PHOTO: Granite State Pro Stock Series had a car on display during the Racin’ Preview held at the Portland Exposition Building in Portland, Maine. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)

–by T.J. Ingerson

PORTLAND, Maine — Mike Parks knew he had something he could build off from after the Granite State Pro Stock Series’ inaugural race at Twin State Speedway last August. As the series president, he has worked hard this offseason with hope to give Pro Stock racers a series to race in. That hope is becoming a reality as the Granite State Pro Stocks have a confirmed six race schedule, as well as a date to-be-announced for Hudson Speedway.

“Last year, we did our event to see what kind of interest there was, and there was definitely enough interest to move forward,” Parks said. “I’m pretty excited and the competitors are pretty excited. We’ll just take it one step at a time.”

Parks said the goal for the schedule was to help racers avoid consecutive race weekends. The series may not attain the goal for the amount of races desired, but Parks understands that it is part of the building process.

“We’re trying to not to do back-to-back weekends, but that may happen,” Parks said. “Our goal was 12 races, but it looks like we’re going to end up with six or seven. But that’s okay, it’s year number one. We have to take baby steps to get to big steps.”

The Granite State Pro Stock Series may be identified as the sister series to the Valenti Modified Racing Series. Parks feels having Modified Racing Series President Jack Bateman has been extremely beneficial.

“It’s very important (to have Jack),” Parks said. “We don’t want to make some of the same mistakes Jack made when he started the Modified Series. We want to learn from his success. It’s been really helpful. There were some things that I was looking at doing, and he explained to me why it wouldn’t work for the reasons that he went through. Hopefully, that it will curve some of the learning curve to help us get there quicker.”

The Granite State Pro Stock Series will begin their 2012 season at Monadnock Speedway during Memorial Day Weekend onSat., May 26. Monadnock will help establish the series by hosting two Granite State Pro Stock Series races in 2012.

“I have a good relationship with (Monadnock Speedway promoter) Larry Cirillo,” Parks said. “He and I talked about different things over the last few years about the Pro Stock Series, and he is 100% behind with what we’re trying to do. He came on board for the first event, and then said ‘we need to make this work,’ and gave us a second event. In the future, it may be more than that, but we need to get through year one. We need to prove ourselves, and we know that. We’re still trying to sell a product on our word.”

The first race at Monadnock will be known as the David’s House 106 and will run in partnership with Ricky’s Race for Kids, a charity created in the memory of the late racer Ricky Miller.

“That race is really special to me,” Parks said. “I’ve been personal friends with the Miller family for years, and use to race with Ricky. When Don (Miller) called me about doing something to help get this series off the ground, I was honored. We threw a bunch of ideas around. A lot of tracks and series have their premier event in the middle or end of the season. We wanted to do it a little different and have ours at the beginning of the season.”

The second Monadnock race, to be held on Sat., Aug. 4, will also have a memorial attached to it. The race will honor the memory of former Granite State Pro Stock Series and Valenti Modified Racing Series director John Hoyt. The race will be known as the JBH 100.

“John (Hoyt) was a driving force in this series to help get it off the ground,” Parks said. “We decided to do a memorial race for John as our little tribute for John. We’ll see how emotional it is when the time comes. It’s probably going to be tough. I hadn’t really thought about it.”

The Granite State Pro Stock Series announced a 112-lap race at Unity Raceway in Unity, Maine for Sat., June 23 at the Racin’ Preview show in Portland, Maine. While the race won’t not in the Granite State, Parks said the interest from both New Hampshire and Maine racers helped make a race in Maine happen.

“We’ve had a lot of input from some of the Pro Stock teams in Maine, and we had the opportunity to book a date at Unity,” Parks said. “I know we’re a Granite State based series, but I’ve talked to a lot of the guys and they’re willing to do it, as long as we don’t make it a consistent thing. That’s not what we’re really about. But there are a lot of teams that are interested in our series and we felt it was necessary to try to do something in the state of Maine this year.”

The Granite State Pro Stock Series will race at Star Speedway in Epping, N.H., on Sat., Aug. 18, Canaan Fair Speedway in Canaan, N.H., on Sun., Sept. 16, and Lee USA Speedway in Lee, N.H., on Oktoberfest weekend on Sat., and Sun., Oct. 20 and 21. A date at Hudson Speedway in Hudson, N.H., is still to be confirmed.

2012 Granite State Pro Stock Series Schedule (tentative)

1 – Sat., May 26 – Monadnock Speedway, Winchester, N.H. — David’s House 106
2 – Sat., June 23 – Unity Raceway, Unity, Maine – 112
3 – Sat., Aug. 4 – Monadnock Speedway, Winchester, N.H. — JBH 100
4 – Sat., Aug. 18 – Star Speedway, Epping, N.H. — 100
5 – Sun., Sept. 16 – Canaan Fair Speedway, Canaan, N.H. — 100
6 – Sat./Sun., Oct. 20/21 – Lee USA Speedway, Lee, N.H. — Oktoberfest
TBA – Hudson Speedway, Hudson, N.H.