Teaching Lessons: Stephanie Berardi Returns To Stafford And Drives To DARE Stock Win

STAFFORD – The plan for Stephanie Berardi originally was that her return to college this year would mark the end of the racing season for her.

Stephanie Berardi celebrates Friday at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Nicholas Teto)

This week that plan changed, and the East Windsor driver was thrilled she made the decision to return from North Carolina this week to race one more time this season.

Berardi, a sophomore at High Point University in High Point, N.C., won the first of two 12-lap DARE Stock features Friday at Stafford.

Austin Bessette of Stafford was second and Kristopher Fluckiger of Enfield third.

It was the second career victory for Berardi, who also won a DARE Stock race on Sept. 18, 2009.

For Berardi the race had even more special meaning. It will likely be her last event for quite a while. She said she will likely be interning next summer for Penske Racing, which will mean staying in North Carolina during the local racing season.

Berardi finished third in the first DARE Stock feature last week, but rain washed away the second scheduled DARE Stock feature last Friday.

The race was rescheduled for this week. Berardi was already locked into the field with the second starting position.

“After it started raining my dad was like ‘Don’t worry, we’ll bring you back.’” Berardi said. “I thought it was just something he was saying.”

Tuesday Berardi drove back to High Point with her mother. Mom decided to stay for the week and Berardi and her mother drove back from North Carolina overnight Thursday and into Friday morning.

“This meant a lot to me,” Berardi said. “I had a good position and the car has been phenomenal. It’s never been this good for me. So I couldn’t let it go.”

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