Stafford Notes: Tony Membrino Jr. Wins SK Light Mod Race; Austin Bessette Tops Limited Late Models

Tony Membrino Jr. (Photo: Stafford Motor Speedway)

Tony Membrino Jr. (Photo: Stafford Motor Speedway)

STAFFORD – The goal for Tony Membrino Jr. on Friday was pretty simple.

All the Plantsville driver wanted was to pull off the track at Stafford Motor Speedway after the SK Light Modified feature with his car in one piece.

He accomplished that goal, and did it in sweet fashion. Before pulling his car off the track he first made a visit to victory lane.

Membrino drove away from the field to win the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature Friday at Stafford.

It was perfect redemption for Membrino, who was involved in crashes the first two events of the year.

“I was starting to think we’d never get back here,” said Membrino, who started 13th. “Man, we didn’t finish the first two races. I’ve never had that happen ever. I didn’t know how to handle it. Thank god we got back here. … Just finish, that was all I really cared about. I didn’t care where I finished. I’m really happy we got to finally pull it off.

“We’ve been really trashing the car the past two weeks. Trashing the car, the truck, the trailer. Anything that could have went wrong went wrong. But I think we got the monkey off our backs.”

D.J. Burnham of East Hartford was second and Jay Goff of Stafford third.

After winning the SK Light Modified championship in 2013, Membrino made the jump to the SK Modified division in 2015. But after struggles financially he decided to return to the SK Light Modified division this year.

But the first two events of the season had him scratching his head about lost luck.

“[The frustration] was beyond words,” Membrino said. “I never had to experience anything like that before. … We had no problems with the car. The car has been fantastic. We just finally let it run all 20 laps and show what it’s got and make it through without a scratch, it’s really like a big weight off my shoulders. I’m going to ride this wave for a little while. I’ve got my eye on more wins. This one is going to be special. Two years ago when we won the championship our first win of the season was on the second Friday night and we just doubled up tonight. I’m pretty stoked.”

Austin Bessette of Stafford used a dominant car to run to victory in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature.

“The car was on rails,” Bessette said. “It was perfect. I wouldn’t change anything about it. Me and my dad communicate real well so I can tell him exactly what the car is doing and fine tune it exactly to my driving style and how I drive.”

Albert Saunders of Stafford was second and Andrew Hayes of Charlton, Mass. third.

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  1. So I take it Tony came from the back to win?

  2. Lauren,
    He started 13th.

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