Category Archives: NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour

THOMPSON GEARED UP FOR SUNOCO WORLD SERIES WEEKEND

By Kyle Souza, for Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

THOMPSON, Conn. – Few events in New England can match the anticipation that the 56th annual Sunoco World Series has each year. With Modifieds, Super Late Models, Sportsman, Mini Stocks, Midgets and everything in between scheduled to compete throughout the three-day weekend, fans will have the opportunity to catch their favorite division in action on the Thompson high-banks.

And the wait is almost over.

The event kicks-off next Friday, October 12, and will go through Sunday, October 14, with action on the track at just about every time of the day. And, when there are not cars on the track, it’s likely fans will find themselves in the middle of a celebration somewhere on the campgrounds — where fans flock together to celebrate the end of the racing season on the high-banks.

“I’ve been going to the World Series since I was a little kid,” Whelen Modified Tour driver Matt Swanson said. “My dad used to own Super Late Models, and we used to go every year. It’s just really cool to be a part of the weekend as a driver, and see all the fans that come out just to see this one event. All of the people come from all over the country just to go to the World Series.”

Friday’s action will give fans the opportunity watch the starts of the present, and the stars and cars of recent memory both compete on the same night. STAR, the Senior Tour Auto Racers, visit many tracks in New England each year and keep racing’s memories alive. They will be on the track Friday for two, 12-lap main events, but they aren’t the only division that will open the festivities. The Open Vintage Modifieds, another division that keeps racing’s history alive, will also compete.

The NASCAR Whelen All American Series is well recognized across the United States, and Thompson’s own Late Models will begin feature racing for the weekend with a 25-lap event that will decide the 2018 champion. Nick Johnson enters the race just four points up on most recent winner Tom Carey III, while William Wall, a former champion, is third, 19 points back. With the addition of the American Canadian Tour on Saturday in recent years, the Whelen All American Series Late Models have moved to Friday to give drivers the opportunity to be prepared for both races and fans the chance to see locals battle invading stars.

Quite possibly the headliner for Friday night is the Granite State Pro Stock Series, a division that will come in hot in the middle of their championship chase. The car counts have grown over the last few years, and the Pro Stock touring division always brings some of the top Super Late Model talent from across New England to the 0.625-mile oval. Last year, Derek Ramstrom, a former track regular as part of the Thursday Thunder Series, went to Victory Lane in the 50-lap event. The Lite Modifieds, a division that showcases the upcoming modified talent at Thompson, will be in action as well Friday night.

MODIFIEDS, MIDGETS, LATE MODELS & MORE HEADLINE SATURDAY

 Saturday has practice and qualifying for all divisions that didn’t compete on Friday, and the variety of different cars that will hit the track hits an all-time high this season. The NEMA Midgets enter the Sunoco World Series in the middle of their title fight, while the winged-warriors will be putting everything on the line at full speed through the banking of Thompson’s oval. When the NEMA Midgets come to town, fans always expect high-speed action.

The American Canadian Tour, a well-established Late Model touring series in New England and Canada, is back again as the headliner for Saturday night. Much like NEMA, the ACT Tour brings their championship battle to World Series weekend for a 75-lap event that will put invading stars up against track regulars. There is truly nothing like local experience, and with stars of the NASCAR Whelen All American Series ready to give ACT Tour regulars a run for their money, the 75-lap event is guaranteed to be a fan favorite.

In the touring series category, multiple New England divisions will flock to the high-banks for action on Saturday night. The Street Stock Showdown Series, North East Mini Stock Tour and the Exit Realty Pro Truck Challenge are all on the schedule this season, giving fans plenty of variety for the value of their general admission ticket. Drivers will flock to Thompson all the way from Maine and further, to compete.

Modifieds also fill Friday night, with the Pro 4 Modified division back once again this season, along with the co-headliner for the night, the Valenti Modified Racing Series. A division that is still going strong more than a decade after beginning, the VMRS races at Thompson are another showcase example of regulars up against invading stars. Even though Thompson doesn’t run Tour-Type Modifieds on a regular basis, most of the drivers in the field have some background at Thompson, whether it be in the Sunoco Modifieds or NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

“When you’re leaving to go home on Saturday night and you see all the fans in the parking lot, they’re out there having a good time,” Swanson said. “It’s really cool to see how many people come out just to see this one event.”

Though Saturday will roll late into the night, fans won’t be sleeping much before they are back in the stands. Sunday, action gets underway right at noon with the winged-warriors of the ISMA Super Modifieds tuning up their rides for action. Following pre-race ceremonies, the Sunoco Modifieds kick-off their battle with the championship event for the Whelen All American Series division. Keith Rocco enters the weekend looking to seal another championship, and it won’t take him much – since he enters with a 48-point lead, he will just about seal it by just taking the green. The veteran modified racer will look to add to his already impressive resume.

Rocco has challengers like Troy Talman, Kyle James, Woody Pitkat and NASCAR’s UNOH Youth Achievement National Champion Marcello Rufrano ready to breathe down his neck chasing the checkered flag.

