(Stafford Springs, CT)—Stafford Speedway officials have released the 2020 rules for its premier full fendered Late Model division. For the 2020 season, the Late Model rules will remain unchanged from the 2019 season.
Stafford’s Late Model division currently sees Tom Fearn with a commanding 112 point lead in the championship standings and ready to claim his 3rd Late Model track title and his 6th overall at Stafford. Fearn leads all drivers with 7 wins this season but there have been 7 different Late Model feature winners this season. Michael Wray, Kevin Gambacorta and Al Saunders have each won twice while Cliff Saunders, Adam Gray, and Ryan Fearn each have a single win to their credit. Paul Arute, Michael Bennett, and Darrell Keane, who have all won races in previous seasons, are still in search of their first win this season.
Teams are encouraged to contact the track via phone, email, or social media with any questions relating to rules or track procedures.
(Stafford Springs, CT)—Stafford Speedway returned to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action with the Late Model division taking center stage with their extra distance Late Model 50 feature event. Ryan Fearn came away the big winner on the night, capturing his first career Late Model feature win. Fearn’s winnings from the night totaled $3,450 with $1,200 in purse money, $1,900 from the Gaston Racing Enterprises High Roller Challenge that saw Fearn roll a 1 in victory lane for the winner takes all option, and $350 in contingency bonus money from iRacing, New England Racing Fuel, Sunoco, and Bob’s Painting and Del’s Vinyl Siding. Other winners on the night included Ronnie Williams in the SK Modified® feature, Bryan Narducci in the SK Light feature, Alexandra Fearn in the Limited Late Model feature, and Meghan Fuller in the Street Stock feature.
In the 50-lap Late Model feature, Tyler Leary took the lead at the green with Ryan Fearn lined up behind him in second. Fearn took the lead from Leary on lap-2 as the leaders came back to the line with Darrell Keane third, Kevin Gambacorta fourth and Tom Fearn quickly worked his way into fifth utilizing the outside groove. Al Saunders was applying heavy pressure to Tom Fearn for fifth and he nearly made a pass on lap-5 but fell back in line.
Gambacorta slid back to sixth in line as the order on lap-10 was Ryan Fearn, Leary, Keane, Tom Fearn, Adam Gray, and Gambacorta. The caution came out with 12 laps complete as Andy Marchese, R.J. Surdell, and Paul Varricchio, Jr. came together coming out of turn 4.
Ryan Fearn didn’t come up to speed on the restart and he fell from the lead back to third as Leary took the lead and Gray moved into second. Al Saunders was up to fourth behind Ryan Fearn with Michael Wray in fifth. Trace Beyer got around Wray to move into fifth on lap-18 while Leary was starting to stretch out his advantage over Gray and Ryan Fearn.
Ryan Fearn made a move to get around Gray to move into second right at the halfway point of the race on lap-25. Al Saunders was still fourth with Beyer in fifth. Leary’s large lead was erased by the caution flag with 26 laps complete as Keane got into the backstretch wall at the entrance to turn 3.
Ryan Fearn streaked into the lead on the restart, but the caution came out almost immediately as Marchese and Scott Bouley spun in turn 1 to bring the caution back out. Ryan Fearn again took the lead on the restart with Leary in second. Saunders was third with Beyer and Tom Fearn lined up behind him in fifth. The caution came back out with 26 laps complete as Saunders and Beyer spun coming off turn 4 and nearly collected the car of Cliff Saunders, who did a great job to avoid hitting either Saunders or Beyer.
Ryan Fearn and Leary ran a lap side by side for the lead before Fearn got clear. Tom Fearn and Wray were side by side for third but the caution came back out with 27 laps complete for spins by Surdell, Marchese, and Bouley coming out of turn 2.
The restart saw a wreck on the backstretch that collected the cars of Gray, DeMone, Keane, Michael Wray, Tom Fearn, Cliff Saunders, and Richard Ciriello to bring the caution back out. This made the restart order Ryan Fearn and Tyler Leary on the front row, Michael Bennett and Gambacorta in the second row, and Dave Wray and David Arute in the third row.
Ryan Fearn took the lead back under green with Bennett in second. Dave Wray was third with Gambacorta fourth and Michael Wray charged his way into fifth. Michael Wray took fourth from Gambacorta on lap-32 with Tom Fearn and Leary following him through to move into fifth and sixth and drop Gambacorta back to seventh.
With 10 laps to go, Ryan Fearn had a lead of a second and a half over Bennett in second with Dave Wray, Michael Wray, and Tom Fearn still making up the remainder of the top-5.
