By Souza Media

First-time winners can be hard to come by in most forms of racing, but not in the Seekonk Grand Prix Bandoleros at Seekonk Speedway. Friday, Ryan Vanasse Jr. jumped from his fifth-place starting spot in the Bandit feature to the lead by lap two, and never looked back en route to his first career win at Seekonk. Vanasse, the son of former Late Model champion and current Pro Stock competitor Ryan Vanasse, squashed the field to finally earn the checkered flag.

It looked easy. The “Bottle Rocket” became the third different generation of Vanasse family members to visit Victory Lane at the Action Track of the East, following in his dad Ryan, and grandfather Paul’s, footsteps. His cousin, Collin Vanasse, also competed in the field.

The race was the first of three in the Everett’s Auto Parts Diamond Dash, a three-race series for each of Seekonk’s Fast Friday divisions.

Week two of the Fast Friday season took place with the same restrictions as the season opener, following guidance from an Executive Order from the state of Massachusetts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was held with no spectators and all social distancing protocols were followed by track staff and competitors alike. Face coverings were required when social distancing wasn’t possible.

Ethan Dion and Brent Robidoux led the field down to green in the 15-lap main event. Dion jumped out to an early lead, however, the 31NY of Dillon Krantz Jr., who started fourth, was hot on his tail. On the second lap of the race, Krantz jumped to the outside of Dion and the two made contact, bringing out the caution and relegating them both to the rear of the field.

One more caution on lap three slowed the race when the No. 99 of Rich Helger Jr., and week one winner Brody Monahan made contact. However, by this time, Vanasse had taken a lead that he would not relinquish, followed by the 47ri of Adam Harrison, and Dion, who had worked his way from the rear back to third in just three laps.

Vanasse finished the race nearly half track ahead of second place Harrison, who was followed by Dion in third.

The Seekonk Grand Prix Bandeleros return to the third-mile oval next Friday July 31st, for race three of the season, with the first green flag of the evening at 7 p.m.