Tag Archives: GSPSS

O’SULLIVAN BECOMES A TWO-TIME GSPSS CHAMPION

By Kyle Souza, Granite State Pro Stock Series

WATERFORD, Conn. — The 2017 Granite State Pro Stock Series season saw one driver capture his second championship. Mike O’Sullivan, a former champion at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, wasn’t able to visit Victory Lane in the 12-race schedule.

But that didn’t matter.

O’Sullivan was consistent enough to roll into the season-finale at New London-Waterford Speedbowl with a four point lead over Scott MacMichael. While his challengers had trouble, O’Sullivan was calm, cool and collective and finished seventh in the 100 lap feature. He avoided a few crashes and settled in late, knowing he just needed to finish well to become a two-time Granite State Series champion.

“Those guys in front of me, you can’t take anything away from them, they were definitely good tonight,” O’Sullivan said of the race. “I was just trying to be smart. My car was great. It didn’t really go away. It was difficult to be smart there and just do what I needed to do. I was really confident on the restarts, even though I started on the top.”

Saturday’s race wasn’t exactly what O’Sullivan was looking for from his competitors either. The early stages of the race were filled with cautions, a lot of them for multi-car crashes all around the track. Luckily, he was able to escape without damage. But it still wasn’t the way he wanted to end the season.

“You want to get in a rhythm and run. Everyone will tell you when they strap in the race car they are nervous. But as soon as they throw the green, you get hot and things get going,” O’Sullivan said. “I’d rather see 25, 30 laps runs and get us in a rhythm. But that’s just what happens.”

One major turning point in the championship chase took place in just the first few laps. His closest challenger, MacMichael, went spinning from second spot right in front of the entire field. Unfortunately, O’Sullivan was the one who got into him and sent him around -not intentionally, though. There was a car stopped at the bottom of turn four and MacMichael checked up. It created the accordion affect.

“To be honest, I was hoping Scott would get his spot back. He checked up for the wreck in turn four and they were yelling there was no caution,” O’Sullivan said. “I got hit from behind and pushed into him and he got put around. I was hoping they would just give him his spot back and wipe the slate clean.”

O’Sullivan didn’t even have his own car on the property on Saturday night. His brother, Tommy, who also competes in the series, lended his car over to his brother after Mike was involved in a nasty crash at Thompson a week prior. They knew it would be hard to get the car fixed, but his brother stepped in to help.

“He’s always been like that, I’ve driven his Late Models before and I’ve even driven his go-karts before. He’s always had a bone in him to be happy and be content to see me drive his car,” Mike said. “That being said, he had a good car at Thompson and he won this year with this car. To be able to step away and know that it was a possibility that he wasn’t going to be able to take his car here, it was tough. He didn’t hesitate.”

His fourth career championship is definitely something special.

“They are all different, the first one at Thompson was cool, we weren’t really expecting to do that. We ran really good that year and it was a little bit of a surprise. It took us a while to get back there, we won in 2002 and then in 2007,” O’Sullivan said.

“To come here on a touring series, we had Icebreaker and the World Series on the schedule and we decided we wanted to run them all. The first time we won a title on this series, I hadn’t even visited three-quarters of the tracks. To be able to do this is a testament to my guys. They love running for points.”

SQUEGLIA CAPTURES THIRD GSPSS WIN OF 2017

Speed51 Photo

O’SULLIVAN WRAPS UP SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP

 WATERFORD, Conn. – Joe Squeglia used a late pass of Angelo Belsito to capture his third Granite State Pro Stock Series victory of the season on Saturday night at New London-Waterford Speedbowl.

In the 25-car field that was filled with talent, Squeglia had to start ninth in the 100-lap main event, but it didn’t take him long to work his way up through the pack. He fought for second spot for most of the first half of the race, but when he finally got clear, he set his sights on Belsito looking for the top spot.

He was able to drive around Belsito in lapped traffic with just over 20 laps to go. A caution set the stage for a wild finish, but it was Squeglia who would get the jump and pull away from the rest of the field, capturing his third victory on the season. Squeglia ends the season as the only driver to win multiple feature events on the series in 2017.

“It was a tough one,” Squeglia said in Victory Lane. “It’s been a great year for us with the Granite State (Pro Stock) Series, this is our third win in four races this year. It’s always fun to come down to Waterford, I really enjoy this track every year, I always circle it on the schedule.”

Although 25 cars took the green flag, it didn’t take long for some of them to be in the pit area with damage. A caution on just lap one saw points contender Scott MacMichael go spinning in turn four, right in front of the entire field. The first 30 laps of the race saw cautions slow the action multiple times.

