This Side Up: Cory Casagrande Walks Away From Nasty Flip In SK Light Modified At Stafford

Stafford Speedway track crew members work to right the upside down Cory Casagrande SK Light Modified

STAFFORD – Cory Casagrande just wants to get one completed lap of competition under his belt in an SK Light Modified at Stafford Motor Speedway.

The Stafford driver was scheduled to make his debut in the division last Friday before a linkage issue during pace laps before the division’s feature had him parked in the pits before the start.

Friday Casagrande had a much scarier ending to his evening behind the wheel of the SK Light Modified.

On the first lap of the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature Firday, Casagrande ended up flipped on the frontstretch just out of turn four after a wild wreck.

“First time I’ve ever flipped,” Casagrande said. “I’ve been in some pretty crazy crashes but that was different.”

Nick Salva of Prospect went on to win the feature. Stephen Kopcik of Newtown was second and Tony Membrino Jr. of Plantsville third.

The wild chain reaction wreck began when second place running Payton Henry ended up out of control coming out of turn four on the opening lap after contact with Kyle Trayner.

“It was a tough deal,” Casagrande said. “The guy wrecked up front and we were trying to back it down and I ran over the left rear of [D.J. Burnham] and from there I just kind of held the brakes and held on.”

“I’ve got to thank Stafford Speedway and their track crew … they got me out safely and calmly. It’s the best crew out there. I was just sitting upside down and thinking ‘Everything is moving, I can see fine.’ I was talking to [track safety crew member Rick Hartenstein] next to me and everything was Ok. I made sure all my power was off and I was yelling at them to make sure they saw the fuel that was dumping on the ground because my carburetor got ripped off. They just have a great crew. I’m safe so I can’t complain about anything.”

Casagrande, a former regular in the Late Model division at the track, left that the division earlier this year after multiple early season wrecks.

“I’m 0-for-0 in SK Light [Modified] starts in just finishing a lap,” Casagrande said. “A linkage broke under caution laps last week. You’re going to have mechanical failures. But wrecking on the first lap really dampens the mood. It just kind of goes along with the year we’ve been having. It’s unfortunate, but we’ll find a way to come back.”

The wreck took out a number of cars, including Burnham and Joey Ferrigno, who came into the event tied for the division’s points lead.

It was the second victory of the season for Salva.

“This car was unbelievable,” Salva said. “I’ve got a lot of people I’ve got to thank. We were in the pits getting ready to come out and a rocker arm fell off. … We weren’t going to race. The rocker arm was off and we got it back together.”


  1. No offense but this guy doesn’t belong driving a race car, I know he was a champion in whatever division but again family with money just letting him destroy race cars. He wrecked late model so let’s try a different division well same result which is telling you something…… Some really good drivers wished their family had the money to compete every week and can’t but I’ve been around racing since the early days of Danbury and plainville to see this story over again what’s it take to know step aside for awhile to regroup or give up before you hurt someone or yourself just saying…..

  2. Modfan- if you’re upset about families with money in racing then i think you should seek a different sport to follow. i will disagree with you on his talent. I think he did well in the late models and it’s good to see him show some diversity by trying out some open wheel stuff and bouncing around other tracks in the LM. i saw a grandstand view of the wreck and it looked like a freak accident… as if he caught wheels in a weird way and shot the car airborne.

  3. Bob you obviously don’t understand the comment I don’t care about families with money in racing it’s been that way for years I’ve been around racing my whole life my family even raced my point was he was good in limiteds and ok in late models but you have a wreck in late models cry like a baby I’m not coming back then show up in an sk lite and destroy it. Same outcome as late model so don’t think just because your in a different division or so called diversity it’s not its a family with money letting him have fun but at what expense?? When he hurts someone or himself freak accident I don’t think so I was in turn 4 grandstands if he were paying attention would have avoided it like many others did. He head has gotten to big and no reality steps in your not as good as you think you are…..

  4. not once did he cry like a baby. He just said it was not fun anymore and want to try something else. Also until u know the whole story about him and his family u should keep your opinions to yourself. that kid works his but off to go race. So u and your family raced and u guys never wrecked cars and had off season so u were champs at every thing u did in racing.

  5. Cory Casagrande says

    @modfan thanks for the support! , I’ll give my take on it, even though I shouldn’t waste my time with someone who won’t even post their own name. THe whole outside lane was practically in the wreck and I was about a foot from either making it by or crashing upside down, unfortunately I did the second and it was about a second after the leaders got tangled, sorry we don’t have spotters and it was a bad deal, you can bash me all you want but I never just wreck Racecars. I’ve been wrecked quite a few
    Times this year and you will have that. I know I’m not
    Perfect nor have I ever claimed to
    Be. And by the way, my family or myself didn’t pay a dime to drive this car. Although most of the damaged parts I do pay out of my own pocket, but im sure you know it all anyway.

  6. First and foremost I am not a Casagrande fan although I see the enthusiasm he has for racing. . I have been attending races for nearly 50 years. The Casagrande family has many years of racing and sponsoring cars in the sport I love which I appreciate. Many in racing exist due to family money and support. It is obvious the kid works hard to field good looking and fast cars. He is still young and has won races in the past. Why be so critical of young guy trying to advance in the sport he enjoys? Some day he may be a multi-time champion at Stafford one of the toughest short tracks in the country. Cut the kid some slack.

  7. Jim Hemstock says

    I watched this incident from the turn 4 grandstands as I do every week. Cory did nothing wrong he got caught up in an accident caused by another driver. Glad no one got hurt and nice to see Cory back at the best local racing track around!!

  8. Mod fan, I know you have a right to your own opinions but frankly you should know better than to kick a guy when he’s down.
    I might expect that from a teenager but not from a man who’s been around this sport for as long as you have.
    Think twice before posting things. Just saying…..

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