$10,000 ProTruck Challenge

 

Cassidy Wins the Battle, Burr Wins the War!

 

      The 2023 Evolve ProTruck Season concluded at The Waterford SpeedBowl October 28th with a variety of story lines and a great final 4 battle for the Championship.  New England's top ProTruck drivers in 2023 were on hand to battle. 

           Noticeably absent was the Monahan Family, Shawn, Diego, Emma, and Brody. Brody's record breaking success in the trucks in 2023 is well noted. The family was in North Carolina racing. The entire truck community is proud of Brody's accomplishments and is proud to have him representing New England in his racing ventures.

        Plenty of stars were left at home for the best show of the year.  Ken Cassidy Jr. was on hand. His number 11  Boyd's Used Auto Parts Silverado with it's Lime Green Flame job was not only eye catching but fast.  Former Champion Allen Coates made a rare 2023 appearance.  Tyler Chapman had the 81 locked and loaded. Overdue for a trip to victory lane,  Tyler has led every tour race he has been in the last two years.

       The Chase competitors had some serious business on hand. They were there to decide their share of the $10,000 dollars up for grabs.  How they finish in this event determines how they end up in points.  Nicholas Frechette, the regular season points champion, was unable to race after losing an engine at Thompson.  It was a spectacular year for the Rookie driver. Unfortunately luck has regulated him to eight in this year's playoff.  

       All eyes were on practice.  Ken Cassidy took only 6 laps to show everyone he was fast as he set a lap of 16.317 , 82.7 mph.    Chase Final Four Competitor Randy Burr tipped his hand that his truck had pace in the second practice with a lap of 16.226, 83.199 mph.    When qualifying rolled around, Cassidy grabbed the pole over Burr by a mere 3 hundredths of a second.  The top 6, redraw for starting position. Crowd favorite Todd Taylor, in his Buttermore Plumbing 47 had luck on his side.  After all other 5 competitors drew, he was left with the top starting spot .

     The show at Waterford moves quickly and soon it was time to decide who would be the 2023 Evolve Pro Truck Challenge Champion and who would take home the $1000 win for the 75 lap feature. Todd Taylor lined up on the inside of row one.   Taylor was joined on the front row by Ken Cassidy.  Duane Noll and Tyler Chapman made up row two.  Randy Burr and Gerard Giordano Jr.  made up row 3. All of the Final 4 Chase Competitors made the top 6.  The weather was incredible and just added to the excitement of these spectacular looking trucks as they made their way toward the starters box. The green was throw by starter Craig Meriman and we were underway.

      Taylor got off to a great start.  Cassidy soon fell in behind.  Tyler Chapman made a charge on the outside of Cassidy on lap 2 to take over the runner up spot.  Soon after Sean Caron's 52 spun on the back stretch creating the first caution of the day.

        The field was ready to return to action quickly.  Taylor was again on the pole but this time it would be the 81 of Chapman on the outside.  Cassidy and Noll now made up row two. Burr lined up 5th with defending Chase Champion Giordano in 6th..  Taylor and Chapman battled side by side for a full lap, however the outside groove seemed a bit quicker and Chapman's 81 took over on the point. Cassidy was next to try the outside. It took a few laps to complete the pass. By lap 8 the top 5 were all competitors familiar with running Waterford weekly.  Chapman, Cassidy , Taylor , Burr and Noll paced the field.  Many considered the 15 of Giordano to be the Chase Race Favorite.  He seemed comfortable cruising in 6th. Even more interesting was the Final 4 Chase teams were lined up nose to tail with Taylor still in first for the Championship.

         Some front runners in the Championship soon developed issues.  A few seconds back from the lead battle Taylor was being attacked by Burr.  His truck had panels on the left side that had become detached.  The bodywork seemed to be hurting the 47's handling.  Noll's deuce had smoke trailing from it.  Many had Giordano as the favorite to repeat this year.  He was following along in 6th in a cautious manner.

