Mike O’Sullivan Looking For Win With Granite State Pro Stocks At Stafford

(Press Release from Granite State Pro Stock Series)

Mike O’Sullivan (Photo: Tom Morris Racing Photography/GSPSS)

When you mention Stafford Motor Speedway to Mike O’Sullivan, it feels like home. The Massachusetts native, and two-time Granite State Pro Stock Series champion, is one of more than 25 registered drivers as the series gets ready for their debut at the half-mile on Saturday, April 24, as part of the NAPA Spring Sizzler weekend. The Casagrande Builders 75 is the headliner of the Saturday show to open another season at the Connecticut oval.

“Very excited to race at Stafford,” O’Sullivan said. “When I was a kid, I grew up going to the track and watching the Modifieds, that’s how we started racing. I got my start at Stafford. It’s a 20-minute ride from my house. If I want to take my kids to the track, that’s where we go. I have family that races at Stafford every Monday in the Kart divisions… it’s right in the backyard. Stafford is where I started driving, got my first win…. everything revolved around there.”

O’Sullivan’s career as a weekly racing series competitor at Stafford started with limited starts in 1996, but it was in 1997 when the real racing started. O’Sullivan scored his first career win that year, en route to the Rookie of the Year honors in Stafford’s Pro Stock division. He would score three more victories over the next four years, before deciding it was time to go touring series racing.

He is hoping some of his experience at the half-mile will help him contend for the victory against a stout Pro Stock field. O’Sullivan was one of a handful of competitors that decided to take advantage of a pre-season practice session at Stafford on April 17, but wasn’t thrilled with the way his car handled. He is hoping they can do a bit more homework and show up to the race day with some more speed.

“I thought I was a little bit disappointed, we had some ideas on what we thought it was going to be like, but the drivers definitely run the track a bit different as it has progressed over the years,” O’Sullivan said. “We used to run up higher on the track, not as much on the apron. But I talked to Doug Coby and I changed my line a bit, and I said OK, it’s like opening the file cabinet again, I remember this. I used to get through turns one and two well and struggle in three and four, but now it’s like the opposite. I’m a competitive driver and I put a lot of pressure on myself.”

After a full day of practice, O’Sullivan and his team have just about five days of preparation ahead of the Casagrande Builders 75, and they are going to take advantage of the time and improve their speed going into what he thinks is going to be a difficult race. And, based on the entry list, he’s spot on. 

Names like former Granite State Pro Stock Series champions Joey Polewarczyk, Derek Griffith, Joey Doiron and Devin O’Connell will be joined by multiple-time Stafford champions Keith Rocco and Tom Fearn on the entry list. Additional names include multiple-time Seekonk Speedway champion David Darling, DJ Shaw, Stafford veteran Cory Casagrande, Angelo Belsito, Eddie MacDonald, Bryan Kruczek and defending GSPSS Rookie of the Year Casey Call. And that only scratches the surface.

“My track experience should be helpful with passing, traffic, restarts… even if you just sit there and watch racing at a track where other guys don’t have many laps, you have an idea and I have experience there,” O’Sullivan said. “But touring series drivers are just good drivers. They will figure it out quickly. You have guys that have run there a lot before, some that haven’t, former champions… probably the top-10 guys at any given time will have a lot of championships between them, somewhere in their career. They seem to close the gap on new tracks quickly. I don’t expect to have too much of an advantage. I have too much respect for how good this field will be.”

He’s hoping some offseason homework and additional preparation, including assistance from the team at Complete Chassis Solutions, will help steer him towards Victory Lane. Without the support of Tom O’Sullivan & Sons Welding, Rosati Trucking, Teddy Bear Pools, CERIC Fabrication and many others, including his crew and family, O’Sullivan wouldn’t be heading to Stafford with a chance to open the season in Victory Lane.

“As much as I enjoy driving, I love the mechanical part of the car just as much,” O’Sullivan said. “I have all of the confidence in the world that we will come up with something that works. We did our homework over the winter and tried to make things better. I know the field is strong. It all starts with track position and having speed in your car… I’m optimistic about it. You have to have everything together and be prepared as you can be when you head to the track.” 

