Saturday 8/17 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Results
Waterford, CT (August 17, 2013) – Waterford Speedbowl was back in action Saturday with a six division race program at the popular shoreline oval. Picking up NASCAR Whelen All-American Series wins included Keith Rocco of Meriden, the winner of an exciting photo finish in the night’s SK Modified feature. Jason Palmer of Berlin won his first Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model feature of the season, Salem’s Corey Hutchings won the Street Stock feature and took over the division point lead while Ian Brew of Wood River Junction, RI won another race in the Mini Stock division. Giovanni Giarratana of Newington won the night’s INEX Legend Cars race and Duane Noll of Monroe took the checkered flag in the visiting New England Truck Series.
Rocco rallied past defending track champion Tyler Chadwick out of the final corner in a thrilling three-lap showdown between the two following the final restart of the 35-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified race. The race began with Chadwick on the pin, leading the way at the drop of the green flag. He jumped ahead of Frank Mucciacciaro who settled into second with Rob Janovic Jr. moving to third.
Craig Lutz was the driver on the move early as he picked his way past the outside of Jeff Gallup to move into fourth in the opening laps. He continued his forward progress staying on the top of the track, getting to the outside of Janovic for third on lap-6 and taking the position a lap later. On lap-8 Lutz had put himself on Mucciacciaro’s rear bumper for second as Chadwick had pulled ahead. Behind Lutz, Rocco was back in traffic battling at the back half of the top ten with Todd Ceravolo. Lutz finally found room outside of Mucciacciaro to take over second position as the race stayed under the green flag through lap-13. The racing was brought to a halt when Ed Puleo got out of shape in turn three. The pack behind checked up but Nichole Morgillo got bounced into the turn three wall, bringing out the first caution flag. Morgillo was unable to return.
The restart had Chadwick matched with Lutz on the front row. Chadwick was able to get the lead with a solid restart however Lutz was not about to let him pull ahead as easily. The two opened up a little breathing room over the fight for third position and Lutz went to work. He tried to find room to Chadwick’s outside to no avail on several occasions. Meanwhile, Rocco benefitted by the restart and used the inside lane to pull inside the top-five. He got past the inside of Janovic on lap-22 to move fourth. He was in third on lap-25 with a gap to close on the lead two which remained as Chadwick holding back the advances of Lutz.
With Rocco rapidly closing Chadwick was able to take a one car length lead over Lutz, who was in jeopardy of losing second to a streaking Rocco. Rocco went to the outside lane, finding room outside of Lutz on lap-30. On lap-31 Rocco used a surge out of turn two to pull even with Lutz, then used a run out of turn four to overtake him for second position. With just four laps to catch and pass Chadwick, Rocco was aided by another caution flag, the final of the race, on lap-32 when Kyle James spun in turn four, setting up the pivotal restart.
Rocco had just taken second position from Craig Lutz with an outside maneuver on lap-31 when Kyle James spun on lap-32, setting up the pivotal restart between adversaries Chadwick and Rocco. Chadwick got a good restart to hold the top spot with Rocco staying glued to his outside. Chadwick defended Rocco’s outside bid to lead lap-33 and kept him there as they raced towards the final lap. As the two came off the fourth corner to the white flag, Rocco tucked in behind and gave Chadwick’s rear bumper a nudge as the cars entered turn one. That gave Rocco the opportunity to dive inside Chadwick in turn two. The two ran side-by-side over the final half-lap to the checkered flag. Rocco, on the inside, was able to just beat Chadwick by a bumper to the finish line in a photo-finish. The margin of victory for Rocco was just .001 seconds in one of the closest finishes ever for the division. Chadwick was forced to settle for second after leading the first 34 laps of the race. Lutz finished third after running with the leaders and pressuring Chadwick for the lead over much of the second half. Janovic finished fourth and Mucciacciaro was fifth.