      Chris Taylor's #5 Silverado headed for the infield on laps 17.  Freschette did not race due to losing a motor at Thompson.  By not starting, his final position in the Championship was 8th.  Taylor's retirement placed him 7th in the Challenge.

   Out front Chapman's B&W paving Tundra truck looked loose.  He ran a slightly higher line than Cassidy. The 11 truck was soon hounding the leader. The battle for the lead was tremendous. Cassidy tried multiple lines.  On lap 26 Cassidy got a run on the front stretch and moved the 11 inside of the 81.  The two ran side by side for a few more laps until Cassidy's Sweets Farms Silverado ultimately prevailed.

  

   Soon after Noll's Championship hopes went up in smoke as the engine on the 2 let go.  He rolled to the infield relegating him to a 17th place finish and 4th in the Chase. As Noll rolled into the infield, Randy Burr muscled his Silverado under Taylor.  The two battled side by side for a handful of laps.  Again it was masterful racing by two veterans that where showing why they were in line to be Champion. The battle waged on until the 151 of  RJ Surdell brought out the final caution of the day on the back stretch.  The 151 was done for the day.

       RJ Surdell's retirement places him in 6th. Chris Charette and the 1ne quietly  clinched 5th.  Duane Noll's retirement left him in forth. 

       Taylor, Burr and Giordano were now left to battle for their share of the $8000 of points money that remained on the table.   On the restart they would be starting 3rd, 4th and 5th.  Meanwhile out front Chapman was preparing for one more shot at Cassidy.

   Chapman used the restart and outside groove to launch the 81 back into the lead. Randy Burr also used the outside groove to move into 3rd place on track and first in the Chase.

 It was not long until Cassidy worked the nose of the 11 Silverado back underneath  Chapman's 81. Cassidy edge into the lead on lap 44. Chapman fought back but there was no stopping the 11.  The truck was acquired from the Deshaies team, it won it's last time out with Devon at Monadnock and it was looking unstoppable on this afternoon here at the SpeedBowl.

      The battle to watch now turned to the Championship Chase. Burr seemed content to ride behind the 81. G-Rod hounded Taylor but the 15 could not muscle under the 47. As the laps dwindled down, so did the Championship hopes of Taylor and Giordano.  All three turned laps at the same speed.  No one had an edge. There was simply no way to mount a charge with trucks that were all running lap times within a tenth of a second.
 

      Cassidy made the rest of the race look easy.  He cruised out front unchallenged. Chapman scored a well deserved second place.  Randy Burr grabbed the final podium spot  The 3rd place finished wrapped up the Evolve Challenge Championship.

    Cassidy would say , "That last restart the carburetor started to bobble. He (Chapman) got around me and then it cleared up. Then it started bobbling again so I didn't want to see another yellow. It's the longest race, I am used to 25. "   He was quick to thank his sponsors, all of which had to be proud of the great effort and victory.

     Tyler Chapman was owed a good run.  He had great performances in his last few events only to get in scuffles that took away podium finishes. Everyone knew the 81 was going to be a contender.  Tyler certainly put  on a show.

     Randy Burr was the star of the day.  His 3rd place finish earned the 32 team a well deserved Championship and the $5000 first place money from Evolve that goes with it.  For Randy, it is never about the money. During the COVID year he missed the Chase by 1 point.  He had worked countless hours to climb back to the top of  ProTruck Racing in New England.  In Victory Lane Randy would say "A lot of good cars up front, Awesome guys to race with."  Randy thanked his crew, Brandon, Jimmy, Phil , Robbie, They all come out and help me all the time and I couldn't do it without them. "  " The guys that run up front are great.  You got the 15, the 47, they're awesome.  If you can beat them, you are doing something for a day."  

