Gray and Parks round out podium
Claremont, NH - Derek Griffith picked up his first career Granite State Pro Stock Series victory in dominating fashion as Claremont Speedway opened up a new chapter.
Griffith, of Hudson, NH became a quick study in his first visit to the tricky quarter-mile oval. His first laps around the speedway were some of the fastest he would turn all night, and the quickest of the 13 cars that arrived. He also led second round practice as well.
Two rounds of qualifying saw Jeremy Davis pick up the first round over Tom O’Sullivan and Cory Robert. Larry Gelinas and Bryon Baker rounded out the top five.
Griffith picked up the Sunoco Checkers in the second round, besting Mike O’Sullivan, Barry Gray, Mike Parks and Guy Caron.
As the green dropped on the field, in what was the longest race in series history, Davis and Griffith battled side by side for the opening lap. Griffith was able to get the better of Jeremy, and took off from the field. By lap 20, the pair had pulled away by over half a straightaway over Mike and Tom O’Sullivan and Cory Robert.
The first caution dropped on lap 31, when Larry Gelinas spun in the second turn. This was the first of the two yellows that came out.
On the restart, Griffith missed a shift, giving Davis the lead. The pair raced single file while Griffith regained his rhythm, and at lap 40, the Hudson native moved past, and into the lead once again.
By lap 50, Griffith and Davis once again pulled away, with Barry Gray, Josh King and Mike O’Sullivan the top five.
The final caution came out on lap 54, when Zig Geno and Cory Robert got together and spun in the second turn.
This restart was kinder to the leader, and Griffith took off and started to pull away from the pack once again. While it was kinder to the leaders, several cars got together in the second turn, including both O’Sullivan brother and Mike Parks. While everyone kept moving, and no caution was thrown, it jumbled up the field.
The final 71 laps ran without incident. Parks and Mike O’Sullivan started their march back through the field, moving their way into the top five by the end of the race. Jeremy Davis saw his tires go away, dropping him out of the top five.
With less than 50 laps to go, Barry Gray started closing on the leader, and had closed the lead to about 5 car lengths, but that is as close as he would get. As they worked through the lapped traffic, Griffith continued his dominance, and by the checkered flag, he has a one and a half second advantage.
Gray wound up second, with Parks, Mike O’Sullivan and Larry Gelinas rounding out the top five.
The Granite State Pro Stock Series returns to the high banks of Monadnock Speedway on Saturday, May 23. For more information on the Granite State Pro Stock Series, visit www.gspss.net.
Claremont 125 Results
Pos (Start) Driver Hometown
1. (2) Derek Griffith Hudson, NH
2. (6) Barry Gray Belchertown, MA
3. (8) Mike Parks Walpole, NH
4. (4) Mike O’Sullivan Springfield, MA
5. (7) Larry Gelinas Buxton, ME
6. (1) Jeremy Davis Tamworth, NH
7. (12) Josh King Vernon, VT
8. (3) Tommy O’Sullivan Wilbraham, MA
9. (13) Zig Geno Canterbury, NH
10. (5) Cory Robert Canaan, NH
11. (9) Bryon Baker Claremont, NH
12. (10) Guy Caron Goshen, NH
13. (11) Graylin Bonner Canaan, NH
AR BODIES (Hard Luck) 7NH-Cory Robert
BOND AUTO PARTS (Last Car on Lead Lap) 37NH-Jeremy Davis
BOND AUTO PARTS (Halfway Leader) 12-Derek Griffith
DRACO SPRINGS (Most Positions Gained) 21-Josh King
FIVE STAR AUTO BODIES (5th Place) 37-Larry Gelinas
MACLELLAN METAL FINISHING (Heat 1 Winner) 37NH-Jeremy Davis
MACLELLAN METAL FINISHING ( Heat 2 Winner) 12-Derek Griffith
SEYMOUR PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS(Random) 37NH-Jeremy Davis
RB PERFORMANCE (3rd Place) 66-Mike Parks
RB PERFORMANCE (7th Place) 21-Josh King
SHERWOOD WHEELS (Most Laps Led) 12-Derek Griffith
SUNOCO RACE FUELS (Heat 1 Winner) 37NH-Jeremy Davis
SUNOCO RACE FUELS (Heat 2 Winner) 12-Derek Griffith
VDL FUEL SYSTEMS (5th Place) 37-Larry Gelinas
POWERTRAIN TECHNOLOGY (4th Place) 08-Mike O’Sullivan
COIL-OVER COMMANDER (Feature Winner) 12-Derek Griffithaa