2014 Late Model Preview

2014 Late Model Preview

by Kevin Boucher

Success can be defined as many things, but in this case, you can put SEVEN championships in 13 years as an overwhelming period of dominance. Twice, he has won three in a row. Both of those have never been done before in the 68 year history of Seekonk Speedway. What’s next for the Pawtucket native? Go for eight is what he says. Why not? Gerry and his team have been the benchmark in the LM division for over a decade now, and look to continue for some time now. 2014 will see him finally dabble in the Pro Stocks on a limited basis, but the focus will continue to be on the LM title once again.

Bill Bernard debuted his new Ford at the second practice, and this might be the final piece of the puzzle to put him on top. He challenged Gerry down to the wire last season, and if not for a bad steering rack one night, he might have just been the one to keep him from #7.

Dylan Estrella was also a serious contender last year, picking up the Phil’s Propane Triple Crown championship, and also challenging Gerry to the finish. A new car for this Mercure team could be just what the Dr. ordered.DSC_0668

After starting 2013 winning two of the first four events, Jeramee Lillie’s team lost its footing, and slid back for a bit before coming on strong again at the end of the year. Now all they need to do is put it all together for the full season, and it just might be Hammer Time.

Lillie’s teammate Charlie Rose is coming off a season where he just wanted to drive and enjoy himself. This year, he is out to show that he can win a championship at his Achilles heel. What do I mean by that? Charlie traveled north for several years, winning three Pro Stock championships at Star Speedway in the 90s. While he has won a handful of races at Seekonk, his home track hasn’t been particularly kind to the Tiverton shoe. This year might just change all of that.

Branden Dion moved into the LM midway through the season last year, and by the end of the season he looked like comfortable racing for the win. They built a new LM to go along with his new open wheel toy, and were strong out of the box at the last practice. Watch out for this youngster, who also won Rookie of the Year in the Sport Trucks last year, as well as winning 2 races.

Nick Lascoula is coming off a dominating performance in the Nick’s Pit Stop Legends last season, and is making the move up to the LM class. He made his maiden voyage at the DAV last year, and showed he can adapt to the larger cars. Nick was a finalist in the Champion Spark Plugs Champion search, winning a $5,000 sponsorship from them, to go along with his other partners. This team may just have what it takes.

Eddie LeClerc picked up a former Bill Bernard machine and will compete for Rookie of the Year. Eddie is a former competitor in the NEMA Lites, and is the nephew of former LM champion Bob LeClerc.

Nathan Tracy is another rookie contender, driving a former Bobby Pelland III mount.

While the roster might be light, the competition shouldn’t be.

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