STAFFORD – Paul Arute made his third Limited Late Model victory of the season a dramatic one.
After hunting down a checked out Jeremy Lavoie, Arute, of Tolland, used a last lap pass for the lead to win the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature.
Lavoie, of Windsor Locks, was second and Matthew Clement of Wethersfield third.
Lavoie took the lead on the first lap of the event and then left the field deep in his rear view in the caution free event.
Arute went Clement for second place on lap 13 and then began steadily closing on Lavoie. By lap 19 Arute was all over the lead. On the final lap Lavoie slid up the track through turns one and two and Arute pounced to the low lane and took over the lead down the backstretch.
“This car was hooked up,” Arute said. “That was so much fun. Jeremy was checked out. He started getting a little loose at the end and I was thinking ‘Hey, I’ve got a shot.’ I was driving the wheels off the thing just trying to get to him. The last lap pass, I hope the fans enjoyed it. That was fun.”
After waiting more than four years to get his first career Late Model victory at Stafford, Kevin Gambacorta wasted no time in getting victory No. 2.
Gambacorta, of Ellington, got that first win last week and made it two consecutive in winning the 30-lap Late Model feature Friday.
“The race goes on [and this car] gets better,” Gambacorta said. “It’s unreal. I can’t believe what a difference the few weeks have made just by one stupid change to the racecar that we should have done three years ago.”
Josh Wood of Palmer, Mass. was second and Jim Mavlouganes of Bethany third.
Said Lavoie: “We figured it out. We were able to lead 14 of 15 [laps]. Paul’s been in this division a while so it’s good to see him race me clean. Everybody’s racing clean out here.”
Trace Beyer of West Dover, Vt. scored the victory in the 15-lap DARE Stock feature.
It was the first feature win of the season for Beyer, who became the sixth different winner in the division in seven races this year.
Brandon Michael of Granville, Mass. was second and Johnny Walker of Ludlow, Mass. third.