Albert Saunders Clinches First Limited Late Model Title At Stafford; David Arute Takes Win

Albert Saunders

Albert Saunders

STAFFORD – Ultimate consistency helped lead Andrew Hayes to a Limited Late Model championship at Stafford Motor Speedway in 2014.

And the reigning champion looked primed to repeat that consistency game through much of the 2015 season.

Problem for Hayes was that Albert Saunders trumped that consistency.

Saunders, of Stafford, used a second place finish in the season ending 20-lap Limited Late Model feature Saturday at Stafford Motor Speedway to clinch his first track championship.

“It feels great, Saunders said. “It just shows that all the hard work really paid off this year. I don’t even know what to say. The car has been awesome all year. I’ve got to thank the team, especially my crew chief Barry Fluckiger. If it wasn’t for him there’s no way I would have won the championship. The car was dialed in every week and that’s all thanks to his setup.”

David Arute of Tolland won the feature, his fourth victory of the season. Cliff Saunders of Stafford, the twin brother of Albert, was third.

“This car was a blast,” Arute said. “The setup was perfect. We changed a little bit right before the feature. Threw something at it and wow this thing was fast.”

Albert Saunders finished the season with five victories, 18 top-fives and 21 top-10’s in 22 events.

He ended up beating Hayes by 22 points in the standings. Hayes, of Charlton, Mass., had five wins, 17 top-fives and 20 top-10’s.

“It was really difficult [beating Hayes],” Albert Saunders said. “Not just because of the championship they had last year, but the results they had this year. They obviously showed that they were really fast, a really good team. … To win the championship, to beat those guys, to beat actually the whole field, this is such a competitive field. We’ve got 10 cars that can win any race. It’s an honor to be the champion this year.”

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