SEEKONK, MA – Home-track drivers started the day strong, but Chris “Moose” Douton rose above to take the victory at the inaugural championship event on the North East Street Stock Tour at Seekonk Speedway.
Corey Hutchings and Douton led the field to green, with Hutchings leading the first lap, but was quickly overtaken by Douton. The Waterford, CT resident settled in to a rhythm, until Ryan Lineham suffered distributor troubles, stopping on the racetrack, bringing out the only caution of the race. John Hanafin had advanced to the fifth spot for the restart, after starting 12th, and began to cut through the top five, finding himself on Douton’s bumper. Hanafin used his experience at the track to his advantage, diving underneath Douton, and taking the lead on lap 18.
The race appeared to be Hanafin’s to lose, until a power steering issue slowed the defending Seekonk Speedway Triple Crown champion, bringing his Al Clements-owned automobile back to the rest of the field. Hanafin tried to limp his way around the track for the final 10 laps, but the black flag was shown to the Quincy, MA driver, ending his chance at the $750 payday.
The show was not over, however. Douton reclaimed the lead after Hanafin’s misfortune, with Joe Arena on his back bumper. The two drivers put on a show in the closing laps, but Douton held on for the win.
“Being the only Ford out here, we are learning new things every week,” exclaimed Douton. “This puts us in a great position to start the year.”
Arena settled for the second position, on the 51st wedding anniversary of his parents, saying “I can’t thank my parents, and my wife, enough for supporting me. We had a fast car, and I think we could’ve taken the win from Moose (Douton), but this was a great run for us.”
Geoff Rollins ran strong all day, but fell just short of the victory, earning a third place finish. Rollins gained speed all day, commenting “I had never been here before. Once you know the track, you like it. It was a good time coming here.”
Patrick Tanguay patiently maneuvered his way through traffic to take the fourth spot, with Frank L’Etoile, Jr. rounding out the top five. Corey Hutchings would claim the sixth position, Matt Morrill seventh, with Jim Boyle, Bryan Town, and Steve Kenneway completing the top ten. Hutchings and Lineham won their respective heat races.
The North East Street Stock Tour will travel to the newly revamped Speedway 51, in Groveton, NH, for the next event, June 13. For more information on the North East Street Stock Tour, visit www.nestreetstocktour.com, on Facebook (N.E. Street Stock Tour), Twitter @NEStreetStock, or on Instagram at NorthEastStreetStockTour.
-North East Street Stock Tour Press Release & Photo
Pos (Start) Driver Hometown
1. (2) Chris Douton Waterford, CT
2. (6) Joe Arena Bristol, CT
3. (3) Geoff Rollins Groton, MA
4. (11) Patrick Tanguay Lebanon, ME
5. (4) Frank L’Etoile, Jr. Weathersfield, CT
6. (1) Corey Hutchings Salem, CT
7. (7) Matt Morrill Moultonborough, NH
8. (9) Jim Boyle Waterford, CT
9. (8) Bryan Town Charlestown, NH
10. (13) Steve Kenneway Lowell, MA
11. (10) Mike Palin Dudley, MA
12. (12) John Hanafin Quincy, MA
13. (5) Ryan Lineham Coventry, RI