tom Butler spun in turn with 20 laps complete to bring the yellow back out.

Pitkat again took the lead back under green with Hill getting by Posocco for second.  Hill’s pass on Posocco opened the door for Rocco to follow him past Posocco, dropping Posocco from second back to fourth place.  Rocco then moved by Hill for second and brought Posocco with him, dropping Hill from second back to fourth.  Meanwhile, Pitkat was pulling away while the position swapping was going on behind him and he cruised to his fifth victory of the 2010 season.  Rocco finished second with Posocco, Hill, and
Peterson rounding out the top-5.

In the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature event, Jay Goff took the early lead with Kyle Spencer and Heather DesRcohers side by side behind him for second place.  DesRochers got clear of Spencer on lap-3 and took second.  Goff spun from the lead on lap-4 but was able to keep going and the race stayed green with DesRochers taking over the lead.  The car of Tommy Barrett, Jr. was on the move, going from 14th at the start to third place behind DesRochers and Spencer.  The caution then came out as Earl Pelletier spun in turn 4 and collected the car of Zach Aszklar.  Under the caution, Joey Cipriano brought his car to pit road with damage to his right side nerf bar and he was finished for the evening.

On the restart, Spencer went around DesRochers in the high groove to take over the lead.  Coming off turn 4, Ted Cain and Victoria Bergenty spun to the infield grass and as Bergenty was going around, Steve Greer was collected and had damage to his right front tire to bring the caution out.

The outside groove prevailed again on the restart as DesRochers went by Spencer to retake the lead.  Barrett was glued to the back bumper of DesRochers and he made the move to the inside of DesRochers on lap-7 to move to the front of the pack.  Spencer was third, with Matt Galko and Dylan Liseo making up the top-5.  Harry Wheeler went around in turn 4 to bring the yellow out with 10 laps complete.

On the restart, there was a multicar spin involving Todd Clark, Shayne Prucker, and John Hanafin to bring the yellow flag back out.  Barrett took the lead back under green and began to pull away from the field.  DesRochers was second with Spencer glued to her back bumper in third.  Galko and Pelletier were side by side for the fourth position.

Galko would bet the better of Pelletier for fourth and he quickly moved by Spencer for third and was applying pressure to DesRochers for second. Barrett was in a league of his own and he streaked to his fifth win of the season with DesRochers holding off Galko for second.  Spencer spun on the final corner of the race, which allowed Pelletier to come home in fourth and David Webb was fifth.

In the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature event, Duane Provost took the early lead and led the first two laps of the race before the caution came out.

Back under green Kevin Gambacorta made a move to take over the lead.  Rob Dow followed him into second with Jesse Hinze, Dave Yardley, and Provost behind him.  The caution came out with 6 laps complete for Provost and Carla Botticello, who spun in turn 4.

Gambacorta took the lead again on the restart, but one lap later saw Dow move by Gambacota to take over the race lead.  Yardley was still third, with Hinze and Dan Flannery making up the top-5.  At the halfway point of the race, Flannery did a 360 in turn 1 but was able to keep moving and the race stayed green.

Dow was still the race leader, with Gambacorta, Yardley, Durand, and Shawn Thibeault giving chase.  Dow led the rest of the way as the top-5 remained in line over the final 10 laps of the race with Dow taking down his second consecutive feature win of the 2010 season.

In the 15-lap DARE Stock feature event that was made up from July 16th, Stephanie Berardi took the early lead and set the pace ahead of Vince Gambacorta, Cliff Saunders, Donald Cook, and Jeff Jolly.  Jolly quickly worked his way through traffic and was into the race lead by the halfway point of the race.

With Jolly in the lead, Andrew Hayes moved his way to second, with Tony Membrino, Jr., Josh Wood, and Albert Saunders behind him.  Jolly went unchallenged to the checkered flag to record his second feature victory of the 2010 season.

In the regularly scheduled 15-lap DARE Stock feature event, Stephanie Berardi led the field to the green and took the early lead with Cliff Saunders, Josh Wood, Vince Gambacorta, and Kyle Casagrande behind her.
Berardi led the first 3 laps before Josh Wood moved to the front on lap-4.  Kaitlyn Brice brought the caution out with 4 laps complete with a spin in turn 2.

Back under green Wood took the lead with Kyle Casagrande moving into second.  Kyle’s brother Cory Casagrande worked his way into third place behind his brother with Albert Saunders fourth and Gambacorta fifth.  This was the running order when Don Cook lost an engine with 9 laps complete to bring the caution out.  Wood maintained the race lead back under green with Kyle and Cory Casagrande, Albert Saunders, and Jeff Jolly making up the top-5 behind him. Wood held Casagrande off over the final 6 laps to take his second win of the 2010 season.  Kyle Casagrande, Cory Casagrande, Albert Saunders, and Jolly
rounded out the top-5 at the checkered flag.

SK MODIFIED® (150) RESULTS

1) Frank Ruocco, Cheshire
2) Ryan Preece, Berlin
3) Keith Rocco, Meriden
4) Jeff Baral, Enfield
5) Woody Pitkat, Stafford Springs
6) Zach Sylvester, Lebanon
7) Donny Travaglin, Winsted
8) Dan Avery, Somers
9) Todd Owen, Somers
10) Michael Gervais, Jr., Southbury
11) Kurt Lenahan, Roxbury
12) Adam Skowyra, Brimfield, Ma
13) Sean Foster, Ellington
14) Joe Allegro, Jr., Vernon
15) Eric Berndt, Cromwell
16) Ted Christopher, Plainville
17) Curt Brainard, Canton
18) Chris Jensen, Wolcott
19) John Montesanto, North Branford
20) Chris Jones, New Milford
21) Tom Bolles, Ellington
22) Jeff Malave, Manchester
23) Mark Bakaj, Lebanon
24) Nichole Morgillo, Wallingford
25) Bo Gunning, Bethlehem
26) Raymond Grassetti, Monson, Ma
27) Josh Sylvester, Lebanon




Frank Ruocco in victory lane at Stafford.  (Jim Dupont Photo)