(Stafford Springs, CT)—Tom Fearn is no stranger to winning races or championships at Stafford Motor Speewday. He is the winningest ProStock driver in Stafford’s history with 17 wins and 3 career championships and his Late Model feature win last Friday night was his 32nd win in that division, good for third place on the all-time list. But one thing missing from Fearn’s Late Model resume is a championship. Fearn currently leads the Late Model standings by 20 points over Michael Wray heading into this Friday night’s action and he says that he and the #92 SAFCO Foam team are focused on putting the car in NAPA Victory Lane rather than where they are in the standings.
“Last year we were out of the points pretty early in the year and our motto was to win races and we ended up winning 10 races,” said Fearn. “We’re focused on wining races this year too and if we can keep on doing that, the points will come. I guess you could say we’ve got an eye on it we just have to keep on bringing our A game every week. We’ve won 3 championships in ProStocks and since I started racing Late Models around 2004, we’ve won some races and been competitive through the years but there’s always been something that’s kept us from winning another championship. Hopefully this year will be our year. We know what we need to do to win a championship and I think we’ve got a good chance as long as we keep a good check on things that we can control.”
Fearn took over the point lead after the second race of the 2016 season and he has maintained the point lead ever since with 9 podium finishes in 12 races. After a 2 race stretch at the end of June and beginning of July that saw them finish 5th and 10th, the #92 team has gone on a tear with 4 podium finishes in a row, including a 3-race winning streak.
“We struggled a little for a few weeks and we were just missing something with the car,” said Fearn. “We went and took a good look at the car and it seems to be as fast as it’s ever been now. [Car Owner] Stu has an engineering degree and he’s a pretty smart guy when it comes to things with the chassis setup. We try a few different things to get the car to where I feel comfortable in the car and it all goes back to having a good crew. I always say I’m just the lucky guy who gets to drive the car. Those guys always give me a great car every week and if we have a bad night, we just have to put it behind us and move on to the next week. We have a great feeling right now, team morale is very high and we have the feeling right now that we can come back each week and run up front.”
As dominant as Fearn and the #92 team have been this season, their lead in the standings is only 20 points over Michael Wray with Kevin Gambacorta 36 points behind. Fearn knows that all it takes is one night for that lead to evaporate.
“We had one week where we were in a little bit of an altercation and we lost a lot of points that night so we can’t afford to have that happen again,” said Fearn. “The competition level is pretty high, there’s probably 5 cars that can win on any given night. We have to keep it in the back of our minds, not to points race so to speak, but there is a big picture to everything. Last Friday we started in the back and we passed everyone and won the race so if we can keep on being close to that the points and championship will come along.”
For Fearn and the #92 team, another track championship would be a unique celebration in that there are some crew members who would be experiencing a new phenomenon in winning a championship while there are others on Fearn’s crew who would be celebrating a championship for the fourth time.
“A lot of my guys have been with me for a long time and some of them are even from the ProStock championship days,” said Fearn. “It would be exciting for everyone and it would be a new experience for the newer crew members and would be a great reward for all their hard work during the season. I have a great crew behind me, I think they’re one of the best at Stafford and I have some great sponsors behind me that help keep us going every week.”
With 6 wins and 9 podium finishes in the 12 Late Model features this season, Fearn will need to continue that torrid pace to keep himself at the head of the standings and on top when the final checkered flag is unfurled.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.