Category Archives: Claremont Motorsports Park

Christian wins the final battle but Doiron wins the war in 2019

Ray Christian ended the GSPSS season on a high note as the Granite State Pro Stock series completed their season at the Claremont Motorsports Park. The series finale was the headliner of the return of the fall challenge. Series President Mike Parks made the decision to lease the Claremont NH facility and stage a two day event after the traditional season ending event at The Waterford Speedbowl was canceled.

  A number of support divisions, highlighted by the return of the dirt modifieds and pro trucks, were run on Saturday to set the stage for a huge Sunday of racing. The decision was made to have the pro stocks run their entire program on Sunday including all qualifying as many of the series teams come from a substantial distance.

  Out first it was the Crazy Horse Race for the Pole won by 2018 series champion Devin O’Connell. O’Connell hasn’t had the season he hoped for as he tried to defend his Championship but seemed to be on track to end his season on a positive note.

  Up next were a pair of twelve lap heat races. Local Driver Luke Hinkley was able to comfortably win the first one much to the delight of the fans. Heat Race number was won by Ray Christian III in fairly dominant fashion and was a sign of things to come.

  Up next was the GSPSS redraw which landed Christian on the pole with O’Connell to his outside and Luke Hinkley right behind them in third. Joey Doiron would simply need to start the feature to clinch the championship and would do so from mid pack.

  As victory lane was wrapping up for the sportsman modified race just before the GSPSS feature, it began to sprinkle just a little bit. Series officials made the decision to forgo all planned prerace festivities and get the race under way as quickly as possible.

  At the drop of the green flag it was all team 93 as Ray Christian was gone in a hurry. Christian stretched the lead to almost four seconds and a full straight away as he lapped up through seventh position. “Mitch and Mickey Green gave me a great car today”, said the CT driver in victory lane. “This is a great way to end our season and go into the off season.”

  Behind him Joey Doiron was working his way from a mid pack starting position all the way to second but the lead was just to much. Doiron would need a late race caution to have any shot at Christian but it never came and the newly crowned champion would have to settle for second.

  Local driver Luke Hinkley always looks forward to racing at the Claremont oval and today was no different. Hinkley had a solid run starting in third and finishing there after the caution free event. Hinkley was all smiles in victory lane with friends and family. “We were a little tight today”, he said. “We weren’t quite perfect but its nice to race at home. Thanks to Mike Parks and Granite State for putting this on.”

  2018 Champion Devin O’Connell completed his championship reign with a solid fourth place finish. O’Connell didn’t have the championship defense he had hoped for but a solid season none the less.

  Completing the top five was DJ Shaw. Shaw was running a car that was badly Damaged earlier in the season. His Dale Shaw Race Cars team rebuilt the car over the summer and used one of DJ’s favorite tracks to test it out. The end result was a solid fifth place finish for the second generation driver.

When the green flag finally flew on the final race of the 2019 GSPSS season it became official that Joey Doiron was the champion. Doiron has avoided talking points all year long but when asked, finally acquiesced in victory lane. “We can talk about it now that its over”, he said. “This is a neat deal, we came so close last year but a couple of mechanical failures caused us to come up short.” After taking some time to reflect Doiron added, “it’s just my dad and I in the shop so this is pretty cool. I need to thank all the guys who come to the track and my family for their support. Now we’ll go back to the shop, rebuild and try to come back stronger next year.”

  Up next for the Granite State Pro Stock Series will be the 2019 banquet of champions. It is almost a certainty that it will be held at the Thompson Speedway Clubhouse on a date to be determined. For more information check www.gspss.net or get updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Granite State Pro Stock Series contingency awards:

ARB Hard Luck Award: 17 Kevin Folan

O’Reilly Auto Parts last car on the lead lap: 8 Angelo Belsito

O’Reilly Auto Parts 7th place finisher : 40 Mike Mitchell

American Racer N.E Hard Charger: 73 Joey Doiron

Sunoco Heat Race Winners : 31 Luke Hinkley, 93 Ray Christian

VDL 5th Place: 82 DJ Shaw

Crazy Horse Racing Fast Time: Devin O’Connell

Claremont Motorsports Park Fall Challenge Official Finish

1- 93 Ray Christian III

2- 73 Joey Doiron

3- 31 Luke Hinkley

4- 43 Devin O’Connell

5- 82 DJ Shaw

6- 8 Angelo Belsito

7- 40 Mike Mitchell

8- 00 Jimmy Renfrew Jr.

