ALL IN THE FAMILY - THE COUSINS VANASSE
The Vanasse name is known to many speedway goers, perhaps in reference to current Pro Stock driver Ryan Vanasse, who won back-to-back Late Model championships in 2009 and 2010.
Now, Ryan and his brother Mike Vanasse are letting their sons get in on the Seekonk action.
Ryan Jr. and Collin Vanasse square off against each other on Friday nights in the Seekonk Grand Prix Bandolero Bandits Division.
Ryan and Collin have been driving bandits for a couple years now, but this year is different. With the new Drive for the Cup format, the two have been competing with each other all season long for a playoff berth, and now battle against each other week after week in an ever-narrowing playoff field.
Ryan and Collin have both managed to stave off elimination through two rounds, and make up half of the playoff field going into championship weekend. Their competition: Sam Macedo and Nick Uhrig Jr.
Out of the four drivers, Ryan is the only one to claim a feature win, scoring three of them this summer, fresh off his most recent one last week. Collin will have to pull out all the stops this week if he wants to top the Final Four including his cousin. As for Ryan, he has the momentum on his side, and needs to hit his marks one more time to be named champion.
As far as odds go, it’s a coinflip that the 2022 Bandolero Bandit Champion will be a Vanasse.
By Sam Tully
SEEKONK, Mass. -- Round Two of Fast Friday’s Drive for the Cup presented by Sunoco Race Fuels got underway this past Friday, September 16. At long last, the final four drivers in each division who will be going forward to compete for the championship have been decided.
Let’s take a look at how Round Two panned out, which playoff drivers are out, and which ones will be driving for the cup next weekend.
SEEKONK GRAND PRIX BANDOLERO BANDITS
The Bandolero Bandits came into the week with five playoff drivers remaining, but only four would advance to the final round.
After a couple of early spins and cautions right off the bat, calamity unfolded in the field, involving a couple of playoff drivers.
Coming off Turn 2 on the second restart, Darren Krantz Jr. applied the pressure to Nick Uhrig Jr. early, and it was just a little bit more that Uhrig could handle. Trying desperately to save his ride, Uhrig slid up just enough to collect Bryson Robidoux, causing the entire field to stack up.
Milania Shilosky sat fourth in line on the inside behind Krantz as the moment unfolded, and as drivers swerved to the high side to avoid spinning cars, Shilosky was caught out, becoming sandwiched between Krantz on Collin Vanasse to her outside. Shilosky’s No. 99 machine spun and stood still on Turn 3 as the yellow flew. In a highly unfortunate fashion, the incident would bring an end to Shilosky’s championship hopes.
Uhrig limped his No. 11RI Bandit around the third-mile through another couple of restarts to complete one more lap, scoring him ahead of Shilosky, and sending him to the Final Four, ultimately retiring on Lap 3.
Collin Vanasse would go on to clinch the third transfer spot, but he too would make an early exit after a Lap 8 incident involving contact with a spinning Brody Wakefield off of Turn 4.
Ryan Vanasse Jr. and Sam Macedo were the only two playoff drivers to see the checkered on Friday night, and after some hearty battling with Ben Morabito at the point, Ryan Vanasse Jr. picked up the feature win, with Sam Macedo coming in third, both moving on to drive for the cup on championship weekend.
SEEKONK GRAND PRIX BANDOLERO OUTLAWS
The Bandolero Outlaws took to the grid with playoff drivers rolling off in spots two through six, and quickly comprising the entire top five in the early running.
The first slip up would come between Brent Robidoux and Adam Harrison, who were racing for third when Harrison barely clipped Robidoux in the left rear coming off Turn 4. Both drivers were sent to the rear, and from there, the race was on for the final transfer spot.
Robidoux restarted behind Harrison, but went to work early passing his way through the field with a three-wide pass on Harrison and Dylan Calabro down the backstretch. Robidoux continued on his torrid pace, distancing himself from Harrison with every lap and eventually passing Joey LeMay for fourth. This move put LeMay in the position to have to fend off a charging Harrison for the final transfer spot!
