Back Out Front: Al Saunders Tops Late Models At Stafford

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

STAFFORD – With the curtain readying for a close on the 2021 season at Stafford Speedwy, Al Saunders was thinking it would likely prove to be a winless season in the Late Model division.

Friday the Stafford driver used a pole start to make happen what he didn’t think would.

Saunders led every lap and checked out from the field to win the 30-lap Late Model feature Friday at Stafford.

It was the fourth career Late Model win for Saunders and his first victory since July 17, 2020.

Saunders became the 10th different winner in 18 Late Model features this year at Stafford.

Tom Fearn of East Longmeadow, Mass. was second and Michael Bennett of Willington third.

Saunders beat Fearn to the checkered by 1.3 seconds.

“To be honest I did not expect to be here this year,” Saunders said. “This has been the worst season of my career ever. I can’t even believe the struggles we went through this. But the car has been coming around the last couple weeks. We made very minor changes and the car has been real fast. It doesn’t show on the practice times. I’m usually probably lucky to get in the top-10 for practice, but this thing is awesome on the long runs.

Said Fearn: “I just didn’t have enough tonight.”

Bennett will take the points lead into the final event of the season on Oct. 1.

“We’ll take a third place,” Bennett said. “We haven’t been on the podium in a few weeks.”

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