Seekonk, MA — On Saturday, May 30, Gerry DeGasparre picked up his first win of the season in the 2nd Annual Dusty Young Memorial. With $1,100 up for grabs for the winner, 18 Late Models came out for this event. Somerset’s Tyler Thompson brought the field down, and found himself leading the first several laps. Matt Breault jumped underneath Thompson, but threw the 7th Sign Graphics Ford too hard into the corner and had to chase it up, giving up the inside to DeGasparre and Kyle Casper.
On lap 7, DeGasparre put the A-1 Custom Auto Body Chevy into the outside and took over the lead. The first caution came out on lap 9, when Thompson spun, gathering Jon Dickerman and Bill Bernard. All would continue. Matt Breault would not be able to hang with Gerry, as Kyle Casper fought with him for second. Ryan Vanasse, fresh off two consecutive victories, was working his way through the field, but could only get as high as second through the middle stages. While racing with Kevin Casper on lap 15, Casper spun his Phil’s Propane Toyota in turn one to bring out the second caution. Frank Duquette slapped the turn one wall, ending his night.
Wayne Helliwell Jr was on hand, making his Seekonk LM debut and found the speedway to his liking. After starting thirteenth, Wayne was able to keep his nose clean early in the event, and was in the top five at this point. Jon Dickerman, who was involved in an earlier incident, had worked himself into sixth.
The race for second through fifth continued to be hotly contested between, Breault, Kyle Casper, Kevin Casper, Vanasse and Helliwell. Kevin Casper’s team made the right adjustments earlier during pitstops and was able to work through the field into second by lap 39. But without another caution, could not catch DeGasparre. Helliwell finished third with Vanasse and Dickerman rounding out the top five.
“This car wasn’t that great today, but the G & G crew was focused,” a tired winner exclaimed. “Before I go any farther, when I came up into the Late Models, Dusty, Bev, and Glenn were some of the best friends I made. This win is one of the most special win’s I’ve ever had because of what those people mean to me.”
Dave Darling made it two for three in the Pro Stocks, as he outdistanced Tom Scully Jr for the win. Ken Spencer jumped out into the early lead and set the pace ahead of Jeramee Lillie and then Rob Murphy. With reigning champ Fred Astle fourth, the race at the front was getting hot and heavy.
As the field came into turn three on lap 7, Murphy was working the outside while Lille tried a move to the inside of Spencer. Astle was also racing the outside, and as they bunched up, Astle started to spin through the corner. As he went around, the Impact Collision Parts of Mike Brightman made contact nose to nose, ending the night for the Wood Frame Structures Chevy of Astle. The East Coast Collision Ford of Joe Cerullo was also involved. After some quick pit work, Brightman was able to continue.
Murphy inherited the lead in the Tom Barboza Excavating Dodge and set the pace for the next several laps, until Kyle Casper spun his Kidd Motorsports Chevy on lap 19, with Craig Weinstein getting involved. Once back under green, the race would go the distance, but this time Rehoboth’s Dave Darling was the man at the helm as he opened up a comfortable lead and brought the field to the checkers. Tom Scully Jr worked himself into second over the final half of the event, but could not make a challenge for the win in his Wheelock’s NAPA Auto Parts Chevy. Murphy held on for third with Ryan Vanasse and Ken Spencer rounding out the top five.
“What can I say, Ronnie Pond, you know?” Dave spoke. “I need to thank all of my sponsors, Almeida Farms, Johnson Landscaping, Pepsi, and especially Gary Johnson the car owner. He pays the bills and let’s us do this.”
The Street Stocks came out geared up for their 25 lap main event, and they would not disappoint. With 30 cars in attendance, qualifying has become a premium. After three heats and a consolation round, the main event was set. Former champ Elmer Wing III and third generation rookie Bobby Pelland III sat on the front row. After racing side by side for the first couple of laps, Pelland found himself leading his first laps. N Providence’s Rey Lovelace squeezed under Wing and took over second just before the caution came out for Dan Gamache Jr who could not make it back into the pits.
