Pro All-Star Series North

Benjamin wins final race, but cannot wrestle away points title

By Staff | Oct 30, 2018

Seekonk, Mass. — Travis Benjamin did all he could to lock up his third Pro All-Star Series North Super Late Model championship on Sunday, Oct. 28 as the Morrill resident proved a cut above the rest with a win in the 150-lap season finale at Seekonk Speedway.

However, defending champion D.J. Shaw chalked up a seventh-place finish, which proved enough to hold off the surging Benjamin to collect his second straight PASS North title and third overall.

Shaw, of Center Conway, N.H., finished first on the year with 3,628 points (2 wins, 11 top-five, 15 top-10 finishes), while Benjamin finished a mere 25 points behind the champ with 3,603 (win, nine top-five, 14 top-10 finishes) to finish second.

Benjamin was at his best on the tight Seekonk oval, winning his heat race to cut into Shaw’s lead entering the main event. Benjamin patiently worked his way from the back half of the starting grid, battling both regular PASS rivals and ultra-competitive weekly Pro Stock division competitors from the historic Bay State oval track.

Ryan Vanasse of Warwick, R.I. led a huge chunk of the race, building a healthy advantage at times, but when Benjamin turned up the heat there was no one who could keep pace and he cruised into victory lane with the Petit Motorsports 7 for the second time this season.

Reid Lanpher of Manchester ended up in second position following an eventful afternoon, while Nick Sweet of Barre, Vt. raced hard with the leaders throughout the 150-lap race to earn third-place hardware exactly one month after posting his first PASS North Super Late Model win.

Four-time 2018 PASS North SLM winner Curtis Gerry of Waterboro made his usual, healthy dose of late-race progress and crossed the finish line in fourth position. Derek Griffith of Hudson, N.H. rounded out the top five.

Vanasse ended up in sixth position after dominating the middle portion of the race, while overall championship winner Shaw was seventh, ahead of Wayne Helliwell, Jr. of Dover, New Hampshire. Rounding out the top 10 were Garrett Hall of Scarborough and Derek Ramstrom of Worcester, Mass.

Though the Pro All Stars Series North Super Late Model season has been completed, the final 2018 PASS National Championship Series Super Late Model event is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 9 at North Carolina’s Hickory Motor Speedway.

The Mason-Dixon Meltdown 200 also will determine the PASS South Super Late Model champion as well as the national titlist.

The individual results from Sunday’s race included: 1, Travis Benjamin, Morrill; 2, Reid Lanpher, Manchester; 3, Nick Sweet, Barre, Ver.; 4, Curtis Gerry, Waterboro; 5, Derek Griffith, Hudson, N.H.; 6, Ryan Vanasse, Warwick, R.I.; 7, D.J. Shaw, Center Conway, N.H.; 8, Wayne Helliwell, Dover, N.H.; 9, Garrett Hall, Scarborough; 10, Derek Ramstrom, Worcester, Mass.; 11, Ray Christian III, Uncasville, Conn.; 12, Rick Martin, Westport, Mass.; 13, Gabe Brown, Center Conway, N.H.; 14, David Darling, Seekonk, Mass.; 15, Bobby Pelland, Kingston, R.I.; 16, Nicholas Johnson, Rehoboth, Mass.; 17, Zane Zeiner, Bath, Penn.; 18, Craig Weinstein, Walpole, Mass.; 19, Gary Smith, Bangor; and 20, Ben Rowe, Turner.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.

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