Save the Date!
Summer 2023 is already heating up as Seekonk Speedway is excited to announce the return of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour!
NASCAR’s Mighty Modifieds 🏁 make a return to the 1/3 mile Massachusetts oval on Saturday June 10 2023. Stay tuned for more info and special Pre Holiday Ticket release info!
The 2022 season might be just ending but 2023 is already heating up 🔥
The Pro Stocks capped off an incredible night of championship racing with 50 laps of their own, with Mike Brightman, Tom Scully Jr., Mark Jension and Rick Martin all in the hunt to reign victorious over the division. By this point, both Martin and Jenison were going for their second championship of the night.
The field settled into a groove early, knowing time was on their side with the extra distance. Brightman was first in the line of playoff drivers until he and Ryan Vanasse got together on Lap 24, sending both drivers to the rear. This shuffled Jenison to the front of the playoff drivers, putting him on the outside of Colbey Fournier on the front row on the following restart.
Scully was inline behind Fournier, working desperately to move by Jenison on the outside off the restart. Jenison managed to get in line behind Fournier, shutting the door on Scully, and would go on to play defense against Scully for several laps as they ran nose-to-tail.
A final restart with five laps to go set up a similar situation, putting Fourner right in the middle of the championship battle between Jenison and Scully. Fournier had the lead, and Jenison on the outside worked to keep his nose ahead of Scully’s who rode in line behind Fournier.
Coming to the checkered, Fournier broke away, but Scully and Jenison both slid sideways, pushing their American Racer tires to the bitter edge. By .1 seconds at the line, Jenison had the edge, becoming the 2022 Pro Stock champion, taking down his second championship of the night.
At the line, Fournier took down the win, followed by Jenison, Scully, Bobby Pelland III, and Dave Darling to round out the top five. Brightman crossed in sixth with Martin behind in seventh.
#NASCAR #NWAAPS #TRACKCHAMPION #SEEKONKSPEEDWAY #DAVFALLCLASSIC #SUNOCODRIVE4THECUP #CHAMPION
MARK JENISON SURVIVES LAST LAP BATTLE TO WIN LATE MODEL DAV FALL CLASSIC AND CAPTURE TRACK CHAMPIONSHIP
The Late Models were given 40 laps to duke it out on Seekonk’s high banks, and Gerry Degasparre Jr., Mark Jenison, Richie Murray, and Chase Belcher all entered with championship aspirations.
The four playoff drivers wasted no time picking their way forward from mid-pack, and by Lap 21, Jenison had made his way to the front to challenge Corey Fanning for the lead, bringing Belcher right through the field with him.
A Lap 22 caution gave the field a chance to reset, and off the restart, Jenison cruised around Fanning’s outside to become the new leader. One more caution washed over the field, but not before Murray and DeGasparre worked their way into the third and fourth spots, hot on the heels of Belcher and Jenison.
The four playoff drivers started door-to-door, nose-to-tail on the final restart, and Belcher was able to gain inside position on Jenison shortly after the green flag waved. Jenison drew closer and closer around Belcher’s outside as the season championship hung in the balance.
Rounding Turn 4 for the final time, Belcher and Jenison collided in spectacular fashion, sending Jenison sliding down the wall on the driver’s side of his late model, fused with Belcher as they crossed the finish line, Belcher having the edge by .07 seconds. Race control determined that Belcher would need to be penalized for causing the contact in the final turn, meaning that Mark Jenison was both the race winner and the 2022 Late Model Champion.
Richie Murray came home second, followed by Gerry DeGasparre Jr. in third. Luke Lebrun and Jacob Burns rounded out the top five.
#NASCAR #NWAAPS #TRACKCHAMPION #SEEKONKSPEEDWAY #DAVFALLCLASSIC #SUNOCODRIVE4THECUP #CHAMPION
RYAN LINEHAM WINS DAV FALL CLASSIC AND CRAIG PIANKA TAKES HOME THE CHAMPIONSHIP IN THE HELGER’S SOUTH COAST POWER EQUIPMENT SPORTSMAN
HELGER’S SOUTH COAST POWER EQUIPMENT SPORTSMANS
The Helger’s South Coast Power Equipment Sportsmans took to the third-mile for the final time in 2022, and 35 laps were afforded to settle the championship between Chad Baxter, Craig Pianka, Ed Perry, and Colby Lambert.
