Story By: SCOTT RUNNING / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – Through the first half of the 2022 season at Stafford Speedway, Limited Late Model driver Jeremy Lavoie and the #6 L&S Equipment team find themselves in prime position to capture a third track championship.
Lavoie won back to back Limited Late Model titles in 2018 and 2019 and he finished third and second in the points the last 2 years.
Lavoie is one of three drivers to record a top-10 finish in all 11 races thus far and he has finished all but 2 races in the top-5 with 1 win, but trails Rich Hammann by 14 points, or 7 positions on the track in the race for the championship.
“I would say we’ve had a pretty good season so far,” said Lavoie. “We’ve been in the top-5 every race except for a 6th and the 10th place finish last week. We’re sitting second in the points so I can’t complain with anything this season so far. Big thanks to all my sponsors, L&S Equipment, Aspen Hill Farms, Bobcat of CT, Gene’s Ford and Chevy, Delivery Solutions, LLC, Riley Generators, Maconi Setup Shop, CT Ceramic Coatings, Kobos Landscaping, and my awesome crew, my Dad, Sister, Aunt, Uncle, Grandfather, my buddy Scott, and my girlfriend Kaitlyn.”
Lavoie opened the season with three consecutive podium finishes, but he didn’t record his first win until two weeks ago on July 8. Despite racking up a total of 6 podium finishes through the first 11 races, Lavoie says he and his team were still in search of more speed for his #6 machine.
“I think the first quarter of the year we were a little behind,” said Lavoie. “We’ve been working on the car and trying some different things to try to find some speed. The last 2 weeks I’ve had a really good car and last Friday I drove from 10th up to 3rd before we spun on the last lap. The old saying is that races are won in the shop and I think the last 2 races show that we’re heading in the right direction with the car. We have a good idea of what changes are needed to make the car a good 20-lap car. I’m really looking forward to the second half of the season because with a car that responds like that, I can put it almost anywhere on the track and it’s going to work. We have one win so far this season and we’d like to get more than the 2 wins we had last year but we’re just going to go week to week and try for podium finishes. At the same time, we’d love to fill up our side window with race winner stickers.”
With 2 track titles to his name already, Lavoie has plenty of experience to lean on as he is in the midst of yet another championship battle. Lavoie knows that he must keep on finishing up front to not only bolster his own point total, but to keep pace with his closest championship rivals as well.
“I knew coming into the season that Rich [Hammann] was going to be strong, Devon[Jencik] was going to be strong, and Alexandra [Fearn] who had a disappointing start to the year, so there’s 5 or 6 cars that can win any given week. If they all stay consistent, the points are going to fall in line for them as well so we have to keep our nose clean, finish races, and try to not finish in 10th place any more. Wins are definitely at the top of our minds but at this point of the season you have to keep track of where you’re finishing to play out the points. I’ve always been a person who watches the points all year long and consistency will get you there, but we always try to win every race. If we finish second or third, we’re not happy and we know we need a little more to turn those finishes into wins.”
As much as Lavoie wants to win more races, he would much rather prefer to win another championship versus winning more races and he can lean on his experience from championship chases in years past to help guide him through the second half of the season.
“Between winning races or the championship, I would take the championship every time,” said Lavoie. “People remember you for winning races but a championship is just such a huge feat. There’s a lot of names on the all-time winners list at Stafford, but the list of track champions is a much smaller list, so you definitely want to add your name to the champions list. Having 2 championships already under my belt kind of gives me a back seat perspective and I don’t have to worry about nerves that much. It’s all about being aware of where you are on the track, where the others are, and to play your cards right and finish races. If you can consistently finish on the podium, you’ll have a really good shot at it.”
Stafford’s SK Modified®, Late Model, SK Light, and Street Stock divisions will join the Limited Late Models in feature action this Friday night, July 22 with a Kids Big Wheel race also part of the Weekly Racing / Kids Night action. Tickets for the July 22 Weekly Racing / Kids Night program are available now online at StaffordSpeedway.com/tickets and tickets will also be available for purchase at the admission gates. General Admission tickets are $20.00 for adults with all kids 14 & under admitted free of charge. Reserved seating is priced at $25.00 for all ages and pit passes are $35.00 with a valid 2022 Stafford Competition License and $40.00 without a Stafford license.