Meanwhile, Bradley Strickland was at the point, chasing down his second win in as many weeks, with a spot in the Final Four in his grasp. Andrew Gomes was in third with the second transfer spot all to himself.
As the laps wound down, Strickland successfully held off Chase Silvia for the win, transferring himself into the Final Four in the process. Gomes also transferred in with his third-place finish overall. Robidoux didn’t look back after the Lap 5 restart and cruised through to the Final Four with his fourth place finish. The last man in, by .4 seconds, was Joey Lemay, leaving Harrison on the outside looking in for the Drive for the Cup.
EVERETT’S AUTO PARTS SPORT 4’S
The Everett’s Auto Parts Sport 4’s started the night with six championship hopefuls, all well aware that after 25 laps, only four drivers would go on to compete for the cup in Round Three.
One driver was dropped from the running in devastating fashion early in the going. As the field rounded Turns 3 and 4 for the first time, Stephanie Bruneau’s No. 74 car hooked a sharp right turn, making contact with the wall in violent fashion. In a flash, the Bruneau’s playoff run was over.
Following the ensuing restart, the five playoff drivers tailed leader Matt Pion through 16 laps. Crystal Murray had the first transfer spot to herself after passing Jarrod Freitas, but wanted more as she challenged Pion for the lead. Freitas and Tyler Duhancik squabbled over third for several laps, while Henry Lavallee rode around in fifth overall holding onto the fourth and final transfer spot. Meanwhile, Taylor Bowser battled to get by DJ Thibeault so that she could set her sights on her playoff counterparts.
Bowser caught a huge break when the caution flag waved for a stalled out Sam Mattera on Lap 16. This moment afforded Bowser the chance to restart right alongside Lavallee, setting up a nine-lap shootout for the final playoff transfer spot.
At the drop of the green, Lavallee hit his marks early, speeding through on the inside and eventually putting Duhancik behind him, forcing Bowser to recalibrate her target for the final transfer spot. As the lap counter on top of the pylon climbed higher, the gap to Duhanick grew larger for Bowser, and when the checkered flag waved, it was Bowser on the outside looking in.
Crystal Murray went on to take down the win as she cruised on to the Final Four, followed by Freitas, Duhancik, and Lavallee in that order. All four drivers will square off for one more week and only one will take home the cup.
HELGER’S SOUTH COAST POWER EQUIPMENT PURE STOCKS
For the second week in a row, the Pure Stock playoff anxiety began long before the field even took to the asphalt. Playoff driver Sam Lincoln was faced with engine troubles early in the afternoon, and it was questionable whether his No. 34 machine would be able to make it to the starting grid, let alone best two of his five fellow Drive for the Cup challengers.
The six playoff drivers lined up in succession starting in the sixth spot: Jeremey Lambert, Ethan Souza, Lincoln, Greg Perry, Danny Massa, and Mike Henriques.
Lincoln faded back early as the rest of the playoff drivers continued on to battle nose-to-tail and side-by-side. Souza was first in the line when he found himself on the bumper of Nick Brightman. Brightman proved hard to pass for several laps, putting Souza in a tough spot as Perry, Henriques, Lambert and Massa were chomping at the bit to work their way forward.
The pressure continued to mount off the rear bumper of Brightman, and finally, Souza got to the inside down the front stretch. Perry swung his No. 0 machine up high.
Diving into Turn 1, Brightman shut the door on Souza, causing both cars to scrub speed, giving Perry a big-time run on the outside. Brightman worked to get his hot rod pointing straight and slid up the track about a half a groove in the process. As the pack rounded Turn 2, Perry came around the highside to meet the rear bumper of the slightly slower Brightman, sending Brightman spinning to the left, and collecting Souza in the process. Souza and Brightman were called to the rear for the spin, as well as Greg Perry who was ruled responsible for causing the spin! A major development with just 10 laps to go.