Pelland was able to hold off the challenge on the restart and Lovelace settled into second with Jeff Amaral, Ron Barboza and Mike Mitchell running fifth. Mitchell was using the outside lane to his advantage, and by lap 12, he had moved into third. Just Travis brought out a caution just shy of halfway, and another was drawn on lap 17 when Rey Lovelace could not make it back to the pits. During the green flag racing, cars were stacked up two and three wide for position throughout the field for position, and the race for the lead was just as hot. The A&A Auto Parts Chevy of Pelland continued to hold off the hard charges of Mitchell who was pressuring the rookie hard for the lead. Jeff Amaral continued to keep with the fight, and also was putting heavy pressure on the rookie.
With four laps remaining, Pelland wriggled a little, opening the inside lane for Mitchell, and he was all too happy to move in. The pair ran side by side for four laps, with Pelland hanging tight on the outside, but was not able to hold off the G&R Racing Chevy of Mitchell, as he moved ahead over the final three laps. Pelland took one final charge on the outside on the final lap, but to no avail. Pelland had to settle for second, with Jeff Amaral, Ron Barboza and Brian Spillane rounding out the top five.
“I’ll tell you, that kid Pelland drives just like his ol’ man, he’s going to be real tough this year,” Mitchell said. He slipped a little and gave me the room once I was there. I have to thank Steve Axon, the whole 04 crew. This is a sister car, and I knew it could win. I need to thank my sponsors Eagle Flooring, Pitchers Pub, Rhodes Tree Service, and Bobby Carrita Racing Engines. I don’t have my engine yet, this is his house motor and he said it could get the job done.”
Rick Martin made it two for three in the Seekonk Sport Trucks, and he made it six of the last seven, dating back to 2008. Tiverton’s Brian Murray led the first lap of competition, with Lenny Guy moving into the lead on lap two. That would be short lived however, as he spun the LH Boulanger & Son Ford in turn two. No caution was needed, as Guy continued on. Murray took over with Hugh Bowser moving into second with martin in tow. Bowser took a look for the lead underneath Murray, but the ND Cabinetry Ford spun, forcing a yellow on lap 4.
On the restart, Martin put his George Climos Chevy into the lead, with the Silver Key Inc. Chevy of Jody Tripp moving into second. Brian Murray continued to hang onto third for several laps. By the time the field crossed at the halfway, Martin and Tripp had opened up a 3 second advantage over Lenny Guy, John Paiva and Brian Murray. The second yellow came out on lap 17, when Mark Biello spun in turn 2.
Guy had a run on the restart, and briefly looked for second from Tripp, but Tripp was able to move back by to take over second. Guy continued to run third, with Paiva and Jason Heroux rounding out the top five. While looking for second under Tripp, Guy once again had the back end come out from underneath, this time bringing out the third caution.
John Paiva restarted third, and was able to move by Tripp on the restart for second, but couldn’t hold Tripp off as Tripp once again moved back into second. Over the final laps, High Bowser and Lenny Guy were able to work back up into the top five, but on this night, no one could match the blue and yellow Chevy of Martin who cruised to the win. Tripp, Paiva, Bowser and Guy rounded out the top five.
“Jody’s tough out there. I’m just trying to get to the front first and keep this little 4-banger wound up,” Martin talked about. “It looks lie it’s going to be a tough season with Tripp and Paiva. It’s a lot of fun. Thanks to of my sponsors and to the crew, but especially to my mom and dad. They stand behind me in whatever I do.”
Racing returns this Saturday with the Kraze’s Speed Equipment 30/30 for the Street Stocks. This extra distance event is always a favorite for the competitors and fans alike. 30 laps of racing with 30 cars starting. It also marks the return of the Pro4 Modifieds to the Seekonk Speedway since 2007. The Late Models will be idle for the night. Admission is just $12.00 for adults with kids 12 and under FREE.
Friday June 5 marks the season opener for the Fast Friday series. The Pure Stocks, Seekonk Youth Racing Association and the all new Sport4 division will take center stage for the evening. The Sport4 class is an entry level 4 cylinder division of cars that are stock. Remove the glass and add a few safety enhancements and you can go racing. Also scheduled to joint the Fast Friday opener are the NEMA Lites. Gates open at 6pm with action starting at 7pm. Adult admission is just $5.00. For more information, please check our website at Seekonkspeedway.com.
Sources: Kevin Boucher/Seekonk Speedway PR