Saturday’s DAV Fall Classic at Seekonk Speedway (MA) marked the last big cash prize left for Pro Stock/Super Late Model racers in the Northeast for 2017. While there was a lot of talk surrounding the visiting touring stars, it came down to two of Seekonk’s best at the end of 150 laps for $6,000.


After each pitting for a fresh tire with around 40 laps to go, 2017 Seekonk Pro Stock champion David Darling retook the lead from Joe Squeglia after Squeglia had driven by early in the race, and elected not to pit. As the laps wound down, Darling’s fellow Seekonk competitor Ryan Vanasse came up to challenge. Darling’s No. 52 car was faltering late with a skip in the engine.


300x250-51-network-2017“I don’t know if this thing is on six or seven cylinders but it’s definitely not on all eight,” said Darling. “It was pretty bad, especially up off the corners and at the end of the straights. It made it tough to drive.”


Vanasse was able to challenge Darling for the win, but Vanasse’s challenges were interrupted by multiple yellow flags, putting him on the outside line for each restart, while his No. 11 worked better on the inside. In the end Darling put up a great defensive effort which defeated Vanasse’s few inside dives.


“We needed the long green, there was once or twice I was almost under him. I think I could’ve got him on the bottom, but it’s the way it played out. Hat’s off to them, a lot of fun racing with Dave, the shoe was on the other foot one time this year and he cut me a lot of slack, not that I cut him much slack today, it’s the DAV. But I wouldn’t have wrecked him to win it,” Vanasse said.


Darling had to give it his all over the final laps with his wounded engine, and a racecar that seemed to get tighter and tighter. He was more than proud to hold on for another DAV win, and gave Vanasse a lot of respect for the way he raced.


“I was doing everything I could to keep him behind me, but it worked out. I didn’t have to do too many laps. I don’t know what would’ve happened. But, he and I race real well and there’s a lot of respect there, hard racing. Earlier in the year, there was definitely a couple of times where I was inside of him and he didn’t want to give up the spot. I appreciate the fact that he remembered that and that’s what he said when he got out, that we’re even now. Five to go, $6,000 on the line, shoe on the other foot, he would’ve done everything I was doing.”


It was the perfect period on a spectacular season at the “Cement Palace,” which produced Darling’s fifth track championship and ten overall wins with the final five coming in the last five events of the year.


“It was a great year. This race was probably the toughest race we had all year to pull off the victory. The car wasn’t quite right, but it was a great team effort, I’ve got to thank them. It worked out starting up front, it was good enough to hang on. I’m just glad Ryan and I didn’t wreck each other racing each other.”


Derek Griffith got a front row seat for the battle as he finished third, with Travis Benjamin and Nick Lascuola rounding out the top five.


In the 50-lap Late Model feature, Ray Parent took home a dominating victory, while Spark Arsenault got the 30-lap Sportsman feature, and Josh Hedges won the 30-lap Sport Truck/Mini Stock race.


The Pro Stock season is complete at Seekonk Speedway, but the Tri-Track Open Modified Series will round out 2017 for the track with the Haunted Hundred on Saturday, October 28.


-By: Connor Sullivan, CT, MA, RI & Long Island Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT

-Photo Credit:


DAV Fall Classic Unofficial Results

1 52 Dave Darling 150
2 11 Ryan Vanasse 150
3 12G Derek Griffith 150
4 14B Travis Benjamin 150
5 39 Nick Lascuola 150
6 12 Bobby Pelland 150
7 17MA Eddie MacDonald 150
8 27NH Wayne Helliwell, Jr. 150
9 46 Jake Vanada 150
10 03 Joe Squeglia 150
11 00 Jimmy Renfrew, Jr. 150
12 43 Devin O’Connell 150
13 2 Tom Scully, Jr. 150
14 48 Larry Gelinas 149
15 41 Dick Houlihan 147
16 30 Fred Astle 140
17 17 Kevin Folan 114
18 27 Mike Brightman 111
19 14 Rick Martin 92
20 36 Dave Silva 74
21 9 Tommy Barrett 65
22 5 Phil Meaney 61

Seekonk Home Drivers Fight for Glory in DAV Fall Classic