With four weeks in the books for the Fast Friday season, it’s time for a summer break to celebrate Independence Day. In the first four races, we’ve seen some side-by-side battles right down to the final corner, increased car counts, and multiple drivers who have added their names to the list as first-time winners.
Giovanni Ruggerio has a stranglehold on the Seekonk Grand Prix Bandolero Outlaw division. Ruggerio has three victories in the first four, including the first two races of the season. In race three, Ruggerio was behind the wheel of a different car. In practice, he crashed his First Four No. 7 into the outside wall and the car blew in pieces. Luckily for him, a fellow competitor, Brandon Cowen, allowed Ruggerio to drive his car to earn crucial points. Looking at the standings, he’s lucky he competed in that race.
Ruggerio leads by 10 over Samantha Dell, who came just a few corners away from her first career win in the most recent event. Nathan Smith, who has shown speed since the first practice session, is third, while Ethan Heilborn and Joey Lemay round out the top five.
With one victory in the first four, ’Smilin’ Reese Bogue has his own stranglehold on the Seekonk Grand Prix Bandolero Bandit division. Bogue has been consistently at the front of the field right from practice through the feature, and has become one of the toughest cars to beat each week. His first victory was one he will never forget. Entering the Independence Day break, Bogue leads by just 12 points over Ryan Vanasse Jr.
The Vanasse family continues to produce strong runs, both on Fast Friday and NASCAR Saturday. Even though Ryan Jr. hasn’t been to Victory Lane quite yet, don’t look for him to stay away for long. Brenden LeBelle, who opened the season with a victory, is third in the standings, 14 points back. First-time winner Ethan Dion is fourth, while Adam Harrison rounds out the top five.
With consistent fields in three of the first four weeks, the car counts in the Sport 4 division are the highest we have seen since the inception of the class. But that isn’t slowing two former winners down. Mike Lefort, who has yet to carry the checkered flag, has been a master of consistency. He’s finished inside the top five in all four races, with a best finish of second on opening night. His lucky No. 13 has him at the top of the standings, but he’s only up by eight points on AJ Manuel.
The defending division champion isn’t going away easily. He’s also been consistent early, grabbing top five finishes when he can and putting himself in position to collect crucial points. It won’t be long before both Lefort and Manuel are carrying a checkered flag, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to watch the two of them battle for the title down the stretch. After grabbing his first career win, Arthur Meack is third, 24 points out, while Tim Bolger and two-time winner Jordan Lopes complete the top five.
There have been four different winners in four races in the Helger’s Southcoast Power Equipment Pure Stock division. On opening night, it was Amy Arsenault wheeling her No. 9 into the winner’s circle, while Lenny Sousa was victorious in week two. Week three, Mike Henriques broke into Victory Lane, while last time on the track it was Danny Massa holding his first checkered flag. These four drivers are veterans of the class, and their early success is showing it.
But another veteran is leading the standings. Greg Perry has used consistency to open his eight point advantage over Massa. Perry, who has been in contention to win almost all of the races, seems to be in midseason form heading for a week off. He’s hoping the summer heat won’t slow him down. With Massa second in points, defending champion Doug Benoit, who has been quiet, is third, 22 out. Henriques and Sousa round out the top five.
Two wins in the first four races have Josh Parsons showing the way in the Nick’s Pit Stop Legends Cars. Parsons, who ended just a mere few points short of the title last year, is hoping that Jake Matheson’s move to the Granite State Pro Stock Series opens the door for him to be crowned the champion. Last time out, Parsons started deep in the field, sliced through traffic and drove away with the win. His early lead in the championship standings is eight points.
Peter Bennett, who has come to Seekonk looking for a full-time effort this season, sits a solid second after the first month. Connor Holderbach, a veteran of the division who is still seeking his first career win, is third. Brendon Hammann and Jacob “Rowdy” Burns complete the top five. Hammann picked up his first career win in race three, while Burns notched his first top five in the most recent event.