PARENT REVISITS FOR BIG LATE MODEL WIN
It’s been a while since Ray Parent’s number 17 has graced the Cement Palace’s bullring. But Ray had some time off from the ACT tour that’s consumed his time of late, and decided to drop in. And he’s rehabbing from the shoulder injury which sidelined him from a Tour feature recently. But Ray said in his blog: “Went to the orthopedic doctors and got a shot of WD-40 in the shoulder. I have a small tear in my AC joint. May have to come back next week for another squirt. But will be good to go for our next race!!” If his performance tells the tale, the WD-40 did the trick.
Ray came from a ninth-place start to spoil Nick Lascuola’s rookie win bid with five laps remaining, then held him off for a 1/3 of a second victory margin. Dylan Estrella, Bobby Pelland III and Bill Bernard piled pell-mell across the line behind them.
The other 17 in the race – Vinny Arrenegado – roared off the pole into a lead he jealously guarded for the first eight circuits. Eddie LeClerc got under Dave Hutchins, Jr. as Charlie Rose dropped below Lascuola. Rose got on Lascuola’s bumper with Jeramee Lillie in pursuit.
Lascuola went under LeClerc into second on lap four with Lillie following to third. Parent got past Hutch and Rose, into position behind Lillie, But Charlie Rose and Mike Marfeo got together between turns one and two, bringing the first caution.
Arrenegado now saw Lascuola out his side window, as the latter had passed LeClec prior to the caution. Eddie and Lillie were row two and Parent squared off with Dylan Estrella in row three. Vinny and Lascuola were door-to-door out of the box but Arrenegado began to edge out down the stretch.
Estrella got past Parent and then LeClerc, who had been deprived of third by Lillie. Bill Bernard snugged up on Parent and Lillie got under Lascuola to challenge for second. But Arrenegado spun out of turn four and the field scrambled to miss him. Mike Marfeo got around Arrenegado, but climbed up onto Hutchins, rolling along with two wheels on the track and two wheels on Hutch’s car. He had to be hauled to the pits for the evening. Lillie was called for an assist on the spin.
The lap eight restart had Lascuola on the pole, Estrella on the outside and LeClerc and Parent behind them. Bernard and Gerry DeGasparre, Jr. were showing in row three. Lascuola got a half-car jump on Estrella at the green, but Estrella fired up to challenge, then dropped in behind on turn four. Parent now was coming around LeClerc, who was falling back. Bernard nosed under LeClerc and they went door-to-door in lap 13. Bernard secured the position at the stripe into lap 14.
Another circuit saw Estrella hanging on Lascuola’s bumper, who was motoring flat out. Bernard has passed Parent into third while Pelland and LeClerc were dueling behind them.
Parent worked past Bernard into third on lap 16, leaving him to the mercies of Pelland. Parent began to close the ten cars to Estrella, who was involved with Lascuola for the lead.
By lap 19, Lascuola had a 2-car cushion on Estrella while Parent was still closing. But LeClerc spun out of turn three up to the pit exit. On the restart, Lascuola and Estrella went door to door as Parent pulled ahead and Pelland got under Bernard. As Estrella slipped back, Parent went to Lascuola’s bumper and Pelland succeeded into fourth. Estrella dropped behind Parent and the lead trio went nose-to-tail with Pelland 5 cars back.
Estrella eased back a length while Parent stayed fixed on Lascuola’s bumper. But Ron Barboza spun in turn two, bringing out caution.
Parent was outside Lascuola with Estrella and Pelland behind them; Bernard and DeGasparre made the third pairing on the lap twenty-five restart.
Lascuola nosed ahead at the stripe, but Parent began edging back up. On the following lap, he had caught up and moved a half-length ahead. Lascuola was determined and held on down low. Parent was loose out of turn four on lap 17 and the gap tightened and they found themselves side-by-side once again. Lap 28 saw Parent get his rear bumper past at the stripe into lap 29. They pounded around the oval with Lascuola looking for any option, but Parent guarded his lead and they came out of turn four nose-to-tail with the checkers flying. Parent held straight and Lascuola powered in on his bumper for second.
