Tom Fearn Ready To Defend Home Turf In American-Canadian Tour Spring Sizzler 75 At Stafford 

Tom Fearn celebrates a victory in the Late Model division at Stafford last August at Stafford Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

Tom Fearn sits on the throne at Stafford Speedway as the king of Late Model racing at the track. 

Fearn is the track’s all-time winningest Late Model driver with 62 feature victories in the division, but Saturday he’ll be looking to defend his turf from the invaders of the American-Canadian Tour. 

The ACT will run its first event at Stafford since 1985 with the running of the NAPA Spring Sizzler 75 Saturday at Stafford. 

Fearn, who has Late Model championships at Stafford in 2016, 2018 and 2019, is one of 40 entries for the event. The ACT Late Model is a different type of ride than what Stafford runs in their regular Late Model division. 

Fearn will drive a car owned by multi-time New London-Waterford Speedbowl Late Model division champion Jason Palmer. The Speedbowl’s Late Model division runs under the ACT legal rulebook. 

“When they first announced there was going to be an ACT race at Stafford I figured I’d look around for someone to drive their car,” Fearn said. “I gave Jason a call and first I asked him if he was going to run the event. He said he hadn’t thought about it. I told him what I was looking to do and he got back to me right away and said he liked the idea. He said “If there was anybody I’d want to put in my car for Stafford it would be you.” So that made me feel good that he thought that and that he thought I could get the job done.” 

Fearn got in Palmer’s car for the first time Saturday during an open practice at the Speedbowl. 

“I practiced [my regular Late Model] at Stafford and then jumped in my truck and went to Waterford and drove his car for a couple rounds of practice,” Fearn said. “I just wanted to get comfortable in the car. There are a couple things we have to do for my comfort. I probably haven’t raced at Waterford in about 25 years, maybe longer. Even that, I think I’ve only raced there twice. So I was just getting used to the track a little bit in the first practice. The second practice I picked it up a little bit. I was just about as fast as Jason was earlier in the day. That was positive. The car felt good to me.” 

“I’ve got to thank Jason Palmer and Jags Palmer for making this happen. I’m going to have a bunch of my regular Late Model guys help us to crew the thing, so that’s good. And Shawn Waddell is going to spot for me. He knows some of the ACT driver and their tendencies. My wife said she’d do it, but she doesn’t know a lot of those drivers so we’re going to use Shawn for that.” 

Fearn sits third on Stafford’s all-time win list overall with 79 career victories. He has 17 career wins in the old Pro Stock division at Stafford from 1992 to 2000. He won championships in the division in 1993, 1995 and 1998. 

Despite mounds of experience getting cars to victory lane at Stafford, Fearn thinks experience with the ACT type Late Model will trump track experience. 

“I think the ACT regulars are going to be tough to beat,” Fearn said. “No matter what track they go to they run good and they run fast. There’s probably 10 really good guys that are the class of the field there. I’m just hoping with some of my experience with the track, I hope I can equalize the playing field a little bit. … We’ll do the best we can. I think it’s going to be tough to beat those guys. I think finishing the race and getting a top-10 would be great. Anything more than that I guess would be a bonus.” 


  1. Stafford Speedway Fan says

    To Tom Fearn. Good luck Tom !! You know the Stafford fans will be rooting for you in this ACT race !!

  2. Suitcase Jake says

    Good Luck Tom & Stu & Crew…!!!! Weather is not looking good….that next weekend would be in conflict with the Dual at the Dog….OH BOY …..

  3. Stuart A Fearn says

    Good luck to Tom and Palmer! Stu is pretty much going to be a spectator for this one. If asked for an opinion I’ll be there to help but other than that Jason has had a lot of success with his own car and he knows the adjustments that effect it in what ways so I’m thinking I’ll just stay out of the way and be ready to help if asked.
    Tom is right, the regular ACT Tour guys are super prepared and tough to beat so this will be a great and exciting challenge to kick off the year at Stafford Motor Speedway, you don’t want to miss it, that’s for sure.

  4. How about Adam Gray he’s in the race as well according to the Stafford roster. In the PASS race last year in a different car, didn’t do so well but it was a DNF. That would make two of the best Stafford has to offer and great reference points for we local fans. Pitkat as well.
    If ACT is anything like PASS the cars are a couple seconds faster then Stafford LM’s are they not only a few tenths off of SK’s. Different driving style as well. Stafford commonly has the root and grind passing frequently ending in some drama. ACT cars really fast and really racy with outside passing common for the best among them.
    Fearn and Gray kind of perfect representation from the weekly LM’s since their inclination is to race as oppose to playing bumper cars. Stafford experience is a big deal but the ACT drivers are really good at what they do with really good cars. I should think a top 10 for either would be something either could take home feeling pretty good about.
    So what do you think any predictions?

  5. Fast Eddie says

    Barring any issues, I’d bet the local 3 will be in the top 10, and 2 of them will make the top 5. I think track knowledge is more of an advantage at Stafford more than most. I’d give Woody the edge based on team familiarity and ACT experience.

  6. Good luck to Tom and his adopted team. If any of the regulars can win it’s him.

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