The Playoffs Kick Off at Thompson's
| The $10,000 Evolve ProTruck
Challenge gets underway at Thompson Speedway Sunday, October 8th.
The Evolve ProTruck Challenge elimination race happens on the banked
half mile. The Elite Eight pictured above are your playoff
contenders. Let's review how they got there.
Let's review how each made their way:
The 5 of Chris Taylor scored a tenth place finish at Hudson. At Monadnock the team improved to finish 9th. Star saw the 5 team continue to improve by finishing 7th. The 3 top 10's resulted in a playoff berth.
15jr. of Gerard Giordano made an improbable charge into the Elite 8. Entering Hudson he had missed an event. G-Rod would have to gain 30 points per show to make the cut. Deshaies, Pelligrini, Vanada, and Stringer all missed races or ended their season which made the climb into the playoffs a bit easier. Still there was no denying that the 15 Silverado was in Championship form. G-Rod went back to back with wins at Hudson and Monadnock, and managed a second at Star. Defending ProTruck Champion G-Rod is the only competitor left from last year's Chase. He's planning on adding another Championship trophy to his collection.
The #151 of RJ Surdell is another team that has constantly improved. Clearly the 151 was not performing early in the season. The Cindy Burdick Motorsports team simply went to work. They managed 3 top 10's highlighted by RJ's first top five at Star. The team may be getting into Championship form at just the right time.
He's known as "Dirty Love". The Deuce, Duane Noll is a former Championship and fan favorite. Despite a technical set back at Thompson, Noll quietly moved his team into the 5th slot in the Elite 8. The team is expected to be a contender at Thompson, and there is no doubt, Noll is a force to reckoned with at Waterford. The Championship has been all that is on Duane's mind since the start of the season.
#32 Randy Burr is one of the steadiest performers on the tour. He has worked all season on improving the bright orange 32 Ford F-150. This truck was a former Koenig 97. It was rebuilt from the frame up. The truck is sorted well for the playoff run. He finished 6th at Thompson's Ice Breaker in April. A mechanical failure set the team back at Hudson. Take that race away and Randy would be the #1 seed heading into Sunday's elimination race.
The #1 of Dennis Charette has been a steady performer all season. Owner Lucas Leone has had a plan since last fall. This Sunday the team will be the first to debut a Claimer motor. Claimer motors have simpler rules, however they can be purchased from other competitors post race. The Claimer price is less than half of what the Chevrolet economy motors known as 602's cost. The question is can a $3500 motor actually be an advantage and pull off a series championship. We will know Sunday.
Todd Taylor and his #47 Silverado team are know as the team that has the most fun tour racing. That doesn't mean that they don't take their chase for the championship seriously. They just do it with a smile. The Elite 8 is made up of the top eight in the regular season points. Todd finished second by a mere point. The eye is on the title. The team finished second in the Ice Breaker. This could be the year the 47 takes home it's first ProTruck Championship. Maybe.
No one had the #01 of Nikolas Frechette penciled in as their pick to win the ProTruck Championship. The IceBreaker marked his first time driving a full size race vehicle of any type. It also marked his first time racing the historic track. He managed a podium finish. He then went on to perform well at all of the series venues despite each one being the first time to compete there. He is the 2023 regular season Champion. He's managed to be runner up on a few but does not have his first series win yet. Could we see a first win and his first Championship happen over the next two weeks? It could happen.
There is no doubt
the 2023 Evolve ProTruck Challenge has the makings of being the most
exciting playoff ever but there is much more to Thompson's World
Series event. The race is dedicated to the memory of Harold
and Terri Churchill and of course Cindy Burdick. Harold and
Terri helped put on the events while Cindy often owned multiple
entries to help create the excitement these ProTruck provide over
There is no doubt the elimination race Sunday at Thompson is
packed with excitement. Be there if you can for we have an exciting
event plan at Thompson Speedway's World Series Sunday October 8th.
|The ProTrucks get back underway at Hudson Speedway August 13th.
Rain resulted in a cancellation at Lee USA. The event lost to
mother nature has created more pressure on teams to make the
playoffs. Only three races remain to get into the top 8 in points.
To win the championship, teams need to make that cut. So who are the
favorites to make the Elite 8?
Devin Deshaies seemed to be a serious threat. especially after winning the last event at Monadnock however the team has opted to move on to ACT type late models and legends cars. Devin is currently 5th in points. Obviously a driver with Devin's talents is an attractive option for many truck owners however no ride has been rumored. It is doubtful Deshaies will pick up a ride this late in the season to continue his shot at the Championship.
Defending Challenge Champion and 2023 Thompson Speedway winner Gerard Giordano Jr. was expected to cruise his way into the playoffs. Long Island's top ProTruck driver missed Monadnock dropping him from 1st to 12th in the points standings. G-Rod will have to gain approximately 30 points per show on his competitors to fight his way back in. Odds are the 15 jr team is up to the task however there is very little room for error.
