Stafford Notes: Michael Bennett Runs Away With Fourth Win Of Season In Late Models

Michael Bennett celebrates victory in the Late Model feature Friday at Stafford (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

STAFFORD – Michael Bennett checked out on the field to run away with his fourth victory of the season in the 30-lap Late Model feature.

Bennett, of Willington, won by nearly half a lap.

“This car has been awesome all year,” Bennett said. “We’ve actually struggled the last few weeks. We had good runs, just some bad luck. But it’s not from a lack of hard work.”

Kevin Gambacorta of Ellington was second and Adam Gray of Belchertown, Mass. third.

The victory shook up the ever-shuffling top of the Late Model point standings.

Michael Wray of Durham came into the night leading the standings by two points over Bennett, with Gray third, six points off the lead. Bennett moved to the top of the standings with Wray and Gray now tied for second, eight points behind Bennett.

Travis Hydar came out on top of a green-white-checkered finish to win the 20-lap Street Stock feature.

It was the third victory of the season for Hydar, of Woodbury.

Frank L’Etoile of Wethersfield was second and Nickolas Hovey of Chaplin third.

Hydar, L’Etoile and Chris Meyer were embroiled in a dramatic battle for the lead for six laps before caution flew to set up the green-white-checkered finish.

“My crew chief told me before I went out, he said, ‘Each and every week I see you get bullied around by [Frank L’Etoile Jr. and Chris Meyer] up front. He told me to drive them right back like they drive me. So I stuck it in there when they were jostling around and I did exactly what either one of them would have done to me.”

Travis Hydar celebrates victory in the Street Stock feature Friday at Stafford (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

George Bessette Jr. of Danbury got his second win of the season in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature.

“I don’t know what it is but every time it rains before we go out I seem to win,” Bessette said. “Hopefully it rains some more, but not enough that we have to rain out.”

Derek Debbis of Oakdale was second and Bob Charland of Stafford third.

George Bessette Jr. celebrates victory in the SK Light Modified feature Friday at Stafford (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT0

On July 30 Devon Jencik scored his first career victory in the Limited Late Model division at Stafford.

Since then the Canton driver had just continued collecting wins.

Jencik won the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature Friday. It was his second consecutive victory and third in the last four events.

Division points leader Alexandra Fearn of East Longmeadow was second and Jeremy Lavoie of Windsor Locks third. Fearn doubled her points lead on Lavoie, gaining two points on what was a two-point lead at the top of the standing coming into the night.

Devon Jencik celebrates victory in the Limited Late Model feature Friday at Stafford (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)


  1. There was a lot of racing last night and some very good racing. None was better then what we saw in the Street Stocks. Hydar, L’Etoile, Meyer and Hovey. Call it dirty or heap praise on it you’d be right in either case. Fact is the first three pushed and shoved each other around so much lesser drivers would have spun. While back in the field they were bringing out cautions these guys were not and putting on one of the best racing exhibitions I’ve ever seen at Stafford.. Hovey not dancing being smart staying out the the way mostly he’s good but that’s advanced driving he’s not ready for yet.
    Meyer may not have gotten the finish he wanted but he almost got a podium with tires that were completely shot at the end and stayed competitive based on pure driving experience and skill.
    I bet more then a few don’t see it that way.

  2. You’d think that when the leader wins by more than 8 seconds, they might actually take tech seriously. Clearly the track has a favorite if it took about 5 minutes. Everyone knows the fastest cars usually are doing at least one thing in the gray area, but that just looked really bad. Also would love to hear why the 61 dropped to the rear at the start…he had started up there every other week and has been doing great. Loved to have Jackie back in the booth. If only they’d get rid of the announcer that sponsors racecars and shows off his favoritism nonstop…it gets really annoying to hear multiple times every week about how great certain people are, especially when they have no idea who they are off the track.

    Street stocks put on another show last night. Love to see the passion of each driver and I still think they show more respect for each other than some of the other divisions. Great racing and glad that the driver was OK after that flip on the backstretch.

  3. It was Meyer who was doing most of the pushing and shoving from my view , kudos to 8 for keeping his cool and ending up in second place. Great race overall!

  4. JH that’s kinda the way I saw it from the track , he seems to start the pushing and shoving and then the rest give it back and he got what he deserves a 5th place finish , I know Doug won’t agree but that’s ok we all see it a little different

  5. “Call it dirty or heap praise on it you’d be right in either case. ”
    I think I covered that Elect. I like Meyer and we all say the best things about the ones we like but you’re more right.

  6. Gotta give Stafford and their on track crew some credit here on a tough night. . As the the roofed car was sliding down the track they were dodging cars and on the scene literally in seconds. Timely repair on the fence as well.

  7. Fast Eddie says

    Doug, definitely agree. The safety people were on the move before he finished bouncing off the wall. Quick work on the guardrail repair considering the damage as well. That SKL hit it so hard a post came out!

  8. Stafford does seem to have a pretty good track crew , granted I see them more than any other , also Paul right after his late model and David with his fire suit on just before his SK race both on track helping with fence repair , not just Joe Hamm like Ben seems to think

  9. I noticed that as well. Mark Arute calls the shots. In this case the FloRacing feed gave us a good perspective of a really efficient repair being done in about as short a time as one could expect.

  10. The Buckler demotion was underscored when Jackie joined Ben in “Race Central” with Rickey absent. It looks like Matt’s pit road assignment is permanent.

  11. Stuart A Fearn says

    In my opinion Matt Buckler was not demoted but repositioned. He has had bad foot problems limiting his mobility in the last couple years and I’m going to guess it’s gotten too difficult to climb up all the stairs to get to the broadcast tower at Stafford. Like I said, just my guess. I like Matt and think he does a great job.

  12. Fast Eddie says

    Stuart, definitely second you on that. I remember him having those troubles for quite a while now, used to feel bad watching him go back and forth at the Speedbowl multiple times a race. Whether he’s in the booth or the pits, he’s still great to listen to!

  13. The track crew at Stafford is top notch. Definitely better than most. They get the job done efficiently limiting the delay. I am wondering if it might be time to get rid of the metal armco barriers in the corners and go with cement. It seems like 3 or 4 times a year there is a need for a lengthy repair. I know I took a new person to a race at Stafford a few years ago where there was a delay for guardrail repair. At the end of the night they said they enjoyed it but said the repair delay was the worst part of the night. I agreed. What is the rationale for having cement on the straights and armco in the corners? Most tracks have gone cement everywhere and ditched the metal guardrails. Do the racers prefer hitting metal as opposed to cement? A little more give maybe. . Did they plan on going safer walls all through the corners and run into an issue? Every time there is a delay for wall repair I wonder why they have cement walls everywhere but the corners. Anyone have any thoughts

  14. Csg I think your right as far as more give with guard rails in corners , also when they need to replace a pole they are putting steel I beams in , soon they should have all the old wooden ones replaced , still more give than concrete

Leave a Reply

Copyright 2018 E-Media Sports

Website Designed by Thirty Marketing