Story By: MIKE PARKS / GRANITE STATE PRO STOCK SERIES – WINCHESTER, NH – The Granite State Pro Stock Series invaded Monadnock Speedway for a mid summer affair and DJ Shaw finally conquered a track that had stymied him for several years.
On a hot and sunny afternoon practice went smoothly for everyone except rookie Casey Call. At the end of the final practice session the bracket that attaches the track bar to the rear end broke sending the team scrambling to make repairs. The part failure would cause him to miss time trials but the young driver would make the call for his heat race.
The Crazy Horse Racing Fast Time Challenge would be the first laps of competition for the series competitors and it was former champion Devin O’Connell setting fast time for the day. O’Connell came up short of Mike O’Sullivans track record by less than a tenth of a second but was the fastest man on this day.
O’Connell’s day would continue to go well in his heat race as he took down the win with relative ease. The second heat would be won by Angelo Belsito who came into this event looking to make it three in a row with the GSPSS. Belsito, who had never raced at Monadnock, would adapt quickly and look to take all he had learned to the feature.
After the GSPSS redraw it was series point leader Ray Christian III who would start on the pole along side second place point man Belsito. DJ Shaw would start on the outside of row two and make his way to the lead early and check out on the field.
A lap two incident involving three cars ended with a scary hit to the outside wall for Barry Gray. The heavy contact in turn three would destroy his race car but Gray was able to climb out under his own power with nothing but bumps, bruises and hurt pride.
Once Shaw took control of the race it was a three car battle for second thru fourth. Christian III, Belsito and O’Connell would battle for those spots for the first three quarters of the race. At the end it would be Belsito prevailing in second with Christian III rounding out the podium.
Late in the going Rookie Call and Joey “Pole” Polewarczyk made a charge trying to get all the positions they could. Call had run at the back of the top five for many laps and found himself in a battle for that spot and more. “Pole” would ride around for a large part of the race trying to study and learn all he could about a track that he had never seen before. Call would pick up the final spot in the top five while “Pole”, who came into the event second in points, would break a ball joint with five to go and limp around to a tenth place finish.
Second year driver Jake Matheson would have a strong run coming home sixth after a fantastic closing laps battle with O’Connell and Call. The three youngsters, all graduates of legends cars, would race hard all the way to the line for a highlight reel finish.
Josh King would get caught up in a mid race incident but battle back for a seventh place finish right in front of Mike O’Sullivan and Cody LeBlanc, all of whom had come into the race with hopes of more.
The next event for the series is scheduled to take place at the Beach Ridge Speedway in Scarborough ME. The historical oval just up the road from Old Orchard Beach will host the first race in the state of Maine in several years and the first ever at the speedway.
1- 60 DJ Shaw
2 – 8B Angelo Belsito
3 – 93CT Ray Christian III
4 – 43NH Devin O’Connell
5- 90 Casey Call
6 – 52NH Jake Matheson
7 – 21 Josh King
8- 08 Mike O’Sullivan
9 – 55 Cody Leblanc
10 – 97 Joey Polewarcyk
11- 40 Mike Mitchell
12- 77 Jeremy Sorel
13- 87 Alexander Pearl
14- 17 Kevin Folan
15- 29 Barry Gray
Contingency Awards :
Sunoco Race Fuels heat race winners – 5gallons of race fuel – heat 1 – 43 Devin O’Connell, heat 2 – 8B Angelo Belsito
Crazy Horse Fast Time Challenge – 1st $125 – 43 Devin O’Connell – 2nd $75 – 8b Angelo Belsito – 3rd $50 – 52NH Jake Matheson
Magnus Performance Parts – 7th place finisher $100 product certificate – 21 Josh King
Matco Tools : product certificates – winner $75 – 60 DJ Shaw – Random Draw $75 – to be drawn at the next event
American Racer Hard Charger – one free tire – 90NH Casey Call
Speed 51 leader at lap 51 – $51 – 60 DJ Shaw
AR Bodies hard luck award – $100 product certificate – 29 Barry Gray