The month of July concludes this weekend at Seekonk Speedway with both Fast Friday and NASCAR Saturday back on the track.
The NASCAR divisions battle is on towards the Sunoco Drive For The Cup in September, with the top-eight drivers in each division at the end of August set to battle for the championship in September.
Let’s take a look at the current standings with who is close to being in, or out, heading into the end of July.
The Pro Stocks only have three scheduled events left before the playoffs, and all of them are in August. The Pro All Star Series will be in town this Saturday, July 29, giving the Pro Stocks the night off. That means only three more times to get inside the top-eight if you’re out right now.
Dylan Estrella and David Darling lead the standings, with Mike Brightman not far behind. The big question here is will Darling run anymore races? He was only planning a part-time schedule for extra-distance events. Darling likely will be back for the Triple Crown finale on August 12 to chase that title, but will he come back on August 19 and August 26 for regular events? If he doesn’t, that will shake things up, as he likely would fall out of the top-eight. Or does his current 50-point gap feel comfortable? Tough one to say right now!
Defending champion Mark Jenison is fourth, with Rick Martin fifth and Bobby Pelland only one point behind him in sixth. Dick Benoit is seventh, 14 points ahead of Tom Scully Jr., who holds the final spot right now.
It’s Rookie contender Mike Rotondo the first driver out by 13 points in ninth and Kevin Casper behind by 33 points. The big losers last week were Kenny Spencer and Colbey Fournier, who sit 13th and 15th now after missing the race due to damages from the race prior. Even if they come back for the next points race in August, they are going to have trouble getting back in the top-eight with not many races left to go.
The story here is going to be whether or not Darling runs the two races at the end of August — and even if he doesn’t — can someone knock him out?
Jacob Burns, Luke LeBrun, Vinnie Arrenegado and defending champion Mark Jenison lead the Late Model standings and appear comfortable heading for the stretch run and the final four events before the playoffs. All but Jenison has won multiple times this season.
Chase Belcher isn’t far behind in fifth and leads over the cut by over 50 points, so he looks good.
Charlie Rose is sixth, with a 23 point lead on the cut, while Bill Goodrow is just one point ahead of Tyler Tomassi, who holds the final spot.
Richie Murray is just outside, but just seven points back after missing one event. Connor Souza is 10th right now, only 15 points back of Tomassi. Scott Serydynski Jr. isn’t far behind either in 11th, just 20 points from the cut.
If the season shakes out the way it has been going, looks like the top-six are comfortable and everyone from Goodrow to Serydynski is battling for the final two spots.
Look out - the Late Models are bringing this right down to the final laps before deciding who is in and out!
Off his recent win, Adam Pettey is comfortably at the top of the Sportsman standings. He’s ahead of former champions Chad Baxter and Steve Axon, who also seem comfortable. Colby Lambert and defending champion Craig Pianka are fourth and fifth. Barring trouble, these five will advance to the playoffs.
Randy Moretti is sixth with one win, and is ahead of the final spot by 28 points. Ryan Lineham is seventh, but only three points up on Don Perry for the final spot. Jimmy “Pepe “Silvia is first driver out, 17 points back with Tyler Almeida 21 points out and Ed Perry 23 out. As of now, it looks like it might be a race between 11 drivers for eight spots.
Buckle up, one of the most exciting divisions in New England is sure to make this one tight!
Like the other divisions, it seems the Sport Trucks have some drivers at the top who should feel good. Rick Martin, the defending champion, just picked up his first season win and leads Brittany Campbell and Jake Vanada, two drivers who have two wins on the season.
Mike Duarte, without a win, is comfortably in fourth. Amy Arsenault is fifth with Darryl Church sixth. Church right now is 20 points up on the final spot. Mike Cavallaro is on a hot streak with a win and a second in his last two races and is just 14 points up on Bobby Tripp, who holds the final spot.
Tripp leads Tom Scully III by just 17 points, but did extend his gap this past week.
Looks like Scully III and Tripp may battle for the final spot, unless someone behind them can find some extra speed in the final five weeks to make a push.
You are not going to want to miss the final four NASCAR Saturday’s before the Sunoco Drive For The Cup begins in September. And if Mother Nature steps in at any point, the number of races will dwindle even more. Drivers will be up on the wheel!
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