Veteran Larry Gelinas Keeps Foot to Floorboard in Gate City Classic Victory

June 17, 2014

Hudson, NH-      Patience was a virtue as Larry Gelinas bounced back from an early spin to claim the spoils at the Gate City Classic at Hudson International Speedway.

 

 

Bobby Cabral looked to be the car to beat at the beginning of the day, as the 2012 champion in the Granite State Pro Stock Series was strong in his heat, picking up the checkered and setting himself up nicely for the feature.  Walpole, NH native Mike Parks would join Cabral on the front row of the feature, by virtue of Parks winning the second heat, and Cabral drawing the #1 pill, resulting in no inversion of qualified cars.  Cabral would lead early, but would be involved in an incident on lap 25, putting a damper on becoming a two-time winner with the series at Hudson.  Mike Parks would inherit the lead, fighting off multiple threats from Dillon Moltz.  Moltz would get the better of Parks eventually, and log some laps at the point of the field. 

 

Just past the halfway mark in the 100 lap event, Gelinas, who had been hovering in the top 5 most of the day, went careening to the infield after incidental contact with hometown driver Derek Griffith.  Gelinas never lifted, whipping the car back onto the track before the leaders could put a lap on the Buxton, ME driver.  Another of the 15 cautions on the day brought Gelinas back to the pack.  Brad Babb, who had been running in the top 5 a good portion of the day, found himself at the back of the pack after a tire rub sent the Robert Babb + Sons driver down pit road.  Youngster Derek Griffith would find himself in the lead, after starting from the 19th spot.  To the delight of the crowd, Griffith held his own, but both Gelinas and Babb were knocking one more time late in the race.  Gelinas would overtake Griffith, and fend off a threat from Babb on a late restart, to pick up his second career victory with the GSPSS.  Babb, who started 16th on the field, would settle for second, while Griffith held onto third.  East Walpole, MA driver Craig Weinstein ran a clean race, and picked up the fourth spot, while Moltz held on to fifth.  Keith Caruso, Matt Frahm, George Helliwell, Barry Gray, and Tommy O’Sullivan completed the top 10. 

 

Gelinas credited patience for his Gate City Classic.  “I watched things as they happened, and took the spots when I could,” stated Gelinas.  “Babb raced well with me, and gave me some breaks.  I’ll remember that.  It was a good race.”  Gelinas has two second place finishes to go along with his Gate City Classic victory, but isn’t ready to put it on cruise control just yet.  “You can’t take that for granted.  A lot of it is luck.  We are lucky, we haven’t had any mechanical issues so far; we just have to keep our fingers crossed.”

 

For Babb, his second place finish is his best career finish with the Granite State Pro Stock Series to date.  On coming up through the field twice, Babb knew he’d be there at the end.  “I rode the outside when everyone was pinching on the bottom, and I knew we had a good car,” Babb said.  “I think I had the best car on a long run, but either way, second is a good day!”

 

Griffith, just 17 years old, liked how the race played out.  “Tonight was old-school racing, I like that!  The car was on rails all night.  If it wasn’t for Louie (Mechalides), my dad, Eric and Peter working on the car, it would never be this good!”  Griffith dedicated this race to Nicole Jacques, a friend of the family, who lost her life at 14 years old to a form of liver cancer just last month. 

 

Up next for the Granite State Pro Stock Series is Star Speedway, in Epping, NH, on June 28th.  This will be race four of ten for the GSPSS in 2014.  For more information on Star Speedway, visit www.star-speedway.com.  For more information on the Granite State Pro Stock Series, including our selfie contest and Victory Lane Radio Tournament Challenge, visit our Facebook page, or contact Mike Parks at mparks@gspss.net. 

 

GATE CITY CLASSIC RESULTS

6/15/14

POS (Start)          Driver                                   Hometown

1. (9)                      Larry Gelinas                      Buxton, ME

2. (16)                   Brad Babb                           Windham, ME

3. (19)                   Derek Griffith                    Hudson, NH

4. (14)                   Craig Weinstein                               East Walpole, MA

5. (5)                      Dillon Moltz                       Waterford, CT

6. (18)                   Keith Caruso                      Milbury, MA

7. (3)                      Matt Frahm                        Hampstead, NH

8. (12)                   George Helliwell             Derry, NH

9. (10)                   Barry Gray                           Belchertown, MA

10. (6)                   Tommy O’Sullivan           Wilbraham, MA

11. (2)                   Mike Parks                          Walpole, NH

12. (20)                 Erick Sands                         Farmington, NH

13. (11)                 Ron Smith                           Oakham, MA

14. (7)                   Geoff Rollins                     Groton, MA

15. (15)                 Cory Casagrande              Stafford Springs, CT

16. (1)                   Bobby Cabral                     Medford, MA

17. (17)                 Carl Eriksson                      Deep River, CT

18. (4)                   Fran “JR” Colson               Baldwinville, MA
19. (13)                 Dennis Maxfield              Fitchburg, MA

20. (8)                   Cory Robert                        Canaan, NH

 

CONTINGENCY AWARDS                                              Winner

AR Bodies (Hard Luck)                                                   Bobby Cabral

Bond Auto Parts (Last car on lead lap)                    Geoff Rollins

Crazy Ed’s Powersports (Hard Charger)                  Derek Griffith

Draco Springs Award (Most positions gained)    Derek Griffith

Five Star Stock Car Bodies (5th place finisher)    Dillon Moltz

MacLellan Metal Finishing (Heat #1 Winner)       Bobby Cabral

MacLellan Metal Finishing (Heat #2 Winner)       Mike Parks

Racer’s Depot (Random drawing)                             Barry Gray

RB Performance (4th place finisher)                       Craig Weinstein

RB Performance (7th place finisher)                       Matt Frahm

Sherwood Wheels (10th place finisher)                                Tommy O’Sullivan

Sunoco Race Fuels (Heat #1 Winner)                      Bobby Cabral

Sunoco Race Fuels (Heat #2 Winner)                      Mike Parks

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