Stafford Notes: Adam Gray Gets First Win Of Season In Late Model; Josh Carey, Damien Palardy Score First Time Wins

Jacob Gray (right) celebrates a Big Wheel event win at Stafford and then celebrated with his father Adam Gray (right) after the Late Model feature at Stafford (Photos: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

STAFFORD – It was a night of Gray family dominance in multiple events Friday at Stafford Speedway.

Stafford Speedway welcome the kids back on the track for their regular Big Wheel races and in the event it was six-year old Jacob Gray blurring down the frontstretch to run away from everyone in the event.

And then the pressure was on Gray’s dad, Late Model competition Adam Gray.

“I’d hear about it all week, him having a trophy and not me,” Adam Gray said. “I knew I had to get it done tonight.”

And Adam Gray kept the family dominance rolling. Adam Gray rolled away from the field over the late stages to cruise to his first win of the season in  the 30-lap Late Model feature Friday at Stafford.

“We started the season in a little bit of a slump,” Adam Gray said. “We took the car all apart this winter trying to improve it and we kind of missed a little bit. My crew worked their tails off, I was slacking a little bit. But here we are in victory lane again.”

Michael Wray of Northford was second and Paul Varricchio Jr. of Berlin third.

Josh Carey scored his first career victory in the 20-lap SK Light Modified feature.

“This is absolutely huge,” Carey said. “This is the biggest win of my life. The biggest moment. I’ve worked so hard and had so many lows. We started off the year pretty good and had a bad week last race and to come out here and just execute like that and lead all those laps and survive a hard charge by [Tyler] Chapman late in the race was really good. These Chassis Pro are just amazing. Gotta thank Todd Owen so much for all he does with this team.”

Tyler Chapman of Ellington was second and Bob Charland of Stafford third.

Josh Carey celebrates victory in the SK Light Modified feature Friday t Stafford (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

Damien Palardy of Willington held off Alexandra Fearn and Jeremy Lavoie on a green-white-checkered restart to get his first career victory in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature.

“It means everything,” Palardy said. “I’ve been doing this since [Go-Karts], I never thought I’d get here. I’ve got to thank the Casagrande Family, my father, my grandfather, my whole family for supporting me every week. It feels great to be back in victory lane from coming from [Go-Karts] to here.”

Lavoie, of Windsor Locks, was second and Rich Hammann of Tolland third.

Damien Palardy celebrates victory in the Limited Late Model feature Friday at Stafford (Photo: Jim DuPont/Stafford)


  1. “May 27, 2022
    On Track Infractions
    #56 SK Light, driver Derek Debbis
    Infraction- Contact with #09 car coming to the checkered flag in SK Light Heat Race #1.
    Penalties- Removed from handicapping system, will start last for next three (3) events qualified for/attended.
    Not eligible for provisional process for next three (3) events attended.
    Placed on probation for next three (3) events attended.”

    A very stiff penalty and under the circumstances well deserved. No trusting karma for Stafford, they brought the hammer down and it was the right thing to do. And the penalty did matter in the end as the 56 was a lightning bolt as usual. Debbis charging through the field showing that last week was a lapse more then identity but there was just too many cars to pass and too few laps so Debbis ends up 8th. This entire incident will probably cost him a championship would be my guess.
    What is hard not to notice is what Chassis Pro and probably Butch Shea does. We routinely see everything from the main cage forward removed on the car at some point during the season then magically it shows up the next Friday with nothing seemingly different. Just as fast as before and we somehow take it all for granted.
    I know how it used to work. Saturday morning the driver/mechanic,fabricator would be stripping stuff off the car and many times while it was still on the trailer. Then a week of late nights dismantling, cutting, measuring and rebuilding trying to make the next show for what reason who knows. Maybe you make it with the primered replacement parts still evident but the car is likely not the same. So how’s it work now? Just drive the car over to Chassis Pro in Somers, say fix it, then get ready to bend over because a big bill is coming. It’s all behind the scenes stuff but the amount of effort and money involved just to see cars reappear like nothing happened the following race night is an amazing story mostly untold.
    You want to talk about inflation there’s a such thing a bonehead inflation as well. Completely avoidable but along with death and taxes you can count on in life, bonehead inflation in racing is unavoidable as well.

  2. James Hemingway says

    Late model car count very low. actually more limiteds running last night. Any know why and what happened to the Saunders brothers?

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