NWAAS: Seekonk Speedway Late Models Will Showcase Veteran Experience and Rookie Talent in 2015

Kyle Souza Featured, Northeast, Other Late Models, Stock Cars, Touring Series 0 Comments

SEEKONK, Mass. — Story by Race Chaser Online New England Correspondent Kyle Souza — Seekonk Speedway photo —

The 2014 season Seekonk Speedway Late Model season is in the rear view mirror and the 2015 campaign is almost ready to hit the track.

At Seekonk Speedway, the Late Model division this upcoming season will provide some of the best upcoming talent in New England — while also showcasing the veterans who know the track well.

Under the NASCAR Whelen All American Series banner for the first time since 2005, the Late Models will be chasing NWAAS national points. The rules, as far as technical inspection goes, are outlined by the American Canadian Tour.

Below, we break down the upcoming season:

The Favorites

Dylan Estrella (No. 46 W.A. Bernard Inc. Dodge)

Does Estrella classify as a rookie or a veteran? The short answer is, he’s somewhere in the middle.

Estrella has had a fair share of experience in the Late Models since his start back in 2010, but did not have a ride for the season until the middle of the winter when he teamed up with Bill Bernard.  Estrella’s 2014 season consisted of more than a handful of feature wins and he has unloaded fast of the truck at the open practice sessions so far.

His consistency and solid finishes should propel him to being a title contender this season.

Bobby Pelland III (No. 12 A&A Auto Parts Chevrolet)

How can you count out the defending champion? You can’t.

Even though it is still unclear what Pelland will be doing in 2015, it is known he will be running at least some of the Seekonk Speedway Late Model events. The Late Model veteran will be moving into his sixth season behind the wheel of a Late Model and will be looking to pick up multiple victories as he did in 2014.

Will he run full-time for the championship? That’s the question that remains to be answered.

Gerry DeGasparre Jr. (No. 71 A1 Custom Auto Body)

In the same vein as Bernard, you can never bet against a seven-time track champion.

Even though the 2014 season saw some ups and downs for the veteran, DeGasparre is primed and ready to chase a record eighth track title this season.  He always comes to the track with a top three car and his experience will be better then anyone else that will drive onto the Speedway in the division this season, no doubt.

DeGasparre’s past title seasons have seen him score a handful of wins and run inside the top five for the rest — expect the same.

Bill Bernard (No. 47 W.A. Bernard Inc. Dodge)

The kid from Holliston is back for another season of chasing the championship.

Bernard, now back behind the wheel after a rough 2014 season, will be chasing his first career Late Model championship with teammate Dylan Estrella alongside.  His experience in this class sits among the best, since he has been in the Late Model class for over a decade. Bernard always finds a way to come out of the box strong.  Last season, he dominated the season opener, but struggled to hold the speed in the car.

Coming out of the box with a brand new Crazy Horse Racing chassis teammate and youngster to lean on for discussions will have Bernard near the top at season’s end.

Rookie Rumblings

T.J. Moreshead (No. 00 T Moreshead Landscaping Chevrolet) 

For a rookie contender who is moving up from the SYRA division — the jump is something Moreshead is excited to take.

Moreshead, still a high school student, will be chasing Rookie of the Year honors and a whole lot of experience.  He does have a championship under his belt in the SYRA 750 class — however, the comparison between the two cars will not provide any indication of his success.

Moreshead will be looking to run all the laps in each feature event, stay out of trouble and possibly notch a surprise maiden victory this season.

Austin Blais (No. 16 TS Home Builders)

Joining Moreshead in a strong rookie chase, former Sim’s Street Stock winner Austin Blais will be chasing success in 2015 behind the wheel of a Late Model.

Blais collected more than a handful of feature wins as a Street Stock sophomore last season and has extremely high confidence going into his Late Model rookie year. Blais has had experience in go-karts and SYRA, much like Moreshead. The experience level will be low but he will be looking to finish all the laps and end up with solid runs. He does have one race under his belt from 2014.

Nick Uring (No. 11 Pipe Dreams Machine)

Uring, a former Seekonk Sports Truck feature winner, will be chasing some Late Model success this season.

Can a rookie storm the field? His experience at the Speedway is plenty — but his full-fendered car experience is limited. Expect Uring to gain valuable experience in the early part of the season and be strong by season’s end.

Questions Swirling 

Vincent Arrenegado (No. 17 Bristol Auto Body Works)

After an up and down 2014 season, Arrenegado could be a breakout star this season.

His experience is limited to only a few seasons, but he has shown some promise.  Last season, he completed multiple runs inside the top ten and was a strong car, especially on the shorter runs.  With races only being 30 laps in distance, if he is able to start towards the front, he could steal a victory at some point in the season.

Rick Gentes (No. 3 Lifeline Ambulance)

Surprise!

With Thompson Speedway only running a limited schedule, the former Thompson Speedway Late Model front-runner and defending Late Model champion has entered to run some Seekonk races this season.  He has performed extremely well at Thompson, scoring multiple victories and running in the top five on various occasions in route to his title.

Can he storm the Action Track of the East by surprise?

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The Seekonk Speedway opens their season on Sunday May 3, as part of the 70th season kick-off classic.

For more information, visit www.seekonkspeedway.com.

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