Category Archives: NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour

Preece Charges Late at Thompson

By Kyle Souza,
August 9, 2017 – 10:41pm

THOMPSON, Conn. — The wave of momentum for Ryan Preece continued on Wednesday night at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

Preece charged to the front of the 28th Annual Bud “King of Beers” 150 for his second straight NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory and fourth of the season.

The Berlin, Connecticut, driver passed defending champion Doug Coby with just 16 laps remaining en route to the win. In his last six Whelen Modified Tour starts, he has four wins, a second and a fourth. It was his 19th career tour victory.

“Doug put a lot more pressure on me at the end then I thought he was going too,” Preece said following his win. “I have to keep winning races. My career depends on that. We had a really good car tonight.”

Wednesday’s drive was filled with plenty of drama. While some of the top challengers pitted before the haflway point, Preece decided to wait things out and make a late pit stop for fresh rubber. However, on Lap 114, his No. 6 TS Haulers/Hoosier Tire of Calverton Chevrolet went spinning in Turn 2. Preece fired the car before going a lap down and pitted for tires two laps later.

From there, it was a hard charge to the front.

Preece worked his way into the top five and then passed leader Coby with just 16 laps remaining. While Preece showed the way for the final laps, Coby was not about to let him get away. However, on the final lap, Coby made contact with the Turn 1 wall. Coby was able to continue on and was scored as the runner-up as the race ended under caution. The yellow flag froze the field on the final lap, and NASCAR officials ruled Coby maintained a reasonable speed under caution given the track conditions.

Ted Christopher finished third, followed by Timmy Solomito and Bobby Santos.

Andrew Krause was sixth, followed by Rowan Pennink, Eric Goodale, Jon McKennedy and Woody Pitkat.

Solomito increased his championship points lead to 10 over Pennink, while Preece moved up to third — 19 back of Solomito — despite missing a race earlier in the season to get married. Coby and Goodale are each 11 points back of Preece.

The Bud “King of Beers” 150 will air on NBCSN on Thursday, Aug. 17 at 7 p.m.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track next Wednesday night at Bristol Motor Speedway with the running of the Bush’s Beans 150.


Whelen Modified News & Notes: Thompson

Photo: Michael Jaworecki Myracenews+

Tight Championship Battle As Second Half Gets Underway

By Kyle Souza,
August 7, 2017 –

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Eight races down, eight races to go on the 2017 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season.

And with the second half of the season set to get underway on Wednesday night at the Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, the championship battle is starting to heat up. The top seven drivers are seperated by just 38 points heading for Wednesday’s 28th annual Bud King of Beers 150. On the strength of three victories, Islip, New York driver Timmy Solomito enters the race with a seven point lead over Boelher Racing’s Rowan Pennink (310-303).

Solomito’s three victories behind the wheel of the No. 16 Starrett Tools Chevrolet came at three different tracks, and he was able to regain the title lead after Friday’s race at Stafford. Pennink, who has a top 10 finish in all but one race this season, is returning to Thompson with a win on the 0.625-mile, high-banks already in his pocket. He returned ‘Ole Blue’ to the winner’s circle in the Icebreaker on April 9.

Behind the top two are a pair of Long Island drivers with 285 points apiece. Eric Goodale enters the race quietly in third spot, just 25 points from the lead. Although the Riverhead, New York, driver hasn’t visited Victory Lane, he has five top 10 finishes. He is currently tied with Justin Bonsignore, who enters the race fourth in the standings coming off his best finish of the season, a third in Friday’s Stafford 150.

Ryan Preece enters the race fifth in the standings, 26 points from the top even though he missed the race at Virginia’s Langley Speedway. Four-time series champion Doug Coby is sixth, 32 points from the lead as he continues to try to dig out of a whole due to two straight finishes outside the top 10 to begin this season. Max Zachem rides seventh, 38 points from the lead as he continues to chase his first career win.

Race: Bud King of Beers 150
Place: Thompson (Conn.) Speedway
When: Wednesday, August 9
Time: 7:45 p.m. (approx.)
2016 Winner: Justin Bonsignore
2016 Polesitter: Doug Coby
Event Schedule: Garage Opens: 1:45 p.m., Practice: 3:55-4:55 p.m., Qualifying: 7 p.m., BUD 150: 7:45 p.m.
Track Twitter @ThompsonSpdwy
Event Hashtag #BUD150
Track Contact: Taylor Therrien, (860)-923-2280,
NASCAR IMC Contact: Jason Christley, (386)-547-2469,


The Race: The ninth race of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour points championship schedule will take place on Wednesday at the high-banks of Thompson (Conn.) Speedway Motorsports Park. The 28th annual Bud King of Beers 150 is the third of three appearances at the 0.625-mile oval this season. In the first two races, Rowan Pennink and Ryan Preece went to Victory Lane. The fourth and final appearance will take place on October 15, where the champion will be crowned.

