Fight Out Front: Cory DiMatteo Wins Drama Packed SK Modified Feature At Stafford

Cory DiMatteo celebrates victory in the SK Modified feature Friday at Stafford (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

STAFFORD – It was all drama and then all cruise control for Cory DiMatteo Friday at Stafford Speedway. 

DiMatteo was involved in multiple side-by-side battles for the lead before checking out on the field to win the 40-lap SK Modified feature Friday at Stafford Speedway. 

It was the second victory of the season and third overall in the division for the Farmington driver. 

“That was fun a race,” DiMatteo said. “The fans deserve that one. The racing here this year hasn’t been all that great with the circumstances we’re under. So when you have a chance to put on a show you’ve got to do it.” 

Noah Korner of Canton had a season best second place finish. 

“It’s been a long time since we’ve been up here,” Korner said. “We had some great racing with [DiMatteo]. He wheeled it. It was unfortunate what happened with [David Arute] and we couldn’t have something for Cory at the end. I’m really glad that everybody with my team has stuck with me. Keith Rocco has been busting his tail giving me a bad fast race car over the last couple weeks, actually the whole year. We’re finally piecing them together.” 

Division points leader Todd Owen of Somers was third. 

Korner went by Mike Christopher Jr. for the lead at the start with Troy Talman going to second place. 

Caution flew on lap 13 with Korner leading, Owen in second and DiMatteo in third. On the restart it was DiMatteo vaulting into a side-by-side battle with Korner for the top spot. DiMatteo led at the line to complete lap 13 and the pair went side-by-side for lap 14 before caution flew again on lap 15 for a multi-car wreck in turn one. 

On the lap 15 restart Korner was able to find a way past DiMatteo to regain the lead. On lap 16 DiMatteo found a lane under Korner with pair going side-by-side to the line with Korner out front. Korner cleared DiMatteo off turn four on lap 17. Caution flew once again on lap 18 for a turn one wreck. 

On the lap 18 restart DiMatteo moved back to the front. A lap later Arute moved by Korner to take over second. 

On lap 24 Arute got under DiMatteo in turns one and two with the pair going side-by-side to complete the lap with DiMatteo leading at the line. The pair stayed side-by-side for lap 25 with Arute leading at the line to complete the lap. 

On lap 26 Arute was able to clear DiMatteo off of turn two, but DiMatteo fought back to the inside in turn three and the pair went to the line side-by-side once again with DiMatteo back out front to complete the lap. 

On lap 28 contact between Arute and third place Korner sent Arute spinning in turn four. Arute got back on track without the caution flying, allowing DiMatteo to check out from the field. 

DiMatteo kept Korner a hefty distance behind over the final 10 laps. 


  1. The 99 car, very strong memories.
    Pennink driving it to championships in 2015 and 2016 were the high water marks for the car but not in my memory. 2017 the 99 had only one win but what a win. 9/1/17 Christopher gives Pennink a shot to take the lead then Pennink returns the favor several fold avoiding a rough riding call only because Christopher was so good he kept his car from spinning. Then the fight in victory lane, the penalties and two weeks of both Christopher and Pennink coming from the tail end of the field for great finishes like the penalties didn’t matter. A banner year for Christopher to that point dominating with 6 feature wins left unfinished by the tragedy soon to follow. 2014 the most memorable year for the 99 in my book. Every week it seemed like either Pennink or Preece won, the two combining for about two thirds of all the wins that year. Christopher won the championship being Mr. Consistent with only one win but the show that year was Preece vs Pennink that most nights seemed stuck together as if glued. At least that’s the way I remember it.
    Every year the 99 is listed for some reason in the SK roster at Stafford and like Hirschman it went from hope to just being annoying seeing it there….until now.
    There was all kinds of optimism for Hodgdon in the 22 to start the year but not so much from me. Since Dowling walked away from the ride it just seemed like something was missing. I’m hoping the Hodgdon/99 connection has legs. Hodgdon nothing like Pennink in driving style but has the potential to be as successful in his own way and super smart. Maybe it was just the old 99 with the chassis updated and one of the old 55 SK motors. Hodgdon doesn’t seem like a fruitless, nostalgia run, moral victory type of guy so the hope is this was a preview of something better to come.

