Kevin Nowak was one of several visitors for the 30-lap Legends feature, come to compete for the slot in the Nationals competition for the winner. It was his first trip to Seekonk, but he was fast enough to surge into the lead on a lap-nine restart, then had the unenviable task of holding off Brandon “Batman” Martinez for the remaining 20 laps.
A full slate of regulars was on hand as it was also stop two on the Phil’s Triple Crown for Legends.
A messy lap-one wreck eliminated several drivers early on. The fast-developing event between turns one and two brought out the red flag and the cleanup was long and arduous. Seven cars were sidelined in the fracas, including Trent Goodrow, Chris Robbins, Joe Marfeo, Shileigh Martinez, Brendon Hamman, Jake Mattheson and Jessica O’Leary. In all, 13 cars were collected out of the 26 starters, but six were able to return to action.
Finally, the field was lined up for the lap two restart with Connor Holderbach and Joshua Parsons at the front. Mike Marfeo and Mason Levesque followed. But the first attempt saw O’Leary stall and retire. Second attempt had Jesse “The Mop” Jakubajtys join Marfeo in the second row with Andrew Kun and Nowak behind them.
Holderbach grabbed the lead and Parsons took second but the run was short as Parsons spun in turn one of lap five. This time, instead of the field being collected, they were all able to avoid the beleagured Parsons. Holderbach was away again with Marfeo grabbing second. But Jakubajtys accelerated hard and went through to get beneath Holderbach. He was able to forge past into the lead in turn two of lap six. Nowak came up to third behind Holderbach and latched onto his bumper. But Batman arrived on Nowak’s tail, followed by Kun, Levesque and Luke LeBrun. Just as Martinez drove under Nowak for a dogfight, caution flew for a LeBrun spin in turn two.
Now the front row was The Mop and Holderbach, followed by Nowak and Batman with Kun and Levesque in row three. Additional celebrities included Matthew Carpenter and Ryan Kuhn in row four. However, the attention was on the front as Jakubajtys and Holderbach rose up coming out of the starting box and Nowak dived under coming down the frontstretch to seize the lead. Martinez went to second, dropping under Jakubajtys, who clung to third. But the latter wasn’t finished and dropped under to steal third back from Martinez. But caution flew again on lap 14.
Nowak and Martinez came off the front with Nowak jumping ahead and Martinez dropping in. Nowak took a four-car lead on Batman, who was trailed by Jakubajtys on his bumper and Kuhn who clung to The Mop’s tail. Kuhn looked underneath and the duo went wheel-to-wheel down the backstretch. Lap 19 saw Pasquale Squillante spin in turn four.
Now it was Nowak and Martinez lined at the front and Nowak zoomed ahead on the green. Jakubajtys zipped in underneath Martinez to run side-by-side down the back. Nowak added six cars to his lead over the next lap as Kuhn and Holderbach roared along in fourth and fifth.
Suddenly, Jakubajtys went very wide, losing ground and Kuhn ran up to Martinez’ bumper with Holderbach in tow. Nowak sped out to a ten-car advantage as Jakubajtys and Carpenter chased Martinez and Kuhn. Batman came loose for a moment but was able to slam the door on Kuhn and Jakubajtys went to Kuhn’s high side to pass. It was great drama for Nowak, who now had gone out to 18 cars over his pursuers.
Martinez pulled away from Kuhn, Jakubajtys and Carpenter just before Levesque’s back end snapped out on him in turn one.
The green flew for lap 27 and Nowak zoomed away once more leaving Martinez and Kuhn side-by-side. Batman pulled away from Kuhn in turn four, followed by The Mop, Carpenter and Adam Avedisian. Avedisian and LeBrun traded position for the final four laps with LeBrun coming home just ahead of his opponent.
Nowak had four cars on Martinez at the white flag as Kuhn and Jakubajtys fought over third. Nowak sped under the checkers for the win, a third of a second up on Martinez. Kuhn followed in third and Jakubajtys was fourth, just ahead of Parsons. Fifth went to Parsons, followed by Holderbach, Matthew Carpenter, Lebrun, Avedisian, Reagan Parent and Kun.