STAFFORD – A year away from competition on the half-mile oval at Stafford Motor Speedway clearly did nothing to throw off the habits of DARE Stock division driver Johnny Walker.
Three events into his return to the track, Walker found his way back to victory lane at Stafford.
Walker grabbed the lead from Ryan Fearn on lap 14 and went on to win the 15-lap DARE Stock feature Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway.
After contending for the division’s championship in 2014, Walker took the 2015 season off from competition to regroup with his team.
It was the fifth career DARE Stock victory for Walker, of Ludlow, Mass., who got his last win on Sept. 27, 2014.
Fearn, of East Longmeadow, Mass., held on to finish second. Tyler Trott of East Hartford was third.
Fearn led the first 13 lap of the event before sliding up the track in turn two on lap 14. Walker pounced on the Fearn miscue to take over the top spot.
“It was just him getting really loose there in turn two,” Walker said. “There was stuff all over the track. He raced really clean. Hats off to the top-three. He got loose and I was able to sneak underneath him and make it stick. That’s why we’re here.”