SEEKONK, Mass. —

After a long offseason filled with preparation, Seekonk Speedway is set to open their 72nd season of racing on Sunday May 7. The NASCAR Whelen All American Series Pro Stocks, Late Models, Sportsman and Sports Trucks classes will compete in qualifying and feature racing to start the action-packed 2017 schedule. Although the season is a long one, many drivers will be hoping to start the season with a solid run to collect crucial points.

In the Pro Stocks, Tom Scully Jr. will look to begin his quest at a second straight division championship, but it won’t be an easy task. Last year, Scully captured multiple victories in route to the title and likely will need to do the same thing to capture another. Some of his top challengers include former champions David Darling and Fred Astle, who both look to return to the top of the division this year. Names like Rick Martin, Ryan Lineham, Mike Brightman, Angelo Belsito, Kyle and Kevin Casper and many others are also prepared to challenge for wins.

In the Everett’s Auto Parts Late Models, two-time division champion Dylan Estrella leads the list of favorites coming into the season. Estrella has dominated the division that last few years, winning a handful of times and being a master of consistency in route to the two straight titles. He will return behind the wheel of his Everett’s Auto Parts No. 46, but he has some young talent hoping to hunt him down. Former Nick’s Pit Stop Legends competitor Ryan Kuhn will make a Rookie of the Year run this season and is expected to challenge Estrella for the title come October. Ray Parent, who is a former Late Model winner at Seekonk, is also planning a full-time schedule in the Anytime Realty No. 98. Other names ready to contend include Jake Johnson, Vinny Arrenegado and former champion Gerry DeGaspere Jr.

The Sportsman division has a new name and plenty of returning veterans to try to knock defending champion Scott Bruneau off the top. Last season, Bruneau was a master of consistent finishes and also picked up a few wins in route to his title, but he has a laundry list of names that will attempt to defeat him this time around. Paul and his son Tyler Lallier will be back for another go, along with names like Corey Fanning, Tommy Adams, Vinny Pangelinan and Ryan Flood are set to return in hopes of capturing feature wins, along with many others. The Sportsman class provides some of the top racing in the New England region, with plenty of three-wide action on a weekly basis.

Mike Cavallaro enters another Seekonk Sports Trucks season hoping to capture another championship. He already will go down as one of the best drivers in the history of the division, but another championship would only add to his list of accolades. After coming up just one spot short last year, Chase Belcher is back in his No. 81 Everett’s Auto Parts machine looking to make a move to the top of the class. Mike Duarte and Josh Hedges lead the list of drivers that are hoping to challenge those two.

Seekonk will open the 72nd season of action on Sunday, May 7 with a post time of 2 p.m. Before the green flag flies, the two nominees for the 2017 Wall of Fame class will be announced trackside. On Saturday May 6, teams will have one more chance to prepare their cars for racing with a practice run.

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Composed by Kyle Souza