Shaw Champions PASS Winner Benjamin; Morgan Makes Late Model Magic
Seekonk, Mass. (October 28, 2018): Matt Hirschman of Northampton, PA, had been winless in Tri-Track Open Modified Series (TTOMS) competition in 2018 entering the final race of the season. The defending Haunted 100 race winner and series champion came through when it counted most; defending not only his race win but also his championship. In the companion Pro All Star Series (PASS) Super Late Model 150-lapper Travis Benjamin of Belfast, ME, took down the win as DJ Shaw of Center Conway, NH, secured the championship. Ryan Morgan of N. Franklin, CT, charged to the Late Model Haunted 50 victory.
Entering the event tied with Ron Silk of Norwalk, CT, Hirschman finished a single-spot ahead of his rival to win the championship by a mere two points. Chris Pasteryak of Lisbon, CT, Chase Dowling of Roxbury, CT, and Anthony Sesely of Matawan, NJ, completed the top five.
The Pro All Star Series Super Late Models made their inaugural appearance in the Haunted Happenings at Seekonk Speedway. Like their counterpart Modifieds, a series championship was on the line. At the end of the 150-lap event, Travis Benjamin of Belfast, ME, was holding the checkered flag and DJ Shaw of Center Conway, NH had secured the championship. Reid Lanpher of Manchester, NH, Nick Sweet of Barret, VT, Curtis Geery of Waterboro, ME, and Derek Griffith of Hudson, NH, completed the top-five in the event. A full race report can be found at ProAllStarSeries.com.
By virtue of their heat race wins Keith Rocco of Berlin, CT, and Dana DiMatteo of Farmington, CT, led the field to green for the start of the Haunted 100. A great start by Rocco gave him the lead in the opening laps ahead of Brian Robie and Pasteryak as DiMatteo faded. While Rocco drove out to a couple car length advantage, Robie had his hands full with Pasteryak. Les Hinckley was making moves and into sixth spot by lap 11. Championship chasers Silk and Hirschman ran 14 and 27 respectively.
Rocco was able to extend his lead over a battle between Robie and Pasteryak. Hinckley continued his march to the front; taking fifth from Todd Patnode on lap 14 before making quick work of DiMatteo. Pasteryak got by Robie on laps 25; taking Hinckley along for the ride. Hinckley was running down Pasteryak when the first caution flew on lap 26 for a spin by Colbey Fournier. A handful of cars pitted from the tail end of the field under the caution. On the lap 26 restart Rocco edged ahead once again with Pasteryak and Hinckley taking chase. Back under green, Chase Dowling was using the outside groove to gain positions. Danny Cugini was having a good run in eighth.
The second caution flew when Sammy Rameau spun on lap 29. On the restart Hinckley used the bottom groove to take second away from Pasteryak. Any further progress was stalled when a caution flew for a mechanical failure on the #76 of Matt Galko.
On the ensuing restart at lap 30, Robie faltered; falling back to ninth. Hinckley was all over the back bumper of Rocco for the top spot. Dowling took advantage of Robie’s misfortune moving up inside the top-five. He was able to get by Pasteryak and into third. Silk now ran fifth.
Matt Swanson, who qualified through the consi, broke into the top-ten on lap 35. His progress was slowed by a caution on lap 35 for an incident involving Todd Annarummo, Carl Medieros, Jr. and Andy Jankowiak. Hinckley stayed alongside Rocco on the lap 35 restart. The two went wheel-to-wheel before the caution flew once again on lap 36 after contact between Rob Murphy and Brad Babb sent Babb spinning.
Rocco was strong on the lap 36 restart taking the lead. However, a charging Dowling would not only take second from Hinckley but would also take over the lead from Rocco. Dowling was the new leader on lap 38. Dowling could not shake Rocco. Hinckley and Silk ran nose to tail inside the top-five. Matt Swanson and Hirschman were looking racy as the race approached halfway.
At halfway Dowling continued to lead Rocco and Hinckley. Silk was able to get by Pasteryak for fourth. Anthony Nocella, Swanson, Hirschman, Sesely and Richard Savary completed the top-five after 50-laps. A battle between Pasteryak and Silk had allowed Swanson and Hirschman, who had moved passed Nocella, to catch the lead pack. A spin by Annarummo had the yellow flying for the sixth time on lap 55. During the caution period, Silk and Nocella headed pitside. Back under green Dowling charged back to the lead in front of Hinckley. Hirschman got by Rocco for third.
