(Stafford Springs, CT)—With the departure of 2-time defending DARE Stock track champion Frank L’Etoile, Jr. to the Ltd. Late Model division, the race for the track championship is wide open. There are three drivers separated by only 4 points or two positions on the track and the 4th place driver is only 26 points out of the lead.
The championship race through the first 9 races of the season has been a see-saw affair with several drivers all taking turns as the point leader. Entering the mid-season stretch event, Brandon Michael leads Trace Beyer and Johnny Walker by only 4 points with Tyler Trott 26 points back in fourth place. Fifth place Ryan Fearn is 88 points behind Michael.
In limited action during the 2015 season, Michael was a force to be reckoned with as he collected 2 wins and 7 top-6 finishes in only 6 starts. That consistency has carried over to the 2016 season as the driver of the #74 Bet Rock Farms Chevrolet has recorded top-10 finishes in all 9 of his starts including 1 win and 4 podium finishes.
Beyer had a blip on his 2016 season back on June 17 with a 14th place finish, but he and the #29 Riggs Distler team rebounded nicely from that with 2 consecutive wins to put themselves right back into the thick of the championship race.
Johnny Walker returns to the DARE Stock division after a year away and the driver of the #01 Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair Chevrolet is no stranger to championship chases with back to back 2nd place points finishes in 2013 and 2014. Walker has one win this season to go along with 8 top-5 finishes in his 9 starts.
Tyler Trott is a 2-time feature winner this season and he has 5 podium finishes, but the driver of the #11 Jet Motorsports Chevrolet has also had 2 finishes outside the top-10, which is why he sits 26 points behind Michael for the DARE Stock point lead. But with 3 wins last season and 2 already this season, Trott knows his way to NAPA Victory Lane and he could erase that deficit at any moment.
Other feature winners this season include Ryan Fearn and his sister Alexandra Fearn, who each have one victory. Michael Hopkins is the leading rookie and he has a robust 90 point advantage over 15-year old Chris Sanford in the race for Rookie of the Year honors.
With 4 drivers so close together in the standings and with each of them already feature winners this season, the race for the DARE Stock championship could turn out to be the closest battle among Stafford’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.