Even though she left early during the 2021 season to finish some of her education, Crystal Murray is coming back with a vengeance in 2022 in the Sport 4 division on Fast Friday. When the season begins on Friday, May 27, the driver of the No. 38 will be looking to capture the checkered flag, and it’s expected she will be a top contender throughout what will be another busy year for the division.
With a few of the drivers who contended for the title last year not planning to run full-time, the division should be open to some additional challengers, both for feature wins, and the battle for the championship. 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 drivers, to 4 drivers for the final race — who will be the one to become champion? 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?
Murray, who comes from a family with a steep history of winning, is no stranger to Victory Lane herself. She won multiple in a row in 2021, and could go on a similar role when the green flag drops this season. But who might be right on her bumper? Names like Karlin Levesque, Tyler Duhancik and Henry Lavallee are probably a few to watch.
All three are former winners in the division, with Levesque and Duhancik picking up feature wins last year. Levesque, in the familiar red No. 44, always has the speed to run inside the top-five, and has become consistent. Duhancik may have had a few mechanical failures along the way the last two years, but has come a long way behind the wheel and is always a threat to run at the front. Lavallee, who hasn’t won in many years, seemed to find his groove at the end of last year and should be ready to pounce come opening night.
Mikey LeFort and Dave Simpson Jr. both contended for the title on the final night last year, but it’s unclear how many races they are planning on running, with LeFort focusing on his son in the Bandolero division and Simpson registering to compete in a Chaz Auto Body Sport Truck on NASCAR Saturday at some point this year. If they do race in the Sport 4 class, look out for them to get to Victory Lane quickly.
Names like Samantha Mattera, Taylor Bowser, Daniel Hayes, Stephanie Bruneau, Christine Cavallaro and DJ Thibeault are also some of the registered competitors for the season. Mattera is a former winner, and the Boss Lady always seems to be in contention with speed when she hits the track. Bowser may have struggled last year, but she’s not going to let that slow her down in her road to try to make victory lane.
Look for newcomers to also enter the division looking to make their own mark. Names like Jacob Budzyna, Justin Leduc, James Sullivan, Ronald Gajdowski, Andrew Rittman-McLaughlin and Billman DeCosta should all be learning the ropes right from the first green flag.
The Everett’s Auto Parts Sport 4 season begins on Friday, May 27 with a 25-lap feature and will roll through Friday, September 23, where the champion will be crowned. Tickets for all Seekonk Speedway Fast Friday, NASCAR Saturday and Thrill Show events are available today at SeekonkSpeedway.com. Fans are encouraged to follow the track on social media for the latest updates and information.
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