Every October, Seekonk Speedway’s DAV Fall Classic has become a great big money event for weekly Pro Stock racers of the Massachusetts bullring to end their racing season on. But every year seems to draw out competitors from across the Northeast, looking to make a final $5,000 to end the year, and the 2018 edition is no different.
After some time away from the cockpit of his No. 14 car these last few seasons, New Hampshire driver Matt Frahm has made sporadic starts across the region, trying to get his racing mentality back to where it was. After coming up just short at Claremont Speedway (NH) in May racing hard against Jacob Dore in the Granite State Pro Stock Series, Frahm is determined to finish what he started, and go out with a bang this Saturday at Seekonk.
“It’s been good, but we’ve kind of had lackluster results a little bit, only because I’m not in the shape I’d like to be in. But you have to step back into the water a little bit here just to get started,” Frahm told Speed51.com.
“We’ve had fast cars. I probably should’ve won Claremont if didn’t run out of talent going underneath Dore in the last few laps. It’s not that we forgot how to do it, it’s just getting the desire to go back doing it, and fine-tuning some areas.”
Frahm believes that the steepest competition for the DAV does lie in Seekonk’s home roster with veteran Dave Darling collecting another Pro Stock title, as well as drivers Nick Johnson and Jacob Johnson continuing to rise through the ranks.
“Those guys are tough, but that’s why we do this stuff, for the competition. I know guys like Darling and those Johnson kids, and all those weekly guys. Everywhere you go, you got to deal with a different bunch of guys. PASS races you have their full guys, Granite State their regular guys. I don’t look at it any differently as going into any other race. But there are guys I look forward to learning from a little bit, since I haven’t been down there in so long.”
Though it has been five months since that big run at Claremont, Frahm believes that there is still potential energy from that run, and that it’s just a matter of getting a good start to the day with a good heat race performance to get a high starting spot, so that he can take care of his car, and race near the end of the 150 laps.
“That particular race there we started so far back we never really had a chance to conserve tires, it was just go, go, go. By the time I got to Jake Dore I just ran out of shoes. But it was nice to know that we still went out after some time being out of the car. Hopefully we can carry that on to Seekonk, I don’t see why we can’t.”
Either way, Frahm is just happy to have an opportunity to run at Seekonk, a track that he has an immense amount of respect for.
“I’ve got to thank everyone at Seekonk for putting on the DAV. I went down there a couple of weeks ago for one of their big Pro Stock shows, they are a superior track right now the way they keep the facility, and run their organization.”
Another Granite State citizen, Joe Squeglia, has also gained a lot of respect for the “Cement Palace” in recent years, posting multiple strong runs. Unlike Frahm, Squeglia has kept up his part time schedule, winning races along the way, most recently at Lee USA Speedway (NH) in the Granite State Pro Stock Series this past July.
But Squeglia is winless at Seekonk despite strong runs, finishing runner-up this summer in the U.S. Pro Stock/Super Late Model National Championship Race, and having a shot to win the 2017 DAV, before getting a flat tire. He feels that he has what it takes to win this Fall.
“I think we can, we’ve been there couple of times, including for the DAV, and we’ve run really well both times. Last year we were leading it and we got a flat with 20 or 30 laps to go, so we’re hoping to fix that this year,” Squeglia declared.
The 48-year-old veteran driver can’t pin exactly why Seekonk has been good to him. Perhaps it’s the simple reason that he just likes running there.
“I don’t if there’s one reason, it’s just a racy place. You got to have a good turning and handling car in order to run well. It’s a good place, it’s a fun track with a lot of grip. The first time we went there we liked it, there’s a lot of good cars that race there, it’s competitive, just a cool place.”
Squeglia is also well aware of the strength of the home roster, especially that of Darling, who Squeglia has worked with as recently as one year ago.
“Dave Darling without a doubt is the guy to beat. Actually, last year when we went to the DAV he helped me out quite a bit, giving me some tips and pointers on how to get around there, and how to drive the track. So I have a good idea of how much he knows about driving around that place.”
Even knowing what he’s up against, Squeglia feels that he can be the guy to lift up that check at day’s end this Saturday, possibly even going for a weekend sweep the next day in the GSPSS at Lee USA Speedway’s Oktoberfest if they can get it turned around in time.
“We hope so, that’s the plan, we’ll see. That check would certainly help, be nice to go home, and maybe to Lee the next day with it.”
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com/MoJo Photos