Perry was first in line out of the four playoff drivers for much of the first half of the feature, but a couple of mid-race restarts played into Baxter’s favor. Baxter restarted on the inside in seventh with half distance to go, while Perry restarted on the outside in sixth and stalled out slightly. Lambert and Pianka were chasing closely just off their tail.
A late-race restart bunched the field up one more time, putting all four playoff drivers in a line on the inside from rows two to five. Baxter was first in the line, but hard battling with Scott Serydynski Jr. off the restart ended up putting Baxter on the high side.
As laps wound down, Pianka had driven past his playoff counterparts to put himself in a position to claim the championship for his own. Diving into Turn 3 for the final time, Pianka sent his No. 4 machine down the inside of Serydynski, needing to pass Baxter who was on the outside for the title, and Pianka made the two-for-one move stick to become champion of the 2022 Helger’s South Coast Power Equipment Sportsman division.
At the line, Ryan Lineham took down the feature win, Serydynski Jr. second, Pianka third, with Baxter and Adam Pettey fourth and fifth. Lambert crossed sixth and Perry came home eighth.
#NASCAR #NWAAPS #TRACKCHAMPION #SEEKONKSPEEDWAY #DAVFALLCLASSIC #SUNOCODRIVE4THECUP #CHAMPION
Driving Double Duty
For some drivers, coming to the track to compete in just one race isn’t enough to quench their thirst for speed. The way they solve that? Bring two race cars, run in two races.
Out of the teams that doubled down on racing efforts in 2022, two drivers in particular have managed to piece together championship-contending seasons in not one, but BOTH of their divisions.
Let’s learn about these double-duty drivers, the success they had in 2022, and what lies ahead for them on championship weekend.
“RADICAL” RICK MARTIN
Almost no other name is as synonymous with Seekonk Speedway as Rick Martin’s. In 2022, he is dominating the airwaves yet again. With championship weekend upon us, Rick Martin is gearing up to contend for his sixth and seventh career track titles. He’ll be looking to outrun the rest of the Final Four in the third round of the Sunoco Drive for the Cup in both the Chaz’s Auto Body Sport Truck division and the Pro Stock division. Here’s how he got here.
In the Sport Truck division, Martin has amassed seven wins, accounting for just under half of the races run this season. Two of his victories have come in the past two weeks, with Martin topping the field in both the first and second rounds in the Drive for the Cup. This playoff-time win streak reinforces Martin’s status as the odds-on favorite to be named champion on Saturday.
Claiming the title won’t be a walkover though, as challengers Barry Shaw, Mike Duarte, and Brittany Campbell could prove tough to beat. All three drivers have made it to victory lane at least once this season, showing they have what it takes to win while sharing the track with the seven-time winner. Martin is one win away from sweeping the Sunoco Drive for the Cup and adding yet another track title to his illustrious career, but the rest of the Final Four could have another thing coming for “The Radical One”.
In the Pro Stock Division, Martin’s journey to the playoffs has been far less smooth compared to the Sport Trucks. By the end of July, Martin was actually on the outside looking in from the playoff cutoff. In August however, Martin broke into the top eight, and managed a slim point margin over Kenny Spencer to clinch the eighth and final spot in the Drive for the Cup, yet still winless in his Pro Stock.
So far in the playoffs, Martin still has not shown the same dominant force as is customary with his Sport Truck. Being the beneficiary of some late race calamity in both rounds of the Pro Stock playoffs, Marin has managed to scrape through by running his race and staying out of harm's way. His reward: a shot to win the Pro Stock title in 2022. His challenge: Besting 2022 feature-winners Mike Brightman, Tom Scully Jr. and Mark Jenison.
Mark Jenison has been racing in the area long enough to establish his name as a familiar one in the scene. Despite spending more than twenty years at the wheel, he’s not yet been able to claim the elusive “champion” status on his resume. This season, he has two chances to change that, as he takes a shot at both the Late Model championship and the Pro Stock Championship this Saturday.
