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And after recording one of the closest finishes in series history, the 2020 GSPSS Rookie of the Year stood in front of the grandstands in possession of a $10,000 check, the Keen Cup, and a remarkable career milestone.
Especially to go toe-to-toe with Tyler Reddick, that was one hell of a race. But the first one, ten grand? That makes it a whole lot better.
With 150 green-flag laps around one of New England’s most challenging track surfaces, experience and patience seemed equally likely to factor into the outcome. But Call, the polesitter, was content to remain at the front, leaving his challengers to settle second on back amongst themselves.
Several competitors found misfortune in the opening laps, but the race quickly settled into a green-flag marathon, with Dave Farrington, Jr. and Star Speedway winner Bryan Kruczek swapping second place early on. By lap fifty, the top six had driven away from the rest of the field, with Call leading Kruczek, Farrington, time-trial speedster Ryan Green, Joey Polewarczyk and Corey Bubar.
Farrington and Green each took turns trying to unseat Kruczek as the laps clicked by, with Farrington scrubbing the frontstretch wall just past halfway. Bobby Baillargeon caught up with Farrington on lap 96, spinning the multi-time Maine track champion on the backstretch and bringing out a caution flag to slow Call’s pace.
Green restarted second but had no answer for Call, who left the Maine racer to battle Kruczek, Bubar and Polewarczyk for the runner-up spot. As Kruczek asserted himself in second, Green fell victim to hard racing in the pack, spinning from the top five to bring out a caution with 31 laps remaining.
The runner-up in May’s Granite State Derby at Lee, Kruczek pressured Call for the lead when the green flag came out. Call inched ahead of the Newmarket, N.H. veteran, but a spin for Derek Kneeland bunched up the field once again. Call dug in deep to fend off Kruczek, but rookie Nick Cusack spun while battling Polewarczyk, bringing out the yellow once again.
Reddick, who started second but fell back early to save tires, lined up third for the restart. Reddick went to work on Kruczek for second, getting the better of the local star and setting off to chase down Call for the lead. As Reddick shaved time off Call’s advantage, Kruczek plummeted through the pack, spinning out with eight laps remaining to bring out the final caution flag of the night.
Lining up behind Call and Reddick was points leader Joey Doiron, who ran at the tail of the pack after sustaining early damage. While Doiron fought Bubar for a podium slot, Call and Reddick were free to settle the race between themselves. Reddick got to the inside line, peeking under Call but never making the move. With two to go, Reddick found his opening, drawing alongside Call to take the white flag. Call powered past down the backstretch, with Reddick pinned to the inside to take the shorter path around.
Call found the momentum he needed off turn four, though, beating Reddick to the line by .060 seconds.
The big win came in Call’s 24th series start, a year after he recorded his best finish to date, a second-place showing at Hudson Speedway. For the second year in a row, GSPSS’ longest and richest race of the year has been won by a first-time winner.
Reddick’s runner-up finish came in his first-ever pavement Pro Stock start.
“I definitely saved a little bit too much, if it would have run out green,” he said of his strategy. “But we got fortunate and caught a caution, so that pretty much put us back in the hunt.” Before the race, the Californian turned a few exhibition laps alongside Kneeland, his Cup Series spotter and a Maine native.
Corey Bubar bested Doiron in the final sprint to finish third. Doiron settled for fourth at the finish, though with another of his title challengers absent for the evening, the path to a second GSPSS championship took another small step forward. Brandon Barker, racing as a teammate to Reddick in one of Archie St. Hilaire’s entries, rounded out the top five.
2020 GSPSS champion Joey Polewarczyk was sixth, with Green rallying for a seventh-place finish after his spin. Development driver Isaac Bevin was eighth, with early contender Farrington ninth and Kneeland completing the top ten.
Friday’s race was part of the Keen Cup, a promotion by race sponsor Keen Parts, one of the foremost sources for Chevrolet Corvette parts. The Keen family has focused this year on supporting regional motorsports through the Keen Cup program.
The Granite State Pro Stock Series schedule resumes on August 12 at Claremont Motorsports Park, where the $7,500-to-win Claremont Cash Bash will be part of a doubleheader evening with the rescheduled Racers Honoring Racers 100 Tour-type Modified open-competition feature. Details on the big doubleheader evening will be released shortly.
For more information on the Granite State Pro Stock Series, visit www.gspss.net or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS, Keen Parts 150, July 15, 2022:
1. (90NH) Casey Call
2. (8) Tyler Reddick
3. (12x) Corey Bubar
4. (73) Joey Doiron
5. (32) Brandon Barker
6. (4NH) Joey Polewarczyk
7. (93) Ryan Green
8. (7B) Isaac Bevin
9. (23) Dave Farrington, Jr.
10. (90K) Derek Kneeland
11. (2) Nick Cusack
12. (04) TJ Watson
13. (94) Garrett Hall
14. (05F) Bobby Frappier
15. (19) Bryan Kruczek
16. (82) Bobby Baillargeon
17. (77) Jeremy Sorel
18. (01) Sammy Gooden
19. (47) Kelly Moore
20. (10) Kate Re
21. (46) Dylan Estrella
22. (48) Derek Gluchacki
23. (99) Charlie Buxton
24. (N40) Dan McKeage, Jr.
25. (7CT) Cory Casagrande
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