SEEKONK, Mass. – After a long offseason of quiet around the Seekonk area, Seekonk Speedway will roar to life for the first time for racing action in 2023 this weekend. The 77th season of competition at the Massachusetts third-mile officially begins on Sunday, May 7 with NASCAR Opening Day – including all four Advance Auto Parts Weekly Racing Series divisions.
Weekend Preview by Souza Media
The Pro Stocks, Late Models, Helger’s South Coast Power Equipment Sportsman and Chaz Auto Body Sport Trucks will compete in qualifying and their first feature races of the season on Sunday beginning at 2 p.m. All of the competitors in the field will be chasing the opening checkered flag of the season, but will also begin their quest towards the second Sunoco Drive For The Cup and the track championships that will come with it.
One day prior on Saturday, May 6, the 12th annual Classic Car Show & Swap Meet returns to Seekonk Speedway in a big way. With entertainment provided by Cruisin Bruce and over five awards on the line for things like Top Three Best of Show, Best Paint, Best Engine and more, race fans will have a free opportunity to walk around the show on the frontstretch parking lot. Admission for cars is $10 per car, with gates opening at 8 a.m. and judging beginning at 10 a.m. All fans and car enthusiasts who attend the show will also have free access to watch NASCAR divisions practice on track from 12-4 p.m. on Saturday.
“It’s going to be a mega weekend of racing with so much going on at Seekonk Speedway that fans will not want to miss it,” Ed St. Germain of Seekonk Speedway said. “With the car show returning, there is going to be a big turnout on Saturday, while the NASCAR drivers make their final tune-ups for Sunday’s racing. Once Sunday begins, drivers are going to be giving everything they have in the tank to grab the first wins of the year. Race season is here and we can’t wait to see everyone at Seekonk Speedway in 2023. Fans should visit SeekonkSpeedway.com for tickets and the latest news.”
As the preseason roster sits, the Pro Stocks have 30 cars registered. With eight-time track champion Dave Darling saying he won’t run a full season, the battle is on for race wins and the chase towards the Sunoco Drive For The Cup championship. Names like defending champion Mark Jenison, Tom Scully Jr., Bobby Pelland, Rick Martin, Colbey Fournier, Mike Brightman, Dylan Estrella, Tommy Adams and others will contest their 10-lap heat races and a 40-lap feature to headline opening day.
In the Late Models, Jenison is also rolling into 2023 as the defending champion, looking to get his double-duty season off with a strong finish. A new car and confidence have former division champion Vinnie Arrenegado excited about the competition for opening day. Names like Gerry DeGasparre Jr., Richie Murray, Josh Hedges, Chase Belcher, Jacob “Rowdy” Burns and others will be ones to watch in their 10-lap heats and 30-lap feature on Sunday.
The Helger’s South Coast Power Equipment Sportsman, known as one of New England’s most exciting divisions, rolls into the season with Craig Pianka looking for back-to-back titles. His path to doing it will be difficult, with 2021 champion Chad Baxter, Ed Perry, Steve Axon, Adam Pettey and many others ready to chase him down, starting on opening day. The Sportsman field, set to be over 20 for the season-opener, will have 10 lap heats and a 25-lap feature.
In the Chaz Auto Body Sport Trucks, Radical Rick Martin looks to pick up where he left off last yea, iin dominating fashion. Driving the No. 14, Martin will do battle against names like Amy Arsenault, Brittany Campbell, Jake Vanada, Mike Duarte, Mike Cavallaro and many others. The Trucks will run 10 lap heats, and a 25-lap feature.
Important times to note for the weekend include the Classic Car Show & Swap Meet gates opening at 8 a.m. on Saturday, while NASCAR pit gates open at 9 a.m. NASCAR division practice will roll from 12-4 p.m., with a short break for burnout drags at 1 p.m.
On Sunday, pit gates open at 9 a.m., while practice begins at 11 a.m. Front grandstands open at 12 p.m. and Pro Stock time trials will begin at 1 p.m. The first green flag for heat races, followed by feature action, is 2 p.m.
New for 2023, Seekonk Speedway fans should be aware that hot coffee will no longer be sold at the concession stands. With the new ticketing system, where fans can buy tickets for all events online at SeekonkSpeedway.com, tickets are cheaper online and there will be a limited number of ticketing agents at the gates on race day. Ticket prices for general admission for NASCAR Saturday normal events including opening day are $18 (unless a special event), but online are $15 plus processing fees. Fans who purchase tickets online will have access to the grandstands 30 minutes before those who purchase at the track and will also pay less.
For more information on Seekonk Speedway, visit SeekonkSpeedway.com and follow the track on social media, where you can get the latest race day updates during events.