Closing The Deal: Cory DiMatteo Grabs First SK Modified Win At Stafford Speedway





Cory DiMatteo celebrates his first career SK Modified victory Friday at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont/Stafford Speedway)

STAFFORD – The receiving line waiting for Cory DiMatteo in the pits Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway following the SK Modified feature looked worse than some traffic jams on the track at Stafford. 

Driver after driver was there waiting to congratulate the 22-year from Farmington. It was a testament not only to the popularity of DiMatteo among his peers in the division but also for the fact that he has been the driver so many looked at as the most likely next first-time winner in the division. 

DiMatteo, a contender for victories regularly since last July at Stafford finally broke through. 

DiMatteo took the lead on lap eight and never trailed again on the way to victory in the 40-lap SK Modified feature at Stafford Speedway. 

“It’s a huge accomplishment,” DiMatteo said. “It’s probably one of the biggest wins I’ll have unless I go to a [Whelen Modified Tour] car or something like that. It’s the pinnacle right now for me, I’m not looking any further than this.” 

For DiMatteo it proved an emotional final 10 laps. He was in position to win multiple times last season only to see his chances dashed for various reasons. 

“I was definitely full emotion but I didn’t want to get too excited,” DiMatteo said of the closing laps. “I’ve lost a bunch like that. That’s racing, it’s never over until the last flag drops. I just tried to stay cool and hit my marks. I tried not to slide my car. I knew if I bobbled a little I was going to have trouble behind me. I tried to run like an eight-lap heat race or a practice. Just hit my marks and was smooth.” 

Division rookie Teddy Hodgdon IV of Danbury was second and Keith Rocco of Wallingford third. 

“It was very nerve-wracking,” DiMatteo said. “I lost one like this last year. The caution came out on lap 38 and I was just praying it wasn’t going to happen again. We’ve had a great car for half of last year and this year. Just super stoked that we were able to finally capitalize. It’s been a long time coming. I’ve won in a bunch of different stuff and it feels like the [SK Modified] is the hardest division I’ve ever raced in.” 

For DiMatteo, staying positive through the frustration of chances lost has been key. 

“You can’t have a negative attitude,” DiMatteo said. “I’ve learned a lot in the past three years I’ve been in the division. I’m setting up the car every week myself now. Keith [Rocco] started with me but and he’s been great to me, but you can only do so much when someone else is working on your car. … We have our equipment where it needs to be and hopefully we can rattle off a couple.” 

Comments

  1. Congrats to Cory and your team on your first SK modified win. Great job.

  2. It’s hard to say there are good wrecks but the early wreck in this race set the stage for some terrific, unexpected results. The heavy hitters got messed up in the scrum and were preoccupied coming from the rear while battling each other. Rufrano couldn’t hold his position in the front but DiMatteo and Hodgdon had just enough speed to keep the wolves at bay and no late caution. No caution was the key.
    The biggest loser was Moeller. He got out of shape on his own in 4 and caused the melee. The loser part was not the wreck, that stuff happens. He had a fast car and was poised for a great finish. Tough luck for Kopcik who was also fast and ends up yet again the victim of circumstance beyond his control.
    Hodgdon is the guy to watch. He is so analytical and makes incremental improvement every time he straps in.

  3. Nice to see car counts staying up even during these uncertain times. Any word on the Avery cars. Three cars that are a threat to win missing from the field, still very deep and competitive field. Also impressed by the late model numbers. Looking back seems Tom Fearns complete dominance of the division might have been a little less complete if Adam Gray hadn’t taken a hiatus, he certainly would have stolen a few wins.

  4. 🌈🦄2020 says

    If Dafella had seen the crowd Friday night, his head would’ve exploded 🤯

  5. SKLightFan says

    Great run Congrats to the whole 6 team. They were fast all day. One more caution and the 88 would have been in VL. All of Rocco’s cars are at the top each week. The 35 got turned on lap 2. 33 and 48 were fast also. Great night for the 55 also set up by Rocco.

  6. SKLightFan says

    Great run Congrats to the whole 6 team. They were fast all day. One more caution and the 88 would have been in VL. All of Rocco’s cars are at the top each week. The 35 got turned on lap 2. 33 and 48 were fast also. Great night for the 55 also set up by Rocco. Great field of cars.

  7. Nice job Stafford. 4 SK races in the books and it could have been 6 were it not for rain and it’s barely August.
    Rocco, Owen,Williams and Christopher tops in points. No surprise there. Mikey Flynn, a rookie in the SPAFCO 5th. Didn’t see that one coming. One of Dodge’s pat phrases is “if he didn’t have bad luck he’d have no luck at all” He uses it too much but for Kopcik it’s true. Poor guy always has a fast car, gets collected in someone else’s wreck and has to spend the week getting the car back to fast again.
    Moeller got a no caution at the end win last year and DiMatteo same thing so good for them. Membrino, DiMatteo, Moeller and Rufrano are fast on occasion but inconsistent or fade. Any Avery stable car can win on a given night but they are clearly second tier just a hair off. On most nights Rocco has clocked the fastest lap but ever so slightly. Rocco, Owen, Williams, Kopcik and Christopher seem to be the top tier. On most nights we’ll be seeing those 5 elite cars fighting for wins with the battle being who can deliver perfection and avoid trouble on the most nights. In the end Rocco, Owen or Williams will prevail but it will be a war yet again and luck may be the deciding factor.

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