(Stafford Springs, CT)—In only his second season of Street Stock competition at Stafford Speedway, 15-year old George Bessette, Jr. has clinched the 2018 track championship. The Danbury native and driver of the #39 Lasco Roofing and Sheet Metal Chevrolet finished second to Johnny Walker last season and with his 8th consecutive podium finish in the Final Friday Night Shoot-Out on Sept. 14, Bessette now holds an insurmountable 50 point lead heading into the season ending NAPA Fall Final on Sept. 29-30. The championship is the first for Bessette in his young career and also the first championship in his family’s racing history.
“It’s pretty surreal,” said Bessette. “I’ve come close to winning a championship in the Wild Thing Karts and my father was close when he raced so this is a real honor. I’m one of the youngest champions at Stafford also so that’s pretty cool. It’s pretty crazy we won the championship in only our second season. I won this championship for my Dad and everyone on my crew. We all have a good time at the track and no matter where we finish we’re all laughing and smiling at the end of the night. I have so many people to thank for helping to make this possible; Lasco Roofing and Sheet Metal, Lee Seward Plumbing and Heating, Bagel Man, Ultimate Restorations, Bartlett Welding, F & M Electric Supply, Associate Lightning Rods, Goodhill Mechanical, LaJoie’s Auto Wrecking, Mcall’s for the nuts and bolts, Tom Hughes State Farm, Northeast Carpet, Fyne Lyne Speed, Bones, Chippy, Mom, my sister, my Dad, my Grandparents, Shawn, Tom, Fat Paulie, my girlfriend, everybody who helps out. It’s such a team effort and I couldn’t be here without their help.”
For Bessette, the 2018 season was a year of two halves. Through the first 9 races of the season, Bessette recorded 1 win, five top-5 and 7 top-10 finishes to put himself firmly into the championship picture. But the 11 races over the second half of the season is where Bessette and the #39 team really shined. They recorded 10 podium finishes in that stretch, including three more wins. This dominant form allowed Bessette to slowly chip away at the deficit that he was facing to both Meghan Fuller and Brandon Michael throughout the summer. Bessette took the point lead for the first time following the Aug. 31 Street Stock feature event and he quickly built his advantage up to 50 points over the next two races, making him the 2018 champion.
“We’ve had 14 podium finishes so far this season and it’s crazy that we have that many in 20 races,” said Bessette. “Going into each race I knew I had to finish in front of Brandon. It was a challenge to catch him and we had some really clean races together. The key for us was surviving the first half of the race and then picking off positions one by one at the end of the race. You can’t win the race on lap-1 of a 20 lap race. Whenever I would hear 10 laps to go on the radio from the tower it was time to go. We didn’t have any stress, we just tried to do the best that we could every Friday night.”
With the championship locked up, Bessette is planning on a stress free and fun filled weekend when he takes to the track for the NAPA Fall Final.
“We’re going to have a lot of fun at the Fall Final, no one is going to be sleeping that night,” said Bessette. “We’re going to have about 8 campers between family and friends so it’s going to be a good time.”
Bessette will look to continue his streak of podium finishes at the NAPA Fall Final Weekend, set for Sept. 29-30. Tickets for NAPA Fall Final Weekend are priced at $40.00 for adult general admission, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seat tickets are $42.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Stafford Motor Speedway offers plenty of free parking along with overnight parking available for self contained Recreational Vehicles. Discount tickets are available through participating NAPA stores.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.