Seekonk Speedway Race Magazine June 23rd-28th Recap - Page 31

Tom “The Bomb” Adams came on hot in the second half to capture the Sportsman 30 lap feature. However, he ran afoul of the rules during post-race inspection and the win was then awarded to hard-charging Dick Benoit who had battled his way to second place – and the win on the evening.

Benoit had to chase Adams and Rob Murphy for half the race before Adams took over on lap 16 as Murphy’s bad luck threw the driveshaft out of his car, eliminating him from the feature. Benoit came up to plague The Bomb for the rest of the distance to the checkers and score second, while Vinny Pangelinan, “Kid Chaos” Corey Fanning and Scott Bruneau rounded out the top five. However, Adams ran afoul of the rules during tech inspection, which means that Benoit gets the win and the top spot in the laps-added feature grants him a win in the Phil’s Propane Triple Crown. Benoit now qualifies for the triple crown finals at season’s end.

At the outset, Murphy held the pole and Benoit the outside pole. Murphy came away from the start with the lead while Jesse Melberg went under Benoit into second and Pangelinan now made his way to third. But Melberg slowed, rising up to the wall and creeping around the track toward the pit exit with his back end hanging askew. Caution flew and Gil Bradstreet also went pitside.

Murphy now had Pangelinan on his shoulder for the restart. Pangelinan battled, but Murphy owned the lead by turn four. Signs of problems for Murphy showed as his nose suddenly pointed toward the infield, and might have spun him to the infield but close-following vehicles made contact and pushed him straight once again. He was also able to retain his lead, and the race continued without caution.

Adams came by Benoit, then rushed past Pangelinan to take over second and went right to Murphy’s bumper. Benoit got under Pangelinan with Chad Baxter following. By lap eight, Murphy led Adams, Benoit, Pangelinan and Sparky Arsenault. Baxter, Fanning, Bruneau and Scott Serydynski kept pace. This continued for several laps.

On lap 13, both Murphy and Adams were loose coming out of turn four as they began to encounter lapped cars. Next circuit, Adams nosed under and went alongside Murphy. They went door-to-door into lap 15. Murphy was loose again, but stayed alongside Adams through lap 16 until the driveshaft flew out from under his car in turn two of lap 17. The shaft came to rest at the foot of the wall between turns one and two.

Adams now inherited the lead he had battled so hard for and lined up with Pangelinan. Benoit and Bruneau were behind them while Arsenault and Kid Chaos were row three. Baxter and Serydynski followed. Adams pulled ahead by ¾ of a car at the stripe but Vinny fired up and came back. A Corey Medeiros spin brought caution after one lap.

Adams and Pangelinan line up again and went at it with The Bomb succeeding to the front. Pangelinan laid in pursuit and bore down as Benoit was working under Bruneau behind them. Benoit made his way into second by lap 22. Vinny was on his bumper with Fanning, Bruneau and Paul Lallier in tow. Adams pulled away and the chase group snugged up into a bumper-to-bumper chase line with Benoit leading the train, followed by Pangelinan, Fanning, Bruneau Lallier and Craig Pianka.

The final five laps were a mad dash to the checkers with every vehicle following the line and none changing places enroute. Adams crosssed under the checkers and it seemed that he had his trophy and a trip into the Triple Crown finals. Benoit charged across in the runnerup slot, but was due to be elevated to first by post-race inspection. Pangelinan was next, for second, followed by Fanning and Bruneau while Paul Lallier rounded out the top five.

Coming up sixth was Craig Pianka, followed by Baxter, Serydynski, Arsenault, Ed Flanagan, Jr. Paul Williams and Kevin Bowe.