Ryan Fearn led the field to the checkered flag to pick up his first career Late Model feature victory. Bennett came home second with Dave Wray, Tom Fearn, and Leary rounding out the top-5.
In the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, Tony Membrino, Jr. took the early lead with Dan Wesson and Stephen Kopcik lined up behind him. The caution flew with 3 laps complete as a multicar pileup in the middle of turns 3+4 brought the caution out.
Membrino took the lead back under green with Wesson right behind him but the caution came out with 7 laps complete for a spin in turns 3+4 by Marcello Rufrano. Kopcik took the lead from Membrino in the outside lane on the restart with Membrino and Cory DiMatteo side by side for second. DiMatteo took second going into turn 3 and he took the lead from Kopcik at the line on lap-9. The caution flew with 10 laps complete as Dan Wesson spun coming off turn 4.
Kopcik took the lead on the restart but DiMatteo went 3-wide with Kopcik and Ronnie Williams on lap-12 to take the lead. Kopcik came right back on lap-13 with a push from Williams to retake the lead. Keith Rocco was now in the mix for the lead as the top-4 cars were side by side two rows deep before the caution came back out with 18 laps complete for a spin by Tyler Jones at the exit of turn 2.
Williams powered his way into the lead back under green with Rocco and Kopcik fighting side by side for second. DiMatteo was fourth in line with Michael Gervais, Jr. up to fifth. Rocco cleared Kopcik for second on lap-26 and he began to set his sights on Williams in the lead. The caution came back out with 30 laps complete for a spin by Eric Berndt in turn 4 and Andrew Molleur came to a stop against the turn 2 wall.
Williams took the lead back under green while Kopcik and Rocco resumed their side by side duel for second. Rocco got clear of Kopcik on lap-33 and DiMatteo was now side by side with Kopcik for third with Gervais in fifth. Kopcik took third on lap-34 with Gervais pulling alongside DiMatteo for fourth. Up front, Rocco pulled to the outside of Williams on lap-35 and the two leaders were once again side by side. Williams cleared Rocco on lap-37 with Kopcik diving to the inside of Rocco for second. Coming to 2 to go, Rocco was right on Williams’ back bumper. Rocco tried a crossover move but Williams was able to fend off his challenge. The two cars touched going into turn 3 but Williams was able to maintain the lead with Rocco still in second. Rocco made one last bid for the lead in turns 3+4 but Williams took the checkered flag to pick up his second consecutive win and fifth of the 2019 season. Rocco finished second with Kopcik, Gervais, and DiMatteo rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap SK Light feature, Amanda West took the lead at the drop of the green with Chris Matthews in second. The action was fast and furious behind the two front runners as Teddy Hodgdon, Bryan Narducci, and Robert Bloxsom were three-wide for third. Alexander Pearl came through to second with Narducci, Jonathan Puleo, and Hodgdon making up the top-5.
Narducci took the lead from West on lap-9 and with that move West began to slide backwards as Pearl took second, Puleo third and Hodgdon fourth with West finally getting back into line in fifth place.
With 5 laps to go, Narducci, Pearl, Puleo, and Hodgdon were locked in a four car nose to tail train in the fight for the race lead. Hodgdon made a move to the inside of Puleo on lap-17 but Puleo was able to hold him off. Hodgdon tried the move again on lap-18 and this time he was able to make the pass stick and take over third place.
Narducci led Pearl to the checkered flag to pick up his sixth win of the 2019 season. Hodgdon finished third with Puleo and West rounding out the top-5.
In the 15-lap Limited Late Model feature, the caution came out at the start as Matt Clement got on the brakes to avoid getting into the back of Gary Patnode and spun after contact from Kevin Crosby. Alexandra Fearn took the early lead on the restart with Duane Provost giving chase in second. Patnode was third in line with Jeremy Lavoie fourth and Clement was fifth in line.
Lavoie made a move on lap-8 to get by Patnode for third. Lavoie’s move opened the door for Clement and David Tefft to follow Lavoie by Patnode and drop Patnode back to sixth in line. Provost was still giving chase to Fearn for the race lead while Tefft nearly made a pass on Clement for fourth on lap-12 but settled back into line in fifth.
With 2 laps to go, Provost was right behind Fearn in the fight for the lead. Provost couldn’t get close enough to Fearn to make a move as Fearn took down her third win of the 2019 season. Lavoie finished third with Clement and Tefft rounding out the top-5.