By some miracle, Lincoln had found himself in a transfer spot, and only needed to outpace Perry for 10 more circuits to clinch a Final Four berth. Lincoln and Lambert went on to spar for breathing room from the drop zone, as initially Lincoln gained the position, but Lambert stormed back with a bold three-wide move to the inside. Henriques and Massa had all the breathing room in the world as they cruised on to claim the top two transfer spots. Lambert followed through in the third transfer spot, and defying all odds, Lincoln held his own and ran just strong enough to claim the fourth and final seat at the table for Round Three of the Drive for the Cup. Perry and Souza will have to look forward to 2023 for a run at a championship.
NICK’S PIT STOP LEGENDS
The Nick’s Pit Stop Legends were the fifth and final division to determine their final four playoff drivers on Friday night.
Reese Bogue did a nice job getting towards the front early and leaving the playoff brawl in his rear view mirror. Just behind him, Jake Silvia, Josh Parsons and Brenden Hammann tussled for position amidst numerous non-playoff drivers. Rounding Turn 4 for the fifth time, the fighting ring reached capacity, and PJ Evans and Hammann got together, collecting Devin Deshaies in the process. Just like that, Hammann and Deshaies found themselves on the chopping block.
Bogue fired off again strongly from the restart, quickly working his way toward the lead, while Jake Silvia followed suit and drove up to second. Isaiah Newcomb and Parsons worked feverishly to distance themselves from the drop zone. On Lap 12, Newcomb committed to the low groove approaching Turn 3 as Nick Bulkeley simultaneously shuffled from the top to the bottom on corner entry. The two drivers got crossed up, sending just Bulkeley spinning, collecting Mason Tessier as well. The field would rerack again, and fortunately for Newcomb, he was allowed to maintain his spot in the running order.
Newcomb and Parsons lined up door-to-door in the final two transfer spots, but now Devin Deshaies was just off Parsons’ rear bumper ready to climb his way into a transfer spot. The field fired off and the high line got moving first, allowing Deshaies to move by Newcomb for the final transfer spot, quickly followed by another caution. Hammann was still in danger of elimination towards the rear of the field.
The field restarted again and time was running out for Hammann to mount his charge to the front of the pack. With laps winding down, Hammann found himself as the unfortunate victim of circumstance when Richie Helger Jr. and Dustin Gagne collided into Turn 1, leaving Hammann with nowhere to go. Hammann was collected in the conflict, and the resulting damage forced him to park his No. 7 Legend for the remainder of the feature. At that moment, Hammann’s playoff run had come to an end.
The field bunched up and crossed over for the final time with three to go following a Tessier spin. Parsons and Newcomb lined up alongside each other with the final transfer spot hanging in limbo. The two drivers battled it out down to the wire, both doing an impressive job dodging a spinning Jacob Burns on the last lap all the while, but it was Parsons with the edge at the checkered, transferring into the Final Four on the last spot. Newcomb would join Hammann as the second driver to be ousted from the Drive for the Cup.
Jake Sivlia went on to win his first ever Legends feature, and also earned himself a spot in the Final Four, alongside Bogue, Deshaies, and Parsons.
After 14 weeks of racing, it all comes down to this. Four drivers in each division have fought all season long for a shot at one race to claim a season’s worth of spoils. Just one question remains: WHO will emerge victorious in each division’s final stint of the Sunoco Drive for the Cup.
No matter who you think will lift this trophy on Friday night, make sure you are there to see it in person. Join us as Fast Friday goes green for the final time this Friday, September 23 at 7:00 PM. You are not going to want to miss this.
For tickets and more information on Seekonk Speedway, visit seekonkspeedway.com.
SEEKONK, Mass. — It all comes down to this.
On Friday, September 23, and Saturday, September 24, Seekonk Speedway will crown nine champions in the finals of the Sunoco Drive For The Cup. As Fast Friday and NASCAR Saturday teams get ready to compete in the Final Four events, the championships are anyone’s game. Once you are in, you have a chance. And in the final race of the season, every lap will matter more and more down the stretch run.
