Showstopper: Cory DiMatteo Tops Thriller Of An SK Modified Feature At Stafford 

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

STAFFORD – The “event” at Stafford Speedway Friday was the NAPA Spring Sizzler 100, but the “show” was the SK Modified feature. 

Cory DiMatteo, Mike Christopher Jr., George Bessette Jr. and Keith Rocco gave fans an edge of the seat feature where the battle for the lead seemingly never ceased until the checkered flag flew. 

When it was over it was Cory DiMatteo of Farmington celebrating victory in the 40-lap SK Modified feature Friday at Stafford Speedway. 

“That was an awesome race,” DiMatteo said. “I said it to myself even as we were finishing there, a first, second, third or fourth, it would have been fun. That was just so much fun.” 

It was the sixth overall SK Modified victory at Stafford for DiMatteo. He had four wins over the last two seasons and finish second in the division standings last year. 

“Just so happy, this car is awesome,” DiMatteo said. “It’s like a brand new race car even though it’s not. This car just feels like an old pair of shoes and I love it. 

“We’ve worked hard in the past three years to get where we’re at and it shows. You just put your nose to the ground and you keep doing your homework, you can turn any car that you might say is junk into a race winning car.” 

Christopher, of Wolcott, was second and Bessette, of Danbury, third. 

“At least we were able to put on a good show for the people who stayed,” Christopher said. “I know it was pretty cold. Whether it was me and Cory or Keith and I … the outside was a little bit better. But I think at the end there it just mattered who controlled the lead.” 

Christopher and Teddy Hodgdon spent the first three laps racing side-by-side at the front of the field. 

On lap 4 it was Christopher clearing Hodgdon for the lead with Keith Rocco moving to second place. 

On lap five it was Rocco finding a lane under Christopher in turn four, but Christopher fought off the challenge. 

Rocco went to the lead in the side-by-side battle on lap six and cleared Christopher for the lead on lap seven. 

On lap 13 it was Christopher fighting back to the front getting by Rocco in turn three. Caution flew on lap 20 for the stopped car of Troy Talman. Christopher held the top spot on the restart. On lap 24 Jon Puleo got into the frontstretch wall, setting off a multiple car wreck. 

On the restart it was Christopher and Rocco putting on a side-by-side battle out front. On lap 25 Christopher cleared Rocco for the lead with DiMatteo moving to second.

On lap 26 DiMatteo got under Christopher for the lead into turn one, but caution flew before the lap could be completed. The restart set off a dramatic battle out front. On laps 26, 27, 28 and 29 Christopher and DiMatteo battled side-by-side for the lead. Caution flew on lap 30 with Christopher leading and DiMatteo in second. 

The side-by-side battle for the lead continued following the lap 30 restart. On lap 34 DiMatteo under Christopher through turns one and two and came off of turn four with the lead. 

Caution was back out on lap 38 with DiMatteo leading, Christopher in second and Bessette in third. On the restart it was Bessette getting past Christopher to take over second. On the final lap Bessette gave DiMatteo a slam in turn two. DiMatteo’s car wiggled, but came off the corner straight. With Bessette’s momentum stunted, Christopher was able to get under him into turn three to take over second. 

“Hats off to [Christopher], he ran me with a lot of respect,” DiMatteo said. “He let me stay on the outside of him for a handful of laps. He gave me a lane.” 


  1. Great sk race , great skl race – open mods not so much

  2. Open wheel Fan says

    The SK race was the class of the racing program. That was one of the best SK Races ever. The sizzler was just OK and nothing to brag about. The SK feature had it all over the sizzler. What an exciting race the SK race put on. Race day hit the nail on the head in their article. Worth the price of admission!!! Sizzler little over rated in the end. Nice starting field of 28 SK modifieds. Not a better modified show in the country.

  3. I’m with Steve and Open Wheel , best race of the night by far . Saved the day .

  4. Great run by the Mad Pup

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