Larry Gelinas came home to Thompson Speedway for the World Series of Auto Racing, and picked up his first career Granite State Pro Stock Series victory in dominating fashion. Gelinas was the Pro Stock Champion just a few years ago, and used his knowledge of how the track reacts to the different rubber compound of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and made the right adjustments.
The50 lap feature was slowed by one caution, which came out on the opening lap when Greg Nanigian and championship contender Jeremy Davis made contact in turn three. Davis tried to recover, but fell out on the second lap with damages sustained in the incident. Just after the caution came out, Beech Ridge Pro Series Champion Brad Babb spun on the frontstretch, sustaining damage after hitting the wall, which also ended his run.
Once the green was back out, Jim Banfield watch Mike O'Sullivan pull ahead into the lead, one that was short lived. Gelinas, who restarted fourth, moved past by the third circuit and never looked back. By the time the race was half-way, Gelinas had already opened up over a half straightaway lead over O'Sullivan.
With Gelinas checking out, and Davis sidelined, all O'Sullivan had to do was settle in finish the race to clinch the title. With his brother Tom behind him in third, having his hands full with Jim Banfield, Mike's run to the checkers was just keeping the car from getting away from him.
O'Sullivan climbed out of the car as the final champion crowned for the weekend, and exhaled a sigh of relief and jubilation. "We didn't have anything for Larry, and were actually hoping for the race to go green all the way. The brakes were fading over the final 20 laps, and a yellow may have hurt our finishing position." He credited his brother Tom, who picked up Rookie of the Year honors, with helping him concentrate on the big picture. "We drive to work all the time, and have developed a real special relationship."
Eleven of the 24 started completed all 50 laps, with 18 cars still running at the Sunoco Checkers. The race took 17:43 to complete.
1) Larry Gelinas Buxton, ME
2) Mike O'Sullivan Springfield, MA
3) Tom O'Sullivan Wilbraham, MA
4) Jim Banfield S. Glastonbury, CT
5) Louie Mechalidas Tyngsboro, MA
6) Billy Brady Marston Mills, MA
7) Dillon Moltz Waterford, CT
8) George Bessette Danbury, CT
9) Dennis Maxfield Fitchburg, MA
10) Carl Eriksson Deep River, CT
11) Jake Vanada Berkley, MA
12) John-Michael Shenette N. Grosvenordale, CT
13) Rick Martin Westport, MA
14) Fran Colson Baldwinville, MA
15) Josh King Vernon, VT
16) Erick Sands Farmington, NH
17) Scott Kulesa Georgetown, MA
18) Mike Parks Walpole, NH
19) Norm Wrenn Nashua, NH
20) Mike Brightman Acushnet, MA
21) Jeremy Davis Tamworth, NH
22) Brad Babb Windham, ME
23) Greg Nanigian Braintree, MA
24) Glenn Tyler Hampton Bays, NY
Sunoco Fuel Qualifying Winners: Mike O'Sullivan, Brad Babb, Glenn Tyler
Performance Unlimited Performance of NH ½ way leader bonus: Larry Gelinas
AR Bodies Hard Luck Award: Jeremy Davis
Bond Auto Parts award, given to the last driver on the lead lap: Jake Vanada
Sherwood Wheel $50.00 gift certificate 5th place finish Award: Louie Mechalidas
Ricky’s Real Racer award, given to the driver who picks up the most positions in the race: George Bessette
For more information, check out our website at gspss.net, or find us on Facebook under Granite State Pro Stock Series.