9- 21 Josh King

10- 55 Cody Leblanc

11- Barry Gray

8 Guy Caron DNS

17 Kevin Folan DNS

Rocky Ridge 150 goes to DJ Shaw again

Tom Morris/GSPSS photos

Claremont NH – DJ Shaw continued his mastery of Claremont Speedway going two for two in the Rocky Ridge 150. The Conway NH driver took home the richest purse of the season for the Granite State Pro Stock Series for the second year in a row.

   The evening’s competition began with the Crazy Horse Racing race for the pole and once again it was Joey Doiron setting fast time. Doiron has become the master of time trialing in 2019 and when asked how, he said “we found a couple of things we were doing wrong so we changed what we do”.  “The big thing is what we do with our tires before time trials” he added.

   After time trials where a pair of heat races and in both, the competition was fierce. DJ Shaw was able come out on top of the first heat while the fastest man in practice, Angelo Belsito, picked up the win in heat number two.

   Up next was the Rocky Ridge 150 with a cool five grand on the line. After the GSPSS redraw the front row was made up of point leader Joey Doiron and Rhode Island driver Mike Mitchell. Doiron would get away with the early lead until a lap four caution for the spinning Angelo Belsito.

   Just two more cautions would fly between lap four and lap one thirty four. In that time four drivers would separate themselves from the rest of the field. Eventual winner DJ Shaw, Mike O’Sullivan, Hometown driver Luke Hinkley and Doiron would all lead laps and at times seem to be the car to beat.

   Over the last 16 laps the intensity level would be on the rise. Several cautions for action in the middle of the pack would keep the front four bunched up and cause the lead to change several times. In the end it would come down to a battle between Shaw and O’Sullivan as they lined up side by side for the last few restarts.

   In the end Shaw would win the final restart and as a result the race. In Victory lane Shaw spoke highly of the event that series president Mike Parks is building. “I love this place and this event is really cool. Mike O’Sullivan raced me with total respect like he always does and we were able to win this event both times it has happened”. Shaw then added “I can’t wait to come back and try to win the third one”

   O’Sullivan chased Shaw to the checkers while Luke Hinkley would end the day in third. Hinkley in victory lane for the first time with his three week old son was a picture of mixed emotions. “We tightened the car up just a little too much” said Hinkley in Victory lane. “It’s cool to have my son here for the first time but we really wanted to win. We’ll get one” he added.

   Pole sitter and point’s leader Doiron would keep the leaders in sight but had nothing for them in the end finishing fourth. After a steady run, defending champion Devin O’Connell would round out the top five as he tries to chase down Doiron for the 2019 championship.

   Mike Mitchell would battle all night long to finish sixth just ahead of Jimmy Renfrew JR and Ray Christian III in seventh and eighth. Ricky Bly and Cory Casagrande, both making just their second starts of the season, would complete the top ten.

   Up next for the Granite State Pro Stock Series is the fendered Friday portion of the annual Star Classic at the Star Speedway in Epping NH. The Crazy Horse Racing race for the pole is scheduled for just before 7:00 with heats and features to follow.

   For more, follow the GSPSS on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as at www.gspss.net.

Granite State Pro Stock Series contingency awards:

ARB Hard Luck Award: 52 Jake Matheson $100.00

O’Reilly Auto Parts last car on the lead lap: 88 Kevin Casper $75.00

O’Reilly Auto Parts 7th place finisher: 00 Jimmy Renfrew Jr $75.00

American Racer N.E Hard Charger: 08 Mike O’Sullivan One Free Tire at the next event

Sunoco Heat Race Winners :

#1 60 DJ Shaw 5 gal Sunoco Race Fuel

#2 8 Angelo Belsito 5 Gal Sunoco Race Fuel

VDL 5th Place: 43 Devin O’Connell $100.00

Crazy Horse Racing Fast Time:

73 Joey Doiron $125.00

8 Angelo Belisito $75.00

60 DJ Shaw $50.00

Rocky Ridge 150 Official Finish

1- 60 DJ Shaw

2- 08 Mike O’Sullivan

3- 31 Luke Hinkley

4- 73 Joey Doiron

5- 43 Devin O’Connell

6- 40 Mike Mitchell

7- 00 Jimmy Renfrew Jr

8- 93 Ray Christian III

9- 28 Ricky Bly

10- 7 Cory Casagrande

11- 14 Matt Frahm

12- 21 Josh King

13- 88 Kevin Casper

14- 12 Bobby Pelland

15- 8 Angelo Belsito

16- 47 Gabe Brown

17- 03 Joe Squeglia

18- 52 Jake Matheson

19- 29 Barry Gray

20- 16 Austin Blais

21- 09 Jeremy Davis

Rocky Ridge 150 up next for the GSPSS

Tom Morris/GSPSS photo

Up next for the Granite State Pro Stock Series is the second annual Rocky Ridge 150 at the Claremont Motorsports Park in Claremont NH. This is the second year for what is fast becoming the series’ most anticipated event, and with the winner’s share of the purse being upped to $5000, excitement is high.

