Story By: JEFF BROWN / GRANITE STATE PRO STOCK SERIES – EPPING, NH – For fans and followers of the Granite State Pro Stock Series, “The Place To Race” is the place to be Friday night, as the series’ championship battle returns once again to Star Speedway.
The Outside Groove Saloon 100 is the third appearance at the Epping, N.H., quarter-mile this year, leading a three-week, three-race march to the end of the season and the coronation of a new champion.
Friday’s racing opens Star’s 58th Star Classic Weekend with a jam-packed program of fendered race cars, all in support of Saturday’s Supermodified and open-wheel showdown and Sunday’s SBM 100 for Tour-type Modifieds.
With three races left on the GSPSS schedule, the title is a two-way race between two capable racers from the Pine Tree State. Travis Benjamin, racing for Petit Motorsports, opened the season with two wins and has led the points out of the gate as he seeks his first GSPSS crown. Brandon Barker, driving for Archie St. Hilaire and Go FAS Racing, has been in contention all year, looking for his first series win in four years.
Benjamin won the season opener at Star back in May and finished third in July, giving him a mental edge on Barker heading into this weekend. But the two racers with points on their minds will have to be mindful of a field full of racers gunning for nothing but the checkered flag.
Wayne Helliwell, Jr. clinched the Pro Stock championship at Lee USA Speedway last weekend with a walk-off win, and the New Hampshire racer will make his first GSPSS appearance since May’s opener. Helliwell hasn’t won with the series since his 2014 win at Star, making Friday a great opportunity for the veteran to break his dry spell.
Rusty Poland regularly turns out to support Star Speedway, and this week might be his best opportunity yet to win. With regular driver Bryan Kruczek unavailable, Bobby Webber Racing picked Poland to wheel the fast No. 19 Friday night. Kruczek has won at Star in three of his last four starts, setting the bar high for Poland in his one-off start.
Evan Beaulieu has podium finishes in his last two visits to Star, finishing third in 2021 and second in this year’s season opener. The Durham, Maine, racer would love to do one better this time around.
Jake Matheson returns to racing after a year on the sidelines, making his first GSPSS start since 2020. A grinding crash last fall left Matheson without a car for most of this season. Vinny Arrenegado, Jr., Bobby Frappier and Morgan Call are a few of the others already signed up for Friday’s showdown.
The Granite State Pro Stock Series and Star Speedway kick off this year’s 58th Star Classic weekend with an action-packed lineup for Classic Friday presented by Ty Cooper Land Holdings.
The GSPSS Outside Groove Saloon 100 headlines a night of fendered racing including the Evolve Pro Truck Challenge, plus Star’s Super Troopers, Morse Trucking Cruisers, K-Cob Slingshots, and Pure Stocks.
Grandstands open at 5:00pm, with qualifying kicking off at 7:00pm. General admission seats are just $22.00; senior, junior and military tickets are $20.00. Children 5-10 are only $5 and kids under 5 are admitted free.