Category Archives: Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

Preece Continues Winning Ways With Bud 150 Crown

 Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park celebrated a 28 year tradition with the annual Bud 150, the third race of the Whelen Modified Tour at the track as the series hit the middle point of its season with a slim points lead on the line. The night say dramatic finishes and hard fought battles on Thompson’s famed oval, and a rising star of motorsports continued his streak of victories while local track racers worked to find some much needed success as the season approaches its final stretch.

Riding a high like few racers ever get to experience, Ryan Preece survived a battle of wits and strategy to conquer the Bud 150 at Thompson Speedway, his second consecutive victory and third in a month’s time after Preece also captured the checkered flag in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race in Iowa. The 150-lap feature came down to Preece and reigning champions Doug Coby after the two drivers pitted late in the event when Preece himself spun after apparent contact in turn two. The two drivers worked their way to the front in the last 25 laps, trading the lead several times before a last-lap duel was cut short when Coby blew a tire coming across the line for the white flag in his pursuit of Preece. Preece was awarded the victory, his fourth of the season on the Whelen Modified Tour, and said he was riding the momentum of his recent success in hopes of wracking up more victories to keep himself relevant in the sport he loves. “I’m riding the wave. I’ve got to keep winning races. My career depends on that. It’s the only way I’m going to stay relevant is by winning races, especially after the whole Iowa deal. It’s the only way I’m going to make a future for myself,” Preece told reporters after the win.

While there was debate among several drivers over the circumstances of Preece’s spinout, which some credited as “strategy” and other drivers wouldn’t comment on at all, Preece himself said that he received a nudge from behind and, after refusing to pit earlier in the event, his tires had fallen off too much at that point to keep the car stable.

Doug Coby was credited as the runner-up in the event after his crash froze the field coming across the line for the final lap. Ted Christopher and Timmy Solomito finished third and fourth and shared their thoughts after the race as well.

“I was a good run. We ran really good at Stafford and I knew we had something to build off of with that,” Christopher told reporters. “I think we were best in class because we wanted to do a late pit, but we were just too free in the beginning. It worked out for (Preece and Coby) and I knew it was going to be one of those two guys who got through.”

Points leader Timmy Solomito said he wants to ride the consistency into the rest of the season, hoping to keep a firm grip on his lead having only a slim ten-point advantage over Rowan Pennink, who captured the pole for the Bud 150 and finished seventh, following the race at Thompson.

“You have to race smart, but you have to race hard too. It’s still a long time to go in the season. You don’t want to put yourself in a position to get wiped out early and lose points,” Solomito said. “You’ve got to run hard, but you have to be smooth and you have to be there at the end. We’re focusing on the big picture right now.”

Before the Whelen Modified action the Sunoco Modifieds started off the night with an intense 30-lap feature that saw the points race tighten up and a familiar face return to the top of the leader board and to victory lane. Keith Rocco won the Sunoco race during the 2016 Bud 150 event and repeated the feat in 2017 with his second win of the season. Rocco outraced a hard charging Steve Masse in a bumper to bumper dash to the finish in the closing laps to take the victory and the points lead after Ryan Preece experienced mechanical issues early on in the event. Rocco benefited from a late caution that saw all three of the leaders at the time, Woody Pitkat, Ted Christopher, and Troy Talman, spin out of turn two. When the green waved once again Rocco took the lead and was practically pushed around the track by Masse until a last lap duel allowed Rocco to gain enough of a gap to win.

“Masse was pushing us pretty good down the straightaway, but to move to dive bomb somebody and make it stick is pretty tough. I think his car was too free to do that,” Rocco said of the battle for the lead in the closing laps. He added that he felt like his team finally caught a break in 2017 as the results allowed him to overtake Ryan Preece as Rocco continues his quest for a second straight Sunoco Modified title. Masse held on for a second place finish followed by Ted Christopher and Woody Pitkat, who recovered from their on-track incident, in third and fourth and Todd Owen in fifth.

The NorthEastern Midget Association (NEMA) Midgets were next up with yet another driver familiar to victory lane in Thompson taking the checkered flag. Randy Cabral continued his winning ways at the Big-T, adding to his impressive win total that makes him the winningest driver in the NEMA Midgets at Thompson. Cabral also claimed his second consecutive series win on the season and fended off a hard charging John Zych, Jr.in the closing laps to get the job done. “I had to keep my cool and keep going,” Cabral said. “It was awesome. I love this place.” The win wasn’t enough to put Cabral in the points lead for the season, but it closed up the tight battle for the championship lead going into the series’ next event at the Waterford Speedbowl on August 12. Kyle Hamilton, Jim Chambers, Mike Horn, and Bethany Stoehr rounded out the top five in the 25-lap feature.