   It was an amazing day of racing at the SpeedBowl. Series sponsor Evolve Mortgage Bank & Trust, created a Chase Race that is second to none.  Local favorites Ken Cassidy and Tyler Chapman added to the excitement to the Evolve Challenge Championship .  In the end 3 guys,  Giordano, Taylor and Burr battled right to the end.  Congratulations to all that participated in the 2023 Championship weekend sponsored by Evolve, Hoosier Tires East, Real Brokers, Logic Automation, Taylor Lawn Care, Karns Automotive and MLB Racing Photography. Video coverage by Yankee Racer can be seen below:

 


 

The 2023 Chase Race is on!
4 Drivers -1 Race-1 Champions

 

  The 2023 Evolve Challenge ProTruck Season will conclude at the New London Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday October 28th.  A full field of ProTrucks is expected.  75 laps will be the distance.  Most will be afterr the $1000 first prize.  Fierce competition is expected from the regular truck competitors that race there weekly. Some of the names you may see defending the home turf are Chapman, Cassidy and Coates. 

    For the 8 playoff contenders, there will be a race within a race.    Chris Taylor, Nicholas Frechette, Dennis Charette and RJ Surdell will be awarded 5th thru 8th in the Chase standings depending on how they finish is relation to each other at this race.

The final four will also race against each other.  They qualified in the final four by their performance at Thompson .   Their Superbowl is the 75 lap Challenge race Saturday.

     there is a lot of money on the line.  $10,000 dollars total.  The winners share of the Chase payout is $5000 for the Champion.  $2000 dollars will go to the runner up.  $1000 dollars is awarded for third. Fourth will pocket $750 dollars.    Fifth in the Chase pays $500 dollars.  6th  takes home $400 dollars.  7th will receive $300 dollars and 8th will earn $250 dollars. The awards will be paid out at the banquet at Foxwoods thanks to Evolve Bank and Trust Mortgage and Hoosier Tires East.

Who are the final four?


The Number 1 seed is #15 Long Island's Gerard Giordano Jr. aka G-Rod.  The 15 team started with a victory at the Ice Breaker but fell to 12th into the point standings when they were unable to attend the second race of the season.  Giordano won his next two events, and finished second at Star.  The top 8 make the playoff. The 15 team's performances after missing an event were enough to make the cut.  G-Rod has 152 laps led, ( approximately 2/3s of the laps run)  this season.  He has the most wins in the series since he arrived on the tour in 2015. Last year's battle to the line with Connor Souza was a thriller.

The Number 2 seed for this season's Chase Championship is the 2 of Duane Noll.  Noll was the 2020 Series Champion and has multiple track Championships and wins at Waterford.  From the outset, he has been on a mission to repeat in the #1 spot.  The team had a technical infraction that buried him in the early season standings .  As veterans often do, he climbed his way back into the top 8.  He finished runner up at Thompson's World Series. There is only one more task at hand. 

The Number 3 seed is Todd Taylor.  The 47 team is known to have the most fun at the race track. There is not a better bunch to be around. Win lose or draw, they come to enjoy racing.  Don't let that confuse you. They are dead serious about winning.  The team missed out on the regular season points championship by a mere 1 point. For most of Todd's racing career he has competed in the weekly truck division at the SpeedBowl. This is his first full season of  ProTruck Touring competition.  Can he turn the home track advantage into an Evolve ProTruck Championship in his Rookie year.  Maybe. The paint scheme is a throw back to his dads. One thing is for sure.  The entire team would like to see that paint scheme parked in Victory Lane when it is over Saturday at the SpeedBowl.

The fourth seed is Randy Burr. Randy has raced regularly at the Waterford SpeedBowl and is one of the Veteran performers on the tour.  His Orange 32 has become iconic. The truck he campaigns has made it's way to Victory Lane before. He ran a masterful race at Thompson.  Early on he dropped back and stayed out of trouble.  Late race he charged into the final playoff spot. 

The payoff battle is a great one, but often the Chase Race is won by a non-chase competitor. Shawn Monahan won last year's event. Andrew Morin has won the season's finale twice. Andy Lindeman grabbed the season ending victory without being Champion.  Even Gerard Giordano Jr snagged a win in the finale without being the Champ.  One thing is for sure. A great race is in store Saturday the 28th at the Waterford SpeedBowl.  It is a must see event. Hope to see you there.