In the Late Model division, Jenision floated up and down the points standings above the cut line for the playoffs. Reaching as high as second and dipping as low as eighth, Jenison leveled out to claim the fourth seed when it was time to go playoff racing. The highlight of Jenison’s Late Model season came in mid-August, when he battled youngster Connor Souza lap after lap, edging out Souza by a stunning .009 seconds on the outside.
Jenison is fresh off another win, wielding some serious momentum rolling into Round Three of the Drive for the Cup. Once Jenison got around Josh Hedges for the lead last Saturday, he didn’t look back, displaying some serious speed. Playoff counterparts Gerry DeGasparre Jr., Richie Murray, and Chase Belcher will be needing to nail their setup to keep up if Jenison is to throw down the same pace on championship night as he did one week ago.
Jenison’s Pro Stock campaign played out in a similar fashion. His swings in the points standings were not as ranging, and ultimately settled into third place by the end of the regular season. The jewel in Jenison’s Pro Stock season came back on June 11 with a decisive win, gapping the next closest driver by nearly four seconds at the line.
Since then, Jenison has been solid, notching a few more top-five finishes, and a couple of second-place finishes to boot. Most notably, last week Jenison was the only driver able to give chase to leader and eventual race-winner Dave Darling. It shouldn’t be understated how quick you have to be to keep up with Darling on a clear track. Jenison’s second-place performance surely reminded the field that if he can get out front and stay ahead of the fray early in the running, he might just have what it takes to best the likes of Mike Brightman, Tom Scully Jr., and Rick Martin the second week in a row, and finally claim that long-awaited championship.
Chase that Checkerd Flag….
Seekonk Speedway has never seen a driver remain in the running for two separate championships until the final weekend. This year, we have TWO of them. If you’re a fan of history, there’s a chance for some to unfold on the high banks of the third-mile this weekend.
For that reason alone, be sure to experience this unprecedented scenario for yourself by joining us when we go green for the final time this season on September 24 at 6:00PM.
For tickets and more information on Seekonk Speedway, visit seekonkspeedway.com.
By Sam Tully
Those familiar with the sport of racing know all too well how common it is for entire families to gear up and commit to the lifestyle to find success on track. Their efforts culminate to give one driver - the chosen one out of the family - the opportunity to carry the torch as the wheelman or wheelwoman week in and week out.
In the Seekonk Speedway community, it’s not uncommon for multiple family members to take to the track over the course of a race weekend. What is uncommon is something that is unfolding right before our eyes as we head into Championship Weekend: three sets of family members all vying for championships in the first ever Sunoco Drive for the Cup Championship Weekend.
Let’s take a look at the drivers who clearly have speed running in the family tree, and are one step away from being crowned champion in 2022.
LAMBERT BROS RACING
Colby and Jeremey Lambert take to the track every Friday and Saturday evening throughout the summer, supporting each other on their respective race days, and all the hard work has paid off.
Colby Lambert, the eldest of the two, has been racing for several years at Seekonk, and knows what it takes to win a championship, having scored a title in Friday’s Pure Stock division back in 2017. Colby has stepped up in recent seasons to Saturday’s Sportsman Division. This year, he currently sits fourth in the overall points, and will be laying it all on the line to be crowned champion this Saturday night.
Jeremey is taking a similar path as his brother, getting his feet wet in Friday night’s Pure Stock division. Proving that both brother’s have the speed gene, Jeremey has clinched a spot in the Third round, where he’ll attempt to get the Lambert family name back into the hall of Pure Stock champions yet again in 2022.
Should Colby and Jeremey both best their fellow championship challengers this weekend, it would be the first time in history that two brothers would be crowned champion in two separate divisions in the same season at Seekonk Speedway.
For Colby to have success, he needs to beat out reigning champion and seven-time feature winner Chad Baxter, as well as other multi-race winner Craig Pianka and Ed Perry. This matchup paints Colby as a bit of a dark horse in the final round, but look for him to break through and double his championship count when the Sportmans hit the track on Saturday.
For Jeremey to take the championship, he’ll need to top Danny Massa, Sam Lincoln and Mike Henriques - all of which have never won a championship before. The Pure Stock Championship is very much up for grabs this Friday, and look for Jeremey to join his brother in the ranks of Pure Stock greatness.
