Seekonk, MA — Dave Darling of Rehoboth brought home his fourth D. Anthony Venditti Fall Classic trophy with a win in the Pro Stock 100. Mike Holdridge of Madison CTwon his second career Valenti Modified Racing Series event, and became the eighth different winner in the 8 Fall Classics for the VMRS. 5 time Late Model Champion Gerry DeGasparre Jr. of Pawtucket,RI, broke an 0-fer streak that goers back to his rookie season in the Street Stocks in 1993 in winning the LM portion of the DAV.CoventryRI’s Ryan Lineham broke through to join his father as Street Stock winners in the Fall Classic. Anthony Nocella of Woburn, Ma, the all time NEMA Lites winner picked up his first Fall Classic win, driving the Seymour#4.
The Pro Stocks drew a 33 car field for qualifying, and after qualifying was complete, the 26 car field was ready to go. Darling started on the inside of the second row, and quickly found himself sitting second and the race started, squeezing under Mike Brightman for the position. Darling paced himself through the early stages, allowing pole sitter Tom Scully Jr. to set the pace.
Scully led the first 45 laps of the event, picking up over $1100 in lap money. Over the second half of the race, Scully started to lose the handling on the Wheelock’s NAPA Auto Parts Chevy, and started to slide back, falling back to the seventh spot in the final rundown.
Darling continued to lead, using the lapped traffic to his advantage. With only a handful of cautions, Darling was able to extend his lead to over 2 seconds. Once he settled in, Darling dominated the final half of the Classic, putting the Bristol Toyota Scion Camry wherever he needed to. He brought the Ron Pond prepared machine home about 9 car lengths ahead of Derek Ramstrom.
Ramstrom found a liking to the 1/3 mile oval in August, when he finished in the top three in the P.A.S.S. 150. The West Boylston native came back with a vengeance, setting some of the fastest times of the weekend in practice. Ramstrom settled into a rhythm over the first ½ of the event, running around in fifth place. Over the final 50 laps, Derek used some fresher tires to start moving forward. By lap 56, he was sitting second, and swapped the position back and forth with Ryan Vanasse. Ramstrom brought his Charter Communications Chevy home in the second position.
Ryan Vanasse started fourth in the Team V Transportation Chevy, but fell back outside the top five for many laps. Once the race hit the mid point, he started moving forward, taking over the second spot on a lap 65 restart, but fell back to third on the final restart at lap 73.
Mike Brightman ran in the top five, but started falling back late in the race when he developed a slow leak in the right rear tire. After getting together with Kyle Casper on lap 72, Brightman brought the car home 13th, the final car on the lead lap.Casper saw his event end with some right front damage.
2011 Pro Stock Champion Fred Astle started the event in the sixth spot, but got together on the opening lap with Jake Vanada, relegating him to the rear of the field. Astle was able to work his way back to fourth at the final rundown.
In his Late Model career, Gerry DeGasparre Jr had led every lap in this event, except for the last one. Along with a god car, and his experience, he was able to overcome the misfortune of others, picking up the biggest win of his career. Gerry started 6th after the redraw, and by lap seven, had moved his Quality Rental Chevy into the second position, following former DAV Classic winner Ray Parent.
Parent started third, and took over the lead from invader Scott MacMichael on lap five. Parent set the pace in his Amtrol Fusion through several restarts, but on a lap 18 green, it was deemed that he jumped the restart, and the race director put him to the rear of the field. Ray was able to use his experience on the 1/3 mile oval to come home fourth.
Gerry at points had a straightaway lead on the field, keeping Bill Bernard at bay. Bernard had a great run, moving his W A Bernard Ford through the pack. Bill had one of his best runs of the season, coming home third.
Ryan Vanasse has picked up the Late Model portion of the Classic for the past 3 years, but fought an engine malfunction over the full weekend. But that wasn’t going to deter the 2009-2010 champion. After starting second, he fought with MacMichael, leading the second lap. After a couple of laps, the problem resurfaced. The Rocket fell back, even pitting on a lap 12 caution. Whatever adjustments made, they worked, as Ryan worked his way back up through the pack. A caution on the final lap for debris put the pack together, and gave Ryan a chance at the win.
There was no denying the 5 time LM Champ, as Gerry brought home the one thing missing on his resume, the DAV Fall Classic trophy.
Mike Holdridge started in 21st position, And used some timely cautions, as well as some smooth driving, to become the eighth different winner in the DAV Fall Classic. This was Holdridges’ first win at Seekonk, and his second of the year.
Russ Hersey, a former Pro Stock Classic winner, brought the field down and led the first half-dozen circuits, until Ken Barry took over. Barry led the 100 lap feature for the next 58 laps, but could not hold off a hard charging Holdridge, as Mike took over on lap 65.
Before Holdridge got to the front, Rowan Pennink and Les Hinckley took turns chasing Barry. Barry held on to second, with Jon McKennedy, Jim Kuhn and Dwight Jarvis making out the top five.
Anthony Nocella drove a car that had won this event several times, and notched his name into the history books, as he won his first NEMA DAV Fall Classic. Nocella had several wins at Seekonk in the NEMA Lites, but none before in the Classic.
Points leader and former Classic winner Randy Cabral could only get to second, but had to hold off the defending DAV winner Keith Botelho for the runner up position. Greg and Russ Stoehr rounded out the top five.
Ryan Lineham went winless in first title season, but he was determined to finally visitVictory Lane. For the past 9 years, his father continued to hang over him his win in the Classic. This year, they became the second father-son tandem to bring home DAV wins.
Lineham started third, and settled into second for the fifteen laps, allowing Paul Newcomb to pick up some of the lap money in his Newcomb Tree Service Camaro. Once out front, Flyin Ryan opened up a comfortable lead in a race that saw minimal cautions.
Former champion Sparky Arsenault ran second from Newcomb on a lap 16 restart, but could not close in enough to mount a challenge to Lineham. Sparky had to settle for second.
Mike Mitchell started deep in the field, but showed how strong he was, moving through the pack. All he needed at the end was a chance to challenge Lineham, but had to settle for a third place finish.
The Sport Truck/Mini Stock feature was the first to roll out, and saw plenty of action over the 30 lap main event. Cavallaro showed why he is on top of the Truck world, as the current and 4 time title holder started on the pole, and never looked back. Mike used all of the racetrack, keeping the J Fortin Concrete Forms S-10 in the front.
Scott Dion, making his truck debut, was the early challenger, sitting second through the first few cautions. On lap 5, Ed Gannon slid underneath and took over the second position. Try as he might, the Subway 4cylinder Ford Ranger was no match for the V8 machine of Cavallaro. Gannon had to settle for second.
John Paiva and Lenny Guy raced their way thought the field, after getting together early on. They were running third and fourth when Guy spun again on lap 27. Paiva finished third.
Casey Sanchez made a rare appearance, and made it a good one, coming home fourth. Beth Adams, an invader out of NH, brought her Mustang home in the fifth position. Her best run at Seekonk.
Sources: Kevin Boucher/Seekonk Speedway PR