EPPING, N.H. (WWLP) – Jeremy Davis had the best car when it mattered the most as he took home the win in Saturday’s Granite State Pro Stock Series 100 at the Star Speedway in Epping, New Hampshire.
Davis led more than half of the 100 lap feature. Polesitter Dillon Moltz from Waterford, CT was the leader for the first third of the event before his #5 spun after contact with a car he was putting a lap down. Moltz raced back through the field to finish 2nd but basically used up the car getting there and ultimately had nothing for the race winner at the end. Brad Babb was 3rd, Larry Gelinas 4th, while Derek Griffith took 5th. The race was slowed by 11 cautions and took an hour and 18 minutes to complete. Thirty one cars attempted to qualify for 22 starting spots. In victory lane Davis explained his race strategy, “The car was real good. I don’t know, we saved a long time. It really came down to it at the end. It was really the only time I pushed it. It was really good.” After the race a disappointed Moltz told the crowd, “It was tough. I had to use up my tires to get back up here. Good job to Jeremy. We clearly had the car to beat tonight. Congratulations to those guys. He was good at the end. I had nothing left for him. I can’t complain, it’s like a win tonight but it’s pretty disappointing. We had the dominate car. We had the car to beat all day.”
The Granite State Pro Stock Series is a mix of young drivers, former weekly racing competitors, and seasoned veterans. Two of the series’ elder statesmen include 56 year old Barry Gray of Belchertown and Babe Branscombe of Nottingham, New Hampshire. Gray finished 14th, Branscombe 11th. Both agree that auto racing is different than other traditional sports. But Gray, who started racing at age 29, told 22News taking care of yourself is still important. “I go to the club 3 times a week, I watch what I eat, and I try to be in shape to be able to do that. You’ve got to be sharp and stay on top of your game.” Branscombe has been racing for 44 years including a number of seasons in the NASCAR Busch North Series. He told 22News there are differences within auto racing, “Not that driving a race car isn’t tough. These (Sprint) Cup guys that run 500 miles, they’ve got to be in shape there’s no doubt about it. But back in this small time thing that we’re doing, these races are 100 lap races. They take a little over an hour. If you’re in good enough shape, you’ll have no trouble doing that.NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Jeff Gordon has been troubled by back problems this season. How about years of crashing and being involved in wrecks for Barry and Babe?
According to Branscombe, “I hope this doesn’t jinx us but I’ve been really lucky. I’ve had my share of crashes. I guess I’ve got to say nothing bad so I’ve been real lucky thank God.” For Gray, a different story, “Up at Monadnock years ago I ended up with a crushed vertebrae fracture. As we all get older we get our aches and pains. We mature well and we keep at it. If you love it you keep doing it.” As to the future, Branscombe told 22News, “Someone said today ‘You’re as old as you feel.’ Some days I feel 40, some days I feel 60.” And according to Gray, “I’ve got nothing to prove. I’ve got multiple wins and championships. So I’ve got nothing to prove. I do it because I like it. When it becomes not fun I’ll just say ‘That’s it!’ and we’ll hand the keys over to the kid (son Adam) and let him give it a whirl.”