Stafford Notes: Tom Fearn Sets Track Record With Fifth Consecutive Late Model Win

Tom Fearn celebrates his fifth consecutive victory following the 30-lap Late Model feature Friday at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont)

STAFFORD – Tom Fearn has been close before in trying to set a new standard for consecutive Late Model victories at Stafford Motor Speedway.

Friday the East Longmeadow, Mass. driver finally grabbed the record for his own.

Fearn drove away from Tyler Leary in the closing stages to win the 30-lap Late Model feature Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway.

It was the fifth consecutive Late Model victory for Fearn, setting a new division record at the track.

“That’s great,” Fearn said. “I guess that’s going to be a hard one to beat. I guess I’m privileged to say I raced at Stafford Speedway and hopefully I’m going to be in the record books for a long time to come. Ted Christopher’s got a lot of records during his career, to be part of that is beyond great I guess.”

John Leger won four in a row in the division in 1992. Fearn matched that feat of four consecutive in 2015, 2016 and last week at Stafford before rewriting the record Friday.

“I’m just a driver I guess,” Fearn said. “Anybody could drive this car. My crew does a great job on it. We work hard every week on this thing. We’ll go back tomorrow and try to make it better. It’s getting tougher and tougher every week.”

Tyler Leary of Hatfield, Mass. was second and Michael Wray of Northford third.

Fearn lined up outside of Leary for a lap 15 restart. Leary held the advantage at the green flag, with Fearn tucking in behind him. On lap 16 Fearn got under Leary into

The celebration for Matthew Clement’s first career Limited Late Model victory at Stafford proved to be a short one.

After holding off two-time defending division champion Duane Provost on the track in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, Clement couldn’t beat the tech inspectors after the event.

Clement’s car was found to be five pounds underweight in post-race tech inspection and he was dropped to sixth place in the running order, giving the victory to Provost.

It was the first victory of the season for Provost, of Palmer, Mass.

“It was a good race,” Provost said. “Matt held us off pretty good. The way my luck has been going this year hopefully it’s starting to turn around. The car was fast. The competition out there is pretty hectic. Even though we’re a small field it’s a lot of fun and hopefully provides a lot of entertainment.”

Jeremy Lavoie of Windsor Locks was moved to second and Steven Midford of Ellington third.

Trace Beyer of Stratton, Vt. scored the victory in the 20-lap Street Stock feature. Brandon Michael of Granville, Mass. was second and Travis Hydar of Woodbury third.

Andrew Molleur of Shelton won the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature. Brett Gonyaw of Vernon was second and Bryan Narducci of Colchester third.

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Comments

  1. GREAT JOB Tom and the 92 team. Keep up the great woek

  2. Thanks Rob for the Fury article reference. Very informative.

  3. Is this more a dominant run by Fern or more of an indictment on how weak Stafford’s Late Model program has become? Rarely do you see a Seekonk, Thompson, Waterford Late Model run here. Either way five wins are wins.

  4. You would not see a Seekonk, Thompson, or Waterford Late Model there because they all run ACT rules. I have said it before, but Stafford has to be only track left in the region running that rules package for Late Models.

  5. Ya the rule thing has been beaten to death. Stafford is a rock and will not budge. Making the rarely if ever observation more like never ever.Do they not care mainly because SK’s and Lights are killing it and the anemic Late Model fields mean they pay out less? Are they exactly where they want to be taking the 5 divisions as a whole?
    Are regular night shows in trouble? Four so far, each will less then ideal weather and weak crowds. Sizzler, VMRS, Modifiedz and Open shows varied from solid to great. What’s that mean? Regular shows are in trouble or the weather has to be ideal?

  6. The Late Models are not competitive with their 10 car field. Thompson with ACT rules is averaging 20 cars along with entertaining and close racing. Stafford needs to make the change to ACT rules if it hopes to revive the division. Lets not forget that past records were set with full fields of cars although this is of no fault to Fearn’s record accomplishment.

