Joey Cipriano, Cory Casagrande, Chase Dowling, Austin Bessette and David Comeau Garner Rookie Awards At Stafford

Champions will be center stage when Stafford Motor Speedway honors its competitors at their 2013 banquet at Maneeley’s in South Windsor on Nov. 22.

Joey Cipriano (84) in action this season at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Stafford Speedway)

Joey Cipriano (84) in action this season at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Stafford Speedway)

But behind the champions, youth will be served in the form of the Rookie of the the Year award winners from competition in 2013 at the half-mile oval.

Joey Cipriano III of Waterbury will be honored as the SK Modified division rookie of the year.

Cipriano, of Waterbury, started 13 of 18 events and finished the season 15th in the standings with two top-five finishes and 10 top-10’s.

Cipiriano parted ways with team owner Steve Greer five races into the season before returning in his own family owned ride.

“Those five weeks were the worst weeks I’ve had in a while having to sit in the grandstands,” Cipriano said in a release from Stafford. “We knew we wanted to come back but we weren’t sure how long it was going to be. We were hoping it was going to be this season but we weren’t sure. We had a lot of people step up and help us out so that we were able to get a motor and get the car together as an SK.”

Cipriano, who finished second to Dan Avery in the season’s penultimate SK Modified race of the year, edged Zach Aszklar for the rookie title.

The Late Model division in 2013 saw Cory Casagrande continuing a streak of success that has carried over three divisions at the track over the last four years.

Casagrande, of Stafford, won three times as a DARE Stock division rookie in 2010. He won eight events over two seasons and the 2012 championship in Stafford Limited Late Model division.

In 2013 he proved a quick study in a Late Model on the way to the division’s Rookie of the Year award. Casagrande proved a regular contender for much of the season and won his first Late Model feature on Sept. 6th.

“I knew we were going to have good equipment to put ourselves into position to win we just needed to have some luck and I felt like we should be able to get a win once we got the hang of the Late Model car,” Casagrande said. “The Limited and Late Model cars are really similar but the Late Model handles a little better and it goes a little faster. It’s a lot different racing because passing cars is really hard and I think the biggest adjustment for me was learning how to pass cars this year. think we were about where we expected to be. We wanted to win a race and we wanted to win Rookie of the Year and we accomplished that and we finished in the top-5 in the points, so you really can’t complain about a season like that for your rookie year.”

Chase Dowling of Roxbury, who finished second to Tony Membrino in the SK Light Modified division standings by four points, and had a division high seven victories, will be honored as that division’s Rookie of the Year.

Austin Bessette of Stafford had three victories and finished sixth in the standings on the way to the 2013 Limited Late Model division Rookie of the Year title.

Dave Comeau of Palmer, Mass., who finished fifth in the DARE Stock standings with 14 top-10’s in 18 events, will be honored as that division’s Rookie of the Year.

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