 


 

01 Nikolas Frechette

47 Todd Taylor

   Dennis Charette

 2023 Playoff
Elite 8

32 Randy Burr

2 Duane Noll

R.J. Surdell

G-Rod

5 Chris Taylor

 

The Playoffs Kick Off at Thompson's World Series!
 

     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 the years.
 
    There are also some very exiting entries expected that are not Chase drivers.  They include the 29 of Josh Vanada.  He is a favorite to win the Seekonk Truck Championship.  He'll have to do double duty to make the field at Thompson. He managed to pull off the win at Star Speedway in the series last event.  Former Series Champion Dave Koenig is expected to return to competition at Thompson.  His 97 truck paint schemes are always fan favorites.  The 2023 version is no different. Jason Paquette will make his series debut in the number 94 Silverado. Damian Surdell will make his first Thompson start in the 14 Silverado of Roger Hunt.  Shawn Passero and Andy Pelligrini are expected. Could we see Tyler Chapman at Thompson?  He was super fast in last year's World Series event. Will a Monahan compete?  Shawn won last fall's event. Emma has moved on to the ProStocks. Brody has dominated at Waterford.

    The Evolve ProTruck Challenge is a $10,000 purse offered by Evolve and Hoosier Tire .  Each of the Elite 8 will get a Hoosier Tire Jacket for qualifying. In relation to how they finish competing against the other Elite 8 qualifiers, the top 8 will be divided. The top half of these drivers will be grouped into the final 4.    The "Final 4" will compete at Waterford. They are the only ones eligible for the Championship. Their finish position in relation to each other in the Finale' will be used to determine the the Champion.   The same is true for 5th thru 8th. Although they are not eligible to be Champion, they will be racing for points money banners too.

Evovle ProTuck $10,000 purse by postion

1st   $5000.00
2nd  $2000.00
3rd  $1000.00
4th   $  750.00
5th  $ 500.00
6th  $ 400.00
7th  $ 300.00
8th  $ 250.00

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.
      

 
 

Hudson International
is up next for the
Evolve Pro Truck Challenge 

 
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.



        The 14 of Roger Hunt was off the pace.  On lap 10, Frechette pulled outside only to have Hunt switch lanes unexpectedly.  Frechette stood on the binders as the mid pack cars scrambled and bounced off of each other. Amazingly all of the trucks were able to continue.

          Deshaies made his charge to the front early.  By lap 12 he had moved by the 29 of Vanada.  On lap 14 he was able to squeeze the nose of his truck under the 32 of Burr. Deshaies had the lead as the two made their to the front stretch. The field was slowed again as the 6 of Pelligrini spun in turn 1 for a second time.

       The lap 20 restart sorted out quickly.  Deshaies pulled out to a 5 truck length lead in just a few laps.  Duane Noll was applying pressure to Randy Burr. After a few laps of hounding,  he burrowed under Burr's 32 into on the back stretch, and wrestled second place away. Entering turn three Jake Vanada tried to follow underneath.  His #29 Silverado turned completely sideways.  He was able to gather the truck up without spinning and hold onto forth.  Certainly it was the save of the day.

    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.

     Starter Kyle Souza showed the field the green with 6 to go. Deshaies had the lead to himself by turn one.  Burr was able to hold the low groove. He positioned his nose inside of Duane Noll to battle for second.  Noll could not get clear as the two battled side by side for the next two laps. Noll tried to squeeze into line between Burr and Vanada. Vanada was having none of that and held his line.  Noll had contact and fought to keep his Silverado straight. The 2 truck bounced off of the front stretch wall but was able to continue. Charette snuck by low. Noll would have to settle in at fifth.

       Coming to the white flag Pelligrini's 6 spun into the infield again. Devin was able to cruise by high and take the win. Following Deshaies was Randy Burr and Jake Vanada.  