The Murray family name has been known for decades around the third-mile oval. In recent years, it’s been sister-brother duo Crystal and Richie Murray carrying the family torch.
Crystal has been a fixture in the last couple of seasons in Saturday’s Sport 4 division. In 2021, the season title was arguably hers for the taking, yet stepped aside prioritize her education once the school year started back up in September. This year, no school, no problem for Crystal. She leads her division in both points and wins (4).
Fresh off a win last week, Crystal is showing no sign of letting up, and will prove tough to
catch for challengers Tyler Duhancik, Jarrod Freitas and Henry LeVallee on Friday evening.
Richie has shown great speed and toughness over the course of his sophomore season in Saturday’s Late Model division. The year started off with a bang, taking down the win on opening day back on May 1. Since then, Richie has been biding his time until the playoffs, showcasing some incredible multi-wide racing numerous times, contributing significantly to what has been a truly dazzling season for the Late Models.
Richie will need to stay tough and quick if he’s to claim the season title Saturday night, as the competition he’s up against are no small potatoes. Standing in Richie’s way are six-time Late Model champ Gerry DeGasparre Jr., seasoned veteran and two-time 2022 feature winner, Mark Jenison, and 2015 Sport Truck champion Chase Belcher. Look for Richie to outperform the tsunami of success experience he’s up against as the 18-year old straps in on Saturday night.
Should Crystal and Richie both emerge victorious, they would mark the first sibling pair ever to win championship in the same season in the history of the speedway.
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.
NASCAR Saturday's Drive for The Cup Update - Championship Contenders Locked In For Final Four Weekend
By Sam Tully
SEEKONK, Mass. -- NASCAR Saturday roared to life for the penultimate round of the 2022 season, and the task at hand was slimming down the six remaining playoff drivers in each division down to just four final championship contenders.
Let’s dive into Turn 1 of this week’s update, and take a look at who’s in and who’s out of the Sunoco Drive for the Cup.
CHAZ’S AUTO BODY SPORT TRUCKS
The Sport Trucks filed into the track for their second round of the Sunoco Drive for the Cup playoffs, and it did not take long at all for trouble to find one of the playoff drivers.
Diving into Turn 1 for the first time, Jake Vanada and Amy Arsenault got crossed up, sending Vanada around, making contact with Ken Lavallee as well, and blowing a tire in the process. Things were already off to a rough start for Vanada. He headed pit side for a new tire and with it a new chance at life in the playoffs.
At the front of the field, you had Barry Shaw, Mike Duarte, Rick Martin, and Brittany Campbell all battling each other for position as they made their way through the front of the field. Seven more laps were completed, with three cautions sprinkled throughout for spins and stalls. The third was caused by a spinning Arsenault, who joined Vanada towards the rear of the field - both drivers on the outside looking in by a wide margin.
Off the next restart, Shaw made haste toward the lead, passing Tom Scully III for the top spot by Lap 10. Martin followed through closely behind.
Meanwhile, a couple cars back, Campbell and Duarte raced with each other, desperate to move by a stout Ethan Heilborn to keep distance from a charging Vanada. Duarte led the way on the outside, and Campbell looked to follow, but the field was given reprieve when none other than Vanada and Rick Albernaz tangled into Turn 1. Vanada was not sent to the rear with Albernaz, but his No.29 truck did not need the contact.
The field lined up to restart for the final time with 14 to go, and Shaw and Martin sped off to continue exchanging blows for the lead. Further back, Duarte showed the way early for Campbell, but by Lap 22, Campbell made the pass on Duarte, and no better time to do it as Arsenault had crept back into the mix and was now bearing down on Duarte for the final transfer spot!
Laps ticked down and Arsenault pulled up on the inside of Duarte - the final transfer spot was her’s for the taking! But with a lap and a half to go, Arsenault let slip the reins of her No. 9 machine and scrubbed speed, allowing Campbell and Duarte to run off with the final two transfer spots. Arsenault now sat in the drop zone with Vanada, and with next to no time to recoup their losses, remained their at the checkered.
