Seekonk Speedway closed the book on the 2013 season on Saturday, January 18, 2014, with the 68th annual Awards and Dinner Celebration at the Venus DeMilo in Swansea, MA. Several hundred men and women packed the Athena rooms to honor the 9 champions.
The evening started out by announcing the 2014 inductees onto the Seekonk Speedway, 97.7 WPRO 630 Wall of Fame. Based off of over 2500 votes, four names will be inducted on Saturday, May 31, 2014. Long time competitor Billy Clarke was honored as an inductee, as was former two-time Pro Stock Champion Don Dionne, long time official Ron Manfredo, and three time and former Pro Stock Champ Wayne Dion. The four were introduced to the capacity crowd among a standing ovation.
Dave Darling of Rehoboth, MA picked up the hardware once again, celebrating his fourth Pro Stock championship in the last eight seasons. Dave and Gary Johnson teamed up nine years ago and have been a force each season. This year, on the strength of seven victories, he bested former champion Dick Houlihan, Tom Scully Jr, Fred Astle Jr and Ryan Vanasse, who each had two wins apiece. VP Race Fuels handed a gift certificate to the champion, with American Racing offering their jacket to go along with the champagne. Houlihan and Scully each received gift certificates to Columbus Energies, the official fuel supplier for the speedway. Bobby Pelland III picked up the Pro Stock Rookie of the Year honors.
For the record seventh time, Gerry DeGasparre Jr of Pawtucket, RI sat at the head table, representing the LM division. Gerry picked up a division tying four victories on his way to the record setting title. Gerry topped Bill Bernard over the final couple of weeks, with Dylan Estrella, Jeramee Lille and Ryan Lineham rounding out the top five. Gerry also received a VP Race Fuels gift certificate. Bernard and Estrella picked up Columbus Energies gift certificates as well.
Ryan Lineham was named the Rookie of the Year, with Mark Hudson being the Most Improved LM driver.
Scott Bruneau of Tiverton, RI was honored as the Street Stock champion, his first. Scott picked up two wins on the way to the title, both double points nights, helping him edge Crystal Serydynski by only eight points. Scott was also the Phil’s Propane Triple Crown Champion. Serydynski won three times in her best seasonal effort with Rey Lovelace finishing third. The championship points battle changed almost weekly between these three drivers over the final half of the season. Craig Pianka and Paul Lallier rounded out the top five. Lallier had a division leading four wins. American Racer and VP Race Fuels also honored the champion. Columbus Energies offered Crystal and Rey gift certificates. 15 year old Austin Blais picked up the Rookie of the Year title, with Lovelace the Most Improved driver.
John Paiva of Fall River held on over the final weeks and picked up his first Sport Truck championship. Driving the Frank Souza owned machine, they picked up a division tying five victories. John held off Rob Murphy for the title, with Rick Martin, Scott Dion and Nick Uhrig rounding out the top five. Hoosier Race Tires handed over a championship jacket, with VP Race Fuels offering a gift certificate to Paiva. Murphy and Martin each received gift certificates from Columbus Energies. 15 year old Branden Dion picked up the Rookie of the Year with Anna Gregoire getting the Most Improved Driver award.
Swansea’s John Robidoux joined the list of first time champions, picking up the honors for the Pure Stock division. While John had only one win, it helped propel him to the title. Earl Curtin III pushed Robidoux through the final laps of the season, but had to settle for second. Ed Flanagan Jr, Amy Heroux and Bill Doyle rounded out the top five. Ed Gould is the Rookie of the Year for the Pure Stocks, while Earl Curtin III became the Most Improved Driver.
Nick Lascoula of Abington dominated the Nick’s Pit Stop Legends with 10 wins, and cruised to the championship. Joey Parker was the best of the rest, winning one feature and finishing second in the standings. Al Wisialko, Joe Putnam and Chris Robbins rounded out the top five. Putnam is the champion of the Masters division, Lascoula for the Pro, Parker in the Semi-Pro and Jesse Jakubajtys in the Young Lions division. John Bellucci is the Nick’s Pit Stop Rookie of the Year, and Parker the Most Improved driver.
Devin Miranda of Dartmouth became the second champion in the young history of the Sport4 division. Devin picked up two wins on the way to holding off Tyler Boudreau for the title. Shawn DeMello finished third in the standings, with Dave Gargaro Jr and Henry Lavallee fourth and fifth. Shawn DeMello received the Rookie of Year title.
Curtis Rolando of Newport, RI added the SYRA 750 division title to his SYRA 600 trophy. Curtis held off Taylor Bowser, David Lougee, Christine Cavallaro and Ashley Kuhn for the championship. Taylor received the Rookie of the Year honors.
TJ Morsehead of Seekonk picked up four victories on the way to his SYRA 600 title. David White finished second, with Joey Lembo, Jessica O’Leary and Matt Barboza third through fifth. Joey Lembo was named Rookie of the Year, with O’Leary the Most Improved Driver.
Scott Dion was honored with the annual Anthony Francis Venditti award, given out to an individual that has gone out of his way to help others. Scott has assisted countless competitors through the years, in addition to helping his son Branden grow in the sport.
Phil’s Propane handed out the championship sweatshirts for the Phil’s Propane Triple Crown Series for all 9 divisions. Dave Darling, Pro Stocks, Dylan Estrella, LM, Scott Bruneau, Street Stocks, Scott Dion, Sport Trucks, John Robidoux, Pure Stocks, Nick Lascoula, Nick’s Pit Stop Legends, Devin Miranda, Sport4, David Lougee, SYRA 750, and Jessica O’Leary, SYRA 600, were the champions for the inaugural Phil’s Propane Triple Crown Series.
The D. Anthony Venditti Memorial Award, given to someone who has dedicated so much to the sport of auto racing, was awarded to Phil Viveiros of Phil’s Propane. Phil’s Propane has grown over the years from an associate sponsor in the now defunct Formula Four division, to a car owner and major marketing partner of the speedway. Phil’s Propane joined forces with Seekonk Speedway for the Phil’s Propane Triple Crown series, when the speedway was looking for a way to help strengthen the local divisions.
With the close of the 2013 season now official, focus begins on the 69th season at The Action Track of the East. For up to date information, check us out at seekonkspeedway.com, or on Facebook.