TWO TO GO: FAST FRIDAY DRIVE FOR THE CUP UPDATE WITH BRADY COUTO
SEEKONK, Mass. -- The twin sticks are in the air, two laps to go in the regular season at Seekonk Speedway. The chase for the inaugural Seekonk Speedway Drive For The Cup presented by Sunoco Race Fuels is quickly approaching us, and things took a turn this past Friday.
Coming off the Everett’s Auto Parts Triple Crown finale, the focus was completely on the features. Let’s look at how they turned out for drivers who are still in the hunt for the playoffs and what it means for them coming into this week, Friday, August 19, for another round of Fast Friday action.
Seekonk Grand Prix Bandolero Bandits
The Seekonk Grand Prix Bandolero Bandit Division ran for 15 laps this past weekend and once again, Darren Krantz Jr. took down the win, making it two in a row for the defending champion. He took the lead on a nice cut inside early on and did not let up from there. He now holds a four-point lead over Milania Shilosky and a 34-point lead over Ryan Vanasse Jr. for first. All three of these drivers will be racing for the championship this season. That takes care of the first half of the playoff picture, now let’s look at the second half.
If you didn’t know already, the Bandoleros have the top 6 drivers get into the playoffs instead of the top 8. Collin Vanasse holds fourth place and much like his cousin, he will be racing in September. Sam “The Green Hornet” Macedo sits in fifth and will more than likely race in the playoffs. But the big story is at the bottom, where we find a new driver in sixth place.
A top-10 finish was sufficient for Nick Uhrig Jr. to claim sixth place in the points standings with 392 points, four off of fifth place. Bryson Robidoux now finds himself on the outside looking in with 388 points and Parker Davis with 380 points. These drivers aren’t far behind, and the difference between a Top 5 and a Top 10 could determine the outcome of their seasons.
Seekonk Grand Prix Bandolero Outlaws
The dominance continued this past Friday in the Outlaws, with Chase Silvia making it eight wins out of eleven races. He now has a total of 542 points, more than any other driver at The Action of The East.
Silvia seesawed back and forth all race until lap 13 when he passed Mikey LeFort III and found himself in Victory Lane. Behind him in the standings is Andrew Gomes with 494 points and a climbing and consistent Bradley Strickland with 434. It is known that Chase Silvia is winning this division and these three drivers will have some extra-curricular racing to do and generally, they are all spread far apart. Yet the last half of the playoff field is the complete opposite.
Joey Lemay, Adam Harrison, and newcomer into the top-six Brent Robidoux are all separated by a whopping two points. Lemay and Harrison have 432 and currently sit in fourth and fifth place. Robidoux follows them with 430. Brent was on the outside looking in but a second-place finish last Friday put him in the playoff picture. Mikey LeFort III dropped to seventh in the standings.
Along with LeFort, rookie competitor Bobby Bettencourt III sits in eighth place with 394 points. The season looks to be over for Bettencourt as far as his chances to make the playoffs, but not for LeFort. To have a chance at the postseason, he’ll have to grab at least one more podium finish.
It’s anyone’s guess who will grab that final playoff spot. And again, with two weeks left to go, there is no room for error.
Everett’s Auto Parts Sport 4’s
This division gave us the most bittersweet race of the evening last week. But this week, the happy one wasn’t AJ Manuel, it was Fall River’s Tyler Duhancik. The Phil’s Propane #48 battled with Justin Leduc, who came in second (his best finish all year) all race and found himself in Victory Lane for the second time this season.
Still on top is Crystal Murray with 502 points. Duhancik is right behind her with 494. Henry Lavalle, Jarrod Freitas, and Taylor Bowser sit in 3rd, 4th, and 5th place. All will be locked in for September. Daniel Hayes moves to sixth with 368 points. But near the bottom is where it gets fun.
First-year racer Stephanie Bruneau climbs to seventh and has shown consistency all season. She should be into the Sunoco Race Fuels Drive For The Cup. Karlin Levesque slid to eighth. For those that don’t know, Levesque sold the #44 car to Cassius Mitchell who in two weeks, has two top 10 finishes. Justin Leduc is in ninth and if he has one more solid performance, he’ll be in the playoffs. If not, DJ Thibeault or even Christine Cavallaro could race for a trophy.
With two races left, there are many more questions than answers at this point in the Sport 4’s. As long as those in contention stay consistent, all questions will be answered and they will promise to give us one of the most exciting finishes in recent memory.
Helger’s South Coast Power Equipment Pure Stocks
Finally, The Rock has come back to…. For those of you that got the reference, thank you! If not, that’s okay! And by The Rock, I mean Jordan Threlfall and he is back in Victory Lane. He grabbed his first win of the season and his second in two years. Threlfall was the polesitter in this one and was able to lead wire to wire and as a bonus, he found himself one place higher in the points standings.
Threlfall now sits fifth in the points standings and will be racing for a trophy this fall. Ahead of him, we find Danny Massa, Sam “Hot Rod” Lincoln, Greg Perry, and Mike Henriques. The difference between them all is 28 points. These five, along with sixth-placed Jeremy Lambert, will be racing in the playoffs, barring something extraordinary. However, it is still unknown who will join them.
Currently, Jared Cordeira and Mike Rotondo sit in 7th and 8th place. Cordeira bumped up a spot and now has 364 points whereas Rotondo has 356. On the outside looking in we find Ethan Souza. Souza has 348 points and a feature win this season. If he wants to race in September, he’ll have to duplicate his winning efforts.
Nick’s Pit Stop Legends
It is now clear that Mother Nature does not like the Nick’s Pit Stop Legends.
The cars were bunching up and “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins filled the track when it rained and rained, and it did not go away.
As a result, our points standings stay the same. Devin Deshaies leads with Reese Bogue and Nick Bulkeley right behind him. In the middle, we find Brendon Hammann, Isaiah Newcomb, and Mason Tessier, who has been on a roll as of late. Rounding out the playoff field are Jake Silvia and Brendon LaBelle. LaBelle has 298 points and on the outside looking in is Josh Parsons with 292 points. Parsons won the last feature and another podium finish for him could mean trophy racing next month. Richie Helger Jr. isn’t far behind either in his Rookie season.
Only two weeks remain before the playoffs begin, and the battle on the bubble is only drawing tighter across all five divisions on Fast Friday.
Come on out and witness for yourself who can lock themselves into the first ever Seekonk Speedway Drive For The Cup presented by Sunoco Race Fuels. The battle continues this Friday, August 19 at 7:00PM.
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