Hines, Bennett, Fearn and Meyer take NAPA Auto Parts opening day wins at Stafford Motor Speedway
Stafford Speedway kicked off the 2021 racing season with NAPA Auto Parts opening day on Saturday, April 24. SK Modifieds®, Late Models, Limited Late Models and Stafford Street Stocks were all in action with the Granite State Pro Stock Series. The first feature film victories of the 2021 season were won by Tyler Hines in the 40-round SK Modified® feature, Michael Bennett in the 30-round Late Model feature, Alexandra Fearn in the 20-round Limited Late Model. laps and Chris Meyer in the Street Stock feature of 20 laps.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® circuit, Tyler Hines and Marcello Rufrano led the peloton to the Green Flag with the two cars still side by side at the end of Lap 1. Hines had the lead by a nose on the line for complete the round. 2 before taking the lead on lap 3. Stephen Kopcik instructed by Rufrano to move up to second place with Ronnie Williams in third place to bring Rufrano back to fourth place before Michael Christopher, Jr. spins on lap 4 to bring out the warning with 4 laps completed.
Hines took the lead in the restart with Williams taking second place from Kopcik. Kopcik placed third in the line with Todd Owen and Rufrano lined up behind him. Wesley Prucker made contact with the front wall and damaged his right front suspension and limped back into the pit lane on lap 7, but the race remained green. Michael Gervais, Jr. finished sixth behind Hines, Williams, Kopcik and Owen with Teddy Hodgdon seventh, David Arute eighth, Andrew Molleur ninth and Troy Talman tenth. Owen and Rufrano both passed Kopcik on lap 10 to move up to third and fourth. Hines and Williams started to pull away from the field in the first two positions.
Talman shot behind the wall on the pit lane on lap 18 and his crew went to work under the hood of their No.3 car. Halfway through the feature, Hines was still in the lead with Williams on the hunt. Owen was third followed by Rufrano, Gervais and Molleur when the warning returned for Tyler Leary, who turned back at the exit of Turn 4.
Hines took the lead again on lap 21, with Owen placing second. Williams was third but behind them Molleur and Wesson sped off with Wesson recovering Jon Puleo’s car to restore caution with 21 laps completed.
Williams peeked inside Hines on the restart to take the lead, but fell back into the line behind Hines and was side-to-side with Owen for the second before taking the second. on the 23rd lap. Gervais was fourth behind Owen with Kopcik, Joey Ternullo, Jr., Keith Rocco, Rufrano, Arute and Noah Korner in the top 10.
Again, Hines and Williams were starting to pull away from Owen, Gervais and Rocco but their margin was erased by caution with 30 laps completed for laps in lap 4 by Kopcik and Korner.
Hines took the lead in the restart with Williams in second and Owen in third. Gervais finished fourth followed by Rocco, Ternullo, Christopher, Jr., Chase Dowling and Rufrano. The bond came back with 34 laps completed for a lap in Korner’s lap 4 with Hines and Williams still leading the pack.
Hines and Williams again took the top 2 spots on the restart, but the surety came back with 36 laps completed for a spin in the middle of turns 3 + 4 by Ternullo and Christopher, Jr. to set up a scorecard of 4 tours until arrival. .
The reboot saw the warning return as Tom Bolles, Korner and Leary all turned on their backs. The upcoming reboot saw Hines take the lead with Rocco shooting alongside Williams for the second. Rocco finished second on lap 38 with Dowling and Owen side by side for fourth and Gervais sixth.
Rocco came close to Hines’ rear bumper on the final lap, but Hines held him back on the line to score his first career victory in the movie SK Modified®. Williams finished third with Dowing and Gervais completing the top 5.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature, Michael Wray led the field to the Green Flag and took the lead early. Michael Bennett passed Ryan Fearn to take second place. Fearn came back to take second in the second lap, but the warning went out for Andrew Durand, who spun into the wall at Turn 1 and Tom Butler, who came to rest against the front wall.
Wray took the lead and took a dominant lead over Wayne Coury, Jr. in second. Tom Fearn was third with Bennett and Ryan Fearn lined up behind him. Tom Fearn came back up the track at Turn 3 on lap 4 and came back to seventh as Ryan Fearn managed to pass Bennett in third place. Al Saunders finished fifth with Jim Mavlouganes up to sixth with Wray and Coury leading the way. Mike O’Sullivan turned at turn 4 to bring out the warning with 9 laps completed.
