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Granite State Pro Stock Series

Casey Call Outduels Ringer Reddick At Lee For First GSPSS Win

The third-year Granite State Pro Stock Series racer held off the two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series champion for his first career series win.

Casey Call poses with the Keen Cup after winning his first Granite State Pro Stock Series win in Friday's Keen Parts 150. (STS/Jeff Brown)

Winning the longest event of the year. Winning the biggest purse of the year. Winning at a challenging track. Winning against a high profile ringer. Any would be a satisfying way to capture a first career win.

Casey Call managed all four on one night.

The third-year Granite State Pro Stock Series challenger stepped up to contender Friday night, holding off NASCAR star Tyler Reddick to win the Keen Parts 150 at Lee USA Speedway.

Reddick came within a few feet of taking the checkers in his first-ever pavement Pro Stock start. (STS/Jeff Brown)

“Especially to go toe-to-toe with Tyler Reddick, that was one hell of a race,” Call said in victory lane. “But the first one, ten grand? That makes it a whole lot better.”

Friday’s $10,000-to-win feature was the marquée event of the nine-race GSPSS schedule, a high-profile, high-stakes showdown in the shadow of New Hampshire’s biggest race weekend. The very structure of the race—150 green-flag laps and no tire changes on a track known for its abrasive asphalt—catered to the experience of veterans like former champions Joey Doiron and Joey Polewarczyk.

But while the veterans waited for the early frontrunners to wear out their equipment, Call took a different approach.

Starting from the pole after a top-four inversion, the 2020 GSPSS Rookie of the Year held steady at the front while outside polesitter Reddick dropped back in the pack. Early incidents claimed two top-ten starters, and when a restart pileup eliminated another handful of cars, Call’s strategic play seemed to be on point.

The rash of early action gave way to a long green-flag run, with Call establishing himself as the driver to beat. With fifty laps in the books, Call held a comfortable advantage over a frantic battle for second, as Bryan Kruczek held back charges from Dave Farrington, Jr. and Ryan Green.

With Doiron and others committed to a conservation strategy, the top six were able to drive off from the field. Local veteran Bobby Baillargeon picked up his pace around halfway, closing in on the front of the field as Farrington brushed the wall battling for second. The two drivers found each other on lap 96, with Farrington spinning to the infield to bring out a caution flag.

Kate Re (#10) was one of several competitors eliminated in a lap-7 restart fracas on the frontstretch. (STS/Jeff Brown)

Green assumed second place shortly before the caution flew, but he had no answer for Call on the restart. Kruczek, Corey Bubar and Polewarczyk brought pressure to Green’s bumper for the runner-up slot, as Reddick lurked just outside the top five.

Baillargeon’s night came to an early end with a spin and a stall, and as the field slowed for the caution flag, Green was sent for a spin of his own. Kruczek threatened for the lead on the restart, but Call was able to clear him just as a spin for Derek Kneeland brought out the yellow once again.

Reddick lined up third behind Call and Kruczek, taking the fight to the Star Speedway feature winner on the drop of the green flag. A few laps later, Nick Cusack made a bold move under Polewarczyk for position, but looped his car and backed into the turn-three concrete, slowing the race with 24 laps to go.

Defying expectations, Call drove off with the lead while Reddick made another play on Kruczek for second. Kruczek gave a valiant effort, but Reddick got the better of the home-track racer after a few laps, setting off in pursuit of Call as Kruczek faded through the top ten.

Reddick was reeling in the leader when Kruczek spun with eight laps to go, bringing out the night’s final caution flag and re-racking the front of the field. Call and Reddick lined up door to door for the restart. Doiron, who had spent most of the evening deep in the field after taking damage early on, lined up third, with Bubar fourth.

Casey Call (#90NH) shows the way over Reddick (#8), Corey Bubar (#12X) and Joey Doiron (#73) in the closing laps of the Keen Parts 150. (STS/Jeff Brown)

But when Doiron and Bubar went to war over third place, Call was left to handle Reddick on his own. Reddick looked for a way past Call, but Call held his line and kept Reddick at bay. With two laps to go, Reddick found an opening, powering by Call off turn four and taking the white flag. Call drove back through turns one and two, poking his nose ahead of Reddick’s down the backstretch.

