Larry Gelinas, of Buxton, Maine, has experienced a lot during his career racing full-bodied stock cars. Throughout his career, the 47-year-old racer has competed with the best of the best in the Northeast while competing with a variety of Late Model touring series and weekly divisions at different race tracks.
Until this season, Gelinas could be found driving almost anything and everything that became available to him anywhere in the Northeast region. If there was a car available, the veteran racer would drive it.
Although that still remains true to some extent, this season the former Oxford 250 champion is focusing his efforts on the 2014 Granite State Pro Stock Series championship. So far, he’s having fun doing so.
On Sunday afternoon, Gelinas recovered from a spin near the halfway point of the Gate City Classic at Hudson International Speedway (NH) and battled back to win his second-career Granite State Pro Stocks Series event. The win was also Gelinas’ first-career win at Hudson after just three tries at the tough and bumpy quarter-mile oval.
“I tried to be as patient as I could be,” said Gelinas of his Hudson victory. “I took it easy and with other people spinning we were able to get back up front and get it done after the spin. It wasn’t easy. My car was kind of all over the place at the end, but everything worked out.”
Despite having an impressive resume up to this point of his racing career, one thing currently missing from Gelinas’ resume is a touring series championship. He hopes to change that this season after a strong start with runner-up finishes at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (CT) and Monadnock Speedway (NH) to go along with his victory at Hudson on Sunday.
“I plan on sticking with it this year and trying to win it,” Gelinas told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “Last year we ran several different cars. We ran somebody else’s car then we ran my own and got second in the points. This year we’ll try to see if we can improve by one.”
While chasing the championship, Gelinas plans to have as much fun as possible with his team while learning and enjoying the tracks that the GSPSS will visit this season.
“That is one of the reasons why I came to the Granite State (Pro Stocks Series),” said Gelinas. “There were three tracks on the schedule that I had not even seen before, not even as a fan. Monadnock was one, Devil’s Bowl (VT) last year was one, and Hudson was the other.
“I have been to almost 30 different tracks I’ve raced at now during my career, so that was really one of the things I’ve wanted to do. I like challenges.”
This season, after running several different cars for different race teams in 2013, Gelinas is in his own car that he purchased from another driver that struggled to get the car to go well. Getting the car prepared to compete for wins has been a challenge for Gelinas and his race team, but it’s a challenge that they welcome as they attempt to prove people wrong.
“The car that I run I bought for pretty much nothing because the people couldn’t get it to go well,” said Gelinas. “It’s kind of been a challenge trying to get it to go well, but we’re starting to prove people wrong. When I bought that car everybody said, ‘you’ll never get that car to go.’”
After two runner-up finishes and his win at Hudson on Sunday, it would be tough to argue that Gelinas hasn’t been able to “get the car to go.”
-Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
Photo Credit: Granite State Pro Stock Series