(THOMPSON, CT) – A familiar name returned to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Saturday, July 9 in the Sunoco Modified division. Renee Dupuis was back behind the wheel on the track she calls home for the first time in five years, in the #90 car, owned by Ed Bennett. She has run with Ed Bennett and his team for years, last racing on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in the very same chassis that she raced at Thompson less than two weeks ago. Although disappointed that the race was postponed due to weather, the team is looking forward to finishing up the last half of the season strong.
In her years racing on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Dupuis broke records for women, and made a name for herself, in one of the top NASCAR touring divisions in the country. She is still the highest qualifying and finishing female driver in the 30+ year series (both North and South Modified Tours) history. She has also made an effort to work with young women drivers and help them excel in motorsports, working with Lyn St. James’ Women in the Winner’s Circle program.
Dupuis has always had racing in her blood, with her father giving up his own successful career racing at Stafford Motor Speedway, to help Renee and her brother, Jason, pursue their own racing efforts. Her brother still supports her as crew chief for her car and she credits her success to some advice he gave her when she was first starting out. “Who cares if you’re a girl? If you want to do this, get involved.” Since then, she has dedicated herself to learning everything there is to working on the car, from adjusting the shocks and springs, to fabricating parts.
Like many drivers at Thompson, Dupuis started off racing a Quarter Midget at the Little T when she was 5. Although she admits she probably wouldn’t have been into racing without her parents introducing her to it, racing quickly grew into a lifelong passion for her. Dupuis continued racing at the Little T until she was 14, and then moved into the Pro 4 Modifieds at Riverside Park Speedway following her family’s passion for open-wheel cars. Prior to their closing, Renee became the first and only female in Riverside’s 51-year history to record a NASCAR Modified feature event victory.
Dupuis hopes that racing in the Sunoco Modified division at Thompson Speedway, will help provide a positive role model for other young women who are looking to race. “If women are racing, I want to see them do well. To show that they have what it takes to be out there.” As the only woman racing this season on the oval at Thompson, and the first since 2014 to compete in Thompson’s premier open-wheel division, Dupuis is out to prove that she and her team have what it takes to do well.
Renee Dupuis will be racing the #90 Ed Bennett Properties/Space Filters car next at the 3rd Annual Sunoco Modified 20/20 Sprint on Wednesday, July 27 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. The Late Models, Xtra Mart Limited Sportsman, Mini Stock and Lite Modified divisions will also be competing at next Wednesday’s event. Gates open at 4:30 PM and qualifying races will begin at 6:30 PM.
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