Mike O’Sullivan fends off Larry Gelinas and Jeff Connors to pick up his third win in the Granite State Pro Stock Series.
Wayne Helliwell, JR pulled away from Keith Caruso and looked strong to begin the race. Defending race winner George Bessette had picked up a couple of spots before falling off the pace on the back stretch with a terminal issue. O’Sullivan, Gelinas, and Connors sat single file in pursuit of Helliwell, who was amongst the fastest cars all weekend. Home track hero Tommy O’Sullivan battled bad luck all weekend long, suffering a failed plug wire a day after his motor let go during practice, taking him out of contention on lap 16. Helliwell’s day would turn sour as the two-time defending ACT champion blew a right front tire in turn 1 and came to rest on the top of turn 3, bringing out the first caution of the day.
On the restart, Mike O’Sullivan jumped to the lead leaving Connors and Gelinas to try and hunt the Springfield, MA driver down. A great battle ensued behind him, as Dillon Moltz and Brad Babb swapped the fourth position multiple times, while Matt Frahm watched from the sixth spot. The outside pole sitter Keith Caruso and Ron Smith made contact in the middle of turns 3 and 4, bringing out the second caution of the day.
O’Sullivan would hold the lead on the restart as Jeff Connors had a handful of race car, and veteran Gelinas took advantage and grabbed the second spot in the closing laps. Neither driver could reel in O’Sullivan, however, as the Flamingo Motorsports Chevrolet cruised to the line for the victory. O’Sullivan now has a pair of second place finishes to go along with today’s win in the Granite State Pro Stock Series at the track he considers home.
O’Sullivan commented about the day, “Flawless race car from top to bottom. I knew I could race Jeff on the short run, but he was a little better on the longer run. When the second caution came out, I knew if I could hustle out front for the first few laps and cut the distance in half before he started to catch me, I knew I’d be alright.”
Larry Gelinas ended his double-duty weekend with a second place finish in the Icebreaker. Gelinas was involved in a caution earlier in the day in the Late Model division, a weekly division at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
“I tried to save a bit throughout the race and hope for some cautions and see what happened,” Gelinas stated. “A top three finish is pretty good because we are a low-buck team, so I’m happy with second.”
Connors’ return behind the wheel after a few year hiatus was a successful one with his third place finish. Connors remarked, “Cautions hurt us. If we didn’t have the cautions, I was good reeling him in and I was just waiting. Unfortunately, the car tightened up on me that last caution.” Connors will be sharing the Cassagrande Builders Chevrolet with youngster Cory Cassagrande, and the duo look to make their next appearance at Hudson Speedway on June 15th.
Brad Babb would win the battle for the fourth spot, with Dillon Moltz taking fifth. Matt Frahm, Barry Gray, Derek Griffith, Cory Robert, and Keith Caruso completed the top ten. Moltz and Babb won their respective heat races on Saturday.
The Granite State Pro Stock Series returns to action at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, NH on May 24th for their fifth race at the facility. For more information about the GSPSS contact Mike Parks at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the GSPSS website www.gspss.net.