Story By: KYLE SOUZA / GRANITE STATE PRO STOCK SERIES – WALPOLE, NH – With five races completed in the Granite State Pro Stock Series season, and five scheduled races still remaining on the calendar, Gabe Brown leads the championship standings.
The rising star holds a 12-point lead over former champion Devin O’Connell, while Angelo Belsito is third, 20 points back, and Bryan Kruczek fourth.
Brown is leading the series into the most prestigious race of the season this Saturday, July 31 — at Claremont Motorsports Park — where the winner will collect $10,000 in the midsummer special. Claremont, known for its tricky turn one and tight turn three, often produces some of the best racing on the Granite State circuit, and Brown is hoping to score the victory.
The youngster is still looking for his first touring Pro Stock win, although he’s a former champion at Oxford Plains Speedway, and Late Model winner at Riverside Speedway recently.
“We’ve had a really stout car everywhere we have been this year,” Brown said. “At Star, we had speed, just not race speed, but at Hudson, we stumbled onto something and I think it’s going to work when we go back to Star. At Beech Ridge, we had speed in practice, but strongly believe we had a bad right rear tire. Other than those races we’ve had a really good car everywhere we’ve been. After winning the Late Model race at Riverside, it feels like a huge weight lifted. Whether we win this year in a Pro Stock or not, I finally won a race.”
Brown is hoping the most recent event at Hudson and the speed the team found under the hood is a sign of good things to come. With some of his best tracks coming up, he’s excited to continue on the trail to chase the Pro Stock win… and a championship.
“I think we’ve stumbled onto a couple of things that I believe will make us much better than last year,” Brown said. “I’m pumped for the next few races. I know the Late Model win isn’t a Pro Stock, and it was a weekly race, and people don’t think it was fair. But the car doesn’t drive itself — a win at this point in anything to me means the world. I really hope the rest of the wins will come easier for us, I feel like we have some good chances, just need the cards to fall right.”
Overall, his season includes the chase for the obvious championship trophy — which he believes he is in a good spot to capture. But will the $10,000 check fall his way first at Claremont this Saturday in a special event?
“Obviously the title is huge for us, but we are just here to win races, we really want to win,” Brown said. “I feel like we have a good chance at the title, but I want those wins. We’ve had a fun year so far — and I’ve got some really good guys helping me out — and I’m really thankful for it. Being able to run up front in any race we go to is all you can ask for. We are close to the wins. Just need to work a little harder. It’s a matter of time.”
“Claremont is right there at the top of the list of my favorite tracks, I love that place.”
The entry list for the special Granite State Pro Stock Series event on Saturday evening includes some of the top Pro Stock talent across the region, including Derek Griffith, Eddie MacDonald, Joey Pole and more against series regulars. A full list is expected to be released on Thursday, July 29.
The schedule for the day calls for the pit area to open at 11 a.m., with the practice rounds rolling off at 1 p.m. The Granite State Pro Stock Series will practice from 1:25-2:10 p.m., and 3-3:15 p.m., followed by time trials at 4:15 p.m. The qualifying races and the 150-lap feature, worth $10,000 to win, will follow. The Pro Stocks will be the sixth race of a busy night at Claremont — one that also includes events for the NHSTRA Modifieds, Six Shooters, Pure Stocks, Pro 4 Modifieds, NEMA Lites and Street Stocks.