       Devin Deshaies proved once again that he is a force to be reckoned any time his 64 Silverado pulls into the pit area.  He won the Taylor Landscaping, Karns Automotive fast time award.  He also pocketed $1000 for the win. Devin led 41 laps enroute to his win.  A mechanical failure took Deshaies out of the season opener.  The rebound win moved him into 5th in points.  The top 8 in points compete for the Championship in this year's Chase.

        Runner up Randy Burr also made a big point improvement.  The finish moved him to second in the standings where he trails by a mere 3 points.  Jake Vanada and his 29 team now hold the top spot in points heading into the spring break.   The next series race is at Lee USA where the Independence Celebration will get underway with a 55 lap event. It was an awesome weekend at JDV Production's 2nd Annual Dual at the Dog. The series returns to Monadnock September 9th. Congrats to Devin Deshaies and the entire 64 team.  As the pressure builds to make the playoffs, so does the excitement.  Round 3 gets underway at Lee July 2nd.

Complete point standings can be found by clicking the "2023 Results and Standings" button.  For compete race results , once on the standings page, click the race date at the top of the column.

 

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 importance.

      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.
Pos. Points    
1 175       Points are earned first by attempting to qualify for any event.  Connecticut races will award 10 appearance points per event, while races outside of Connecticut will award 35 appearance points.   Positional points earned from racing have also changed.  1 bonus point is awarded for a win, leading a lap, leading the most laps and setting fast time.  Positional points are going to revert to a break down similar to the Classic NASCAR method.  The change is to reward consistency.  The winner of the race will receive 75 points. Points will decline by 5 for the remaining top 5 positions. Positions 6-10 will decline by 4 points each.  11th thru 15th will decline by 3 points each.  16 thru the remainder of the field will decline by 2 points each.

      Evolve Bank & Mortgage, Real Brokers LLC, and Hoosier Tires have all teamed up to put up a $10,000 points fund and still maintain the $1000 to win purses.  Entering the next to last race of the year,  the teams in the "Elite 8", will compete to get into the final 4 based on their performance in that next to last race.  The top 4 in relation to each other at the finish will move on to the final 4. Those that did not qualify in the final 4 will be awarded 5th thru 8th position in points. They all will receive a Hoosier Jacket.

      The final 4 will decide their point standings in the final race of the season. They also will receive a Hoosier Jacket .  The winner will also pocket $5000.00.  The 2023 Minimum Points Payout is as follows:
1st   $5000.00
2nd  $2000.00
3rd  $1000.00
4th   $  750.00
5th  $ 500.00
6th  $ 400.00
7th  $ 300.00
8th  $ 250.00

    The Pro Truck Challenge is not possible without the support of  Lance Adie of-Evolve Mortgage Bank & Trust,  Derek Beatrice - Real Brokers and Rob Summers - Hoosier Tires East.
 The 2023 season's first race is Friday evening at the Ice Breaker. It's a must see event. Hope to see all our fans there.

2 170
3 165
4 160
5 155
6 151
7 147
8 143
9 139
10 135
11 132
12 129
13 126
14 123
15 120
16 118
17 116
18 114
19 112
20 110
   

 

2022 EXIT Realty New England
Pro Truck Challenge Championship
 

 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.  


      Practice seemed routine until Devin Deshaies #64 crashed in turn one.  A mechanical failure caused the incident. Deshaies was the #1 seed in the playoff.  Immediately rumors circulated that the team's ProTruck was done for the day.  Devin seemed un-phased. If he had a truck, he wanted to race.  Otherwise he wanted to head where he could race. Tyler Chapman generously made his ride available for the 64 Silverado was not going to be race-ready in time.  The year's winningest team would at least her a shot at the Championship.

 

 
     This year's Chase competitors were slated to start in the front five spots of the Chase event .  With no practice in the new ride, Devin opted to start last .  This placed the 38 of Connor Souza on the pole.   Gerard Giordano shared the front row.  Lined up in row two were two very successful Waterford competitors. Jim Boyle is always fast and has multiple wins over many years.  Andrew Morin has found his way to Victory Lane at Waterford too.  With Deshaies in the last row in a borrowed truck, the chances of the Chase Champion coming form the front two rows increased dramatically. 

