For the second straight year, Ray Parent was the driver celebrating in Everett’s Auto Parts Victory Lane on Saturday at Seekonk Speedway. Parent scored the victory in the 50 lap Late Model main event behind the wheel of the No. 98 Make A Wish machine.
Parent didn’t start on the pole, but worked his way to second before the first caution of the race flew for a crash by Charlie Rose in turn four. On the restart, Parent took the point from the outside of Vinny Arrenegado and was able to get some clean air on the nose of the No. 98 machine. From there, in a race that didn’t see another caution flag, they were only battling for second.
After Arrenegado dropped to second, he was fighting a tight condition on his No. 17 and was having a hard time holding the bottom of the track. In his mirror, 2017 Rookie of the Year Jake Johnson worked the bottom lane perfectly and was able to slide around, grabbing second. While those two battled for second, outsider Eddie MacDonald wheeled them in and it became a three-car battle for the second spot in the final stages.
When the checkered flag flew, it was Johnson who held off the charges and finished second. The rookie driver finished a solid first-year with a podium run, holding off MacDonald in the late laps. Arrenegado backed up and had to settle for fourth spot, while Ryan Vanasse drove the No. 58 into a fifth place finish in the first race of the season for that car.
Track champion Ryan Lineham had to come from outside the top 10 on the starting grid, but slowly worked his way through the field and finished sixth with minimal caution flags flying during the race.
Behind him, Ryan Kuhn finished seventh, while Ryan Morgan, Tommy Adams and polesitter Tom Scully Jr. rounded out the top 10. Scully Jr. struggled with his No. 5 Gifford brothers machine after starting out front and he was cut three-wide early.
Among the cars that didn’t finish the race were Rose, Bobby Pelland, Joe Lemay and Louis Romiza.