Saturday Night Stock Car Racing!
Pro Stocks, Late Models, Sportsman and Sport Trucks battle it out for Track Championships!
Saturday Night Racing at Seekonk Speedway starts the first weekend in May and lasts through mid September. Saturday Nights are broken down into four divisions, Sport Trucks (Division 4), Sportsman (Division 3), Late Models (Division 2) and Pro Stocks (Division 1). There is general seating around the entire race track making every seat the best in the house. Equipped with concessions and restrooms, Seekonk Speedway is an extremely family friendly place. Racing starts at 6pm. Come out and enjoy the racing entertainment for only $15 for adult admission, youth 6-12 $5 and kids 5 and under free!
In the mid 1970’s, D Anthony Venditti was already looking for a lower cost alternative to the already expensive open wheel Modifieds that ruled the northeast. After a trip to the mid-west, D Anthony had his future. Beginning in 1978, the All Pro division raced with the Cadet division with a flag waving from the trunk to differentiate the two alike looking cars. In 1979, they became their own division, with a name change to the widely known Pro Stock later that season. In 1980, the Modifieds were ousted and the Pro Stocks were the headlining division. After the modifieds returned for 3 more seasons, in 1984, the Pro Stocks became, and have remained the premier division of Seekonk Speedway.
The cars were stock built race cars, not that different to our current Street Stock division, where many of the components had to remain stock on the car. Over the years, the cars got away from the stock steel bodies used in the early days and went to the more readily available fiberglass bodies, which were being shaped like many of the road vehicles. This continues to be the body choice used by just about all of the competitors.
While the exterior appearance continues to look much like the cars on the road, underneath the body lays a custom built race car. With a full tubular chassis and protective roll cage, this machine was not meant for the street. They are powered by spec GM and Ford crate engines with over 400 horsepower, which is designed to help keep the cost down. With the cost of a complete, ready to race crate engine, the cost is under $10,000, while competitors were spending over 3 times that amount to compete. This has allowed the competitors to continue to compete, while keeping costs down.
The tires are a 10” wide slick American Racing tire. These tires are designed to help with the cost of competition while keeping everyone on the same playing field. Each tire manufactured is made from the same compound so there is no advantage from one competitor to another. This keeps the drivers on their toes and their crew chiefs working hard to find the balance needed.
Over the past 35+ plus years, many tracks have brought the Pro Stock class into their speedways; some have re-named them Super Late Models, while keeping the same principal. At Seekonk, the Pro Stock is alive and well, and will continue to honor the memory and vision of D Anthony Venditti.
Everett’s Auto Parts Late Models – NASCAR Division 2
This second tier division has been competing since the early 1980s, and has had a few name changes over their lifetime. Originally started out as the Charger class, this was a stepping stone division with an eye toward the Pro Stocks. It was started as competitors in the Pro Stock division upgraded their inventory with new rule changes and additional competitive equipment.
They may look like the Pro Stocks in many ways, including the bodies and basic chassis and cage design, but there are many differences between them. Like their big brothers, they also run a GM or Ford Spec Crate engine, with around 360hp. The tires are a American Racer slick at 8” wide, This keeps the cars racing at a speed which is about 1 second slower than the Pro Stocks, about 13.5 seconds per lap.
In 2010, management allowed the American Canadian Tour cars to compete weekly with the Late Models, thus increasing the opportunity for competitors from other speedways to try to conquer the 1/3 mile oval without having to change their cars over to conform to Seekonk rules. In the 30+ years of the Late Models, there have been a handful of outsiders to win an event at Seekonk, proving that experience at The Action Track of the East is paramount to success there.
SOUTH COAST POWER EQUIPMENT SPORTSMAN – NASCAR DIVISION 3
The Sportsman class (formerly the Street Stocks) at Seekonk originated in 1971 for one season, returned in 1974 through 1980, and weekly since 1985. This class is designed for the racer who has a limited budget. The chassis on these machines are a stock chassis from the mid 1980s, such as Camaro, GM cars such as the Grand Prix and Monte Carlos. In 2014 the speedway started using fiberglass bodies that showcase newer style cars from Ford, Dodge & Chevrolet. The building of these cars helps teams gain the experiences needed to continue up the ladder of competition.
The cars run on a 7” tire manufactured by American Racer. It is not uncommon for these competitors to be on the edge of out of control, all while driving down Rt. 6. Two and three wide racing is the norm in the Sportsmans, while the drivers learn how to control their cars, and the crews learn the basics of the setup and fine tuning of a race car.
This is an entry level division for our competition which races weekly on Saturday throughout the spring and summer. Many competitors have used this class to move into the Late Model and Pro Stock ranks. The experience learned here can give you many opportunities to show your skills in many areas.
SPORT TRUCKS – NASCAR DIVISION 4
With the growing interest in truck racing, Seekonk Speedway decided to do something just a little different. In 1995, Seekonk Speedway introduced the Sport Truck division. The difference from what people were watching on TV was the downsized version of trucks being used. Minimal modifications were allowed, mostly for safety, to allow the fans to watch some great racing. Many of the competitors for the first few seasons were drivers that moved up from the defunct Formula Four division. They compete on Hoosier racing tires.
Many drivers have used this division as a stepping stone from the Seekonk Youth Racing Association, while others have settled into the division as a cost alternative to the higher priced Pro Stocks and Late Models. The Sport Trucks are always a great mix of experienced veterans battling hungry rookies looking to cut their teeth on NASCAR Saturday Nights.