It’s getting down to the time we have all been waiting for. The fields are almost set for September’s Sunoco Drive For The Cup for all divisions, both on Fast Friday and NASCAR Saturday. With just three races remaining for both nights, it’s going to get wild to decide who is in, and who is out.
On Fast Friday, most of the divisions have a tight battle to see who will advance. Let’s take a deeper look heading into the August 11 events at Seekonk Speedway.
The Seekonk Grand Prix Bandolero Bandit field has five contenders inside the top-five who feel safe heading for the final three weeks. In both Bandolero divisions, only six drivers will make it.
Nick Uhrig Jr., Sam Macedo, Parker Davis, Mike Hanafin and Mason Silva are going to advance to the playoffs as long as they show up to the track for the next three weeks.
Behind them, Ryder Aguiar currently holds the final spot over Carl Satterlund Jr. by 46 points. With drivers earning two points per position, and the field weekly around 10 or less cars in the Bandits, it looks like Satterlund’s chances of making it are slim.
Anything can happen, but it’s likely going to be Uhrig, Macedo, Davis, Hanafin, Silva and Aguiar battling for the championship in September.
Yet another feature win for Ryan Vanasse Jr. in the Seekonk Grand Prix Bandolero Outlaws all but guarantees him as the favorite heading into September’s playoff format. With Collin Vanasse, Bryson Robidoux, Brent Robidoux and Andrew Gomes following him in positions two through five, these drivers seem to be in good shape. Gomes holds an advantage of nearly 40 points ahead of the cutline. Expect these five to be locked in.
Zachary Keith jumped over Dylan Calabro after last week's 15-lap feature, now leading in the final spot by six points. Calabro hasn’t shown the consistency he will need to beat Keith straight out on the track, but that doesn’t mean something can’t change. With racing tight on the track, and two points per position, these drivers are now separated by just three spots going to the final three races.
RJ Murphy is next up in eighth, but is over 40 points out of sixth, and will likely need someone in front of him to really struggle to get his way into the battle.
Jarrod Freitas has three feature wins and will be all but locked into the Sport 4 playoffs as long as he takes the green this Friday night. Crystal Murray, the defending champion, and Henry Lavallee are second and third, along with Richie Johnson in fourth. These four drivers are in great shape to advance.
Taylor Bowser is in fifth, rather comfortable, 26 points ahead. Her consistency so far this season shows that she should be good when it comes to the cutline, but you never know.
From sixth on back, the races are on. Daniel Hayes and Christine Cavallaro are tied in sixth and seventh, with Mikey LeFort coming off another win last week and now in the final spot, eighth. Just outside, it’s tough to say what’s going to happen.
Justin Leduc is ninth and has shown quite the speed in the last few weeks, with a win and multiple podium finishes. He’s now just 22 points back of LeFort for the final spot.
However, it’s likely if Leduc is going to get in, he’s going to have to jump over Cavallaro or Hayes to do it. LeFort has been fast enough to get in with multiple wins and should do enough to get in. Hayes and Cavallaro are consistent in their finishes but if Leduc has three more podiums going into the end of August, he could get in.
Look out - this one is going to be tight. If you’re a betting person, put your money on LeFort staying in and Leduc finding his way in. But, anything can happen on the track - that’s why we race!
6 Daniel Hayes - 320 points
7 Christine Cavallaro - 320 points
8 Mikey LeFort - 318 points
9 Justin Leduc - 296 points
You can all but lock Scott Cestodio, Ethan Souza and Danny Massa into the playoffs in the Helger’s Pure Stocks. The lowest of them, Massa in third, is 80 points up on the cutline and very comfortable.
Sam Lincoln is fourth, and currently 48 points up. Mike Henriques is 36 ahead in fifth, while Jared Cordeira leads over the cutline by 30 points in the sixth position. With the way their seasons have gone and three races left, all six of these drivers should advance. But, we will see if the bad luck gremlins hit any of them.
In seventh spot is Timmy Ouellette, a one-time feature winner who also probably feels rather comfortable. He leads by 24 points over Greg Perry for the final spot. Perry, a former champion, scored his first win of the season last time out. He’s jumped into eighth and leads by 16 points now for the final spot over Don Courtemanche. Josh Badach fell further back last week in ninth and is likely out of contention.
Perry v.s Courtemanche looks like the battle going down the stretch. Perry seems to have found his groove lately, but can Courtemanche make a late push to get back in the top-eight?
7 Tim Ouellette - 332 points
8 Greg Perry - 308 points
9 Don Courtemanche - 292 points
The story in the Legends Cars looks to be all but sealed up for the top seven drivers. Jacob Burns, Isaiah Newcomb, Nicholaus Bulkeley, Richie Helger Jr., Mason Tessier, Brendan LaBelle and Josh Parsons currently hold the first seven events in the points standings and are more than comfortable. Parsons, in seventh, holds a lead of 44 points to the cutline.
Chase Silvia currently leads for the final spot, over his dad, Jimmy “Pepe” Silvia by 28 points. Chase has been impressive in his first Legends Cars season with consistent runs in and around the top-10. After a nasty wreck last week, he didn’t lose a ton of points, which is a good sign for him. Kevin Davis has snuck into the 10th spot and is 36 points back in the battle for the final spot. Is a three-week stretch enough for Davis to crawl his way into it?
Only time will tell.
8 Chase Silvia - 272 points
9 Jimmy Silvia - 244 points
10 Kevin Davis - 236 points
All five Fast Friday divisions return to the track on Friday, August 11 for another round of racing. Racing begins at 7 p.m. each and every Friday night, there are only seven remaining for the 2023 season. For more information on Seekonk Speedway, visit SeekonkSpeedway.com and follow the track on social media for the latest news and updates.
Seekonk Speedway Features stories on the Stars and Cars that race at Seekonk Speedway