Reigning In The Rain: Alexandra Fearn Gets First Win Of 2022 In Limited Late Model Feature At Stafford

Alexandra Fearn celebrates victory in the Limited Late Model feature Friday at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

STAFFORD – Alexandra Fearn’s reign as the Limited Late Model division champion at Stafford Speedway didn’t begin all that glowingly for the East Longmeadow, Mass. driver.

Fearn, who had six victories on the way to her first division title last season, started the 2022 season with wrecks in the first two events of the year.

A fourth place finish in the May 20 Limited Late Model feature seemed to right the ship some for Fearn in the third event of the season.

Friday she used some late race dramatics to beat Patnode and the weather on the way to victory in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature at Stafford.

Fearn got out of her car in victory lane and was met almost immediately with a pouring shower from the dark clouds above.

“It certainly feels really really good,” Fearn said. “I know that a lot of people work really hard and help me out a lot. I just can’t thank them enough. I wouldn’t be here without them. We had two really bad weeks to start the year. And if it wasn’t for [the crew] we wouldn’t have been able to come back.”

Patnode, of Barkhamstead, was second and Matt Clement of Wethersfield third.

The Limited Late Model feature proved to be the only feature of the night. With rain expected to fall for most of the night the remaining four features were called off.

By lap 17 Fearn was stalking on the rear bumper of Patnode at the front of the field.

On lap 19 Fearn found a low lane under Patnode off of turn four. The pair came to the white flag running side-by-side with Patnode leading at the line. Fearn got a run under Patnode into turn one and came out of turn two with the lead.

“We needed our luck to turn around,” Patnode said. “We had it covered. If Alexandra was going to get by me she was going to have to race me. I didn’t want to block her and be that kind of racer. And she got me. Her and I both needed some luck to change and I feel as though we had some good luck come. Let’s keep it coming.”


  1. Stuart A Fearn says

    That might be another record: Alexandra won every feature of the night. Scott Running please check the record books

