Seekonk Speedway Race Magazine June 23rd-28th Recap - Page 60

DOUG BENOIT NAILS DOWN PURE STOCK WIN

It wasn’t an easy win for Doug Benoit, as he first had to work his way up from a tenth-place start. Once in first on lap 20,he had to fend off the previous leader, Dan “the Outlaw” Massa who was then replaced by a charging Colby lambert who Sat on the outside pole for the green-white-checkered restart. Lambert proceeded to take all the fun out of Benoit’s race with a serious challenge and they ran a grim, seesawduel over the lead for the final two laps. They charged out of turn four toward the line and the crowd rose to see the finish. Benoit pressed ahead as they flashed across the line, winning by a mere two feet, which translated to twenty-four thousandths of a second.

Lambert was forced to settle for second, while Tommy Blackwell, Dylan Cabral and Greg Perry completed the top five. The win sits Benoit in the Phil’s Propane Triple Crown finals.

At the outset, Robert Moore nosed away from Lenny Sousa and they settled in and whipsawed the lead. Behind them, Blackwell was under Massa. Moore came back in lap two to stick his nose ahead by three feet before Sousa fell back and dropped into second on his bumper.

Lap four saw Moore being pursued by Souza with the Outlaw on his tail. Lambert came around Blackwell into fourth. Massa went to Souza’s bumper as Lambert closed in on him. Two laps later, Benoit entered the picture, getting under Blackwell for some wheel-to-wheel competition for fifth. Massa dug in under Lambert and they went side-by-side as the field caught up to and lapped Jason Tisi.

Massa moved up and nosed under Sousa and had a two-foot edge on him, then took second in turn two of lap 11. Now Sousa was caught on the outside and Lambert followed under as did Amy Arsenault. Sousa nearly spun in turn three.

Next time around, lap 14, saw Moore enjoying a 20-car lead over Massa and Lambert when Sousa spun in turn four after Blackwell had nosed into him. Moore and the Outlaw lined up for the restart.

Moore nosed ahead out of the box and they were door-to-door in turn two. Benoit, Arsenault and Lambert got into a three-wide which saw Benoit grab third from Lambert, who held on for fourth. But Massa climbed back up and pushed past Moore, who found Benoit underneath and into second. As Moore fell back, Lambert took third, just before Tisi spun in turn four.

Now Massa and Benoit lined up at the front with Lambert and Moor behind them. Third row as Jeremy Lambert and Arsenault. (The Lamberts made a trio in the race with brother Shayne also on the run.) The Outlaw and Benoit ran wheel-to-wheel for a full lap, when Arsenault and Max Bergstrom when Amy got sideways and Bergstrom drove into her driver’s door, resulting in a red flag. Arsenault emerged and was able to walk to the ambulance for the obligatory ride to the pits and checkup. Both were out of the race, as well as Moore, who drove to the pits.

Massa and Benoit went at it again and Benoit nosed ahead at the stripe, then pulled away down the backstetch. After a bumper-check from Lambert, Benoit pulled solidly into the lead. Massa dropped in to give chase ahead of Lambert, brother Jeremy, Blackwell and Mark Murphy.

Colby fought his way past Massa and dropped into second, putting Jeremy on Massa’s bumper. Massa powered up and pulled away from him as Benoit and Colby were running nose-to-tail. The action ended as Murphy and Jeremy gpt together in turn two.

Benoit and Colby again set up for the restart with Massa and Blackwell behind them. Benoit went ahead at the stripe and Massa looked under Colby but could not go. Colby continued to work the outside trying to steal the lead. They were wheel-to-wheel at the stripe but there was momentary contact and Colby slid up, and Benoit escaped. But Colby and Massa brushed together in turn three and Massa went into the infield, hitting the rolling low spot in turn four getting airborne over the grass then back onto the asphalt where he nailed Mark Murphy, who spun onto the frontstretch. It ended Murphy’s evening.

A green-white-checkered restart was the result and Benoit and Lambert lined up for the dash to the .024-second victory for Benoit. Blackwell and Dylan Cabral brawled side-by-side while Greg Perry, Mike Henriques and Gil Bradstreet gave chase, seeking an opportunity.

Sixth overall went to Henriques, followed by Bradstreet, Melissa Charette, Donald Perry and Emily Brightman.

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