Story By: PAUL ARUTE / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – The 2018 Late Model season at Stafford saw Tom Fearn dominate his way to his third career track title. Fearn recorded 12 wins and finished all but 2 races on the podium. Time will tell if Fearn can repeat his dominant ways from last year and below we highlight the drivers who will try to keep Fearn from enjoying another dominant season.
The Rundown – Late Models
#92 Tom Fearn – Only one word can describe Tom Fearn’s 2018 season, dominant. 12 wins for this team including a remarkable stretch of 6 straight. Though they may not match their 2018 results, Fearn and his team are the heavy favorites.
#31 Michael Bennett – The 2016 Late Model track champion joins the Rob Russell owned team for the 2019 season. After a spending 2018 on the sidelines expect this Stafford veteran to pick up right where he left off in 2017, winning.
#42 Michael Wray – After grabbing his 2nd win of the season at the 2018 NAPA Fall Final, this team is feeling good heading into the new season. Expect Wray and the #42 to be competing with for wins every week.
Ones to Watch
#79 Darrell Keane – 2 wins in 2018 for this team even after taking a 5 week hiatus mid season. This Enfield, CT driver will be a factor week in and week out as he plans to compete for the full 2019 season.
#23 Kevin Gambacorta – Revitalized and prepared, the 3-time Stafford Champion has his eyes set on more wins and competing for the title. Don’t be surprised if you see this aggressive driver notching multiple wins in 2019.
#82 Paul Arute – Entering his 3rd season competing in the Late Model division, Arute is looking to turn an up and down 2018 into a consistent 2019. 1 win in each of the last two seasons for this bunch.
#40 Al Saunders – Moving into his sophomore season in Stafford’s Late Model division, Saunders is poised for a breakout year. The 2015 Limited Late Model Champion is known for his quiet demeanor in the paddock but bold moves on track. The #40 car should contend for wins throughout 2019.
#12 – Ryan Fearn – Nephew to 2018 Late Model Champion Tom Fearn, Ryan is set to make his Late Model debut at the NAPA Spring Sizzler. Will winning races in the Limited Late Model division translate to Late Model success? Time will tell.
#87 – RJ Surdell – Another driver moving up from the Limited Late Model division. Surdell scored his first career Stafford win in 2018 and will be another rookie in the field.
More cars and deeper competition for the Late Model division in 2019. Though Tom Fearn dominated the 2018 season the rest of the field was separated by mere tenths. Expect the same rough and tough competition throughout the 2019 season.