Half a lap ahead, Shaw and Martin were clear locks for the Final Four, but this didn’t stop the pair from putting on a show. Coming to the checkered off Turn 4, Martin pulled around the outside, passing Shaw at the line in stunning fashion, making it his seventh Sport Truck win of the season.
HELGER’S SOUTH COAST POWER EQUIPMENT SPORTSMAN DIVISION
The Sportsmans set out for their 30-lap feature, and six playoff drivers would become four in the process.
The drivers clicked off many laps early on with just one interruption coming at the hand of playoff driver Doug Benoit, who spun on Lap 4. Benoit began driving his way back through the field, but faced mechanical issues that forced an early exit, extinguishing his playoff hopes after just nine laps.
Chad Baxter led the way for the playoff drivers during the 18-lap green-flag run, working up to as high as fifth position. Just behind him, Ed Perry, Craig Pianka and Colbey Lambert all traded punches to keep themselves as far from the drop zone as possible. Tyler Almeida was the early inheritor of the chopping block and drove urgently to keep his playoff challengers within reach.
Yellow flag waved on Lap 22 for a turned-around Caleb Marcou, giving the field a chance to catch their breath for the final eight-lap sprint.
With the field crossed over, the battle resumed, and Baxter, Perry, Pianka, Lambert, and Almeida all shuffled in order down to the bottom lane, each driver doing whatever it took to not be the last driver in that line. Baxter worked his way up to second place, distancing himself from his playoff foes. Yellow flag unfurled for the last time on Lap 28 for a spinning Sam Lincoln setting up for a Green White Checkered finish.
Baxter lined up outside of the front row alongside Adam Pettey, who had led every lap of the race up to this point. The rest of the playoff drivers sat a couple rows back, with Perry in sixth, and Pianka, Lambert, and Almeida all in succession.
Green flag soared and Baxter applied the pressure to Pettey, but came up short, as Pettey claimed his first win of the season. Behind them, Perry showed off the moves of a true wheelman with a three-wide dive down the middle of Scott Serydynski Jr. and Chris Rioux, and one lap later, a clutch save avoiding a spin - and ultimately saving his playoff run - by going full opposite lock and matting the throttle off Turn 2. Perry and Lambert claimed transfer spots crossing the line in fifth and sixth overall, and Craig Pianka crossed ninth, owning the fourth and final transfer spot. Almeida tailed Pianka but just under .3 seconds at the checkered, but the difference was enough to bring his playoff run to an end.
The Late Models gridded up for the second feature of the night, ahead of what was sure to be a fierce battle between six playoff drivers vying for the Final Four.
Mark Jenison started furthest forward out of the six playoff hopefuls in fifth, and spooled to life early as he diced his way to the point, challenging and overtaking Josh Hedges for the lead by Lap 10. Jenison’s car was hooked up perfectly and cruised on to lead the next 25 laps, clinching both the win and the firth berth into Round Three of the Drive for the Cup.
Deeper in the pack however, things were a bit trickier for the rest of the playoff drivers. Vinnie Arrenegado came under fire early from the likes of Gerry DeGasparre Jr., Reese Bogue, and Richie Murray. DeGasparre worked his way through first, as Murray took Arrenegado and Bogue three wide. Murray pulled off the two-for-one cleanly and continued on to chase down DeGasparre for the number two transfer spot. Arrenegado got stuck on the outside, causing him to fade further and further back. In one turn, Arrenegado went from the last car into the second car out of the playoffs due to Chase Belcher and Jacob Burns flashing by on the inside.
As the lap counter climbed higher, the field began to spread thin. Murray worked his way past DeGasparre after several laps of hot pursuit. DeGasparre struggled to march forward, allowing Belcher and Burns to loom large in his rear view mirror. Belcher sized up the No. 71 off his front bumper, and managed his way on the inside by Lap 26. DeGasparre now sat on the threshold of elimination with Burns now bearing down. The door looked wide open for Burns to sneak through as Belcher worked on by, but Gerry shut the door decisively, denying Rowdy the final transfer spot!