Fans will find themselves on the edge of their seats with the 20-lap Limited Sportsman division feature race. While the Sportsman provide some of the best short-track action in New England, the division is known for battles that bring the race for the win down to the final corner, and sometimes, down to the final few feet. Shawn Monahan, who leads by 43 points entering the weekend, is looking to seal his second straight crown.

The warriors of ISMA come into the weekend ready to go full throttle, giving fans another open-wheel winged division to watch. At full speed, midgets flying around Thompson through the high-banks are certainly going to be a site for every fan to see. Following ISMA, another winged division, the NEMA Lites, will compete in a 20-lap event.

The weekend comes to a close with the annual Sunoco World Series 150 for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, the 16th and final race of their season. Although Justin Bonsignore has already sealed the championship entering the finale, he will be looking for the clean sweep of Thompson’s 2018 events. With the largest car count of the season expected, and pit strategy playing a major factor in the winner, fans are not going to want to leave early.

Over the course of three days, the annual breakfast buffet and prime rib dinner will be available in the clubhouse, another part of the weekend fans won’t want to miss. Thompson’s concession stands will also be open for the entire weekend.

After all that, if fans aren’t quite ready to leave, campers are allowed to stay on property until 2 p.m. on Monday afternoon.

Fans can enter the paddock area for $75, which is one price for all three days. Any fans that wish to enter the grandstands can do so with a general admission ticket at $55, while seniors (65+), veterans and active duty military members can enter at a price of $50. As always, any children under the age of 12 are free.

Camping is also available for the weekend. Fans can catch-up with the latest World Series information by visiting www.thompsonspeedway.com, where you can find the full schedule. Follow the track on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates.

Stafford Speedway NAPA Fall Final 150 entry list

      NBR Driver Owner Car Crew Cheif
1 01   Melissa Fifield   Kenneth Fifield Chevrolet   Kenneth Fifield   Truck Stop Northeast
2 1   Burt Myers   Eddie Harvey Chevrolet   Eddie Harvey   Dunleavy Truck and Trailer
3 2   Doug Coby   Mike Smeriglio III Chevrolet   Phil Moran   Mayhew Tools
4 3   Matt Swanson   Jan Boehler Chevrolet   Greg Fournier   Starrett / Mosquito Free
5 7   Jon McKennedy   Tommy Baldwin Chevrolet   Glenn Dixon   Accell Construction
6 14   Blake Barney   Richard Barney Chevrolet   Robert Barney   Atlantic Sprinkler
7 15   Chase Dowling   Rob Fuller Chevrolet   Steven Kopcik   15-40 Connection / S&S Paving
8 16   Timmy Solomito   Eric Sanderson Ford   Stanley Szaban   Starrett
9 18   Ken Heagy   Robert Pollifrone Ford   Desmond Gorman   Buoy One Seafood
10 20   Max Zachem   Ken Zachem Chevrolet   Timothy Armbruster   Lu-Mac?s / Spafco
11 21   Ronnie Williams   Joseph Bertuccio Chevrolet   Michael Bologna   Empower Financial
12 22   Kyle Bonsignore   Kyle Bonsignore Chevrolet   Bobby Foley   Chalew Performance
13 24   Andrew Krause   Diane Krause Toyota   John Cooke   Supreme Mfg
14 25   Calvin Carroll   Joe Carroll Chevrolet   Joe Carroll   Power With Prestige / Cruising With Betty
15 26   Gary McDonald   Sean McDonald Chevrolet   Gary McDonald   Lakeland Landscaping Supply / TRC Electric
16 33   Wade Cole   Wade Cole Chevrolet   Richard Rodenbaugh   Performance Engines / Kendal Oil
17 35   Andrew Molleur   Mike Molleur Ford   Rob Fuller   Racechoice.com
18 36   Dave Sapienza   Judy Thilberg Chevrolet   Tommy Grasso   DSR Racing
19 38   Dave Salzarulo   Richard Rodenbaugh Chevrolet   Robert Bourne   Performance Engines / Kendal Oil
20 44   Bobby Santos III   Sully Tinio Chevrolet   Bob Santos   Sully Tinio / Olivas Market
21 46   Craig Lutz   Russell Goodale Chevrolet   Douglas Ogiejko   Riverhead Building Supply
22 51   Justin Bonsignore   Kenneth Massa Chevrolet   Ryan Stone   Phoenix Communications Inc.
23 54   Tommy Catalano   Amy Catalano Chevrolet   Dave Catalano   Catalano Motorsports
24 58   Eric Goodale   Edgar Goodale Chevrolet   Jason Shephard   GAF Roofing
25 64   Rob Summers   Mike Murphy Chevrolet   Steve Lemay   Hoosier Tire East / FastTrack Electrical
26 75   Chris Pasteryak   Charles Pasteryak Chevrolet   Nick Walsh   Dawley’s Collision & Custom
27 76   Jimmy Blewett   John Blewett Sr. Chevrolet   Rob Ormsbee   Starrett
28 78   Walter Sutcliffe, Jr.   Steven Sutcliffe Chevrolet   Kevin Anderson   Last Minute Racing
29 82   Woody Pitkat   Pamela Hulse Chevrolet   Jarod Zeltmann   Horton Ave. Materials
30 85   Ron Silk   Kevin Stuart Chevrolet   Kenny Stuart   Stuart Automotive
31 89   TBA   John Swanson Ford   John Swanson   Starrett Tools
32 92   Anthony Nocella   Anthony Nocella Chevrolet   Steve Murphy   Nocella Paving / Airgas / A&D Associates

