Uhrig, Nocella, Gould, Swift and Rolando kick off Fast Friday in Victory Lane.On Jun 3, 2011
On Friday, June 3rd, Seekonk Speedway’s “Fast Fridays” debuted for the 2011 season. Starting the season with a clean slate, some of New England’s top prospects began their chase for the coveted series crowns. The Seekonk Youth Racing Association 600 and 750 classes, entry level mini cup classes entering their tenth season, Sport Fours, Pure Stocks, and the NEMA Lites circuited the Speedway in an exciting season premiere, paving the way for another year of fast and furious Friday nights at ‘The Action Track of the East.”
The SYRA 600 class was dominated by Nick Lascuola in 2010, but with Lascoula’s move to the 750 class, an opportunity has arisen for new drivers to make a name for themselves. Leading the group of talented youngsters are Curtis Rolando and Chase Belcher, who got off to a quick starts in the eight lap heats.
In the first heat, West Wareham’s Belcher lead each lap en route to a narrow victory over Jason Enos. Curtis Rolando led every lap in the second heat, aided in part by a caution involving contact between David Lougee and rookie Austin Blois in turn three which hindered the top challengers for the lead.
In the feature, trouble struck early for the drivers in the front of the pack. Pole sitter Kiera Carpenter surrendered the lead on the first lap to Shelby Donovan. In turn two of the second lap, Somerset rookie Austin Blais made contact with Carpenter, resulting in a spin for the 88 of Carpenter. On the ensuing lap, leader Shelby Donovan spun at the exit of turn four after contact with Chase Belcher. Following the caution, the remainder of the race was settled under calmer conditions. Curtis Rolando, of Newport, Rhode Island, led the remaining sixteen laps and picked up the victory by approximately four seconds over David Lougee, Shelby Donovan, Austin Blais, and Jason Enos II.
Defending champion Dave Hutchins Jr.’s departure to the Late Model division has paved the way for a new SYRA 750 champion. 2010 SYRA 600 champion Nick Lascuola leads the way along with several drivers who bounced up one SYRA division, a list which includes Willy Sanchez, Branden Dion and Kaitlyn Donovan. These familiar names in a different place continued their success by keeping their numbers on the leaderboard throughout the night.
“Wide Open” Willy Sanchez sat on pole for the first heat, but spun between turns three and four to bring out the caution on lap two. After Nick Lascuola inherited the lead, Sanchez spun once more, this time exiting turn four, to bring out another caution on lap five. In the sprint to the finish, Adam Swift edged Lascoula by a nose to lead lap six, but couldn’t make the car stick on the outside line in the final laps, giving Lascuola the victory by a half car length.
Although the second heat featured far less bumping and banging, the drivers still put on a terrific show. Kaitlyn Donovan of Waterford, Connecticut, led all eight laps, but the drivers behind her swapped positions throughout the brief race. Branden Dion moved from third to second on lap four, completing a pass on the pole sitter Tylar Nailor, who dropped to fourth after being passed on the outside of the final turn on the final lap by Ashley Kuhn.
The twenty lap SYRA 750 feature began with turmoil in turn two. A fierce battle on the opening laps, which saw pole sitter Christine Cavallaro drop to fifth and Willy Sanchez move from third to first, spelled trouble on the second lap. Running side by side, Branden Dion spun exiting the second turn, collecting Nick Lascuola, Adam Swift, and Kaitlyn Donovan, all of whom suffered only minor cosmetic damage. After the first restart was waved off due to poor formation, Adam Swift would take the lead on the fourth lap from Willy Sanchez. Swift, a native of Fairhaven, Massachusetts, never looked back. As the field jockeyed in his rear view mirror, Swift held his line and held off a late charge from Nick Lascuola to pick up the victory. Branden Dion, Willy Sanchez, and Kaitlyn Donovan rounded off the top five.
Another division seeking a new champion in 2011 is the Sport Four division. Defending champion Ken Silva handed the wheel of the #28 to John Lamake, another contender in a wide open class featuring returning competitors Taylor Therrien, Ed Gould, and Chris Bissell. While veteran Ed Gould notched the win in one of the opening heats, the other was dominated by Seekonk newcomer Kyle Pacheco.
Both Gould and Pacheco, the pairing that crushed the competition in the heat races, cruised once they got out front in the feature. At the onset, Taylor Therrien of Coventry, Rhode Island, led the opening lap. Jewett City, Connecticut’s Chris Bissell charged to the front on lap two, and widened the margin over second place until the caution waved on lap four after Steve Heath stalled his vehicle in turn 3. Once the green flag waved, Gould soon jumped ahead to the lead and Pacheco moved to second. 3D Racing’s John Lamake spun on lap twelve, but quickly re-fired the car to avoid bringing out the yellow flag. With Pacheco breathing down his neck, Gould struggled to maintain first position. However, a turn four twist by Devin Miranda set the stage for a green-white-checker finish. On the restart with two to go, Warwick’s Ed Gould held firm and picked up the victory in the Dan’s Place #6 by a narrow margin over Kyle Pacheco.
