Stafford Springs, CT — With twin 12-lap DARE Stock feature events this Friday night at Stafford, it brings up a make or break opportunity for the championship contenders. Austin Bessette, who is currently second behind Cliff Saunders in the DARE Stock points standings, will be looking to take advantage of the double features and reclaim some of his early season mojo. At the conclusion of the July 13th event, Bessette had just posted his fourth consecutive top-2 finish and he was the points leader. But finishes of 8th and 15th in his next two starts have relegated him back to second in the points, 34 points off the lead.
“I’ve ran a double feature night before in the go karts,” said Bessette. “It might hurt us or it might not hurt us in the points. If you wreck in the first race, the second race probably isn’t going to go too well. The night we finished 8th, someone had backed into me in the pits and it toed the right front out about 2 inches, so that’s why we were slow that night. The night we finished 15th, everyone was getting into each other on the track and we ended up blowing a right front tire and it destroyed our right front panel, which really hurt us in the points. I think we just need to get that luck back. We definitely have a winning car, we just need the luck to get it back to victory lane again.”
The 2012 season has been quite a turnaround for Bessette and his #64 Coburn Technologies team. In Bessette’s first season of DARE Stock competition last season, he posted 4 top-5 and 11 top-10 finishes to end the season ranked 9th in the points standings. This season has seen Bessette pick up his first career feature victory, and he has finished on the podium in 8 of the first 12 races this season. Bessette points to his ever increasing level of experience as the main factor in his turnaround.
“I think it’s been the seat time that I needed last year,” said Bessette. “I think things have really come to me this year. I can feel the car better and we have the setup perfect this year. We only have to make minor adjustments every week. I thought I would get a top-3 now and then at the beginning of the year, but it’s been almost a top-3 every week. I actually got a win this year, which really surprised me. We held off Kyle Casagrande for that win, which really boosted up my confidence.”
With twin 12-lap feature events this Friday night, getting good finishes in both races will be at a premium for Bessette and his fellow championship contenders. But with the races being 12 laps instead of the customary 15 laps, Bessette thinks it will be tougher for him to get to the front.
“We’re going to be a little more cautious about what happens and try to move through the field a little slower to make sure we can make it through and complete the pass without hitting anybody,” said Bessette. “For the majority of the races, it usually takes us about 13 laps to get to the top-3 and battle it out from there. Since we start in the back every week, it’s going to be tough to get a top-3. I imagine that a top-5 finish will be decent with the number of laps. You definitely need to finish both races in a good position. Every point is going to count with only a few more races left to go, so you need every point you can take.”
Tickets for this Friday night’s Limited Late Model / DARE Stock Double Duty event are available and on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $20.00 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating will be priced at $22.50 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.