Stafford Notes: Adam Gray Scores Fourth Consecutive Late Model Victory; Gary Patnode Tops Limited Late Models

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

STAFFORD – The month of June has been good to Adam Gray at Stafford Speedway.

It’s actually been perfect.

Gray, of Belchertown, Mass., completed a perfect month of June in Late Model competition on Friday at Stafford.

Gray drove away from Tom Fearn over the closing laps to win the 30-lap Late Model feature Friday at Stafford.

It was the fourth consecutive victory for Gray, who won every Late Model feature in the month of June.

“This is pretty impressive,” Gray said. “I don’t think I’ve ever got this many in a row. If it weren’t for my crew we wouldn’t be here. Week in and week out they do a phenomenal job.”

Fearn, of East Longmeadow, Mass., was second and Wayne Coury Jr. of Fairfield third.

Gray got by Fearn for the lead on lap 15 and never trailed again.

Gary Patnode went to the lead early and then held off all challengers up front the rest of the way to get his first victory of the season in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature.

“It was tough out there,” Patnode said. “I’ve got to be honest, I’m surprised we held them off. I don’t think we had the fastest car. … We did it. We somehow pulled this off. The car was good, it could have been better.

Alexandra Fearn of East Longmeadow, Mass. was second and Rich Hammann of Tolland third.

It was the sixth career victory in the division for Patnode and his first win since Aug. 27, 2021.

“We got one, finally,” Patnode said. “It’s a long time coming. They don’t come easy here.”

Patnode lost the lead to Jeremy Lavoie on lap 10, but a caution flag flew before the lap could be completed, putting Patnode back to the front for the ensuing restart.

“The caution saved me,” Patnode said. “I thought Jeremy had me. When they told me to get in front of [Lavoie] I was thrilled. I didn’t know if I would have got back by [Lavoie].”

Reigning division champion Derek Debbis got his second victory of the season in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature.

Tyler Chapman of Ellington was second and Alexander Pearl of Salem third.

Gary Patnode celebrates victory in the Limited Late Model feature Friday at Stafford (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)
Derek Debbis celebrates victory in the SK Light Modified feature Friday at Stafford (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)


  1. Congrats to Adam,Barry and the #97 team. 4 wins in a row, great accomplishment. Keep it up.

  2. Great job by Gray. He seems to be the class of the field right now

  3. That’s about as good as it gets in Late Model racing when you see Gray and Fearn side by side. The 92 did everything he could to hold off the 97 but knew enough to pull the string when it was clear he was a tick off what was needed.
    In victory lane Tom Fearn just the perfect combination of gracious and disappointed he isn’t quite there yet but making it clear he’ll grind away until he is.
    Real emotion and insights in victory lane with only a few moments to react are rare. That right there was the real deal.

  4. Stuart A Fearn says

    True Doug, Tom and Alex both happy last night with the work we did during the week at the shop. We will make one or two more adjustments to the 92 specifically and get that tuned up for the SRX weekend next Friday.
    Adam’s obviously the class of the field right now so the rest of us losers have to do extra homework if we want to knock him off.

  5. I did that for you. Purposely left out Tom’s reference to you helping the car make a jump. Thought the odds were pretty good you’d weigh in to make your contribution known and good for you making it a two-fer. You’re welcome!
    So while we’re giving credit how about a shout out for your observation on the Limited Late Models gaining popularity. It took 4 or 5 years to be proven right but here we are with a respectable car count and some pretty terrific racing. Not just more cars but more good cars.
    The clock this year says that Hammann is the car to beat. Not the deciding factor the driver has to keep the wheels on it but no more hunting down and passing the leader from the rear on a weekly basis. At least not without company.
    What can I say…..go #28.

  6. Stuart A Fearn says

    teed me right up Doug.
    Glad to see the LLM field strong. Basically the same money as a street stock but more of a real race car for my taste. Lot of good drivers, and teams, many new comers gaining experience as well.

  7. Another great skl race congrats to Debbis and crew…

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