In the co-main event, the NEMA Lites made their first of four scheduled visits to “Fast Fridays.” After a victory by Brandon Igo in the first heat race, David Moniz took the checkered flag in the second heat marred by a pair of spins by James Santa Maria, who retired his car for the remainder of the night.
In the twenty five lap feature, Igo and Paul Bigelow set the set the pace in the opening stanza until the Feigel Motorsports #71 of Seth Carlson took the lead on lap four. Fairhaven, Massachusetts, driver Dave Moniz tucked in behind Carlson for the rest of the green flag stretch, until a spin on the backstretch by Kevin Park brought out the caution on lap fourteen. After a spin eight laps later by Paul Bigelow, a green-white-checker set off a wild sequence of events. With two to go, Seth Carlson had the lead over David Moniz and Anthony Nocella. Preparing to take the green flag, Carlson stalled in the starting box in turn four, waving off the restart and sending Carlson to the garage. Upon the ensuing attempt at a green-white-checker finish, Dave Moniz apparently missed a gear, opening the door for the Racedepot.com #29 of Anthony Nocella to pass with ease and take home his second victory of the season. Andy Barrows, Anthony Marvuglio, Scott Duell, and Carl Medeiros rounded out the top five.
Last but certainly not least in the hearts of “Fast Friday” fans are the Pure Stocks, the main event of the season premiere. The pure stocks began the season last Sunday at the Memorial Day Thrill Show, when Earl Curtin picked up the win and the early points lead.
Jamie Salley led each and every lap in the opening heat race, but the second qualifier was much more competitive. Doug Benoit led the initial four circuits around the speedway, but was passed on the outside by John Robidoux. Robidoux led the next five laps, but surrendered the lead on the final turn to defending Pure Stock champion Nick Uhrig.
The final feature of the night began under the pace set by pole sitter Randy Moretti. Before Moretti could jump out to a substantial lead, the caution flag waved on lap three as Chris Lima spun the #07 in turn 4 after getting the brunt of a three wide tangle with Ed Flanagan Jr. and Nick Uhrig. Upon the restart, it was clear the Nick Uhrig had the Pure Stock to beat. Within eleven laps, Uhrig drove his car from 16th on the starting grid all the way to the lead, passing Moretti and never looking back on his way to a commanding performance in the #11.
The “Fast Friday” season got off to a scintillating start, with exciting drives from Curtis Rolando, Adam Swift, Ed Gould, Anthony Nocella, and Nick Uhrig that once again put the “action” in the “Action Track of the East.”
1) Nick Uhrig, 2) Randy Moretti, 3) Ed Flanagan Jr, 4) Bob Hinckley Jr, 5) Bill Chouinard, 6) Jesse Melberg, 7) Earl Curtin III, 8 ) Daniel Massa Jr, 9) Amy Heroux, 10) Tom Blackwell, Jr, 11) John Robidoux, 12) Jamie Salley, 13) Dave Derosiers, 14) Doug Benoit, 15) Bill Doyle, 16) Jay Sullivan, 17) Mark Miranda, 18) Derek DeMoura, 19) Melissa Charette, 20) Kerri Lynn Manfredo, 21) Chris Lima, DQ, Mark Boisvert
1) Anthony Nocella, 2) Andy Barrows, 3) Anthony Marvuglio, 4) Scott Duell, 5) Carl Medeiros, 6) Ryan Bigelow, 7) Randy Cabral, 8 ) Brandon Igo, 9) Russ Wood Jr, 10) Kenney Johnson, 11) Dave Moniz, 12) Seth Carlson, 13) Paul Bigelow, 14) Bethany Stoehr, 15) Kevin Park, 16) Christine Briggs
1) Adam Swift, 2) Nicholas Lascoula, 3) Branden Dion, 4) Willy Sanchez, 5) Kaitlyn Donovan, 6) Ashley Kuhn, 7) Christine Cavallaro, 8 ) Tylar Nailor
1) Curtis Rolando, 2) David Lougee, 3) Shelby Donovan, 4) Austin Blais, 5) Jason Enos II, 6) Matt Barboza, 7) Taylor Bowser, 8 ) Doug Meservey, 9) Brett Meservey, 10) Kiera Carpenter, DQ Chase Belcher