Stafford Notes: Adam Gray Checks Out On Late Models; Derrek Debbis Tops SK Light Mods

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

STAFFORD – Adam Gray cleared the chaos near the front early and then checked out from the field to win the 30-lap Late Model feature Friday at Stafford Speedway. 

It was the third victory in eight events this year for Gray, of Belchertown, Mass. Gray is the only driver in the division this second with multiple victories. 

“I’ve got to say, I might be a little bit impartial, but I think Stafford has got about the best Late Model racing in the country right now,” Gray said. “The whole field, any of them could win on any given night. I was just the lucky one tonight.” 

Tom Fearn of East Longmeadow, Mass. was second and Ryan Fearn of East Longmeadow, Mass. third on the track, but both were disqualified for illegal brake components following post-race tech inspection. The penalties moved Michael Bennett of Stafford to second and Michael Wray of Northford to third.

Derrek Debbis held off the charges of Jon Puleo late and won the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature. 

It was third victory in seven starts this season for the rookie from Oakdale. 

Norman Sears of Andover was second and Brian Sullivan of South Windsor third. 

Andrew Durand held off Alexandra Fearn over the closing laps to win the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature. 

It was the fourth victory in eight starts this season for Durand, of Chicopee, Mass. 

Alexandra Fearn, of East Longmeadow, Mass., was second and Matt Clement of Wethersfield third. 

Chris Meyer held off Meghan Fuller to win the 20-lap Street Stock feature. It was the first career victory at Stafford for Meyer, of North Franklin.

Fuller, of Auburn, Mass., was second and Frank L’Etoile of Wethersfield third.

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  1. Congrats to Adam Gray on your 3rd win of the season. Great job.
    Illegal brake components on both Fearn cars. Hmmm.

  2. Congrats to Andrew Durrand, Jerry and the 43 team for the win. Great job guys.

  3. Curious George says

    Anyone know exactly what the issue with the brakes on the Fearn cars? What performance impact does it have?

  4. Yes the problem with Ryan’s car is he didn’t have any the way he was driving though people , hasn’t had any most of season

  5. There are a couple of things it could have been. Obviously a performance gain was the goal.
    I’ve seen where people alter the brake pads, by drilling holes, or grinding slots, usually the altered pads are on the right front, the goal being less brake force on the right front compared to the left front, to help the car turn in better. A proportioning valve has the same effect if it’s legal.

  6. Ken Latham says

    If it helps you brake harder, gives big edge diving into the turn. Personally, I think Ryan is a little wreckless. I think he was responsible for at least one wreck, his move early on first lap caused the Saunders spin for sure. He had better clean up that act, or he may have a tough payback from someone. Just my opinion.

  7. Click my name, you can buy the illegal components if any of you would like to.

  8. ” Rotors must not be drilled, slotted or grooved. ”
    Look grooved to me.
    Had to be an oversight. It’s not like they are hard to spot.

  9. getserious says

    Well said, Ken. Those three-wide banzai moves….damn. But he’s not ” wreckless” as you say; more like wreckmore.

  10. They are talking about pads not rotors unless I am missing something. If it is not in the rules it is a grey area. If you can exploit the grey areas and get away with it for a performance advantage more power to you.

  11. Curious George says

    Anyone know EXACTLY what it was. This is starting to sound like a totally ticky tac/opinion DQ at this point.

  12. Uninterested observer says

    The rules say rotors can not be slotted, drilled or grooved. They do not say they cannot be machined or scalloped rotors. It had nothing to do with pads or calipers. They looked like they were stock appearing rotors that had been machined in house, not purchased that way. That being said, no one else had rotors like these ones, but the rules don’t specifically say they can’t be used. Guess it all depends on how you read the rule and interpret it.

  13. sour grapes went to midas with a hacksaw says

    dont worry will fix the issue and come back and win again… we used to cut slots in the pads years ago ! no one ever ever said pull your calipers…LOL . dont need a proportioning valve to play with the brake bias lots of ways to do that that cant be seen without really taking things apart . sounds like they are enforcing the rules for a level playing field.. cannot fault Stafford for that

  14. Curious George: Click on Ryan Fearns name on His Post & it will take you to the picture of the grooved rotors that were illegal..

