All posts by Michael Jaworecki

Granite State Pro Stock Series Headed Back to New London Waterford Speedbowl

On Saturday September 26 the Granite State Pro Stock Series will return to the newly remodeled New London-Waterford Speedbowl in Waterford Connecticut. The last event held at the Speedbowl was on October 20, 2018 and it was a thrilling race featuring a side by side battle between veteran Ben Rowe and then newcomer Ray Christain III.

                Christain III comes back to his home track second in points for the first time in 2020 and looks to use home track advantage to retake the lead. The Uncasville CT driver grew up racing at the Speedbowl and couldn’t be happier that the series is going back.

                Joey “Pole” Polewarczyk has a stellar record at the southern CT Speed plant and will arrive as the new GSPSS point’s leader. In four starts there in late models, the Hudson NH driver has scored three wins and looks to continue that pattern of success. Coming off a thrilling victory at the Star Classic, “Pole” holds a slim two point lead over Christain III with just three races to go in the 2020 season.

                Angelo Belsito went to Star Speedway a relatively close third in the point standings but unfortunately had a difficult night at the classic. The Auburn MA driver struggled to a disappointing eleventh place finish dropping him back in the standings. He will head to Waterford thirty eight points behind the leader.

                A number of drivers with ties to Seekonk Speedway will make the short trip to Waterford. Ryan Kuhn comes off a great run at Star while Austin Blais and Tom Scully have both registered to compete for the first time this year. Also registered is defending Seekonk champion Dave Darling while Bobby Pelland and Kevin Casper have run partial GSPSS schedules this season and have filed entries for this event.

                Maine’s Larry Gelinas has filed his entry to compete in the famed Lindblad #48.  The pair have had decent results since reuniting part way through the season and look to improve on their results at the CT seashore oval. Also from Maine, Corey Bubar has entered to compete with the series for the second time this year.

                Other drivers entered include young guns Jake Matheson, coming off a top five finish at Star, along with rookie Casey Call, local driver Tyler Tomassi and SK Lite standout Alexander Pearl.

                Wayne Helliwell has entered and will be joined by Luke Hinkley, two time champ Mike O’Sullivan and other former champions Devin O’Connell and Barry Gray. DJ Shaw will come to Waterford looking for his second series win of the season while fellow Dale Shaw Race Cars driver Gabe Brown will be looking for his first career win.

                Kyle Harvell has entered to compete for the second time in 2020. He will make the boat ride across from East Islip NY on Long Island. Harvell hasn’t competed since the opening round at Claremont Motorsports Park and looks to improve after struggling at the tricky third mile.

Post time for this event will be 4:00 starting with The Crazy Horse Racing Fast Time Challenge. Heat races will then be run followed by the GSPSS redraw for the top three from each heat. A consolation round will then be run if needed followed by the 150 lap main event.

For more information go to www.gspss.net or www.speedbowlct.com. you can also check out both on their various social media outlets.

Big Money on the Line in ACT-Style Late Model Show at Thompson Speedway World Series

Alan Ward Photo

Thompson, CT — Late Model drivers in New England won’t want to miss a big 50-lap feature as part of the 58th Annual World Series of Speedway Racing at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. On Saturday, October 10, some of the top competitors in ACT-style Late Models will bear down on the Thompson high-banks with more than $17,000 in total prize money on the line.

The race pays $2,000 to win, $1,200 for second, and $1,000 for third with a minimum $300 payout to take the green flag. However, the lucrative purse throughout the field isn’t the only value drivers will be chasing. For the first time in recent World Series memory, drivers will also be chasing lap money in the Late Model feature, with most laps slated for $50 to the driver who leads that circuit.

The total value of lap money rises close to $3,000 with $100 from the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) to the lap-one leader and $300 from “The Dumpster Guy” for the leader of the final lap. ACT and Pro All Star Series (PASS) officials are leasing the track for the prestigious World Series in 2020 and running operations.

John Lesnewski, a crew member on Woody Pitkat’s No. 91 Hartwell Motorsports Late Model, and Brian Tagg, a long-time competitor at Thompson, collected sponsors for the lap bonuses within just a few days after an announcement was made by Lesnewski on Facebook.

“John texted me and said he was trying to get some sponsors together and I shared it, and the two of us just went at it trying to sell them,” Tagg said. “It only took us a little bit over two days to sell them all. It makes it interesting… as a driver, you’re always looking for ways to make it more interesting and try to draw more interest from competitors who wouldn’t normally come. The purse was already awesome, and we figured we would spice it up even more.”

Outside of the lap money, two additional bonus awards have been provided. The second-place finisher will earn an extra $100, a donation that reads: “paying it forward in honor of generosity of Cape Towing and Salvage and Streb Chiropractic.” Woody Pitkat, who won the Late Model feature as part of the Thompson 150 on September 3, also has donated a $100 bonus to the sixth-place finisher.

“What John, Brian, and their teams have done to help support the World Series is great to see,” World Series co-promoter and ACT managing partner Cris Michaud said. “We think this is going to be one of the top races of the entire weekend and one that fans won’t want to miss.” 

For Tagg, watching what Michaud and PASS owner Tom Mayberry have done to try and bring Thompson back to the top is special – and he couldn’t be more thankful.

