George Bessette, Jr. Captures 2023 SK Light Championship at Stafford

(Stafford Springs, CT)—In a season that was filled with peaks and valleys for George Bessette, Jr., the driver of the #39 Lasco Roofing and Sheet Metal SK Light was able to take home the 2023 SK Light championship.  The SK Light championship marks the second time Bessette has won a Stafford track championship with his first championship coming during the 2018 season in the Street Stock division.

“We did the same thing we do every year, we put our heads down and charged,” said Bessette.  “We had a new shop to move into which was a little more roomy than a 2-car garage at home.  We stuck to what we know and cleaned up a lot of stuff with little things like brake lines and other stuff like that, things that needed to be updated on this old car.”

Bessette opened the 2023 season with 4 consecutive top-4 finishes, including a win, to put himself at the front of the standings, but only by 4 points or 2 positions on the track because Brian Sullivan was just as strong, winning 3 of the first 4 races.  While his start and finish of the 2023 season marked the peaks of his season, the month of June turned into a huge valley as several penalties for contact with other cars left Bessette on probation and contact with another car in the July 7th event while on probation led to his disqualification from that event and left him with a 54 point deficit to Sullivan.

“I think we were good and super fast in the beginning of the year but we found ourselves getting into some trouble here and there,” said Bessette.  “I said it was ok and we were going to come back next week with the same go-get-em attitude and my crew is always behind me 100%.  We didn’t make any friends and I understand that.  You don’t want to be spun out or wrecked in the heat race or the feature.”

The next week for Bessette after being disqualified was the Dunleavy’s 40-lap feature event on July 28th.  Due to his penalty, Bessette had to start at the rear of the field in 36th position but he made up 32 positions during the race to finish fourth and begin a 7 race stretch to finish out the 2023 season that saw him post top-4 finishes in every race with 3 wins, 1 second place finish, 2 third place finishes, and the fourth place effort.

“We went into the 40 lap race starting 36th and we would have been happy with a top-10 or top-15 finish and we finished fourth,” said Bessette.  “Doing something like that really proved that we could pass cars and we had a big chip on our shoulders after that race.  I think I had more fun in the second half of the season than the first half.  The second half of the year it was kind of like let’s go get these guys.  It was game on and go time in the second half of the season.  We really dominated the month of August.  We were charging and I wasn’t going to let anyone beat me.  When you’re in the car you don’t think about points, you just think about beating the other guy.”

Bessette’s furious finish to the 2023 season allowed him to slowly cut the 54 point deficit to Sullivan down to 0 points going into NAPA Championship Night on Oct. 6th, meaning whoever finished in front of the other driver would be the 2023 champion.  Unbeknownst to most, Bessette had to deal with a brake issue during the race that could have very easily derailed his championship aspirations.

“Going into the last race my points guy Tommy told me that we were tied and I thought ‘This is going to be good and it’s going to be a big deal,’” said Bessette.  “I kind of sat in the corner and didn’t really leave the trailer all day and I’ll admit I was nervous.  I had butterflies going all day long and it was terrible.  I don’t know if anyone knows this but I blew up a brake caliper or rotor during the race and I was having to crank front brake into the car.  Every lap going down the frontstretch and backstretch I was having to pump up the brake pedal and I was catching Brian [Sullivan] but I didn’t think I was going to get him.  Winning the championship was crazy and everyone was hitting me in the back bumper and I never thought I would win the championship after only 3 seasons.  I started crying in the car and it was super cool.  When you accomplish something that big in basically one of the toughest divisions at Stafford, it’s unbelievable.  I got out of the car screaming ‘No one beats the Mad Dog’ and it was like an arena full of warriors in victory lane.  Everyone else had 15 starts this year and we only made 14 and that just shows that we don’t quit and we don’t let things like that get to us.  A big thanks to my crew, I couldn’t be here without their hard work and dedication and all my sponsors.  Most of them have been with me since I started and have been with my Dad since he started.”

The official 2023 Championship videos are available to watch on Stafford’s YouTube and Facebook pages.  Visit or to see the championship videos as well as videos with the top-5 finishers in each of Stafford’s 5 weekly divisions.

Watch George Bessette, Jr.’s 2023 Championship Video

For more information, visit, checkout Stafford Speedway on Facebook or Twitter, or contact the track office at 860-684-2783.