As the 2019 Granite State Pro Stock Series season winds down, the series and its competitors are preparing to take part in one of the most anticipated events of the year. The two-day Russ Conway’s Oktoberfest at Lee USA Speedway has become a destination event for New England race fans and teams alike, and once again this year the GSPSS will join the fun on Sunday afternoon.
The last three Lee events for the GSPSS have been dominated by two drivers from just up the road in Maine. They are friends, competitors, rivals and coworkers, as both drivers work at JBJ Machine in North Berwick, Maine. The machine shop, owned by John Doiron, not only employs both drivers but makes numerous parts for race cars driven throughout New England.
During the 2018 Oktoberfest event, it was Brandon Barker picking up the first of two consecutive Lee wins. That race was shortened to 75 laps due to weather but Barker had the field covered and likely would have won had the race gone the full 100-lap distance.
In May of 2019, the series headed to Lee for a 150-lap event that was again won by the tandem of Barker and Owner Wright Pearson. In the closing laps, Barker was able to stretch his lead as Jeremy Davis and Devin O’Connell staged an epic battle for the second spot.
The series returned to the shoreline oval for a July 4th spectacular and It was more of the same. Barker, Doiron and another Maine driver, Ryan Green, looked to have the best cars until another competitor broke his rear end. The result was a significant amount of gear oil on the track which collected both Barker and Green, and from there it was all Doiron to the checkered flag.
Now, going into round three at the 1/3-mile oval both Doiron, who leads the series point standings, and Barker are expected to race and contend for the win.
Devin O’Connell currently sits second in the point standings coming off a disappointing run at Seekonk. The defending series champion will need solid finishes and trouble for Doiron if he is to repeat as champion.
Jeremy Davis is always a factor when the series goes to Lee. The chassis builder from Tamworth, New Hampshire calls the track one of his favorites and he never misses a chance to compete there. Davis has filed his entry and will be looking for his second series win of the season.
2015 series champion Derek Griffith has filed an entry for Oktoberfest. Griffith hasn’t competed with the series since the Hudson race in July of 2018 and looks forward to making his season debut at Lee.
Jimmy Renfrew Jr has had a solid season and has Lee circled as a track where he could pick up career win number two. He will be joined by a teammate at the 1/3-mile oval, as Alby Ovitt will be making his Pro Stock debut. The Barrington, New Hampshire driver has been dominant in Street Stock competition over the last two years and picked up a win in a NEMA midget in 2019. Ovitt’s Street Stocks have been owned by Jimmy Renfrew, Sr. so the transition to a Renfrew-owned Pro Stock seemed only natural.
Other drivers entered include local star Wayne Helliwell, Jr. who will pilot the familiar orange No. 27, Star Speedway winner Ray Christian III and two-time series champion Mike O’Sullivan. Barry Gray is entered after rear end problems sidelined him in Seekonk, and Ryan Lineham is entered in Rollie Lindblad’s 48.
All the action takes place on Sunday, October 6 with the Crazy Horse Racing “Race for the Pole” beginning just after 1:30. Heat races and the one 100-lap main event will follow in what promises to be a fantastic day of racing.
Race fans unable to make it out to Lee USA Speedway will be able to watch the Granite State Pro Stock Series main event live on Speed51.com.
For more information on all the happenings with the Granite State Pro Stock Series, check them out at www.GSPSS.net. You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For Oktoberfest information, check out Lee USA Speedway on Facebook or at www.leeusaspeedway.com
GSPSS Pre-Entry List (As of 10/1)
1) 43 Devin O’Connell
2) 29 Barry Gray
3) 1x Todd Stone
4) 00 Jimmy Renfrew Jr.
5) 08 Mike O’Sullivan
6) 52 Jake Matheson
7) 73 Joey Doiron
8) 21 Josh King
9) 14 Matt Frahm
10) 46 Dennis Spencer Jr.
11) 51 Bill Ahern
12) 18 Jeff Fagan
13) 31 Luke Hinkley
14) 28 Ricky Bly
15) 09 Jeremy Davis
16) 12 Derek Griffith
17) 48 Ryan Lineham
18) 40 Mike Mitchell
19) 27 Wayne Helliwell Jr.
20) 47 Gabe Brown
21) 35 Alby Ovitt
22) 16 Brandon Barker
-Granite State Pro Stock Series Press Release
-Photo credit: Speed51.com