Late Model Preseason Preview At Stafford Speedway

(Press Release from Stafford Motor Speedway)

Tom Fearn celebrates a victory and the 2018 Late Model track championship last September at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont)

The 2018 Late Model season at Stafford saw Tom Fearn dominate his way to his third career track title. 

Fearn recorded 12 wins and finished all but 2 races on the podium. 

Time will tell if Fearn can repeat his dominant ways from last year and below we highlight the drivers who will try to keep Fearn from enjoying another dominant season.

The Rundown – Late Models

The Favorites

#92 Tom Fearn – Only one word can describe Tom Fearn’s 2018 season, dominant. 12 wins for this team including a remarkable stretch of 6 straight. Though they may not match their 2018 results, Fearn and his team are the heavy favorites.

#31 Michael Bennett – The 2016 Late Model track champion joins the Rob Russell owned team for the 2019 season. After a spending 2018 on the sidelines expect this Stafford veteran to pick up right where he left off in 2017, winning.

#42 Michael Wray – After grabbing his 2nd win of the season at the 2018 NAPA Fall Final, this team is feeling good heading into the new season. Expect Wray and the #42 to be competing with for wins every week.

Ones to Watch

#79 Darrell Keane – 2 wins in 2018 for this team even after taking a 5 week hiatus mid season. This Enfield, CT driver will be a factor week in and week out as he plans to compete for the full 2019 season.

#23 Kevin Gambacorta – Revitalized and prepared, the 3-time Stafford Champion has his eyes set on more wins and competing for the title. Don’t be surprised if you see this aggressive driver notching multiple wins in 2019.

#82 Paul Arute – Entering his 3rd season competing in the Late Model division, Arute is looking to turn an up and down 2018 into a consistent 2019. 1 win in each of the last two seasons for this bunch. 

#40 Al Saunders – Moving into his sophomore season in Stafford’s Late Model division, Saunders is poised for a breakout year. The 2015 Limited Late Model Champion is known for his quiet demeanor in the paddock but bold moves on track. The #40 car should contend for wins throughout 2019.

New Faces

#12 – Ryan Fearn – Nephew to 2018 Late Model Champion Tom Fearn, Ryan is set to make his Late Model debut at the NAPA Spring Sizzler. Will winning races in the Limited Late Model division translate to Late Model success? Time will tell.

#87 – RJ Surdell – Another driver moving up from the Limited Late Model division. Surdell scored his first career Stafford win in 2018 and will be another rookie in the field.

Bottom Line 

More cars and deeper competition for the Late Model division in 2019. Though Tom Fearn dominated the 2018 season the rest of the field was separated by mere tenths. Expect the same rough and tough competition throughout the 2019 season. 

2019 Late Model Roster

2018 Late Model Final Points Standings

Do you enjoy what you’re reading and seeing here at RaceDayCT? Would you like to see continued coverage of New England short track racing? Your support can help ensure that professional coverage of short track racing can continue at RaceDayCT, and you can get some great rewards for that support. Patreon allows readers to make small monthly contributions to RaceDayCT that support the ongoing coverage of short track racing. Your pledge comes with exclusive tiered reward programs for offering that support. For just a $5 a month pledge fans can have access to the weekly Unmuffled podcast. For more information click the link here.


  1. Fast Eddie says

    If I counted right, there’s 27 teams on the Stafford roster. It looks like the Late Models are a full fledged class again! If they can have 20 or so cars weekly, that should make for much better racing than recent past years.

  2. Besides Fearn making every race predictable how bad was it last year? Varricchio came in 6th and didn’t log a top 5. Keane came in 7th and missed 5 races.
    Car counts will be a huge relief for sure but it’s equally important that the division have competitive racing. That does not include Tom Fearn winning every week as great as he is. If he does good for him and all but it’s just boring.
    Hopefully the Magnum with his new team with a championship to their record can make it a real race every Friday.
    Wray I don’t see as a favorite but hopefully I’m all wet, his two wins last year have babies and he contends for the championship.
    Ryan Fearn should be real fun to watch. Can he be more disciplined as he suggested was a goal. We’ll see. A lot of these LM guys are tough old hands and won’t put up with any nonsense.

Leave a Reply

Copyright 2018 E-Media Sports

Website Designed by Thirty Marketing