Stafford Notes: Kevin Gambacorta Completes Mission In Late Model

Kevin Gambacorta celebrates in victory lane after winning the Late Model feature Friday at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)

STAFFORD – Mission accomplished for Kevin Gambacorta. 

On May 4 at Kevin Gambacorta took the checkered flag to win the first Late Model event of the season at Stafford Speedway. 

Though the celebration was short-lived for the division veteran. Post race tech inspection deemed Gambacorta to have an illegal front shock, disqualifying him from victory. 

Thus set the mission in motion to prove that shock wasn’t the secret to success. 

That mission was accomplished Friday at Stafford for Gambacorta, who had back to back second place finishes in the last two events since that first race issue. 

Gambacorta got back to victory lane by winning the 30-lap Late Model feature Friday at Stafford. 

“We had those two seconds and I kept telling myself, ‘That’s good, but we’ve got to win a race, we’ve got to win a race.’” Gambacorta said. “And they’re down there in tech checking shocks and springs right now, and we should have no problems. We should be in good shape.”

Ryan Fearn of East Longmeadow, making his fourth start in the division, had a career best second place finish. Paul Varricchio Jr. of Berlin had a career best third place. 

“I don’t know what’s going on, we’ve got the Late Model to beat out here,” Gambacorta said. “This is unbelievable. I work on this car by myself four or five nights a week. It was like 10:30 the other night and I’m rolling around underneath and I’m telling myself ‘This shouldn’t be happening.’ We’re racing against guys with all kinds of resources and funding and we’ve got the car to beat. I can’t believe it.” 

Fearn led the first two-thirds of the event. Gambacarto, coming from the 13thstarting spot in the 15-car field, got by Varricchio for second on lap 17. By lap 21 he was hounding the bumper of Fearn.

On lap 23 Gambacorta found the line under Fearn through turns three and four and grabbed the lead for good into turn one on lap 24. 

“He did an awesome job for his … fourth race,” Gambacorta said. “He led, he fought off some charges. Over there in [turns] three and four he was a little tight. We roll really good over there. And I just got my nose in there and got under him. Just an awesome drive off with this car. I knew once we got clear of him and just hit our marks that we’d be Ok. But Ryan did an awesome job.” 

Said Fearn: “If I was going to be passed by anybody I would want it to be Kevin Gambacorta or Tom Fearn. … I can’t complain about second place. I was playing defense up there with Varricchio and Gambacorta. I let one guy through and I had [13 more cars] behind me. That’s exactly where you want to be, getting podium finishes.” 

On May 11 Matt Clement celebrated his first career Limited Late Model victory at Stafford. 

Getting that second trip to victory lane took a lot less time for the Wethersfield driver. 

Clement got under Alexandra Fearn for the lead out of turn two on lap 10 and then held off the charges of Fearn over the final two laps to win the 15-lap Limited Late Model feature. 

“That was one heck of a race,” Clement said. “Two wins in [three] weeks. I couldn’t even dream of this day a year ago. This is so awesome.” 

Alexandra Fearn, of East Longmeadow, Mass., held on for second and Duane Provost of Palmer, Mass. was third. 

Reigning division champion George Bessette Jr. of Danbury cruised to his first victory of the season in the 20-lap Street Stock feature.

“I talked to [track announcer] Matt Buckler today and he said ‘Man you’re having a rough year’ and I said ‘Don’t worry we’ll it back up soon.’ And I sure did tonight. … Fantastic day for us. The car was on rails all day.”

Jason Lafayette of Somers was second and Travis Hydar of Woodybury third.

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  1. Congrats to Kevin and his #23 crew. Great job

  2. Well that was impressive. One of the best races for the lead of the night. The crowd was engaged completely as Gambacorta was trying to get around young Fearn. And congratulations to Ryan for a heady race doing everything he could to keep the 23 at bay but not too much before reluctantly giving up the spot then saying all the right things in victory lane.

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