LIMITED FANS ALLOWED IN THE GRANDSTANDS; TICKETS NEARLY SOLD OUT
BY SOUZA MEDIA/KYLE SOUZA
SEEKONK, Mass. — After more than 18 months without NASCAR divisions or fans in the grandstands at Seekonk Speedway, both will return to the Massachusetts third-mile on Sunday, May 2, as part of opening day for the track’s 75th official season of racing.
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The Pro Stocks, Everett’s Auto Parts Late Models, Helger’s South Coast Power Equipment Sportsman and Chaz Auto Body Sport Trucks are all set to open their championship battles. The Troy City Tactical Spectator Drags, back for another year, will also join the May 2 card to round out a full day of racing at Seekonk Speedway. The track will run at just 12% capacity for fans — due to COVID-19 protocols in place by the state of Massachusetts — and will follow all safety procedures. Due to limited capacity, tickets are currently on-sale electronically at seekonktickets.net and expected to sell out. Tickets for opening day are $15 for adults, with children from the ages of six to 12 just $5 for entry, and those five and under free.
Seekonk Speedway has put an in-depth safety plan in place to keep all patrons safe at the track — which includes social distancing, mask wearing and hand washing, per CDC guidance.
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In the Pro Stocks, David Darling begins his quest for a record eighth championship against a field of challengers looking to become the one to take him off the throne. Darling has won the last three Pro Stock titles in dominating fashion, but names like Dylan Estrella, Ryan Vanasse, Fred Astle, Rick Martin, Kenny Spencer are all coming back to give him a run for his money. Sunday’s season opener will be 45 laps — coined as a Power 5 race — and sponsored by American Racer, with bonus cash on the line to some of the top finishers.
The Everett’s Auto Parts Late Model field is perhaps the most wide-open it has ever been, with more than a handful of drivers expected to be in serious contention for the title. Defending champion Tommy Adams is set to return with a brand new car, while Vinnie Arrenegado — a multiple-time winner in 2019 — has to be one of the top favorites to earn his first crown. Names like Gerry DeGasparre Jr. — a seven-time track champion like Darling — Bobby Tripp, Chase Belcher, Josh Hedges, Nick Uring and more are expected to challenge him. Sunday’s Late Model opener will also be a Power 5 race, set for 35 laps — with sponsorship from American Racer and bonus cash going to the top few finishers.
With three-wide racing a normality, the Helger’s South Coast Power Equipment Sportsman drivers return chasing defending champion Corey Fanning. But, if he’s going to repeat, it’s going to be after an all-out fight with some of the division’s best. Names like Sparky Arsenault, Chad Baxter, Craig Pianka, Dave Gargaro Jr., Adam Petty, Colby Lambert and more will be looking to start their season in Victory Lane. The division keeps fans on the edge of their seats for the entire distance. The opener will be 30 laps — coined as a Power 5 race — sponsored by Helger’s South Coast Power Equipment.
Welcoming a new sponsor for 2021, the Chaz Auto Body Sport Trucks will see drivers chasing youth rising star Richie Murray, who put his third-generation name on the map in 2019, winning the championship and multiple races in his Rookie season. Murray has Barry Shaw Jr., Brittany Campbell, Jake Vanada, John Paiva, Lenny Guy and former champion Mike Cavallaro, among others, coming in hot behind him. The Truck race will be 25 laps to open the year.
Grandstand gates open at 12 p.m. on Sunday, with the Pro Stock’s set for their time trial session at 1 p.m. The time trial session will lineup the qualifying heats for Seekonk’s premiere division, and will see cars circle the track one at a time to see who can post the fastest lap time. The Troy City Tactical Spectator Drags will be first on the track at 2 p.m., followed by heat races and feature action.
A practice session for NASCAR divisions only will take place on Saturday, May 1, with the grandstands closed to the public. Pit passes are available for this event for teams and supporters.
For more information on Seekonk Speedway, visit seekonkspeedway.com. For race day information and updates, follow the track on social media.