(Stafford Springs, CT)—With NAPA Championship Night on the horizon for this Friday, October 6th at Stafford Speedway, the fight for the SK Light championship will come down to the #39 Lasco Roofing and Sheet Metal team of George Bessette, Jr. and the #46 Monaco Ford team of Brian Sullivan. The two drivers are tied for the lead in the championship standings with Tyler Chapman mathematically still in the hunt although he is a longshot at 40 points behind Bessette and Sullivan. Both Bessette and Sullivan have claimed championships at Stafford in prior seasons with Bessette taking the 2018 Street Stock title and Sullivan taking home the 2020 SK Light championship and both drivers are looking forward to their championship duel.
“We’re going to do what we’ve normally done every week,” said Bessette. “We just have to beat Brian for that one spot so it should be good and we’re going to have a lot of fun no matter what happens. We’ve had a great year so I can’t complain about anything. I think we’ve had some good luck with our car setups and the weather so I guess you could say that things have fallen into our hands. We’re excited for this Friday and hopefully we can come out on top with the trophy at the end of the night.”
“I was in the same situation a couple years ago when there were 3 of us tied so I just need to have the mindset of we have to finish in front of George,” said Sullivan. “At the start of the year our goal was to win races and that’s still our goal. We’re there to win the championship, don’t get me wrong, but we still want to win the race as well as finishing in front of George. We’ve been in the top-5 for most of the season and I think George and I have almost the same number of wins and top-5 finishes this season. We made a few changes on the car to hopefully make the car a little faster and with the handicapping system, I think George will have to start behind us so he’ll have to get to us and he’ll have more cars to pass than we do.”
With not only the experience of being in a championship race but winning a championship race at Stafford in prior seasons, both Bessette and Sullivan are not feeling any pressure and both drivers say that they just have to keep on doing what has gotten them both to this point in the season. Bessette enters the final race with momentum on his side with 3 wins and 2 second place finishes in the last 5 races while Sullivan started the season out with 3 wins in the first 4 races.
“If anything we need to be patient,” said Bessette. “We did that back in 2018 with the Street Stock and we’re doing the same thing this year. We were racing Brandon Michael for the championship that year and the focus was to finish in front of him and we ended up winning the championship so hopefully we can do that again. We’ve stuck to what we know this season and we haven’t really shot ourselves out of the ballpark. That has paid off for us a lot.”
“There’s no pressure or worries we’re feeling,” said Sullivan. “We’re going to approach this race just like we have every other race this season. We don’t have a 20 point lead that we can afford to blow and I know it’s going to come down to whoever finishes in front of each other. We just have to be better but we’re not going to change up anything we’ve been doing. George has been a little better than we have lately in the second half of the year so we have to make some changes on the car and get that figured out. I feel pretty confident we should be able to make the right adjustments for the final race.”
Both Bessette and Sullivan are in search of their second track championships at Stafford and needless to say they both would be ecstatic if they are the championship winner.
“It would be pretty sweet to win the SK Light championship,” said Bessette. “I feel like the SK Lights are right up there with the SK’s. The car count has been unreal all year long with 30 cars minimum every night and it’s been very competitive all year long. A lot of guys who come to the track every week just want to win a race and for us to have 4 wins and be fighting for the championship, you almost have to pinch yourself.”
“It would be great to win again,” said Sullivan. “I think this will probably be my last season of full-time racing at Stafford and to go out on top for my last full season would be pretty cool. Even if we don’t end up winning, we have nothing to hang our heads about because in the three seasons that I’ve run full-time in the SK Light division we won the championship in 2020, lost the championship on a tie-breaker with Derek Debbis in the second season, and now we’re tied for the championship lead going into the last race. We’ve had a real good year and the car has been in one piece all season, we just had that one DNF that really has caught up to us. But first or second, there’s nothing for us to hang our heads about.”
NAPA Championship Night is set for this Friday, October 6th and tickets are available now online at StaffordSpeedway.com/tickets and tickets will also be available for purchase at the admission gates. Tickets for the NAPA Championship Night are priced at $20.00 for adult general admission, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult, and reserved seating is priced at $25.00 for all ages. Pit passes are $40.00 with a valid 2023 Stafford Competition License and $45.00 without a Stafford license. If you are unable to attend the event, tune into the live stream on FloRacing, the official streaming partner of Stafford Speedway.
For more information, visit staffordspeedway.com, follow Stafford Speedway on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or contact the track office at 860-684-2783.