The 2017 DAV Fall Classic is in the books and it was a great day of racing. While the car counts weren’t what we were expecting, those that did show put on a great show.
The Pro Stocks were 22 cars strong, and we were fortunate to have some great competition on hand. Eddie McDonald ran his Pro Stock and Late Model. Wayne Helliwell came to compete. So did Joe Squeglia, Travis Benjamin, Devin O’Connell, Nick Lascoula, and more competing against the best Seekonk has to offer.
The 150 lapper had some great racing. The first 125 laps were very clean. Only a couple of cautions slowed down the action, and for the first time all year, Dave Darling was passed for the lead, under green to boot. Joe Squeglia moved past Darling and led about 40 laps before a caution came out on lap 111. Many drivers pitted at that time to take on fresh rubber, and it seemed to make a difference. It was a smart move, because at that time, there were only about 8 cars on the lead lap, so they were positioned in that spot.
After a flurry of restarts late in the race, Darling found himself back up front but some heavy pressure was coming from Ryan Vanasse. Ryan pushed the 5 time champion hard over the last few laps, and was very kind to him at times, but couldn’t unseat the champion from picking up another DAV Fall Classic.
Derek Griffith quietly moved through the field to finish third, his worst ever finish at Seekonk.
I spoke with Joe Squeglia over social media, and he really enjoyed his first race at Seekonk. He had never been down here before the open practice on Friday, and took an immediate liking to the track. Joe has had success at Lee USA and Star Speedway over the years, running the tight bullrings, and this was a good transition for him. He said he is excited for next years’ Pro Stock Nationals.
Nick Lascoula ran his second race in a Pro Stock at Seekonk, and he was very excited about his opportunity before the race. He’s been working with Joey Pole, and had a good setup for a long run. Over the last dozen laps, he and McDonald had a great battle for the fifth position, swapping some paint back and forth. Nick is a former Legends champ at Seekonk, and knows his way around the 1/3 mile oval.
I was very impressed with the way the competitors ran for the entire race. The cautions that did come out were for spins. I don’t recall one instance that the wrecker had to come out with the exception of a push or two. It was a great show by all.
The Late Models had some great racing as well. Ray Parent took over the lead just shy of half way and picked up his second consecutive and third overall DAV Fall Classic. The heats were good, and there were some heavy hitters that had to start in the back of the field. Ryan Linham, Gerry DeGasparre, Eddie McDonald all got caught in a competitive qualifier, and couldn’t make the necessary moves to get themselves closer to the front.
Vinny Arrenegado jumped out front early and took off from the rest of the pack for the first half of the race. After the restart, the car went away, but was able to hold on to finish fourth.
McDonald made the best of the 50 laps, but the lack of yellows only allowed him to get up to third in the final rundown. He was closing in on Jake Johnson for the second position, but ran out of time.
I made a comment to the 14 year old Rookie of the Year while the top three were getting their photo taken on how young he looked against the two veterans. Not only was he the youngest driver in the field, but both Parent and McDonald have been racing longer than he has been alive. Pretty good company there.
The Sportsman drivers put on another good show with Sparky Arsenault winning his fourth DAV Fall Classic. It was his second win of the season. While he was taking care of business, the rest of the gang were fighting for position. John Hanafin led early, but couldn’t hold on with the former three time champion taking over.
Hanafin, along with Scott Bruneau, Scott Serydynski and Ryan Flood swapping positions two through five over the 30 lap finale. Ryan Flood came out of that battle on top, finishing second with Bruneau third.
Ryan dedicated the race to his mother, who is 13 years cancer free. A fitting way to close out the season, as October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Both he and Gerry D ran pink numbers for Breast Cancer Awareness.
Josh Hedges picked up the win in the Sport Truck. He and his brother picked up a new truck, the former Jim Hawkins machine, and gave it a Jim Rosenfield throwback scheme. New number, new truck, same results.
An early race crash eliminated a few of the favorites. Mike Cavallaro, Barry Shaw, Eddy Perry and John Fortin, who was making his first start of the season, were involved. All four of them looked strong in qualifying.
Rick Martin was behind the wheel of a Sport Truck for the first time in a few years, and he showed that he hasn’t lost his touch. Running a truck formerly owned by Darryl Church, he finished second in the only 4 cylinder truck out there. Darryl had his best run of the season for a third place finish.
The focus now turns to our final two events of the season, The Pumpkin Smash and the Haunted Hundred. These will be two exciting events for the speedway. Be sure to be a part of the action.
Plans are being finalized for 2018 already, with, from what I hear, a twist in the schedule. As I know, you will know.