  15. What am I missing? How is this even remotely a gray area? How is interpretation of rules enter into this in any way? Suitcase Jake seems to think its fairly straightforward. There’s freakin grooves in the rotors. Rules say no grooves.
    Is this an alternative facts thing where none exist?
    What driver does that? Shows the offending part. Thanks Ryan for the link. Clearly this was not blatant cheating just an oversight. I was hoping it was a BB in the brake line to effect front and rear bias. No drama here.
    Unfortunately there are no oopsies in enforcing racing rules.
    As for the Late Models they are kicking ass with great competition and Ryan Fearn may not be conventional but he’s one of the most fun drivers to watch. And nice bright yellow so he’s always easy to pick out of the pack.

  16. Ken Latham says

    Doug, Exciting / reckless… a VERY thin line. His constant 3 wide bonsai moves are wrecking some very good cars. I agree, the LM are having some really great shows. Nice to see full fields of LM’s. Let’s keep them on the track with some a little less “careless” driving. I am all for aggressive, but reckless is uncalled for.

  17. Ken Latham I agree you can’t have one reckless driver with no respect taking out others who may not have the resources to come back for weeks or more

  18. Where is the link to Ryan’s illegal parts?

  19. Rob P.
    Click on his name in his comment.

  20. Google chrome won’t let me do it

  21. Thanks anyways Shawn. From what others have posted I take it to be modified rotors. With all the aftermarket rotors available at relatively low cost, I’m surprised Stafford doesn’t spec out a drilled and slotted part for both front and rear.

  22. Thanks for that link Shawn. Quite obvious why they got DQ’d.

  23. “Ken Latham I agree you can’t have one reckless driver with no respect taking out others who may not have the resources to come back for weeks or more”

    So what’s the actual record?

    6/26 -#12 Late Model, driver Ryan Fearn
    Infraction- Contact with the #97 car during the Late Model feature.
    Penalty- Placed to the rear of the running order under caution flag conditions.

    7/17-#12 Late Model, driver Ryan Fearn
    Infraction- Contact with the #39 car during the Late Model feature.
    Penalty- Placed to the rear of the running order under caution flag conditions.

    This is the Reen affect. While it’s true Ryan has been a swashbuckler, executing ill advised moves that backfired from time to time it’s incorrect to imply he is a steady cause of damaged cars and wrecks.
    Fact is the Late Models are loaded with hard driving, bare knuckled experienced drivers that can turn the 12 anytime they like with good cause in retribution and they would.
    What Ryan did here is unprecedented and no one is giving him credit. He’s shown the part.
    Or to put it more simply he climbed the fence again. Something no one else would dream of doing as he has done here.
    Racing needs guys like this. Stafford and the Late Models need guys like this.
    Referring to wrecking people cavalierly relating it to team resources is a cheap shot.

  24. I never said he was “intentionally “ wrecking people or doing it in a cavalier way. All I said was that he is bordering on reckless and when that happened on LI the drivers took care of business. Reen is the same way. The only way to temper it ia to park them and DQ. Don’t get me wrong I love agressive racing, but he is going over the line now. In my opinion

  25. I have allot of respect for Stuart and Tom Fearn. They’ve been involved in racing as far back as I can remember. Both are fierce competitors on the track, and great people off the track. Although Tom, at times, has been labeled as a ” loose cannon”, if you notice he drives others the way he is driven, and most of the time any contact made is just the result of good hard clean racing
    Ryan Fearn is someone I find it hard to have respect for. He is a reckless loose cannon with little if any regard for his fellow competition. In his defense though, he’s young. Usually as drivers age and gain experience they also gain respect for, and from their fellow competitors. I hope this is the case, as his dad spends way too much time and money for his driver’s to be unrespectable. I wish the whole Fearn clan good luck going forward, especially Tom, who can’t seem to catch a break this season, and truly hope Ryan smartens up, and let’s his talent not his bumper do the talking

  26. If you’re referring to me Ken I never responded to anything you said. I can’t find the word “intentional” anywhere and thought your comment was nicely balanced and on point as usual.
    Lets dial it back here. What comment sections are known for is vague recollections, sweeping generalizations and hyperbole. I’m just throwing the caution when it crosses over to accusations based on nothing specific.
    The good news is it;s all on video now. Give me a date, whether it’s a heat race or feature, what the wreckless activity was and we’ll analyze it. We’re 8 LM races in, Ryan had two penalties in the first two weeks none since and others have had one.
    See what’s happening here? A couple years back many of us were saying how dead the LM’s were with boring races and short fields. Now there are good fields with quality cars and good competition. I respect the traditionalists that want good clean racing and completely legal cars even if that time never existed. Myself I see no sin in stretching the rules to the breaking point or having drivers that are controversial for their driving style. It’s swell in my view.

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