Michael Bennett Wins Spring Sizzler Late Model Feature
(Stafford Springs, CT)—Stafford Speedway ushered in the 2021 racing season with NAPA Auto Parts Opening Day on Saturday, April 24. Stafford’s SK Modifieds®, Late Models, Limited Late Models, and Street Stocks were all in action along with the Granite State Pro Stock Series. The first feature victories of the 2021 season were scored by Tyler Hines in the 40-lap SK Modified® feature, Michael Bennett in the 30-lap Late Model feature, Alexandra Fearn in the 20-lap Limited Late Model feature, and Chris Meyer in the 20-lap Street Stock feature.
In the 30-lap Late Model feature, Michael Wray led the field to the green flag and he took the early lead. Michael Bennett worked his way past Ryan Fearn to take second. Fearn came back to take second on lap-2 but the caution came out for Andrew Durand, who spun into the turn 1 wall and Tom Butler, who came to a stop against the frontstretch wall.
Wray powered to the lead and pulled out to a commanding lead over Wayne Coury, Jr. in second. Tom Fearn was third with Bennett and Ryan Fearn lined up behind him. Tom Fearn drifted up the track in turn 3 on lap-4 and slid back to seventh place as Ryan Fearn got by Bennett to move into third. Al Saunders was fifth with Jim Mavlouganes up to sixth with Wray and Coury showing the way out front. Mike O’Sullivan spun in turn 4 to bring the caution out with 9 laps complete.
Wray took the lead back under green with Bennett taking second from Coury. Adam Gray followed suit and took third from Coury on lap-11 with Tom Fearn back up to fifth. Under the caution period, Ryan Fearn brought his car to pit road where he eventually pulled behind the wall. Mavlouganes did a 360 spin on lap-13 but kept going and the race stayed green.
Bennett was closing in on the back bumper of Wray for the lead with Gray closing in on Bennett’s back bumper. Bennett made a move to the inside of Wray on lap-16 with Gray taking things 3-wide going into turn 3. Bennett led the lap by a nose on the outside and he took the lead on lap-17. Gray settled into second with Wray falling back to third. Coury was now fourth in line with Tom Fearn fifth with 18 laps complete.
With 5 laps to go, Bennett was still in command with a comfortable lead over Gray in second. Wray was third in line followed by Coury, Tom Fearn, Kevin Gambacorta, Cliff Saunders, Paul Arute, John Blake, and Al Saunders. Bennett led the field to the checkered flag to pick up his first win of the 2021 season and his first Stafford late Model win since the 2017 season. Gray finished second with Wray, Coury, and Tom Fearn rounding out the top-5.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit them on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.