Wray regained the lead under the green with Bennett taking second place ahead of Coury. Adam Gray followed suit and took third place ahead of Coury on lap 11, with Tom Fearn moving up to fifth place. During the caution period, Ryan Fearn brought his car to the pit lane where he eventually ended up behind the wall. Mavlouganes made a 360 ° spin on lap 13 but continued and the race stayed green.
Bennett moved closer to Wray’s rear bumper for the head with Gray moving closer to Bennett’s rear bumper. Bennett made a move inside Wray on lap 16 with Gray taking things 3 wide before turn 3. Bennett led the lap by a nose on the outside and he took the lead on lap 17. Gray settles in second and Wray falls back in third. Coury was now fourth, Tom Fearn fifth with 18 laps completed.
With 5 laps to go, Bennett was still in control with a comfortable lead over Gray in second. Wray was third in a row followed by Coury, Tom Fearn, Kevin Gambacorta, Cliff Saunders, Paul Arute, John Blake and Al Saunders. Bennett led the field at the checkered flag to claim his first victory of the 2021 season and his first late Stafford Model victory since the 2017 season. Gray was second with Wray, Coury and Tom Fearn completing the top 5.
In the 20-lap limited race on the late models, Jeremy Lavoie took the lead early with Alexandra Fearn just behind him in second. Gary Patnode was third in a row followed by Matt Clement and Rich Hammann.
Halfway through the race, Lavoie and Fearn were still running nose to nose to take the lead with Patnode third, Hammann fourth and Jay Clement fifth. Fearn finally managed to get inside Lavoie on lap 12 and she took the lead from Lavoie on lap 13. RJ Surdell spun out of Turn 2 to bring out the warning with 15 laps completed.
Fearn’s car stumbled to pick up speed on restart, which allowed Lavoie to clear his way in the lead, but the surety came back with 16 laps completed for a spin on Patnode’s Turn 4.
Fearn had no problem picking up speed on the restart as she took the lead with Lavoie in second. Hammann was third in a row followed by Jay Clement and Patnode was already back in fifth place after his lap. Fearn led Lavoie to the checkered flag for his first victory of the season. Hammann finished third with Jay Clement and Hopkins completing the top 5.
In the 20-lap Street Stock streak, Chris Meyer and Frank L’Etoile, Jr. led the field to the green. Meyer immediately took the lead with L’Etoile following him in his tire tracks. Travis Hydar finished third early with Nickolas Hovey fourth and Adrien Paradis III fifth. L’Etoile slowly rolled up Meyer and took the lead from Meyer on lap 4. Meyer came back inside L’Etoile with a cross movement in turns 1 + 2 but recovered in second. Johnny Walker turned at Turn 1 to bring out the warning with 5 laps completed.
John Orsini twisted and stopped in the grass at Turn 4 to bring out the warning just after the restart. The next reboot attempt saw L’Etoile regain the lead with Hydar shooting alongside Meyer for the second. Hydar took second place from Meyer on lap six with Hovey fourth and Daltin McCarthy fifth. Paradis was sixth followed by Bert Ouellette, Jason Finkbein, David Macha, Sr., and Tommy Hanley. Christopher Phelps did an about-face to restore caution with 8 laps completed.
L’Etoile took the lead again, followed by the side-by-side duo of Meyer and Hydar, Hovey and McCarthy. McCarthy turned in the middle of turns 3 + 4 to bring back the yellow flag with 10 laps completed.
L’Etoile took the lead under the green while Hydar and Meyer were once again side by side for second place. Hydar took Meyer’s place on lap 12 with Hovey fourth and Finkbein fifth. Paradis was sixth in a row, followed by Walker, Macha, Kyle Johnson and Chris Danielczuk. Tommy Hanley did a 360 spin on turn 2 but was able to continue and the race stayed green.
Hydar started to apply strong pressure to L’Etoile’s rear bumper for the lead 3 laps from the end. Hydar dived under L’Etoile on Turn 1 on lap 19, but slipped on the track, allowing L’Etoile to regain the lead at the exit of Turn 2 and in the back. Walker did an about-face to bring out caution with 19 laps completed to set up a green and white checkered finish.
Etoile and Hydar brought the field to the green and they took the lead on the restart. Coming out of White Flag Turn 4, Meyer made a 3 wide swing and took the lead in Turn 1. Hovey followed right on his rear bumper and went into second. Hovey slapped Meyer on his rear bumper in the 3 + 4 turns, but Meyer managed to hold him back at the checkered flag. Finkbein was third with Johnson fourth and L’Etoile fifth.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway Track Office at 860-684-2783 or visit our website at www.staffordspeedway.com.
Stafford Speedway PR