Barker to Victory Lane at Lee USA!
Round two for the Granite State Pro Stock Series took place at The Lee USA Speedway as the Lee NH oval held its first annual May Madness last weekend. The Saturday portion of the show saw time trials and heat races as the twenty teams in attendance locked themselves into the show.
Time trials was the first order of business and for the second race in a row it was Joey Doiron winning the Crazy Horse Racing race for the pole award. Doiron and his team have made the time trial format look easy in 2019, setting the track record at Claremont Motorsports Park and just missing it at Lee. “We have just had really good cars this year” stated Doiron. “We were just a little tight in the middle today but we made it work for the pole”.
Up next where heat races and once again it was all Doiron making it seem almost effortless as he took the win in the first of two heat races. The second heat race went to defending series champion Devin O’Connell but It was far from easy. Third generation driver Ryan Kuhn, who was very quick in practice, hounded O’Connell for the entire twelve lap distance but just didn’t quite have enough to to get around.
Sunday started with a quick round of practice followed by the 150 lap main event. Ryan Kuhn was lucky in the redraw and started on the pole with Jimmy Renfrew Jr on the outside. Kuhn would lead the early laps until Octoberfest 2019 winner Brandon Barker would come calling and once he took the lead he would dominate. “This car was so easy to drive” barker said in victory lane. “It basically drove itself”. “We have all the Lee races on our schedule but I wish I could run this car next weekend at Monadnock, but it doesn’t fit in my schedule”.
Late in the race Jeremy Davis would have a couple of shots at Barker but in the end would have to settle for second when his tires didn’t quite cooperate. “The stagger opened up to much late in the going” said Davis as GSPSS officials ran his car through Technical inspection. “We were trying some pretty crazy stuff setup wise and between that and the stagger we just didn’t have quite enough late”.
Ben Rowe and his Richard Moody Racing team made the decision to race late in the day on Saturday after the event they originally planned to run rained out. With very little practice and no qualifying Rowe would have to start at the back and methodically work his way to the front, eventually getting as far as third which is where he would finish. “We made the decision to come late yesterday” said a smiling Rowe. “We just love to race and I love this place so this was a lot of fun”. Rowe continued “we had to drag Ricky (crew chief) out of the movie theater to get the car ready but here we are and this was a good day for us”.
Mike Mitchell also showed up Sunday as he raced the night before at Seekonk Speedway. After starting in the last row alongside Rowe he quickly worked his way into the top ten, hit the wall losing a number of places, then worked his way back to fourth. Mitchell would attempt to get around Rowe on several occasions but in the end was happy with fourth. “This is a really good day for us” said Mitchell after the race. “A big thanks goes to Jeremy Davis and Davis Chassis Works. This was the most fun I’ve had in a race car in a long time.
Polesitter and early race leader Ryan Kuhn was involved in a mid-race tussle but was able to work his way back to a fifth place finish with prerace favorite Joe Squeglia finishing sixth. Ryan green would be the final lead lap finisher as he had a strong run for his family owned team in seventh, while Luke Hinkley, Ray Christian III and Joey Doiron would complete the top ten, albeit one lap down.
The next event for the Granite State Prostock Series will be held May 25 at the Monadnock Speedway in Swanzey NH. For schedule information and more, check out the series at www.gspss.net as well as on Facebook, Twitter and now on Instagram.
Also in attendance were three of the first Steel Sportsman Series cars to be built. George Baldwin had his number LL 1980 Chevrolet Malibu on hand which he has clearly been testing. After several practice sessions and the 15 lap main, Baldwin was clearly the class of the field. In the 15 lap match race held Sunday afternoon he gaped the competition by about half a straightaway.
Brian Krucek turned laps on Saturday in the 77 car, a 1970 bodied Chevrolet Impala but mechanical difficulties kept him from returning on Sunday.
Kyle Casper showed up on Sunday with his 1986 Buick Regal Bodied car which carries a paint scheme run by Randy Lajoie in the old Busch North Series and the number 07. Casper was coming off a win in his Seekonk Sportsman car the night before so had momentum on his side but was unable to run with Baldwin on this day.
The Steel Bodied Sportsman Series is designed to be an affordable series using slightly outdated late model and pro stock chassis with bodies that look like cars run in the 70’s, 80’s and into the nineties. The rules are designed to keep out the high dollar, high technology suspension setups and look period correct and cool. Anybody interested in getting involved is encouraged to check out the GSPSS website and click on the “steel sportsman series” tab in the upper left.
The next event for the Steel Sportsman Series is Sunday July 14 at Hudson Speedway.
Granite State Pro Stock Series specialty awards:
ARB Hard Luck Award: 00 Jimmy Renfrew $100.00
O’Reilly Auto Parts last car on the lead lap: 93 Ryan Green $75.00
O’Reilly Auto Parts 7th place finisher: 93 Ryan Green $75.00
American Racer N.E Hard Charger: 4 Ben Rowe One Free Tire at his next event
Sunoco Heat Race Winners : #1 73Joey Doiron, #2 43 Devin O’Connell 5gal of Sunoco Race Fuel
VDL 5th Place: 72 Ryan Kuhn $100.00
Crazy Horse Racing Fast Time:
1st Joey Doiron $125.00
2nd Devin O’Connell $75.00
3rd Joe Squeglia $50.00