Wire To Wire: Paul Arute Dominates Call Before You Dig 50 Late Model Feature At Stafford

Paul Arute celebrates victory in the Call Before You Dig Late Model 50 Friday at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

STAFFORD – For Paul Arute, the summer months on the track this year at Stafford Motor Speedway haven’t made for too many highlight moments.

But Friday the Tolland driver made up for all the disappointments of the season on the perfect big stage.

Arute led every lap on the way to his first victory of the season in the Call Before You Dig 50 Late Model feature Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway.

Arute took home a winner’s purse of $1,961 for the victory in the only extended distance event of the season for the division, which normally runs 30 lap features.

“It’s the show you want to win,” Arute said. “It’s $2,000 to win a Stafford Late Model show. I don’t think any Late Model show in the country pays that much for a weekly program. Two grand to win this event tonight. … I’m getting paid, it feels good.”

“… I want to thank Derek [Brown] and Call Before You Dig. Without them this event wouldn’t be possible, this big purse. We love that they’re supporting these Late Models.”

Tom Fearn of East Longmeadow, Mass. – winner of 10 of 17 Late Model features this year – was second. Kevin Gambacorta of Ellington was third.

It was Arute’s second career Late Model victory, coming nearly a year to the day after his first on Aug. 25, 2017.

“The benefit of wrecking three weeks in a row is you get to start on the [pole],” Arute said. “I knew our car was good in the heat. … In the heat it was the best car it’s ever been. And it was perfect. I think I could have gone another 100 laps. The car was the same the entire time. I’m just happy to be back in victory lane.”

Fearn got to second following a lap 14 restart, but couldn’t find a way around Arute.

“I held off Tom Fearn,” Arute said. “I can’t say much else. I thought he was going to get me, but the car was perfect. I can’t thank my whole crew enough.”

Said Fearn: “Paul was running good tonight. I’ve got to congratulate him for that big money win over there. We’ve got big picture here to worry about it. We got close to him … but he got a couple car lengths on us and just didn’t quite have enough in it. We killed the right rear [tire] tonight.”


  1. There’s nothing more pathetic then unsubstantiated speculation. But I’ve seen this movie before and it’s seems awful familiar.
    Fearn has the fastest car in practice and the fast lap in the feature by at least .20 seconds. He rockets to second and can’t get by someone that out of nowhere appears to be destined to be a giant killer. Then the chase ensues lap after lap with lap times that are slower then anything Fearn historically is capable of mirroring the leader but just doesn’t have enough speed to make a move.
    Call it not wanting to take a chance when you’re leading in the points. Not wanting to risk ruining a banner night for a young driver. I just think Fearn left some speed on the table at the end. And yes I can’t prove it and it’s pathetic.

  2. No conspiracy: Fearn has one trick, drive into or drive through you; no outside passing. In the past the officials looked the other way. In the past year or 2 the officials started penalizing Fearn for this over aggression. The 82 learned from Pitkat in one of the previous 50 lappers; stay low in corners and protect exit and Fearn has nothing to do but wreck you or be 2nd. More recently he has chosen 2nd.
    Don’t try to outrun Fearn and drive up the corner, just make him go to the outside (which he won’t)

    Is Fearn the fastest and best driver in this division with the best car and crew. Absolutely.

  3. Just saw the race and the observation that Fearn is reluctant to go outside stands up. 9th to 2nd in 15 laps and not one move on the outside. Master of the shortest way around the track. Not a hint of a move on the outside. For my money it looked like he was guarding Arute instead of racing him. Very disappointing race all and all.
    Fastest and best for sure Fearn is. That may be the problem with the Late Models.

  4. The fact is , no LM goes in the outside groove. It’s very hard to set the car up to run both low and high. In fact SMS has been spraying the high groove with PJ-1 in an effort to get the LM cars to run the high groove the way you enter the corner to run high makes the car push , and not roll through the center. Plus running high screws up corner exit, you have to wait too long before you can pick the throttle up, especially if your tight in the center, and loose off.

  5. Staffords big money late model race brought in a total of 12 cars which is about what they are getting weekly. So now there big races aren’t drawing any additional cars. This was the highest paying race of the year, low pit fees(no tours), with good weather forecasted all week and they brought in no additional cars. I really don’t think there are any additional Stafford style late models out there to be had at this point. I would think that is a little concerning.

    Fearn is concerned about points is funny I want him to be able to sleep at night so I did some math. He has a 96 point lead with 4 races left. Stafford gets about 12 cars weekly sometime less. All fearn has to do at this point is start the races and he is assured about 28 points at each race event. Winner gets 50 points, The difference is 22 points times 4 races left equals 88. He has a 96 point lead. I am no math expert but I like the guys chances. They might as well engrave the guys name on the trophy.

  6. How different are the ACT late models compared to the Stafford LM??

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