Stafford Notes: George Bessette Jr. Celebrates Street Stock Title In Style; Debbie DeSanctis Wins Ladies Challenge

George Bessette celebrates victory and a division championship following the Street Stock feature Saturday at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont)

STAFFORD – On Sept. 14 George Bessette Jr. used a second place finish to clinch the 2018 Street Stock championship at Stafford Motor Speedway.”

Unfortunately, on a busy final Friday night of the season at Stafford, the fact that Bessette had actually clinched the championship with an event remaining went unchecked and unnoticed by most.

Saturday at Stafford Bessette made sure everyone knew exactly who the champion is.

Bessette, of Danbury, won the 20-lap Street Stock feature Sunday on day one of NAPA Fall Final weekend at Stafford Speedway.

Our goal this week was just to finish really good, maybe a podium,” Bessette said. “But a win’s a win. And it was really really really cool to be able to win this on the last lap.”

It was the fifth victory of the season for Bessette.

Bessette took over the lead when Tess Beyer and Jason Lafayette spun to the lead in a battle for the top spot coming to the white flag.

Michael Hopkins of Springfield, Mass. was second and Meghan Fuller of Auburn, Mass. third.

Debbie DeSanctis celebrates victory in the Ladies Challenge Street Stock feature Saturday at the NAPA Fall Final at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont)

Debbie DeSanctis won the first Ladies Challenge Charity Street Stock feature.

DeSanctis was one of twelve female drivers who each raised money for separate charities. DeSanctis started fourth and held off Nicole LaRose to win the eight-lap feature.

“That was a great time,” DeSanctis said. “I’m a two-wheel racer so four wheels is a lot for me to handle.”

DeSanctis, supporting the Honor And Remember charity, drove the car normally fielded by two-time Street Stock division champion Johnny Walker.

“She did a great job wheeling that,” Walker said.

LaRose, driving for the Catherine Violete Hubbard Animal Sanctuary, was second. Maina Rufrano, mother of Stafford SK Light Modified driver Marcello Rufrano, was third driving in support of the American Cancer Society.

The group of 12 twelve drivers had raised more than $35,000 as of 2 p.m. Saturday, with more donations expected from multiple Stafford Speedway drivers on Sunday.


  1. Thought Michael was the guy to beat this year but Bassette you could actually see grow by leaps and bounds over the course of the season. You go boy., So what’s the plan for next year? More success in the Streets or a move up to ?.
    I hope the chicks come back. Nicole outstanding taking down a fourth for the season in a tough field and spending time on your roof in the process. Megan obviously is a rookie in name only with a great pedigree and expected success. Tess made huge, huge progress with two wins. And don’t forget Samantha. She has made huge strides as well and a 6th place finish today proves it.
    Great year for the Streets. Strong fields by todays standards that actually got stronger as the season progressed. Many winners and great competition. Way to go Stafford.

  2. Doug, I agree. I loved watching this division each week. Always good races and good finishes with multiple winners. It’s good to see the women race and win as well. Congratulations George and the rest of the drivers who put on awesome races each week!!

  3. CONGRATS on your win and Championship George Bessette Jr. Also Congrats to your crew and family. Raced against your dad years ago, and your a chip off the ol block. Great to see those colors, and that 39 up front again. Enjoy

  4. Doug,
    What is your take on the caution with the leader only 200′ from the checked in Street Stock Race at Stafford ?

    George Bessette Jr. – A well deserved championship, consistent and clean all year, congrats.

  5. I’d say the long trip back to Vermont must of sucked big time for Tess and the team and they’ll be chewing on that missed opportunity all winter.

  6. 29 Fan – Most of the field was coming out of 1/2 or on the back straight and the wreck was in 3/4. Needed to slow them down or it could have been a lot worse. Could have yellow / checkered, but that’s a snap decision. Someone would not be happy no matter which way it went.

  7. I think the street stocks have been very impressive this year. There just seems to be several different story lines to follow in the division with a good mix of ladies, veterans and second generation drivers. I wasn’t much of a fan of the division in the past but this year they have won me over and they are now my third favorite on the Stafford card. I am not sure if it were rule changes, extra laps or just a name change but the car count seemed to increase this season over years past. Hopefully the division continues to provide good fields and great racing.

    How about the ladies raising over 35k for various charities? That is definitely an achievement which should be celebrated. That event has certainly grown in participation and it was nice to see them highlighted with their own race this year. Kudos to the street stock drivers lending their cars for the cause.

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