The field for the second annual Sunoco Drive For The Cup at Seekonk Speedway is almost set on Fast Friday. With just two Fast Friday races remaining on the calendar, August 18 and 25, the field of six drivers in both Bandolero divisions and eight in all other classes will be set. The championships will be decided during the four-week playoff stretch in September.
With the cutline battles getting closer and closer, and time running out for drivers to find their way into the playoffs, let’s take a look at how the battles shape up across all five Fast Friday divisions.
The field for the Seekonk Grand Prix Bandolero Bandits, at least five of them, is pretty well set with two weeks left. Nick Uhrig Jr. picked up his second win of the season last Friday and leads defending champion Sam Macedo, Parker Davis, Mike Hanafin and Mason Silva in the top-five in the current standings.
Silva is ahead of the final playoff spot, sixth, by 40 points. In that sixth and final spot right now is Ryder Aguiar, who leads over Luka Dib by 38 points. With just two races left, and car counts hovering around 10 each week, if Aguiar simply finishes the next two races, he’s going to lock himself in.
The champion will likely be one of the following six: Uhrig-Macedo-Davis-Hanafin-Silva-Aguiar.
Ryan Vanasse Jr. has seven feature wins in the Seekonk Grand Prix Bandolero Outlaws and will advance to the playoffs. He’s likely to be joined by his cousin, Collin Vanasse, Bryson Robidoux, Andrew Gomes and Brent Robidoux.
Right now, Brent holds a lead of 46 points back to sixth, currently held by Zachary Keith. After a rough start to the 15-lap feature last week, Keith came back strong late and opened his gap ahead of Dylan Calabro, who is currently the first car out.
With two weeks left, Calabro is 14 points back. That’s seven positions on the track - so he is more than in striking distance. Mikey LeFort III is creeping up into the picture in eighth, but he’s 42 points back and will likely need some help if he wants to advance.
Just like we suspected in last week’s playoff outlook, the race for the final spot in the Sport 4 division is even tighter now heading into the final two weeks.
Jarrod Freitas, Henry Lavallee, Richie Johnson and Crystal Murray are all feeling more than comfortable and will advance to the playoffs. Murray will be looking to repeat as champion. Freitas, Johnson and Murray have all won so far this season as well and Lavallee has been very consistent.
Behind them, it’s a bit tighter. Taylor Bowser is fifth but opened her gap over the final spot and is now 46 points ahead. That’s nearly one race of points, so she’s feeling confident about advancing.
Mikey LeFort gained ground this past week and is now 18 points up in sixth, while Christine Cavallaro lost a bit of ground and is now seventh, just 10 points up. Daniel Hayes holds the eighth and final spot. He’s now just eight points ahead of Justin Leduc, who has one feature win and has been coming on strong lately.
As it looks right now, it’s likely going to be tough for Hayes to hold off Leduc to advance. But, can Hayes get ahead of Cavallaro or LeFort and leave them on the bubble? This one is going to be close!
6 Mikey LeFort - 360 points
7 Christine Cavallaro - 352 points
8 Daniel Hayes - 342 points
9 Justin Leduc - 334 points
HELGER’S PURE STOCKS
Ethan Souza, Scott Cestodio, Danny Massa, Mike Henriques and Sam Lincoln are all feeling confident in the top-five in the current points standings for the Helger’s Pure Stocks with two weeks left. Lincoln’s gap from fifth back to the final playoff spot, eighth, is 46 points.
It also looks like there is some more clarity around the bubble. Jared Cordeira won last week and is sixth, up by 34 points, with Timmy Ouellette also comfortably in seventh, 14 points ahead of the final spot. Greg Perry, who won for the first time this season two weeks ago, is currently in the final spot.
He opened his gap over Don Courtemanche to 30 points with two races left. Barring any issues for Perry or someone close ahead of him, it looks like the Pure Stock field might be all but set to go for the Sunoco Drive For The Cup.
7 Timmy Ouellette - 368 points
8 Greg Perry - 354 points
9 Don Courtemanche - 324 points
NICK’S PIT STOP LEGENDS CARS
With the wildness we have seen in the last few months in the Nick’s Pit Stop Legends Cars, picking a champion in this division is going to be hard. But, with two weeks left in the regular season, it looks like the field of eight here is also all but set.
Jacob Burns leads Isaiah Newcomb, Nicholaus Bulkeley, Richie Helger Jr. and Mason Tessier in the top-five in the points. All of these drivers are essentially locked in if they start both remaining regular season races, with Tessier currently 70 points ahead of the cutline.
Brendan LaBelle is only eight behind Tessier, and 62 up on the rest of the field in sixth, while Josh Parsons had a tough week last week in seventh, but is still ahead by 30 points.
Chase Silvia holds the final spot and opened his gap over his father, Jimmy Silvia. Actually, Kevin Davis jumped ahead of Jimmy and is now in ninth, the first car out. Chase Silvia leads Davis by 26 points. Can Davis close that gap in the final two? It's possible. Watch for this battle down to the final laps!
Seekonk Speedway’s regular season concludes for Fast Friday divisions on Friday, August 18 and Friday, August 25. The events on August 18 will include the Triple Crown finale events for all five Friday divisions.
To purchase tickets to all remaining 2023 events and find out more information, visit SeekonkSpeedway.com. Don’t forget to also follow the track on social media for the latest news and updates.
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