Saturday night’s 40 lap Pro Stock race at Seekonk Speedway was one that fans will remember for a long time. At the start of the race, Ryan Vanasse and David Darling lined up eighth and ninth. However, before long, the two drivers worked their way right to the front of the field and found themselves leading the charge by the time the field hit the halfway point.
Darling has been dominating the division this season, with a top-10 finish in all of the races and top-fives in all but one event. However, Vanasse has been right on his tail. Saturday, it was the opposite. Behind the wheel of his Ocean State Oil No. 11, Vanasse found himself out front trying to hold off the charges of Darling for the second half of the race. When a short caution period just after the halfway point closed the field up, the two drivers started going at it for the race lead.
But as they did that, two more of Seekonk’s top challengers came to the front and decided they wanted a say in who was going to win the race. Defending champion Tom Scully Jr. and multiple time champion Fred Astle Jr. came to the front and it became a four-car battle for the win in the final laps. Shortly after Astle used the bumper to get around Scully, he moved to the outside lane with just a few laps left and went after the top cars.
Since Darling was trying to get around Vanasse on the bottom, and Vanasse was doing everything he could to hold him off, Astle found a lane all to himself on the outside and used it to his advantage. With just five laps left, Astle worked the top of the track and ended up even with Darling for second. For a short time, he even was working the outside of Vanasse for the race lead. While all of this was happening, Scully was watching from fourth.
When the field crossed at the checkered flag, Vanasse wheeled the Ocean State Oil No. 11 into Victory Lane for his second win of the season to close out July. Darling and Astle went side-by-side to the checkered, but it was Astle who came away with his best finish of the year, a second. Darling finished third, while Tom Scully Jr. watched all of them come across the line and finished in fourth. Behind them, Kyle Casper tried everything he could to find a way by Mike Brightman in the final laps and even got to his inside coming to the checkered, but it wasn’t enough. Brightman grabbed fifth, with Casper sixth.