Story By: JEFF BROWN / GRANITE STATE PRO STOCK SEIRES – HERMON, ME – After a one-year vacation from the Pine Tree State, the Granite State Pro Stock Series is going back-to-back in Vacationland this summer at Speedway 95.
With July’s Go FAS Racing 100 still fresh in racers’ minds, this weekend’s Coastal Auto Parts 100 is a quick return for the series to the third-mile bullring in Hermon, Maine.
July’s race, rescheduled from its original June date, brought Pro Stock racing back to Speedway 95 for the first time since 2019. And while a local racer or two threatened to take home the checkered flag, Garrett Hall prevailed in the final ten laps to capture his second career GSPSS victory.
Hall is not anticipated to defend his triumph as of this time, leaving the path wide open to a fresh face in the winner’s circle.
Leading the charge is veteran Travis Benjamin, who tops the series standings with three races remaining to crown the 2023 champion. Benjamin opened the season with back-to-back wins and finished fourth in July at Speedway 95, a track where he has yet to win. Saturday presents an opportunity for the decorated racer to conquer the track at last.
Josh St. Clair, third in July’s contest, may be the surprise challenger after his strong run a month ago. The Wiscasset Speedway regular has broadened his touring horizons with surprising results, and St. Clair should be one to watch from the drop of the green flag.
Beech Ridge Motor Speedway alumni David Oliver and Evan Beaulieu have been separately focused on the GSPSS schedule this season. The last few races have not gone according to plan for either driver, but both are looking to turn the tide up north.
Bangor native Gary Smith, the last driver to be crowned champion at the now-shuttered Beech Ridge, also left Speedway 95 in June wanting more. The home-track hero represents the efforts to keep Saturday’s win closer to home.
Among those bolstering the entry list so far are rookie Trevor Krouse, Wiscasset racer Logan Melcher, TJ Watson, Shane Clark, Bryan Lancaster, Nick Jenkins, Bill Harnish. Entries are still trickling in for the Saturday-night showdown, with a promising forecast providing some needed encouragement for New England racers.
The Granite State Pro Stock Series’ twelfth season continues Saturday at Speedway 95 in Hermon, Maine. The Coastal Auto Parts 100 headlines the evening’s schedule, with the R&R Race Parts NH Street Stock 75 and Speedway 95’s Cage Runners rounding out the program. Practice begins at 4:45pm with qualifying to begin at 7pm. General admission tickets are $20; senior tickets are $15, children are $10, and kids five and under are admitted free.