Luke Hinkley Searching Home Track GSPSS Win at Claremont

Hinkley lives just five miles from Claremont Motorsports Park.

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For the Granite State Pro Stock Series, no two racing seasons have been alike in almost a decade of operation. One of the few constants have been some of the home track stars, and when GSPSS is on track at Claremont Motorsports Park, you can usually bank on seeing Luke Hinkley in the show.

A City of Claremont resident, Hinkley has a meticulous level of knowledge of the 3/8-mile oval from his years of racing weekly in the past, to the part-time schedule he runs with GSPSS now. Not surprisingly, being so close to the Western New Hampshire track continues to pay off.

“It’s about 5 miles through the city over to the race track, it takes us about 10 minutes to get from the house over there. It’s definitely a nice thing, especially on Sunday races like we got this weekend. I’m not really a fan of Sunday races, but ones like this don’t really bother me because we can be home in a short amount of time,” Hinkley told Racing America.

The proximity and knowledge has cut down the prep time for the No. 31 camp over the years, as the car is already to roll for 100-lap season opener this Sunday, April 24 at 2pm ET.

“We just finished it up, we went to Claremont this week for a little bit of practice to get all of the bugs worked out of it. That’s only time we’ve been on, we hadn’t tested or anything. We just finished setting it up, so it’s ready to go. We’ll be okay, still got to see how it is off the trailer, and who’s going to show up. But, even so they’re all good there, it’s just a matter of who hits the setup right and how everything goes during the race.”

During the winter, the No. 31 Pro Stock has gone untouched since the 2021 season finale last October; with Hinkley, his family, and friends indulging in another form of motorized recreation popular in New England over the colder months.

“Yeah, we don’t do too much with that. Everybody’s busy with work and then when there’s an opportunity to get away we go off snowmobiling, which keeps us as busy as racing does in the summer. Especially this winter.”

Regarded by most touring drivers as one of the trickiest tracks in all of New England, Hinkley is somewhat less talkative of Claremont’s difficult reputation.

“Some guys say it’s a tough track, but it’s hard for me to say really. It’s the track I grew up on. But, talking at practice to Dylan Estrella, who’s a Seekonk guy, he was struggling a little bit. Said it was pretty weird. One and two at Claremont are on their own, there’s not too many corners like that in any racing I’ve ever seen.”

Still in search of his first career GSPSS feature win, Hinkley usually puts most of his eggs in the Claremont basket. But, this has not stopped him from participating in other GSPSS events, especially those in Southern NH. For 2022, his schedule is shaping to be more of the same. However with the Series adopting a slightly compressed schedule, nine races in total, with eight in Southern NH, Hinkley isn’t ruling out the possibility of doing more if the start of the year goes well.

In addition, he’s also given some thought to a major road trip in August to Jennerstown Speedway in Pennsylvania for the Motor Mountain Masters. A big money Pro Late Model show that has attracted a number of New England Pro Stock racers in recent years.

“Obviously Claremont, Lee’s on our schedule, and we might hit Star. I’ve thought about the big race at Jennerstown, but that depends on a few different things later on this summer. But I like the schedule Mile Parks has put together for the Series. Hudson and Monadnock aren’t my favorites, but we’ll see how it goes.”