Seekonk, MA — Rick Martin picked up his first career win on May 30, 2009. On Saturday, August 1, he tied George Summers as Seekonk Speedway’s all time win leader. It was the eighth win of the season for Martin, who held off John Paiva in the 25 lap Seekonk Sports Truck feature. “This ties the record with George Summers, and those guys were my hero’s growing up, and to me on the same line with him, this is a great accomplishment.”
Brian Murray and Mike Ronhock brought the field down for the green, with Ronhock grabbing the early lead, before the first caution came out on lap 1, when Jody Tripp spun. Ronhock picked back up at the top, until Hugh Bowser took over on lap 3.
Martin wasn’t going to let this one get away early, and started to put pressure on Bowser. Working the outside lane, Martin picked up the lead on lap nine, and started to open up the lead on the field.
At the half way point, Martin set the pace with Lenny Guy up to second, with Paiva, Tripp and Bowser were the top five. Brian Murray brought out the second caution at lap 14, when he spun. Martin jumped back out at the top, as Paiva squeezed into second. Bowser filled the hole and tried to move into third. Guy started to slide back, and he and Guy got together, causing the third caution when Tripp sailed through the infield.
Over the last ten laps, Tripp was able to work his way back into fourth, but could gain no more, as Martin closed out the 25 laps for his eighth win of the 2009 season. Paiva held on for second, with Bowser, Tripp and Kyle DeSouza rounded out the top five.
“Man, this truck was real hooked up tonight,” Martin stated. “We were a little down on power, but we were good in the corners.”
In the 25 lap Street Stock feature, third generation racer Bobby Pelland III picked up his first career win, holding off points leader Mike Mitchell and Steve Axon for a popular win.
Patrick Delaney was the first challenger to Pelland, trying to make it three wide several times as Pelland and Paul Newcomb raced side by side for several laps for the lead. Newcomb slid back on the outside, as Mike Lima, and then Mike Mitchell slid underneath for position. Newcomb worked his way back into the top three, continuing to use the outside lane.
As the field crossed the halfway point, Pelland and Delaney ran nose to tail, as the rest of the top ten ran side by side. Mitchell and Newcomb battled wheel to wheel for third with Elmer Wing III rounding out the top five. The first caution came out when Delaney spun in turn three.
Mitchell had the jump on the restart, as Pelland hung tight on the inside. Newcomb tried the inside of the rookie, but Pelland was tough on the inside. Mitchell was able to squeeze back in behind the leader, and tried to move underneath, but to no avail. Mike Lima went around on lap 17, bringing out the second caution.
Pelland and Newcomb went at it one more time, with Newcomb able to take the lead away as the field crossed the start finish line, but it was wiped away when Chris Rioux spun to bring out the caution before the lap was completed. As they continued to fight for the lead, Newcomb picked up the lead for the next couple of laps by only a few feet, including when Mitchell made it three wide for the lead. By lap 20, Pelland had regained the lead and would never look back. Newcomb tried to work back on the outside, but over the final laps he allowed Steve Axon to take over third and slid back to fourth in the final tally with Ryan Lineham rounding out the top five.
“The car was loosening up on me, but my dad and Terry gave me a great car,” an exhausted Pelland spoke. “I just wanted to hold on for a top five finish on that last restart, but the car stuck and we were able to take it over. I want to thank my whole crew, my father, my grand-father and everyone else that helped me.”
Frank Duquette picked up his first Late Model win, as he edged out fellow rookie Colby Fournier at the stripe by .102. Fournier and Duquette brought the field down, and it was Colby jumping out early for the lead. Tyler Thompson, Matt Breault and Bill Bernard sat in the top five. Jake Vanada spun and brought out the first caution on lap six.
Tyler Thompson restarted third, and put heavy pressure on Colby, trying several times to get a run to the inside, but didn’t have enough to move underneath. The second caution came out on lap 12, when Matt Breault went around on the front stretch. Kevin Casper had just moved into the top five.
Duquette continued to drive in the tire tracks of Fournier, but could not move underneath. As they crossed at the halfway point, Fournier, Duquette, Thompson, DeGasparre and Vanasse were the top five. Tyler Thompson went around in the first corner when he and Bob Hussey made contact, bringing out the yellow. Several cars were involved, but all were able to continue. Vanasse was up to third, with DeGasparre and Breault rounding out the top five.
With only a handful of laps remaining, the pair of rookies raced wheel to wheel. Vanasse moved under Duquette in a battle for second, but it would only be a couple of laps before Duquette found his groove. Little by little, the Fall River rookie got some grip and closed back in on Fournier. With three laps remaining, the Frank evened up with the 15 year old driver, and with one lap remaining, the 03 became the new leader. One more shot on the inside for Fournier as the pair raced off the final corner, but he came up short as Duquette picked up the win by the slimmest of margins.
“I gotta give that kid credit,” Frank said. “I tired to rough him up a little and rattle him, but he hung tough. This is for my wife and newborn son who couldn’t be here.”
The Pro Stocks rolled out for their 40 lap feature, with Phil Meany and Jeramee Lille racing at the top for the lead. Lillie set the early pace with Tom Scully Sr racing right behind. The first caution came out early, as Steve and Tom O’Brien got together.
Meany started to backslide on the top side, and this allowed Tom Scully Jr, Ken Spencer, Fred Astle and Mike Brightman to slide by. Tom Sr was also losing some traction and fell out of the top five. On lap eight, Darling went around and had to work his way from the rear of the field. Tom Scully Sr was sent to the rear for the assist. Tom Jr, Astle, Brightman and Spencer were the top five.
Darling had a good car, and started his charge back to the front. One by one, he found the inside and outside lanes to his liking, and picked off the cars in front of him. Several cautions would close Darling back up with the leaders.
Wayne Dion made a return in his own 99, as was making some headway early, moving into the top five by the halfway point, but a broken steering rack ended his night just past lap 30.
Fred Astle moved into the runner up spot, and put heavy pressure on Scully, but could not take advantage of Scully’s weakness. Even a couple of restarts would not allow Astle to the top. The battle behind them was hot and heavy between Ken Spencer and Brightman raced side by side.
A restart with several laps left allowed Brightman to move past Astle into second, with Darling continuing his charge through the pack. Darling took over third with only a handful laps, but could not overcome Brightman and Scully. Astle had to settle for fourth with Spencer rounding out the top five.
“That was a tough one,” Tom explained. “My right front spindle is bent from the heat race, so the steering was a little off. We had to play tough out there tonight.”
Saturday night racing returns on Saturday, August 8th, with the 13th annual Boston Louie Seymour Memorial for the NEMA Midgets. The NEMA Lites will also be on the card for the biggest midget race on the east coast. The ARC Pro Stocks, Late Models, Street Stocks and Seekonk Sport Trucks will also be on hand.
Sources: Kevin Boucher/Seekonk Speedway PR