SEEKONK, Mass. — Division Preview by Race Chaser Online New England Correspondent Kyle Souza — Seekonk Speedway photo —
As the Seekonk Speedway prepares to head into it’s 70th season of action, the Pro Stocks have been announced as the premier division for the 2015 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series points tally at the track.
The division was created by D. Anthony Venditti in 1978 and has continued to strive and get better over it’s past three plus decades.
The 2014 season saw a brand new champion, Kenny Spencer, finally break through to carry the title belt. Spencer is poised and ready to return back to Seekonk to fight for the championship for the second straight season.
Lets break down the season ahead.
Kenny Spencer (No. 0 — Lin’s Propane)
Spencer comes into the 2015 season riding the momentum of his championship and top three finish at the D.A.V. Fall Classic in October. He brings a car to the track each week that can run inside the top five and he makes sure to bring it home in one piece. Spencer provides a driver who will race others clean and makes sure to bring his car home together, so it can come back the next week. His consistency in 2014 should follow into 2015 and make him a title threat once again.
David Darling (No. 52 — Johnson’s Landscaping Toyota)
The veteran comes into 2015 riding high after another solid season with a second place championship finish. Darling, a four-time Seekonk Pro Stock champion, also has one of the best crew chiefs at the track in his box. Ronnie Pond has been turning wrenches at Seekonk for more than a decade and is ready to do the same this coming season. Expect Darling to collect a few wins, especially in the extra distance races, and also challenge for the right to head to Charlotte for the NASCAR awards in October.
Angelo Belsito (No. 8 — Belboy’s Trucking Inc. Chevrolet)
Belsito, Rookie of the Year in 2014, took the track and the division by surprise by collecting three feature wins in 2014. His most impressive win included a late-race charge to the front and a drive away from some of the top Pro Stock drivers in the Northeast. Returning in his sophomore season, Belsito should be a challenger for multiple victories and could also challenge for the championship if he can show some consistency.
Ones to Watch
Ryan Vanasse (No. 11 Team V Transportation Chevrolet)
After an up and down 2014 season, The Rocket is ready to go full speed ahead for the 2015 campaign. Even though he will run part-time in other Seekonk divisions, his main championship focus will be in the Pro Stock class. If Vanasse can avoid some bad luck during the course of the year — watch out. His team brings one of the best prepared cars to the pit area each week and they are always fighting for wins toward the end of a feature race.
Kyle Casper (No. 7 — Columbus Energies Inc. Chevrolet)
The win has to be coming, right? Casper’s strong runs in 2014, especially early on in the season, show he has the car to get the job done. Some bad luck along the way in the past has cost him at least two or three feature victories. Even with a smaller-sized crew, his crew chief George Tourgee has been turning Seekonk wrenches as long as anyone. Expect that elusive first victory to finally happen and look for Casper to be a threat week in and week out in 2015.
Ryan Lineham (No. 48 — Lindblad Chassis Chevrolet)
Flyin’ Ryan Lineham will be flying once again behind the wheel of his Rollie Lindblad-prepared No. 48 ride in 2015. After a season that saw him collect second place in the Rookie of the Year honors, Lineham is poised to chase the overall driver’s championship in 2015. Lindblad would like nothing more then to add another title to his long list of accomplishments in the Northeast. Lineham’s three-wide moves, even though dangerous, could propel him to success.
Fred Astle (No. 30 Everett’s Auto Parts Chevrolet)
Can you believe he is under the noteables list? Astle had a season in 2014 that was filled with bad luck and now finds himself trying to rebound for this season. The six-time Pro Stock champion will need to find himself with a string of consistent finishes early in the season to gain confidence and prepare for a title run.
Kevin Casper (No. 88 — Phil’s Propane)
Casper carries the blue and white colors of Phil’s Propane, but has also carried some bad luck along the way in the past few seasons. Casper drives a Distance Chassis and has the veteran crew to support him each week. Expect a possible rebound this season, which could include a victory and a solid points finish.
Well, there you have it. Who’s your pick to carry the crown in 2015?
The Seekonk Speedway’s historic 70th season kicks-off, headlined by the Pro Stocks, on Sunday, May 3.
For more information on the track including the schedule of events, visit www.seekonkspeedway.com.