Category Archives: Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

Whelen Modified News & Notes: Thompson

Photo: Michael Jaworecki Myracenews+

Tight Championship Battle As Second Half Gets Underway

By Kyle Souza, NASCARHomeTracks.com
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, taylor@thompsonspeedway.com
NASCAR IMC Contact: Jason Christley, (386)-547-2469, jchristley@nascar.com

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.

Todd Owen itching for another win after his first this season

THOMPSON, CT – With three races remaining at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, racers are urging to start making moves to reach those top spots in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series. Currently for the Sunoco Modified Division Ryan Preece leads the pack following Keith Rocco in second, Todd Owen in third and John Studley in fourth. 

Todd Owen is a man of very few words.  When asked about his biggest competition he calmly responded “They’re all competitors”. The No. 81 driver has seen a good season so far. He placed first in the Thompson Busch North Throwback 100 and has the Sunoco Modified in his sights. Not one to boast in the slightest, Owen spoke briefly on his last win. “We won” he said coolly. One can respect the maturity that is his competitive demeanor. Owen doesn’t hang around too long on his victories because he knows that one battle doesn’t win a war. “We’re onto something that’s working really well” The No. 81 said, regarding his recent success.

Todd Owen battled legendary driver Ted Christopher for every lap of the second half of the 30-lap race. Despite Owen’s bold efforts it seemed like he wouldn’t get ahead. Christopher had held off 2010 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Champion, Keith Rocco, and  Woody Pitkat in the first half. The seasoned veteran kept a steady lead for a majority of the race. It wasn’t until the final restart that Owen finally broke through. “That car was super fast,” Owen said. “It was good racing. I know some of the heavy hitters weren’t up there, but at the end of the day we’re still number one.”

Keep an eye out for Todd Owen at the upcoming 28th Annual Bud ‘King of Beers’ 150, featuring the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, NASCAR Whelen All American Series, and Northeastern Midgets Association on August 9. Gate opens at 3:30pm racing starts at 6:15pm and remember. For more information visit thompsonspeedway.com.

Photo Credits: Clarus Studios Inc.

Korner Continues Hot Streak in MSD Legends Series

 THOMPSON, CT – Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park held it’s second of three Summer Road Race Series events on Sunday, July 23. Noah Korner won his fourth consecutive Midstate site Development Legends Series race, while Chris Barry picked up the overall and Small Bore wins in the Sports Car Group. Glenn Kurkjian took top honors in the Big Bore portion of the event.

Noah Korner and point leader, Teddy Hodgdon, led the field to the green flag. On the race start, Jordan O’Brien darted from the eleventh starting position to fourth by the exit of turn three. O’Brien would continue to advance positions until he was stalking Korner. Looking inside and outside, O’Brien was finally able to get by Korner on the seventh circuit. Korner would eventually reclaim the lead on lap nine, leading the final three laps in route to victory.  O’Brien finished second with Teddy Hodgdon capturing the final podium position.

Korner, Bob Weymouth, and Hodgdon were the recipients of the New England Racing Fuel contingency, good for five gallons of spec fuel.

Weymouth, Michael Comforti, Andrew Quealy, and Darren Gallant were the recipients of additional $50 bonuses.

Photo Credits: Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park