Category Archives: Late Model Touring Series

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

MacDonald a winner again at Thompson’s World Series

The Granite State Pro Stock Series held a fifty lap event at Thompson Speedway this weekend, and to no one’s surprise it was “The Outlaw” Eddie MacDonald taking home the win. Macdonald is always a favorite at the 5/8 mile oval proved why once again.

   The Granite State Pro Stock Series was one of many divisions to compete at the World Series of Stock Car Auto Racing at Thompson Speedway in Thompson CT. Unfortunately the story of the weekend was weather, as all competition was washed out on Friday making for a jam packed Saturday.

   One practice session was held on Friday and the fastest pro stock to take time was Ray Christian III. Christian, the previous weeks third place finisher, loves the larger, faster race tracks so his trip to the top of the charts was no surprise.

   On Saturday, a crowded pit area, two days’ worth of racing and a weather delay to start the day lead to a crowded schedule and the cancelation of all qualifying rounds for the GSPSS. As a result, the fifty lap feature was lined up per the rule book putting point leader Joey Doiron on the pole with his nearest competitor, Christian, to his outside.

   At the drop of the green, Christian got by Doiron using the heavily favored outside line and set sail. Through a couple of caution periods for minor spins, Christian was able to get the jump on the restarts and get out to as much as a twenty plus car length lead.

   The final caution fell at about the two thirds mark of the race and lined Christian up beside MacDonald. When the green came out it looked as though Christian’s car was just a little better than MacDonalds. As the two fought side by side for the lead, Macdonalds car got loose on several occasions and forced the Rawley MA driver to lift out of the throttle and settle in behind Christian.

   After regrouping for a couple of laps, MacDonald mounted another charge to the inside of the track and pull out in front. From there to the checkers it was all MacDonald as he opened up a lead of a few car lengths and picked up his second win with the GSPSS at the World Series.

   Cory Casagrande has run well at every race he has attended in 2019 and Thompson was no different. The Stafford Springs CT driver loves racing in his home state and ran a solid race finishing third after starting mid pack.

   Second Generation driver Ryan Kuhn had a busy weekend as he ran with two series. Kuhn battled hard all evening long and wound up with a fourth place finish to show for his efforts.

   Reid Lanpher and his family team made the trek down from Manchester ME and sat through the long weekend to test their metal against the GSPSS regulars. Due to this being the teams second start and lining up by owners points, Lanpher started deep in the field. By the end of fifty laps he had fought forward to a top five finish.

   Jimmy Renfrew Jr would wind up finishing sixth despite a turn three spin off the bumper of eventual eighth place finisher Devin O’Connell. Vermont driver Josh King would split the two youngsters in seventh Position.

   Rounding out the top ten would be point leader Joey Doiron and Tommy O’Sullivan making his first start of 2019. Doiron goes into the last race of the year at Claremont Motorsports Park with a comfortable, but not insurmountable lead in the championship hunt.

   Next up for the series is the fall challenge at Claremont Motorsports Park on Thrasher Rd in Claremont NH. The traveling pro stocks will hold their event on the Sunday of this two day show, with the Crazy Horse Racing race for the pole taking to the track at 2pm. Heat races and several features will follow, highlighted by the GSPSS championship race.

   For more information go to www.gspss.net or check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Granite State Pro Stock Series contingency awards:

ARB Hard Luck Award: None, will be drawn at Claremont

O’Reilly Auto Parts last car on the lead lap: $75.00 17 Kevin Folan

O’Reilly Auto Parts 7th place finisher :  $ 75.00 21 Josh King

American Racer N.E Hard Charger: 17 Eddie MacDonald

Sunoco Heat Race Winners : None

VDL 5th Place: $100.00 59 Reid Lanpher

Crazy Horse Racing Fast Time: none

Thompson Speedway World Series Official Finish

1- 17 Eddie MacDonald

2- 93ct Ray Christian III

3- 7 Cory Casagrande

4- 72 Ryan Kuhn

5- Reid Lanpher

6- 00 Jimmy Renfrew Jr

7- 21 Josh King

8- 43 Devin O’Connell

9- 73 Joey Doiron

10- 16 Tommy O’Sullivan

11- 18 Jeff Fagan

12- 4o Mike Mitchell

13- 39 Nick Lascuola

14- 17 Kevin Folan

Griffith Triumphant at Oktoberfest

Derek Griffith returned to Granite State Pro Stock Series competition for Russ Conways Oktoberfest at Lee USA Speedway this weekend and left with the GSPSS trifecta. The annual festival of speed at the shoreline oval was run in the memory of the events founder, Russ Conway. When the weekend was complete it was a huge success for all in attendance especially Griffith.

