All across the country the legion of Street Stock racing reigns supreme for weekend warrior race teams. Two years ago the ball got rolling for a Street Stock touring series in New England, but uncertainty overshadowed the North East Street Stock Tour’s future after the 2016 season. With the 2017 moving closer, a veteran promoter has stepped in to take the ball over for Street Stock touring in the Northeast.
Maine’s Bob Guptil, the promoter and founder of the North East Mini Stock Tour, is taking a shot at promoting Street Stocks with the creation of the new Street Stock Showdown Series which is set to roll off for the first time 2017.
After the Northeast Street Stock Tour closed its doors in November, Guptil wanted to give Street Stock racers a chance to come together by adding them to the lineup for the New England Short Track Showdown at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which he is promoting this coming July 1. While promoters nowadays will usually go off hunting for drivers and teams, it has been the drivers and teams who decided to seek out Guptil following the announcement of the event.
“Ever since we started the Mini Stock Tour we’ve had competitors asking us about Street Stocks, if there was any future in it for V8 stuff,” Guptil told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “Then the North East Street Stock Tour came along and they were doing a pretty good job with it and carrying on a good series. Ultimately this year with it being scrapped a month ago we had plenty of guys ask us, where we had already announced the Loudon show, if there was any future in Street Stocks under our promotion umbrella.
“So we went forward and waited until we got the response from the Loudon rulebook when we released it at the Augusta show. The response has been fairly well; it’s not based on any one track’s rulebook, everybody’s got to change something, but nobody has to change a lot to go race. I feel it’s a pretty solid rulebook, on that and because of the good publicity of it we’ve decided to go ahead and start a Showdown Series, which is going to be a five-race shootout type series, collecting points and doing a banquet at the end of the year with the Mini Stocks.”
Guptil has decided to keep the schedule small for the time being, with the Short Track Showdown joining the series schedule with two other events. Guptil’s goal is to host a total of five races for the series’ inaugural season.
“There’s a couple races together, Loudon, Thompson World Series, which are confirmed they will be running with the Mini Stocks. We’ve also got a race confirmed already at Claremont Speedway (NH) for June 16, which will be a great show, Claremont is not a motor track, so that will be a place where drivers can get handling under their cars and make these things go.”
While the Short Track Showdown has grown to include the Valenti Modified Racing Series and Granite State Pro Stock Series, Guptil’s passion for supporting a more price-friendly level of racing has been his primary passion for running the event and the two series.
“When we started the Loudon thing, we had talked to Jack Bateman and got the MRS on board; of course we knew we were going to bring Mini Stocks there as we had in the past. And then it came down to what we could bring for cars that was really going to benefit the region of racing. That’s what we want to do, we want to grow racing across the region and Pro Stocks are ultimate in northern New England as Modifieds are in southern New England. As much as Mini Stocks are the staple of entry level racing so are Hobby Stocks, Strictly Stocks, and Street Stocks, we really thought that we could put together a really good package to bring the entry level guys out and have their dream race where they could run the track they always wanted to.”
As for the Street Stock Showdown Series, the interest generated in the original event at Loudon has generated interest from multiple drivers which Guptil hopes will translate over to the series.
“We’ve had a lot of champions from all over sign up, guys from six or seven states already sign up, there are almost 20 entries for the Street Stock race already paid and submitted. Got guys like Alby Ovitt out of New Hampshire and Frank L’Etoile, Stafford, Connecticut champion, we have tons of champions and high level racers that are setting up for this race, it’s just a really good setup.”
For more info visit the Street Stock Showdown Series Facebook page and sure to follow Speed51.com for more news on the Street Stock Showdown Series.
-By Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com CT, MA & Long Island Editor –Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo Credit: Passing Bird Photography