In the 20-lap Street Stock feature, Meghan Fuller took the lead at the drop of the green with Zack Robinson working the outside lane to take second. Adrien Paradis, III slotted into third with Travis Hydar fourth and Tyler Trott and Dave Secore side by side for fifth place.
Hydar took third from Paradis on lap-3 while George Bessette, Jr. got around Secore to move into sixth behind Trott. Bessette took fourth from Trott on lap-4 and he then went by Paradis to take third on lap-5 as Fuller was starting to stretch out her advantage over Robinson at the front of the field. Jason Lafayette took fifth from Paradis on lap-7 and the caution flag came out with 8 laps complete for a spin in the middle of turns 1+2 by Trott. Tim Morse was sent to the rear of the field by NASCAR Officials for making contact with Trott.
Fuller took the lead back under green with Hydar taking second. Bessette and Robinson were side by side for third and Paradis in fifth. Lafayette nearly spun in turn 4 on lap-13 but he was able to gather his car up and remained in sixth. Robinson got clear of Bessette for third and with 2 laps to go, Bessette was glued to the back bumper of Robinson.
Fuller led Hydar to the checkered flag to pick up her second consecutive win of the 2019 season. Robinson finished third with Bessette and Paradis rounding out the top-5.
For more information contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at (860) 684-2783, or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.
(Stafford Springs, CT)—Stafford Speedway’s Late Model division takes center stage this Friday, August 16 with the extra distance Late Model 50. Not only will Late Model drivers be racing extra laps, but they will also be racing for extra cash. The Late Model 50 carries a purse of $10,000 with the winner guaranteed to win $1,200. Add the $125 iRacing and $25 N.E. Racing Fuel, Sunoco contingency bonuses, and the winner’s share increases to $1,350. A regular 30-lap Late Model feature pays $800 to win, which is what the third place finisher in the Late Model 50 will take home. 10th place pays $325 with the race paying $250 to start.
In addition to purse and contingency bonuses, Late Model drivers will also have an opportunity to take home even more cash thanks to the Gaston Racing Enterprises High Roller Challenge. Similar to the Gambler’s Challenge for the NAPA SK 5K event, Late Model drivers pay $50 into a prize pool with Bill Gaston matching the driver’s contribution up to $1,000. The GRE High Roller Challenge will max out at $2,000 if 20 drivers enter. The distribution of the money will be left to chance as the race winner will roll a die in NAPA Victory Lane to determine the bonus payout. The four options are; winner takes all, split evenly among the top-5 finishers, 6th through 10th place finishers, or the 11th to 20th place finishers. The GRE High Roller Challenge currently stands at $1,600 with 16 competitors entered. Late Model teams can still enter the GRE High Roller Challenge by contacting the track office or registering this Friday at the track prior to the start of the qualifying heats.
The race for the Late Model 50 checkered flag will be wide open as there are only 2 previous Late Model 50 winners in the starting field. Michael Bennett, driver of the #31 Aubuchon Hardware Chevrolet, is a two-time Late Model 50 winner in 2015 and 2017 and Paul Arute, driver of the #82 Supreme Industries Chevrolet, is the defending champion of the Late Model 50. Both Arute and Bennett are winless and they will be eager to make the Late Model 50 their first win of the 2019 season.
Tom Fearn and the #92 King Ward Coach Lines team leads all Late Model drivers with 7 wins this season and he has recorded 14 top-5 finishes in 15 starts this season, but Fearn has never won an extra distance feature at Stafford in his career, spanning back to the early ‘90s and the ProStock division. Fearn holds a commanding 106-point lead over Michael Wray in the chase for the Late Model track championship, which means Fearn can afford to take some extra chances in pursuit of his first career extra distance feature victory.
Other drivers who have reached victory lane this season in the Late Model division includes Kevin Gambacorta and the #23 Lavigne Law team, Al Saunders and the #40 American Sleeve Bearing team, and Michael Wray and the #42 DMW Graphics team, who have all won twice. Drivers with a single feature win to their credit this season are Adam Gray and the #97 Meadows Motor Car team and Cliff Saunders and the #14 American Sleeve Bearing team.
The Late Model 50 is scheduled for this Friday, August 16th and Stafford’s 4 other weekly racing divisions including the SK Modified® division will join the Late Models in feature action. General Admission tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for kids 6-14 with kids 5 & under free. Reserved seating is priced at $23 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Stafford Motor Speedway offers plenty of free parking along with overnight parking available for self contained Recreational Vehicles.
For more information visit StaffordSpeedway.com, checkout Stafford Speedway on Facebook, or contact the track office at 860-684-2783.