 

   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 back on.

      Souza charged out to an early lead.  During time trials Diego, Brody and Shawn Monahan had plenty of pace.  Shawn was in third by lap 7.  He moved by Jim Boyle into second on lap 12.  The 38 had a healthy lead at this point. Monahan patiently set on the task of catching the leader.

      Giordano moved by Boyle's 02 on lap 24.   He seemed to be pacing himself for 75 laps is a long way at Waterford.  The race always comes down to a late race caution at the end.

       Up front Souza was making it look easy.   He had no interest in letting Monahan get too close and maintained a healthy advantage. By lap 35 the 55 had worked his way into striking distance.   Eventually , on lap 47, as the leader worked his way by a lapped truck, Monahan attacked.  He leaned on the 38 with his front bumper just enough to make room and take over the lead. Shawn had control of the race and it was doubtful anyone had enough truck to challenge for the win.

       The Chase was still on, and two of the top performers were now second and third. The 38 of Souza found no comfort as the 15jr sat one truck length behind, and the 55 had a truck length lead in front.  Then the caution flew on lap 66 and the battle for the Championship was on.

      The restart had the 55 of Monahan on the pole with the 38 outside.  Giordano was line up third. Dennis Charrette in the Leone Racing number 1 was forth. Burr held down fifth.  Chase competitors Boyle and Morin were back in striking distance restarting sixth and seventh. Shawn's 55 Silverado jumped to a 2 truck length lead at the drop of the green flag.   Giordano and Souza battled side by side.  It was a full lap before the 38 could secure second. Suddenly,  entering turn three smoke erupted from the pack. Charrette got crossed up and pivoted off the 32's nose.  Burr continued as many of the front runners piled into the melee. The 02 of Boyle was in it. His Championship hopes were over.  The field had to be stopped and held under red as turn 3 was going to take some time to make race ready.

   For the final restart there were just two laps remained to decide a race and a Championship.   The top spot was still held by Monahan.  The 38 of Souza was in second. G-rod lined up third.  Outside G-Rod was Devin Deshaies in the borrowed Chapman ride.  Somehow he had made is way from the back of the field to have a shot.
   
     Monahan had a great restart and set sail heading for the checkers.  All eyes were on the Championship Battle between the 38 and 15 in second and third. Whomever finished ahead was going to be the season Champion.  G-Rod moved to second.   The 38 was not done.  He caught the 15 and muscled his way back by in between turns 3 and 4. Both trucks were side by side coming to the white flag.  G-Rod sailed the 15 low to reestablish inside position in turn one. There was contact between the two entering turn 3. The 38 still held a slight edge exiting turn 4. Heading to the front stretch it was a dead heat. G-Rod won the drag race to the line and bested Souza by approximately a foot to take the Championship.  There was contact after the start finish line as G-Rod fought for control. As the two trucks entered turn two Souza retaliated by hooking the 15.   G-Rod was able to stay out of the wall.

  Monahan won the battle by making it two wins in a row in the series. Diego prepped the 55.  It was truly a great ending to a Monahan family affair. Shawn won. Brody placed 6th in his first ProTruck event.  Track Champion Emma Monahan finished right behind Brody.  Diego even finished after finding himself in the infield during one of the late race cautions.

The Champion was G-Rod.  Giordano won the war.  The 15jr had a trying year with a serious crash at Monadnock causing them to miss races.  They were able to piece their truck back together and race at Thompson. The team managed to regain their speed and run up front all day. Being in position and saving their truck went a long way in securing the top spot in the Chase.

     Souza had a spectacular year despite some disagreements with the series.  The team served a 1 race suspension at Thompson.  Waterford was their first race back.   Due to the driver's actions after the checkers, they were removed from this year's Chase moving Andrew Morin into the runner up Chase spot.   Devin Deshaies and company gave a heroic effort and finished 3rd in the Chase.  Jim Boyle took 4th in this year's standings. The overall points Champion was Devin Deshaies.  The Rookie of the Year was Andrew Pellegrini. 

