SEEKONK, Mass. -- The long offseason wait is over, race fans. This weekend, Seekonk Speedway roars back to life with NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Racing Series action — including four divisions — with NASCAR Opening Day on Sunday, May 1 at 2 p.m. As part of the weekend, Saturday, April 30 includes one final test and tune practice session for NASCAR teams and the return of the annual Custom Car Show after a few years off.
NASCAR divisions will rumble to the track in their first race of a busy 2022 schedule — one that includes the inaugural Seekonk Speedway Drive 4 For The Cup playoff system. The Playoff system will include three races — during the month of September — where NASCAR fields will be cut from eight drivers, to six, to four. On championship finale weekend — September 24 — as part of the Fall Classic — each of the four NASCAR divisions will crown a champion. In the racing that day, there will be four eligible drivers in each class who can win the crown. The one that beats the other three on the track in that feature will become the 76th season champion for their division.
The playoff system should keep fans engaged throughout the entire season and will keep drivers trying to figure out the strategy right down to the final laps. With teams looking to find every advantage they can on the track, all they need to do now is figure out how to be in the top eight cars in the point standings at the end of August. Once they are there, anyone can win.
That is why every single race, and every single lap, matters in 2022.
“We’re excited to get rolling — glad the offseason is in the books,” Ed St. Germain, Director of Business Development at Seekonk Speedway, said. “We are especially excited to watch the first laps of the NASCAR Saturday season with our traditional Sunday opening day and the weather is looking great. The Car Show on Saturday is always a major hit and after a few years off due to COVID we are excited to bring that back. Make sure to buy your tickets today for all of our events so you don’t miss the side-by-side racing from some of your favorite drivers at Seekonk Speedway.”
All tickets are available at SeekonkSpeedway.com for the entire season. Tickets will also be sold at the gate for each event.
Defending NASCAR Saturday champions begin their championship quests on Sunday. Dave Darling (Pro Stocks), Vinnie Arrenegado (Late Models), Chad Baxter (Sportsman) and Barry Shaw Jr. (Sport Trucks) all dominated their divisions in 2021 — but will they be major contenders to start the year? Most likely.
Darling leads a group of intense challengers who are excited about the playoff system and ready to try and take him down. Names like Ryan Vanasse, Tom Scully Jr., Rick Martin, Mike Brightman, Tommy Adams and more are ready to get to work in Sunday’s 40-lap feature.
In the Late Models, Arrenegado may be the pre-season favorite to win the title again — but look out behind him. Richie Murray, Chase Belcher, Jacob “Rowdy” Burns, Josh Hedges, Gerry DeGasparre Jr., Ryan Flood and others aren’t going to let him get away easy.
The Helger’s South Coast Power Equipment Sportsman return with a long list of registered competitors looking to keep fans engaged like they always do. Baxter will have competition from drivers like Steve Axon, Ed Perry, Craig Pianka and more in Sunday’s 25-lap season-opener.
The Chaz Auto Body Sport Truck drivers are not going to let Shaw get too far out in front of them. With names like Rick Martin, Jake Vanada, Brittany Campbell, Amy Arsenault and more ready to challenge the defending champion, Sunday’s 25-lap race could be anyone’s to win.
The Custom Car Show will take place from 9-2 p.m. on Saturday, and is just $10 per car. The admission into the event is free for race fans — who will also be able to check out NASCAR teams practicing on the track in the grandstands for free. There will be live judging beginning at 9 a.m. for fans and all cars attending must be parked by 11 a.m. There will be burnout drags on the track at 1 p.m., and over five awards will be distributed including Top Three Best of Show, Best Open car and more. Entertainment will be provided by Crusin Bruce and food and beverage will be available.
On Sunday, front grandstands gates open at 12 p.m., with the first green flag for qualifying heats will be at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and kids 12 and under and parking are free.
For more information on Seekonk Speedway, including all events for the 2022 season, visit SeekonkSpeedway.com. Following opening day, regular NASCAR Saturday night racing kicks-off on Saturday, May 7 at 6 p.m. The Fast Friday season will begin on Friday, May 27, the day before the Memorial Day Thrill Show.
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