Reddick had the shorter line around, but Call found more drive off the fourth turn, nipping Reddick by a fender at the checkered flag to score a huge first victory. The white flag lap was the only lap Call did not lead.

Call’s victory marked the second straight year in which GSPSS’ major long-distance event was won by a first-time winner. Gabe Brown won last July’s 150-lap contest at Claremont Motorsports Park, his first of three wins en route to the championship.

In his first time ever in a pavement Pro Stock, the visiting Reddick had plenty to be happy about. But in victory lane, he second-guessed his strategy. “I definitely saved a little bit too much, if it would have run out green,” he said. “But we got fortunate and caught a caution, so that pretty much put us back in the hunt.”

Bubar, a GSPSS winner last summer at the shuttered Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, was third. Doiron rebounded from his early damage to finish a stout fourth, best among those still in title contention. Two-time Lee GSPSS winner Brandon Barker finished fifth in a team car to Reddick.

Polewarczyk slipped to sixth after running in the top five all race. Ryan Green was seventh after his late spin. Development driver Isaac Bevin finished eighth, with Farrington and Kneeland rounding out the top ten.

Cusack finished eleventh after his crash, but with Jimmy Renfrew, Jr. not in the lineup at Lee, the rookie moved to second in points behind Doiron.

Call’s victory was the first this year for a chassis not built by Dale Shaw Race Cars, breaking an eight-race win streak for the New Hampshire car builder that dates back to last August. Call fields a Port City Racecars chassis formerly campaigned by Ray Christian III and Maine’s Mike Hopkins. Doiron, in a strange twist of fate, was the only Shaw car to place in the top ten.

A NELCAR Legends standout who won the 2018 championship and finished second in points in 2019, Call made his GSPSS debut in 2020, driving a car his family purchased from Austin Theriault. At the wheel of the famed “T-Rex,” Call made all but one race that year, earning six top-tens, a fourth-place finish in the season finale, and finishing fifth in the standings with top rookie honors.

The sophomore slump hit the teenager hard in 2021, though. A crash in the year’s second race left him without an engine to start the third race. Call finished second at Hudson Speedway in July and picked up three top-tens, but the highlights were offset by five failures to finish. At Lee in the fall Oktoberfest GSPSS feature, Call led 46 laps early before fading to a 14th-place finish.

Call opened the 2022 season fifth at Claremont Motorsports Park and a ninth-place run at Star Speedway, but gremlins sidelined the team in the next two races. Out of the title hunt, Call skipped the race at Riverside Speedway to run twin features at Lee as the track welcomed Pro Stocks back to their regular divisions.

The call paid off, as the 19-year-old put lessons from Oktoberfest and the weekly shows to good use.

Tyler Reddick and spotter Derek Kneeland squared off in a pre-race hot-lap session as part of the evening’s festivities. (STS/Jeff Brown)

Those lessons were tested against not just any series racer, but a big-league ringer. In support of the NASCAR Cup Series weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Reddick and Corey LaJoie were announced as special entrants for the Keen Parts 150. Last-minute sponsor obligations forced LaJoie to withdraw, but Reddick remained committed, entered in a car prepared by Go FAS Racing and owner Archie St. Hilaire.

Barker, who ran St. Hilaire’s car at Lee earlier this season, was tapped to wheel the other Go FAS entry after LaJoie’s withdrawal. To keep the “ringer” theme of the race intact, pre-race activities featured an on-track duel between Reddick and Kneeland, his Cup Series spotter, who fielded his own car for the race.

“I’m really thankful to Archie and everybody on this car for letting me have the opportunity,” Reddick said.

The presence of ringers was itself a callback to the “barnstorming” programs at Lee in the early 1990s, when Cup drivers were invited to the track before major regional events. Dale Earnhardt claimed a win in the 1990 Top Dog Invitational, driving Wayne Helliwell, Sr.’s backup car to victory.

This summer, though, the ringer came up just short.

And Casey Call has a tremendous achievement to call his own.

Official Results, GSPSS Keen Parts 150 at Lee USA Speedway:
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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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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