The Phil’s Propane Triple Crown Series season is underway on Fast Friday, and we opened it with the Seekonk Grand Prix Bandolero and Sport 4 class.
We have to thank Phil and the entire staff at Phil’s Propane for supporting the track, and also putting on this Triple Crown Series each year. This three-race series gives drivers a chance to compete in a few extra-distance races and fight for glory on the track. Sometimes, those extra five laps can help someone make their way to the front if they start from the back of the pack — but it can also cost someone who is leading at the regular lap distance. It’s a win-win for the fans — more laps, more excitement!
The Bandolero Bandit class kicked-off Friday night and it was Giovanni Ruggerio picking up his first career win. Even though it looked as though Devin Deshaies was going to capture his third straight win to open the season, Ruggerio made a late pass and held off the furious charge to score the win. One of the reasons I enjoy Friday racing so much is when we see a first-time winner, and it feels like we are seeing it just about every week. Ruggerio adds his name to the winner’s list at the third-mile, which is a long, long list that he will forever be on.
The Bandolero Outlaws rolled on the track for the second feature of the night and it was Evan Marchand rolling his No. 10 into the winner’s circle for the second time this season. Marchand is a former SYRA champion in the Minicups, and he put together another impressive Bandolero run again. He is definitely the favorite for the championship this season, and even though we are on race three, the season goes by quickly.
In the Sport 4 division, AJ Manuel was able to breakthrough and score his first win of the season. Manuel, a second-year driver in the class, used a three-wide move on the initial start to pick up a lot of positions. Even though he was penalized a few spots for jumping that start, he didn’t let it slow him down. Manuel dominated the final half of the race and rolled to the win, in honor of his late dad, on Father’s Day weekend. I know this was an emotional win for AJ and his entire family.
The Pure Stock division put together another classic battle, and in the end, it was DJ Pires scoring his second career win. For much of the race, you really had no idea who was going to carry the checkered flag, and that just goes to show the competition in the class this year. Doug Benoit won the first two races, and he was looking for his third straight when the field hit the white flag. Benoit took a look to the outside, then the inside of Pires, but he wasn’t able to make the move. DJ has been strong ever since he started racing, and he was victorious in the 25-lap feature.
The Nick’s Pit Stop Legends Cars hit the track and it was Derek Gluchacki who rolled to his first win of the year. Driving the Nick Lascuola Racing No. 03, Gluchacki quickly worked his way to the front of the pack, and wasn’t going to be denied in his second race of the season. He missed the opener because of an injury, and you would think he is going to have a hard time catching up in the championship chase — but if he keeps winning — he will be right there come the final night.
If you’re in the area on Friday’s, come on down to watch some classic short-track racing. It’s only $7 for adults into the front gate, and kids under 12 are FREE admission. Don’t miss out!