After watching victory slip away in the first two races of the 2020 season, Angelo Belsito sealed the deal Sunday night with the Granite State Pro Stock Series at Hudson Speedway. The Auburn, Massachusetts driver took the lead from defending race winner Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. on Lap 30 and never looked back en route to winning the Gate City Classic.
Belsito was good in practice, good in his heat race and dominant over the last two-thirds of the 100-lap feature event; however, victory was not easy.
The Crazy Horse Racing Fast Time Challenge was removed from the schedule as time was tight due to local regulations, which allowed Cory Casagrande’s track record to survive for another year. As a result, heat races were lined up based on each driver's fast lap in the second practice session.
Belsito started second in his heat race and finished in the same position after a spirited battle with defending series champion Joey Doiron.
GSPSS points leader Ray Christian III, Doiron and Wayne Helliwell, Jr. were victorious in the three heat races, with the top three from each heat entering the redraw. For the second race in a row, the redraw was where Belsito would struggle most, as he pulled the worst number possible: nine.
Christian’s crew chief Mickey Green pulled starting position number one and gave his driver the pole for the 100-lap main event.
Early in the going, Christian and Polewarczyk seemed to be the drivers to beat as they battled through several restarts and traded the lead back and forth until Belsito arrived on the scene. Following a restart, Belsito battled side-by-side with Joey Pole before taking the lead for good on Lap 30.
“The team gave me a great car,” Belsito said in victory lane. “I was really just pacing myself once I got the lead and trying to save the car. We’ve had a couple of things cost us the win in the first two races but today we were able to put it all together.”
Christian III would wind up in second, his worst finish of the year after winning the first two races at Claremont Motorsports Park.
“Its a good day when we can be disappointed in second” Christian said. “The car was really good we just didn’t have quite enough for Angelo.”
Polewarczyk held on to finish third, tying his best series finish of the season.
“Thats sort of the story of our season," said the Hudson, New Hampshire native. “It was a good day we just didn’t have what we needed for the front two."
Wayne Helliwell, Jr. finished the day in the fourth spot, while 2018 series champion Devin O’Connell completed the top five.
Making his debut on the tight quarter-mile oval, Gabe Brown finished a solid sixth right in front of another youngster, Jake Matheson. Nick Lascuola finished eighth in his return to the series, while another local driver, Jimmy Renfrew Jr. and Connecticut native Cory Casagrande completed the top 10.
The next event on the 2020 schedule will see the series returning to the Claremont Motorsports Park for a final tune up before the $10,000-to-win event on Labor Day Weekend. Teams who want to be prepared for the biggest event in the history of the series are encouraged to enter the next event on July 24 to try to figure out the tricky New Hampshire oval.
More more information on the Granite State Pro Stock Series, visit www.gspss.net or follow the series on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Gate City Classic Results:
1 - 8b Angelo Belsito
2 - 93ct Ray Christian III
3 - 97 Joey Polewarcyk
4 - 27nh Wayne Helliwell Jr
5 - 43 Devin O’Connell
6 - 47 Gabe Brown
7 - 52nh Jake Matheson
8 - 39 Nick Lascuola
9 - 00 Jimmy Renfrew Jr
10 - 7ct Cory Casagrande
11 - 40 Mike Mitchell
12 – 12p Bobby Pelland
13 – 48 Ryan Linham
14 – 87 Alexander Pearl
15 – 17 Kevin Folan
16 - 21 Josh King
17 - 90nh Casey Call
18 - 29 Adam Gray
19 - 88 Kevin Casper
20 -73 Joey Doiron
21 – 08 Mike O’Sullivan
22 – 55 Cody LeBlanc
23 – 60 DJ Shaw
-GSPSS Press Release & Photo