  For the second year in a row Springfield GMC and their Rocky Ridge line up of trucks have come on board as the title sponsor for this event. Springfield GMC will be offering some fantastic deals on the full line of Rocky Ridge trucks as well as deals on any new or used vehicle in their inventory. Race fans will also have the opportunity to purchase the GSPSS 2019 pace truck at a greatly reduced price.

  Last year’s event was settled between Jeremy Davis and eventual winner DJ Shaw in a battle for the ages. The two rivals battled side by side on the tight third mile oval for most of the second half of the event, showing a great deal of respect for each other the whole time. In victory lane both competitors talked about how much fun they had and neither could remember racing that hard in a long time.

  For 2019 the series has upped the purse, upped the laps and upped the intensity. An additional fifty laps and more prize money spread throughout the finishing order has caught the eye of many competitors from throughout New England and beyond.

  Several local competitors have filed entries including Luke Hinkley who will try to welcome his new son to the racing world with a win. Hinkley was in contention for most of the 2019 event but faded late and hopes to pick up his first win in a pro stock at his home track.

  Ricky Bly returns to GSPSS competition for this event. The Sunapee NH driver has been running his L.M.S. car this summer but hopes to run several GSPSS races this fall. Also entered is Guy Caron who hopes to contend at the track that he grew up racing at as he makes a rare start in his pro stock.

  Joey Doiron returns to the third mile speed plant as the point leader and the most recent GSPSS winner at the third mile oval. Doiron chose to start at the rear and drove all the way to the win last time the series raced in Claremont. The driver from the state of Maine made it look fairly easy and picked up an extra $1000 in the process. He will be challenged by the likes of Davis, Matt Frahm, Hinkley and Ray Christian III who will be breaking out a new car for this event.

  Other notables expected include 2018 series champ Devin O’Connell, two time series champ Mike O’Sullivan, and many time Claremont Motorsports Park winner Barry Gray and former track regular Josh King. A surprise entry is Joe Squeglia and his 03 team. Squeglia is a multi-time series winner and normally only competes at the Lee, Star and Waterford Speedbowl events. The Derry NH driver will try to take the win and its $5000 prize back to southern NH with him.

  Joining the action on Sunday September 1st will be a five other divisions. There will be two Battle for the Belt races as the Mini Stocks will make their only visit of the season to the NH speed plant and the Street Stocks will go 73 laps in memory of the late Richard Tetreault. Both races are expected to draw healthy fields of cars and the Street Stocks will see an increased payout due to the efforts of Joe Tetreault and Mike Parks who have come together to make this race a fitting tribute to a great husband, father, grandfather and a true racer.  A top prize of at least $1000 has been announced to go along with numerous bonus payouts and money for the top three heat race finishers.

  Also in action will be the Granite State Legends in a national event qualifier which is expected to bring competitors from Connecticut, Maine and all states in between. The always exciting Pro Truck Challenge will be in action and the night will conclude with a wild and crazy red neck enduro.

  Racing will kick off at 4:45pm with The Crazy Horse Racing race for the pole followed by heat races and all of the feature action. Adult tickets will be just $20, six to twelve will be $10 and under six free.

  Pre Entry List (As of 8/28)

1.      43  Devin O’Connell

2.      21  Josh King

3.      1x  Todd Stone

4.      00  Jimmy Renfrew Jr.

5.      14  Matt Frahm

6.      08  Mike O’Sullivan

7.      93  Ray Christian III

8.      16  Tommy Rosati

9.      73  Joey Doiron

10.  52  Jake Matheson

11.  46  Dennis Spencer Jr.

12.  29  Barry Gray

13.  8   Angelo Belsito

14.  12  Bobby Pelland

15.  40  Mike Mitchell

16.  09  Jeremy Davis

17.  7   Cory Casagrande

18.  03  Joe Squeglia

19.  8   Guy Caron

20.  28  Ricky Bly

21.  31  Luke Hinkley

22.  16  Austin Blais

For more information got to GSPSS.net or check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.