Story By: PAUL ARUTE / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – The 2018 Limited Late Model season at Stafford saw Jeremy Lavoie claim his first career track championship in dominating fashion. Let’s take a look at a few of the drivers who will be chasing Lavoie for the 2019 title.
The Rundown – Limited Late Models
#6 Jeremy Lavoie – The defending champion is back and looking to defend his title. After an 8-win season Lavoie will be poised to keep his crown with 2018 runner-up Ryan Fearn moving up to the Late Model division.
#88 Duane Provost – Two-time Limited Late Model champion Provost returns to the Limited Late Model division in 2019. Coming off an unusually up and down season, the #88 team is looking to get back to their typical consistency this season.
Ones to Watch
#12 Alexandra Fearn – With her brother moving up to Late Models in 2019, Alex remains in the Limited Late Models with hopes of improving on her 1 win in 2018. Fans should expect the #12 car in victory lane a few times this season.
#59 Matt Clement – The #59 team returns to the Limited Late Model division in 2019 looking to grab that coveted first career win. After losing their first career win following a post race weight infraction last season, this team is hungrier than ever for that first win.
#22 Gary Patnode – Entering his 2nd full season in the Limited Late Model division, Patnode returns with his signature #22 car. After showing plenty of speed at the end of 2018, don’t be surprised to see Patnode in NAPA Victory Lane this season.
#7 Kyle Casagrande – One of the most dominant Street Stock drivers in recent history, Kyle Casagrande is back at Stafford Speedway full-time in 2019. Running the same car that Andy Marchese ran in 2018, Casagrande will contend for wins in 2019.
Lavoie is expected to continue his dominance but there are plenty of drivers itching to knock him off the top spot. Casagrande is expected to immediately contend for victories. Should be a fun battle between a good mix of drivers.
The 2018 Street Stock season at Stafford saw second generation racer 16-year old George Bessette, Jr. outlast another second generation driver in Meghan Fuller to win the championship. Here we take a look at the drivers who will be challenging for the Street Stock championship in 2019.
The Rundown – Street Stocks
#39 George Bessette Jr – The defending champion is coming off a 5-win season that saw the points battle go down to the wire. This team has all the same components as their championship season. This is the team to beat.
#2 Meg Fuller – After a highly successful rookie campaign at Stafford in 2018, Fuller, daughter of Modified great Rick Fuller, returns to Stafford as a championship contender. Consistency was key for the #2 team in 2018 with 19 top 10 finishes in 21 starts. Expect this group to grab more than 1 trophy in 2019.
#16 Nicole Chambrello – 2018 was a breakout year for Chambrello who has been competing at Stafford since 2015. Two wins last season doubled her career win total to 4. The #16 team will be a factor week in and week out.
#74 Brandon Michael – This driver led the points standings for nearly the entire season but ended up 3rd in the final standings. The Granville, MA driver will 100% be a championship contender again if he chooses to run the full season.
Ones to Watch
#29 Tess Beyer – Two wins and 4 top 5’s in 15 starts has this Vermont driver loaded with confidence entering the new season. Fast cars and a confident driver could lead to multiple wins this season.
#11 Travis Hydar – Looking to bounce out of the sophomore slump, Hydar enters his 3rd season looking for the success he knows he’s capable of. With 2 career wins to his name this Woodbury, CT native know how to get to Victory Lane.
#01 Johnny Walker – No need to describe why this guy is a contender. The 2-time champion is a factor whenever he enters the paddock. If he chooses to run a full season, he will be a championship contender as well.
#21 Jason Lafayette – 1 career win for this smooth driver from Somers, CT. The #21 car showed speed all last season, expect a win or two from this team.
#78 Mike Hopkins – This driver won the big money show last season grabbing a $500 payday in the Casagrande Builders Street Stock 25. He backed up that win with a second mid-summer. If this team runs a full season, bump them up to the favorites category.
#19 – Adrien Paradis – Moving from the Waterford Speedbowl, Paradis is making the move to the big half-mile at Stafford. It may take a few weeks to get the handle on the #19 car but this team could impress.
#75 Ryan Waterman – Coming from the high-banks of Thompson Speedway, Waterman is set to run more events at Stafford in 2019. Making 1 start in 2018, Waterman almost won the feature driving Nick Bendiak’s #31 car.
#55 Steve Kenneway – Another driver moving from Thompson to Stafford in 2019, Kenneway had a strong run going at the NAPA Fall Final before being sidelined. This team could contend for wins throughout 2018
Another division full of competition in 2019. 10 different drivers scored a victory last season, expect more of the same this season. The championship chase will depend on which drivers choose to run the full season. Also new for 2019 the RSMPCO.com Triple Crown, a 3-race points chase with a $4,500 point fund.