Lillie crossed sixth, followed by DeGasparre, Arrenegado, Rose and LeClerc.
PAIVA HOLDS OFF MURPY BY .029 THOUSANDTHS OF A SECOND FOR TRUCKS WIN
It was a two-car race from lap nine to the finish of the Sport Trucks’ 25-lapper as current divisional champion John Paiva and 6-race winner this season, Rob Murpy (fresh off his fourth straight win.) And it was an instant replay of the previous week, when Murphy ran the outside to deny Paiva by 7 thousandths of a second. They once again brawled all the way to the finish, and eyes went from the finish line to the pylon afther they had cleared the checkers too close to tell with the naked eye.
Paiva had his revenge, and again it was just 29 thousandths between the duo.
They had started in the second row, behind David Lougee and Nick Uhrig. There were fireworks from the start. Lougee went to the front out of turn three, but back in the pack, Mike Cavallaro and Chase Belcher were together on the backstretch and Belcher went to the wall, pancaking his right side.
Cavallaro continued around and Murphy got into his side in turn two. Murphy then spun in turn four. Cavallaro was loose from the jolt, held it for a moment, then went around.
On the restart, Paiva was outside Lougee at the front and edged ahead. They battled through and Lougee began to edge ahead in turn one. But he got loose in lap two and Paiva went underneath and into the lead in turn four. But Lenny Guy, battling with Darryl Church, spun in turn four on lap three and Lougee had nowehere to go, piling in hard after the caution and taking off Guy’s nose cone. Anna Gregoire pitted as the wrecker hooked up to take Lenny to the pits.
Paiva was away at the front again on the restart, with Nick Uhrig on his bumper. Belcher was coming on as Lougee was high and loose behind him. Paiva went out to a four-car lead as Murphy worked in behind Belcher for fourth and Church followed by Cavallaro behind him.
Lougee was suffering from the collision with guy and lost speed, going backwards all the way to the rear on lap 7. Murphy was looking to go around Belcher as Lougee spun in turn two. He retired to the pits.
Paiva had Uhrig outside him on the grid with Belcher and Murphy in the second row. They went door to door briefly, but Uhrig fell back and Murphy roared forward to get underneath in the challenge for second. Uhrig was deposed and Murphy went directly to Paiva’s bumper. But Cavallaro and Belcher were together on the backstretch. Belcher made for the pits.
Paiva and Murphy battled off the restart as Cavallaro got by Uhring for third. Paiva and Murphy continued door-to-door until Paiva took the front through turns three and four. Murphy gave him a pair of bumper shots and the duel continued.\
Lap sixteen saw Uhrig back in third, three cars behind with Cavallaro and Church at his tail. Into lap 18, Murphy was relentless in his attempts to pass, looking underneath. Paiva was working hard to keep him back and shut the door, again getting the tap-tap on his bumper. He worked out to a one-car lead in lap 21 as Uhrig came closing in on Murphy. Another circuit and Paiva had a two-car margin as Uhrig was exploring underneath Murphy. Belcher then spun in turn four. He was unable to fire back up until the wrecker gave him a push start.
Paiva and Murphy were again blazing away at each other on the restart, door-to-door at the stripe. Murphy began to pull ahead in turn two, but Paiva grabbed it back coming out of four. Murphy went sideways out of turn one.
On the final lap, Murphy looked outside, then dropped under, coming up abreast of Paiva. They roared down the frontstretch across the stripe in a dead heat and the electronics told the tale, awarding Paiva the victory. Uhrig, then Cavallaro piled in, followed by Church. Sixth went to Chris Lima, Belcher was seventh then Anna Gregoire and Mike Duarte.
HANAFIN ACES SIMS STREET STOCKS ON TRIPLE CROWN RACE
John Hanafin took his first win in Sims Metals Street Stocks, and chose to make his mark on a good night: he won the second round of the Phil’s Propane Triple Crown for Streeters. The State Trooper put all his pursuit training into the first ten laps, chasing down Ed Gannon, Vinny Pangelinan, Bob Bettencourt and Tyler Lallier. After a good duel with Pangelinan for eight laps, all he could see from the front was clear track. Any trouble was in his mirror.