Nine champions will be crowned, beginning with five on Fast Friday and four on NASCAR Saturday.
On Fast Friday, the Seekonk Grand Prix Bandolero Bandits will roll out for their final race of the season. Ryan Vanasse Jr., Sam Macedo, Collin Vanasse and Nick Uhrig Jr. will all race for the title. Whichever of the four of them finishes ahead of the others will earn the crown — with Vanasse Jr. entering the race as the favorite. As the highest remaining seed, he’s coming off a victory in round two of the playoffs, with tons of momentum on his side. Macedo and Collin Vanasse, along with Uhrig, have been rather quiet this season. But they made their way into the finals, and they have a shot at winning it all.
In the Everett’s Auto Parts Sport 4’s, Crystal Murray, Tyler Duhancik, Jarrod Freitas and Henry Lavallee will race for the championship. Murray won in the second round of the playoffs last week for the fourth time this season, and enters the race as the top seed. Duhancik survived some trouble in round one of the playoffs to make it to this point, and with multiple season wins to his credit, he’s a major threat. Lavallee has returned to victory lane twice this season for the first time in many years, while Freitas grabbed his first career win earlier in the year. Who will become Sport 4 champion after 30 laps of racing?
The Seekonk Grand Prix Bandolero Outlaw Final Four might run through Bradley Strickland. After winning the first two races in the playoffs, he’s showed that he is the clear favorite. But Andrew Gomes, Brent Robidoux and Joey LeMay aren’t going to let him run away with it. As one of the cleanest and most exiting Seekonk divisions, the Bandolero Outlaws will put on a show for the title again Friday night.
Sam Lincoln, Danny Massa, Mike Henriques and Jeremy Lambert are the final four drivers in the Helger’s South Coast Power Equipment Pure Stocks. Each of them has earned their chance to race for the title, and each deserves it in their own way. Lincoln’s first win late in the summer and multiple top-five finishes got him to this point. Massa has been the class of the field at times this year, and even when he wasn’t, he’s still up front. Mike Henriques has multiple wins for the first time in many years, while Lambert slid his way into the finals with consistency. Who will it be after 30 laps in the season-finale holding the trophy?
Your Nick’s Pit Stop Legends Cars Final Four is a toss-up. Devin Deshaies enters the finale as the number one seed, and with multiple wins, certainly has the speed and the driving ability to become champion. But look out for Jake Silvia, who just picked up his first career win in the second round of the playoffs. Josh Parsons has been quiet all season, with only one win, but as the final seed to enter the playoffs, he made his way into the finals. Reese Bogue, who split his time this season between the Legends Cars and the Late Model (NASCAR Saturday), has a chance to end his Legends Cars career on top at Seekonk.
Fast Friday racing will begin at 7 p.m. for the final round of 2022 action.
On NASCAR Saturday, the Pro Stock field looks to be running through Mike Brightman and Tom Scully Jr. Both drivers advanced to the Final Four (Brightman by the skin of his teeth), but out of the four involved, they have the most success this season. With four wins, Brightman could be considered the favorite. And even though Scully only has one win, the emotional summer that included the passing of his dad, Tom Sr., might be just enough to boost him to the title. The two dark horses in the Pro Stock title chase? Radical Rick Martin and Mark Jenison.
The Late Model Final Four battle might be one of the most wide open of all Seekonk Speedway divisions. Mark Jenison won in the second round of the playoffs last week to lock himself into the finals, and might be coming on right at the right time. Richie Murray was the next finisher in the lineup last week, and his consistency around the top-five all year got him to this point. Could he score his first Late Model title and second overall track championship? How about Gerry DeGasparre Jr.? Arguably the dominant driver in this division all year, Gerry has seven track titles, and would love to tie Dave Darling as the only driver with eight. Chase Belcher is the fourth driver in the mix, and with two wins this season, he can definitely get the job done.
