Barry Shaw Jr. made it clear that 2021 was going to be his year in the Seekonk Speedway Chaz’s Auto Body NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Sport Trucks. But, will 2022 be much of the same? It could be.
But it might not be.
Let the games begin and the questions be answered!
Seekonk Speedway welcomes back Chaz’s Auto Body, located in Attleboro, Massachusetts, as the division sponsor in 2022. For more information on Chaz’s Auto Body, give them a call at 508-223-2429.
The Chaz Auto Body Sport Truck season is sure to be one of multiple different winners, a strong contingent of playoff drivers, and a toss up in the championship race. As Seekonk introduces the playoff system — the Drive 4 For The Cup — including three races in September, where the field will be cut from 8 drivers, to 6, down to the final 4 — the Sport Trucks could be the one NASCAR Saturday division where things are the most wide open. In that final championship race, the driver that bests the other three in the feature will be the champion. The question is: who will make it there?
Shaw is clearly the favorite. Coming off a 2021 season where he dominated the division, winning countless times and rolling to the championship, there are no signs of the Everett’s Auto Parts No. 85 slowing down. He started last year with a new truck, and while they figured it out over the course of the year, he could come out of the gate even better after a full offseason of work.
But, look out for the contingent coming behind him: Brittany Campbell, Amy Arsenault, Rich Martin, Jake Vanada, Mike Duarte, Lenny Guy and Mike Cavallaro. And that’s just the beginning of it.
Campbell and Arsenault, two of the top female contenders at Seekonk Speedway, are threats to make the playoffs and get into the final four. Campbell is a former multiple-time Sport Truck winner, while Arsenault grabbed her first trophy last year, and both finished inside the top-five in the point standings. Does a new playoff system fit the both of them best? Both are consistent and should make the top-8 — and once they get there — a championship could be in reach.
How about Radical Rick Martin? Set to compete in a brand new truck for the 2022 season, Martin is no stranger to winning, whether it’s in the Pro Stocks, or Sport Trucks. Coming off a season where he was competitive in his older Truck, a fresh machine and a smart mind should have Martin one of the top contenders right from the first green flag.
How about Jake Vanada? As one of Seekonk’s competitors in multiple different divisions over the years, Vanada has experience from the Sport Trucks, to the Late Models, to the Pro Stocks and back. Last year, Vanada debuted his new truck, late in the season, and rocketed to Victory Lane in the season-finale. With a bit of preseason testing, is Jake one of the drivers who can blast into the Final 4 to be in contention for the championship?
Duarte, Guy and Cavallaro all have different backgrounds. And two of them have a newer-style Truck. Duarte also had one built over the winter, and while it might not be up to full speed right from his first laps, the former division champion should be a threat once they get rolling. Cavallaro, a former multiple-time champion, debuted his new Truck in the middle of last year and went to Victory Lane. Like some others, after an offseason of work, this former champion will be come out of the gate strong. Guy, who has been around the Truck division for what seems like an endless amount of years, still has old faithful — but he found some speed in the second half of last year, and has plenty of veteran experience on his side.
Darryl Church debuted his own new Truck at the end of last year, and will be back, along with some newcomers to the division who have registered for 2022. Tim Bolger Jr. has filed an entry, set to move from the Fast Friday Sport 4’s in the Sport Trucks on NASCAR Saturday, while Tom Scully III has registered, looking to keep the Scully name rolling in the Sport Trucks now. Look out for Dave Simpson Jr., who finished second in the Sport 4 championship battle last year, to knock on the door of his first win after he gets his feet wet.
Additional names to watch: Anastasia Lebrun, Elias Dib and Ethan Heilborn. How about Kenneth Lavallee? Rick Albernaz? Daniel McGee? Marissa Morgan? Danny Thibeault? Will any of these drivers be in contention for the playoffs or feature wins? Only time will tell.
And, don’t look now, but will Dave Darling be making a return to the Sport Truck division after so many years away? His father, Wayne, has registered the 52 for battle, a brand new Truck. Who will drive? Will they compete for the title? Only time will tell.
The Sport Trucks will have regular 25 lap feature races, along with the three events in the Everett’s Auto Parts Triple Crown Series, set for 35 laps each.
The Sport Truck season opens on Sunday, May 1 at 2PM, along with the other three Seekonk Speedway NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Racing Series divisions. Tickets are available in advance online at SeekonkSpeedway.com and will also be available at the gate on race day.
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