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 2022 Championship event.  5 teams competed for 75 laps to decide 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 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 made his ride available for the 64 was not going to be race-ready in time.

 

 
     This year's Chase competitors were starting in the front five spots.  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 to. With Deshaies in the last row, the chances of the Chase Champion coming form these front 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, Shawn, Brody and Diego 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 jumped to a 2 truck length lead.   Giordano and Souza were battled side by side.  it would take a full lap for the 38 to secure second.  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.  The field was 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 second and third.  G-Rod moved to second.   The 38 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. Heading to the front stretch it was a dead heat. G-Rod 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 truck entered turn two Souza retaliated by hooking the 15.   G-Rod was able to stay out of the wall.

       Monahan won the battle.  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.  The hunt is on for new sponsorship however EXIT is certainly going to be missed. Meanwhile we still have one more event.   Let's celebrate one more time with EXIT , Evolve and the Stars of the EXIT Realty Challenge. 

        For tickets click the Banquet button in the left column.

 

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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