Hanafin started fifth as Lallier led off, with Bettencourt chasing the polesitter from outside the second row by diving three wide between Pangelinan and AJ Solomon, the outside pole. But Pangelinan recovered, held off Bettencourt and then looked to nose under Lallier. Hanafin was already at his bumper with Bettencourt outside. Reigning champ, Scott Bruneau was busy under Eddie Gannon III while another three-wide developed between Austin Blais, division leader Ray Lovelace and Solomon in the middle of a swirling pack of cars.
By lap 4, Pangelinan had a car on Hanafin with Bruneau third. Lallier was in fourth but lost speed and went backwards. Blais was under Gannon looking for position. Bruneau tried to go below Hanafin on lap six while Solomon and Gannon dueled. Lap seven saw Gannon suddenly lose speed and he went immediately to the pits on the next circuit.
Lap ten saw a long skein of cars bumper to bumper: Pangelinan led Hanafin, Bruneau, Betencourt, Blais, Steve Axon, Gerard Berthelette and Lovelace were all nose-to-tail at top speed. Hanafin went to the outside on the next lap and into the lead on turn three, while Gannon flew in from the pits after quick service. It had only been about a minute, but he had lost four laps.
The line remained tight through lap 12, but Berthelette found himself sideways in turn two and into the infield grass. He kept it going, but had kicked a good deal of sand into the racing groove in the turn, necessitating caution for a cleanup.
Hanafin and Pangelinan, Bruneau and Bettencourat and Blais and Axon lined for the restart. They went door-to-door out of the box and across the stripe, but Hanafin secured the front out of turn two. Bruneau got under Vinny as Blais moved up to take Bruneau’s place, and Bettenourt followed, locking Pangelinan on the freight train back. Again there was a wild mob in the pack behind with a line three-wide and another four-wide just as Tony Oliviera spun out of the mess setting up a mad scramble to avoid him. Berthelette had no where to go and piled in hard, ending his night with a trip on the hook. Corey Fanning went immediately for repairs.
Hanafin escaped Bruneau out of the box, with Blais grabbing third. Lovelace, Fanning and Stephen Potter went three wide, with Fanning backing out as Axon was around in turn four to the grass. Dane Saritelli and Mike Mitchell went to the pits.
Hanafin and Bruneau were door to door at the green. Blais went under Bruenau as he eased back but Bruneau quickly shut the door.
Into lap 20, Hanafin pulled away but Axon rolled to a stop in front of the wrecker ramp in turn two. He went on the hook to the pits with a broken driveshaft.
Hanafin went to the front on turn two out of the restart. Blais was outside Bruneau with Potter at their bumpers. Ray Lovelace was loose and Justin Travis jumped underneath, going to sixth behind Bettencourt. Craig Pianka then looked under Travis and they got together: Pianka went around.
Hanafin again had the front on the restart after jockeying with Bruneau, who dropped to Hanafin’s bumper. John was loose out of turn four but held on. Potter went outside Bettencourt to nab fourth, as Lovelace looked underneath. But Bettencourt ran ahead and took the spot again. Potter pushed by once more and held on for two laps before Bettencourt pulled ahead for good. Lovelace then engaged potter and was able to push his nose past on laps 30 and 31 before Potter turned the tables. Potter continued to run outside Bettencourt, denying Lovelace the pass.
Hanafin had a four car lead on lap 29. Bruneau followed with Blais on his bumper. Bruneau began to close and with four laps remaining, the margin was down to a car-and-a-half. Over the final laps, Bruneau was unable to challenge the lead and Hanafin crossed under the checkers with him and Blais in close. Bettencourt was fourth followed by Potter and Lovelace. Travis was seventh followed by Chris Demoura, Ray Negley, Fanning and Paul Lallier.
BELSITO TAKES FIRST ROOKIE WIN IN PRO STOCKS
Angelo Belsito worked his way through the Pro Stock ranks on a night where the field pulled out all the stops in a race reminiscent of earlier days in stock car racing. The muscle wasn’t all in the motors and plenty of paint changed sides in the confrontation. But Belsito found his way from his seventh starting position to the front, finally spoiling a great effort by Kevin Folan with just six laps remaining.
