Seekonk Speedway Race Magazine June 23rd-28th Recap - Page 13

Give Dave Darling an extra-laps event and he’s likely to go out there and win it. This was the case with the Granite State Pro Stock Series hundred lapper which graced Seekonk. Darling started sixth and was displacing initial leader, Bobby Pelland III on lap six. From there he was unheaded but not unheeded for the remainder of the hundred laps. Arriving in second on the same lap that Darling took the lead was current champion, Tom Scully, Jr. – and nobody else saw second for the rest of the feature. There were many good Darling vs. Scully battles throughout the feature, but toward the end, Darling seemed to throw in some speed he had been saving for the end and he smartly pulled farther and farther away in the waning circuit. Scully completed the event in second, while Travis Benjamin became the first series member to finish with a well-earned third. Angelo Belsito, a former track champ now competing in the Granite State Series, finished fourth, just ahead of Devin O’Connell.

Pelland had run an excellent heat race, winning over Mike O’Sullivan, Scott MacMichael and Radical Rick Martin. He put it on the pole and then galloped away at the head of the feature after a lap 1 restart following caution. He had Belsito on his shoulder but dispatched him with a quick pop out of the box. Now, however, Darling was in on Belsito’s bumper with O’Sullivan fourth and Scully fifth. But sixth place Cory Casagrande was around, forcing Craig Weinstein to brake hard to avoid him. There was no contact.

Pelland was again quick out of the box and into the lead. Darling ducked under Belsito to grab second and Scully drove into second. But Darling was quick to his bumper and dropped under, sticking Bobby on the outside. Bobby dropped in but suddenly slowed. Belsito was on Pelland’s bumper and the slowing took him rearward. Darling cruised on with Scully in second followed by O’Sullivan, O’Connell and Nick Lascuola, who was working underneath Pelland. They traded paint and Lascuola found himself in a spin.

The lap eight restart had Darling and Scully ahead of O’Sullivan and O’Connelll with Pelland and Belsito behind them. Darling pulled ahead and Scully dropped with O’Sullivan third. By lap eleven, the field was single file but Billy Joerres went around bringing caution.

Darling nosed out on the restart and had the lead in turn two. Scully followed ahead of O”Sullivan. Belsito was fourth and Larry Gelinas came up to fifth. Radical Rick followed, ahead of Pelland and Travis Benjamin.

Barry Gray brought out a lap 20 caution with a turn 4 spin after Casagrande got into his back. They were away again after to tries to restart and Darling led Scully; by lap 23, they were single file once again and turning pace laps. By lap 30, Darling led the field by half a straightaway over Scully.

Casagrande looked under Larry Gelinas and there was contact; Gelinas made a big save in turn four and the racing continued. By lap 37, Darling was into lapped traffic and Scully gained gradually, but ran into the same traffic moments later. They picked their way through with Darling maintaining his half-straight lead until O’Sullivan suffered a solo spin out of turn one into turn two.

Belsito and Benjamin followed the leaders with O’Connell and Martin in row three. Casagrande and Gelinas followed. Darling went out to a four=car lead while Belsito ducked under Scully and O’Connell got under Martin. Another lap and Dave led by eight and the field was stringing out behind him.

This continued through restarts at laps 56, and 61 before a final, 39-lap, unbroken run to the finish. This seemed to be what Darling had been waiting for. Despite running at the front for the majority of the laps, he reached down and found some more speed, visibly evident. He pulled rapidly away and none had answers for it. By lap 69 the lead was eight cars over Scully, who was 20 cars ahead of Benjamin. Belsito followed, ahead of O’Connell and Rick Martin.

The field was now single file and with no cautions, they continued to wind around the oval with unchanging positions, all the way to the checkers. Darling flashed under the waving flag 2.2 seconds ahead of Scully for the win. Benjamin, Belsito and O’Connell were quick to follow. Sixth went to Casagrande followed by O’Sullivan, Wyatt Alexander, Larry Geinas, Radical Rick and Pelland.