by Dana Rowe
Ed Perry launched his quest for the trophy from the pole, grabbed the front off the green, then sailed unpassed all the way to the checkers. Along the way, Rey Lovelace, then Kid Chaos (Corey Fanning) and finally Steve Axon took their shots from second, but none could pass and Perry sailed home with his first feature win. Axon claimed second and last week’s winner, Paul Lallier ran third followed by Fanning. Tyler Lallier rounded out the top five. The top four cars all finished within the same second on the electronic timing.
Perry and Lovelace kicked off with Perry grabbing the lead in turn two with Ryan Flood in third followed by Fanning, Ryan Souliere, Axon and Dick Benoit. Four laps in, however, Chris Gomes bounced off the outside wall and tried but could not make it into the pits, bringing the caution flag.
The field came off the green with Perry leading Lovelace by a half-car and Perry then cemented the lead in turn two, then took off into a three-car lead. Flood went around Lovelace into second and Fanning followed him. Lovelace then found Capt. Fun (Craig Pianka) sliding underneath, followed by Axon. By lap eight Perry had manufactured a ten-car lead over Fanning, who had succeeded Flood in second. Pianka held fourth but could not get past Flood and Axon then eased him back to fifth.
Donald Perry spun down the front stretch on lap 17 and spun up into turn one, just barely keeping it off the wall. The restart went back to lap 16 and featured Ed Perry on pole again with Fanning outside and the Flood-Axon combo behind him. He pushed up a bit coming through the box and ran side-by-side with Fanning before retaking the lead on the backstretch. Flood pushed under Fanning and they traded some paint before Fanning again escaped back into second in turn two. Axon then took over third with Flood falling into fourth. Pianka was under Benoit behind him.
Fanning heated things up, getting all over Perry’s back bumper in search of a way around and things weren’t much better for Kid Chaos: Axon was doing the same to him as Flood followed, seeking a safe route to the front. Axon began focusing on moving under Fanning and Fanning tried the same move on the leader. Perry dropped down to protect and Fanning swayed on the track but Axon wasn’t able to take advantage.
The contest between Fanning and Axon allowed Perry to escape to a three-car lead. Tyler Lallier heated up again and pushed under Flood as Paul Lallier followed. Both were able to pass Flood into the top five.
As Benoit and Pianka ran side-by-side, something failed under Benoit’s hood and flames belched out of is front wheel well, scorching Pianka’s nose. Pianka swerved off turn one into the infield and Benoit coasted to a stop near the wall just out of turn two. Red flags flew and the Seekonk Fire Brigade responded as well as the EMT’s. Only injuries, however, were to Benoit’s car, forcing him to retire with seven laps remaining.
Perry and Fanning again went wheel-to-wheel out of the starting box and through turn two before Perry got his fender past. Axon followed up by finally getting under Fanning into second. Paul Lallier grabbed onto Fanning’s bumper, followed by Flood, Tyler and Smokin’ Joe Kohler, who had toiled up from a 17th-place start, and Lovelace.
Lap 21 saw the top four nose-to-tail and fanning went to Axon’s high side. Lallier looked under and Fanning dropped back in.
As the twin sticks went up, Axon started trying under Perry but was unable. He persisted and they fought a cat-and-mouse game all the way under the checkers with Perry turning in a win over his antagonist. Axon was a mere .028 seconds off Perry’s pace in the runner-up spot.
Kohler roared in for sixth, followed by Paul Williams, Sparky Arsenault, Pianka, Flood, Scott Bruneau and Ed Flanagan, Jr.