How about that Pro Stock race this past week!!! What a show from one of the best and one of the newest.
Rick is, unofficially, the second winningest driver in Seekonk history, having amassed over 90 wins in his career. Only George Summers is said to have more. While that is something that will never be official, there is no doubt that Rick’s talent is second to none.
He showed that he still has the drive, and when his car is on, the talent to run at the front of the field. He and Jake Johnson, the 15 year old rookie raced hard for 20 laps, side by side, cross over move after cross over move, and lesson after lesson.
Jake had the better car on this night, and was able to beat one of the very best to his second win in a row. Rick didn’t make it easy, and taught the youngster a couple of things out on the track, but the rookie was up to the task.
One of the highlights was while celebrating on the track, Rick took off the top of his drivers suit to show everyone his Jake Johnson t-shirt. Rick hasn’t forgotten to have fun while he’s at it. With his new sponsor, Tomassi Law Associates, it may be the difference he needed to keep running at the front.
Dave Darling had his second rough week in a row, being involved in an incident not of his doing. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time again, and it has cost him a comfortable lead in the championship standings.
Darling isn’t one to give up, though. He’ll be back in form again and with two races remaining, isn’t about to give u on his goal of a division tying sixth title. When he gets that, whether it’s this year or next, or when he does, he will tie Fred Astle at the top of the division title count.
Speaking of Dave, whether you are a fan or not, he has been one of the most dominant drivers in history here. For the past 12 seasons, he has finished in the top three in all but possibly one season. While Fred has six titles, Vinny Annarummo has five, Martin has four Pro Stock titles, they were not as consistent as the Rehoboth native. He has been at the top of his game for a long time, and doesn’t show any signs of slowing up.
He has been with Gary Johnson since he started in the Pro’s, and has had Ronnie Pond for most of those seasons. Dave knows what he needs to continue competing at the highest level, including bringing on Jeff Belyea over the past couple of years. Don’t count him out just yet.
If you’ve been paying attention, however, that he and his closest pursuer in the title chase haven’t had the battles that have been going quietly. They have battled hard with each other, and there seems to this announcer a little tension between them. Dave has always been quiet about things, but I’ve seen him a little more emotional about some of the racing between them. Do I sense a quiet rivalry brewing between them? Only time will tell. But I will say this.
The next two races will be interesting and exciting. There are ten points separating them going into this weeks races. Both drivers have been fast all year. If it comes down to the final laps, things will definitely be exciting. You DON’T want to miss this. I know I don’t. (Hear that Mother Nature!?)
Ryan Kuhn picked up his fourth win of the season in the Late Models, and opened his championship lead a little more over defending champion Ryan Lineham. The lead now sits at 16 points. Eight positions on the track. Both Ryans have been consistently at or near the front of the pack each week. One slip can make all the difference in this chase.
How about the Bomb run by Tommy Adams last week. He finished a career best second in the LM feature. He has been getting stronger and stronger each week, and is getting closer to that first LM win. I have a feeling that it’s coming sooner than later.
What happened in the Sportsman feature last week? I know there were a couple of red flags due to a lot of fluid leaking on the track, but that isn’t what this is about. We tout the Sportsman as one of the best divisions’ week in and week out. This week wasn’t one of them. Over an hour to run the race, and only 9 cars out of 25 starters finished. It was a very VERY rough outing for them.
When they weren’t under yellow, the racing at the front was pretty good. It was behind them where the issues lied. Tyler Lallier was the class of the field, picking up his first win of the season. He’s been under some social media scrutiny over the past couple of events, so it was good to see him have a very good outing.
The championship battle in this division will go down to the final lap of the season, that’s for sure. Paul Lallier has led most of the season, and currently sits 4 points ahead of defending champion Scott Bruneau. Both drivers have been consistent, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see this end with a one position difference at the end, if not tied. The tie breaker would go to Paul, as he has a few wins, more than Scott has at this point in the season. It’s become a two driver race, as Kyle Casper broke early, dropping him out of the top five. Sparky Arsenault has quietly moved into third.
Bobby Tripp has command of the Sport Truck standings, sitting 24 points ahead of a dead heat between Josh Hedges and defending champion Mike Duarte. The Truck division has come quite a way from what we have seen over the last couple of years, and the racing has been very good. Hedges is coming off another win this past week, and he is ready to pounce on Tripp if happens to falter. Doesn’t look likely, but racing can be a fickle thing.
If you think the racing from our NASCAR Whelen All American Series has been exciting, I hope you’ve been paying attention to our Fast Fridays. The racing week in and week out has been hot, with some great battles there too.
The Nick’s Pit Stop Legends have a great battle going on between two youngsters, and both have visited Victory Lane this year. Josh Parsons holds a slim 4 point advantage over Jake Matheson, who has led much of the way this year. Parsons is coming off his first win of the season, and has been getting stronger and stronger each race.
Matheson picked up two wins so far, and finished third this past week. Watch out for these two over the final two weeks. They will be up on the wheel, racing each other for their first championship at Seekonk.
The Pure Stocks however have seen a dominance not seen in quite a while. Doug Benoit jumped out on top on opening night, and hasn’t slowed down a little. He has a 56 point advantage, and can become one of the first drivers to clinch his title this week. Last year, he was in the championship hunt until he took a night off for a family vacation. This year, he scheduled his vacation on the off season, setting his sights on the title he let get away last year.
AJ Manuel has a similar lead in the Sport4 class, and can clinch his first title with a week remaining as well. Mike LeFort picked up the Phil’s Propane Triple Crown championship, but it looks like he might come up short in the season title. But it won’t be without a fight.
The racing in the Sport4 class this season has been second to none. They have been fun to watch and to call from the tower. These men and ladies have been having fun racing this year.
The junior racers have been exciting to watch also. The Seekonk Grand Prix Bandolero Outlaws have seen a few changes at the top of the leader board. Two weeks ago, Tyler Tomassi and Evan Marchand were tied atop the standings. As they go into the final two weeks, Marchand has moved ahead by a dozen points. Connor Sousa has closed in as well, only eight points behind in third. Keep an eye on this trio over the final two weeks.
In the Bandit class, Devin Deshais has been absolutely dominant, picking up seven or eight wins over the course of the season. But only holds a 20 point advantage over Giovanni Ruggiero. Can Devin close out this season with a three race sweep? Only time will tell.
This week, Everett’s Auto Parts is bringing us a Fan Appreciation night, with a free Hot Dog and Pepsi Product from the concession stand. They have been a part of our family for over 25 years in one capacity or another. They go back to Rusty Bryant when he was competing in the Street Stocks, and into the Late Models. They were with Bobby Tripp for several years as well way back when.
But they are more than just racing. Roy and his team and family have been giving back to the community for a long time. Located in Brockton, their business has grown, and have done more and more for their local town and communities. While they’re with us on Saturday, ask them about it. I am sure they will be happy to talk to you abut it.
With the Fan Appreciation night, it is our annual Fans on Parade. It’s a chance for the families and friends of the drivers to show their alliance to their favorites. Each division has a best of, and an overall winner. Can anyone unseat the Brightman’s? It seems they bring the entire town of Acushnet and surrounding communities with them every week, and they all come out for the Fans on Parade. They have been the perennial winners of this event for the past several years. Who will be the ones to try to unseat them? You have to be here to see