  2. Stuart A Fearn says

    I agree with Doug, It was great to see Bob Hitchcock’s number 99SK there with Teddy Hodgdon behind the wheel. Unfortunately I saw him get pushed in after the first practice. I’m not sure what happened but I wish them all the success. Both the Hodgdon family and Hitchcock are great people and competitors

  3. Watch that SK race two or three times. There’s so much going on in it, it’s tough to grasp viewing it just once.
    Most over used expression…just bad luck. Balderdash if you hear it attributed over and over again to the same person. One of them would be Korner they say has had every form of bad luck this season and I’m not buying it at all. Last night he had luck…all good. Lap 12 restart he drives Owen way up in two in a clear out that made DiMatteo look like a driving wiz shooting underneath. Owen in victory lane classy as always barely mentions it but he was ticked and rightfully so. Intentional or a blunder it was still horrible racing. Lap 26 Korner gets into Arute, doesn’t back out shooting Arute into the grass. Arute has the presence of mind to spin and bring out the caution Korner would definitely be joining him at the rear of the field. David got it back on the track, no yellow so no penalty. Arute Korner’s victim in my view and Korner the beneficiary of Arute’s good driving. Pretty ironic don’t you think?
    Unlike Korner Rufrano did get black flagged and did a real nice job driving back into relevance at the end. Another guy they often attribute bad luck to far too often.
    Timex timely move of the night also on lap 26 by DiMatteo. Outside of Arute, backs out then darts inside for the pass in the fastest execution of that difficult maneuver I’ve ever seen.
    DiMatteo under rated and Korner over rated in my view. Owen just perfect the way he is.

  4. Korner drove 30 miles in a fifth place car to finish second in a 20 mile race. He’s lucky Todd Owen is such a clean racer. The Champ deserves more respect than that.

  5. From Stafford Penalty Notice 9/2/2022: #11 is still listed as race winner on Stafford Website as of Wed. night.

    #11 SK Modified®, crew member Ed Flemke, Jr.
    Infraction- Actions detrimental to the sport, attempting to alter the car during post race technical inspection.
    Penalties- Suspended from Stafford Speedway paddock area for next completed event.
    $100 fine to driver of the #11 SK Modified® team (Cory DiMatteo) payable to Catherine V. Hubbard Animal Sanctuary Foundation via check.

    Does this mean the attempted altered part of the car was inspected and found to be legal? Can you still win a race, have a crew member allegedly attempt to alter car in inspection and still win and keep points? $100 fine vs win does not seem a deterrent.

  6. Good eye for catching that and good point. Perhaps in context it’s the perfect penalty were the move of the minimal variety, clumsily executed and obvious to catch. There’s the public shaming part that considering the name carries a little more gravitas. Even amusing. TC 13 tomorrow night. The notable owner who lets the dogs out at Stafford every event and DiMatteo both having a terrific year need not be punished if it doesn’t rise past the JV level infraction.
    The Bennett penalty on the other hand involves threatening of an official by a crew member. In the extreme that sort of stuff allowed to multiply unchecked ends up like Friendship Speedway in NC. Abruptly shutting down the season having had enough of competitors and fans acting out whenever they felt they were getting a raw deal.

  7. Stuart A Fearn says

    “attempting to alter the car during post race technical inspection.”
    that’s a new one to me. I’ve never seen a penalty for that. Wonder what it could be.

  8. Hi Shawn any more info on this penalty; on the actual rule independent of the specific incident and the specific incident itself. If Mr. Fearn is not aware of the rule my curiosity is even greater than my initial post.

  9. Steve M.,
    Nothing else that can be reported.

  10. Stuart A Fearn says

    I asked around yesterday since I was curious.
    Found out it was simply letting air out of a tire on the podium. That’s it. I’m not a modified guy so I don’t know what advantage that might be, maybe it’s a big deal. Remember Money Matt’s guy with the valve stem caps? I’d say it’s not a big deal but Stafford don’t want any tampering happening what-so-ever is my guess.

  11. Stafford SK Rules

    “20E- 12.8.2 GROUND CLEARANCE REQUIREMENTS – The frame rail and sheet metal ground clearance will be a minimum of two (2) inches. All ground clearance requirements will be measured with the driver in the car.”

    It’s counter intuitive suggesting letting air out of a tire benefiting minimum ride height but how about this. Don’t mess with the freaking tires after the race is over with weight and ride height coming up.

  12. Amen to that Doug. Thanks to everyone for their feedback.

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