PLAYOFF TIME: Sunoco Drive For The Cup Begins This Weekend at Seekonk Speedway

It’s finally time.  After all of the hype, the inaugural Seekonk Speedway Drive For The Cup presented by Sunoco Race Fuels begins this weekend, with Fast Friday on Friday, September 9 and NASCAR Saturday on Saturday, September 10.

Over two nights, the playoffs will begin with driver eliminations. Entering the playoffs, 68 drivers have a chance to win championships across both nights. This weekend, 10 of them will be eliminated from contention.

It all begins on Friday, starting with the Seekonk Grand Prix Bandolero divisions. In the Bandolero Bandits and Outlaws, only six drivers have qualified for the playoffs, and one per division will be eliminated this week. Can regular season points leaders Milania Shilosky (Bandits) and Chase Silvia (Outlaws) kick off their title efforts strong? Will a dark horse like Joey LeMay (Outlaws) or Nick Uhrig Jr. (Bandits) bust their way through and advance to round two? Both Bandolero classes will compete in 15-lap main events on Friday.

In the Everett’s Auto Parts Sport 4’s, Crystal Murray and Tyler Duhancik have been the stars so far this year. If statistics from earlier in the season matter, Stephanie Bruneau, Daniel Hayes and Justin Leduc are at the biggest risk of being eliminated in round one. Can they bust their way into round two and outrun someone who is currently in the top six? Look out for Henry Lavallee, Jarrod Freitas and Taylor Bowser to try to kick-off their playoffs strong in the 25-lap feature.

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The Helger’s South Coast Power Equipment Pure Stocks might be one of the most wide open battles across Seekonk’s nine divisions, along with the Nick’s Pit Stop Legends Cars. In the Pure Stocks, 25 laps is on deck with Danny Massa, Sam Lincoln, Greg Perry and Mike Henriques up front looking to start off strong. Look out at the bottom of the top-eight — as Mike Rotondo and Ethan Souza are right now out of the top-six and need to find their way in. Will someone sneak in? Who would fall out? The Legends Cars field will also open the playoffs with their own 25-lap race, with names like Deshaies, Hammann, Tessier, Newcomb, Parsons, Silvia and others in contention to make round two.

On NASCAR Saturday, lap counts are boosted for all four divisions by five laps. The 45-lap Pro Stock race in round one will see Dave Darling look to begin his bid for a ninth track championship against the likes of Brightman, Adams, Scully Jr. and others. Perhaps a dark horse in the Pro Stock race, in a surprising way, is Radical Rick Martin. Entering as the final seed, the Westport, Massachusetts, native could easily advance to the Final Four, maybe just off experience alone.

The Late Models is another open race. Gerry DeGasparre Jr. was the clear favorite during the regular season, but defending champion Vinnie Arrenegado came on strong to end it. Names like Belcher, Murray, Burns and others are going to be ready to roll in the 35-lap main event on Saturday night. As they run, Lillie and Lallier are the two out of the top-six advance spots.

Can Chad Baxter continue his roll in the Helger’s South Coast Power Equipment Sportsman? With 30 laps coming up this week, he’s been nearly… never mind, he’s been unbeatable lately. Baxter will have to hold off some tough challengers to race for the title, but he’s the favorite. Will he make it through round one or will something happy to impact his playoff bid this week?

And in the Chaz Auto Body Sport Trucks, the dark horse for the title could be the driver who barely snuck his way in. Jake Vanada passed Tom Scully III in the standings on the final night, and enters the playoffs as the final seed. But does it matter? Not really. He’s been bad fast inside the top-five weekly lately, and could be a major contender. The favorite in the Sport Trucks? It has to be five-time season winner Rick Martin.

Fast Friday racing begins at 7 p.m., and NASCAR Saturday begins at 6 p.m.

Don’t forget — in all divisions — if there are eight drivers, the top six finishers in those races on Friday advance, regular season points don’t matter. In the Bandolero classes, the top-five of the six in the feature advance.

Tickets to all remaining 2022 Seekonk Speedway events are available online at With three weeks of playoff racing, the Pumpkin Smash Thrill Show and the Haunted Hundred remaining on the schedule, fans will need to get to the track quickly before the season comes to a close.

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