The Limited Sportsman 20-lap feature ended in an emotional win for Brent Gleason. It was his second consecutive victory at the track making him the first two-time winner in the division in 2017. Gleason found himself up front for much of the event, even going side by side with Shawn Monahan for nearly a full lap before taking the lead for the final time and holding on for the checkered flag. Gleason dedicated the win to his father, who he admitted recently got some bad health news, and said he wasn’t going to let anyone but him cross the finish line first. “ I knew that my car was better on the long run – I’m just glad it’s over. It took so long,” Gleason said referencing a red flag that slowed the race during a multi-car incident on lap six. The win is Gleason’s second at Thompson since he had a win disqualified for an improper engine. Gleasons called his recent success vindicating. “I didn’t have much say over that motor, but when we rebuilt it I had the say. I told them exactly what I wanted in it and we rebuilt it and while it’s a little harder to drive it helps it handle better. We may not have the best stuff but we’re the best team, or at least we try to be.” Shawn Monahan held on for second followed by Al Stone, Steve Kenneway, and Troy Waterman.

The final events of the night saw points leader Wayne Burroughs, Jr. take yet another win on the season in the 15-lap Mini Stock feature.

Late Model finish is currently under review at press time.

Oval racing action returns to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Sunday, September 10 with the Sunoco 20/20 “For the Fans” event. The evening of racing will be the final opportunity for local racing division competitors to gain points, wins, or momentum as the season draws closer to the October World Series of Weekend where local champions and the Whelen Modified Tour champion will be crowned.

WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR BUD 150 FINISH TOP-10: 1. Ryan Preece (Berlin, CT); 2. Doug Coby (Milford, CT); 3. Ted Christopher (Plainville, CT); 4. Timmy Solomito (Islip, NY); 5. Bobby Santos (Franklin, MA); 6. Andrew Krause; 7. Rowan Pennink (Huntington Valley, PA); 8. Eric Goodale (Riverhead, NY); 9. John McKennedy (Chelmsford, MA); 10. Woody Pitkat (Sturbridge, MA)

SUNOCO MODIFIED FEATURE TOP-10: 1. Keith Rocco (Berlin, CT); 2. Steve Masse (Bellingham, MA); 3. Ted Christopher (Plainville, CT); 4. Woody Pitkat (Sturbridge, MA); 5. Todd Owen (Somers, CT); 6. Joey Gada (Uncasville, CT); 7. John Studley (Framingham, MA); 8. Matt Gallo (Kensington, CT); 9. Marcello Rufrano (North Haven, CT); 10. Kyler Cafro (Chaplin, CT)

NEMA MIDGETS FEATURE TOP-10: 1. Randy Cabral (Kingston MA); 2. Kyle Hamilton; 3. Jim Chambers (Atkinson, NH); 4. Mike Horn; 5. Bethany Stoehr (Bridgewater, MA); 6. Todd Bertrand (Danielson, CT); 7. Paul Scally (Raynham, MA); 8. John Zych, Jr. (Mendon, MA); 9. Doug Cleveland (Sudbury, MA);10. Alan Chambers (Atkinson, NH)

LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE TOP-10: 1. Brent Gleason (Griswold, CT); 2. Shawn Monahan (Waterford, CT); 3. Al Stone (Durham, CT); 4. Steve Kenneway (Lowell, MA); 5. Troy Waterman (Danielson, CT); 6. Meghan Fuller (Auburn, MA); 7. Jack Aquilina (Oakdale, CT); 8. Tommy Shea (New London, CT); 9. Hank Stott (Medway, MA); 10. Anthony Pandozzi

MINI STOCK FEATURE TOP-10: 1. Wayne Burroughs, Jr. (Oakdale, CT); 2. Nate Taylor (Brooklyn, CT); 3. Jacob Perry (Pawcatuck, CT); 4. Jared Roy (Sterling, CT); 5. Steve Michalski (Brooklyn, CT); 6. Eric Bourgeois (East Haddam, CT); 7. Doug Curry (Groton, CT); 8. Mike Anzalone (Plainfield, CT); 9. Ian Brew (Woodriver Junction, RI); 10. Mitch Bombard (Willimantic, CT)

Written by: Jason Bleau

Preece Charges Late at Thompson

By Kyle Souza, NASCARHomeTracks.com
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.

RACE RESULTS | RACE CENTRAL LIVE REPLAY

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour News & Notes: Thompson

 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)-923-2280taylor@thompsonspeedway.com
NASCAR IMC Contact: Jason Christley, (386)-547-2469jchristley@nascar.com

RACE CENTRAL LIVE: EVENT SCHEDULE & ENTRY LIST

FAST FACTS:

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.