Saturday Night Recap For September 3rd
Saturday night, veteran Pro Stock driver Fred Astle Jr. returned to victory lane in dominating fashion in the 40 lap main event.
Astle started fifth in the field, but quickly worked his way up through traffic and got to the inside of leader Jake Vanada before sliding by just before lap 10. From there, Astle led all the laps in the remaining distance, but it was not easy. He had former champion David Darling trailing him throughout the whole race, trying to find a weakness and see if he could somehow get around the Everett’s Auto Parts No. 30.
Darling was in the same situation he was a week ago, trailing the leader for the final half of the race and trying to look both to the inside and the outside, but not having any luck. In the end, a final restart gave Darling a chance to the outside lane, but it wasn’t enough. Astle took the win with Darling following through into second and Rick Martin coming across in the third.
Martin struggled much of the night with handling on his No. 14 because they were on old tires, but he managed to get it close for the feature and work his way up through to third. Kevin Casper got another solid top five run with a fourth place finish, while Tom Scully Jr. got some crucial points with his fifth place finish.
In the Late Model main event, Jeramme “The Hammer” Lille took down the win. It was surely “hammertime” early on in the race with Lille quickly working by the outside of race leader Ron Barboza and taking over the lead. You could see that Lille’s car wasn’t turning well through the center of the corner, but it didn’t stop the veteran driver. He did what he had to do to hold on and was able to beat teammate Charlie Rose across the line in the final laps. Rose tried one last shot coming to the checkers, but it wasn’t enough.
Points leader Dylan Estrella extended his gap just a little bit more over the rest of the field and with three weeks left in the season, it looks like he will capture his second straight crown in the division.
Former Street Stock champion Paul Lallier returned to victory lane on Saturday after a daring three-wide move late in the main event. Lallier has struggled at times this season, but Saturday, he was on a rails. He moved quickly to the bottom, going three-wide in the final five laps and taking over the lead and never looking back. Behind him at the finish was Vinny Pangalinan, who finally put together a solid run after some horrible luck over the course of this season.
In the Sports Trucks racing on Saturday, we saw the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows for defending division champion Chase Belcher. It was a low for Belcher in the heat race when he was involved in a horrible crash that tore a lot of the body right off the truck. But the team didn’t give up. Belcher’s Everett’s Auto Parts team went to work, cutting away body panels and putting things back together, a lot of it with good old duck tape.
Then, in the feature, Belcher drove the wheels of his No. 81 right down to the final lap. With no right side body left on the car, Belcher drove from the back to second and came inches away from beating Mike Cavallaro across the line, but just a little short. It was the seventh win for Cavallaro, but he knows Belcher is trying to knock him off the top as one of the all-time truck drivers in the history of the track.
Next Saturday night is the big one — the return of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour to Seekonk Speedway. We hope to see you here!