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Cooper earns first Sport Trucks win at Seekonk

Pit Row Photos/Seekonk Speedway

Sport Trucks saw rookie contender Mikey Cooper dominate from the get-go and sail through the thirty-five laps of Phil’s Propane Triple Crown competition for his fist win in the second race of the season.  He rocketed away from outside pole Darryl Dutch and Andrew Kun but had the start called back for accelerating a little early.  Second try got the race going with the same results.  Kun got in under Dutch as Coop pulled away.  Mike Belanger and Eddie Perry followed.

Belanger got by Kun into second;  Kun wouldn’t go away, however, and he pursued Belanger with Perry applying pressure to Kun, then getting in underneath.  Five laps in, Cooper was running well ahead of Belanger while Perry and Kun ran door-to-door.  Perry finally succeeded on lap eight but then Kun came back and got under Perry.  Perry then accelerated away in turn two.  But now, Belanger was on Cooper’s bumper.  Dutch was back and harrying Perry.

With Belanger giving Cooper everything he had, ten cars were pushing hard, nose-to-tail behind them.  Eighteen laps down and Cooper had a carlength of breathing room.  As they lapped Tom Watson, the line of cars was 10 lengths behind when Connor Souza had his back end snap out from under him at the middle of the pack.  Everyone scattered, miraculously suffering no collisions in the affair.

For the restart, it was Belanger outside Cooper, with Kun and Perry in row two.  Dutch and Mike Cavallaro backed them up, just ahead of Lenny Guy and opening night winner Barry Shaw.

Coop zoomed away and Kun got under Belanger in turn one.  Cavallaro pushed past Souza and Dutch into fifth but a fast-rising Richie Murray stormed past, then got by Perry into fourth.  Dutch moved Perry back one more before Lenny Guy stormed past him into fifth.

Rob Bryant had caught fire just after mid-race and moved up to deprive Dutch of sixth, then rushed past everybody into third.

With ten laps remaining, the top six were established.  Belanger, Cavallaro and Shaw tried to settle seventh and debated until Belanger settled into the role, Shaw filling in behind him.  Souza then edged Cavallaro out of ninth.

Cooper was cruising, two cars up on Kun, who would not go away.  Into the white flag lap, Kun shaved it down to one car but could get no closer as Cooper cruised under the checkers 1/3-mile later for that all-important first rookie win.

Sixth on the evening went to Dutch.  Rounding out the top ten were Belanger, Shaw, Souza and Cavallaro.

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