Hometown hot shoe Joey Polewarcyk led the majority of the 2019 Gate City Classic at Hudson Speedway to take down the Granite State Pro Stock Series win Sunday night. Polewarczyk, who lives just down the road from the legendary oval, had never raced a full-bodied stock car at the track prior to his victory.
It was a picture perfect day for racing as the Granite State Pro Stock Series took to the family fun track for an awesome night of racing. Ben Bosowski and his team had the facility fixed up and ready to go with a brand-new backstretch wall, new track lighting and a newly paved pit area.
On track just before the feature Bosowski was thanked for his efforts and responded by saying, “I always love it when the Granite State Pro Stock series comes here. The racing is always great and the fans love it.” After a little prodding Bosowski added, “I’d love to have the series here again this year. Maybe we can make that happen.”
The night kicked off with the Crazy Horse Racing race for the pole and it was Cory Casagrande establishing the track record with a time of 13.267 seconds. Being that electronic scoring was just added this spring there was no record to beat so Casagrande is the “original” track record holder in the Pro Stock division. After time trials, Casagrande was asked about the lap.
“I didn’t think that was a pole lap,” said the driver of the Chalew Performance No. 7. “It felt good but not that good. Now we just need to stay up there all night long.”
Heat races were up next and they became the Joey and Joey show. Heat one went to Joey Doiron in a battle that was hotly contested to the end, while Joey “Pole” won the second heat with relative ease.
After the GSPSS redraw Joey Doiron would find himself on the pole with a shot at the NHSTRA Back of the Pack Challenge. Doiron, who had earned the extra $1,000 for starting at the back at Claremont Motorsports Park earlier in the year, chose to keep his pole position. When asked about the decision during driver intros Doiron said, “No way, not at this track. We’re going to stay right here.”
As the 100-lap main event went green it was a tale of two races for the eventual race winner. The redraw saw Polewarcyk on the outside of row four with some work to do if he was to go three for three with the GSPSS. For the first 40 laps, the Hudson Hero slowly, methodically and patiently worked his way to the front, finally taking the lead on a restart, and from there he would never look back.
“Pole” never got to more than an eight or 10 car-length lead but also was never seriously challenged.
“The car was really really good all day,” Pole said in victory lane. “My guys busted their butts all day to give me the feel I needed and it paid off.”
Devin O’Connell fought hard for everything he got on the track but in the end the defending series champion could only muster enough for second.
“I really wanted to go back to back,” said the driver of the No. 43 car in victory lane. “It’s an honor to race against someone like Joey and second is nothing to be bummed about but I really wanted to beat him.”
Joe Doiron fought hard to stay within sight of the leaders all day, and when asked what he needed to beat them he simply said, “My other car”. He went on to say, “I didn’t expect such a clean race so I brought my older car and it just isn’t as good.”
Jimmy Renfrew, Jr. fought hard for a fourth-place finish at one of his home race tracks, while Mike O’Sullivan came back from missing a race due to a concussion to complete the top five.
Cory Casagrande came back from an early pit stop to finish sixth ahead of Jacob Dore in seventh, Mike Mitchell in eighth, Todd Stone in ninth and Angelo Belsito who rounded out the top 10.
Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond the Granite State Pro Stock Series’ control, the event scheduled for August 3 at the New London – Waterford Speedbowl has been removed from the schedule. The next event for the series will be the JBH 150 at Monadnock Speedway on Saturday, August 17. This will be the first time the series has gone 150 laps at the high-banked, quarter-mile bullring and it should be a wild affair that honors one of the series founders, John “Boy” Hoyt.
For more information on the Granite State Pro Stock Series go to www.gspss.net of check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Gate City Classic Official Finish
1- 97 Joey Polewarczyk
2- 43 Devin O’Connell
3- 73 Joey Doiron
4- Jimmy Renfrew JR
5- 08 Mike O’Sullivan
6- 7 Cory Casagrande
7- 05 Jacob Dore
8- 40 Mike Mitchell
9- 1x Todd Stone
10- 8 Angelo Belsito
11- 27 Wayne Helliwell
12- 16 Tommy Rosati
13- 12 Bobby Pelland
14- 17 Kevin Folan
15- 21 Josh King
16- 14 Matt Frahm
17- 93 Ray Christian III
-Granite State Pro Stock Series Press Release
-Photo credit: Speed51