Category Archives: Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

Garbarino Teams With Blewett For 2016

Starrett Joins Mystic Missile Racing As Primary Sponsor

Team Release
March 30, 2016

MYSTIC, Conn. – Legendary NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour car owner Bob Garbarino will be back during the 2016 season with a new driver and national sponsor as he begins his 56th season and will be teamed with another legendary family name in modified racing in Jimmy Blewett.

A new sponsor, the L. S. Starrett Company of Athol, Massachusetts, will be the primary sponsor of the potent team.   Starrett was founded in 1880 and manufactures more than 5000 precision tools, gages, measuring instruments and saw blades for industrial, professional and consumer markets worldwide.

Garbarino said it was a hard choice to tab his next driver but he feels Blewett will fit in fine, despite being away from the modified tour a few years, running the DIRT modified series.

“You never know what is going to work and with Jimmy being away from the tour the past couple of years, I know he is looking to get back and make a good impression. I think the timing is right for Jimmy as a driver and is the right fit for my team.”

Blewett too is equally excited about the prospects of running the No. 4 Mystic Missile. “I have some unfinished business and getting back to the modified tour and winning races, I feel this is the best opportunity at this time.”

“I talked with Bob early in the winter and I told him I was available to drive. I know that Bob had his choice of several top drivers and I am glad that he chose me.” Blewett said.

Blewett comes from one of the first racing families of New Jersey with his father, John, Jr. and his brother, John III, running modifieds and winning at tracks up and down the east coast and Jimmy is hopeful that this new team will bring Garbarino a fourth title and his first.

Garbarino won the modified tour titles in 2007 and 2009 with Donny Lia as the driver and in 2010 with Bobby Santos.

Jim Ballou, the marketing manager for Starrett says “The whole company is excited about the new sponsorship deal with Garbarino and Blewett.”

When we met Bob before our executive board meeting, we knew of his success in his 50-plus years in racing and we feel honored to sponsor a legend in the sport. Bob has a reputation of doing things the right way and that is the way that we at Starrett have done business since 1880.”

Ballou states ”The company will have hospitality tents at races in Bristol, Tennessee, and Loudon, New Hampshire, and is looking forward to thanking the many loyal employees, education partners, distributors and users of Starrett products.

Our valued customers recognize the quality and precision in all Starrett products. We believe that the exposure through NASCAR sponsorship will introduce the Starrett brand to new customers looking for a competitive edge.”

Having a national sponsor such as Starrett is nothing new to Garbarino and he feels that not only will his team benefit from the new sponsorship but that the whole modified tour will reap the rewards of having Starrett on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

“I feel that this is a win-win situation for everyone.” Bob said.

The Starrett No. 4 will make its 2016 debut at the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Thompson, Connecticut, for the annual running of the Icebreaker, the traditional season opener for the Whelen Modified Tour.

Mohegan Sun to Once Again Host Thompson’s Championship Awards Banquet

(THOMPSON, CT) – Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park officials announced on Friday that the Annual Championship Awards Banquet would return to Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT on Saturday, December 17. The venue played host to the Banquet for the first time last December, bringing the annual event to a new level of excellence with music, improved trophies and the Champions’ cars on display.

Woody Pitkat, last year’s Sunoco Modified champion, enjoyed having the event at Mohegan Sun as it reminded him of the past NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour banquets. “It’s a great facility. We used to go there for the NWMT banquet, before it was moved down to North Carolina, and it was always a great time… It’s great knowing that it’s going to be back there this year.”

“The banquet hosted at the Mohegan Sun Casino put on by the staff of TSMP was an amazing event,” remarked 2015 Late Model Champion, Brian Tagg. “My team and I, my family, and sponsors were so grateful to be honored like we were there. It goes to show you how hard Josh Vanada and his staff at TSMP work to make sure the competitors, sponsors, teams, and families are recognized for all of their hard work and support. I am lucky enough to have been there on the maiden voyage and hope to get back there again!”

