by Kyle Souza
The rookie season in the Seekonk Grand Prix Bandolero Bandit division is off to a strong start for ’Smilin’ Reese Bogue. The rising star returned to Victory Lane once again on Friday night, adding another checkered flag to his season total. Bogue has been one of the fastest cars each week, but this one wasn’t easy. He started a little bit further back, and had to work his way to the lead, taking the top spot on lap eight. From there, it was all about holding off invader Brody Monahan, who showed he had the speed to get the job done. In a last lap dash, Bogue held him off for the win, with Monahan second and PJ Evans third.
In the Seekonk Grand Prix Bandolero Outlaw class, Giovanni Ruggerio wasn’t going to let a little bit of contact halt his chances of returning to Victory Lane. Ruggerio made contact with Ethan Heilborn, and Heilborn spun down the front stretch. The caution didn’t fly, which meant Ruggerio needed to give up two spots under green — then he could go back at the leaders. He did that — and quickly was right back in contention. When Riley Caron slipped up while leading, Ruggerio moved to the bottom, and took down the win over Samantha Dell and Isaiah Newcomb.
Scott Cestodio is dominating his return to the Pure Stock division. The former frontrunner is competing in the Lenny Sousa No. 31, a car Lenny vacated to move up to the NASCAR Saturday Sport Trucks division. Cestodio is now two-for-two, earning back-to-back checkered flags on Friday in fine fashion. He started deep in the back, but worked his way up on the bottom and had a heated battle with Danny Massa for the lead and the win. Cestodio would take the top spot on lap 16, and lead the rest of the laps en route to the win.
Defending Sport 4 champion AJ Manuel is back in prime form. While he looked to close in on the current championship leader, Manuel started sixth on Friday, and was at the front of the field by lap five. From there, the No. 88 drove away from the field under green, but a few late restarts made things interesting. Crystal Murray, his teammate, worked his back bumper in the final laps, but ended a mere few car lengths back at the finish. Karlin Levesque continued to show the speed in his machine after scoring a third-place finish.
And in the Nick’s Pit Stop Legends Cars, another first-time winner was holding the checkered flag. Connor Holderbach had been close to scoring his elusive first win many times before, but he wasn’t going to be denied on Friday. He rolled to the lead early, and had a heated battle with Josh Parsons for the top spot, racing side-by-side for multiple laps. It wasn’t long before he made the move around him and never looked back, holding off Peter Bennett and Parsons at the finish.