THOMPSON, Conn. – Mike O’Sullivan held off Larry Gelinas and Jeff Connors to pick up his third win in the Granite State Pro Stock Series Sunday afternoon during the Icebreaker at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
Wayne Helliwell Jr. assumed the lead at the start of the event, pulling away from Keith Caruso in the early stages. O’Sullivan, Gelinas and Connors sat single file in pursuit of Helliwell, who was amongst the fastest cars all weekend. Helliwell’s day would turn sour as the two-time defending American Canadian Tour late-model champion blew a right front tire in turn one and came to rest on the top of turn three, bringing out the first caution of the day.
On the restart O’Sullivan jumped to the lead, leaving Connors and Gelinas to try and hunt him down. A great battle ensued behind him as Dillon Moltz and Brad Babb swapped the fourth position multiple times while Matt Frahm watched from the sixth spot. Outside polesitter Caruso and Ron Smith made contact in the middle of turns three and four, bringing out the second caution of the day.
O’Sullivan would hold the lead on the restart. Behind him Connors found himself wrestling his race car, allowing veteran Gelinas to take advantage and grab the second spot in the closing laps. However neither driver could reel in O’Sullivan as the Flamingo Motorsports Chevrolet cruised to the line for the victory.
“Flawless race car from top to bottom. I knew I could race Jeff on the short run, but he was a little better on the longer run,” O’Sullivan said. “When the second caution came out, I knew if I could hustle out front for the first few laps and cut the distance in half before he started to catch me, I knew I’d be alright.”
Gelinas ended his double-duty weekend with a second-place finish. Gelinas was involved in a caution earlier in the day in the late-model division, a weekly class at Thompson.
“I tried to save a bit throughout the race and hope for some cautions and see what happened,” Gelinas stated. “A top three finish is pretty good because we are a low-buck team, so I’m happy with second.”
Connors’ return behind the wheel after a few year hiatus was a successful one with his third-place finish.
“Cautions hurt us. If we didn’t have the cautions, I was good reeling him in and I was just waiting,” said Connors. “Unfortunately, the car tightened up on me that last caution.”
Brad Babb would win the battle for the fourth spot, with Dillon Moltz taking fifth.