Story By: KYLE SOUZA / GRANITE STATE PRO STOCK SERIES – STAFFORD, CT – Former Stafford Motor Speedway Limited Late Model champion Cory Casagrande is no stranger to the Granite State Pro Stock Series.
Although he’s still looking to break into Victory Lane with the series, Casagrande has been a front-runner for years and flexed his muscle in the opener of the 2021 season, the Casagrande Builders 75, at Stafford, on April 24.
Casagrande, who won the title at Stafford in 2012, is a multiple-time winner at the Connecticut oval. That is part of the reason why he has been pushing hard for years to see Granite State — and the Pro Stocks in general — to return to the half-mile. Like many others, Casagrande got his wish to open this season. As a 13-time Stafford winner, with his last victory coming in 2013, Casagrande was hoping to break his dry spell and score the victory in what would have been one of the biggest moments of his career.
In the end, he came up just one spot short, finishing second.
“We started sixth and there wasn’t much on the outside for the restarts, but it seemed like we kept starting up there and had to fight to get to the bottom,” Casagrande said. “Once we were able to get to the bottom, we were able to pick them off, one by one. David (Darling) gave me a run for my money for second for sure — he is a good hard racer. I love racing with these guys.”
Casagrande’s family, the owners of Casagrande Builders, sponsored the 75 lap event. Located in Connecticut, Casagrande Builders, a local family-owned business started in the 1960s, specializes in custom homes, cabinets, kitchens, remodeling, bathrooms and more.
Casagrande was thankful for the run on the podium, but also thankful for the support of his entire group of supporters. Racing in front of the hometown crowd again felt normal.
“Real fun. I love racing here,” Casagrande said. “It’s been a long time, and I love coming back. Have to thank all of my sponsors… Casagrande Builders… my parents for sponsoring this event, at my home track, it’s pretty cool. We live eight minutes from here.”
With Stafford now in the rear-view mirror, after a successful event with 24 cars taking the green flag, the Granite State Pro Stock Series returns to racing for the second of 15 races for the 2021 season on Sunday, May 2, at Monadnock Speedway. As part of Monadnock’s annual Spring Dash, opening the season at the Winchester, New Hampshire, oval, practice will occur from 11:30-12:15 p.m., followed by qualifying at 2 p.m. The 100-lap feature is estimated to take the green flag around 5 p.m., and will air to a live audience on Speed51.TV. Following Monadnock, the series has another quick turnaround — with a trip to Star Speedway slated for Saturday, May 8.
Monadnock tickets are just $20 for adults in general admission, with seniors $15, children 11-18 just $10 and those 10 and under just $5. There are two-day passes available for race fans that will include the Tri Track Open Modified Series race on Saturday.