The seventh caution of the event flew on lap 59 for a multi-car incident that involved Jankowiak and Robie. The top-five for the restart was Dowling, Hinckley, Hirschman, Rocco and Swanson. Silk restarted in position 13. Dowling got a strong restart as did Hirschman. He as able to get by Hinckley and into second. A brewing battle for the lead was cooled when a jumble at mid-pack sent Rameau spinning and the caution flying once again.
Hirschman now lined up beside the leader Dowling on the lap 61 restart. Hirschman rocketed past Dowling to become the new leader on lap 61. Dowling settled into second ahead of Hinckley. The best battle on the field was for fifth. Rocco held the position but a racy Sesely was applying heavy pressure. On lap 66 Sesely moved by Rocco and into the top five. Hinckley was being hounded by Swanson in third. Pasteryak, who had gotten by Rocco, had also reeled in Sesely. He was able to take fifth on lap 70. The jockeying for position inside the top five slowed for a spin by Cugini on lap 71. Under the caution both Hinckley and Rocco went pitside.
An attempt to go green on lap 71 was thwarted by a spin by Calvin Carroll. Bryan Narducci, who had worked his way into the top-ten, saw his strong finish go by the wayside on the second attempt at a lap 71 restart. Finally, back under green on lap 71, it was all Hirschman; leaving Dowling and Swanson to duke it out for second. Swanson took the spot away before the 12th caution flew for another spin by Annarummo. On the lap 72 restart it was still Hirschman being trailed by Swanson. Pasteryak stayed alongside Dowling in a bid for third. With only 25 laps remaining, Silk started his charge back to the front. Silk took a position away from Pasteryak and set his sights on Dowling. Silk got by Dowling and headed toward the lead duo of Hirschman and Swanson.
Dowling continued to backslide; giving up fourth to Pasteryak. Hirschman and Swanson saw their lead disappear as the yellow flew; this time on lap 84 for a spin by Fournier. On the restart Hirschman jumped back out in front, Silk was able to move by Swanson; putting the championship contenders 1-2.
Hirschman was able to get breathing room while Silk had a mirror full of Swanson. Another caution flew on lap 88 for a spin by Jankowiak; giving Silk a shot. Silk restarted to the outside of leader Hirschman with just 12 green flag laps remaining. The two went wheel-to-wheel into turn two on the ensuing restart and onto the backstretch. Hirschman was finally able to free himself of Silk to complete lap 89. Hirschman began to stretch his advantage. Pasteryak got my Swanson for third with Dowling taking chase. A great three-car able for sixth featured Sesely, Hinckley and a fully recovered Robie.
Coming out of turn four, bumper tag between Dowling, Swanson and Pasteryak, ended with Swanson spinning on the frontstretch. The resulting caution set-up a green-white-checker to determine not only the race winner but the championship.
The restart order with two laps remaining was Hirschman, Silk, Pasteryak, Dowling, Sesely, Hinckley, Robie, Nocella, Patnode, Rocco inside the top ten. Hirschman rocketed out to the lead. Silk could do nothing as he watched Hirschman cruise to the checkers and the championship. Pasteryak ended a strong day in third followed by Dowling and Sesely. Hinckley, Robie, Nocella, Patnode and Rocco completed the top-ten at the end of the Haunted 100.
Ryan Morgan was dogged in his pursuit of the victory in the 50-lapper for the Late Models as part of the Haunted Happening. Seekonk Speedway regular and 2018 Late Model champion Ryan Kuhn took the early lead from polesitter Mark Hudson while Morgan and Vinny Arrenegado, Jr. battled for third. Kuhn was able to extend his lead in the early going with Morgan securing second. Contenders like Hersey and DeGasparre were mired deep in the field.
The best battle on the track was for sixth position between Chase Belcher, Dan Johnson and Rey Lovelace. Slight contact gave Lovelace the advantage over Belcher and Johnson. A single lap later a spin by Belcher brought out the event’s first caution on lap 17.
The field had a tough time getting action rolling as the event approached halfway. The caution on lap 17 was followed by a wreck on lap 19 with Nathan Tracy and a subsequent incident with Bobby Tripp, Paul Newcomb, Derek Gluchaki, and Josh Hedges. Lap 21 saw an additional incident with Newcomb, Tracy and Manny Dias.
Despite the yellow fever, Kuhn continued to lead over Morgan and Arrenegado. Lovelace was starting to make his presence known while Ryan Lineman was making his way into contention. Lovelace was all over the back bumper of Arrenegado. The two went door-to-door for several laps as Johnson took chase in fifth. Hudson came back to life working over Lineman, Lovelace and Arrenegado with 15 laps remaining.
