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Granite State Pro Stock Series

Garrett Hall Goes Fast In GSPSS Debut At Speedway 95

Hall became the first driver to take a Pro Stock to victory lane at the Maine oval since 2019.

Garrett Hall's late pass of Mike Hopkins earned him the victory in Saturday's Go FAS Racing 100 at Speedway 95. (Photo courtesy GSPSS/Jimmy Wiggin)

Garrett Hall won in his first outing ever with the Granite State Pro Stock Series six years ago. Since that victory, in only a handful of starts, Hall had not been able to find his way back to the series’ winner’s circle.

When he did, the second verse looked a lot like the first.

Hall won Saturday night’s Go FAS Racing 100 at Speedway 95, becoming the first driver to win multiple GSPSS races in the state of Maine, and capturing both his wins in the series’ first races at a new track.

The Scarborough, Me. native, a regular on the Pro All Stars Series circuit, made his GSPSS debut at Oxford Plains Speedway in 2017, on the eve of the Oxford 250. In what has been the series’ only visit to the famed speedway, Hall held off rookie Gabe Brown and veteran Bryan Kruczek to take the victory en route to an eighth-place finish in the next day’s 250.

Hall, a PASS Super Late Model regular, did not make another GSPSS start until 2020. And in six starts since then, Hall’s best result has been a fourth-place finish at the shuttered Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in 2021.

With Speedway 95 graduates Mike Hopkins and Gary Smith in the lineup, among a few other heavy-hitters, Hall was easily overlooked. But Hall has his own success at the oval, winning in his first PASS start there in 2016 and finishing no worse than sixth in four starts.

Hopkins and Wiscasset Speedway regular Josh St. Clair split the heat races, but it was Hall who was cooking in the feature, working the notorious-tricky inside line to the front. Hopkins held firm with ten laps remaining, but Hall was able to get around Hopkins on the curb.

With reigning GSPSS champion Joey Doiron helping to call the shots for his team, Hall came through with his first win of the year, his first since a PASS North win last October at Thompson Speedway, and his first GSPSS win in six years.

Hopkins, in only his second GSPSS start ever and his first since 2020, put up a fight but came home second at his home track. St. Clair, who set fast time in qualifying, ended his first GSPSS race on the podium in third.

GSPSS points leader Travis Benjamin finished fourth, best among series full-timers, with Ben Ashline in fifth.

Brandon Barker, in a car owned by race sponsor Archie St. Hilaire, was sixth at the line, with Bangor native Gary Smith in seventh. Nick Jenkins was eighth, with Steuben, Me. racer JR Robinson ninth and Cory Casagrande tenth.

Casagrande, who towed all the way from his home in Connecticut, was the only racer in the field not from the Pine Tree State.

Saturday’s race, the fourth of the GSPSS’ eight-race schedule, marked the return of Super Late Model racing to Speedway 95 for the first time since 2019. For years, the track was a staple on the PASS North calendar. But the track was unable to host events during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it was never added back to the PASS schedule.

GSPSS, in search of potential venues for its 2023 campaign, turned to the far-away oval, leasing the speedway for a pair of race weekends and bringing Super Late Models to Speedway 95 after a four-year hiatus.

The series’ next stop at Speedway 95 is less than a month away, a quick turnaround for a long-distance jaunt that falls neatly in the off-week before the Oxford 250. Hall’s best finish in the race is a fourth-place performance in 2018. He and others will likely be laser-focused on Oxford when Speedway 95 rolls around.

Benjamin and others won’t have that luxury.

August’s Speedway 95 showdown, then, just may have a different look at the front of the pack.

Unofficial Results
Granite State Pro Stock Series Go FAS Racing 100
Speedway 95

1. (94) Garrett Hall
2. (15ME) Mike Hopkins
3. (14) Josh St. Clair
4. (7) Travis Benjamin
5. (99) Ben Ashline
6. (32) Brandon Barker
7. (75) Gary Smith
8. (32ME) Nick Jenkins
9. (28R) JR Robinson
10. (7CT) Cory Casagrande
11. (56) Evan Beaulieu
12. (21C) Shane Clark
13. (81) Bryan Lancaster
14. (28) James Doucette
15. (15) Trevor Krouse
16. (21ME) David Oliver
17. (01) Jet Decker

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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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