Michael Bennett Clinches Late Model Championship At Stafford; Tom Fearn Gets 11th Win

Michael Bennett

Michael Bennett

EDITORS NOTE: After this story was published, track officials announced that Tom Fearn had been disqualified from his win in the Late Model feature due to a post race technical violation. 

STAFFORD – The roller coaster of emotion season for Michael Bennett reached another amazing peak on Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway.

In April Bennett kicked off his season at Stafford winning the season opening event at the NAPA Spring Sizzler. It started a stretch that saw Bennett winning three of the first five events of the season.

But riding immense success through the mid-stretch of the season, emotions crashed in early August when Bennett’s three-year old son Chace was diagnosed with Leukemia.

While Chace fought through treatments, Bennett continued to stay hot on the track.

Recently Bennett got the news from doctors that Chace’s Leukemia was in remission and Friday night Chace was in victory lane at Stafford Motor Speedway to celebrate a championship.

Chace Bennett is the listed car owner on Michael Bennett’s Late Model. Michael Bennett used a third place finish in the 30-lap Late Model feature Friday at Stafford to clinch his first Late Model division championship at the track with one event remaining this season.

“I’m glad he’s here,” Bennett said, while holding his son in victory lane. “He’s gone through a lot and he’s been a trooper.”

Bennett came into the night with a 48 point advantage over second place Kevin Gambacorta in the division standings, and a 52-point advantage over third place Josh Wood. He needed to finish the night with at least a 50-point advantage over the field.

The third place, to go with Wood’s fourth place and Gambacorta’s seventh place meant Bennett finished the night leading Wood by 54 points and Gambacorta by 56 points.

“It’s been a long season. We started on top, winning the Spring Sizzler. … We just kept fighting hard. My family and I and my crew and sponsors all had one hell of a year, personal and racing. I really can’t put it into words, but I’ve got to thank everyone that’s got me here over the years.”

Bennett, who started in the track’s entry level DARE Stock division in 2002 won a Limited Late Model championship at the track in 2005.

“Some of the lows this year were personal, stuff that was out of our control, but on the racetrack we had a lot of highs,” Bennett said. “That’s why we’re here. We came with a fast racecar every week and it made my job my easy as a driver. But these guys out here, these competitors, they didn’t make it easy for us. To finally win a championship after 10 years, it feels good. You never know if you’re going to get back, it doesn’t matter what the situation is.”

Tom Fearn of East Longmeadow won the event, his fifth consecutive victory and 11th win overall this season. Michael Wray of Northford was second.

“We still work on it every week trying to make it better,” Fearn said. “… I just picked them off one at a time there. This car just gets in the corner and turns. It makes my job easy.”


  1. Shawn, do you have any details on the situation (DQ) with Tom Fearn?
    Stafford has already posted a penalty notice for last night, showing:
    “#92 Late Model, driver Tom Fearn-
    Infractions- Failure to execute tech.
    Use of an unapproved tire.
    Penalties- Removed from finishing order. Removed from the handicap process for the next attended event. “

  2. Gerry,
    That penalty notice pretty much says it all. Tire was used that was not in the inventory.

  3. I was curious if/how the “Failure to execute tech” was related to the tire inventory issue.

  4. Gerry,
    My understanding is that there was an item that was set to be examined by officials that was subsequently removed from the possession of track officials in the tech inspection area by the team, essentially meaning the team refused to have the item examined.

  5. Cheaters

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