Morgan caught the back bumper of Kuhn, who had dominated up to this point of the event. Lovelace and Arrenegado now had company from Johnson. Arrenegado was able to edge ahead; leaving Lovelace to defend the challenges of Johnson.
On lap 44, Morgan dove low on Kuhn in a bid for the lead. The two make slight contact. Morgan got the edge and the lead. Kuhn tried the crossover move; to no avail. Kuhn stayed glued to the bumper of Morgan in the closing laps.
On lap 49, Kuhn, in a last-ditch effort, dove to the bottom of Morgan coming out of two, tried the outside groove out of turn four; again, to no avail. Morgan was able to hold on for the victory over Kuhn. Arrenegado came home third ahead of Lovelace and Johnson inside the top-five. Hudson, Belcher, Bobby Tripp, Tommy Adams and DeGasparre,Jr. completed the top-ten.
The 20-lap Non-Qualifiers event for the Modifieds went green-to-checker with Russ Hersey turning in a dominating performance to score the win. Hersey was not eligible to transfer to the main event but did pocket $1,000 for the victory. During qualifying for the Haunted 100, heat race victories went to Rocco, DiMatteo, Robie and Patnode. The two consolation events went to Rob Murphy and Zane Zeiner.
Tri-Track Open Modified Series, Haunted 100 Feature Finish, Seekonk Speedway, October 28, 2018: 1. Matt Hirschman, Northampton, PA; 2. Ron Silk, Norwalk, CT; 3. Chris Pasteryak, Lisbon, CT; 4. Chase Dowling, Roxbury, CT; 5. Anthony Sesley, Matawan, NJ; 6. Les Hinckley, Windsor Locks, CT; 7. Brian Robie, Sunapee, NH; 8. Anthony Nocella, Woburn, MA; 9. Todd Patnode,Richmond, NH; 10. Keith Rocco, Berlin, CT; 11. Dana DiMatteo,Farmington, CT; 12. Richard Savary, Canton, MA; 13. Rob Richardi, Taunton, MA; 14. Andrew Molleur, Shelton, CT; 15. Danny Cugini,Marshfield, MA; 16. Calvin Carroll, Johnsonburg, NJ; 17. Colbey Fournier, Berkley, MA; 18. Andy Jankowiak, Tonawanda, NY; 19.Brad Babb, Windham, ME; 20. Matt Swanson, Acton, MA, 21. Zane Zeiner, Bath, PA; 22. Matt Galko, Meriden, CT; 23. Carl Medeiros Jr., Westport, MA; 24. Bryan Narducci, Colchester, CT; 25. Sam Rameau, Westminster, MA; 26. Rob Murphy, Rochester, MA; 27. Dylan Izzo, Monroe, CT. DNQ: Mike Holdridge, Madison, CT; Kurt Vigeant, Oxford, MA; Tommy Barrett, Millis, MA; Dylan Izzo, Monroe, CT; Jake Johnson, Rehoboth, MA; Tom Rogers, Riverhead, NY; Michael Gervais, Wolcott, CT; Bill Dixon, N. Waterboro, ME; Sal Accardi, Jr., Deer Park, NY; Ron Frees, Brick Township, NJ; Jon Kievman, Deerfield Beach, FL; CJ Bolton, Weare, NH; Andy Shaw, Center Conway, NH; Geoff Nooney, Southwick, MA; Russ Hersey, N Swanzey, NH.
Haunted 50 Late Model Feature Finish: 1. Ryan Morgan, North Franklin, CT; 2. Ryan Kuhn, East Bridgewater, MA; 3. Vinny Arrenegado, Jr., Warren, RI; 4. Rey Lovelace, North Providence, RI; 5. Dan Johnson, Rehoboth, MA; 6. Mark Hudson, Norton, MA; 7. Chase Belcher, West Wareham, MA; 8. Bobby Tripp, Westport, MA; 9. Tommy Adams, East Providence, RI; 10. Gerry DeGasparre, Jr. Pawtucket, RI; 11. Derek Gluchaki, Dartmouth, MA; 12. Josh Hedges, Middleboro, MA; 13. Russ Hersey, North Swanzey, NH; 14. Manny Dias, South Attleboro, MA; 15. Mike Benevides, Coventry, RI; 16. Paul Newcomb, Plymouth, MA; 17. Ryan Lineham, Coventry, RI; 18. Nathan Tracy, Seekonk, MA; 19. Louis Romiza, Falmouth, MA; 20. Jason Larivee Jr., West Greenwich, RI; 21. Mike Mitchell, Cumberland, RI.
photo credits: Tom Morris and Jillian Amorin for Pit Row Photos