Cory Casagrande found out Monday he was being suspended for one week by officials at Stafford Motor Speedway.
The suspension, as it out turns out, was really a moot point. The 21-year old Casagrande and his family owned Late Model team had already decided they were leaving the division.
Before the start of the 2015 season Casagrande had plans to run part-time in a Granite State Pro Stock Series car his family purchased during the offseason and co-owns with Stafford Speedway SK Light Modified division regular Bob Charland.
The plan was that Casagrande and Charland would split time behind the wheel of the car. Now Charland has decided to step aside and let Casagrande run the car full-time.
Casagrande was leading the 50-lap Late Model feature Friday at Stafford Speedway when he was spun out of the lead by Josh Wood on lap 35.
A scuffle later ensued in the pits involving the Casagrande Motorsports team, leading to suspensions for Casagrande and also his older brother Kyle, who also competes in the Late Model division at Stafford.
“We figured, the way this year has been going [in the Late Model divison at Stafford], all three races something has happened to us,” Casagrande said. “We just figured, it’s time for a change. Obviously, I’m not going to sit here and bash anyone. We’re good friends with the Arute’s and I respect everything they’ve done for me and everybody at the track. It’s just a division that kind of gives you bad habits I guess. So we’re just going to change up what we do and run a little less and try to find the fun aspect of racing again that we kind of lost. That’s pretty much it.
“It’s fun traveling around. We put a lot of money into the Pro Stock this year. We weren’t going to race it as much as we wanted to, but now this kind of gives us a chance to actually follow through with running all the races.”
Casagrande was in his third season running full-time in the Late Model division at Stafford. After winning the 2012 Limited Late Model division championship at Stafford, Casagrande won the Late Model Rookie of the Year title in 2013. He had one victory that season in the Late Model division and finished fifth in the points.
He started the Granite State Pro Stock Series season opener this year at Thompson Speedway on April 12, finishing ninth. The team missed the second event of the season on April 24 at Claremont (N.H.) Speedway. The division has 10 events remaining this year, including their season finale at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl on Oct 24. The division’s next event is May 24 at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H.
Casagrande made Granite State Pro Stock Series starts last year at Hudson (N.H.) Speedway and at Monadnock in a ride he shared with longtime local Pro Stock driver Jeff Connors of Ellington.
Kyle Casagrande was also suspended one week by Stafford for involvement in the post-race issues in the pits. Cory Casagrande said the team is unsure whether or not Kyle Casagrande will return to the division.
Cory Casagrande said not to count him out from returning to competition at Stafford this year, but he said it won’t be in a Late Model. It might be in an open wheel ride though.
“I think if we’re back at Stafford at all it will probably be in an SK Light [Modified], just to try it out,” Cory Casagrande said. “It’s a lot easier to do that when you’re not running for points. A little less stressful. It’s definitely something I want to try, definitely something I am going to try. It’s just a matter of when. We’re setting our focus on the Monadnock race in the Pro Stock first and then whatever happens after that happens. The Pro Stock will be, first and foremost our most important car now.”