Chad Baxter might be the dominant force in the Helger’s South Coast Power Equipment Pure Stocks, but he’s going to have to bust his way through three tough challengers in order to win a second track title in a row. Craig Pianka, Ed Perry and Colby Lambert will join him in the Final Four, and all three have shown speed this year. Pianka won the first three out of four races of the year, while Perry also was in the mix in Victory Lane. Lambert might have quietly raced his way to this point, but look out for him to pounce in the season-finale.
Chaz Auto Body Sport Truck racing in the Final Four will certainly run through Radical Rick Martin. Chasing another title, Martin has victories in the first two races of the playoffs, adding to his total for the season, which now sits at seven. It’s going to be tough task for Barry Shaw (defending champion), Brittany Campbell and Mike Duarte to defeat the Radical one, but all three are worthy, and have a shot at it.
Tickets for championship weekend are available online today at SeekonkSpeedway.com. The website will also allow fans to purchase tickets for the final two events remaining on the Seekonk Speedway 2022 calendar — the Pumpkin Smash Thrill Show on October 8 and the upcoming Haunted Hundred on October 22.
For more information on Seekonk Speedway, visit SeekonkSpeedway.com and follow the track on social media for the latest information.
As we approach the final night of competition for the 2022 season, we look upon a new format for the championship in all 9 divisions. I will be honest, when this format was announced over the off season, I was apprehensive on what this would bring. I have a lot of friends in the pit area, and there were a few who did not like it from the get go. That is no secret, and quite understandable.
This was something that was new at the local level. It has been done for a while now on the national level. Drivers and teams have been preparing their cars over the winter for a championship chase, and now, there was uncertainty in the outcome. There always was, even in the old format. One or two bad nights can take you out of contention with no chance at the big prize.
At the end of the day, Seekonk Speedway and the racing itself is designed for entertainment. That’s the bottom line. When the fans are entertained, they will return and become a part of the Seekonk family. When there is no entertainment, the stands will be empty, the pit area will be barren, and the track itself will become a housing development, shopping center, or something else that will bring in money for the property owners or buyers. With what I have seen this year, I don’t see a lack of entertainment. I have seen some great racing, and now, with this new format, I see a lot of excitement brewing for what can be one of the most exciting championship battles we have ever seen.
With this new Sunoco Drive for the Cup format, you could still have a bad night or two, and still have a legitimate chance at the championship. Look at a couple of the competitors who missed a week and find themselves in the Final Four.
Rick Martin, who has been competing at Seekonk for over 40 years, missed a week in the Pro Stocks due to funding issues. He finds himself going for his fifth Pro Stock title. Gerry DeGasparre missed a week of action for his daughters’ softball tournament in Pennsylvania. He is looking for his record tying eighth Late Model championship. The format has it’s good and the potential for heartbreak for a front running team.
Let’s take a look at some of the story lines that have kind of slipped by, shall we?
There are two pairs of siblings, and a pair of cousins, that will be going for championships this week. The Lambert Brothers have both made the Final Four in their classes. Jeremy will be battling for the Pure Stock title this year, while his brother Colby will be going after the Sportsman championship. That has not been done before.
In addition to this, a brother and sister will be battling for titles as well. Richie Murray is fighting for the Late Model Championship, while his sister Crystal will be going after the Sport4 crown this year, trying to become the third lady to be crowned champion at Seekonk.
Ryan Vanasse Jr and his cousin Colin Vanasse will be battling each other for the Bandelero Bandit championship. Ryan Sr and Mike Vanasse have been racing together for over 25 years, and now their sons will be fighting for a title together.
There are also two drivers going for two titles in separate classes.
Mark Jenison has won in both the Late Models and Pro Stocks this season, and finds himself locked into the Final Four of both classes.
Rick Martin will also be going for two titles, in the Pro Stocks, as we’ve already mentioned, and in the Sport Trucks, where he has won 7 times this season.
There has been some great racing this year in all of our classes, and there is a case for all of the finalists to be crowned.
