CHARLESTOWN, N.H. – Car owner Wright Pearson has tabbed 1979 Oxford 250 winner Tommy Rosati to pilot one of his two entries during the Granite State Pro Stock Series season.
Rosati, who in addition to being an Oxford 250 winner also earned multiple pro stock titles in the Northeast, hasn’t raced competitively in 17 years.
Rosati has a history of success throughout New England, in just about every type of race car. He won multiple championships at both Riverside Park and Stafford Motor Speedway in pro stocks, and the record books will show numerous poles and a win in what is now known as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
The 1994 season so Rosati competed in 18 of the 20 NASCAR Busch North Series events aboard the Tic Tac-sponsored entry. He scored one win that year in addition to six top-five and 10 top-10 finishes, resulting in a ninth-place championship finish.
During his lengthy career he also ran modifieds, pro-four modifieds and made two starts in what is now the Xfinity Series.
In the summer of 2018 during a conversation with Tommy O’Sullivan, Pearson found out that Rosati had gotten the itch to race again. Weeks later, the team and driver got together for a test session at Monadnock Speedway. The test went so well that they agreed to return to the track for the 2018 JBH 100.
Unfortunately, due to a scheduling conflict, the plan was derailed but the seed had been planted.
Just before Thanksgiving Rosati called Pearson and told him, “I’m all in for whatever you want to do.”
Subsequent talks have led to a very busy season as Pearson has three cars and a fourth on the way to be run across three different series.
Throughout his career Rosati has had the opportunity to compete on most of the tracks that the Granite State Pro Stock Series visits.
“I really like Lee and Waterford. I think we should run really well everywhere we go, but those two are the ones I am most looking forward to,” Rosati said. “Speedway 51 is the only track I have never competed on, so I’m looking forward to to racing there.
“I think we can win two to three races and contend for the championship,” said Rosati.
Both Pearson and Rosati want to focus on the Granite State Pro Stock Series schedule, but have ambitious plans for 2019.
“We are going to focus on Granite State as long as things are going well,” said Pearson. “We want to have some fun and not tear up equipment and as long as that’s happening we will continue to chase the series championship.”
“This could be my last chance so it needs to be fun for everyone,” said Rosati. “When it stops being fun we will do something else.”
One of the details that pushed Rosati to make his return happen was the friendship between himself, Pearson and former car owner Tom O’Sullivan. In 1997 Rosati won the last of his championships at Stafford Motor Speedway driving a car fielded by O’Sullivan. On the crew during those years were Tom’s sons, Mike and Tommy. Tommy O’Sullivan has also driven a car for Pearson in the past and will step into the role of spotter for 2019.
These days its Mike O’Sullivan doing the driving for the family owned team and he looks forward to competing against his hero.
“I have the utmost respect for that guy,” said Mike O’Sullivan. “I watched him drive for my father when I was eight or nine.”
“When I started driving in late 1996 we had two cars. He’d follow me or I’d follow him and he’d talk to me on the radio for two or three laps at a time. Imagine the advantage of learning like that.”
Now the the two will be competitors, both with the same goal of winning the Granite State Pro Stock Series title. At the same time they will be pseudo teammates.
“I don’t have a whole lot of help. We’ll park with the O’Sullivans and some of Tommy’s (O’Sullivan) old guys are gonna help out,” Pearson said. “Also, I’m sure Mike’s guys will jump in if needed. Tommy asked me what would happen if we got a flat and I told him we would get it changed.
“My back is pretty screwed up so it might be tomorrow but we will get it changed,” Pearson joked.
Pearson also plans to run a second car in just short of half of the Granite State Pro Stock Series races. Brandon Barker will be doing the driving and his pit crew will help out when that car runs.
“I think the first race we will run both cars will be the Lee race in May,” said Pearson. “Brandon has a real good group so that will be a big help on the second car.”
The new pairing will make their debut together at Claremont Motorsports Park on May 3.