Rain Interrupts Seekonk Opener; Murphy Sidelined for On-Track Infraction; Sportsman Roster Shuffles
By DAVID M. WIERNUSZ
Rain showers brought a premature end to Seekonk Speedway’s Sunday afternoon opening event. Each of the four divisions – Pro Stocks, Sportsman, Sport Trucks and Late Models – were able to complete their qualifying heats. However, three laps into the first feature event light rain started to fall bringing a close to the day’s racing. The speedway announced that general admission ticket stubs and pit passes will be honored on Saturday, May 12th.
Green flag drops at 6:00 p.m. Each of the four divisions will complete their unfinished feature events followed by “dash-for-cash”, or more precisely, dash-for-tire races. That is, the top ten finishers in each of the four division feature events will then run non-point races where the top three will be awared a set of tires.
SEEKONK SPEEDWAY NOTES
Fans will notice that the speedway changed the way it displays laps on the scoreboard that stands in turn two. Laps are now counted down, not counted up. In other words, the lap count will show how many laps are left in a race . . .
Thirty-five Sportsman (formally known as Street Stocks) are posted to the speedway’s 2018 roster . . .
Absent in 2017, Angelo Belsito returned to the speedway for the 2018 racing season. The 24-year-old from Auburn, MA will be behind the wheel of his black, No 8 Pro Stock. Angelo won the Pro Stock championship in 2015. When asked if he is going to race every week and contend for the championship, Angelo replied “that’s the plan” . . .
Car count. Seventy-eight racecars checked into the paddock area to race this past Sunday (May 5th). 16 Sport Trucks; 22 Late Models; 23 Sportsman; 17 Pro Stocks . . .
Rob Murphy, a regular competitor in the Sportsman and Sport Truck divisions, was noticeably absent from the racing lineup. Rob is sitting out a two race suspension due to an on track infraction with fellow Sport Truck driver, Chase Belcher. Murphy and Belcher tangled in a late-season, 2017 race. Murphy also reports that Linwood Cowen, the owner of the No 1 Sportsman and a familiar face in the speedway’s pit area, is in poor and failing health. Murphy drove Cowen’s No 1 Sportsman throughout the 2017 season chalking up one feature win . . .
During the off season Ed Perry, a weekly competitor in the Sport Truck division, purchased Richard Sprague’s Sportsman racecar that was driven by Chad Baxter in 2017. Perry anticipates running the Sportsman on and off during the 2018 season. Baxter will be driving a Sprague-owned Late Model in 2018.
Tyler Lallier returns
to competition in the Sportsman division in 2018 after sitting out the 2017 season. Tyler’s No 7 is powered by Johnson’s Racing Engines of Warwick, Rhode Island . . .
Because Vinny Pangelinan is nursing a broken arm and Ed Flanagan, Jr is behind schedule in preparing his own racecar for the 2018 season, the duo teamed up by combining equipment and talent for the first five or six weeks of Sportsman competition this year. Flanagan will be driving Pangelinan’s green and white colored, Everett’s Auto sponsored machine with an assigned No. 5 . . .