Rob Murphy Overcomes Driveshaft Problems – Grabs Checkered in Seekonk Sportsman; Bruneau Maintains Points Lead Over Fanning and Lallier; Seven Winners in Eight Races

 

 

By DAVID M WIERNUSZ

“Don’t die on me!  Don’t die on me!” is what Rob Murphy was saying to his No. 1 Barboza Trucking Sportsman for most of twenty-five lap main event before he pulled it into victory lane for his first win this season.

“[The car] was fine.  Then ten laps in it made a pop like it did when we blew the driveshaft [two weeks ago].  It stuck together and held out the race…” said Murphy as he reflected on the driveshaft problems he has had with his backup car since crashing his primary racecar in a last lap melee on May 27th that ended with the Rochester, MA driver’s car turned over and resting on its side.

Murphy started on the pole and led every lap.

Chad Baxter drove the wheels off the Richard Sprague owned No. 10 crossing the stripe for second, but was later disqualified for a crankshaft height infraction.  Scott Bruneau was awarded second and Sandwich, MA driver Ryan Flood came home to a third place finish.

“Rob Murphy (No.1) Jesse Melberg (No.32) Ryan Flood (No. 98) Scott Bruneau (No. 74) Chad Baxter (No. 10) Vinny Pangelinan (No. 53)”

 

While rubbin’ is racin’ typically characterizes the Sportsman division, the twenty-six car field completed its twenty-five lap main event with only one caution when Corey Medeiros’ No. 33 spun on the backstretch on lap 7.

With long green flag runs, much of the field stretched out running nose-to-tail favoring drivers with properly set up racecars.  Scott Serydynski and Tommy Adams proved to be hard chargers by passing six cars each.  It is worth noting that while Adams’ season has been hampered by two post-race technical DQ’s – with one of those missteps robbing the twenty-two year-old East Providence, RI driver of a feature win – he has been finishing races in a position much higher from that which he started.

Giving it a 100% effort Baxter threaded his way from sixth to second place by lap 13, closed the gap with Murphy and attempted to muscle under the leader when the white flag flew.  Murphy slammed the door hard and beat Baxter to the checkered by .182 seconds.

Back in the pack there was no breathing room between Vinny Pangelinan, Paul Lallier, Adams and Corey Fanning.  Fanning tapped and knocked against Adams’ bumper with the two drivers running tenth and eleventh, respectively.

With eight races complete Murphy became the Sportsman division’s seventh winner.  Bruneau has a thirty-four point lead over Fanning.  Lallier is third (-48), Sparky Arsenault is fourth (-50) and Pangelinan fifth (-54).

SEEKONK SPEEDWAY NOTES

There was plenty of green flag racing on Saturday night.  Fans were treated to nearly ninety laps of caution free racing over the course of nine qualifying races.  The first yellow flag of the evening was unfurled on lap 10 of the Pro Stock’s first heat…

Mike Cavallaro won the Sport Truck Feature; Kenny Spencer III took down the checkered in the Pro Stocks; Ryan Lineham won the fifty-lap main event in the Late Model division.

Fans saw an exciting display of alternating crossover maneuvers by David Lougee and John Robidioux as they raced for lead in the second, ten-lap qualifying round in the Sport Truck division.  “It was fun!” Lougee later remarked as he described the back and forth crisscrossing action that continued over the course of seven laps with each driver swapping the inside lane – and the lead – no fewer than four times.  Lougee went on to win that heat…

 

“John Robidioux (No. 93) and Dave Lougee (left) wheeling and dealing coming out of turn four ”

 

“It’s the valve cover gasket.”  That was the word from Sportsman driver Corey Fanning as he looked at Ed Flanagan Jr.’s No. 5 as it pulled into the pit during practice with smoke coming from the engine compartment.  Fanning, Flanagan and Joe Kohler typically pit side-by-side and often assist each other…

“I am having way more fun” said Joe Parker, the twenty-year-old driver from Weymouth, MA, as he compared racing a Late Model this year at Seekonk to his former three-year stint running an SK-type modified at Thompson Speedway (Thompson, CT).  Parker is in his rookie season behind the wheel of his No. 60 Late Model at Seekonk…

There is a father and son team competing in the Sportsman division.  Twenty-six year-old Tim Watson drives the No. 46 and his dad, Tom Watson, drives the orange colored No. 6.  “KGS Tom” did much of the motor work on Tim’s racecar which was formally owned and driven by A.J. Solomon.  As for Tom Watson, this is the rookie year for the fifty-six-year-old driver…

Austin Blais bought his No.16 Late Model in 2014 from Dylan Estrella.  Blais’ racecar is powered by a Nat Chiavettone motor and is set up on a Crazy Horse racing chassis.  Blais has one feature win this season…

“Cooked the motor.”  That was the explanation of Sport Truck driver Ed Perry as to why he was driving Darrel Dutch’s truck as a backup.  Fans typically recognize Perry’s No. 00 by its signature black and white paint scheme designed to look like a Holstein dairy cow…

“Shut up and drive it” was the good-humored advice given to Sport Truck driver John Robidioux by his father after Robidioux complained about a rear end vibration that likely resulted from brushing the wall in practice that left small chunks of concrete imbedded in the right rear tire and rim…

Correction.    Scott Serydynski, driver of the No. 22 Sportsman, has one track championship at Seekonk Speedway.  A news article that posted on May 30, 2017 mistakenly said that Serydynski two track championships.

Thoughts and comments can be sent to david.wiernusz@yahoo.com.