In the 30-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model race, Palmer took his first win of the season with an impressive showing. Bruce Thomas Jr. was the early leader as Palmer trailed a battle for second between Jeff Smith and Rich Staskowski. Palmer was able to get past Smith and contend for second when Smith spun on lap-7 to create the only restart of the race. Thomas led however Palmer closed in and was on his tail shortly after. Palmer was able to find room to the inside of Thomas, who couldn’t keep his car low enabling Palmer to race to the lead for good on lap-14.
As Palmer made the move to claim the lead, Rocco had advanced to third and closed in on the lead two. He followed Palmer past the inside of Thomas and was in sole possession of second by lap-15. The second half of the race was dominated by all green flag racing with Rocco keeping pace with Palmer. Rocco, however, was never able to close to Palmer’s rear bumper as he went on to the win. The victory was the third ever for Palmer in the division and the 55th of his career at the track, good for 11th all-time for the former Legend Cars division standout. Rocco finished second and Thomas ended up third. Rich Staskowski was fourth and Ray Christian III finished fifth.
Hutchings returned to Victory Lane in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Street Stocks, retaking the division point lead in the process. Chris Meyer, the point leader entering the event by one point over Hutchings, started on the pole position for the 25-lapper with Hutchings to his outside after the two won their respective qualifying races. Meyer led the first three laps with Hutchings digging in the outside lane. Hutchings was able to edge ahead into the lead on lap-4, clearing Meyer down the back chute on lap-5 as the two distanced themselves from third place Dwayne Dorr.
Hutchings withstood two caution periods coming on lap-12 and lap-19, the second when Meyer spun off the front chute trying to hold a position among the leaders. Hutchings mastered the restarts and bested Dorr by several car lengths over the final six laps to take the win. Dorr finished second and Al Stone was third. All three drivers are former division champions. Last week’s winner Josh Galvin was fourth and Dan Darnstaedt finished fifth. Meyer ended up 13th position, helping Hutchings build a cushion in the standings.
The 25-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Mini Stock feature ran caution-free as Brew took his second win in three weeks in the division. He got under race leader Joe Liskiewicz on lap-8 and cruised from there. Ken Cassidy Jr. got to second position on lap-13 but was unable to run down Brew. He finished second and Liskiewicz ended up third.
Giarratana won his second Saturday Series INEX Legend Cars event of the season. Mike Christopher Jr. had led from the opening lap with a pole starting position before Giarratana took command on lap-5. Giarratana had to fight off a stiff challenge by Dylan Izzo following a restart on lap-9. He first held off Izzo’s outside bid and then had to deal with Izzo all over his rear bumper until the next caution on lap-20. Giarratana got away from Izzo on the restart as Nick Ladyga moved in to challenge Izzo for second. That enabled Giarratana to pull ahead to a three car length victory, while Ladyga scored second at the finish. Christopher was able to slip past Izzo out of the final corner to take third and Dana Dimatteo was fifth.
Noll won the 25-lap New England Truck Series race after two cautions slowed his pace. He bested the likes of Zach Sylvester, who finished second, and Keith Rocco who made a cameo appearance in the Trucks to finish third.
Next Saturday night Late Model Madness takes over as the division gets lifted into the spotlight with a special 50-lap race paying extra prize money. The event highlights a five division race NASCAR Whelen All-American Series race program which includes another appearance by the INEX Legend Cars. In two weeks, on Saturday August 31 the SK Modified® division has their biggest event of the season, the $5,000 to win Budweiser Modified Nationals. The 150-lap event is the crown jewel of that division’s season and is part of a seven division program as part of the track’s ‘Thunder on the Sound’ event on Labor Day Weekend.