That moment would be the last real shot Burns had at stealing his way into Round Three, as DeGasparre managed to outpace Burn by about a carlength gap for the next eight laps to the checkered. Burns joined Arrenegado in the drop zone, putting an end to both their championship hopes. Gerry D will join Belcher, Murray, and Jenison in the final showdown for the championship in Round Three.
The Pro Stocks rolled out on stage for their 45-lapper to wrap up the night of action, and for the second week in a row, the deciding factor on who made the cutoff to continue their playoff journey came right down to the wire.
The cars strung out single-file quickly, and before long, Colbey Fournier and Tom Scully Jr. had their horns locked for the final transfer spot. Scully played the patience game, waiting for the perfect time to strike, which he decided was on Lap 14 down the inside into Turn 1, and completed the pass on the next lap. Despite the battling, Scully and Fournier were both able to catch up to Mike Brightman and Bobby Pelland III, who held the next two transfer spots. Meanwhile, Mark Jenison was busy chasing down leader Dave Darling all night, but had the top transfer spot to himself all night long.
Scully’s No. 2 machine seemed to get faster and faster, and on Lap 29 made a pass on Pelland for a little breathing room from the bubble, and Fournier was right in line to shuffle Pelland right out of the transfer spots all together momentarily!
Pelland didn’t give up that easy however, attempting a strong crossover move which drew him alongside Fournier’s No. 16. After a couple laps of door-to-door racing between the two, Pelland lost the handles on his pro stock and was sent spinning down the back straight! Caution was deployed, and now Pelland had to start at the tail of the field. Meanwhile, Rick Martin, who had been fading back and out of the running, welcomed the opportunity to bunch back up to the pack of playoff challengers.
With 12 laps remaining at the restart, the playoff drivers scrambled to stay out of the drop zone, and Brightman got booted to the outside and began fading back into the jaws of Martin. Within a couple of laps, Brightman and Martin got locked together going into Turn 3, and pretty much stayed fused together all the way into Turn 1, with Brightman eventually sliding out. Caution again, Brightman to the rear with just four laps remaining, joining Pelland on the outside looking in.
The next caution came almost immediately, brought on by Scully and Fournier getting crossed up, with Fournier smacking the wall on the front stretch, damaging his rig enough to simultaneously end his race and his playoff run. That one lap however was all Brightman needed to pass his way past Pelland. That move, combined with Fournier’s exit, had now put Brightman back in line for a shot at the Final Four.
With just three to go, Pelland had three more circuits to save his shot at the Cup. He gave it his all unwinding from Turn 4, pulling right up alongside Brightman… and at the line….. Brightman! By a margin of .05 seconds, Mike Brightman had secured the fourth and final playoff spot, joining Jenison, Scully, and Martin in the final Round of the Drive for the Cup.
After five months of racing, it all comes down to just one night. Saturday, September 24 will be a night to remember as four drivers in each division square off for the last time in 2022 with just one goal in mind: hoisting the Cup.
Call the babysitter, reschedule your dinner plans, do whatever you must to make sure you get down to the Action Track of the East when we go green for the final time at 6:00PM, Saturday, September 24. You definitely don’t 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. — Mark Jenison wasted little time getting to the front in the Late Models on Saturday night. The driver of the No. 22 started fourth, but quickly raced to second and passed Josh Hedges on the outside for the lead. From there, Jenison drove away into the sunset in a race that didn’t see any caution flags in the final laps.
While Jenison drove away, Hedges settled for the runner-up spot, his second straight effort inside the podium to wrap the season. Richie Murray joined Jenison in the Sunoco Drive For The Cup Final Four, as the No. 08 rolled off in eighth, worked the bottom, and finished third to advance.
Luke Lebrun finished in fourth, just ahead of Chase Belcher and Gerry DeGasparre Jr. — the final two drivers who will join Jenison and Murray to race for the championship next week. Jacob Burns and Vinnie Arrenegado were the two eliminated from the playoffs, finishing in seventh and ninth in the 35-lap race.
The final race of the Late Model season will take place on Saturday, September 24 at 6 p.m. For more information on Seekonk Speedway, visit SeekonkSpeedway.com and follow the track on social media for the latest updates.
Seekonk Speedway Features stories on the Stars and Cars that race at Seekonk Speedway