“It’s hard to even describe,” Tagg said. “As a competitor, you never want see your home track go away. When you have people like Cris and Tom… they didn’t have to do anything. They are three states away, but they wanted to do what they could for the local short track… it’s truly amazing.”

The 58th Annual World Series of Speedway Racing takes place October 9-11 with three action-packed days of racing. The schedules include 18 divisions and series with the season finale for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Two additional open shows – a $2,000-to-win 350 Supermodified 30-lap race and a 75-lap, $5,000-to-win Modified Open – will join the Late Model Open on Saturday’s schedule.

Outside of the Late Models, purses for Thompson’s local divisions include a $1,500-to-win Sunoco Modified race, $350-to-win Limited Sportsman and SK Light Modified features, and a $200-to-win Mini Stock main event. Full purse structures for all the local divisions and open shows can be found on the Thompson, ACT, and PASS websites.

General admission tickets are just $55 for a three-day pass and are a hot commodity since Connecticut COVID-19 regulations have the track at just 25% grandstand capacity. Tickets can be purchased by visiting https://happsnow.com/event/Thompson-Speedway-Motorsports-Park-YHPQ/WORLD-SERIES–NO2QX.

For more information about the World Series of Speedway Racing schedule, contact the ACT offices at (802) 244-6963, media@acttour.com, or visit www.acttour.com/thompson-speedway or www.thompsonspeedway.com. You can also get updates on Facebook and Twitter at @ACTTour.

For camping information and general Thompson Speedway inquires, call (860) 923-2280 or email oval@thompsonspeedway.com. You can follow Thompson Speedway on Facebook and Instagram at @ThompsonSpeedway or on Twitter at @ThompsonSpdwy.

For technical information concerning all PASS divisions, and for media or marketing questions, please contact passracing@roadrunner.com or visit www.proallstarsseries.com. Don’t forget to “Like” the Pro All Stars Series on Facebook or follow on Twitter @PASSSLM14 to keep up with breaking news as it happens.

Rookie Hobby Stock “Farewell 15” to be part of Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series finale

(LEHIGHTON 9-21-20) The Rookie Hobby Stock class at Mahoning Valley Speedway has been an unqualified success. The idea for the class came from promoter Keith Hoffman who felt there needed to be an avenue for up and coming racers to nurture their way from go-karts and ¼-Midgets and into stock cars and the Rookie Hobby Stock division would be the prefect steppingstone to familiarize those drivers to the many different aspects of running in full-size race car.

There were 10 races that comprised the season and it took until the ninth week for a repeat winner to emerge. Paul French Jr., picked up the championship in a close battle over Makayla Kohler and Hallie Muffley. Each week saw no less than a dozen cars in action and all total 26 different drivers raced at one time or another.

For the young stars it was also a chance to contest on a big stage in front of a cheering crowd and take in the experience of winning and Victory Lane ceremonies.

“The Rookie Hobby Stocks have been awesome and it’s everything I’d thought it would be. I wanted to get these rookies the feeling of winning a race in their system so they’d never leave and without a doubt we accomplished that. In the 10 races we had there’s been eight different winners and the Rookies proved to be a great addition to Mahoning,” said Hoffman.

And now they will be have one more opportunity to showcase their surprising talents as they have been added to the upcoming Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series (MVSHoFS) event on Saturday, October 3.

Bruce George Paving and Excavating of Kunkletown has stepped in with an increased purse of $100 to win, $75 for second, $50 to third and $25 to all other starters for the “Farewell 15.”

“I’m really happy that Keith (Hoffman) brought this class on. We’re moving in the right direction for sure with these kids and I feel the track has got a super class going,” said Nevin George, co-owner of Bruce George Paving and father of Rookie Hobby Stock winning drivers Jaden Brown and Brody George.

“Right now you have an age of kids that are very interested in this and we need to run with it. The class was an overwhelming success and from Opening Day to the final point race these kids from 10 to 17 years old have done a great job,” he continued.

“There’s a blanket over this area that feeds that race track from the ¼-Midget tracks. They’re a lot of people who are interested in Mahoning and I feel these kids who are in this class now will most likely stay there and feed other (track) classes over the next few years.”

At the final point race of the season held on September 12 Hoffman presented the top finishers with graduation certificates in recognition of their well-done accomplishments.

The Bruce George Paving and Excavating Farewell 15 will consist of heats and a 15-lap feature.

Also on the card that day will be the final races of the MVSHoFS headlined by the Hal Renninger 99-lap Tribute featuring the Race of Champions Modified Tour in their final point’s race of the season.

The Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks will also be wrapping up their portion of the MVSHoFS. Race time if 4:00 p.m.

The night prior, on Friday, October 2 starting at 7:00 p.m., timed dashes will be run that will lock in select starters for the next day’s heats plus there is the “Unfortunate 25s” which will are 25-lap mains for Late Models, Street Stocks, Pro 4s and Hobby Stocks. That event is an open invite to any 2020 non feature winners from any track so long they conform to Mahoning Valley respective class rules.

Additional information leading up the big weekend will be forthcoming.

For updates and further info log onto the official Mahoning Valley Speedway website at www.mahoningvalley-speedway.com or on Facebook at Mahoning Valley Speedway. Mahoning Valley Speedway is located on PA route 443 just a few miles west of Lehighton.