Off The Wall: Derrek Debbis Kicks Off SK Light Modified Title Defense With Victory

Derek Debbis celebrates victory in the SK Light Modified feature Sunday at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)

STAFFORD – Derrick Debbis began defense of his 2021 Stafford Speedway SK Light Modified championship in perfect fashion.

Debbis, of Oakdale, passed Tyler Chapman for the lead on a lap 14 restart and went on to win the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature Sunday at Stafford Speedway.

Debbis recovered from an early race incident to rally back for victory.

“My first few laps I was into the wall, I [expletive] up,” Debbis said. “I messed up. I slid up into the wall. But we had actually an amazing car. We reeled them guys right back in. I can’t thank the Chassis Pro guys enough for all they do for us.”

Chapman, of Ellington, was second and Chris Matthews of Stafford third.

Alexander Pearl dominated the early stages of the event but on lap 13 it was George Bessette creeping in to challenge for the top spot. The pair went side-by-side the line to complete lap 13. Bessette took over the top spot through turns one and two on lap 14, but Pearl fought back on the inside. Going into turn the three the leaders rolled up into the car of Todd Clark at the back of the field. Pearl got up and over the right side of Clarks car in turn three and and collected Bessette on the outside.

It set up the lap 14 restart with Chapman leading Debbis.

“I thought I was going to take a third but going into [turns] three and four the two leaders got together and went up,” Chapman said. “… I guess I didn’t warm my tires up as much as I like to, got tight on the restart and lost the lead.”


  1. The big story in this one is the Pearl/Bessette dust up is it not?
    It was Bessette’s job to use the lapped car as a pick. He had no obligation to grant any car the courtesy of more room regardless of where the lapped car was on the track.
    It was Pearl’s job to make all those calculations in his head, back out and wait for the next best opportunity. It’s not like he didn’t have a clear view of what was coming up. Post race the lapped car was blamed for not being on the apron and Bessette didn’t give him enough room Pearl says.
    Wearing dark rimmed glasses does not make you the “Professor” is means you need corrective eyewear and made a frames choice. The decision making in that instance was not very professorial at all and Bessette is the one that has a bone to pick in my view.

  2. Hermann Snellen says

    I’d love to see a replay again, but it looked like the 00 was very low on the track and went slow enough to make sure he stayed there. Regardless, I totally agree with you Doug. The Pearl kid did one of these 👈👉, when he only had himself to blame.

  3. Fast Eddie says

    I wonder if Pearl just misjudged the lapped car speed going into 3. I like botjh teams and feel like they do a good job, but Pearl definitely should have backed out of that one.

  4. Enough with the critical how about some accolades. How about the women’s performance with West coming in 7th, Fuller 9th and Bryden 11th. No easy accomplishment with 35 cars in the field showing up on race day. Well done ladies and hope to see more of that in what is going to be a brutal weekly challenge.

  5. Pearl did not get a penalty in this one a decision I find a little perplexing.
    Also perplexing is that Wesson did for literally driving over Arute in the SK feature but it had no teeth. Put to the back of the field but he was in the pits anyway so effectively received no penalty. Then comes out, charges and finishes forth.
    Fearn as well penalized to the rear of the field but if your car is wrecked and out why even bother.
    I should think in these cases consequences leveled at the next event might be called for mainly because we’re talking about victims that have to spend time and money to fix their cars. Perhaps starting at the rear in the heat or ever the feature for the one event.
    I suppose the penalty has some consequences, a repeat could land you on probation. A consequence Fearn is likely never to have to worry about but many times more likely for Wesson. But still damage to other cars Stafford? Throw the teams with the damaged cars a bone why don’t you.

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