Redemption may be the best word to describe Joey Doiron’s win in Friday night’s Granite State Pro Stock Series EKeys4Cars 100 at Lee USA Speedway. A year after a mid-race wreck dashed Doiron’s hopes of winning, the southern Maine racer avoided a nearly-identical incident to score his third career GSPSS feature win and pad his points lead after five events.
Doiron set a new track record in single-car qualifying early in the evening. But in race trim, the second-year GSPSS ace had stiff competition from close associates. Ryan Green started from the pole after a redraw, and the Berwick, Maine driver flexed his muscle early by holding off Doiron for the lead. Brandon Barker, winner of the last two GSPSS events at Lee, started fifth but moved into second by halfway.
In race trim, it appeared Doiron had the third-best car.
But on lap 56, Todd Stone lost a rear end entering turn one, oiling down the track and collecting the tail of the field in a turn-two pileup. Green and Barker were unable to slow down on the slick track, with Green skating into the turn-one wall and destroying his new car. Barker sustained front-end damage, but was able to continue as the field stopped for a lengthy red flag.
Under the red flag, Barker’s team attempted to swap a defective radio with the car still on the track. Facing a penalty for working on the car under the red flag, the team opted to pit for repairs to the nose of the car.
Doiron, who ended last year’s race on the hook after finding another driver’s oil while leading, assumed the race lead for the restart. Defending GSPSS champion Devin O’Connell gave chase, looking for his first win of the year. But O’Connell had to hold off Jimmy Renfrew, Jr. and later Jeremy Davis for second, allowing Doiron to pull away to victory in the long green-flag stretch.
O’Connell finished second for his best run of the year, with Jeremy Davis third after a hard but clean duel with O’Connell. Joe Squeglia finished fourth with Rhode Island’s Mike Mitchell fifth.
Brandon Barker, after his pit stop, could climb no higher than sixth. Jimmy Renfrew, Jr. was seventh after a late spin while racing in the top five. Bobby Pelland was the last car on the lead lap in eighth.
Doiron was elated to finally win at Lee, but admitted he wished he could have beaten Barker head-to-head. Barker raced as Doiron’s teammate at Maine’s Beech Ridge Motor Speedway when Doiron was running a weekly schedule.
The win allows Doiron to pad his points lead ever slightly over second-place O’Connell. Ray Christian III, third in points, pulled to the pits early with overheating issues, but re-emerged after the lap-56 fracas and soldiered on to a ninth-place finish, several laps behind.
The GSPSS season continues next Sunday at Hudson Speedway in southern New Hampshire, where Devin O’Connell scored his first career GSPSS win en route to the 2018 championship.