In the Pro Stocks. Tom Scully Jr is looking for his second title, and if he can complete this task, what an emotional tribute this would be. Tom is another driver that missed a week earlier this season, due to the passing of his dad, who competed here for many years. This would be a perfect tribute to Big Tom.
Mike Brightman has been a perennial underdog for many years in the Pro Stocks, even contemplating retiring a few years ago. Over the last couple of years, he has started winning again, including four this year alone. What a story this would be for the former Late Model Champion.
Gerry D is going for his record tying 8th LM title. Barry Shaw is retiring after this season, and a championship would be a great way to go out. Brittany Campbell can join Shelby Donovan and Ava Chouinard (and maybe Crystal Murray) as female champions. Ryan Vanasse Jr can join his dad as a champion.
These are just a few of the storylines, among the many, for this weeks’ championship weekend. There are a lot more when you look a little deeper.
SEEKONK, Mass. — Ryan Vanasse Jr. returned to Seekonk Grand Prix Bandolero Bandit Victory Lane on Friday night and he couldn’t have picked a better time to do it. The driver of the No. 11 locked himself into the Final Four with the victory, set to chase his first championship on final points night. After rocketing out front early, he held off some of the best in the division to return to the top of the class.
Ben Morabito returned to Seekonk from the New York area and challenged for the win, but settled for second after 15 laps. Sam Macedo was the next playoff driver to finish, scoring a third, also locking himself into the Final Four. Non-playoff drivers RJ Murphy and Allyha DeSomma finished the top-five.
Zacarias Kelley was sixth, followed by Parker Davis, Zachary Keith, Bryson Robidoux and Brody Wakefield. Not finishing the race, but advancing to join Vanasse and Macedo in the final four, was Collin Vanasse and Nick Uhrig Jr.
The final race of the Seekonk Grand Prix Bandolero Bandit season will take place on Friday, September 23, where the 2022 champion will be crowned. For more information on Seekonk Speedway, visit SeekonkSpeedway.com and follow the track on social media for the latest updates.
SEEKONK, Mass. — The Silvia name was back on top Friday night at Seekonk Speedway. For much of the season it was Chase Silvia winning in the Bandolero division, but this time, his brother Jake found his way to the top of the field, right at the perfect time. Silvia’s pass inside the final few laps put him in Victory Lane for the first time in his Nick’s Pit Stop Legends Cars career, locking himself into the Final Four in the process with a shot at the championship.
Silvia ran inside the top-five for much of the race, but after a flurry of late-race cautions, he picked the perfect time to pounce and take the lead, then held off PJ Evans to score the win. Evans would cross the line second after 25 laps, following up a victory the week before with another strong run, while Reese Bogue joined Silvia in the Final Four with a third-place finish.
Devin Deshaies joined the other two in the finals with a fourth-place finish, while Richie Helger Jr. grabbed his first career Seekonk top-five. Branden LaBelle was sixth, followed by Ben Amado, Josh Parsons, Isaiah Newcomb and Andrew Carpenter. With his finish, Parsons will also race for the title in the final race.
The final race of the Nick’s Pit Stop Legends Cars season will take place on Friday, September 23, where the 2022 champion will be crowned. For more information on Seekonk Speedway, visit SeekonkSpeedway.com and follow the track on social media for the latest updates.
SEEKONK, Mass. — Bradley Strickland might be right at the top of his game at the right time in the Seekonk Grand Prix Bandolero Outlaws. Strickland jumped out front quickly in Friday’s 15-lap race in round two of the playoffs, and never looked back — winning for the second straight race — and locking himself into the Final Four with a shot at the title in the process.
Strickland was followed to the line by Chase Silvia. The driver of the No. 17 was eliminated from playoff contention in round one, but was able to rebound with a strong second-place finish on Friday night. Andrew Gomes finished in third, followed by Brent Robidoux and Joey LeMay. With their top-five finishes, Strickland, Gomes, Robidoux and LeMay will race for the championship next race.
In the 15-lap race Adam Harrison finished sixth, followed by Mikey LeFort III, Dylan Calabro, Bobby Bettencourt III and Jordan Duquette.