Saturday 8/17 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series results and standings:
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modifieds® (35-laps): 1. Keith Rocco, Meriden; 2. Tyler Chadwick, Ledyard; 3. Craig Lutz, Miller Place, NY; 4. Rob Janovic Jr., Waterford; 5. Frank Mucciacciaro Jr., Milford; 6. Jeff Gallup, Agawam, MA; 7. Adam Gada, Bozrah; 8. Todd Ceravolo, Gales Ferry; 9. Joe Gada, Salem; 10. Diego Monahan, Quaker Hill; 11. Tom Abele Jr., Norwich; 12. Ed Puleo, Branford; 13. Tyler Jackson, Milford; 14. Kyle James, Ashaway, RI; 15. Wendell Dailey, Gales Ferry; 16. Corey Coates, Ledyard; 17. Ted Christopher, Plainville; 18. Nichole Morgillo, Wallingford; 19. Rich Duranti, Quaker Hill
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Bob Valenti Late Models (30-laps): 1. Jason Palmer, Berlin; 2. Keith Rocco, Meriden; 3. Bruce Thomas Jr., Groton; 4. Rich Staskowski, Hope Valley, RI; 5. Ray Christian III, Groton; 6. Jeff Smith, Old Lyme; 7. Chris Garside, Waterford; 8. Vin Esposito, Seymour; 9. Mike Sweeney Jr., Quaker Hill; 10. Rich Duranti, Quaker Hill; 11. Adam Gada, Bozrah; 12. Tony Macrino, Waterford
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Street Stocks (25-laps): 1. Corey Hutchings, Salem; 2. Dwayne Dorr, Ledyard; 3. Al Stone III, Durham; 4. Josh Galvin, Franklin; 5. Dan Darnstaedt, Durham; 6. Norm Root Jr., Old Saybrook; 7. Lloyd Anderson Jr., Wauregan; 8. Chris Douton, Waterford; 9. Steve Barrett, Preston; 10. Phil Evans, Uncasville; 11. Monte Gibbs, Higganum; 12. Chris Meyer, North Franklin; 13. Ed Gertsch Jr., East Haven; 14. Ron Oldham Jr., Old Saybrook; 15. Scott Sousa, Uncasville; 16. Ryan Waterman, Danielson; 17. Tim Morse, Southbury; DQ – Joe Arena, Bristol
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Mini Stocks (25-laps): 1. Ian Brew, Wood River Junction, RI; 2. Ken Cassidy Jr., Lisbon; 3. Joe Liskiewicz, Preston; 4. Charles Canfield, New Haven; 5. Christopher Ivory, Oakdale; 6. Ray Christian III, Groton; 7. Doug Curry, Groton; 8. Dale Sherman, Charlestown, RI; 9. Garrett Denton, Hope Valley, RI; 10. Nick Pappacoda, North Branford; 11. Al Stone III, Durham; 12. Jeff Lee, Uncasville; 13. Sean Caron, East Hampton; DQ – Wayne Burroughs Jr., Oakdale; DQ – Bill Leonard, Charlestown, RI
Saturday Showdown Series INEX Legend Cars (25-laps): 1. Giovanni Giarratana, Newington; 2. Nick Ladyga, Voluntown; 3. Michael Christopher Jr., Wolcott; 4. Dylan Izzo, Westport; 5. Dana Dimatteo, Farmington; 6. Angelo Belsito, Auburn, MA; 7. Stephen Kopcik, Newtown; 8. John O’Sullivan Jr., Salem; 9. Joshua Zentek, East Haven; 10. Calvin Therrien, Vernon; 11. Casey Robicheau, Whiting, NJ; 12. Ryan Lutz, Miller Place, NY; 13. Scott Limkemann, East Lyme; 14. Paul Kusheba IV, Monroe; 15. Kyle Rogers, Waterbury; 16. Kyle Hardwick, Vernon; 17. Timothy DePizzol, North Franklin; 18. Cory Dimatteo, Farmington
New England Truck Series (25-laps): 1. Duane Noll, Monroe; 2. Zach Sylvester, Lebanon; 3. Keith Rocco, Meriden; 4. Brad Caddick, Hope Valley, RI; 5. Tony Lafo, Higganum; 6. D.J. McGouran, Westerly, RI; 7. Chris Correll, Montville; 8. Glen Noll, Naugatuck; 9. Tom Metcalf, North Stonington; 10. Cassie Coates, Ledyard; 11. Kendall Metcalf, North Stonington; 12. Pete Cayer, Bristol; 13. Corey Coates, Ledyard