BAXTER CONTINUES TO SET PACE IN SPORTSMAN
Chad Baxter is proving that no matter where he starts in the Helger’s South Coast Power Equipment Sportsman series, he can find his way to the front in rapid fashion, as Baxter took the checkered flag for the fourth time in five races at Seekonk Speedway.
It must have been déjà vu for the other 21 competitors in the Sportsman race, as Baxter went from 18th to victory lane two weeks ago in the previous contest before going from 12th to first on Saturday night. It was also déjà vu for pole-sitter Scott Serydynski Jr., as he led the field to the green flag for the second straight race. Serydynski looked strong early on, fending off Tyler Almeida, Chris Rioux, and Cody Tripp for the top spot in the early laps. Both Baxter and Joe Kohler, who started eighth and is the only other winner this season, progressed into the top 5 after just five laps. Baxter moved past Smokin’ Joe on Lap 9 just before trouble ensued with Almeida going around in front of the dueling duo. Kohler went really high on the track to avoid making contact, but the same fate couldn’t be said for Paul Williams and Doug Benoit, who made contact further in the pack due to the chaos in front of them near Turn 4.
Two more cautions landed soon afterwards, with Adam Pettey spinning out after the restart on Lap 9, and Ed Holewiak Jr. and Chris Gomes swapping paint on Lap 10 for the third and fourth yellow flags of the balmy June evening. Kohler, Baxter, and Serydynski went three-wide at the front once racing resumed, with Baxter claiming the top spot from Kohler on Lap 13, and stretched out a two-second advantage from the field with two laps left when Benoit took another spin to result in a green-white-checkered finish after the fifth caution of the eventful race.
Baxter won the race to the white flag and drove to his fourth trip to Winner’s Circle in five races, with Kohler holding off a hard-charging Corey Fanning for the runner-up position. Following Fanning was Rioux, who went from the front to the back (due to fluid leaking from his car) to a fourth-place finish. Colby Lambert, Ed Perry, Craig Pianka, Serydynski, Al Clements, and Williams landed in the Top 10.
The next race in the Helger’s South Coast Power Equipment Sportsman Series comes on Saturday, June 12th, with a 30-lap Power 5 race which is also part of the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series.