I want to take a moment and thank the teams and fans for making the Meet and Greet a successful one. There were more fans than we have had in the past, enjoying the time with the drivers and teams. I believe the teams were enjoying it as well.
There have been a few drivers that stated they didn’t realize that people knew who they were, and they were rooting for them. It should make a driver think. There are always eyes on them, regardless of how many wins they may have. That people, young and not so young, are paying attention to the good, and the bad.
With the third week in the books, we can say that the teams have some rhythm going on in the week to week schedule. It took long enough with the wet weather we had through the month of May. At that point, everyone was sitting on their hands, waiting. Now, there is no time to sit at all, as there is work to be done. Cars need to be repaired, gone through, prepped, touched up, re-lettered and what not.
Fast Friday teams have continued to do a tremendous job of putting on a great show. The Seekonk Grand Prix Bandeleros Bandit class saw a first time winner. After Devin Deshais won on opening night and on week two, it appeared he was going to make it a three peat, as he was leading with a handful of laps remaining. A late race restart closed up the field, and Giovanni Ruggeri moved past and picked up the win, his first of the year, holding off Deshais.
In the Outlaw class, Evan Marchand picked up win number two on the season. Both of the Bandelero features were their first round for the Phil’s Propane Triple Crown.
When the first Sport4 first hit the track, it was for a last chance consolation race. It’s been a while since we’ve had a consi for the Sport4s. They sure didn’t disappoint on the track, that’s for sure. Side by side racing, cars working through the pack, and AJ Manual winning his first show of the season.
The sport4 class has been one of the top classes weekly here. Their 25 lap main event was exciting down to the last lap. AJ Manuel drove to his first win in the Phil’s Propane Triple Crown event. He races side by side through a couple of restarts before he got to the front, and held off a hard charging Dave Westgate.
There was a lot of side by side racing is the Sport4 and in the Pure Stock class too. Doug Benoit was looking to three-peat in the Pure Stocks, but had his work cut out for him, having to start deep in the field. By the time 25 laps were complete, all he could do was chase DJ Pires across the stripe.
The NASCAR Whelen All American Series Saturday night racing was awesome across the board.
Bobby Tripp made it two for two in the Phil’s Propane Triple Crown race for the Sport Trucks, after spending several laps with Josh Hedges, The Trucks kicked off the night in fine fashion with some great racing.
At the end of 25 laps for the Sportsman’s, the difference between first and second was .028. Ed Perry jumped out from his pole position and held off former champion Steve Axon for the win.
Another side by side battle was held in the Late Models, as has become the norm. Gerry DeGasparre picked up his first win in almost a year, after battling wheel to wheel with Charlie Rose. Gerry mentioned it was the hardest he had ever battled Charlie for a win, and was excited. Charlie is still chasing his car after something broke on opening night. They still haven’t gotten it figured out. When he does, watch out.
Mark Jenison had his best ever finish at Seekonk finishing third. In his interview, he mentioned he heard how much the Late Model drivers are kind of hammer heads, but after driving with them over the past couple of seasons, albeit on a limited basis, and the first three weeks of this year, he sees how hard and how clean the racing actually is.
Of course there is rubbing, some pushing and shoving but in my view, there hasn’t been anything that has been dirty or over the line. Now, I will say this also, I don’t always see everything that happens, but it has been good.
Now, the Pro Stocks, well, that was exciting. Bobby Pelland III has been knocking on Victory Lane’s door for many a nights now. Saturday, he finally kicked it open and made himself at home. But it wasn’t easy at all. He sat most of the race just inside the top five. After a late caution, he was second, starting on the outside of his teammate Ryan Vanasse. As they came down for the restart, they touched, and something broke in the front end of Ryan’s car. This put Darling to the outside. Pelland got away, and when they came off of four, the five time champ was lining up for a crossover move to try to get his first win of the year. What he didn’t count on was Jake Johnson sneaking in, and when the champion and the rookie crossed the line, they were sideways from contact.
Todd Annarummo had a great run going, racing wheel to wheel with Vanasse for several laps before falling back a little. While he was battling for position on the outside with Mike Brightman, who was also having a great run, they made contact, sending both spinning. Mike was out for the night with damage.
Opening night Pro Stock winner Dylan Estrella was the first car out with rear suspension damage after something broke on the rear suspension.
Don’t forget about Open Wheel Wednesday coming up next week. Always one of the biggest modified shows out there. NEMA Midgets on hand too that night.