Clark Scores $10,000 in Dominant Return to Seekonk

The Pro All Stars Series returned to Seekonk Speedway in Massachusetts for the first time since 2019, and Johnny Clark – making his own long-awaited return to the track – came away with the $10,000 victory in the inaugural Bay State Summer Classic.  It was Clark’s second career win at the 1/3-mile oval.

REPLAY: Bay State Summer Classic at Seekonk

A chaotic first half of the race saw several big names get taken out early.  Joey Doiron, who has already won twice this year, was caught in an incident with Angelo Belsito and Kate Re as they were attempting to work around a lapped car on a restart.  All three cars were eliminated with significant damage.

 

However, the second half of the race was much smoother.  Johnny Clark took the lead on Lap 62, and held off charges from Eddie MacDonald, Ryan Kuhn, and D.J. Shaw.  Clark was as cool as ever, holding off every challenger to notch his first win in 10 years at the Seekonk Speedway.

 

“This is huge!”  Clark said after the race.  “A mid-week show, and to come home with 10 grand, at one of the biggest races we have of the year, in front of a packed crowd here at Seekonk, it’s good to be back.  I think it’s been like eight, nine years since I’ve been here, I know it’s been 10 years since I’ve been to Victory Lane.

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a car like that, probably since the Oxford 250 last year.  Let’s hope we can have another one here in another month over at Oxford.  If we can have two-thirds the car [when we return to Seekonk in September], then we’ll be battling for the win next time. – Johnny Clark

D.J. Shaw had an excellent car as well, but knew that on the long run, no one was going to catch Johnny Clark.  He fell down to fourth before recovering to finish second.

 

“If we had maybe had a five lap run, but after that he was definitely the class of the field,” Shaw said.  “[We were] better than I thought we’d be.  I fell to fourth there and then Eddie [MacDonald] had the problem, just the timing was right on the run length there to allow us to get back to second and hold off Ryan.  All in all a great day for us, just always hope for one spot better.  I won a PASS race here a long time ago, and since then it’s been nothing to write home about, so second is a good solid day, something to build on to come back here a few more times.  Wasn’t really looking forward to coming here, and this definitely puts a little boost in our morale the next time around.”

 

Ryan Kuhn, who has run well here both in real life and in his iRacing exploits, was proud of the result, and loved the chance he had to race with the biggest names in northeast Super Late Model racing.

 

“It’s not often I get to run with the big boys, and tonight we proved that we belong here,”  Kuhn said with a smile.  “It’s pretty cool to run up front with these boys.  I’m speechless, it was one heck of a run.  I did not want that late-race caution, it really killed us.  I thought that was one of the best cars I’ve ever had here on the long haul.  Man, we came close, I could see $10,000 out the windshield!”

 

Longtime race leader Eddie MacDonald, recovering from a punctured right front tire, rallied to fourth, and Derek Griffith came home fifth.  David Darling, Wayne Helliwell, Derek Ramstrom, Dan Winter, and Rowland Robinson, Jr. finished in the top ten.

 

In the PASS Modified feature, Ryan Ripley dominated all 50 laps to win by 4.5 seconds, scoring his first career victory at Seekonk in the Modifieds’ first-ever visit to the “Action Track of the East.”  Max Cookson and J.R. Barill completed the podium, with Tyler King and Troy Morse rounding out the top five.

 

The Pro All Stars Series will be back in action at Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, Maine on Sunday, August 15th, for the final 150-lap tune-up before the 48th Annual Oxford 250 on August 29th.

 

Bay State Summer Classic – Full Results (Unofficial)

  1. Johnny Clark
  2. J. Shaw
  3. Ryan Kuhn
  4. Eddie MacDonald
  5. Derek Griffith
  6. David Darling
  7. Wayne Helliwell, Jr.
  8. Derek Ramstrom
  9. Dan Winter
  10. Rowland Robinson, Jr.
  11. Tom Scully, Jr.
  12. Trevor Sanborn
  13. Dave Farrington
  14. Joey Polewarczyk
  15. Fred Astle
  16. Jake Matheson
  17. Mike Mitchell
  18. Nick Lascuola
  19. Brian Whalley
  20. Dylan Estrella
  21. Ben Rowe
  22. Tyler Tomassi
  23. Bobby Pelland
  24. Craig Weinstein
  25. Anthony Constantino
  26. Jake Johnson
  27. Joey Doiron
  28. Angelo Belsito
  29. Kate Re
  30. Ryan Vanasse
  31. Mike Brightman
  32. Kevin Folan

 

-Story by Ian Pettigrew, Speed51.com Northeast Correspondent

-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo

Clark Scores $10,000 in Dominant Return to Seekonk