Recap of Opening Day at Seekonk Speedway

On Saturday, front grandstands gates open at 4 p.m., with the first green flag for qualifying heats will be at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults. Youth 6-12 only $5  and kids 5 and under and parking are free.

For more information on Seekonk Speedway, including all events for the 2022 season, visit SeekonkSpeedway.com.  NASCAR Saturday night racing kicks-off on Saturday, May 7 at 6 p.m. The Fast Friday season will begin on Friday, May 27, the day before the Memorial Day Thrill Show.
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WILD ONE: MIKE BRIGHTMAN COMES AWAY WITH PRO STOCK WIN ON OPENING DAY

 

It was a wild one — really wild.

 

But, after 40 laps of Pro Stock racing on opening day at Seekonk Speedway, Mike Brightman found himself in Victory Lane in the No. 27, opening the year with the checkered flag in his hand.

 

For the last few years, beating Dave Darling on opening day has been a nearly impossible task. And it looked like Darling was in position to pounce yet again. But it didn’t work out, and Brightman was the one who beat the rest to get to the winner’s circle.

 

Early in the race, “The Rocket” Ryan Vanasse seemed to be the favorite. He jumped to the lead early and was at the point of the race for much of the distance. After Mark Jenison and Tommy Adams both slid around with 14 laps to go, Vanasse was the lucky man when the two got together and Vanasse and inherited the lead back.

 

The final 12 laps of the race included multiple yellows, including a wild three-wide battle where Darling was on the bottom, Vanasse in the middle and Rick Martin on the outside. When they entered turn one, it worked. When they excited turn two, it didn’t work anymore. All three cars were collected and that handed the lead to Brightman, who wasn’t going to give it up.

 

Brightman beat former division champion Kenny Spencer to the line, followed by Jenison, who came away with a solid third. Colbey Fournier was fourth in the 40-lap race and Bobby Pelland III rounded out the top-five.

 

Ryan Lineham finished sixth, followed by Danny Thibeault, Martin, Darling and Vanasse.

 

The Pro Stocks will return to the track for the first NASCAR Saturday night of the season on Saturday, May 7 at 6 p.m. Tickets are available in advance today at SeekonkSpeedway.com.

 

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FOR THE FIRST TIME: MURRAY CONTINUES FAMILY LEGACY WITH FIRST LATE MODEL WIN

 

Richie Murray is making sure the sophomore slump won’t be a factor for him at Seekonk Speedway.

 

One year after moving up to the Late Models, and finishing podium multiple times, Murray opened the 2022 season right where he wanted to be — in Victory Lane. Driving the familiar No. 08, with the green colors that have become tradition with the Murray family, Richie made sure race fans would have something to remember on opening day.

 

Murray started fourth, quickly moved to third, and passed Mark Jenison just into the second half of the race, on lap 17, to rocket to Victory Lane. It was the first Late Model win for the former Sport Truck champion, which will likely be the first of many to come in his career.

 

Behind Murray, Jenison — returning to the division — rocketed to the front early, and had to settle for second at the finish. Jenison was chased to the line by Josh Hedges, who worked from ninth up into the third spot by the end of the 30-lap race. Behind them, Ryan Flood and Jacob “Rowdy” Burns opened their season with impressive top-five finishes. Jennison would also grab a podium finish in the Pro Stocks later in the afternoon, part of a busy opening day.

 

Paul Lallier was sixth, while Vinnie Arrenegado, Charlie Rose, Gerry DeGasparre Jr. and Chase Belcher completed the top-10.

 

The Late Models will return to the track for the first NASCAR Saturday night of the season on Saturday, May 7 at 6 p.m. Tickets are available in advance today at SeekonkSpeedway.com.

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CAPTAIN FUN HAS THE MOST FUN OF ALL: PIANKA WINS ON OPENING DAY

 

Craig Pianka, nicknamed “Captain Fun”, was having all the fun he wanted at Seekonk Speedway on Sunday afternoon, May 1. Pianka rocketed to the front early in the 25-lap Helger’s South Coast Power Equipment Sportsman feature, and held off defending division champion Chad Baxter to take down the first victory of the season.

 

Pianka, who had the speed to win multiple races last year, carried the setup over to the new year, with a few adjustments to make it even better. On opening day, he made sure that he was going to square things away early, and get to Victory Lane right from race one. He posted the fastest lap of the race, and held the checkered flag at the end of 25 laps.

 

Baxter put together a solid start to his title defense, driving the No. 0 machine to a second-place run and showing he wasn’t going anywhere. The team may have only showed up the day before opening day for a few laps, but the speed was right there with a shot to win. Ed Perry finished third, continuing his streak of success dating back to last year, while former champion Steve Axon was fourth and Scott Serydysnki Jr. fifth.

 

Tyler Almeida finished sixth, followed by Kyle Casper, Chris Rioux, Vinny Pangelinan and Doug Benoit.

 

The Helger’s South Coast Power Equipment Sportsman will return to the track for the first NASCAR Saturday night of the season on Saturday, May 7 at 6 p.m. Tickets are available in advance today at SeekonkSpeedway.com.

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CAVALLARO IN THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME FOR SPORT TRUCK WIN

 

Multiple-time Seekonk Speedway Chaz’s Auto Body Sport Truck champion Mike Cavallaro has been in Victory Lane countless times before. But when the 2022 season took the green flag on Sunday, May 1, Cavallaro was ready to settle for second, until the door opened. He captured the win after Amy Arsenault’s truck suffered a mechanical failure and opened the year in Victory Lane.

 

For 23 laps, it was Arsenault’s race to lose. The driver of the No. 9 Moe’s Moving Truck was at the front of the field right from the drop of the green flag, and had gapped the competition by enough to likely visit the winner’s circle in the season-opener. However, with just two laps to go, the mechanical failure came out of no where — and there was nothing she could do to avoid it. Arsenault coasted around, while Cavallaro slid by, and captured the big win.

 

Behind Cavallaro, Brittany Campbell, who struggled in practice and her heat race, seemed to find her groove, finishing second in the 25-lap event. Mike Duarte was third in a brand new truck, while Rick Martin, also in a new truck, and defending Chaz Auto Body Sport Truck champion Barry Shaw Jr. rounded out the top-five.

 

Darryl Church was sixth, followed by Ethan Heilborn, Rick Albernaz, Tom Scully III and Lenny Guy, who completed the top-10. The 25-lap feature, which included 17 Trucks, went without a caution flag.

 

The Chaz Auto Body Sport Trucks will return to the track for the first NASCAR Saturday night of the season on Saturday, May 7 at 6 p.m. Tickets are available in advance today at SeekonkSpeedway.com.

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