When the Granite State Pro Stock Series first rolled off in 2011, series founder Mike Parks had a dream of providing a competitive and affordable tour for Pro Stock competitors in New England. But Parks also hoped that it would provide a way for him to continue contributing to motorsports when he decided to step away from driving. Now with the GSPSS entering its seventh season of competition, Parks has decided that the time has come to step out of the cockpit and take over as race director for his series.
“It’s something I knew I was going to do, it’s probably a couple of years sooner than I thought I was going to do it, but I’m good with it; it’s time,” Parks told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “We had our first race in 2011 and I did it for the simple fact that I knew I wasn’t going to be racing forever and I still wanted something to do to stay involved in racing, and thought this was probably the thing to do.”
As for the current state of the GSPSS, Parks could not be happier with how far the series has come and where it is headed in the future.
“I’m really happy with it, it continues to grow in baby steps which I would rather have a long slow steady growth, rather than come out of the gate with a bang, per say. But if it’s steady growth, the growth will stay.”
The big talk of 2017 for the series is the addition of a 50-lap event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon as a part of the New England Short Track Showdown. Excitement has spread through the entire GSPSS field, Parks included.
“It’s really cool. I don’t know if I have the right word to describe it, but I know all the competitors are happy about going. It’s their Daytona; if you grew up in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, or Massachusetts, every local short track driver, their goal is to go race at Loudon. This will give a lot of those guys the opportunity to do that.”
The series is dotted with home state visits at Lee USA Speedway, Claremont Speedway, White Mountain Motorsports Park, Monadnock Speedway and Star Speedway. A road trip to Riverhead Raceway on Long Island is also on the docket for May 20. The series’ final two events of the season will be in the state ofConnecticut at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park and the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. A brand new event is also slated for June 24 at Seekonk Speedway (MA) just a few weeks ahead of the U.S. Pro Stock/ Super Late Model Nationals race.
“I’ve been working with the guys at Seekonk a couple of years trying to find the right time to do it. When Gary Sagar did the Pro Stock Nationals last year we saw a fit, so we decided to run an event a few weeks before the Nationals, that will give the GSPSS competitors some track time down there, so if they want to run that event, at least they’ve been there before, they have some time on the racetrack and a better idea of what to expect.”
Most encouraging of all is the continuing growth in competitor interest and depth of the series’ talent.
“We’re getting some interest from Maine competitors, from New York, Pennsylvania and so forth. It’s more than just the Granite State Pro Stock Series now, but we’ll keep it at that.”
The Granite State Pro Stock Series is set to begin its 11-race campaign at Lee USA Speedway on Sunday, April 30.
-By Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com CT, MA & Long Island Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT