Back To The Front: Michael Bennett Returns To Late Model Victory Lane At Stafford

Michael Bennett

Michael Bennett

STAFFORD – It was the gift Michael Bennett had been waiting all season long to give to his grandmother.

Four years removed from victory lane at Stafford Motor Speedway, nearly to the day, came to a long awaited end for Bennett Friday.

Bennett, of Stafford, rolled away from the field over the closing laps to win the 30-lap Late Model feature at Stafford Motor Speedway Friday.

It was the first victory in the division for Bennett since Aug. 6, 2010.

Michael Scorzelli of Malta, N.Y was second and Adam Gray of Belchertown third.

After recording five Late Model victories from 2007 to 2010 Bennett stopped running full-time in the division after the 2010 season and moved on to focusing on the SK Modified division at Stafford.

But last October, with his SK Modified ride gone, Bennett figured he’d be taking a break from racing in 2014. Then his grandmother, Irene DeCoff stepped in.

“I asked her, I said there was a car up for sale and asked her if she would help me out if we were able to buy it,” Bennett said. “I have a son now and a lot of funds and sponsorship stuff had gone by the wayside. And she jumped right at it and wrote me a check. I was able to go down and look at the car that weekend and made an offer and I drove home with it.”

The struggles had been mighty in returning to the division this year for Bennett. But slowly he and his team found the handle with the new ride.

“Of course I wanted to win, I wanted to run good, run in the top-five and improve every week,” Bennett said of his return to the division. “But it wasn’t working, it wasn’t happening. We found little things to make the car better that I think other people were missing. One week after another we found a few things.”

Bennett went by Scorzelli for the lead on lap 17 and was never challenged again.

“The car was hooked,” Bennett said. “We’ve been fighting a lot of small things. This is a brand new car that we bought. Everyone said that can’t get this tube chassis to win, but we did.”

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