O’Sullivan and the remainder of the Granite State Pro Stock Series field will be competing in the Casagrande Builders 75 on Saturday, April 24. They will be joined by the stars of Stafford’s SK Modifieds, Late Models, Limited Late Models and Street Stocks to complete a full card of racing. A limited amount of tickets are still available by visiting staffordspeedway.com/tickets. Stafford remains at a limited capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions in place by the state of Connecticut.

Practice begins at 11 a.m., followed by GSPSS time trials at 1:30 p.m. Qualifying and feature racing for the Casagrande Builders 75 will follow. For more information on the Granite State Pro Stock Series, visit gspss.net and follow the series on social media. For more information on Stafford Motor Speedway, visit StaffordMotorSpeedway.com and follow on social media.


  1. Here we go again with mother nature weighing in with a split decision on weather affecting a racing event.
    There is no poll but there could be one here. Do you think Stafford will call an audible like Michaud & Mayberry and move the entire weekend program to what is looking like a perfect day Saturday?
    Why not, it’s shown to be a viable alternative if managed correctly and Stafford certainly manages well. Few complaints about the long day at Thompson from fans, teams or management. Weather Sunday looks miserable and will no doubt suppress attendance.
    Nope it will never happen in my view. First it’s 50% capacity and most of the tickets have been pre sold. It’s a NASCAR event so more cooks in the kitchen complicate the decision. It’s Stafford and NASCAR neither of whom are known to stray very often from the established game plan. TTOMS opens next week at Monadnock but Sunday is available. Maybe Saturday as well since NASCAR has shown no aversion to schedule against other series events.
    I’m thinking Saturdays racing will be awesome and next weekend if mother nature cooperates extremely busy.

  2. Doug,
    I don’t think replicating what Thompson did for the Icebreaker weekend is an option here. Remember with the Thompson show the bulk of what was taking place there was controlled in house by the promoters putting on the show. There were also no double-up divisions between their two days of competition. At Stafford the 800-pound gorilla in the room is the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. I can’t ever remember a Whelen Modified Tour event being moved up a day for a weather forecast. Lots of variables there for them, I’d imagine the biggest being the TV production stuff for NBC Track Pass. Also, you have 40-lap SK Modified features on the schedule for both Saturday and Sunday. I’d say it’s quite a bit of pressure on those guys to run on back-to-back days, much less asking them to do two features in one day. I typically try not to look at weather until at least five days out, but that forecast for Sunday definitely seems to be trending in the wrong direction. My guess is if Sunday gets washed out the Sunday card goes to Saturday May 1 with a Sunday May 2 rain date. If that happens I also wouldn’t be shocked to see the Tri-Track Open Modified Series postpone their May 1 event at Monadnock Speedway.

  3. Iagree with Shaun’s thoughts on moving the Sunday portion of the Sizzler to Saturday. It not going to happen for the reasons he stated. Honestly, I think Nascar would very much like to schedule over the Tri track Monadnock race the following Saturday. They love proving they are still the big dog in the yard and enjoy making the other series change their schedule to accommodate them. With a good portion of the tickets already sold through pre sale the fans are locked into the Spring Sizzler for whenever they chose to run it. So it will be up to Tri track and Monadnock to adjust their schedule or risk a short car and crowd count should Nascar decide to run against Tri track at Monadnock.

  4. I counted 29 cars on the entry list for GPSS at Stafford, Should be a good one


  5. Stuart A Fearn says

    First Friday after the Sizzler is open as well, no scheduled races at all so that is an option I would imagine.
    FYI in case the fans didn’t know, that was a scheduled one week off after the double weekend before the regular friday night shows started

  6. Also Thompson was a three day event with a practice day on Friday so the teams would not be hurt by the limited practice on Saturday. There is no Friday practice, there would be little to no practice on Saturday with all divisions running.

  7. Tweet came out today that raindate will be next friday.

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