DRIVERS CHASING 75th ANNIVERSARY DIAMOND JUBILEE SERIES TITLES
BY SOUZA MEDIA/KYLE SOUZA
SEEKONK, Mass. — With just three weeks remaining in the Fast Friday season, the championship battles are heating up — and all but one is close at the top. The winner of the points battle will be crowned the champion of the 75th anniversary Everett’s Auto Parts Diamond Jubilee Series — which started in July — late due to COVID-19 — and will end later than it has before in 2020. The final Fast Friday of the season will take place on October 9.
Jake Johnson, Doug Benoit, Mike Lefort, Nick Chaber Jr. and Richie Helger Jr. lead their respective divisions heading for the stretch run.
The Seekonk Grand Prix Bandolero Outlaw division has the closest race at the top. Nick Chaber Jr., who has yet to earn his first career win, leads Isaiah Newcomb by just two points. Chaber has been consistent, running inside the top-five in all seven races, including finishing second in the first four events. Although he has fallen to the bottom of the top-five in the last few, it’s enough to hold the lead. Newcomb, who has two wins and two second-place finishes under his belt, is itching to earn championship gold. He’s been improving each week and has shown the speed to dominate the division. Brenden LaBelle (-28), Stephen Bowden (-38) and Nicholaus Bulkeley (-44) are the remainder of the top-five.
In the Helger’s Southcoast Power Equipment Pure Stocks, former champion Doug Benoit is in control — but Danny Massa isn’t giving up. Massa, who finally earned his first checkered flag on September 18, has shown the speed to do it weekly. The downfall for Massa, oddly enough, has been his finishes at the bottom of the top-five. In seven races, Benoit hasn’t finished worse than fourth, and has three wins to his credit. It’s enough for the driver of the No. 2 to have a 12-point lead over Massa, while defending champion Greg Perry is 34 points out. Jeremy Lambert (-38) and Mike Henriques (-58) round out the top-five.
In the Seekonk Grand Prix Bandolero Bandits, Richie Helger Jr. is using his first full-time year to chase a championship. The driver of the Helger’s Southcoast Power Equipment No. 99 Bandolero has a 26-point lead heading for the final three weeks, and has the crown in clear slight if he doesn’t have any issues. After a bit of a slow start, Helger has finished second or better in the last four races, including scoring his first career win on August 28. Ethan Dion, who was involved in a wreck in the most recent race, has his work cutout for him, but isn’t going to give up yet. Dion and Brent Robidoux round out the top-three in this division.
Mike Lefort might have the easiest road of anyone to his second Sport 4 title, as the driver of the No. 13 leads by 40 points with three races left. After a wreck on August 28, the season hasn’t been everything Lefort was looking for — but he’s done enough to pull away in a competitive division. Lefort switched cars after the crash, jumping behind the wheel of the Herman racing machine and rolling to top-five finishes in the three races since. It’s enough for his large lead — while Tyler Duhancik, who consistently is improving behind the wheel of the Phil’s Propane No. 48 — is trying everything to close the gap.
Jake Johnson’s return to the Nick’s Pit Stop Legends Cars is fairing well. The driver of the Lin’s Propane Trucks No. 15 has three wins, two second-place finishes and a fourth in his strongest races. After a tenure in the Pro Stocks and Late Models, where he won races — and still runs occasionally — Johnson is returning to Legends and stomping on the field. He leads by 18 points on Reagan Parent, and without a major issue, Johnson might be on his way to the crown. Parent isn’t giving up — and has been inching closer to his first career win. If Parent can grab one, and Johnson struggles, it could be one of the more interesting races down the stretch. Mason Tessier is comfortably in third, and will finish there, barring a major issue.
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