Hot Dog: Cory DiMatteo Scores Third Consecutive SK Modified Win At Stafford 

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

STAFFORD – Ultra-dramatic competition at the front of the field has been the constant theme in the SK Modified field the last three events at Stafford Speedway. 

And another constant during that span has been the driver making the most of that drama out front each week. 

Cory DiMatteo got by Andrew Molleur for the lead on lap 37 and then held off the challenges of Molleur over the final three laps to win the 40-lap SK Modified feature Friday at Stafford. 

It was the third consecutive SK Modified victory for DiMatteo, of Farmington. 

“It’s hard to get one [win at Stafford], let alone three,” DiMatteo said. “… I’m speechless,” DiMatteo said. “Last year we got two wins and I would have been happy to get two more. To get three in a row at the beginning of the year is just insane. It feels like a dream.” 

DiMatteo became the first driver since Stephen Kopcik in 2021 to score three consecutive victories in the division. 

“That was a good race. A little crazy in the beginning with some accidents. Thank you to [Molleur] for running me clean. He ran me with a lot of respect there. 

Molleur, of Shelton, was second. 

“We fired off a little tight on the last couple of restarts there,” Molleur said. “I was just trying to hang on. [DiMatteo’s] team definitely has it figured out. Three wins in a row is obviously hard to do. It’s hard to win one race obviously at Stafford. To win three in a row is pretty awesome so congratulations to them.” 

Keith Rocco of Wallingford was third. 

“We’re getting closer here.” Rocco said. “It’s been a tough start to the season but we’re starting to get close to being in contention for a win at the end of the race. We always have a fast car in the beginning.”

RJ Marcotte held the top spot at the front at the start. 

With Marcotte leading, Tyler Hines in second and Jon Puleo in third, the first caution flew on lap four for a four car wreck in turn four. 

On the lap four restart it was Hines getting the jump on Marcotte off of turn two. Coming off of turn four contact from Marcotte sent Hines spinning to the infield to bring the caution back out. Marcotte was black flagged for the incident putting Michael Gervais Jr. in second, Todd Owen in second and Puleo in third for the restart. 

On the restart Gervais was able to hold the top spot.

Caution was back out on lap seven for the stopped car of Bryan Narducci in turn two. 

On the lap seven restart it was Gervais holding the lead with Owen fighting him for second. On lap eight contact from Puleo sent Owen spinning out of second place in turn two. Puleo was black flagged for the incident setting up a restart with Gervais leading, Rocco in second and Mikey Flynn in third. 

On the lap eight restart to was Gervais and Rocco going side-by-side for the leap with Rocco leading by inches at the start/finish line. 

The side-by-side battle between Gervais and Rocco continued on laps nine and 10, with Gervais leading each lap at the line. 

On lap 11 Gervais was able to clear Rocco off of turn two, opening the door for Flynn to move to second. On lap 13 Flynn was able to find the lane under Gervais into turn three to grab the lead. A lap later it was Molleur moving to second. 

After pestering Flynn for two laps, Molleur found the lane under the leader into turn three and came off of turn four with the lead on lap 19. By then DiMatteo had worked his way to third place.

On lap 26 it was DiMatteo getting under Flynn in turn three and coming off of turn four with second place. 

With Molleur leading, DiMatteo in second and Flynn in third, caution flew on lap 28 for the stopped car of Wesley Prucker in turn two. 

On the lap 28 restart, Molleur got the advantage at the green with DiMatteo moving in behind him off turn four while Rocco was using the outside lane to go by Flynn for third. 

On lap 32 DiMatteo got under Molleur through turn four. The pair came to the start/finish line side-by-side with Molleur leading by inches. Into turn four it was DiMatteo grabbing the lead for his own. But at the back of the field later on the same lap, George Bessette Jr. ended up stopped in turn two, bringing out the caution and negating the pass for the lead. 

On the lap 33 restart it was Molleur and DiMatteo once again battling side-by-side with Rocco looking to get into the mix behind them. Molleur was able to clear DiMatteo off of turn four coming to complete the lap. The caution was out once again though on lap 34 for a four car wreck in turn three. 

On lap 34 restart it was Molleur getting the advantage, leaving DiMatteo to battle with Rocco for second place. By lap 36 DiMatteo shook off the challenge from Rocco and quickly got back to Molleur’s bumper. On lap 37 DiMatteo got under Molleur into turn three and came off of turn four with the lead. 

Molleur stayed with DiMatteo and pestered his bumper for laps 38 and 39, but DiMatteo found some breathing room on the final lap run to the checkered.

“That was a good race.” DiMatteo said. “A little crazy in the beginning with some accidents. Thank you to [Molleur] for running me clean. He ran me with a lot of respect there. … I took the lead and I thought we had the lead but we had to go back a lap. [Rocco] was racing hard. Again, clean but racing really hard. Once I got clear of him it looked like I was a little bit better than [Molleur].” 


  1. Congrats to Cory and the 11 team for this 3rd win in a row. Awesome! 👍👍🏁🏁🏁

  2. Enduro59 says

    Congratulations to Cory and the whole team. Well deserved and quite an accomplishment. This is where hard work, preparation, and perseverance pays off. Also skill, knowledge and experience. This team has been on the verge of this kind of success for a while. Props to Cory and Keith Rocco for acknowledging their engine builders in their post race interviews.

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