Seekonk Speedway Race Magazine June 23rd-28th Recap - Page 37

David Lougee led from the green to the checkers and gathered in his first win of the season, stubbornly staying in the lead, aided by the fact that the race suffered only two cautions, one on the first lap and the other so late that it saw a green-white-checkered restart. This gave Lougee a long run at the front in the clear air. Chase Belcher, meanwhile, picked his way from a seventh place start to second. He did this by setting Mike Lopes back to third during the final two laps following the restart. Fourth went to last week’s winner, Barry Shaw and fifth to Mike Duarte. The feature was extended to thirty laps for the Phil’s Propane Triple Crown and Lougee, by virtue of his win, won a spot in the Triple Crown finale.

Lougee had the pole, and nobody saw a whiff of the lead as he took command right out of the starting box, nosing ahead of Mike Cavallaro. Lopes, who started behind Lougee took a quick look at making it three-wide but backed out when he got loose. John Robidoux spun of turn two on the initial circuit and then had to be pushed to the pits. He was unable to return.

They lined up and started again. Lougee went again to a half-car lead on the green and Cavallaro tried to battle back. Lopes, David Simpson and Darryl Dutch gave chase while behind them Belcher, Lenny Guy and Darryl Church were running bumper-to-bumper.

By lap three, Lopes was working under Cavallaro and Belcher was in the groove below Simpson, which Chase converted into fourth place. Lougee now went to a six-car lead as Shaw drove under Simpson. Lap five saw the field strung out and Belcher elected to go to Cavallaro’s high side for a pass. At the same time, Shaw went into the space on Cavallaro’s bumper that Belcher had vacated.

Lougee went to a twelve-car lead by lap eight and was lapping rookie driver, Anastacia LeBrun. Belcher was on Cavallaro’s high side but had to brake as LeBrun came back toward him in the second groove. Cavallaro continued in third. Shaw took the opportunity to go to Belcher’s outside as Guy, Eddy Perry and Duarte ran in pursuit. Trying to shake Shaw, Belcher ran up to Cavallaro’s bumper and tried to dash under but had the door slammed on him. Perry looked under Guy and slid alongside.

Shaw had dropped in and took a shot under Belcher, but was denied. Belcher then went to Cavallaro’s high side and nosed ahead. He succeeded on the backstretch on lap 17 and Shaw pushed his way in below Cavallaro, taking the spot in turn two. The gates had opened and Perry and then Duarte kept Cavallaro on the freight train to the rear. By lap 20, Lougee led Lopes by a full straightaway and Belcher was closing, trailing shaw, Duarte, Perry, Cavallaro, Guy, Josh Hedges and Simpson, all running single file.

Lougee found himself working through lapped traffic on lap 24 while Belcher was up to Lopes’ tailgate. He was all over Lopes’ back end for several laps, going high and low, trying to make the pass. But the wily Lopes was able to hold him off each time. Finally, the combat was ended as caution flew on lap 28. Curtis Robinson and Scott Harkin had gone around on the backstretch.

It was the green-white-checkered restart and Lougee was on pole with Lopes at his shoulder. Belcher was on Lougee’s bumper with Shaw alongside. Duarte and Perry were poised in row three.

They were wheel to wheel out of the box, but Lougee nosed ahead and Belcher leapt in under Lopes. Lopes battled, holding Belcher behind the leader and by the time Belcher had clear air, the race was closing with Lougee grabbing the win. Belcher followed with Lopes third while Shaw and Duarte closed out the top five. Hedges was sixth, followed by Guy, Simpson, Cavallaro, Darryl Dutch and Darryl Church.