Ryan Vanasse worked his way up from his seventh place starting position on the grid to deprive Kenny Spencer III of the lead on lap 36 of the 40-lap feature. Spencer had held that position since lap 14 after taking it away from Dick Houlihan. Spencer locked in to chase him across the line and Tom Scully, Jr made it three cars running nose-to-tail crossing under the checkers with their afterburners on. Fred Astle and Kyle Casper rounded out the top five.
Ryan Lineham and Houlihan battled off the front line at the start, Lineham nosing out and Houli charging back. Into the second circuit, Lineham led by half a car but Houlihan plugged along steadily on the outside, followed by Spencer and Mike Brightman. Behind them, Vanasse was working his way under teammate Bobby Pelland III.
Houlihan got his nose ahead of Lineham going into lap five and fully claimed the lead on the backstretch. Spencer and Brighman gave chase and Pelland moved up outside the latter. Suddenly, Dave Darling was loose and going around in the middle of the pack, but summoned up all his skills and made an incredible save, to continue. The field was able to avoid, and Darling lost only a couple of spots.
By lap nine, Houlihan was in command by eight carlengths while Spencer was working his way under Lineham behind him. He continued to increase the lead as Spencer claimed second and Brightman got under Lineham with Vanasse on their bumpers.
Vanasse went under Lineham as Brightman moved up. Pulling past, he tried to nose under Mighty Mike, who slammed the door on him.
Houlihan was now four cars up on Spencer.
Last week’s winner, Rick Martin, had his back end snap out from under him between turns three and four on lap fourteen, bringing out the first caution in two weeks for the Pro Stocks. This set Houlihan and Spencer side-by-side on the front with Brightman and Vanasse behind them. Pelland and Astle held the thrid row with Craig Weinstein and Scully in row four.
Out of the box, Houlihan nosed out but Spencer powered back and grabbed the lead in turn 3 and down the front stretch into lap 15. Vanasse grabbed third with Brightman giving chase ahead of Astle and Pelland. Kenny went out to an eight-car lead while Vanasse began working on Houli. He went under and into second coming out of turn four. Houlihan dropped in front of Brightman. Contact in lap 19 sent Mighty Mike spinning in turn two and he went pitside for repairs.
Spencer and Vanasse went to war out of the starting box, with Kenny pulling ahead and Ryan holding on. Houlihan and Astle followed, waiting for an opportunity. But Pelland suddenly shuddered out of the groove, coming to a halt in turn four. Weinstein retired to the pits as did Kevin Folan, but Pelland was able to restart and ease back into the lineup. Again, Spencer nosed out on the start and claimed the lead down the backstretch. Houlihan got under Vanasse, but Ryan was able to hold him off. Spencer took a four-car lead with Vanasse giving chase while Scully got under Astle behind them.
Vanasse began to whittle down Spencer’s lead – lap 22 he was three cars up and lap 23 it was down to two. One car length remained on lap 25. Vanasse shot forward to go underneath, but Spencer shut the door on him. Now, Spencer, Vanasse and Scully were nose-to-tail for three laps. Vanasse finally looked to the outside, and couldn’t go. He dropped under and the path was blocked. Spencer moved away but Vanasse ran back onto his bumper with Scully in tow. Scully got underneath and Vanasse went hard on the outside. Spencer held him off, but on lap 35, Vanasse charged ahead on the outside. They were wheel-to-wheel going into lap 37 and Scully was looking underneath to make it three wide at the front, but there wasn’t enough room.
They battled and Vanasse finally got the lead going down the backstretch on lap 38. Kyle Casper had moved into fifth behind Astle and this set up the finishing order for the top five. The lead trio flashed under the checkers nose-to-tail, granting Vanasse a hard-earned victory: his first on the young season.
Sixth went to Darling, followed by Houlihan, Martin, Kevin Casper, Nick Johnson and Pelland.
Seekonk Speedway Press Release. Photo Credit: Seekonk Speedway.