The final race of the Seekonk Grand Prix Bandolero Outlaw season will take place on Friday, September 23, where the 2022 champion will be crowned. For more information on Seekonk Speedway, visit SeekonkSpeedway.com and follow the track on social media for the latest updates.
SEEKONK, Mass. — Crystal Murray rocketed to Victory Lane for the fourth time on Friday night in the Everett’s Auto Parts Sport 4’s, locking herself into the Final Four of the playoffs in the process. The driver of the No. 38 used a mid-race pass of Matt Pion to take the lead and never look back from there, rolling to the victory and giving herself a shot to score her first track championship next week.
While Murray won, Jarrod Freitas finished in second, with Tyler Duhancik and Henry Lavallee following in third and fourth. At the finish, the top-four drivers in the race were the four who are advancing to the finals of the Sunoco Drive For The Cup.
Taylor Bowser scored a strong fifth-place finish, just missing the Final Four. DJ Thibeault was sixth, with Daniel Hayes, Christine Cavallaro, Jacob Budznya and Matt Pion rounding out the top-10.
The final race of the season for the Everett’s Auto Parts Sport 4’s will take place on Friday, September 23, where the 2022 champion will be crowned. For more information on Seekonk Speedway, visit SeekonkSpeedway.com and follow the track on social media for the latest updates.
SEEKONK, Mass. — It looked like Jared Cordeira would have to finish in the runner-up spot on Friday night in the Helger’s South Coast Power Equipment Pure Stocks, but post-race inspection proved to work out for him. Cordeira followed Mike Rotondo across the line at the finish of the 25-lap race in round two of the playoffs, but after inspection, Cordeira was awarded his first career win, as a non-playoff driver.
Mike Henriques followed him in second, with Jeremy Lambert scoring third at the finish, both ready to advance to the Final Four. Ed Gould and Sam Lincoln would finish the top-five, with Lincoln also advancing to the finals.
Matt Talblot finished seventh, followed by Nick Brightman, Don Courtemanche, Greg Perry and Ethan Souza. Unfortunately for Perry and Souza, their championship road ended on Friday night.
The final race of the season for the Helger’s South Coast Power Equipment Pure Stocks will take place on Friday, September 23, where the 2022 champion will be crowned. For more information on Seekonk Speedway, visit SeekonkSpeedway.com and follow the track on social media for the latest updates.
SEEKONK, Mass. — One down, two left to go in the inaugural Seekonk Speedway Drive For The Cup presented by Sunoco Race Fuel. This Friday and Saturday night, the playoffs heat up with round two, as the Final Four will be set in all nine of Seekonk’s divisions looking ahead to the finale weekend on September 23-24.
On Fast Friday and NASCAR Saturday, drivers will be racing as the fields will be lowered from six drivers down to four. The Bandolero divisions will drop from five down to the Final Four. NASCAR Saturday also includes a special appearance by the Troy City Tactical Spectator Drags and the STAR Antique Racers to fill a full night of action, beginning with a special time of 5:30 p.m.
Fast Friday’s playoff fields in the Seekonk Grand Prix Bandolero divisions eliminated Chase Silvia (Outlaws) and Darren Krantz Jr. (Bandits) last week. Krantz didn’t show up to race, immediately knocking him out. Silvia, who entered the weekend with nine wins in 12 races, was eliminated after some early contact slowed his efforts. This week, the race for the Final Four is on. In the Bandits, Milania Shilosky won last week and leads Ryan Vanasse Jr., Sam Macedo, Collin Vanasse and Nick Uhrig Jr. into the final two. Which single driver will be eliminated out of the five of them this week?
In the Outlaws, the field seems wide open with Silvia eliminated. Bradley Strickland is coming off yet another win last week and has become the new favorite, with Joey LeMay, Andrew Gomes, Brent Robidoux and Adam Harrison not far behind. If the stats are right, LeMay would be the one to get eliminated this week. But as we have learned after one week, anything can happen. Don’t forget — Krantz (if he shows up) and Silvia will still be looking to spoil the party and add to their win counts this week still.