Andy Pellegrini in the 6, Chris Taylor in the 5, RJ Surdell in the 151 and Duane Noll in the 2 all are within 11 points of each other. All had rough starts at Thompson. Noll is currently 8th in the point standings. It would be against all odds but mathematically all four can make the playoffs
The sentimental favorite for most is Josh Stringer. He has steadily done what is needed as he drives in honor of the memory of Jim Boyle, his father in law that was lost during the off season. 3 more solid performances could propel Stinger in to the Elite 8.
Dennis Charette is in the famed 1ne Silverado. The team seems to be gaining momentum. Crew chief and owner Mike Leone leaves no stone unturned. Although there is not a lot of room for error, this team is expected to get stronger with every week and should make the Elite 8.
The surprise of the year is Nikolas Frechette. This rookie performed flawlessly in his first truck race at Thompson. Monadnock the 01 team fought through some mechanical issues but still managed to lead a lap and finish 7th. He sits 4th in points with a 50 point cushion. Despite being the youngest driver in the field, he is a favorite to make the Elite 8.
The top 3 in points are separated by a mere 6 points. All three should make the elite 8. Todd Taylor's 47 Silverado has been on rails. He has ventured to Waterford for a few races and ended up on the podium. The finale is at Waterford which makes him a favorite to win it all. Randy Burr is simply overdue. The 32 team has sorted out his new truck. Again we have a driver that wins at Waterford and has to be considered a favorite to be Champion. Finally there is Jake Vanada. The #29 F-150 is strong everywhere it runs. This is another team that is expected to make the Elite 8 easily.
The heat is on for every race and every performance carries more weight. They all want that $5000 check from Lance Adie and Evolve Mortgage at the banquet. They want the Championship Trophy even more than that. Expect great racing at Hudson International Speedway Sunday August 13th during round III of the Evolve ProTruck Challenge .
Deshaies Dominates the Duel at the Dog
|Perfect weather and an awesome crowd greeted the ProTruck
competitors Sunday May 6th as they squared off for race two of the
2023 season. The 2nd Annual Duel at the Dog has become a premier
short track event in New England. Monadnock Speedway was
packed with competitors and fans.
Noticeably absent in the pit area was the 15 of points leader Gerard Giordano Jr. Devin Deshaies put everyone on notice early that his Silverado had plenty of speed by leading both practices. Qualifying was soon to follow. Deshaies set fast time with a blistering fast time of 14.213. Time trials set the field from 7th back. The top 6 redraw for final starting position. Randy Burr drew the pole position. Devin would have to start 4th.
A field of 13 ProTrucks line up to take the green. Outside of pole sitter Randy Burr was the 01 Silverado of Nikolas Frechette. Duane Noll had his #2 Silverado lined up third. Deshaies was outside in forth. Dennis Charette and #29 Jake Vanada rounded out the fast 6.
Early season races often end up with early cautions. Immediately the yellow was out as #6 Andy Pellegrini got into turn one a bit too hard and ran in to the back of Charett's #1. Pellegrini spun. The 02 of Josh Stringer, and the 87 of Jim Thompson were also involved.
The field was gathered up quickly. The 01 of Frechette got a great start and was able to hang on the outside of Burr's #32 F-150. Frechette's Silverado nosed ahead on lap 4. Burr fought back and the low lane eventually prevailed. Duane Noll, Jake Vanada and Devin Deshaies freight trained the 01 of Frechette. Before the 01 could get back in line he was all of the way back to fifth.
By lap 38 Deshaies was cruising with a comfortable lead when the 02 of Josh Stringer spun in turn 4. The yellow closed the field once again. It was a quick caution that only lasted for 2 laps The field was lined up quickly and the ProTrucks were ready to rumble.
Coming to the restart line it was the 64 of Deshaies with veteran and former series Champ Duane Noll on his outside. Randy Burr tucked in behind Deshaies. Vanada, in the 29 was to his outside. The 87 of Jim Thompson lined up next. Dennis Charette, in the 1ne, lined outside of Thompson. Deshaies handled the restart with ease. Noll in the 2, Burr in the 32, Vanada in the 29, and Charette in the 1 rounded out the top five.
The final caution flew
with 10 to go as RJ Surdell spun his #151 F-150 in
between turns three and four. Deshaies would have to
survive one more restart. Noll lined up outside
again, Burr and Vanada made up row 2. Charette
was now in fifth with Todd Taylor to his outside.
|With Thompson's Ice Breaker under their belt, the Evolve
ProTruck teams head to the Duel at the Dog with the expectation of
positioning themselves to qualify for this year's Chase.