MUSKET 250 DEEMED A HUGE SUCCESS WITH $25,000 IN LAP MONEY PAID OUT

CONCORD, NC- The inaugural “Musket 250” event for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour on Saturday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway even proved to doubters that NASCAR’s oldest division can still bring race fans some of the best competition in the world, especially in a long distance event.
    Five drivers benefited from the lap money program, which was a grass roots effort spearheaded by Modified Promotions founder Craig Gabriele, assisted by Kevin Rice and the originator of lap sponsorships for Modified drivers, Marilyn Toal. Each of the 250 laps paid the race leader $100, totaling an additional $25,000 which added to a total purse that was the largest ever paid in the 33 year history of the NWMT.
    Race winner Chase Dowling and his car owner Rob Fuller earned an approximate total payday of $31,500 which included $5,400 in lap money. Justin Bonsignore may have lost the lead on the final lap, but he collected a race high $7,700 in just lap money alone for his efforts.
    Ryan Preece earned $6,500 in lap money for car owner Gary Putnam, while Ron Silk pocketed $4,100 for his car owner, Kevin Stuart, and Bobby Santos earned $1,300 in lap leader bonuses in the Sully Tinio car before retiring early from the historic event with mechanical problems.
    The lap money raised was made possible by several businesses and individuals. At the top of that list is F.K. Bearangs and Rod Ends of Southington, Conn., who generously sponsored an event high 20 laps. They sell custom engineered bearings and related products, and are heavily involved in the motorsports industry. Check out www.fkrodends.com for more on their product line and to thank them for supporting the NWMT.
    Many other businesses also supported the event by sponsoring at least five laps. Included in that list was Rockingham Boat of Hampstead, N.H., Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer Repair, All Source of New England, Anytime Realty, Exit Realty, Riverhead Raceway and Phoenix Communications
    Additional gold level sponsorship was provided by A&J Romano Construction, builders of custom homes out of Stamford, Conn., Florida Connection Racing, Anytime Realty, Exit Realty, Hoosier Tire East, Kaloutas Painting, Worldband IT Consulting, Starrett Tools, MS3 Racing, University of Northwestern Ohio, and Lajoie’s Auto and Scrap recycling of Norwalk, Conn.
    On the heels of an inaugural event that was more successful both on the race track, and with a larger than expected number of campers and race fans, New Hampshire Motor Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager David McGrath quickly confirmed that the Modifieds would be back next September as the headline event for the 2nd annual “Full Throttle Fall Weekend” at the Loudon, N.H. track.
    “Oh heavens yes,” McGrath stated when asked if the Modifieds would return. “That’s the anchor. You can count on it. We were all pleasantly surprised with the number of campers, and we hope to grow that. I think that the crowd was very strong.”
    With that confirmation, Gabriele also confirmed that he fully intends to invest his time in creating more lap money bonuses for the 2019 event as well, even going as far to say that he hopes to do even more.
    “”I want to do more. I want to do the lap money, but I want to try and do some other things. Maybe something for tenth place, or fifteenth. I can tell you now the lap money is going to happen. As soon as I get home and catch my breath from this wonderful event and thank those who supported it this year, I’m going to start right in.
    “This race was better than the Race of Champions at Pocono (PA). I couldn’t have scripted it any better. The whole last ten laps, every fan was on their feet. I thought the 250 was a good lap number and the pit strategy was wonderful. Everybody handled themselves excellent.”
    Modified promotions would like to thank each and every lap sponsor for their generosity and belief that making this event that much better by sponsoring a lap, and helping make every lap count, as confirmed by race winning car owner Rob Fuller immediately following the event.
    “You know something- it’s funny,” Fuller smiled. “We kind of came together as a group. We wanted to decide. Do we want to push the 51 or do we want to lead the 51 to get lap money? When I told the guys we were going to split the lap money, they all wanted to lead the 51.
    “It was an unbelievable thing that everybody did to raise that extra money. I want to thank everybody that got involved in that program. It just shows the depth in the community that is formed around the NASCAR Modified Tour, which is why I love being a part of it.”
    Information will be forthcoming within days, on how those who sponsored laps in the inaugural event can continue that support, and also how others can become a part of what is sure to be an even bigger and better “Musket 250” in 2019.
Photo:Michael Jaworecki Myracenews