The Everett’s Auto Parts Sport 4 division almost saw a major shake-up last week, with Tyler Duhancik wrecking in practice, and originally looking like he wasn’t going to make it out. He got some help from a friend with a backup car and advanced to the round of six. He joins points leader Crystal Murray, last week’s winner Henry Lavallee, Jarrod Freitas, Taylor Bowser and Stephanie Bruneau in this round, with two drivers set to be eliminated this week.
Greg Perry and Sam Lincoln raced hard to the finish of last Friday’s 25-lap Helger’s South Coast Power Equipment Pure Stock race, with Perry coming out on top, and Lincoln close behind in second. They both earned the right to advance to the next round and will join Danny Massa, Mike Henriques, Jeremy Lambert and Ethan Souza this week to see who will make the finals.
The Nick’s Pit Stop Legends Cars race last week ended with a similar surprise, as multiple-time season winner Mason Tessier and one of the top seeds, Nicholaus Bulkeley, were eliminated from contention for the title. That leaves Devin Deshaies, the points leader, along with Brendon Hammann, Reese Bogue, Isaiah Newcomb, Josh Parsons and Jake Silvia to battle for the final four spots. Silvia showed impressive speed last week with a top-five finish and could easily become a dark horse for the title by sliding his way into the final four spots.
The NASCAR Saturday show will kick-off with the Troy City Tactical Spectator Drags and the STAR Antique Racers. The Spectator Drags will give fans a look at a little bit of street car action, while the STAR Antique Racers go back in time with their own racing action.
The Pro Stock field might not be able to top the excitement from the final lap of last week’s 45-lap playoff opener, but only time will tell. Contact in the final corner created complete chaos, with Tommy Adams and eight-time track champion Dave Darling now officially eliminated from the playoffs. Mike Brightman picked up his fourth win of the season in the process and catapulted his way to the favorite position, while Tom Scully Jr. isn’t far behind. Those two will have to hold off Colbey Fournier, Bobby Pelland III, Rick Martin and Mark Jenison if they want to win the title. Better yet, if they want to advance to the Final Four.
Late Model racing continued to shine last week, with Jacob “Rowdy” Burns grabbing another season win, using the outside lane to do it. Burns now seems to be on his game at the right time, but he’s going to have his work cut out for him this week to make the final four. Vinnie Arrenegado, Gerry DeGasparre Jr., Richie Murray, Mark Jenison and Chase Belcher will join him this week in the playoffs round two action.
After an early scare, Helger’s South Coast Power Equipment Sportsman favorite Chad Baxter rebounded for a top-five last week, advancing to round two. He’s got Craig Pianka, Ed Perry, Colby Lambert, Doug Benoit and Tyler Almeida hot on his tail heading into this week, with Benoit, Lambert and Almeida seemingly dark horses to make the final four. But, they made it this far, and could certainly make it there.
The Chaz Auto Body Sport Trucks may have had the quietest first round of the Sunoco Drive For The Cup, with Rick Martin rolling to a sixth win, advancing to the second round. Barry Shaw Jr., the defending champion of the division, joins Martin in the round of six and isn’t going to go out quietly. Mike Duarte, Brittany Campbell, Amy Arsenault and Jake Vanada are the remaining contenders. Who gets knocked out this week?
Fast Friday racing begins at 7 p.m., and NASCAR Saturday will begin a tick early this week at 5:30 p.m., starting with the Troy City Tactical Spectator Drags.
Tickets for all remaining events during the 2022 season are available now at SeekonkSpeedway.com, including for the upcoming final two rounds of the playoffs, the Pumpkin Smash Thrill Show and the Haunted Hundred.
For more information on Seekonk Speedway, visit SeekonkSpeedway.com and follow the track on Facebook for the latest updates.
Seekonk Speedway Features stories on the Stars and Cars that race at Seekonk Speedway