Story By: MIKE PARKS / GSPSS – HUDSON, NH – Angelo Belsito finally sealed the deal in the Gate City Classic at Hudson International Speedway Sunday afternoon. The Auburn MA driver had lead many laps and contended for the win in both of the first two Granite State Pro Stock Series races of 2020, only to watch victory slip away.
Belsito was good in practice, good in his heat race and dominant over the last two thirds of the feature event but victory was not easy. The Crazy Horse Racing fast time challenge was removed from the schedule as time was tight due to local regulations so Cory Casagrande’s track record survives for another year. As a result heat races would be lined up based on each drivers fast lap in the second practice session.
Belsito would start second in his heat race and finish in the same position after a spirited battle with defending series champion Joey Doiron. Doiron would end up victorious and the top three from each heat would go to the redraw. For the second race in a row the redraw would be where Belsito would struggle as he pulled the worst number possible, nine.
Winner of the last three series events, Ray Christian III, and local hot shoe Wayne Helliwell Jr would join Doiron as heat race winners. Christian’s crew chief Mickey Green would pull starting position number one while Helliwell would do just one spot better than Belsito starting in eighth and Doiron would pull five.
Early in the going Christian III and Joey “Pole” seemed to be the drivers to beat as they battled through several restarts and traded the lead back and forth until Belsito arrived on the scene. He would take the lead on a restart and never truly be challenged.
“The team gave me a great car,” Said Belsito in victory lane. “I was really just pacing myself once I got the lead and trying to save the car”. He went on to say, “We’ve had a couple of things cost us the win in the first two races but today we were able to put it all together.”
Christian III would wind up in second, his worst finish of the year,. “It’s a good day when we can be disappointed in second” said Christian III. “The car was really good we just didn’t have quite enough for Angelo.”
Polewarczyk would hold on to finish third tying his best series finish of the season. “That’s sort of the story of our season”, said the Hudson NH native. “It was a good day we just didn’t have what we needed for the front two”.
Wayne Helliwell Jr would finish the day in the fourth spot while 2018 champion Devin O’Connell would round out the top five.
Gabe Brown would race on the tight quarter mile track for the first time and finish a solid sixth right in front of another youngster, Jake Matheson and Nick Lascuola would come home eighth in his return to the series. Another local driver, Jimmy Renfrew Jr would end the day in ninth with Casagrande finishing out the top ten.
The next event has the series returning to the Claremont Motorsports Park for a final tune up before the $10,000 dollar to win event, labor day weekend. Teams who want to be prepared for the biggest event in the history of the series are encouraged to enter this event on July 24th and try to figure out the tricky NH oval.
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1 – 8b Angelo Belsito 2 – 93ct Ray Christian III 3 – 97 Joey Polewarcyk 4 – 27nh Wayne Helliwell Jr 5 – 43 Devin O’Connell 6 – 47 Gabe Brown 7 – 52nh Jake Matheson 8 – 39 Nick Lascuola 9 – 00 Jimmy Renfrew Jr 10 – 7ct Cory Casagrande 11 – 40 Mike Mitchell 12 – 12p Bobby Pelland 13 – 48 Ryan Linham 14 – 87 Alexander Pearl 15 – 17 Kevin Folan 16 – 21 Josh King 17 – 90nh Casey Call 18 – 29 Adam Gray 19 – 88 Kevin Casper 20 -73 Joey Doiron 21 – 08 Mike O’Sullivan 22 – 55 Cody LeBlanc 23 – 60 DJ Shaw
Contingency Awards :
Sunoco Race Fuels heat race winners – 5 gal. of race fuel – 73 Joey Doiron, 93ct Ray Christain III, 27nh Wayne Helliwell Jr
AR Bodies hard luck award – $100 product certificate – 55 Cody LeBlanc
Crazy Horse Fast Time Challenge – fastest times in second Practice 1st $125 -73 Joey Doiron – 2nd $75 – 93ct Ray Christian III – 3rd $50 – 27nh Wayne Helliwell Jr
Magnus Performance Parts – 7th place finisher $100 product certificate – 52nh Jake Matheson
Matco Tools : product certificates – winner $75 – 8b Angelo Belsito – Random Draw $75 – to be drawn at the next event