Time To Go: Ryan Fearn Moving To Late Model Division At Stafford Speedway For 2019

Ryan Fearn (left) with his sister Alexandra Fearn at the NAPA Fall Final last September at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Fran Lawlor)

Ryan Fearn ended the 2018 season at Stafford Motor Speedway by winning the final Limited Late Model division event of the season at the NAPA Fall Final. 

As a matter of fact, he closed out the season by winning the final three events Limited Late Model division events at Stafford. 

Who knew at that point it was Fearn celebrating his goodbye to the division? 

Fearn confirmed to RaceDayCT Saturday that – after two seasons in the Limited Late Model division – he will make the jump to the Late Model division at Stafford for the 2019 season. 

Fearn finished the 2018 season second in the Limited Late Model division standings to Jeremy Lavoie. He had six victories and 17 top-five’s in 20 starts. With his older sister Alexandra expected to cut back on her schedule in the Limited Late Model division at Stafford in 2019, Fearn said the time was right for the move.  

“We had six wins last year with the Limited Late Model,” Fearn said. “It’s the most wins I’ve ever gotten in any season. I couldn’t have done it without Fearn Motorsports. It’s good timing. We’ve got a little more budget with my sister not going to be able to race as much. I’m going to be able to learn a lot from Tom [Fearn] as well.” 

Ryan Fearn moves into a division where family dominance is already something the competition knows. His cousin Tom Fearn had 12 victories in 21 starts in 2018 in the Late Model division at Stafford on the way to his second division title. He also become the division’s all-time winningest driver in 2018. 

“He’s always there,” Ryan Fearn said. “I see him every single day at the shop. If I ever have any questions he’s always there to answer. … It definitely helps having … access to Tom for any advice that I need.” 

Ryan Fearn, who had one victory as a rookie in the Limited Late Model division in 2017 and five wins over four seasons in the Street Stock division, said the team in the process of converting his car. 

“One thing that we are doing this season that not too many other people have really done as far as my knowledge goes is that we’re actually taking the Limited Late Model car and converting it over to the Late Model,” Ryan Fearn said. “… It’s going to be a lot of hard work to get it done and do it the Fearn way, but hopefully we’ll be able to get out there and at least have a very consistent podium car.” 

After some rough patches early in the 2018 season, Ryan Fearn said he was working on fixing some aspects of his mindset behind the wheel. At the Fall Final he said “I call it Trust The Process™.” He said that will continue in 2019. 

“I’m just a little fish in a big pond at this point,” Ryan Fearn said. “I’m not the big fish in the small pond. It’s going to be a bit of change of heart coming from me in 2019. I think. It’s a good time to dial it back on the aggression and just really work on my car control and all that. 

“I’m definitely going to need more patience. … We’re still going to be trusting the process as well. That’s one of those trademark things that I came up with late in the 2018 season. We’re going to be taking that into the Late Models in 2019.” 

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  1. Hard work converting the car. Indeed. I’m thinking mostly the old mans.
    Great move.
    Eight LLM car number registrations. Kyle Casagrande being the major new name. Street Stockers going to the SK Lights. It’s not dying, it’s dead.
    On the other hand LLM’s death is perhaps LM’s life. Decent car number registrations with Fearn and Surdell moving up. Is it too late to cut the cord on the LLM division and put them in with the LM’s?
    Ryan Fearn dialing back the aggression. We’ll see. Sometimes it’s impossible for fence climbers to be anything but fence climbers despite the best intentions.
    OK so this is exciting news so now what we need is for Tom, for whatever reason, not to be crazy dominant this year. Where the only suspense was how may laps it will take for the 92 to take the lead in a 14 car field.

  2. We know how Ryan raced his sister, now it’s time to start taking bets on how soon into 2019 he wrecks Tom for a win…

  3. Have to echo Doug concerning the LLM division. It looks like the Late Model division may be making a comeback, with a few competitors moving up and some competitors coming back. Time will tell. As far as Ryan we all know he’ll be in good equipment, it’s how fast he can adjust that will determine his success. You can’t drive a Late Model the same way you drive a Limited. Good addition to the division, hope he has success.

  4. The Late Model division is and will always be dead at Stafford until they adopt ACT rules like the rest of New England. Just my opinion but dump both Late Model division divisons and start a SLM division under PASS rules

  5. Stafford had a pro stock division which is similar to the current day Super Late model division. It was dropped in the early 2000’s with an explanation that the show with the Pro stocks took too long to run. Then they added the Limited Late Models, SK lights and even ran 2 consi features for late models and sk;’s. Apparently time wasn’t an issue anymore. The car count doesn’t allow for the consi’s, so they were dropped. They had a year or two of legends on the mini oval. I guess the time it took to run one pro stock feature you can run four additional races. Funny I don’t recall the pro stocks taking an hour and a half to run their feature most nights. I doubt they will go back to a pro stock super late model division as the division isn’t being utilized anywhere in New England outside of ME.

    The late models and limited late models have been talked about over and over in these comment sections. Stafford seems quite content with their full fendered divisions as they have not made any changes in spite of struggling car counts the last few years. Last year the Late models had 5 cars show up at every event with a high of 19 and low of around 10. I agree the Late models do look like they may get a small bump in car count this year. The limiteds car count looks like they are going to be a real issue this year with 9 registered including 1 car that has stated he will be running a late model. It would be nice to see the limiteds tag on to the back of the late model feature when the combined feature wouldn’t be over 30 cars. Save everyone some time. One night, last year they ran 2 separate 10 car features for the limiteds and late models.

  6. Chris, if you followed this site about this time last year, we discussed your idea to great lengths. I believe the powers that be have spoken, and won’t be any major changes to either division any time soon. I think it was Stuart Fearn who brought up the cost associated with replacing their current equipment would be about 60 grand per car to go to PASS/ACT type cars. The Late Models are starting to get a little more cars coming back, and still 3 1/2 months to go. Let’s see what happens. Right now Stafford is the most stable Connecticut track with a full schedule and stable management, which may draw more competitors. Decent purse too, plus contingencies.

  7. I’ve always thought the regular shows under $20 buck were a great value based simply on the competition in the SK and SK Light division. Then something snuck up on me. Watching the LM and LLM’s in the heart of the show with the low car counts, root and grind passing and listening to Dodge and Buckler try to make a 5 car length lead exciting dampened all enthusiasm. Didn’t seem like it should. After all it just a few races. Take a break, walk around, what’s the big deal. But is did so now I pass on regular shows.
    For me the specials and Opens are now what I look forward to. Mostly all features with action at a high pitch throughout the night.
    Stafford does indeed do what they do and I don’t consider this forum and our complaints a representative sampling of the overall audience or a basis to change anything. I trust them implicitly to know their business. To know the balance between delivering for the fans while at the same time treating competitors with respect.
    You can’t hit home runs all the time. The SK’s and SK Lights are worth the price of admission alone. Stafford in spite of their unique Street Stock rules that don’t jive with any other track are building that division into a real force that puts on some great racing. To show what I don’t know the last couple years I was whining about them as well.
    I made my decision but don’t consider it any indication of the overall value of the regular shows. They’re still a great value. Changing a program is risky. But I’m confident Stafford over time will solve the LM/LLM issue since now the hand writing is on the wall especially for the LLM’s.

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