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Granite State Pro Stock Series

Corey Bubar Bests GSPSS Regulars For First Touring SLM Win

The Beech Ridge Motor Speedway veteran dominated Saturday’s GSPSS feature to earn his first-ever touring Super Late Model victory.

Corey Bubar is the third Beech Ridge Motor Speedway regular to win in GSPSS competition at the Maine oval in as many races. (Jeff Brown photo)

If last year’s Granite State Pro Stock Series show at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway had been thirty laps shorter, Corey Bubar would have driven away with the victory.

This year, Bubar got his redemption.

Bubar led flag-to-flag in Saturday evening’s slightly-shortened main event to claim not only his first GSPSS win, but his first touring win in a Super Late Model.

“It’s nice to get a big one,” Bubar said as he celebrated the milestone victory.

Corey Bubar celebrates his first career GSPSS victory. (Jeff Brown photo)

Saturday’s program narrowly dodged incoming weather, but the threat of rain was not the cause for the abbreviated feature. With a lighter field than past GSPSS events at the Scarborough, Me. oval, officials and teams compromised on a different format. Instead of the usual 150 laps, Saturday’s reformatted event was 120 laps with a five-minute halftime break for adjustments.

Starting from the pole, Bubar built an insurmountable lead over the first 60-lap stint. Gabe Brown, who earned his first series win in July’s Granite State Nationals, held on for second. But the young Brown was no threat to Bubar in the green-flag sprint.

Brown challenged Bubar on the restart, but the Beech Ridge weekly veteran was able to pull away again under green. A mid-stage yellow flag gave Brown another shot at the lead, but also opened the door for Rusty Poland. Poland, another of the Beech Ridge weekly Pro Series competitors, got around Brown for second as Bubar drove away.

Poland carved into Bubar’s lead with the scoreboard ticking down, but Bubar was composed as he drove to his first career GSPSS victory. “I knew I had to survive the restarts,” he said. “It kind of bit me last week, I picked the wrong lane.”

Poland, who finished third in June’s Beech Ridge visit, was a career-best second at the stripe. “It was a lot of fun,” Poland said of his late charge. “We raced hard with Gabe, and that’s the fun part about running here with the Granite State guys. We can all race real hard, nobody gets wrecked, nobody really runs over each other.”

Gabe Brown held off Rusty Poland for the first half of the race, but Poland got past for a career-best second-place finish. (Jeff Brown photo)

Third place went to Brown, who has found confidence in the last two months with his first trips to victory lane in a stock car. “We did a lot better than what we did the last time,” Brown said. “I’m pretty happy with a third-place finish.”

Defending race winner Wyatt Alexander could climb no higher than fourth at the finish. June winner David Oliver was fifth.

Former Oxford Plains Speedway track champion Alan Tardiff was sixth, ahead of Beech Ridge regular Donnie Colpritt. Evan Beaulieu rebounded in the closing laps to finish eighth, with Rhode Island’s Mike Mitchell ninth. A last-lap incident between Josh King and Jacob Dore relegated Dore to tenth at the finish.

Heat winner Joe Pastore, Jr. peeled off midway through the second stage, while GSPSS sophomore Casey Call and lifelong Beech Ridge racer Charlie Sanborn met with their own misfortunes around the halftime break.

Saturday’s fourteen-car field was a marked shift from GSPSS’ first two events at Beech Ridge. With Beech Ridge’s weekly Pro Series competitors able to bolster the touring visitors, the track and tour were a match made in heaven. Last August’s race saw 27 cars take the green, while 24 cars started in June.

The stresses of racing, especially in a rebound year following a global pandemic, were laid bare on Saturday. Only four GSPSS regulars made the trip to Maine. Devin O’Connell and Angelo Belsito were absent, as were a couple others whose cars remain in a state of disrepair after mid-summer crashes. Beech Ridge’s home-track crowd was stretched thin as well; only eleven cars have run the last two weekly features, and not all of those are set up for a long-distance touring race.

The icing on the cake was the last-minute rescheduling of another touring race at Oxford Plains Speedway to run head-to-head against the GSPSS feature. With one final opportunity to prepare in race trim for the Oxford 250, a few more cars were shaved from the GSPSS field.

In all reality, though, few of those cars would have factored heavily into Saturday’s outcome. Beech Ridge has favored its own racers in all three GSPSS appearances. Bubar is the third Beech Ridge regular to win, and Brown’s third-place finish is the best for a series regular so far.

Bubar came close to a touring victory twice in 2020. The veteran racer led 95 laps of an early-season Pro All Stars Series date at Oxford before faltering and finishing tenth. In August at Beech Ridge, Bubar was headed for a GSPSS victory when lapped traffic allowed Wyatt Alexander to close the gap. Alexander made a bold pass for the win, and Bubar was left to settle for second.

Saturday evening, in the glow of the setting sun, Corey Bubar had no need to settle.

Unofficial Results, GSPSS 150 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway:
1. (12) Corey Bubar
2. (44) Rusty Poland
3. (61) Gabe Brown
4. (96) Wyatt Alexander
5. (21ME) David Oliver
6. (9) Alan Tardiff
7. (32) Donnie Colpritt
8. (56) Evan Beaulieu
9. (40) Mike Mitchell
10. (05) Jacob Dore
11. (21) Josh King
12. (20) Joe Pastore, Jr.
13. (90NH) Casey Call
14. (1) Charlie Sanborn III

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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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