Dirt Devil: Tom Fearn Takes Grassy Route To 11th Late Model Win At Stafford

Tom Fearn

STAFFORD – Late Model driver Tom Fearn regularly talks about the abundance of preparation his team puts in for being prepared for anything they might face at the track.

And apparently Fearn could see far enough in the future Friday to prepare himself for some off-roading in the feature.

Fearn used an evasive bumpy ride through the grass on the first lap to avoid a backstretch melee and then battled to victory in the 40-lap Late Model feature Friday at Stafford.

After the race Fearn, of East Longmeadow, Mass., joked about the first lap ride through the grass.

“In practice I turned down pit road to come during practice and I slid up pit road into the grass,” Fearn said. “And I came in and the car was all grass. They were all razzing me. I said ‘I couldn’t just come in here and make a regular entrance, I had to make a grand entrance.’ So then I end up in the grass in the feature. I was like ‘I already practiced that so I had it down pat.’ Not that I passed anybody, but I kept it straight and kept it going. First lap it seems like a lot of times something happens. You’ve got to be on the ball watching things and we were able to avoid that.”

Tyler Leary of Hatfield, Mass. was second and Darrell Keane of Enfield third.

“The car was really really good tonight,” Fearn said. “Not that it isn’t always good, we just had huge drive off [the corners]. We made a change after practice. I wasn’t sure if we wanted to do it or not.”

It was the 11th victory in 18 Late Model features this year for Fearn.

“It’s just huge to me,” Fearn said. “You never think you’d have a season like that. It’s not fathomable for anybody, for any racer.”


  1. CONGRATULATIONS to Tom Fearn & the 92 team. Number 11, that makes a statement!

  2. YES THE statement iS the the Division SUCKS and he has no competition in winning every week

  3. I would be more impressed if he now went to Waterford, Thompson, or Seekonk and started winning a couple in a row; but these Stafford wins just seem unimpressive.

  4. A statement indeed. In the middle of a great night of competition one event masquerading as a race.
    I saw him in practice. Blew up on Reen like the 31 was standing still. Dove off the track realizing how fast he was so why waste the rubber. His only mistake was misjudging his momentum and shooting off onto the grass. That was literally the only LM entertainment of the night.
    How does he do it getting to the front so fast and virtually never passing on the outside.
    You’d think by keeping a low line a good car could force him outside once in a while but no. What he is, is the master of the corner. So good coming out, a gentle tap forcing the car in front to move up the track and it’s see ya later gator. And the funniest part is seeing him sand bag while in front to not make his superiority too obvious.
    The one thing worse then low car counts is predictability. If you know the result what’s the point. Hopefully the deck gets reshuffled over the winter cause this is the opposite of excitement.

  5. He knows how to win. Get over it. No one else seems to be stepping up their game.

  6. Yes, I agree with everyone, the Stafford Late Model division SUCKS!!! So sad to see. The Arute family seems to not care, if they did, they would have made changes. But that’s beating a dead horse, as the veiws of fans and racers fall on deaf ears. Still, a win is a win! Tom, and the #92 team come to the track for 1 thing, to win, and they do allot of it. Can’t knock Tom for the sucky racing, it’s the tracks fault, and only the tracks fault.

  7. Ya I thing Rob nailed it in the last sentence.

  8. wow that was painful. I dont know how people sit through that each week. It just sucks the life out of the show. There were 8 cars on the track at the end. Fearn passed everyone on the inside, he had the lead before halfway. He was passing a car a lap until he got to 2nd. Then it took 2 or 3 laps. There is no one that can hang with Fearn. He has 3 tenths of a second lap times on the next quickest late model. That equates to 85.2 mph vs 84 mph. Maybe start adding weight to the guy to try to bring him back to rest of the field. And yes he clearly was sandbagging once he got the lead to make it look close. Congrats to Fearn, he has his stuff together. The Late models are definitely the easy pickens tour for Fearn.

    Some quotes from the night regarding the late models. “Tom Fearn can start in Hartford and still win going away. They should checker it whenever Fearn takes the lead.” “There hasn’t been a good late model race here this year, you just hope they run caution free and don’t take up too much time.” “They make a big deal about the all time wins, I feel bad for Possoco, he had competition.”

  9. Taking the speed differential one notch further it equates to 1.76 feet per second or 37 feet per lap or a couple car lengths give or take. That may not seem like that big a deal over one lap but when it’s the difference between the first and the second fastest cars on the track and it’s the case lap after lap and week after week it’s a problem.

  10. Stuart Fearn says

    Me thinks BOB NPT has it right LOL.
    If you don’t like Tom Fearn winning then someone else has to come get it. Paul Arute took the big money last week and i read here that the 92 was laying down. Can’t win with some fools.
    Who said no one else can win? When I was looking at the line up before the feature I saw Tyler Leary who has been very fast and going to win soon (finished 2nd friday), then the 40 Al Saunders winner and lead bounty hunter, 79 Darrell Keane winner of the third race of the year I think, 42 Michael Wray winner with back up car, 82 Paul Arute winner last week, 23 Kevin Gambacorta winner, 31 Glen Reen winner this year also.
    All 8 cars starting in front of Tom this week are all very capable of winning. Hard work, paying attention, and doing your homework pays off. Playing Captain Keyboard doesn’t make the car any better as far as I’ve ever seen

  11. Stuart , you and Tom have been doing this for a long time and I’m sure work as hard or harder than most teams to be so successful , but what has to be done to make these cars capable of running the outside what ever they put on track seems to help SK s but not late models

  12. Some of the nice things the “captain key board” types and fools have said in just the last two stories on Fearn.
    -Is Fearn the fastest and best driver in this division with the best car and crew. Absolutely.
    -Fastest and best for sure Fearn is. That may be the problem with the Late Models.
    -They might as well engrave the guys name on the trophy
    -CONGRATULATIONS to Tom Fearn & the 92 team. Number 11, that makes a statement!
    -He knows how to win. Get over it. No one else seems to be stepping up their game.
    -Can’t knock Tom for the sucky racing, it’s the tracks fault, and only the tracks fault.
    -Stuart , you and Tom have been doing this for a long time and I’m sure work as hard or harder than most teams to be so successful

    I know for teams it would be nice to have fans just buy tickets, watch their hero’s in awe and keep their mouths shut. And perhaps some day when that time machine is invented you can go back to when people shouted through the fence Stuart. Otherwise it is the way it is now and I don’t see insulting fans changing it.

  13. “laying down”. That implies deliberately throwing a sporting event and was never said. The terms used were left some speed on the table and sand bagging.
    In every race drivers make risk reward calculations in the heads whether to go or not for a host of reasons. Richard Savary said he was cruising to save tires until he saw the interval getting uncomfortable then hit the go button. Narducci indicated he intended to play it safe seeing the big picture then when an opportunity presented itself he hit the go button. Leaving “speed on the table” and deciding not to hit the go button happens in every race and is the very basis for points racing. It’s not good or bad, it just is.
    Watching cars go in circles and making wild accusations could be viewed as the ravings of a fool. Making an observation based on studying lap times on a given night and over the course of the season and seeing it play out on Race Monitor is informed speculation. That is no way was presented at the time as being sinister or underhanded. That I believe is well within the bounds of acceptable commentary more an indication of a committed fan. Something that the sport could use more of as I recall.

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