Drivers like Kevin Folan, Nick Lascuola, Bobby Pelland and others all sustained damage during the crashes inside the first 30 laps. However, once the race got going under a green flag stretch, it was Belsito who found himself dominating out in front of the pack.

Belsito was cutting through lapped traffic when he approached the No. 48 of Larry Gelinas. In his attempt to put him a lap down, Squeglia came from behind and made a move to slide by Belsito and take over the top spot.

He never looked back.

When the checkered flag went in the air, Corey Bubar crossed second after getting around Belsito in the final laps. Belsito was third, followed by Ray Christian III and Nick Jenkins.

Positions six through 10 went to Derek Ramstrom, Mike O’Sullivan, Ron Silk, Scott MacMichael and Tommy O’Sullivan.

With his seventh place finish, Mike O’Sullivan locked up the 2017 Granite State Pro Stock Series championship – which was his second career. He knew he had to just finish the race in front of MacMichael if he wanted to be champion.

“We really had a good car, I was just trying to be smart about where I put the car out there tonight,” O’Sullivan said. “I really appreciate these guys racing me really clean and being careful around me. I’d really just like to say thank you to everyone who helps out and comes here.”

The Granite State Pro Stock Series will have more on the title run for O’Sullivan in the coming week.

For more information, fans are encouraged to visit www.gspss.net, or follow the series on social media.

RESULTS: Joe Squeglia, Corey Bubar, Angelo Belsito, Ray Christian III, Nick Jenkins, Derek Ramstrom, Mike O’Sullivan, Ron Silk, Scott MacMichael, Tommy O’Sullivan, Craig Weinstein, Barry Gray, Larry Gelinas, Anthony Flannery, Bobby Timmons, Cory Casagrande, Mike Scorzelli, Nick Lascuola, Chris Turbush, Rusty Poland, Brian Doyle, Devin O’Connell, Jimmy Renfew, Bobby Pelland, Kevin Folan

GSPSS Champion To Be Crowned at Speedbowl

O’Sullivan, MacMichael Show The Way Heading For Shoreline Oval

 WALPOLE, N.H. – The Granite State Pro Stock Series season will end in style on Saturday evening at Connecticut’s New London-Waterford Speedbowl. With one of the largest car counts of the season expected, the 2017 series champion will be crowned in the season-finale.

The 2017 season has seen 10 different drivers visit Victory Lane in the first 11 races, including Derek Ramstrom, who stormed onto the scene in the second half of last week’s race at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park en route to the victory. The only driver who has two victories in GSPSS competition so far this season is Joe Squeglia, who will be back at the Speedbowl.

Heading into the season-finale, the championship chase is tight at the top. Former series champion Mike O’Sullivan holds a scant four-point edge on Rookie of the Year contender Scott MacMichael. Both drivers were involved in a crash at Thompson, but MacMichael was able to finish on the lead lap. By finishing ahead of O’Sullivan, MacMichael closed the gap from 14 points down to just four entering the finale.

PLACE: New London-Waterford Speedbowl, Waterford, Conn.

DATE: Saturday Oct. 21st

TIME: 2 p.m. post-time for heat races; feature to follow

GSPSS Twitter: @GSProStocks

Track Twitter: @speedbowlnews

Oddly enough, both of the top contenders in the championship have little experience at New London-Waterford, which could create a close battle right to the finish. Barry Gray enters the race third in the standings — 41 points out — as his hopes of becoming a champion for the second straight year start to slip away. Nick Lascuola and Cory Casagrande are currently fourth and fifth in the standings.

Although all eyes will be on the battle for the 2017 championship, the season-finale will surely produce one of the highest car counts of the season as well. Multiple outsiders will join the series regulars for the 100-lap main event.

Names like Bobby Pelland, Bobby Timmons, Tommy O’Sullivan, Angelo Belsito and Corey Bubar are part of the stout entry list.

Defending New London-Waterford winner Dave Farrington is also entered, along with NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour regular Ronnie Silk. Other entries include Rusty Poland, Kevin Folan, Devin O’Connell, Nick Lascuola, Jimmy Renfrew and Chris Turbush and many more.

This event to close the season is a one-day show for the Granite State Pro Stock Series. The pit gates open on Saturday morning at 8 a.m. for the haulers to enter the track. The series will have a 45-minute practice session at 11 a.m., followed by a 15-minute scuff session later in the day.

Heat racing begins at 2 p.m., with the GSPSS one of the final divisions to hit the track for qualifying. The feature is the eighth in the order on Saturday and those features are scheduled to get underway around 5 p.m.

For more information on the Granite State Pro Stock Series, including the latest updates, fans are encouraged to visit the Facebook page or follow the series on Twitter, @GSProStocks.

You can also visit us on the web at www.gspss.net.