GSM2    WINCHESTER, NH- Barry Gray from Belchertown, Mass., did everything he could to make a clean pass on race leader Mike Parks, but it wasn’t until Parks spun his tires on a lap 79 restart that Gray was able to take the lead and win the Granite State Pro Stock Series JBH Memorial 100 on Saturday night at the Monadnock (N.H.) Speedway.


    “There are a lot of strong cars in this division,” Gray said in victory lane. “When you win a race doing this it’s a real good deal. My hats off to my crew. I want to thank Monadnock Speedway. It’s nice that the Pro Stocks have a place to go.”


    Parks and Jake Vanada led the 20 car field to the initial green, with Parks getting out front first. Gray started the race in the fourth position, and it took him until lap 30 to pass Larry Gelinas for the second spot.


    It didn’t take Gray long to begin pressuring Parks for the lead. Gray tried inside and out, with the lead duo making contact on numerous occasions. Gelinas also stayed close to make it a three car race for the top spot. Parks stayed out front despite numerous double file restarts. It wasn’t until lap 79 that Gray saw the opportunity, and he took full advantage of it.


    “He got loose,” Gray recalled. “I lifted for a minute because he was washing up into my lane. I’m like oh boy I’m going to bounce off the wall. Then I just decided to put it (throttle) down and see what happens and I was able to get the lead.”


    It was nice, clean racing. A little rubbing but that’s racing. It was fun. He had a good car. We ran real hard. I wasn’t going to win this dirty. I don’t like to win races that way. This is sweet to get one.”


    Parks held off Gelinas to finish second, with Russ Hersey and Jeremy Davis rounding out the top five. Hersey drove from the rear of the field after making an earlier pit stop to race with the leaders in the closing laps.


    “I buzzed the tires,” a dejected Parks said following a solid second place run. “Barry was the faster car. I did not want to give him the bottom. If he was going to go by, it was going to be on the top.


    I made a mistake and Barry was there to capitalize. Congratulations to him. This one was special to me. John Hoyt and I started this deal. I really wanted this one for John Boy.”


    The race was run in memory of Hoyt, who along with Parks turned the idea of the GSPSS into reality before his untimely death two years ago. There were 24 race teams on hand to qualify for the 20 starting positions. Gray, Gelinas, Parks and Matt Frahm were the, “Sunoco Qualifying Race Award” winners.


    The race was completed in 57 minutes, with 12 cautions and eight cars finishing on the lead lap. Contenders Derek Griffith (motor), Austin Brehio (accident), Matt Frahm (accident) and Mike O’Sullivan (accident) were not among the lead lap cars. Five races remain on the GSPSS schedule, beginning with a visit to the Star Speedway in Epping, N.H., on August 17.


    GSPSS JBH Memorial 100 Finish: 1. BARRY GRAY, 2. Mike Parks, 3. Larry Gelinas, 4. Russ Hersey, 5. Jeremy Davis, 6. Tommy O’Sullivan, 7. Erick Sands, 8. Mike Rivard, 9. Jake Vanada, 10. Phil Meany, 11. Fran Colson Jr., 12. Keith Caruso, 13. Mike O’Sullivan, 14. Matt Frahm, 15. Jay Sands, 16. Ron Smith, 17. Derek Griffith, 18. Babe Branscombe, 19. Austin Brehio, 20. Josh King. DNQ: Zig Geno, Lee Gagliardi, Zach Jewett and Matt Zenisky.


    Additional Awards: Hard Luck- Derek Griffith; Ricky’s Real Racer- Mike Rivard; Bond Auto Parts Last Car On Lead Lap- Mike Rivard; Performance Unlimited Halfway Bonus- Mike Parks; Sherwood Wheels Fifth Place Finisher- Jeremy Davis.