I saw something Friday night that actually started to restore my faith in the future of the sport. A lot of the time, when two drivers get together, especially racing for the lead, it can lead to bad blood between the two drivers, words back and forth, or even physical altercations. In this instance, it was none of the above.
Nick Hovey and PJ Marcotte were racing for the lead in the Bandelro Bandit when they got together, taking each of them out of contention for the win. After the race was over, I went over to check on things, and found the two of them standing together, having a water and talking about the races. The parents were smiling, going about their business. It’s nice to see the sportsmanship between two drivers. Being great friends off the track doesn’t hurt.
Last Wednesday, we were able to get the Pro Stock/Super Late Model Nationals in the record books, and for the second year in a row, the most dominant car didn’t win the $10,000 winners check. Instead it went to Derek Griffith, who has now won two in a row here, with $15,000 in winnings between this win and the DAV win in October of last year. In addition to his second place finish in this event last year, he has really taken a liking to this third mile oval.
The Legends put on a good show as well on the mid-week show, with Ryan Kuhn returning to Everett’s Auto Parts Victory Lane for the first time this season. Ryan ran a good race and held off some good competition.
Congratulations to Chad Baxter on winning the South Coast Power Equipment Sportsman 30 lap main event, his first of the season since moving up from the Pure Stocks. It was a great show that went green to checker. Excellent representation from all of the competitors for this event.
On Saturday, we saw one of the most exciting Late Model races in a LONG time, and that is saying something with the way these drivers have been driving this year. Charlie Rose worked the outside lane for over 15 laps, trying to get by Jake Johnson and Rey Lovelace. The raced under a blanket for over half the race, battling for the lead. Rey led most of the race, but as they went into turn one on the final lap, Rey, trying to hold off the Hard Chargin Charlie, he moved up just enough to give Jake a look into the inside. When Lovelace shut the door, there was a little contact, and Rey had to let off just enough to give Charlie another run. They pair drag raced to the start finish line, with the Sr. member of the trio edging out Lovelace by .015 of a second.
Rose had nothing but good things to say about both the drivers he raced for the lead against. We (the guys in the tower) figure Charlie is older than both Rey and Jake together. One thing he hasn’t lost is the will to win, and as he said, it was more exciting for the fans to run the outside like he did.
Paul Lallier broke through and picked up his first win of the season in the Sportsman division. Paul has been trying to get back there since his opening day win was nullified in post race tech. He becomes the 10th winner in 11 events on the season. It’s been a great season for the Sportsman, and one driver that has yet to win is defending champion Scott Bruneau. He’s been close a couple of times, but hasn’t visited Everett’s Auto Parts Victory Lane. The only multiple winner of the division is Scott Serydynski. Scott finished second last week after changing engines over the past week.
It’s time to get those trykes prepped and ready for action. This week, the RI Shriners are here for some fun and games. I spoke with Nozzle this past Saturday and the clowns are excited and ready to have some fun with the kids of all ages Saturday. He was excited to tell me they had just about sold out of the tickets that were available for the Pavillion buffet with the Shriner clowns.
If you aren’t familiar with the Shriners Hospital and everything they do, please check them out at https://www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org/. It is a great organization that does everything they can to make sure families get taken care of the best they can. Or you can talk to any of the Shriners that will be here on Saturday, and they will be more than happy to tell you all about it. Don’t forget to get your 50/50 ticket as well. It is all for a great cause.
Dave Darling continues to be on a rail this year, decimating the field in the 65 lap main event for the Pro Stocks. It is his third win of the season, and once he took over from early leader Mike Brightman, he never looked back. A single caution at lap 53 gave everyone else a look at the back bumper of the 52, but before, and after that, they needed binoculars to find him.
It was a good run for Bobby Pelland III finishing third. Another podium finish for him, and he is getting closer to finding his way to Victory Lane.
Another driver that looked like it might be his night was Mike Brightman. He led the first 45 laps of the 65 lap feature, and was having a good night before the handles seemed to go away. He is getting closer with his new car. I am sure the 200 laps he ran last Wednesday helped.
The racing Saturday was good in all divisions, as they were on Friday. We don’t seem to talk much about the Friday racing, mostly because I am in the pits all night and don’t get to see much of what happens on the track. But I can tell you this. It is a great group of teams that pull in weekly, and put on one heck of a show. They don’t seem to get their due, but where else can you see three and four abreast racing from some of the up and comers? I can’t think of anywhere.
You do need to check it out. For only $7 for an adult ticket, you get 6 feature events, and are usually out by 10 O’Clock. That’s a 3 hours show for only SEVEN BUCKS. There is not a greater value in entertainment anywhere.
Well, Saturday’s too.