Stafford Notes: Cliff Saunders Tops Late Models In Dramatic Style

Cliff Saunders celebrates victory in the Late Model feature Friday at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

STAFFORD – Cliff Saunders made a four-month winless streak come to an end in dramatic style Friday at Stafford Speedway. 

Saunders used a three-wide move on lap 27 to go from third to first and rolled on to victory in the 40-lap Late Model feature Friday at Stafford Speedway. 

It was the second victory of the season for Saunders, of Stafford, and his first since May 11 in the second event of the year. 

“The car was really good, probably the best it’s been since I won [on May 11],” Saunders said. “We’ve kind of been struggling the last couple weeks. For the first time all season my car would actually fire off good at the restarts.” 

Michael Bennett of Stafford was second and Ryan Fearn of East Longmeadow, Mass. third. 

Saunders was running third behind his twin brother and leader Albert Saunders and second place Michael Bennett for the first of two lap 27 restarts. 

Cliff Saunders made the three-wide move for the lead under his brother and Bennett work off of turn four, but the caution flag few negating the work he did to get there. 

On the ensuing restart attempt Cliff Saunders employed the three-wide move again to go back to the front a second time. 

“I was kind of disappointed when that caution came out because I felt like it was a really good pass,” Cliff Saunders said. “But my car was really good on the restarts and it kind of played out the same way where my brother’s car wasn’t as good on the restart and he pushed up a little bit and just left me enough room. I didn’t want to take him three-wide and put him in the middle like that, and I kind of leaned on him pretty hard a few times, but I had to go for a win so it was all good.”

Reigning Limited Late Model division champion Jeremy Lavoie got his fifth victory of the season in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature.

The victory allowed Lavoie to double his points lead going to the final event of the season on Sept. 28 at the NAPA Fall Final.

Duane Provost of Palmer, Mass. was second and Matt Clement of Wethersfield third.

Clement, who has a division leading six wins this year, sits second in the standings, eight points behind Lavoie going to the season finale.

“This is the perfect storm going into the Fall Final,” Lavoie said. “An eight point lead is pretty substantial.”

Dave Secore Jr. of Union won the 20-lap Street Stock feature. 

Meghan Fuller of Auburn, Mass. was second and Travis Hydar of Woodbury third. 

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  1. Ok so my question is how did the 12 finish 3rd in the late model feature after being behind the wall for so long? Did they actually not complete any full green flag laps because I know there were some cautions during that time.

  2. JH,
    My understanding is that despite the fact that they were behind the wall when a green flag came out, at that point a lap was not completed under green so no laps were lost by Ryan Fearn.

  3. Stuart Fearn says

    it was so long even I thought he was laps down but I checked mylaps and sure enough he had lap times for every lap and he did in fact complete every lap.

  4. Nice to see a strong field of Late Models

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