The Granite State Pro Stock series kicked off its 2019 season with a 100 lap event at the all-new Claremont Motorsports Park Saturday night May 4th.
The event started with time trials and the Crazy Horse Racing fast time challenge, which was won by Joey Doiron, whose lap of 13.901 seconds topped the track record by a tenth of a second.
Heat races were up next and all three had exciting racing throughout. Local drivers Luke Hinkley and Guy Caron won the first two heats, while Matt Frahm was the victor in heat number three.
Before the feature, Doiron chose to accept the GSPSS/NHSTRA Back of the Pack Challenge. He chose to start last in the 23-car field with the incentive of an additional $1,000.00 if he could take the win.
The main event rolled out with local hot shoe Kyle Welch and Oxford Plains Speedway champion Gabe Brown sharing the front row after the GSPSS redraw. The first 75 laps of the event went off fairly smoothly with racing throughout the field and Doiron very patiently making his way forward.
A rash of late race cautions found several of the fastest cars deep in the field having to work their way forward but the race came down to a battle between Doiron and Luke Hinkley. The two raced side by side, lap after lap for a number of laps and through several restarts, never giving an inch but never crossing the line of rough racing.
Ultimately it was Doiron who prevailed, taking the win and the thousand-dollar Back of the Pack Challenge. After the race he said the car was perfect.
“I knew we had a good car in practice, which is why I took the challenge," said Doiron.
Hinkley was happy with second but disappointed at not being able to close the deal and score his first series win.
“I’ve got to talk to Parks about running 50-lap races," said Hinkley. "We just have to learn how to run 100 laps."
Matt Frahm took home a hard-fought third place finish by running consistently and staying out of trouble.
“We fought this car all day long,” said Frahm. “It wasn’t great but my dad and the guys busted their butts and we came out of this with a solid finish”.
Ray Christian III and Devin O’Connell would round out the top five despite tangling late in the race and having to come from the back.
“It was nothing intentional,” stated O’Connell. “I got into him and turned him around. I’ve apologized to that whole 93 team and hopefully they understand."
Angelo Belsito came home in a solid sixth position followed closely by Jake Matheson, who had a busy week as he turned s16 on Thursday, got his drivers' license on Friday and competed in his first race in a full size car on Saturday, staying out of trouble and finishing seventh.
Ricky Bly stayed out of trouble to finish eighth, while Bobby Pelland and front row starter Gabe Brown rounded out the top ten.
The next event for the Granite State Pro Stock Series is Saturday and Sunday, May 18th and 19th at the Lee USA Speedway in Lee NH. Practice, time trials and heat races will be run starting at noon on Saturday. A Consi and the 150 lap main event will be run on Sunday.
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Contingency awards went to:
Crazy Horse Racing fast time challenge: Joey Doiron
Sunoco Race fuels heat winners: Luke Hinkley, Guy Caron, Matt Frahm
O’Reilly auto Parts 7th place finisher: Jake Matheson
O’Reilly Auto Parts Last car on the lead Lap: Bobby Pelland
VDL Fuel Systems 5th place finisher: Devin O’Connell
American Racer Hard Charger: Joey Doiron
A/R Bodies Hard Luck award: John Micheal Shenette
-Granite State Pro Stock Series Press Release and Photo