Doucette, Buffington & Ruggiero Named 2018 NHMS Track Champions
The 2018 champions from four local racing series were honored at the annual awards banquet at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord, N.H. on Saturday, November 10. Three New England racers, Rick Doucette of the Loudon Road Race Series, Shaun Buffington of the MOAT Mountain Road Course Series and the Legend Division of J&J's Yolk & Co. Oval Series and Giovanni Ruggiero of the Bandolero Division of J&J's Yolk & Co. Oval Series each took home 2018 Track Champion titles from New Hampshire Motor Speedway in their respective series.
Doucette is no stranger to winning, making this his eighth Loudon Road Race Series (LRRS) Track Championship. This win marks his second year in a row and prior to that he won the title consecutively from 2010-2015. This year, the Sandown, N.H. native not only is the winner of the Formula 50 Lights and GTL divisions, but is the first runner up in the Formula 40 Lights, Lightweight Grand Prix, Middleweight Grand Prix and Ultralight Superbike divisions. He's also the second runner up in the Combined 300 Superbike, Heavyweight Superbike and Middleweight Superbike divisions.
"What an awesome season," said Doucette. "This is the eighth time I've won the overall track championship, and most of the people I race with are like family. I'd do anything for any of them."
Buffington, who is the Track Champion in both the MOAT Mountain Road Course Series and the Legends Division of J&J's Yolk & Co. Oval Series, had a phenomenal 2018 season with 39 first place finishes (22 at NHMS), five second place finishes and a third place finish in the Road Course World Finals. Residing in Plainfield, Conn., this marks the sixth time that Buffington has won this title and captured his 100th victory in U.S. Legend Cars International competition at NHMS.
"This season's road course was the toughest one yet, and we didn't take the lead until the very last race of the season," said Buffington. "Just like I tell my kids, I don't care if it's soccer, school, whatever - you don't just give up; you just got to believe. Congrats to Rick, and thanks to the LRRS guys for letting us be a part of their weekends and banquet. They're always a lot of fun, and Saturday was no different. It was good to see Giovanni win his first championship as well."
Ruggiero, from Barrington, R.I., finished the year with 12 first place finishes (five at NHMS), six second place finishes (two at NHMS), four third place finishes and two other top five finishes, making him the 2018 Track Champion in the Bandolero Division of J&J's Yolk & Co. Oval Series at only 12 years old.
"It was a great season, and if you work hard, you get rewarded," said Ruggiero. "The banquet was great, and I would like to thank everyone at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for putting it on and doing what they do every year for the road course racing. Hopefully next year I'll be driving a legends car at NHMS."
This marks the first year that J&J's Yolk &Co. has been onboard as the entitlement sponsor for all of U.S. Legend Car International Oval Series racing action at NHMS.
The Loudon Road Race Series, MOAT Mountain Road Course Series and Legend and Bandolero Divisions of J&J's Yolk & Co. Oval Series will all return to New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the spring of 2019 for another season of close, side-by-side racing.
For ticket information for events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, including the upcoming Gift of Lights, Nov. 23 - Dec. 31, visit the speedway website at www.NHMS.com or call Fan Relations at (603) 783-4931.
Complete List of 2018 Champions
Loudon Road Race Series:
- Track Champion: Rick Doucette
- Combined 300 Superbike: Gunnar Ouellette
- Combined 300 Supersport: Gunnar Ouellette
- Combined 500 Superbike: Daniel Rosato
- Combined 500 Supersport: Gunnar Ouellette
- Formula 50 Lights: Rick Doucette
- Formula 40 Lights: Charles "Jesse" Sandoz
- Formula 40 Unlimited: Eric Wood
- GTL: Rick Doucette
- GTO: Cory Hildebrand
- GTU: Scott Greenwood
- Heavyweight Superbike: Scott Greenwood
- Heavyweight Supersport: Scott Greenwood
- Lightweight Grand Prix: Charles "Jesse" Sandoz
- Lightweight Sportsman: Rick Breen
- Lightweight Superbike: Charles "Jesse" Sandoz
- Lightweight Supersport: Peter Gaboriault
- Middleweight Formula 40: Scott Greenwood
- Middleweight Grand Prix: Scott Greenwood
- Middleweight Superbike: Scott Greenwood
- Middleweight Supersport: Scott Greenwood
- Motard: Kevin Allen
- Moto 3: Shawn Spear
- Super Singles: Rick Breen
- Super Twins: Charles "Jesse" Sandoz
- Thunderbike: Charles "Jesse" Sandoz
- Ultralight Grand Prix: Rick Breen
- Ultralight Superbike: Peter Gaboriault
- Unlimited Grand Prix: Eric Wood
- Unlimited Superbike: Eric Wood
- Unlimited Supersport: Eric Wood
- Amateur Achievement: Robert S. Briody
- Formula 50 Lights: Robert Marsden
- Formula 40 Lights: Robert Marsden
- Formula 40 Unlimited: Vicente Frontinan
- GTL: Ben MacKinney
- GTO: Tyler Wasserbauer
- GTU: Jesse Burnett
- Heavyweight Superbike: Ian Beam
- Heavyweight Supersport: Ian Beam
- Lightweight Grand Prix: Ben MacKinney
- Lightweight Sportsman: Jamison Brandin
- Lightweight Superbike: Robert Marsden
- Lightweight Supersport: Dan Pletea
- Middleweight Formula 40: Robert S. Briody
- Middleweight Grand Prix: Jesse Burnett
- Middleweight Superbike: Ian Beam
- Middleweight Supersport: Tyler Wasserbauer
- Motard: Jamison Brandin
- Moto 3: Jonathan Leung
- Super Singles: Jamison Brandin
- Super Twins: John Murray
- Thunderbike: Dan Pletea
- Ultralight Grand Prix: John Lear
- Ultralight Superbike: Robert Pease Jr.
- Unlimited Grand Prix: Jesse Burnett
- Unlimited Superbike: Tyler Wasserbauer
- Unlimited Supersport: Tyler Wasserbauer
MOAT Mountain Road Course Series:
- Track Champion: Shaun Buffington
J&J's Yolk & Co. Oval Series:
- Legend Division
- Track Champion: Shaun Buffington
- Bandolero Division
- Track Champion: Giovanni Ruggiero
The Loudon Road Race Series features seven weekends of Championship Cup Series motorcycle racing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The season spans April-October, and events run on the 1.6-mile road course. Over the years, LRRS has developed a reputation for having some of the closest and most intense racing on two wheels. A strong commitment to rider training and development has contributed to the quality of the LRRS programs.
About U.S. Legend Cars International
Legends car racing is one of the fastest-growing and most affordable types of American motorsports. Powered by a motorcycle engine, a Legends Car is a purpose-built race car designed to resemble the legendary American automobiles of the 1930s and '40s. Drivers range in age from 12 to 65+ years old. Bandolero racers may be as young as eight years old, and this style of racing bridges the gap between go karts and legends cars.
NHMS operates two series at the speedway as a part of U.S. Legend Cars International on the 1.6-mile road course in the MOAT Mountain Road Course Series and the Legend and Bandolero Divisions of the J&J's Yolk &Co. Oval Series on the 0.25-mile oval.