With only a few weeks remaining before the 2013 Granite State Pro Stock Series season opener, the teams are putting the final touches on their new mounts. The first hurdle will be acclimating themselves to the biggest speedway they will be facing this year, as Thompson Speedway holds their first practice session on Saturday, March 30.
This first open practice is the first time many of the competitors will be traveling the high banks of The Big T. Some of the younger competitors will be looking at some of the veterans of the series for advice. Fran Colson, who will be competing in his second season of Granite State competition is a veteran of many New England short tracks, and has a handful of wins at the Northeast CT. oval.
Former Thompson Speedway Pro Stock Champion Larry Gelinas has put his entry in in the Linblad #48. Dennis Maxfield is also a Thompson veteran who is looking for victory in the season opener. Both Tommy and Mike O’Sullivan, both who have filed entries for the 2013 season, have many laps at Thompson as well. Add in Thomspon veterans George “Mad Dog” Bessette and Jim Banfield, and the GSPSS regulars will have their hands full once the green flag drops on the 14th of April.
They will have to show the fast way around The Indy of the East to the younger drivers such as defending A.R. Bodies Rookie of the Year Derek Griffith, as he will be making his first laps at Thompson in a Pro Stock. Among those that have limited laps at Thompson are defending GSPSS Champion Bobby Cabral, Bobby Baillargeon, Barry Gray, Mike Parks, Zig Geno and others who traveled with the Granite State Pro Stocks.
When the field assembles on the 5/8 mile oval on 4/13, there will be two goals for the competitors. Victory lane on Sunday, and a championship trophy in the same location when the season breaks on October. With defending champion Bobby Cabral scaling back to a part time schedule, the title is up for grabs. One driver people will be looking at is Matt Frahm, who climbs behind the wheel of the championship #14. Matt ran part time in 2013, gaining valuable seat time in the family mount. But there will be several teams knocking on the door to take over the championship crown. Bobby Baillargeon, the 2012 runner up will keep up his pressure to move one spot up the standings ladder. Add in Barry Gray, who is coming off a win in the season finale, and is hoping that momentum carries over the winter. Rich Eaton and Fran Colson were also top runners over the course of the season. Add in newcomers Russ Hersey, a multi time Monadnock Speedway Pro Stock Champion, Louie Mechalidas, another NH Pro Stock and Modified standout and you have a full title bout on your hands every week. Babe Branscombe has added his name to the series for 2013, and will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience that the younger competitors can learn from.
Jeremy Davis, the 2012 Canaan Fair Speedway champion has sent in his entry, no doubt looking at the series second event on the schedule, the season opener at the central NH oval on May 4th.
Two time and defending Milk Bowl Champion Dave Pembroke has filed an entry with the series, focusing on a part time schedule with the group, including the Canaan opener, Devil’s Bowl Speedway race on June 14, and the September 7th race at Riverside Speedway.
The season opens for the Granite State Pro Stock Series on Saturday and Sunday, April 13 & 14 as part of the Icebreaker at Thompson Speedway. The schedule for this event has been posted on the Granite State Pro Stock Facebook page. The complete 2013 schedule is available at gspss.net.
For more information, check out our website at gspss.net, or find us on Facebook under Granite State Pro Stock Series.