Legends, Bandolero, LRRS Champs To Be Honored
New Hampshire Motor Speedway officials will honor the champions of the Granite State Legends' Sign Works Oval Series and Moat Mountain Road Course Series, the Crown Trophy Bandolero Series, and the Loudon Road Race Series at the season-ending awards banquet on Saturday. The ceremony will be held at the Castleton Banquet and Conference Center in Windham, N.H. on Saturday, Nov. 1 at 6 p.m. Prizes include 120 trophies and more than $18,000 in payouts to overall series and class champions.
Once again, it will be Shaun Buffington, Casey Call and Rick Doucette collecting the biggest hardware. Buffington (Plainville, Conn.) finished atop the Legends oval and road course point standings, Call (Pembroke, N.H.) won the Bandolero title by only 10 points, and Doucette (Sandown, N.H.) was the LRRS overall champion for the fifth straight season.
"It's truly an honor to host some of the best regional racing in New England right here at New Hampshire Motor Speedway," said Jerry Gappens, executive vice president and general manager of the speedway. "This was a terrific, hard-fought season throughout all of these series. I wish all of our champions a hearty congratulations, as well as a tip of my hat to all of the competitors that made this one of the best seasons to date."
Buff to beat
Buffington won his second straight Moat Mountain Road Course championship, beating Taylor Martin of Windham, N.H., by 122 points. Buffington also won the Sign Works Oval Series title for the second straight year, beating teammate Tom Gray by 33 points.
"We really focused hard over the winter to improve our engines and continue to raise the bar for what we want to do each weekend," said Buffington, who won last year's championship in spite of four blown engines. "The competition just keeps getting better. Every year Tom and Taylor are catching up to my lap times. This division is only going to keep improving as we move forward - and I want that. I want that competitive balance."
Buffington won 23 total races and finished second in the three he didn't win during 26 starts this season. The shining moment for Buffington - other than the overall championship - was during a weekend in August during which he won both road course races and an oval race in three different cars.
"We added a second car because of how hard we work the cars on the road course," said Buffington. "That was a big weekend for us. I was really proud of the fact that we were able to win with all three cars."
Mike Alton (Nashua, N.H.), Tom Gray (Baltic, Conn.) and Jordan O'Brien (Yarmouth, Maine) round out the top-five in the road course standings, while Martin, Bob Weymouth (Topsham, Maine) and Joseph Wisialko (Westwood, Mass.) finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively in the oval standings.
O'Brien was named Legend Car Rookie of the Year.
Calling his shot
The Crown Trophy Bandolero Series title went to 11-year-old Casey Call. It was easier said than done for Call, who trailed A.J. Eastman by six points with five races remaining on the schedule. But a stretch of four straight wins pushed Call past Eastman and to his second consecutive title.
"We're good friends off the track, but on the track we both have that fire. We want to beat each other," said Call of his rivalry with Eastman. "I kind of felt like I had a target on my back after last year, and A.J. was right there on my tail all season. He really pushed me to be my best."
Eastman (Fishers Island, N.Y.), Jacob Perry (Pawcatuck, Conn.), Robby Gordon Douglas (Derry, N.H.) and Matthew Addona (Branchville, N.J.) round out the top five in the standings.
Call finished the season with five wins and a total of 10 podium finishes in 12 races.
"I'd say last year's was really great because it was the first in the history of the track," said Call, referencing the first season of Bandolero racing at NHMS. "This year was pretty sweet, too, because we had such a slow start to the season. But we kept on getting better and better. So to win another championship is awesome. I can't wait to get back at it again next year."
Rookie of the Year honors went to Lukas Doucette (Sandown, N.H.) and Jake Matheson (Hillsboro, N.H.).
Make it five for Doucette
From April to October, the Loudon Road Race Series descends onto the Magic Mile, and once again, when it was all said and done, Rick Doucette was standing on top of the mountain. Doucette won five expert class titles this season and his fifth straight overall championship.
Scott Greenwood and Seth Hahn round out the top-three for the season.
"It's never easy and it's definitely the hardest one that I've won," said Doucette. "It's getting harder and harder to do every year, but they're all special. As much as it changes, it stays the same - I can't say enough about the competition we face each week."
Doucette will take home hardware on Saturday night from the Formula 40 Lights, GTL, Lightweight Superbike, Lightweight Supersport and Unlimited Grand Prix. But of course, it's the one that got away that will eat at him the most this offseason.
"I have to give Scotty Mullin a lot of credit for staying focused and taking that championship," said Doucette of his second-place finish in the Thurnderbike class. "I hate to lose, but at the end of the day those battles on the track are what we race for."
Scott Greenwood of Dunbarton, N.H., defended his Dash for Cash/Middleweight Grand Prix championship trophy. Greenwood also won titles in the GTU, Middleweight Supersport, and Unlimited Supersport classes.
Joining Doucette and Greenwood with expert class championships this season is Jake Vader (Franklin, N.H.), who won the 125 Grand Prix. Roger Ealy Jr. (Rochester, N.H.) won the Formula 300 class, Dennis Levesque (Derry, N.H.) nabbed the Formula 40 and Super Twins class titles, and Douglas Fogg (Merrimac, Mass.) finished atop the standings in the Formula 50 Lights.
The GTO hardware will go to Wojciech Kasperuk (Seymour, Conn.), while Eric Wood (Ashburnham, Mass.) will take home trophies from wins in the Heavyweight Superbike, Middleweight Superbike, and Unlimited Superbike classes.
The Heavyweight Supersport title will go to Joel Allen (Barrington, N.H.), Scott Mullin (Amherst, N.H.) added a win in the Lightweight Grand Prix to go with his Thunderbike title, and Trevor Chiappisi (Deerfield, N.H.) will ride home with Motard and Lightweight Sportsman trophies.
The P-89 Lights and Ultralight Superbike titles will go to John Linn (Bristol, Vt.), while the Super Singles will go to Eric Block (Middlefield, Conn.).
Savvas Kosmidis of Worcester, Mass. (originally from Serres, Greece) won the overall Loudon Road Race Series Amateur Achievement award along with amateur class championships in the Lightweight Grand Prix, Lightweight Superbike, Lightweight Supersport, and Thunderbike.
Also winning amateur class championships were Jonathan Leung of Brighton, Mass. (125 Grand Prix), Roger Ealy Sr. of New Durham, N.H. (Formula 300), Clayson Baker of Florence, Mass. (Formula 40), Rick Kaeser of New Boston, N.H. (Formula 40 Lights, Formula 50 Lights, GTL), Chris Woodman of Strafford, N.H. (GTO, Unlimited Supersport), Jack Mach of Milford, Conn. (GTU), Orlando Gonzalez of North Bergen, N.J. (Heavyweight Superbike), Walter French Jr. of North Smithfield, R.I. (Heavyweight Supersport, Middleweight Grand Prix), Roland Arsenault of Rochester, N.H. (Lightweight Sportsman, Ultralight Superbike), Marcelo Lautert of Randolph, Mass. (Middleweight Superbike, Middleweight Supersport), Chris Dove of Waltham, Mass. (Motard, Super Singles), Christopher Bouchard of Concord, N.H. (Super Twins), Dylan Moore of Lakeville, Mass. (Unlimited Grand Prix), and Michael Bettencourt of Medford, Mass. (Unlimited Superbike).
The Granite State Legends Cars, Bandoleros and Loudon Road Race Series will bring back the excitement in 2015 for several action-packed weekends.