The new points structure makes missing an event tough to recover
from. The shorter schedule means each event has heightened
At the Ice Breaker a few teams simply ran out of racing luck. Shawn Passero suffered a mechanical failure resulting in crash damage during practice. The 151 of RJ Surdell lost a motor as did the 5 of Chris Taylor. Despite the mishaps, 23 trucks took the green. Unfortunately, early on Andy Pellegrini also lost a brand new motor. Most of those competitors are ready for the Duel.
The race was a one man show. Duane Noll was fast in every session including the feature event. Reigning Chase Champion Gerard Giordano Jr's number 15 Silverado couldn't find his way to mount a challenge. Todd Taylor's 47 was fast. He ran fast throughout the day. Devin Deshaies was also fast but a mechanical failure took out the 64 early.
Two racers new to the series, Nicholas Frechette in the 01, and Jake Vanada in the 29 had their own private duel lap after lap. Frechette won this round. Number 78, Emma Monahan was quick as always. All of these teams had outstanding performances.
When it was over Noll parked in Victory Lane. The celebration was to be short lived. Pro Trucks have a unique motor rule. All trucks must pass a dyno test on Mondays. Noll had changed carburetors. The new carb was a great one. It was a bit to good and produced way more horsepower than the team expected. The 2 failed the dyno and was moved to the rear of the field. The win was awarded to the 15 team. Giordano is no stranger to victory lane at Thompson. He also set fast time for the weekend.
The race was dedicated to the memory of Jim Boyle, a driver that was lost over the off season.. Giordano and Boyle had many on-track battles over the years, but had earned a mutual respect and friendship. The Jim Boyle Memorial Trophy will have a special place in Giordano's trophy room. Giordano scored 192 points for the win, along with a check for $1100.00.
As we head into Monadnock, Gerard Giordano holds the point lead. Due to other commitments the 15 is not expected at the next event. We will definitely have a new points leader without Long Islands top ProTruck team there. Who will it be? Will Todd Taylor grab his first tour win? Can Duane Noll rebound and find his way to victory lane? How good is Nikolas Frechette? He turned heads at Thompson. Without Giordano, or Souza, or Lucas Leone, is this the week we see Randy Burr's 32 head back to the winner's circle. Will Jake Vanada prevail and get the trophy from his brother Josh.
It is a must see event. Every truck in the field is capable of winning. The Evolve Pro Truck Challenge 55 is Saturday May 6th. Be there if you can.
2023 Ice Breaker
| The 2023 Season gets underway at Thompson Speedway Friday
night, and with it comes the first race of the new Evolve Mortgage
ProTruck Challenge Chase format. Teams will have more emphasis
on points. To get in the Chase, the team will have to be in
the top 8 in points by the next to last race of the season.
Drivers will no longer have to win a race to be a Chase participant.
2022 EXIT Realty New England
| The 2022 EXIT Realty ProTruck Challenge concluded with a
Chase race at the Waterford Speedbowl in October. Smacktoberfest was
headlined with the series 2022 Championship event.
Within the race 5
Chase teams competed for 75 laps to decide who would be
the Chase Champion.
It was a must see event.
The yellow flew on lap 1 for a mishap in the back of the
pack between the 47 of Todd Taylor and the 90 of
multi-time series champion Allen Coates. The teams
quickly reorganized for the restart and the race was
| The 2022 EXIT Realty New England
ProTruck season has been packed with excitement from the drop of the
green flag in April through last week's World Series. As we roll
into Smacktoberfest at the
Waterford Speedbowl, the stage is set to crown a new Champion.
Five teams have qualified for this year's Chase race.
Remarkably , the excitement happening Saturday October 22nd
at the Speedbowl includes much much more than just the
Championship Chase. Here is who to watch.
Andy Pellegrini was running well in the Ice Breaker until he spun exiting turn four. The number 6 Silverado slid through the infield and on to the top of the infield pit lane wall. A twentieth place finish is a rough start for any team. Andy was able to make six more starts and wrap up the 2022 Rookie of the Year title on the strength of five top ten finishes.
Emma Monahan raced only a few times on the tour in 2022. She competed at the SpeedBowl and became the first female Champion of a Saturday evening division. You'll know her by the crowd noise. Cousin Brody won the Legends Championship. Uncle Shawn teamed up with Emma's father Diego for the World Series where Shawn wheeled his #55 ProTruck to a win. Saturday at Waterford you will see Emma, Diego, Brody and Shawn Monahan all competing in the 75 lap ERC event. There are not many racing families that get four members racing in one event. This will surely be exciting to see.
Another ProTruck to keep an eye on is the 81 of Tyler Chapman. In the last two events Chapman's 81 Silverado has been lightening fast. In the last tour event at Waterford, Chapman's fastest lap was bested by eventual winner Deshaies by a mere 7 hundredths. Both Waterford and Thompson events saw Chapman taken out of contention through no fault of his own. He is a past winner on the tour, and a frequent winner at the Speedbowl. Saturday night could be his night.