He was forced to pick his way past Ryan Vanasse, Craig Weinstein, Tom Scully, Jr. and the Folan for the honor. It was a 40-lap bumpy ride to Victory Lane, as it was for all competitors on the evening.
Bob Hussey started things off from the pole with Bobby Pelland III on the outside and Folan behind him. Rick Martin was on Folan’s shoulder. Hussey was ahead by a nose at the stripe and had the front to himself out of turn two. By lap 3, he was showing some speed, gaining a two-car lead over Pelland, who had Folan behind him and Kevin Casper battling under Martin.
Kenny Spencer shot out of a three-wide with Ryan Vanasse and Mike Brightman but Scully navigated through from fourteenth easing Spencer out of eleventh. Spencer chased Scully’s advance to ninth as Pelland finally was able to get a nose past Hussey on lap six.
But lap six saw Kevin Casper spin in turn four, sending up a lot of smoke. Dave Darling went around and Tom Scully, Sr. went immediately to the pits. Hussey and Pelland shared the front again and they came out wheel-to-wheel. Hussey bobbled out of turn four, but they stayed side-by-side. On lap nine, he had earned a half-car lead and Pelland elected to drop in.
Pelland then pushed under to the front and Weinstein dropped in behind Hussey. He tried to push under but got loose and fell back. Belsito ran past Kyle into sixth and then dispatched Martin and Folan for fourth. But Brightman was around in turn one. The field was called back for a lap 12 restart.
Pelland escaped Hussey for the lead and Weinstein looked under Pelland but there was contact. And Weinstein fell back. Folan began trying around from third as Scully, Jr. came by Belsito and Hussey onto Folan’s bumper. Belsito went under Ryan Vanasse onto Scully’s bumper.
Folan went to the outside as Weinstein gave Pelland another bump, but Scully ducked under Weinstein. Folan grabbed second and Vanasse dodged past Scully for fourth, but Scully countered by jumping past Vanasse and Weinstein into third. He was under Folan, who was trying to work outside Pelland as Belsito pulled in under Weinstein. Vanasse was sixth behind them.
Lap 23 saw Folna go hard around Pelland and Scully moved in under him. As Scully moved ahead, Belsito went underneath. By lap 25, Scully was hard on Folan’s bumper, trailing Belsito, Weinstein, Pelland and Vanasse. Kyle Casper eased Ryan Lineham out of seventh to Vanasse’s rear, but Lineham took the spot back on lap 27.
Scully was all over Folan’s bumper as Belsito went outside Weinstein for third. They were door-to-door as Scully looked to Folan’s outside then crossed under, but got loose in turn four, allowing Folan to escape. Belsito leapt to the outside and came around Scully and then began working Folan’s high side.
Five laps remained as Belsito pushed for the lead outside Folan. Scully came up fast and made contact with Folan and spun out. Folan banged Belsito and both came loose. But they bumped rear quarters, which stopped Belsito’s spin and then banged noses and kept Folan from going around: they continued straight as the yellow flag flew.
Belsito was on the pole for the lap 35 restart with Folan outside. Belsito grabbed the lead and Weinstein went under Folan for second. Vanasse went to fourth and Kenny Spencer, who had been toiling up through the field, leapt into fifth. But Pelland bumped Folan, sending him into Dave Darling and both went around, bringing a Green-whit e-checker resatart.
Belsito, Weinstein and Vanasse came away 1-2-3 and Spencer pounced on fourth. Rick Martin went from eighth to fifth. The field wound through the final laps, biting and scratching for position, but the order at the front remained the same.
Belsito captured the rookie win he’d been waiting for since a tech infraction cost him an opening day victory. Weinstein followed up with Vanasse third. Spencer continued to add points to his division lead with a fourth as his nearest competitors were not at the front. Martin was fifth followed by Fred Astle, Kyle Casper and Mike Brightman. Pelland and Scully completed the top ten.