SEEKONK, Mass. — It took six caution flags and 10 extra laps, but the second race of the season saw a familiar finish, as Barry Shaw Jr. once again took the checkered flag for back-to-back victories in the Chaz Auto Body Sport Trucks.
Shaw started in the tenth position, but quickly made his way through the 15-car field in the first race of the Phil’s Propane Triple Crown Series, which added 10 laps to the traditional 25-lap feature outings for the Trucks. The Triple Crown is a three-race series, with extra laps and a separate point championship battle, with Shaw, Richie Murray, and Connor Souza taking the top three spots after the first contest on Saturday night.
The caution-filled race began with a yellow on lap 1, as Mike Cavallaro spun at the start/finish line. Shaw quickly moved up six spots to fourth after the restart, needing just two laps to pass nearly half of the field. He progressed up to third on Lap five before the second yellow flew due to a multi-car incident near Turn 2. Lenny Guy, Rick Martin, Rob Murphy, and Daniel McGee all got together with each other, but only Murphy was unable to continue once the race was restarted.
Shaw took second place from Souza on the restart, and began to harass Murray, who had started on the pole and led throughout the early stages of the race. Ethan Heilborn spun out between Turn 3 and 4 on Lap 11 to bring out another caution, with Murray earning some well-needed breathing room on the subsequent restart. A fourth yellow flew on Lap 13 after a three-car spin out involving Len Sousa, Bobby Busch Jr., and Lenny Guy, with Sousa and Brittany Campbell – who started outside of Row 1 – making contact to trigger the pile up.
Sousa would be involved in the final two cautions as well, on Lap 19 and Lap 31, with the first yellow giving Shaw the chance to snatch the lead, and the second yellow erasing a large gap between the top 4 cars of Shaw, Murray, Souza, and Martin.
Once Shaw took the lead at Lap 21, he proved too tough to catch, going back-to-back to begin the 75th Anniversary season at Seekonk Speedway. Murray held off Souza for the runner-up spot, with Martin bouncing back from his early accident to finish an impressive fourth. Mike Duarte was fifth, followed by Amy Arsenault, Lenny Guy, Bobby Busch Jr., Mike Cavallaro, and Ethan Heilborn.
The Chaz Auto Body Sport Trucks return to action on Military Night on Saturday, May 15, with a 25-lap feature as part of the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series.
BY ADAM BELUE