Stafford Notes: Duane Provost, Cory DiMatteo, Johnny Walker Celebrate Championships 

Duane Provost celebrates his second consecutive Limited Late Model championship Saturday at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont)

STAFFORD – Duane Provost wasn’t calm until he had the championship banner in his hand.

Provost of Palmer, Mass. used a fifth place finish in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature at the NAPA Fall Final to clinch his second consecutive championship in the division.

Provost came into the race hanging onto to a 12-point lead in the standings.

“I knew anything could happen,” Provost said. “A flat tire, whatever. As it was, my car, I missed the setup. I made it too tight for the race. I definitely had some problems at the beginning of the race. I was able to drive through it. It was always going through my mind the whole time, ‘Am I going to be able to pull this off?’ You never know what’s going to happen.

Provost finished the season with three victories and 16 top-five’s in 17 starts.

“This year I got my first [consecutive] races won in a row and now I’ve got two championships in a row,” Provost said. “It’s a pretty cool accomplishment. … I really worked hard this year and everything I tried to do everything I could to get up here [on the podium] as much as I could and finally it paid off in the end and we’re celebrating the championship.”

Cliff Saunders of Stafford held off the charges of Bryan Narducci on a lap 18 restart and went on to get his third victory of the season.

“I’ve never had three wins in a season so this is really cool,” Saunders said.

Albert Saunders of Stafford was second and Alexandra Fearn of East Longmeadow, Mass. third.

Cory DiMatteo celebrates his first SK Light Modified championship Saturday at Stafford Motor Speedway (Photo Jim DuPont)

Rookie Cory DiMatteo finished fourth in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature to clinch his first championship.

“It’s just been a long, roller coaster season,” DiMatteo said. “We’ve had a lot of ups and downs. I’m just happy to finish on top.”

DiMatteo finished the season with four wins and 12 top-fives in 17 starts for the season.

“I kind of just put [the points] in the back of my mind and tried to win races,” DiMatteo said of the closing stretch of the season. “One week you’d look and you were ahead, one week you’d look like you had no shot. I guess that’s Stafford, this place is pretty crazy.”

Marcello Rufrano of North Haven got his fourth victory of the season in the SK Light Modified feature.

“You always want to go out with a win,” Rufrano said. “This year we had speed, we just had an up and down season. More bad luck than good luck sometimes and more good luck than bad luck sometimes. Just one of them seasons. I’m glad we did what we did this year. We’ll take this and build on it for next year and maybe we’ll get a championship out of it.”

Brett Gonyaw of Vernon was second and Daniel Wesson of Monson, Mass. third.

Johnny Walker celebrates his second consecutive DARE Stock championship Saturday at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont)

Johnny Walker closed out his second consecutive championship season by winning the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.

It was the eighth victory of the season for Walker, of Ludlow, Mass., who also had five second place finishes over 17 events.

After a feisty battle for the top spot, Walker passed Brandon Michael for the lead on lap 13 and didn’t trail again.

Michael, of Granville, Mass., was second and Dave Secore Jr. of Union third.

Walker clinched the championship on Sept. 22.

“When we knew we had the championship [clinched] we went in there just to have fun,” Walker said. “And that was probably [the most fun race all season] racing with Brandon door-to-door. I hope that was a great show for the fans. That was definitely my favorite race of the year.”

In the battle for bragging rights between Filomena Rufrano and Cassie Rocco in the DARE Stock feature, it was Rufrano taking the victory in their charity fundraiser matchup.

Rocco’s car had mechanical issues about halfway through the feature and she was forced to retire. Rufrano finished 16th in the 22-car field. Rocco was credited with a 21st place finish. Rocco is the wife of SK Modified division driver Keith Rocco. Rufrano is the wife of team owner John Rufrano and the mother of SK Light Modified driver Marcello Rufrano. They were competing as fundraiser for the American Cancer Society and raised about $6,000 for the event.

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Comments

  1. The chicks did well. Alexandra Fearn chalking up another victory lane appearance in the Final and 7th in points overall. A meager field but the cars that show up are as tough as nails so the year is a rousing success.
    Nicole Chambrello a 5th in the Final and sixth in points. Man I hope she comes back cause through grit and determination she is a legitimate force in the division.
    Cassandra Cole. 21st in points with only half the starts and a top 10 finish. Started 23rd in the Final and finished 18th. A ridiculously wonderful packed Final feature I might add. A great start. Please race full time.
    Could this weekend get better. Fantastic fields of cars and great weather for the final day? Rocco the guy they call Kid vs Dowling an actual kid. Superman Preece that can’t win the championship vs Coby the guy that dominates championships but few call superman. A great sendoff to Christopher in his final season.
    New Hampshire may be the Mecca for many as far a New England modified racing goes but for me The Fall Final is as good as it gets.

  2. Congrats to Brett Gonyaw and his team for coming back after last week’s wreck to finish 2nd. Nice work guys.

  3. Dareal finished last again
    He was in the mini bike race

  4. lightsout says:

    That 81 Sk Light has some talent apparently. That car was destroyed a week ago in turn 2. I heard they didn’t clip it, they just worked with what they had and came back and finished P2. Now that’s grit and determination if you ask me. Great job guys!

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