On Saturday night, January 16, Seekonk Speedway held the 64th Dinner and Awards Celebration at the Venus De Milo in Swansea. Over 640 guests were on hand as awards for the winners, top ten, Rookies, Most Improved and more were handed out.
Fred Astle Jr picked up his fourth Pro Stock Title trophy, his second for car owners Ron and Lisa Lauro. He remembered back over 30 years of racing in his speech, including engine builders, sponsors, crew members and car owners. Fred picked up a division leading 6 wins en route to his second consecutive title. Dave Darling, a two time champion finished second in points, picking up five wins. Tom Scully Jr won two races on the way to his third place finish in points. Mike Brightman and Rob Murphy rounded out the top five. Ken Spencer, Kyle Casper, Jeramee Lillie, Dan O’Brien and Steve O’Brien were sixth through tenth.
Rob Murphy was voted the Most Improved Driver, while Kyle Casper picked up Rookie of the Year honors.
Ryan Vanasse had a dream season, picking up his first Late Model Championship. Ryan had 7 wins over the course of the regular season, driving for his father, Paul Vanasse. Ryan was sure to remember many of his fellow competitors as they kept him on the top of his game. He told was sure to tell everyone what made this a great season. The championship was the top goal, along with getting the opportunity to race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the ACT Invitational, wins and a lot of luck. Four time champion Gerry DeGasparre Jr finished second, with 3 wins, while Mike Cavallaro was third with one feature victory. Bill Bernard picked up his first career win and finished fourth in points, while Kevin Casper finished fifth, even after missing the last couple of weeks of racing from a late season roll over. Matt Breault, Frank Duquette, Tyler Thompson, Bob Hussey and Randy Burr rounded out the top ten.
Fran Duquette won a points feature in his rookie season, and picked up ROY honors in the Late Models. Bill Bernard received the Most Improved Driver award.
Jody Tripp became the third member of the Tripp family to pick up championship honors at Seekonk, picking up the Seekonk Sports Truck Championship. Jody was sure to thank his wife Christine, his father John, and his crew for their dedication. Jody picked up 6 wins in the Truck division, and held off Rick Martin by just 3 points at the finale. Rick had a track leading 10 wins in the SST class, but had to settle for second place in the division. John Paiva finished third in points, with Lenny Guy and Kyle DeSouza rounding out the top five. DeSouza was the only other winner in the division, picking up one feature event. Mike Ronhock, Brian Murray, Jariah Roderick, Jason Heroux and Jim Hawkins rounded out the top ten.
Kyle DeSouza picked up the Rookie of the Year honors, while John Paiva was Most Improved.
Mike Mitchell was the first time Champion of the Street Stocks, riding consistency and 1 win to the title. In his speech, Mike reiterated how tough the Street Stock division is, and thanked his wife, crew, and car owners Ron Bassette and Gabe Rebeiro. Three time Street Champion Sparky Arsenault wound up second in the championship chase, with Mark Henshaw third, Ryan Lineham had 3 wins and finished fourth while Scott Serydynski rounded out the top five with two wins. Mike Lima, one win was sixth in points. Paul Newcomb, Chris Rioux, one win, Steve Axon and Scott Bruneau, one win, were seventh to tenth.
Bobby Pelland III received Rookie of the Year honors with one win while a surprised Ryan Lineham was the Most Improved driver in the Street Stocks.
Scott Cestodio picked up the Pure Stock Championship for the second consecutive year. He had 6 wins on his way to the top. Randy Moretti finished second in points, with Lou Robinson had 3 wins, and copped a third place finish. Nick Uhrig finished fourth with 4 wins, and Dirk Eykelhoff rounded out the top five.
Lou Robinson was ROY, while Randy Moretti was Most Improved driver.
Jake Spillers moved up from the Seekonk Youth Racing Association 600 class after copping that title in 2008, and backed that up with the 750 championship in 2009. Jake had one win driving for Jeff Mercure, who fielded the winning car for the second year in a row. Second through fifth were Casey Sanchez, 2 wins, Chris Igo Jr, one win, Kyle DeSouza, one win, and Nick Ladyga, one win. Stephen Gardiner Jr, one win was sixth, with Adam Swift, Jacob Swift, Kyle Kuchta and Frank Perry rounding out the top ten.
Kyle DeSouza was ROY with Chris Igo Jr getting Most Improved Driver.
With three wins, Dave Hutchins picked up his first SYRA Championship honors, driving for his father Dave Sr. Dave learned a lot over the years watching his father pick up several wins in the Pro Stocks. Nick Lascuola had a win, finishing second, and Branden Dion, also with one win finished third. Willy Sanchez was fourth with one win while Kaitlyn Donovan rounded out the top five. Carl Medeiros Jr, Jason Enos II, Bob Perry, one win, Nate Bubello and Tyler Nailer were sixth through tenth.
Branden Dion was voted Most Improved while Nicholas Lascuola
The Anthony Francis Venditti award, which is handed to an individual who is dedicated to the sport of auto racing, was awarded to long time, and second generation employee Marc Cunha. Marc is the handicapper at the speedway, and has held many different positions over the years.
The annual DAV Memorial award is given to someone who has dedicated their life to the sport of short track auto racing. This year’s recipient is Dave Lind of Dave Lind Motorsports. Dave has been in many different facets of the sport, from car owner to driver, crew member and activist. Most recently he has expanded his business to become one of the most successful American Tire distributors in the country. Dave currently services several tracks, including Seekonk, Stafford and Thompson, and he also provides tires for the Pro All Stars Series Super Late Models. Bill Galloway was on hand to receive the award, as Dave was out of the country.
Once the awards were completed, dancing continued until closing time with Armand Berube providing the entertainment.
Sources: Kevin Boucher/Seekonk Speedway PR