This year drivers and teams from all four Thompson NASCAR Whelen All-American Series (NWAAS) divisions will be invited to return to Mohegan Sun, the Official Hotel and Casino of Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. Tickets will go on sale for the Banquet on Monday, October 24.

The Championship season for Thompson’s NWAAS season will kick off at the 42nd Annual Icebreaker, April 8-10. Thompson’s own four divisions, the Sunoco Modifieds, Late Models, XtraMart Limited Sportsman and Mini Stocks, will be racing on Sunday afternoon leading up to the first championship event for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

For more details about the Icebreaker, or any of TSMP’s other events, be sure to visit their website, www.thompsonspeedway.com, and stay connected with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube.

 

Thompson 2016

Thompson Boasts Star Studded Sunoco Modified Field for 2016

(THOMPSON, CT) – As the start of the 2016 racing season nears on April 9-10 for the traditional Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Icebreaker, the Sunoco Modified field is shaping up to be one of the most competitive in recent history.

Woody Pitkat returns as the division’s champion in the Stan Mertz owned Sunoco Modified. By virtue of winning the title, Pitkat’s team decided to rebuild the car in time for the championship banquet that was held in December for the first time at Mohegan Sun. Since that time, the car has been ready to race and to begin a title defense.

“It’s been a weird offseason because the car has been ready to go and I haven’t been to the shop all winter,” said Pitkat.

When asked if being separated from the team for five months will impact his on track performance, Pitkat felt it would make the team stronger.

“If anything a long break would only fuel the fire more because the team hasn’t been doing the daily grind. Some people may be rushing and burning the midnight oil, but we are ready to go and to fire on all eight cylinders so it will be more of an advantage to us,” he said.

2014 division champion and defending Icebreaker winner, Ryan Preece, has moved up to the national scene and is competing full time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for JD Motorsports. Preece is scheduled to be on hand for the season opener driving for Al and Cathy Moniz in the Sunoco Modified division. The husband and wife duo also back Preece’s Xfinity Series car as an associate sponsor with their company Falmouth Ready Mix appearing on the car for all 33 events this season. The remainder of his schedule will be determined on a race by race basis.

Adding his name to the list of regulars for 2016 is Rowan Pennink who hasn’t raced at Thompson full time since 2010 when he too drove for the Moniz family in the 31 machine. Pennick, the reigning SK Modified champion at Stafford Speedway, will replace Keith Rocco in the Ceravolo machine and make the weekly 4 hour drive from his home in New Egypt, NJ to compete at Thompson. Pennink will also be on hand for the Whelen Modified Tour event as he takes over the Boehler Racing No. 3 full time this season.

Rocco, a 4-time Thompson champion will return once again, but not only as a driver. He will also enter as a car owner for rookie Ronnie Williams who will run full time. Williams at just 19 years old has already garnered a lot of attention after a 6 win season at Stafford in 2015. He has never run a Sunoco Modified at Thompson and has only two starts at the track including his first ever SK Lite Modified start in 2011 at only 15 years old. It was the first time he drove anything other than a go kart. However, regardless of William’s inexperience at the Big T, he is expected to be a factor this season.

“I’m not worried at all. Keith’s cars are the best out there so at this point it is all up to me,” said Williams. “Last year I gained a lot of experience and matured a lot. I’m racing against guys I know; Keith, Woody, and Rowan. It’s going to be a new track, but I am definitely looking forward to it.”

Not only is this the first time Rocco will own a car he will race against all season for the drivers championship, it is also the first time Williams will drive a car that isn’t prepared by his family team.

Thompson Speedway opens its gates for the first time this season on Saturday March 26, for an open practice session. The Icebreaker kicks off the season on the weekend of April 9-10. An additional practice day is scheduled for Friday, April 8. For more information on Thompson Speedway news and events, visit www.thompsonspeedway.com.