Paul Lallier Takes Checkered In Seekonk Sportsman; Linwood Cowen, Sr. Passes at Age 67; Perry, Lambert Issued Warnings
By DAVID M. WIERNUSZ
“As soon as I took the lead, I hit the afterburners and I was outta here!” Those were the comments of Paul Lallier in victory lane as he compared his No. 70 Stafford Electric / Chaz’s Auto Body Sportsman to a jet engine’s dramatic flame and jolt of thrust.
Dick Benoit and defending champion Scott Bruneau worked their way up through the pack over the course of the thirty lap event to take second and third, respectively. “We made some changes to the car after the heat race,” Benoit, who started tenth, said. “Our car was pretty decent tonight. It was a little on the loose side so we changed a couple little things, which made the car really good for the feature. We picked [other cars] off one by one. Did the best we could with what we had.”
The field took the green flag with “Smoke’n” Joe Kohler on the pole, Lallier on the outside. Kohler and Lallier battled back and forth for the first eleven laps with Rey Lovelace and Tyler Lallier, Paul’s son, were side-by-side in the second row.
Paul put constant pressure on Kohler, looked for an opening and, on lap eleven, made his move. “[Kohler] was starting to slow down through the corner and I couldn’t wait any more. I worked him a little bit, he lifted up just enough and I shoved it in there and took it!” Lallier exclaimed. Kohler lost two more spots over the remaining twenty laps and finished fourth. “Whew! Paul was fast. My car got a little loose in the middle. I’ll take a top four,” Kohler said.
Craig Pianka, who started twelfth, finished fifth. It was Pianka’s second top ten finish in as many weeks.
SEEKONK SPEEDWAY NOTES
Linwood Cowen, Sr., a fixture for nearly forty years at Seekonk Speedway – both as a driver and race car owner – died on June 9, 2018 at age 67. In recent years Linwood owned the No. 1 Sportsman driven by Rob Murphy. His visitation will take place in the Manuel Rogers & Sons Funeral Home, Inc. 1521 N. Main St. Fall River on Wednesday, June 13 from 4-8 P.M. with a memorial service at 6:00 P.M . . .
Race Director Ron Manfredo confirms that two drivers were issued written warnings for speeding in the pit area. Colby Lambert, driver of the No. 54 Late Model, and Donald Perry, driving Sportsman No., 69, were each sent a “letter of warning” and will be on one week probation. Both drivers are in their rookie season . . .
Car count. Seventy-four race cars checked into the paddock area Saturday (June 9th). 14 Sport Trucks; 21 Late Models; 22 Sportsman and 17 Pro Stocks . . .
Ed St. Angelo and Vinny “WHO?” Annarummo were inducted on to the speedway’s Wall of Fame. Annarummo is a five time Pro Stock championship who chalked up over forty checkered flags in a racing carrier that started in the early 1970’s. St. Angelo raced modified and full-bodied stock cars, hitting a high point in 1983 when he scored eight wins and an SK Modified Championship . . .
“From the outhouse to the penthouse.” That is how “Smoke’n” Joe Kohler’s compared his fourth place finish in the Sportsman feature event Saturday night (June 9th) to the otherwise rough start to the 2018 racing season for the Kohler racing team. On May 26th at Waterford Speedbowl Joe’s brother, Anthony, wrecked his race car on the second lap of the 375 Sportsman Challenge. “Smoke’n” Joe’s No. 43 was put on the hook after a second lap, multiple car spin at Seekonk on June 2nd. . .
Dylan Estrella won the sixty-five lap Pro Stock main event after putting a cross-over move on defending champion, David Darling, with five laps remaining. Estrella powered his Everett’s Auto Parts No. 46 high down the backstretch, slingshotted down low in turn three, edged under Darling in turn four and seized the lead and the win . . .
Ryan Lineham edged Ryan Kuhn in a photo finish to take the checkered in the thirty-five lap Late Model feature. Seekonk Speedway’s Dana Rowe reports that Lineham bested Kuhn by .084 of a second . . .
Josh Hedges dominated and won the thirty lap Sport Truck feature. Hedges’ Chuckran Auto Parts No. 29 started on the outside of row two and crossed the stripe nearly ten car lengths ahead of second place Mike Duarte. Kyle Sousa, writing for Performing Motorsports Network in January, reports that Hedges won four regular season point races in 2017 as well as the D.A.V. Fall Classic . . .
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