SEEKONK, Mass. — For the first time in known Seekonk Speedway history, the track is celebrating one of their drivers becoming a NASCAR National Champion. Chad Baxter, the Helger’s South Coast Power Equipment Sportsman champion for this season as part of the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Racing Series, has been crowned the Division III National Champion.
By Souza Media/Kyle Souza
Baxter bested thousands of drivers from across the United States — on both asphalt and dirt — to win this title. Driving the RLS Performance No. 0, Baxter — a former Thompson Speedway champion — found his home at Seekonk driving for Emily and Richard Sprague.
He started off the year with wins in four of the first five races, and visited Victory Lane two other times down the stretch, ending the year with six victories in the competitive division. Out of more than 48 drivers in the Division III Seekonk class, Baxter was the dominant force, winning the championship one race early, and leading by 52 points in the final tally.
“This car here is a new car and we didn’t have a ton of motor in it, so it didn’t spin the tires and it handled well,” Baxter said. “It hasn’t really sunk in yet. It’s definitely tough to come from the back to the front every week. It’s always a challenge to get there. Especially without beating and banging off anybody and making enemies.”
On top of 48 drivers, the Sportsman division has been long-known for being one of Seekonk’s most competitive classes. The Sportsman division offers three-wide racing often, and requires drivers at the front of the point standings to start outside the top-10 in most weeks and roll through the field towards the front. Baxter was able to do it more often than not — finishing on the podium in 13 of 16 races.
“With the most wins and being the most consistent that we were, it’s cool” Baxter said. “We knew if we could put a whole season together, we would be in contention for the championship.”
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