Tag Archives: Sunoco Modifieds

Experience Prepares Studley for Success in Sunoco Modifieds

THOMPSON, CT – From Thompson Modifieds to Lite Modifieds, and now Sunoco Modifieds, John Studley, has recorded thousands of laps around Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. Beginning nearly 15 years ago in the Pro Four Modified Division, a majority of Studley’s career has been spent behind the wheel of open wheel cars. For the past three seasons, Studley has been behind the wheel of Thompson’s premier division – the Sunoco Modifieds.

The salesman-by-day-Sunoco-Modified-driver-by-night, has used this experience to string together a slew of consistent finishes. Recording three top ten finishes to open the season, Studley’s Regan Plumbing & Heating-sponsored Modified team currently is fourth in the Division’s standings.

“The more laps you turn, the more confidence you’ll have,” the veteran driver, explained.

Poised as can be, Studley confident heading into the Division’s next event on Saturday, July 8. The driver will be returning to a setup that earned him a fifth place finish – his season best – at the Limited Sportsman Long Distance, presented by Pepsi, on May 21. In addition to that, Studley says the recipe is simple.

“Do what we’ve done all year so far, and that’s just be patient, and take our spots when we can take them”.

Studley will join Division leaders, Keith Rocco, Ryan Preece, and Woody Pitkat, in the 30-lap race for the Sunoco Modified Division on July 8. The fourth event in the NASCAR season at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, the Inaugural Busch North Throwback 100, features NASCAR’s top developmental Series: the K&N Pro Series East, for their first visit since 2009. For more information about the event, please visit thompsonspeedway.com.

Nick Salva Eager to Put Experience to Practice at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

Photo Michael Jaworecki Myracenews

THOMPSON,CT – The NASCAR All-American Series Sunoco Modified Division is ready for their third race of the 2017 season at Thomspon Speedway Motorsports Park on Wednesday, June 14. Former Champions Keith Rocco and Ryan Preece each have one win to their credit on the young season.  Nick Salva, who is competing in his first full season in the Division, has been studying the moves of these veteran drivers, as he seeks to find the fastest way around the 5/8-mile oval.

Known for it’s high straightaway speeds and unique corners, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park has a steep learning curve that Salva is confident he can master over time.  He made strides to that end during the last event: the Second Annual Limited Sportsman Long Distance, presented by Pepsi. Salva had an opportunity to follow the division’s last three champions around the high-banked oval.

Salva described the experience: “It was a great race behind Woody, Ryan, and Keith. I learned a lot about those drivers just being behind them and can strategize better for the next race. I have a great car that is fast and lately have been running good, so I am looking forward to this next race.”

The Prospect, CT-native enters the event fourth in points, trailing Rocco, Preece, and Pitkat. He opened the season with a tenth place finish, and followed that up with a fourth place outing in May.  And while Salva is focused on the results, he is also focused on getting more experience.

The driver of the JG Poulin/Green Construction Management entry keeps his strategy simple: “learn the passing lines, and be able to adjust the steering for a pass when it counts.”

Salva will continue to keep his eyes on the more experienced drivers in the field, but only so he can find ways to improve his skills to beat them. Describing Rocco & Preece as the “toughest guys in the field,” the driver/car owner know he will have to “build momentum and run well in order to beat them.”

Nick Salva, and the rest of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series drivers will be in competition at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Wednesday, June 14, for the Third Annual Thompson 125 & Whelen Night. Pit gates open at 1pm. Grandstands at 3:30pm and racing begins at 5pm. For more detailed information, visit thompsonspeedway.com.

Woody Pitkat to run double duty at TSMP in 2017

The 2017 season is shaping up to be a busy one for Woody Pitkat. Already committed to a new NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour ride with Goodie Motorsports, and returning to his Stan Mertz owned No. 6 Sunoco Modified at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, Pitkat will also be driving Jeff Hartwel’s No. 91 Late Model entry.  Returning to the Late Model Division is a homecoming for Pitkat, whose roots are in a full-fendered race car.

Pitkat raced against Hartwell at Stafford Motor Speedway previously, and the two developed a mutual respect for each other. One of Hartwell’s crew members had always pushed him to explore the option of having Pitkat drive one of his cars. Hartwell finally took his advice and made the call just recently. Pitkat was surprised as he originally thought he was joking. He talked details over and went to take a look at the car where an agreement was ultimately made. While Pitkat looks forward to being back behind the wheel of a full-fendered car he also looks to deepen his relationship with the Hartwell Motorsports team by being present at the team’s shop.  

“It’s tough to do when there are other commitments and priorities. But with his shop being so close to Thompson and close to me I can make an effort to be there and get involved. The more time we spend together the better it will get. That’s how we’ll build this,” the 2015 Sunoco Modified Champion explained.

They seem to have a playful foundation to start.

“Jeff and I actually have the same birthday. I don’t know how it worked out but his daughter has the same birthday, too. Instead of saying hi or bye to each other when around the track we say ‘Happy Birthday!’”.

This type of collegial and fun-loving relationship is how Pitkat approaches motorsports. It’s more than racing to him.   Since signing onto drive the No. 6 Sunoco Modified for Stan Mertz, Pitkat delivered the veteran car own the elusive championship he’s sought for so long.  More than that, though, Pitkat befriended Mertz.  In fact, Mertz was one of the first to offer Pitkat and his wife, Erica, congratulations on the birth of their new son.  

“When it comes down to it he really didn’t have to do that. But that just goes to show you the type of guy that Stan is. It meant a lot to me and my wife,” described Pitkat.

The veteran driver has got a full slate for 2017, but everyone understands the priorities.

“I really want to thank Stan and Jeff for understanding the priority is the (NASCAR Whelen Modified) Tour car, then Sunoco Modified and then the Late Model. They both understand the priorities and this is the biggest reason why I can do all of this. They back me 100%.”

Pitkat will be behind the wheel of all three entries, beginning at the 43rd running of the Icebreaker, on April 1-2.  For more information, please visit www.thompsonspeedway.com, or connect with us on social media.