Glen Reen Grabs First Late Model Title At Stafford; Tyler Leary Wins Feature 

Glen Reen celebrates his first Late Model division championship at Stafford Motor Speedway (Photo: Fran Lawlor)

By Travis Barrett 

STAFFORD — Two drivers enjoyed little more than a Sunday drive at Stafford Motor Speedway, with each of them reaping the reward of setting their respective dashboards on cruise control.

Tyler Leary led all but the first three laps to win his second 30-lap Late Model feature of the season, while Glen Reen capped an impressive debut season in a Late Model with a sixth-place run to secure his first career division championship on Sunday at the NAPA Fall Final.

Reen ended up credited with a fifth place finish on the day after third place finisher Mike Quintiliano refused tech inspection and was disqualified. Reen’s 16th top-10 finish in 17 starts was more than enough to hold off Kevin Gambacorta for the championship.

“It’s an unreal experience right now. It’s still not set in that we’re the champions,” said Reen, whose championship was the first for car owner Rob Russell. “It was a hard-fought battle this year.”

Gambacorta ended fourth after the Quintiliano disqualification, just ahead of a patient Reen. Reen started seventh in the 18-car field.

“We probably had a car to finish in the top three, but I was just playing it safe,” Reen said. “I did not want to go out there and screw it up. That’s why we wound up where we wound up. The big picture is what we did.”

Leary’s second win of the season locked him into a top-five finish in the Late Model standings. The Hatfield, Massachusetts, driver also finished second in the division at Monadnock Speedway this season.

“I can’t believe it. We won the Fall Final here at Stafford Motor Speedway. It’s insane,” Leary said. “Man, I’ve been dreaming about this all week.”

A half-straightaway lead for Leary evaporated when Chase Cook spun in turn three on lap 16, but it did little to slow Leary’s bid for the win. As Tom Fearn and Matt Vassar battled for second behind him, Leary checked out on the backstretch and took off to a nearly three-second victory.

“I didn’t picture this, starting fourth in this tough, tough field of cars out here,” Leary said. “But I got a great start and just led the way from there.”

Leary aside, Fearn came closest to shuffling the deck, both at the front of the field and in the overall championship picture. He entered the day third in the standings, Trailing Reen by 14 points.

Less than a third of the way through the feature, Fearn had moved into third and was poised to capitalize on the only restart of the race to put pressure on both Leary for the win and Reen for the title. He couldn’t power under Leary after restarting third, and he was forced to settle for the runner-up spot.

“We went down in a fight, I guess,” said Fearn, the 2016 Late Model champion. “We can’t complain about where we ended up.”

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Comments

  1. Have all the LM races been as bad as what we saw on Sunday? Talk about boring. I’ve seen better races at Waterford with 9 cars this year.

  2. Even a Blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while.

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