by Doug Sheehan
The Sport Trucks opened up our tremendous Saturday Night lineup of racing. 185 green flag laps to be run to determine Four Phil’s Propane Triple Crown Champions. For this 35 Lap feature, 2 Rookies in Mikey Cooper and Richie Murray were joined by 2 Veterans in Darryl Dutch and Lenny Guy.
The early story of this feature was Darryl Church. Church found himself in the lead ahead of Richie Murray. Murray had speed but couldn’t find his way past the 4 of Church. After laps of hard racing between the two, Murray ends up getting into the back of Church which sent Church into the infield. Both drivers end up at the back with Murray being called for the assist. This opened up a new chapter of the race where we saw Barry Shaw Jr take to the point. Shaw has been out front many of times this season but this race was different. After cutting a tire in his heat, Barry had to start scratch on the field. The speed in that 85 was there though, and he carried his way through the field in route to his 5th win. Though, Shaw wasn’t a Triple Crown contender. And after Murray and Dutch went to the rear, the battle was on between Mike Cooper and Lenny Guy. After a great battle in the middle of the pack, Lenny Guy came away with the Triple Crown and heard a roar of cheers in Victory Lane.
The Everett’s Auto Parts Late Models arguably had our most competitive Top 4 when it came to the Triple Crown. Vinnie Arrenegado, Marc Jenison, Ryan Lineham and Tommy Adams all lined up ready to battle for the title. What we saw was more of an annihilation than a battle. When the 17 of Arrenegado took the lead after a Lap 5 caution, he never looked back. The race went green to checkers after that point and Vinnie took off. Though, he was not alone. Dan Johnson took his #4 to its limits and keeping up with Arrenegado better than anyone else. He took home 2nd place only .322 behind your race winner, while 3rd place Gerry Degasparre was almost 6 seconds behind the top two.
Vinnie takes the win and the first sweep of the weekend for the Phil’s Propane Triple Crown.
The Helger’s Southcoast Power Equipment Sportsman division brought together a great foursome fighting for the Triple Crown. Steve Axon, Corey Fanning, Kyle Casper and Tyler Lallier took the grid ready to go but both Lallier and Casper were at an early disadvantage. Both had to start within the last 3 rows due to issues in their heats. Having that lead in the starting grid, both Axon and Fanning knew this could easily be a race between the two of them.
With the drop of the green, Axon and Fanning both rocketed towards the front. After a Lap 7 caution, we saw the #74 of Scott Bruneau make his way to the point, a familiar sight for the Phil’s Propane machine as of late. Another restart about halfway through the race saw Bruneau at the point with Fanning and Axon lining up 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
When the checkered flag flew, it was Scott Bruneau coming home the winner and Corey Fanning holding off Steve Axon for 2nd and the Phil’s Propane Triple Crown.
Coming into Triple Crown weekend, Dave Darling was the favorite to take the title in the Pro Stocks. He had a poor week, for his standards, with a 6th place finish last time out, and would be ready to put on his best show for the Phil’s Propane Triple Crown. It would not be easy for Darling though, as he had three of the top Pro Stock drivers to challenge him in Ryan Vanasse, Tom Scully Jr, and Dylan Estrella.
Mike Brightman took off to an early lead trying to hold off Vanasse. On Lap 15, we saw the muffler break on the 46 of Estrella and he was given two black flags. Right before that decisive third black flag, the yellow flag comes out for a Daryl Stampfl spin out of turn 2. Estrella was thanking the racing gods after that one, and rejoined at the rear after the fix.
Off the restart, the 4 contenders, Estrella included, powered towards the top. Within 5 laps, we had another caution after a Mike Brightman spin. This lined up our 4 contenders in the top 2 rows on the restart. Darling was the leader and the others knew they didn’t have many chances to get by Darling. Much to their dismay, Darling was able to hold the trio off on two separate restarts and capture both the race win and the Phil’s Propane Triple Crown.
A big thank you to Phils Propane for his continued support of short track racing at Seekonk Speedway with the Triple Crown Series!