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Granite State Pro Stock Series

Benjamin Buttresses Title Drive With GSPSS Win At Star

The three-time Oxford 250 winner and two-time PASS North titlist won his third GSPSS race of the year to inch closer to a first series championship.

Travis Benjamin's third win of the GSPSS season came over third-place Ryan Kuhn and teammate Joey Doiron, who finished second. (Photo courtesy GSPSS/Rich Hayes)

Travis Benjamin started his year on a roll at Star Speedway. And in a late-summer return to the oval, he virtually secured his own fate.

The three-time Oxford 250 winner picked up his third Granite State Pro Stock Series win in last Friday’s Outside Groove Saloon 100, padding his championship lead nearing the end of the season.

And with a Saturday-morning schedule adjustment, Benjamin’s path to the GSPSS crown gained a greater sense of clarity.

A late-race incident that took leader Gabe Brown out of contention cleared the way for Benjamin, who held off teammate Joey Doiron to win his first race since opening the year with back-to-back checkered flags.

The Belfast, Me. driver earned his first-ever GSPSS victory in the season-opening Hedges Excavating 100 at Star, then backed up that performance by beating Doiron at Riverside Speedway to claim the VT&NH Racing News 100. The two wins put Benjamin, a two-time Pro All Stars Series North champion, atop the heap for what was planned as an eight-race romp through northern New England and western New York.

But Benjamin had not been back to victory lane since, relying on consistency to stay ahead of fellow full-timer Brandon Barker.

Not that Benjamin limped through the summer, though. A third-place finish at Star in July, and fourth- and second-place runs at Speedway 95 in July and August, have Benjamin atop the standings with an average second-place finish, better than Doiron’s average finish last year en route to the series’ crown.

Doiron finished second to Benjamin for the second time this year, as the reigning and two-time GSPSS titlist and full-time PASS contender still seeks his first win of the season after joining Petit Motorsports last winter.

Reigning PASS North champ Ryan Kuhn finished third in his first GSPSS start since 2021.

Barker, the only other driver mathematically in contention for the title, was fourth, with Evan Beaulieu rounding out the top five.

Leaving Star, Benjamin carried a 36-point advantage in the standings, significant but not insurmountable with two races remaining on the schedule. But hours after Friday’s race, GSPSS promoter Mike Parks announced that he was calling off the series’ next event, a trip west to Lancaster Motor Speedway outside Buffalo, N.Y. on Sunday, September 24. The New York date was originally planned as the season finale.

Parks cited concerns that, given other late-season reschedulings and demands on local racers, he “didn’t feel we could provide the Western New York fans the race they deserved.”

Parks has been trying to make a New York race work for years, with a 2020 attempt canceled due to the COVID pandemic. But with this year’s event already bumped to the penultimate race on the schedule, and teams already struggling in a down economy, calling it off early may have been the best decision.

That shifts the end-of-year focus to the Bosowski Properties 150 on October 1, an event that was hastily announced earlier in September to supplant a canceled PASS appearance at Lee USA Speedway. Rain intervened with the new race, and Lee was able to slot it in for the closing day of its year-ending Oktoberfest program, returning GSPSS to Lee’s Oktoberfest for the first time since 2021.

And with only one race to go, only catastrophe stands in the way of a Benjamin title, his first championship since 2017.

Much like Doiron last year, Benjamin has put together a title-worthy performance independent of his competition. But he still needs one more perfect race to seal the deal.

And in the end, that race will take place far closer to home than originally planned.

Unofficial Results
Granite State Pro Stock Series Outside Groove Saloon 100
Star Speedway

1. (7) Travis Benjamin
2. (73D) Joey Doiron
3. (72MA) Ryan Kuhn
4. (32) Brandon Barker
5. (56) Evan Beaulieu
6. (90NH) Casey Call
7. (19) Rusty Poland
8. (21ME) David Oliver
9. (77) Jeremy Sorel
10. (40) Mike Mitchell
11. (27NH) Wayne Helliwell, Jr.
12. (2) Gabe Brown
13. (17RI) Vinnie Arrenegado, Jr.
14. (09) Frankie Eldredge
15. (29) Adam Gray
16. (52) Jake Matheson
17. (12) Bobby Pelland III
18. (93) Ryan Green
19. (05F) Bobby Frappier
20. (95) Morgan Call

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Jeff Brown is a contributor to Short Track Scene. A native of New Hampshire and a long-time fan of New England racing, Brown provides a fan's perspective as he follows New England's regional Late Model touring series.

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