Preece
Ryan Preece will start from the outside pole position for the Spring Sizzler. (Stafford Speedway Photo)

Silk, Preece Win NAPA Auto Parts Duels At Stafford

STAFFORD SPRINGS, Conn. — Stafford Speedway kicked off its race season with the NAPA Auto Parts Duels as part of the 50th NAPA Spring Sizzler Weekend. 

Feature races were held for the Pro-All Star Series Late Models, Limited Late Models, Street Stocks, and Vintage All-Stars along with two 40-lap NAPA Duel races that set the top-20 lineup for Sunday’s 100-lap NAPA Spring Sizzler main event. 

In the first 40-lap NAPA Duel Race, Matt Swanson took the early lead with Ron Silk, Chuck Hossfeld, Stephen Kopcik, and Bobby Santos, III lined up behind him. Mark Bakaj got into the backstretch wall and spun to bring the caution out with two laps complete.

Swanson took the lead on the lap three restart with Hossfeld and Silk side-by-side for second while Santos and Kopcik were side-by-side for fourth behind them.  Santos got loose coming out of turn two and he spun on the backstretch to bring the caution flag back out with four laps complete.

On the restart, Artie Pedersen, III shot into the turn three wall to bring the caution back out before a lap could be completed. The next restart saw Silk get around Swanson to move into the lead, but he only held the lead until lap six when Swanson went back to the front. 

The caution came back out with 19 laps complete for Eric Goodale, who came to a stop at the entrance to pit road.

The lap 20 restart saw Swanson and Silk race side-by-side for a lap before Swanson got clear into the lead. Silk took the lead from Swanson on lap 22 and one lap later saw McKennedy take third from Hossfeld.

Silk ran unchallenged to the checkered flag to win NAPA Duel No. 1 and earn pole position for the 100-lap NAPA Spring Sizzler. 

The remainder of the top-ten positions, which will make up the first ten cars on the inside row for Sunday’s main event were Swanson, McKennedy, Hossfeld, Christopher, Kopcik, Blewett, Labonte, Flannery, and Andrew Molleur.

In the second 40-lap NAPA Duel Race, Teddy Hodgdon took the lead from the second starting position with Woody Pitkat in second. Cory DiMatteo was third with Ryan Preece in fourth and Ronnie Williams in fifth. 

The field completed the first lap before a multi-car incident broke out going down the backstretch that involved the cars of Keith Rocco, Jeff Gallup, Anthony Bello, and Noah Korner to bring the caution flag out.

The lap two restart saw Pitkat streak into the lead with Preece taking second. Hodgdon settled into line in third with Williams fourth and Matt Hirschman taking fifth from Cory DiMatteo. 

Preece took the lead from Pitkat on lap four with Hodgdon, Williams, and Hirschman still making up the top five.

Preece led Pitkat to the checkered flag to win the race and earn the outside pole position for Sunday’s 100-lap NAPA Spring Sizzler. The remainder of the top-ten positions, which will make up the first ten cars on the inside row for Sunday’s main event were Swanson, McKennedy, Hossfeld, Christopher, Kopcik, Blewett, Labonte, Flannery, and Andrew Molleur.

Also Taking down feature wins were Eddie MacDonald in the 75-lap PASS Late Model race, Matt Scappini in the 20-lap Limited Late Model race, Travis Hydar in the 20-lap Street Stock feature, and Ben Levangie in the 15-lap Vintage All-Stars feature.

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