SEEKONK, Mass. – Seekonk Speedway regular David Darling captured his first career Granite State Pro Stock Series win on Saturday night. At his home track of Seekonk, Darling dominated the inaugural 100 lap main event on the third-mile oval and wheeled the Bristol Toyota No. 52 into Victory Lane. The victory was his third of the season at Seekonk overall -- he had won two of the weekly shows before invading on the GSPSS Saturday night.
“It’s huge,” Darling said. “I have to thank Mike Parks and the whole Granite State crew, they have a neat series here. It’s pretty cool to be able to travel around and still save some money. Thanks to Seekonk Speedway and all the fans for coming out.”
He started fifth in the 21-car field, but quickly worked his way around some of the top contenders. On lap seven, Darling slid to the bottom of polesitter Bobby Pelland and took over the lead for the first and only time. Darling would never relinquish the point in route to the victory, but had some hard chargers attempting to give him a run.
Defending Seekonk Pro Stock champion Tom Scully Jr. was the fastest challenger Darling faced all night, keeping him on his toes on most of the restarts. Although Scully Jr. could keep with Darling for a few laps on a restart, he ultimately had to settle for second at the 100-lap mark
“We weren’t that great tonight on the long runs, just a bit tight” Scully Jr. said following the race. “Hats off to David and those guys, they were stout all day. I’m happy with a second place finish.”
Darling knew over the final few restarts that his path to victory wasn’t exactly going to be easy. He knows how hard that No. 2 of Scully Jr. is to beat.
“We’ve raced year after year here since I came back to race Pro Stocks,” Darling said. “He was the champion here last year and that says a lot. We have a good group of competitive guys here.”
Former Oxford 250 champion Travis Benjamin sat behind the wheel of the No. 14 and came home with a third place finish after starting back outside the top-10.
“We have to be a little bit better,” Benjamin said. “We had a flat tire on the way here tonight, so we showed up at least an hour late and everyone kind of scrambled to get things going. I can’t thank these guys enough.”
Angelo Belsito and Rookie of the Year contender Devin O’Connell rounded out the top five. Regulars Cory Casagrande and Mike O’Sullivan were scored sixth and seventh at the end, with Wyatt Alexander, Larry Gelinas and Rick Martin rounding out the top-10.
Bobby Pelland, Cory Casagrande and Angelo Belsito were victorious in the three, 12-lap heat races on Saturday night.
The Granite State Pro Stock Series will return to the track next Saturday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The 50-lap feature event will be part of the First Annual New England Short Track Showdown.
For more information, fans are encouraged to visit the series website, www.gspss.net, or visit www.seekonkspeedway.com.