The Procedure: The maximum starting field for the Bud 150 is 36 cars, per the entry blank. The first 30 positions will be awarded through the qualifying process, with six provisionals also available that would make up the 36 car field. The race is scheduled for 150 laps (93.75 miles).

The Track: The 0.625-mile banked asphalt oval opened back in 1940 as the only asphalt track in the country. The track has held 136 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races in its history – the most of any facility on the current schedule.

Race Winners: There have been 35 different tour drivers that have rolled into Thompson’s Victory Lane. Mike Stefanik leads all drivers with 15 career wins, while Ted Christopher leads all active drivers with 13 career wins at Thompson. Doug Coby, Justin Bonsignore and Bobby Santos III are second on the list of all active drivers with five wins each.

Pole Winners: There are 46 drivers who have a Coors Light Pole Award at Thompson. Doug Coby and Ted Christopher are tied and lead all active drivers with seven career poles on the high-banks.

BUD 150 Notes:

Quick Turnaround: Wednesday’s Bud 150 marks the first and only time there will be two races in five days on the 2017 schedule. Last Friday, Ryan Preece made a late charge to score the victory in the Stafford 150 at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway. Teams will have just four days to prepare their cars for Wednesday’s Bud 150 and the short preparation time will be a true test for the teams. They won’t have long to work following Wednesday, either. The annual stop at Bristol Motor Speedway comes just one week later on August 16.

Band Is Back For Bonsignore: Following the July 15 event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway,  Bonsignore and his team decided to make a change. They received an opportunity to bring back crew chief Billy Michael, who had resigned from the team following the 2016 season. At Stafford, Bonsignore seemed to have some of the speed he did at the end of last season and came home with a solid third-place finish. Since the band is back together, Bonsignore’s confidence will be flowing as the series heads to Thompson on Wednesday night. The No. 51 won both races to close the season Thompson last season, including the Bud 150. Bonsignore led 77 laps in route to the win in this race in 2016.

Preece Is Rolling: It’s hard to explain the roll that Berlin, Connecticut driver Ryan Preece is on. Over the last two months, Preece has two Whelen Modified Tour victories in four races and also added a NASCAR XFINITY Series win to his resume at Iowa Speedway. He enters Wednesday’s Bud 150 sitting fifth in the championship standings even though he missed a race at Langley on May 13. He will also miss the second stop at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 23 to compete for Joe Gibbs Racing at Kentucky Speedway. Even though Preece’s driver’s title chances may be falling to the wayside, the chances for to win the owner’s championship are strong. As of now, the Ed Partridge-owned No. 6 is in the lead of the owner standings in a tie with the Eric Sanderson-owned No. 16.

New Ride For Pitkat: Last Friday’s Stafford 150 marked a one-time deal for Woody Pitkat behind the wheel of the Tommy Baldwin Racing No. 7. When the checkered flag flew, Pitkat came home with an 18th place finish because of a crash. Wednesday at Thompson, he will unload with a brand new team behind him. Pitkat has come together with his former SK Modified team owner Steve Greer and current Tour-Type Modified team owner Dan Stebbins. Pitkat will carry the No. 52 on the side for Wednesday night’s Bud 150 and will be looking to capture his first top five finish of the season. Entering the race, he has a best of eighth twice so far this year.

Home Tracks: Sunoco Modifieds In Action

Heading into Wednesday’s Bud 150, Ryan Preece holds a 13 point advantage in the Sunoco Modified point standings over Keith Rocco. In the track’s Division II Late Models, Ray Parent holds a 14 point lead over former champion Rick Gentes. Both the Limited Sportsman and Mini Stock divisions also have close championship battles with just three races remanining on the schedule.

Preece Continues To Roll At Stafford

Photo :Omar Rawlings/NASCAR

Late Pass Of Coby Nets Third NASCAR Whelen Modified Win of Season

 STAFFORD, Conn. (Aug. 4, 2017) – Ryan Preece has been nearly unbeatable of late when he straps behind the wheel of a race car.

Last weekend, Preece scored his first career NASCAR XFINITY Series victory at Iowa Speedway. He marked his return to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Friday at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway with another trip to Victory Lane in the Stafford 150.

The Berlin, Connecticut, driver took the lead from four-time tour champion Doug Coby on a Lap 148 restart and didn’t look back. The win was the 18th career in Whelen Modified Tour action for Preece and also his seventh at the half-mile Stafford. He won the NAPA Spring Sizzler at the track on April 30.

