The final division to crown its 2022 champion on the night of the DAV Fall Classic was the Pro Stock division, and 50 laps were allotted for the honors to be won between Mike Brightman, Tom Scully Jr., Mark Jenison, and Rick Martin.
Martin and Jenison had already had themselves a night to remember, both claiming championships earlier in the evening in the Sport Truck and Late Model divisions, respectively, but they were back for a double dose.
Scully was in it to win his second career Pro Stock title, and Brightman set out to become track champion again, having done so in 2005 in the Late Model division.
Brightman was the leader of the playoff drivers in the early running, but a miscue between him and Ryan Vanasse brought out the yellow with 24 laps complete and shuffled both drivers to the tail of the field. Just like that, Jenison was now the cream rising to the top of the playoff drivers with just half distance to go.
Colbey Fournier sat at the point while the battle for the championship raged on his outside and his rear bumper between Jenison and Scully for the next 25 laps. A late caution reracked the field for a five-lap shootout, and just like the Late Model race, Jenison had to make do with the outside.
Scully and Jenison see-sawed for the advantage as Fournier started breaking away for the win. Coming to the checkered, in near spitting-image fashion to the Late Model feature, Scully drove to the bottom underneath Jenison on the absolute edge, sliding up enough to barely tag Jenison to the outside.
“The hair stands on my neck as soon as you say that,” Jenison said when asked about the final turn. “I knew I had to try using the 16 (Fournier) as a pick. I was faster than the 16 and the 2 (Scully) was faster than him, but we’re not racing for the win. We’re racing for the championship. That’s why I rolled up on the outside to keep the 16 down, or else the 2 might be able to get by on the inside.”
This time, Jenison kept the handles on his hot rod, held his speed, and soared across the line ahead of Scully to collect the 2022 Pro Stock Championship.
“I thought for sure we were all gonna be in the wall,” said Jenison. “As soon as I corrected and I knew I hit the line first, I knew I had it… But if he put me in the wall, I never would have lifted. He woulda had to total me to take it from me.”
The moment marked Jenison’s second championship of the night, making him the first driver in the 77-year history of Seekonk Speedway to win two championships in the same season.
“It’s too unreal… still hard to believe.” Jenison said on attaining the feat. “It’s a tribute to the track, and an honor to be the first person to do it. There could be more people to do it. If I can do it from a rusted up, beat up Pro Stock, someone else can do it.”
Jenison had an outpouring of gratitude for track management and ownership in the wake of his two-championship winning weekend. “I can’t stop thanking Ed (St. Germain), Lenny (Ellis), Dave (Alburn), and the Venditti family for all they do to run this track and this season.”
It’s to be expected that Jenison will need some time to let the storybook weekend soak in, but that hasn’t stopped him from planning ahead.
“Coming back to compete in the Late Models is pretty definite, as well as the Pro Stocks,” Jenison commented on his 2023 racing plans. “We still need to figure out how much we’ll commit to one car or the other, but the only way to top two championships in one season is by going for three.”
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