  2. Double features next week? Or will they double up one feature each week

  3. Steve,
    The remainder of the card was cancelled. None of the features will be made up.

  4. No question about it, Ben Dodge is what we like to call an icon in local racing but on the weekly shows with few fans in the stands he appears to go on auto pilot, phoning it in. How does he not recognize the Noah Korner 31 even if timing and scoring is not working right. Kept calling it Devin O’Connell. Rickey corrected him in the race and had to correct him again as the finishing order was announced.
    Speaking of Rickey you know what sticks out about the guy? Nothing and I’m absolutely loving it. He does everything well, super competent, pleasant to listen to and enhances the racing on the track not distracting from it.
    The expressions about the groove and hitting your spots are not just expressions they’re critical in racing. The car is telling you exactly where it goes best and at what speed, the driver has to remember it and repeat it consistently. It’s harder then one would think.
    There was a time when Gary Patnode, the fan that became the racer, would have a fast car, race under control then for some reason just lose it and be all over the place fading like he deployed a parachute. Over the years he’s stuck with it and become a pretty darned good driver and last night showed it. Stayed in the grove, hitting his spots, got the most out of a car that was not quite as good as the 12, gave up the spot and was gracious in victory lane.
    Quietly something has evolved over the last several years at least for me. I can’t believe I’m saying this about a woman driving a race car but I hate to see the 12 car win. No it’s not real hate it’s fan hate which isn’t really hate at all it’s more like admiration ala Ted Christopher whom I “hated” as well. Maybe throwing over the engineering career to be a lawyer is part of it. We need good engineers, not so much lawyers but the decision is typical of some of our brightest young minds because our society rewards attorney’s more. Or the very lawyeresque move of having to review the video all the time even on the rare occasion she’s the one at fault getting the penalty. Or perhaps it’s her cocky old man well known in these pages. Building those marvelous winning cars and finding cleaver ways to remind us all here on a regular basis.
    I know that may seem harsh but you know as well as I do that part of the fun of being a fan is rooting for anyone to beat a winning driver. It not just a racing thing it’s an all sports thing. So I “hate” the 12 and in a convoluted way “hating” a woman whom I don’t even know simply for being so successful driving a race car is progress is it not?
    As far at the SK Lights go I’m very upset. Upset with Debbis for his decision making in a relatively meaningless heat on a night that got rained out. At this early stage of his driving career he’s seen just about as much success as any young driver. It’s not just the great car Chassis Pro supplies he’s become a terrific driver. So there is no excuse for him to be anywhere near Casandra Cole as the meaningless heat race winds down sending her toward the wall to take out yet another car. On the last lap Debbis made up several spots driving that lightning bolt on the outside then in. Just enough speed to get him to Cole to turn her coming to the checkers. All I see is time and money wasted for two teams for no good reason at all. Especially from a driver a few weeks removed from having his car demolished through no fault of his own. I’d say maybe if Debbis had to spend late nights all week spending money repairing someone else’s mistake he might show a fellow competitor that was having a good run more respect but I won’t say that. There has to be consequences so Debbis needs to start scratch next week to make a point.
    Stafford wrote a self serving, promotional article about the young drivers in the SK’s and the success of the ladder system that has made the division a success. It was on full display last night. With an iffy weather forecast 28 SK’s showed up and ran their heats. It’s not just the quantity the division is stacked with really good cars. Seriously to win these days being in the hunt requires a good driver and great equipment but that’s not enough. For the feature you need to have gotten every bit of preparation for the car closer to perfect then anyone else and even then if you don’t get the breaks it may not be good enough. That’s what make’s the old guy Todd Owen so special in my view. He consistently gets the best his car has to give on a given night and avoids the bad luck that many younger drivers don’t have the experience to see coming.

  5. It’s a shame the rest of the card was “canceled “. So the drivers who had a good starting spot in their feature basically get the short end of the stick. Why not run the already set starting line ups at the next open show when Stafford divisions don’t run heats?

  6. Hillary 2024 says

    No question about it Doug. And so forth with it.

  7. So the damage to the 09 and 41 was cancelled, no consequences for Debbis because the wreck technically never happened? Schwew, that’s a relief.

  8. Cancelled how can that be qualifying already done with cars not making the handicap or wrecked they used to run double features in this case not to mention we already paid the pit fees for the night which should be going into the purse

  9. You get in at no additional charge next week if you saved your ticket or wrist band.

  10. I think anyone who bought a ticket or pit pass will get to use that for next weekly race of equal value. Maybe the limited late model teams will have to buy back in since they got in their feature if they track who signs in for each division, I doubt it but perhaps the Limited’s get the night off. It’s probably not fair as the teams. They will have to requalify, they essentially wasted fuel to get their tires and fuel to qualify for no pay out. I do applaud Stafford for adjusting the schedule to not run the SK’s last to try to beat the rain. If they would post that on the pre-race schedule release, I would be more inclined to go. Last week under the threat of rain they moved the show right along and moved the SKs up in the order. I wish they would use the same sense of urgency every night,

    I was hoping they would run double features; it would have been a nice incentive to go out to the track for a race or two. If they are running double SK features, they can’t run them back to back at the end of the night you would think. So if the night went long I could leave having seen the Sks race. Not sure I would feel the same if I was a ticket holder from last night and had to buy in again. I know some teams don’t care for double features. You wreck or break in the first one and cant repair, you can really go down in the points standings. Stafford is having a tough go with the weather. They cancelled their first Friday night show because of a forecast and they probably could have got it in. Last night they give it a go and get in one feature. Just a tough run of luck. What can you do? Lets hope for a good weather and forecast for next Friday. Stafford could use a break.

  11. Stuart A Fearn says

    I agree with Doug, Gary was very gracious in his interview. He is a class act, good guy.

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