Fred Astle Earns $4,000 Dollar Payday in Picking Up Propane Plus 75

Jon Dickerman, Charlie Rose Jr and Bob Bettencourt Jr. visit Victory Lane

Seekonk MA Fred Astle Jr of Westport MA picked up his third win of the season in the Propane Plus 75 lap main event at Seekonk Speedway Saturday night. In addition to the extra $2500 cash that was handed out in Victory Lane by Tim Johnson, he padded his point lead in the ARC Pro Stocks.

“The car was just awesome tonight. These rookie’s are getting tough to beat”  Fred said in Victory Lane, referring to rookie Jake Vanada of Berkeley, MA keeping his Propane Plus sponsored Ford at the front of the field for the middle portion of the race. “Thanks to Propane Plus for the extra money. It’s great to have companies helping out our efforts. For a while I was the only guy in the pits. Most of the crew is up in NH tonight. But they got the Woodframe Structures, Spring Break Chevy ready for tonight.”

The race started off with Scott Dion and John Dabrowski setting the pace. Dion jumped out to the early lead, and set the pace until the first caution came out for Ken Spencer stalling his RF Transportation Chevy trying to get into the pits on lap5. Mike Brightman spun on the ensuing restart, bringing the yellow right back out. Steve O’Brien moved into second on the restart, and tried to get by Dion, but was unable to get by. They ran nose to tail for several laps. While they were settling in, Fred Astle was working his way through traffic with reigning Champion Dave Darling showing the way in his Johnson Landscaping Dodge. By lap 20, Darling had moved into fifth, with Astle on his tail. The third caution slowed the field on lap 26, when John Dabrowski stalled on the backstretch. The top five at the one-third mark was Scott Dion, Steve O’Brien, Vanada, Darling and Astle.

When the field went green again, Vanada started to make his move. Up into second on the restart, and then took a look to the outside of Dion. The pair ran wheel to wheel for several laps, as Dion tried to keep his Douglas A King Builders Chevy up front. On lap 32, Vanada had just squeezed by for the lead at the stripe. When the field was crossing lap 33, Dion was back out front, but a spin by Ryan Vanasse brought the field under yellow for the fourth time. With lap 33 not counting as a complete lap, as the full field had not crossed the line. Going back to lap 32, Vanada would bring the field down for the green. Astle had worked his way up into third by this point, with O’Brien and Darling the top 5. Tom Scully Sr occupied the sixth spot at this time, with Tom Jr, Matt Hudon, Russ Hersey, who had come in to try and take home some of the cash to NH, and Mike Brightman rounded out the top 10. The field would only get one more lap on the board before Tom Scully Sr and Steve O’Brien locked together, bringing the yellow out on lap 33.

Astle would have a taste of the lead one lap into the next run, as lap 34 saw the 30 at the top of the leader board, but he would only hold it for that one lap, as Vanada was able to wrestle the lead back away on lap 35. Darling, who was glued to the rear bumper of the Vanada mount wrestled second away from Astle on lap 35. They ran that way through the half-way point, with Scott Dion and Tom Scully Jr rounding out the top five. Mike Brightman had worked his Impact Collision Parts Ford into sixth, with Dave Hutchins, Hersey, Steve O’Brien and Ryan Vanasse, who was running his fathers’ Late Model due to an accident in his qualifier, rounded out the top ten. Lap 39 saw another slow up, as Hutchins, Daryl Stampfl and Hersey got together and spun in turn 3. Jake Vanada was able to hang onto the lead until lap 43, when Astle found his Woodframe Structures Chevy back at the top of the field, and started to put some distance between he and Vanada. Jake was able to open up some breathing room from Darling, who had his hands full with Tom Scully Jr. On lap 58, Mike Mortimer of Patchogue, NY and Dan O’Brien spun in turn 2. Dave Hutchins brought out the final caution at lap 60, when he spun his Hutchins & Son’s Enterprises Chevy. Darling had squeezed by Vanada by this time, and was up to second. When the green came back out, Vanada and Darling touched, putting Darling back into third, and they would run the rest of the 75 lap main event this way, with Scully Jr and Russ Hersey rounding out the top 5. Steve O’Brien, Matt Hudon, Scott Dion, Ryan Vanasse and Mike Brightman rounded out the top ten.

The Late Models ran a flawless race, as John Dickerman led from point A to point B in the 30 lap Late Model Feature. In as clean of a feature you will find, Robert Hussey of Wellfleet MA and Dickerman brought the field down for the green. Dickerman shot into the lead and never looked back. Rookie contender John Hanafin put his Local 7 District Iron Workers Council Chevy into second early on, but was never able to mount a charge. Kevin Casper worked his way up into third by 7, and was putting his Phil’s Propane Ford through its paces on the outside lane. By the time he worked into second on lap eight, he needed a periscope to see the AirGas Chevy, and John had opened up a full straightaway lead.

As the field crossed the halfway point, there was no looking back for John, as his lead had opened a little more. Kevin Casper ran second, while Kyle Casper had moved his Kidd Motorsports Chevy into third, with reigning champion Gerry DeGasparre Jr and Bill Bernard rounding out the top 5. Hanafin had fallen back to sixth, with Matt Breault, Dennis Stampfl, Jeramee Lillie and Randy Burr rounding out the top ten. Over the later portion of this event, Hanafin would start to lose the handles on his Chevy, and slid back a few spots. Gerry DeGasparre was also able to gain a position in the final laps, as he wound up third.

