(Stafford Springs, CT)—After winning two consecutive track championships in Stafford’s DARE Stock division, Frank L’Etoile, Jr. made the move up to the Limited Late Model division for the 2016 with Jason Trott’s JET Motorsports team. Driving the #11 car, L’Etoile exhibited the same level of consistency that he displayed during his championship efforts in the DARE Stock ranks. L’Etoile finished all 17 races in the top-10 and he picked up his first Limited Late Model feature win on Aug. 26.
“Our goal for the season was to win Rookie of the Year and we accomplished that,” said L’Etoile. “I’d have to give us a B+ this season. We didn’t win a championship so I can’t give an A, but we had plenty of fun this season working with Jason’s guys at JET Motorsports. You can’t really expect to win the championship and rookie of the year, that’s being a little greedy. But we got rookie of the year and we finished fourth in the points so maybe we could go with an A- grade. Rookie of the Year will have to be our version of a championship this year.”
Despite having won championships in the last 2 seasons, L’Etoile says that he struggled with the handling on his #11 machine while learning the nuances between a DARE Stock car and a Limited Late Model car.
“We knew what we had for a car and it was pretty much just learning how to drive with the better motor, better tire, and learning some new opponents,” said L’Etoile. “I really couldn’t finish off races because the car would start fading away. I think the drivers in the Limited Late Model division are a little better and no one in the division has a bad car. I think the hardest thing was telling myself that I couldn’t go to the outside. In the DARE Stocks, I could pass a lot of cars out there and in the Limited you have to be a bottom feeder. Other than that, it was pretty much just like any other racecar. I just trusted myself and my ability and the team’s ability.”
L’Etoile’s win came on Aug. 26th after he had already recorded four podium finishes and he says that victory really helped boost the team for the final four races of the year and that his plans for the 2017 season are still to be determined.
“We had a goal to win a couple of races this season and we really struggled in the beginning of the year,” said L’Etoile. “Once we got that figured out and we won a race, it really helped bring up everyone’s confidence on the team. We’re all going to get together soon and figure out what we’re going to do next season.”
“Without great sponsors like Donny from R.A.D., we wouldn’t be able to do any of this. It’s a great reward for us and a big thanks to Donny for putting up that bonus for us,” said L’Etoile.
L’Etoile will officially be crowned as the 2016 R.A.D. Automachine Limited Late Model Rookie of the Year at the 47th Annual Stafford Motor Speedway Champions Awards Ceremony on Friday, November 18 at Maneeley’s in South Windsor.
Tickets to the 47th Annual Stafford Motor Speedway Champions Awards Ceremony are $48 per person and can be ordered by calling the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at (860) 684-2783, or by downloading an order form from www.staffordspeedway.com and returning the form to the track office.