PHOTO: Chris Wilk (#15) and Barry Gray (#29) make contact at the front of the Granite State Pro Stock Series’ Gary’s Disposal 100. (Alan Ward photo)

–by T.J. Ingerson

CLAREMONT, N.H. — Chris Wilk put the first marks in the record books for the Granite State Pro Stock Series by winning the inaugural race, the Gary’s Disposal 100, at Twin State Speedway on Friday. The Mendon, Vt., racer lead a dominating 91 laps, but faced hard challenges from Mike Parks, Barry Gray, and Donnie Lashua.

After starting on the pole and leading the first 12 laps, Wilk lost the lead to Parks on a restart. Parks would hold the lead until lap 21 until a flat left-rear tire handed the lead back to Wilk. Wilk would be relatively unchallenged over the next 40 laps.

A lap 62 restart would test Wilk, however, putting Monadnock hotshoe Barry Gray on his outside. Gray, of Belchertown, Mass., would fall in behind Wilk after Wilk got the jump, but worked inside of Wilk as the duo exited turn four as they came to complete lap 64.

Wilk and Gray would make contact with each other halfway down the straightaway. Wilk made a spectacular save, as his car was headed toward the infield, while Gray would come to a stop in turn one after the contact broke components in the right front suspension. Wilk would go onto win, Gray would be relegated to a 13th place finish, and both pointed the finger at each other for the incident.

“[My spotter] said ‘he’s looking low, he’s inside of you’ and I went down the straightaway, and then he just hits me,” said Wilk. “I don’t know if he drove it in a ton or what, but I was already committed to the corner. I had turned the wheel so hard, I thought I popped my left rear, but I turned it back around and saved it. I didn’t think I got into him. I think I left him plenty of room. I just drove my line down into the corner, and he just divebombed it.”

“I was Wilk-isized” said Gray. “[Wilk’s crew] said I drove it in too deep, but I didn’t know you could drive it in too deep on the straightaway. He hit me so hard, I had no brakes. It busted my spindle. I don’t know what they were looking at. I was clearly faster than him. I didn’t want him to pull over for me, but I just wanted him to race me clean.”

Wilk and Gray have a bit of a negative history racing against each other, most recently at the season-ending Fall Challenge held at Twin State Speedway last season.

“Barry and I have some history. We’ve never really had good luck when we run close together,” commented Wilk. “Last fall when we were here, we were bumping and banging, so he was probably hoping to get around me. I typically don’t race like that and I don’t want to race like that. Barry sometimes like to use that shovel on the front of his car. He’s a great competitor, and I hope we can be back here again.”

“The last time we raced here, it was the same thing,” Gray said. “He just can’t race me clean. I try to go under him and he just shoves me down. I will absolutely race him differently from now on, without a doubt.”

Donnie Lashua was able to rebound from an early race penalty to take second. The Canaan, N.H., racer was penalized early in the race after contact with Gray, in which Gray spun. Lashua felt that penalty hurt his chances, causing him to abuse his tires to get back through the field.

“We started off tight, but getting sent to the rear made me use up the right front tire,” said Lashua. “By the time we got to the front, I didn’t have anything for Chris [Wilk]. It was just pushing the front end so hard.”

Seekonk Speedway regular Jake Vanada, of Berkley, Mass., ran in the top five for nearly the entire race and secured a third place finish. Jeremy Davis, of Tamworth, N.H., took fourth while Mike Parks, of Charlestown, N.H., rebounded to finish fifth.

Sulo Burbank, Ricky Bly, Fran Colson, Kevin Bolduc, and Austin Brehio completed the unofficial top ten.

Drivers were very receptive of the inaugural event for the Granite State Pro Stock Series, including winner Wilk and runner-up Lashua. Wilk noted how this is cost-effective alternative to the Pro All Stars Series, and that it can be much more affordable to run the series. Lashua noted that he likes extra distance races and that running a small tour would be more appealing to him than running weekly on Saturday nights.

David Greenslit, of Waitsfield, Vt., led every lap after starting on the pole, winning the VPE, Inc. 50-lap Strictly Stock feature event. Brian Tarbell, of Springfield, Vt., shadowed Greenslit all race and finished second. Bellows Falls, Vt.’s Michael Burke survived to take home third after an extremely rough feature event.

Emily Packard, of East Montpelier, Vt., took home the Allison Legacy Series checkers after starting on the pole and leading every lap. Peter Portante, of Plainevillle, Conn., was second while James Logan, of Dighton, Mass., was third.

North Springfield, Vt.’s Jeremiah Losse started on the outside pole and cruised to victory in the Wildcat feature.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS — Gary’s Disposal 100
Granite State Pro Stock Series — Twin State Speedway, Claremont, N.H.
Friday, August 19, 2011


1. (1) Chris Wilk, Mendon, Vt.
2. (7) Donnie Lashua, Canaan, N.H.
3. (4) Jake Vanada, Berkley, Mass.
4. (4) Jeremy Davis, Tamworth, N.H.
5. (6) Mike Parks, Charlestown, N.H.
6. (13) Sulo Burbank, Gorham, Me.
7. (16) Ricky Bly, Sunapee, N.H.
8. (9) Fran Colson, Gardner, Mass.
9. (11) Kevin Bolduc, Hudson, N.H.
10. (8) Austin Brehio, Hopkinton, N.H.
11. (15) Kevin Menard, Sharon, Vt.
12. (12) Josh King, Vernon, Vt.
13. (5) Barry Gray, Belchertown, Mass.
14. (2) Steve Gauthier, Jaffrey, N.H.
15. (14) Adam LaPoint, Winchester, N.H.
16. (10) Geoff Rollins, Groton, Mass.