FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 12, 2018
Doucette, Buffington & Ruggiero Named 2018 NHMS Track Champions
More than 50 champions from this year’s Loudon Road Race Series, MOAT Mountain Road Course Series and J&J’s Yolk & Co. Oval Series were recognized at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord, N.H. on Saturday, November 10.
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LOUDON, N.H. – 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.