Second To None: David Arute Wins Limited Late Model Last Lap Duel At Stafford Speedway

STAFFORD – The frustrations of three consecutive weeks of second place finishes for David Arute proved the perfect recipe to make for some fiery final lap dramatics at the front of the Limited Late Model field Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway.

David Arute (Photo: Stafford Motor Speedway)

Arute came out on top of a sheet metal banging duel to the checkered with D.J. Burnham to win the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature at Stafford.

It was the second victory of the season for Arute, of Tolland.

Burnham, of East Hartford, was second and Josh Wood of Palmer, Mass. third.

Arute said he went to back to his notes from finishing second to Burnham last week to help him Friday.

“I knew last week toward the end of the race he was getting loose,” Arute said. “So this week I was trying to save up the tires so I could get him in the end. And he did start to get to loose and I was like ‘Oh man, I can catch him when he gets loose.’ That’s what I was doing the five laps before the finish, just watching where he made mistakes so I could conquer when he made the mistake.”

Arute caught Burnham with five laps remaining and then sized him up for the final lap showdown.

“When I caught with him with like five to go I gave him a little bump and it seemed like he noticed I was catching him and he all of the sudden got on it and started to pull away,” Arute said. “With two [laps] to go I finally caught up to him and at the white flag – last week I was thinking I could try to the bump – but I was too far away. This week I was like ‘I’m close enough.’

Arute went to the low lane under Burnham and the pair made contact in turn four and came off the corner banging.

“He tried to block for the win, final corner, you need the win,” Arute said. “I kind of threw it in where there wasn’t much room left and I got to his door and we both hit and got sideways. It was just whoever could drive it off from that spot to the line.”

The contact continued down the frontstrech to the checkered, with Arute edging Burnham at the line.

“I hate it to win it like that, I used him up a lot, but that’s what you’ve got to do in these cars,” Arute said. “I was getting sick of finishing second every week and I wanted to go for the win.”

Said Burnham: “I don’t know what happened there. I got a little bit loose but he got into me. I’m not really going to cry about it. My brother gave me a really really fast racecar tonight. I just wish I could have finished two more turns.”

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