20 PASS Super Late Model teams made the trip to Seekonk Speedway this past Sunday, looking to end the 2018 Pro All Star Series season on a high note.
Entering the day, 2-time PASS North champion, DJ Shaw, had a 25-point lead over another 2-time PASS North champion, Travis Benjamin.
Derek Griffith, a PASS National points contender, took off with the early lead in the first 15-lap qualifying heat while DJ Shaw quickly made his way into the runner-up spot.
Reid Lanpher was quickly making his way through the field, breaking into the top 3 on lap 8.
Wayne Helliwell, Jr. made slight contact with Reid Lanpher on lap 12 in turn 2 while battling for position. Lanpher then got into the #60 of Shaw, sending Shaw for a spin.
The incident led to the first caution of the day and both drivers, Lanpher and Shaw, had to restart at the tail-end of the field.
Young gun, Gabe Brown, was on the move on the restart, moving into the runner-up spot.
Derek Griffith took home the heat victory, followed by Gabe Brown and Wayne Helliwell, Jr.
Nick Sweet held the early edge over Ben Rowe in the second 15-lap qualifying heat.
The #90 of Craig Weinstein was all over Ben Rowe for the runner-up spot on lap 6, taking over the position the following lap.
2018 Beech Ridge track champion, Curt Gerry, was on the move late-race, climbing into the top 3 after starting the heat from the rear of the field.
Nick Sweet captured the heat victory, followed by Craig Weinstein and Curt Gerry.
Point standings runner-up, Travis Benjamin, powered into the early lead in the third and final qualifying heat.
Derek Ramstrom was on the move, breaking into the top 3 early.
By the halfway point, there was a 2-car breakaway at the front of the field.
Garrett Hall pulled to the side of Derek Ramstrom on lap 9, stealing away the third spot.
Ryan Vanasse was all over Travis Benjamin for the lead by lap 13.
Benjamin managed to hold him off, capturing the heat victory.
Once the field was set, it was time for the 150-lap feature.
After the heats concluded, Travis Benjamin had cut DJ Shaw’s point lead down to 20 points.
Gabe Brown pulled away with the early lead, but Craig Weinstein was right on his heels.
Weinstein was quick to challenge Gabe Brown for the top spot, taking over the lead on lap 3.
Ben Rowe took a spin on lap 5 in turn 4, leading to the first caution of the feature. The incident ended Rowe’s day early, as he was towed to the pits afterward.
Craig Weinstein pulled away with the lead on the restart, with Ryan Vanasse advancing into the runner-up spot over Gabe Brown.
Garrett Hall was on the move, breaking the top 3 on lap 10.
By lap 20, there was a 2-car breakaway at the front of the field.
After starting the feature back in 18th, DJ Shaw finally broke the top 10 on lap 24.
By lap 34, the leaders had approached the tail of the field, beginning to put cars a lap down.
Derek Ramstrom was all over Garrett Hall for the runner-up spot on lap 35, advancing position the following lap.
Race leader, Craig Weinstein, took a spin on lap 38 in turn 1. The incident led to another caution and Weinstein only ended up losing 2 spots on the track as Ryan Vanasse took over the lead.
Vanasse pulled ahead on the restart as Derek Ramstrom cleared Weinstein for the runner-up spot.
Vanasse had a half straightaway lead over Ramstrom by lap 60, controlling the field.
After battling it out for a handful of laps, Curt Gerry cleared Ray Christian, III for eighth on lap 64 after starting the feature back in 14th.
Vanasse was still leading at the halfway mark, catching the tail-end of the field once again.
Craig Weinstein had a left front tire go down on lap 83, causing him to come to a slow in turn 2. The incident led to a mid-race caution.
Travis Benjamin, Wayne Helliwell, Jr. and Nick Sweet overtook Derek Ramstrom on the restart, advancing their positions as Ramstrom fell back to sixth.
After winning his heat earlier in the day, Derek Griffith finally broke the top 5 on lap 98.
Curt Gerry was also on the move, clearing Ramstrom for sixth on lap 115.
Wayne Helliwell, Jr. and Nick Sweet made contact on lap 117 in turn 2. Helliwell took a spin, making slight contact with Derek Griffith. The incident led to yet another caution.
Travis Benjamin and Ryan Vanasse went head-to-head on the restart, with Vanasse pulling ahead on lap 122.
Reid Lanpher got Curt Gerry loose while battling for position on lap 124, allowing Lanpher to advance into the fourth spot.
Travis Benjamin powered back into the lead on lap 127, pulling away from his competitors.
Reid Lanpher broke the top 3 on lap 128, but he was still digging. He was all over Nick Sweet for the runner-up spot on lap 134, eventually advancing position on lap 136.
After battling it out for a couple of laps, Curt Gerry finally cleared Ryan Vanasse for fourth on lap 138.
Travis Benjamin captured the feature victory, with Reid Lanpher, Nick Sweet, Curt Gerry and Derek Griffith rounding out the top five.
DJ Shaw wound up finishing in seventh, securing his 2018 PASS North championship.
Travis Benjamin, who captured his first career victory at Seekonk years ago, celebrated with his friends, family and crew in Victory Lane.
“We had the perfect day, really…it’s really special,” Benjamin shared in Victory Lane.
“They were better than us all year, they deserve it,” Benjamin also shared, praising DJ Shaw and the #60 team on their efforts.
“Travis kept me honest all day. He didn’t let me slack off out there…we ended up winning the year on a mediocre day. It was just enough and we barely hung in there, that’s all that matters,” DJ Shaw shared his thoughts after being crowned champion.
It was a well fought battle on Sunday, but DJ Shaw wound up on top once again.
Congrats to DJ Shaw and team on their championship, Travis Benjamin and team on their victory and all of the PASS North competitors on a fantastic 2018 season!
With racing season coming to a close, banquet season is approaching! Get out there and support your favorite drivers as they celebrate their 2018 accomplishments!
Thank you again to Drown Excavation and Four Season Synthetic for their endless support for Chasing the Checkered. Contact Drown Excavation for all of your demolition and excavation needs and Four Season Synthetic for all of your oil, lube and filter needs!