  The 2015 series champion hadn’t competed with the series since the Hudson race in 2018 but it didn’t seem to phase him even a little. The Louie Mechalides led team had their Fury race cars machine on kill and it showed from lap one.

  In Time trials Griffith laid down a lap less than a tenth of a second off the track record to take home the Crazy Horse Racing race for the pole and the pole position for heat race number one.

  Next on the track for the GSPSS where three heat races with the top three going to the redraw. Heat one went to fast timer Griffith as he got the jump and never looked back. Heat two went to local driver Jimmy Renfrew in one of two Renfrew Motor sports entries for the weekend and the final heat went to Wayne Helliwell in the familiar orange number twenty seven.

  After the GSPSS redraw, rookie driver Alby Ovitt found himself on the pole position with Ray Christian III to his right and Helliwell on his back bumper. “I really didn’t want the pole” said Ovitt after the redraw. “I really wanted to get behind someone so I could ride and learn”.

  On the initial start it was Christian with the jump but an incident in turn two reracked the field giving Ovitt a second chance. On the restart it was all Christian again, with Ovitt getting stuck in the middle of three wide and bounced around a bit. Jimmy Renfrew Jr and Griffith were able to get around and those three set sail.

  Renfrew was able to wrestle the lead from Christian early in the event with Griffith following him through which was how they ran until lap 60 when Griffith went to the front. Renfrew would hound Griffith for the lead over several restarts but never get by as the twelve car showed he was the class of the field.

  In Victory lane Griffith took a second to reminisce saying, “I love Lee Speedway, this is where I got my first win in a Pro Stock so it’s nice to come back and win.” He went on to say “I love coming back and racing with Granite State. When we saw we had an off week we decided to come and have some fun and it worked out.”

  Jimmy Renfrew JR climbed from his machine after finishing second with a huge smile on his face. “I consider that to be like a win. Derek is one of the best in the business right now and I have learned so much from him in the past and today.” He went on to say, “We lacked just a little drive but we were the best of the Granite State guys so I’m Happy”

  While the front three were having their battle the racing from fourth on back was hot and heavy. After changing a motor after time trials, defending race winner Brandon Barker found himself deep in the field at the start. Barker patiently and methodically worked his way toward the front of the field but in the end, fourth was all he could muster as he was forced to use up his tires.

  Dennis Spencer Jr has suffered through a miserable 2019 campaign trying to learn new tracks as well as a brand new car. A couple of races off and a little help from crew chief for a day Jason Ricker, was just what the doctor ordered. Running fifth to eighth for the majority of the event Spencer would end the day in fifth.

  Luke Hinkley would bring his car home in sixth while Wayne Helliwell battled back from a late race incident to finish seventh. Joe Squeglia finished in the eighth spot followed by Mike Mitchell and Dillon Moltz, both of whom had to battle from the back of the pack.

  Next up for the Granite State Pro Stock Series is the World Series at Thompson Speedway. The series will headline the Friday evening portion of the weekend with a 50 lap feature. For more information go to www.gspss.net or check them out on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Granite State Pro Stock Series contingency awards:

ARB Hard Luck Award: $100.00 73 Joey Doiron

O’Reilly Auto Parts last car on the lead lap: $75.00 47 Gabe Brown

O’Reilly Auto Parts 7th place finisher: $75.00 27 Wayne Helliwelll Jr

American Racer N.E Hard Charger: One Free Tire 16 Brandon Barker

Sunoco Heat Race Winners: 5 gal Sunoco race Fuel #1 12 Derek Griffith, #2 00 Jimmy Renfrew Jr, #3 27 Wayne Helliwell Jr

VDL 5th Place: $100.00 46 Dennis Spencer Jr

Crazy Horse Racing Fast Time:

1st $125.00 12 Derek Griffith

2nd $75.00 00 Jimmy Renfrew Jr

3rd $50.00 93 Ray Christian III

Russ Conways Oktoberfest Official Finish

1- 12 Derek Griffith

2- 00 Jimmy Renfrew Jr

3- 93ct Ray Christian III

4- 16 Brandon Barker

5- 46 Dennis Spencer Jr

6- 31 Luke Hinkley

7- 27 Wayne Helliwell

8- 03 Joe Squeglia

9- 40 Mike Mitchell

10- 5 Dillon Moltz

11- 18 Jeff Fagan

12- 47 Gabe Brown

13- 28 Ricky Bly

14- 21 Josh King

15- 25 Barry Poulin

16- 12 Bobby Pelland

17- 35 Alby Ovitt

18- 08 Mike O’Sullivan

19- 43 Devin O’Connell

20- 51 Bill Ahern

21- 73 Joey Doiron

22- 29 Barry Gray

23- 09 Jeremy Davis

24- 48 Ryan Lineham