  7. Great point richO and most here agree. Problem is that Stafford wrote the rules and teams spent money to build cars that would comply. Stuart Fearn in on record as saying that the ACT rules would turn his cars to junk or something like that. The Fearns are really important to Stafford. Note the winner the Street Stock race thanking Fearn for help when needed. It ain’t simple. And if they want to make a change for next year they need to announce it now and that clearly is not happening. I don’t think.

  8. James Scott says:

    Tommy Fearn has been a winner for years. Streets, Pro Stock and Late Model at different tracks with big fields. I personally don’t think ACT is the answer. What are the car counts at Waterford and Seekonk? If Thompson ran each week would they get 20 cars? With the after market stock frames available now would it make sense to just keep the course. Could the two run against each other?

  9. For Seekonk they actually had to run a consolation race for the Late Models the night the WMT was there. And the next week they had more Late Models than Pro Stocks. For Waterford the Late Models always seemed to have the lowest even under the old rules of the early 2000’s. You probably could not run the existing Late Models against the ACT rules. They initially did that during the transition at Waterford. The first time a team that actually knew what were doing and had a decent driver showed up with an ACT car they came from the back of the field to win the feature like it was nothing.

  10. I don’t get how anybody could say that Stafford should not run the ACT rules like the rest of the Northeast. I get why it’s hard to do and complicated and most likely will never happen but man, what’s happening now is just slow death. They’re having a special night for Late Models. All the ACT cars, Waterford, Thompson, Seekonk-forget it. It just seems like a missed opportunity since I have to believe a lot of those guys would love to be part of a Stafford show.
    In August they are having the LM special 50 lapper that pays more. And the ticket price will bump to $20 to help pay for it. Not a big deal but for the most part it won’t be that special and most will be wanting it to be over to see the SK Lights and SKs. A few guys that semi retired will show up with old cars and there will be zero excitement from invaders from other tracks. That’s Late Model racing Stafford style. Outsiders need not apply.

  11. Stuart Fearn says:

    JMB is correct. The first time an ACT car showed up that was any good that was Dennis Botticello I believe driving. Won a lot of races. From day one then it was over for the Metric cars and ACT was 100% the way to go. Those cars are not cheap tho.
    Tracks (owners) started being protectionists many moons ago thinking that they would have a captive audience and keep the drivers and teams from leaving when they get mad. Well guess what? Now they just quit racing all together. Bad move by the individual tracks like 25 years ago. I’m sure at the time it seemed like the right thing to do, each little difference was only one little decision but then after a few years now its a huge gap with no turning back. Everyone has to use some more common sense and have a solid philosophy long term, not week to week short gain decisions.

  12. James Scott says:

    Stu my feeling is that ACT cars are just to expensive. I would rather see a guy have an option to build his own car and motor. I do not beleive if Stafford switched the car counts would rise. Just my opinion. I am not crazy about crate motors either.

  13. Just Wondering says:

    Not to put Fearn down but it seems he is like the big fish in a small pond. Not really sure why Stafford hasn’t found a way to combine the LM and LLM divisions to make up an event worth watching instead of heading for the restrooms or car for a quick low priced adult beverage during these feature events. Thankfully Stafford seems to have a great hold on the Open Wheel divisions as the full fender divisions are weak.

  14. Nice to see you back Just Wondering.
    After reading Stuarts responses to criticisms that involved promises of new cars coming on board and the overall perspective that more divisions each with less cars is normal I do believe what he says now indicates he as well may think the problem isn’t going away.
    Tracks with unique rules in hopes of keeping teams chained to the one track. So hows that working out? In the LM and LLM’s clearly not so well. The Streets results are mixed with some new blood coming on board this year and counts modestly up. SK Lights a dramatic success. As witness the recent mention and failure to launch of an SK Light tour and anemic fields at Thompson when they include them and the Speedbowl. Teams want to be at Stafford. The SK’s again head and shoulders the strongest around at Stafford. On the whole Staffords our way or the highway approach has worked for the most part.

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