“I would have liked the restarts lane to go more my way, but we had a really good car tonight,” said Preece, who started in the back after having his qualifying lap disallowed for failing post-qualifying technical inspection. “It was tough to have to start in the back, but my car was in the track all day. We’ve just had a great car all year long. I enjoy doing this. I enjoy showing up and knowing what I have and being successful.”

Preece’s No. 6 TS Hauler Chevrolet crossed the the finish line 0.302 seconds ahead of Coby, while Justin Bonsignore followed in third.

Although it looked like Coby was en route to winning for the 11th time at Stafford after leading 135 laps, a few late caution flags allowed the rest of the field to close to his back bumper. After a multiple car crash on the frontstretch on lap 144, Preece got his chance at Coby, lining up to his outside on a restart with just two laps remaining. When the green flag flew, Preece used the outside lane and powered around Coby going into turn one. He never looked back.

“I think the biggest thing was I had a better left-rear tire to fire (on the restart),” Preece said. “Having both fresher rear tires helped me be able to get in front of him and have the right line going into turn one.”

Timmy Solomito took the championship points lead with a fourth-place finish, while Jon McKennedy completed the top five.

Rob Summers was sixth, followed by Dave Sapienza, Craig Lutz, Gary Putnam and Matt Swanson. Rowan Pennink, who held the points lead coming into the event, finished 17th and is seven points behind Solomito. Preece is fifth in points, one behind Eric Goodale and Bonsignore and 26 back of Solomito.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to action on Wednesday night, with the running of the Bud 150 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. From there, the series will visit Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday, August 16.


NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour-Stafford 150 Results


At Stafford Motor Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT

Lap length: 0.5 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

  1. (27) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Chevrolet, 150 laps, 61.114 mph.
  2. (2) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
  3. (6) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, NY, Chevrolet, 150.
  4. (10) Timmy Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Ford, 150.
  5. (28) Jon McKennedy, Chelmsford, Mass., Chevrolet, 150.
  6. (20) Rob Summers, Manchester, CT, Chevrolet, 150.
  7. (14) Dave Sapienza, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150.
  8. (1) Craig Lutz, Miller Place, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150.
  9. (17) Gary Putnam, Vernon, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
  10. (19) Matt Swanson, Acton, Mass., Ford, 150.
  11. (13) Bobby Santos, Franklin, Mass., Chevrolet, 150.
  12. (18) Andrew Krause, Holmdel, N.J., Chevrolet, 150.
  13. (15) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150.
  14. (25) Walter Sutcliffe Jr., East Haven, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
  15. (7) Ronnie Williams, Ellington, Conn., Chevrolet, 148.
  16. (22) Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Chevrolet, 148.
  17. (9) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 146, fuel   .
  18. (11) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Chevrolet, 144, accident.
  19. (5) Max Zachem, Preston, Conn., Chevrolet, 144.
  20. (3) Brendon Bock, Franklin Square, N.Y., Chevrolet, 141, accident.
  21. (21) Calvin Carroll, Newton, N.J., Chevrolet, 119.
  22. (4) Shawn Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Chevrolet, 111, accident.
  23. (16) CJ Lehmann, Shirley, Pa., Chevrolet, 105, accident.
  24. (8) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn., Chevrolet, 54, overheating.
  25. (26) Wade Cole, Hartland, Conn., Chevrolet, 44, accident.
  26. (12) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 37, accident.
  27. (23) Dave Salzarulo, Monson, Mass., Chevrolet, 26, mechanical.
  28. (24) Melissa Fifield, Wakefield, N.H., Chevrolet, 21, power steering.

Race Statistics

Time of Race: 1 hour 13 minutes 38 seconds

Margin of Victory: 0.302 seconds

Caution Flags: 9 for 43 laps.

Lead Changes: 15 among 5 drivers.

Lap Leaders: D. Coby 1-54; J. Bonsignore 55; D. Coby 56-62; R. Preece 63; D. Coby 64-66;

  1. Solomito 67; D. Coby 68-102; T. Solomito 103; J. McKennedy 104; T. Solomito 105-109;
  2. Coby 110-114; T. Solomito 115; D. Coby 116-143; R. Preece 144; D. Coby 145-147; R.

Preece 148-150.

Standings: 1. T. Solomito, 310; 2. R. Pennink, 303; 3. E. Goodale, 285; 4. J. Bonsignore,

285; 5. R. Preece, 284; 6. D. Coby, 278; 7. M. Zachem, 272; 8. D. Sapienza, 261; 9. R.

Summers, 249; 10. W. Pitkat, 249.