STAFFORD – Cliff Saunders held off the challenge of Duane Provost late to score victory in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway.
It was the first victory of the season for Saunders, of Stafford.
Provost, of Springfield, ended up second and Frank L’Etoile of Wethersfield was third.
“The car was really good tonight,” Saunders said. “I’ve really got to thank [crew chief Barry Fluckiger] for building me such an awesome car. He made a lot of changes and it really worked. I was in position where I led a lot of laps last week and I kind of made a mistake late in the race and I ended up losing it. I tried this week to not make the same mistakes. I’ve really got to thank Duane for racing me clean. He was a little bit quicker than me, but still really good.”
Provost went from fourth to second following a lap 15 restart. On lap 18 Provost got under Saunders in turn one, but started sliding in the corner before saving the car from spinning.
“The car was a little loose but I was able to get it up there to second, which was pretty chaotic out there tonight, so I’m glad it’s still in one piece and everything looks good,” Provost said. “I was trying to go for that lead as much as the car would have. I just couldn’t get it. I almost took both of us out. I’m glad I didn’t and we both finished where we did.”
Said Saunders: “Last week I was leading late in the race and I was too concerned with trying to hold the lead so I was trying to push the car a little bit more and I ended up slipping up the track and Paul Arute ended up getting around me. For this week I tried to just focus on my own race and focus on my own line and make sure I didn’t make that mistake again, even if it meant slowing the car up a little bit.”
Tom Fearn of East Longmeadow was victorious in the 30-lap Late Model feature. Josh Wood of Palmer, Mass. was second and Michael Wray of Northford third.
“I really had to drive the car every lap,” Fearn said. “I know we won and I don’t like to say the car wasn’t real good tonight, but I guess it was good enough to win. We’ll take it from here and come back next week.”
Ryan Fearn of East Longmeadow, Mass. picked up his first victory of the season in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.
Brandon Michael of Granville, Mass. was second and Johnny Walker of Ludlow, Mass. third.