WALPOLE, N.H. – With just under one month remaining before the first annual New England Short Track Showdown at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Granite State Pro Stock Series drivers are starting to prepare themselves for action on the “Magic Mile.”
The one-mile, flat oval will require some different parts inside the cars and also will require a different setup under the hood in order to have a chance at winning. Although the inaugural Seekonk 100 is between now and the NHMS event on June 24, teams are already thinking ahead in order to try to get a slight advantage over the rest of the field.
“I’m really excited to go back there,” Rookie of the Year contender on the series Nick Lascuola said. “Up North, we don’t have many chances to race at the big tracks and especially at such a prestigious track like NHMS – it’s amazing in itself.”
Teams had an opportunity to test on the one-mile track back on May 8 as part of an open practice day. Lascuola is hoping the session will give his team a chance to be ahead of some of the others that didn’t attend when they unload at the track on July 1.
“I loved the speed from the test session and I can’t wait to get out there again, this time with 20 or more cars,” Lascuola said. “We were fast when we were there at the test and we figured out the issues we had and we will fix them so I’ll feel better and be able to compete.”
For fellow Rookie of the Year contender Devin O’Connell, the New England Short Track Showdown will provide him a chance to hit the track in a different car that he has in the past.
“It’s pretty neat to be able to run a Super Late Model on the mile,” O’Connell said. “I ran the quarter-mile over in turns one and two and also the road course in a Legend car a bunch of times.”
Are there differences between the two cars? Certainly. But, with his experience at NHMS, O’Connell has learned some things he hopes to transfer over to the 50 lap feature on July 1.
“When I tested a few weeks ago it wasn’t really as big of a learning curve as I thought it would be,” O’Connell said. “It was actually pretty similar to the Allison Legacy car’s as far as having to keep your momentum up, so now it’s just about dialing the setup a little bit to help me out.”
Both of these young competitors would love to visit Victory Lane at NHMS, especially because of the prestige the comes from winning at the “Magic Mile.”
“To win at New Hampshire would be crazy,” Lascuola said. It would be a dream come true because it’s a NASCAR track. That’s what makes this whole thing cool, is to be able to say I ran at a track NASCAR runs at.”
“We’ve had some horrible luck to start 2017,” O’Connell said. “A win at NHMS would be huge. If we can turn our luck around and pull of a win, it would turn our season right around.”
Names expected to compete in the GSPSS race on July 1 include regulars Cory Casagrande, Barry Gray and Scott MacMichael. Other names currently entered include 2016 champion Derek Griffith, Seekonk Speedway regular Kevin Casper and Maine native Wyatt Alexander.
The first annual New England Short Track Showdown is set for July 1, with the Granite State Pro Stock Series, Valenti Modified Racing Series and North East Mini Stock Tour set to compete. There will also be an open Street Stock race for teams to compete in.
For more information on the Granite State Pro Stock Series, fans are encouraged to visit www.gspss.net and follow the series on Twitter and Facebook. For more information on the First Annual New England Short Track Showdown, fans can visit all of the series websites, as well as NHMS.com.
-Granite State Pro Stock Series Press Release
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com