      The series will celebrate Giordano's Championship and a great 2022 which was also the last season with EXIT Realty.  EXIT has sponsored the series since 2018 when they took over for Mr. Rooter.  It was expected that the EXIT name would stay through 2023 however recent developments in the real estate industry ended the pairing. 

     February 18th we will celebrate 2022 which saw the emergence of some young stars. The series, sponsored by EXIT persevered through COVID and tire shortages.  An announcement will come soon concerning the new title sponsorship, however EXIT is certainly going to be missed. We still have one more event.   Let's celebrate one more time with EXIT , Evolve and the Stars of the EXIT Realty Challenge. 
 

 

     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.


     The main story is the Championship. Five drivers.  All think they should be the Champion.  We'll start with Andrew Morin. At 18 he is a veteran EXIT Realty Challenge racer. He has two touring series wins, one of which was this event last year. He is only second to Devin Deshaies in season points. He has scored 10 top tens, six top fives, and led 24 laps. He finished second in the last event at the SpeedBowl. Due to getting into the playoff race as the wild card,  he must win to be the Champion.  If the race falls his way, Andrew Morin is a good pick to win.

    Unlike the Wild Card entry, the remaining 4 will finish in points in the top 5 based on how they finish in relation to each other.  If Morin does not put his number 10 in Victory Lane, the battle is on to finish ahead of the others.  The 2021 Champion, Dave Koenig, made his pass in the final lap to grab the top spot.  It is a race within a race. All of these trucks will carry special markings on their rear spoiler so fans can watch the battle rage on:

     Taking on our youngest Chase field ever at 52 years old is Jim Boyle in the 02.  He was last season's wild card.  He earned his way into the Chase race with a victory at Monadnock.  Jim missed a few events this  year, and has chased a few gremlins that have kept him from scoring more victories however make no mistake, Jim Boyle knows how to win at the Waterford Speedbowl and remains a threat to come home with the Championship Saturday.

      Long Island's Gerard Giordano Jr. is always a threat to win.  The 15 team was on fire early in the season.  G-Rod is the all-time winningest driver with 12 EXIT Realty Challenge wins.  The team suffered a huge set back when they were taken out early in a crash at Monadnock in August.  The incident resulted in missing three events. G-Rod has won both points and Chase Championships and  knows his way to Victory Lane at the SpeedBowl.  Never count the series' favorite New Yorker out. 

      The number 38 of Connor Souza owns second place in the standings. Some say you have to lose a Championship to know how to win one.  Last year's Championship race was a heart breaker for the 38 team.  Souza was clearly the fastest ProTruck out there but a rash of tire failures took Connor out of contention. This season he has been a threat to win at every track. The team is solid. Many feel this is his year.

       The number one seed in this year's Chase is the youngest driver, 15 year old Devin Deshaies.  He has won on the Magic Mile and also found victory lane on the quarter miles. In 11 starts the 64 found victory lane 5 times.  Devin has 8 top fives and has led 153 laps.  He won the last race at Waterford.  It wasn't easy though.  He had to be very aggressive using the bumper to get by the 10 of Morin late. 

      Devin will start the weekend with a coin toss.  The toss will determine if all 5 Chase contenders will be starting at the rear of the field, or in the top 5 spots.  If all five contenders have to start in the final five spots, Morin's work will be much harder for he will be starting last.  Starting in the rear also makes all of the teams navigate some heavy traffic. Of course the flip could go the other way placing the Chase teams up front. Start in the front gives all five a clear shot to be Champion.  Wherever they start, the race within the race is surely going to come down to the wire.  The 2022 EXIT Realty New England Chase Race for the Championship has plenty of drama for all to enjoy. It is a must see in person event.  Get tickets by  visiting www.speedbowlct.com