By the time the checkered flag waived, Kevin Casper was able to close the lead down to 10 car lengths, but was out of time. He would have to settle for second, with DeGasparre, Kyle Casper and Bill Bernard rounding out the top 5. Sixth through tenth were Matt Breault, Dennis Stampfl, Jeramee Lille, Randy Burr and John Hanafin.

“This car was perfect tonight” exclaimed a happy winner. “A big thanks to everyone. Mom and Dad, my sister, girlfriend, the entire crew. Thanks to Airgas for jumping on board this year, North American Amusements, Dennis K Burke, Bob’s Speed, X-Treme Clean, Ted’s Transmissions, and JD Signs. I think I got everyone.”

In the Street Stock 20 lap feature, Crystal Serydynski was back 2 weeks after riding the wall half way down the backstretch, and brought the field down with Rey Negley lined up on the outside. Crystal would put her LeMyers Collision Center at the top of the leader board at the drop of the green. Bob Bettencourt Jr slid into second, and hounded the leader for the first several laps. Crystal was able to hang on though the first several laps, until the first yellow came out on lap 7, when Tony Oliviera and Ryan Lineham got together. This would bunch up the field, and the classic Street Stock racing would shine through. Crystal was able to keep her pink and black Camaro at the front for only one more lap, as Bettencourt was able to edge his Wilde Enterprises Chevy into the lead on lap 8. Once Bettencourt assumed the lead, something seemed to break on the Sachetti Classic Car Insurance machine, as she slid to the tail end of the field. The racing behind the leader was spread out across the track three and four wide.

The second caution came out at the halfway point for debris located in turn 3. By this time, reigning champion Sparky Arsenault had worked his white Camaro into third, behind two time champion Dick Cavallaro. Rey Negley and Scott Bruneau rounded out the top five. Jeff Amaral was sixth, Steve Axon seventh, Paul Newcomb Jr was eighth, Scott Serydynski ninth and John Geremia III tenth.

On lap 13, Arsenault squeezed by Cavallaro for second. A restart on lap 14 for the 45 of Justin Travis allowed Cavallaro to regain second, with a move to the inside. A final slow up on lap 17, as the Everett’s Auto Parts machine of Mark Henshaw hit the wall closed up the field one more time. Bettencourt was up to the challenge, as he was able to pull away and hang on for his first win of the season. Cavallaro and Arsenault would swap the second spot back and forth between them several times over the last few laps, with Arsenault hanging on for second. Cavallaro was third, with Scott Serydynski and Rey Negley rounding out the top five. Steve Axon, Brian Spillane, Paul Lallier, Chris DeMoura and Paul Newcomb finished sixth through tenth.

“We had a great car tonight” beamed Bettencourt in Victory Lane. “It was good to race with Sparky and Dick. They really raced me clean. I know I can be a pain during the week, but this win id for my family. My wife Jan, Lil Bobby and Samantha. It’s the first time the kids have seen Daddy win. Thanks to them, to Wilde Enterprises, Affordable Radiator, Finest Racing Engines.”

Brian Murray and Zach Tucan brought the Seekonk Sports Truck field to the green flag. Tucan was able to put his After Hours Collision Center Nissan at the top for the first four laps. Murray started to slide back immediately, allowing Ed Gannon III to move up from his fifth starting spot into second in the opening laps. The first yellow came out on lap 4, as Daryl Church stalled his black Chevy into the infield. Tucan would have Gannon lined up second, with Charlie Rose Jr up to third, rookie of the year contender Jody Tripp and Bill Prisco rounding out the top 5.

Tucan held on tot he lead for the next few of laps, until Charlie Rose took over the lead on lap 8, with a pass on the outside. The second caution came out on lap 9, as Jay Arsenault spun his #96 in turn 4. Rose was able to get the jump on the sophomore, and hold onto the lead. As he pulled away, the action behind him was getting hot and heavy. But the halfway point, Bill Prisco was up to third, with Gannon and Mike Cavallaro rounded out the top five. The Rebel Racing Chevy of Cavallaro was up to fourth on lap 11, and set his sights further up the field at the leader. Prisco decided to put his Phil’s Propane Chevy to the outside of Zach Tucan, as he tried to get to second. While he did that, the inside lane opened up for Cavallaro, and he made the race for second three wide. The raced like that for 2 laps, with Prisco outside, Tucan in the middle and Cavallaro on the inside. When it finally shook out, Cavallaro was up to second. Prisco had overtaken Tucan for third, while Ed Gannon III found his groove and moved up into fourth. They would finish this way with Tucan rounding out the top five. John Paiva, Lenny Guy, Jody Tripp, Brian Murray and Jay Arsenault rounded out the top ten.

“It hit the chip” Charlie gladly exclaimed, referring to his post race technical issues from the week before. This was great. We’ve had a great truck all year. Sanford Tree Experts, the crew, my father, grandfather. This is for all of you.”

The action continues this Saturday, as we take a step back in time. The Atlantic Coast Old Timers, New England Antique Racers, and the Senior Tour Auto Racers come to the famed third mile oval. The ARC Pro Stocks, Late Models, Seekonk Sport Trucks and Street Stocks will all be part of the evening’s festivities. General Admission is just $12.00 for adults. Kids 12 and under are free.

On Sunday, July 6th, we celebrate Independence Day Seekonk Speedway Style. With Spectator Drags, Enduro Drags, Pure Stock racing, Enduro racing, Figure “8” racing, one of the finest fireworks displays this side of the Pacific, and a $2,000 to win Demolition Derby. General admission is only $20.00 for all of this action, and kids 12 and under, $5.00. You can avoid the long lines by printing your tickets online from the website. You can access it at

Sources: Kevin Boucher/Seekonk Speedway PR< -->