Tom Morris/Myracenews photos, 2019
Waterbury, VT and Naples, ME — The high banks of Connecticut’s historic Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park will roar once again this Wednesday, September 2. The Thompson 150 for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will be the 81st season opener at North America’s original asphalt speedway as it finally gets the 2020 season underway.
The biggest names in Modified racing will converge on the 5/8-mile track for the Tour’s 147th visit to Thompson, including point leader Justin Bonsignore, six-time Champion Doug Coby, and former track champion Woody Pitkat. Add in a full card of racing for the track’s fives local divisions, and it will be an action-packed midweek night after months of anticipation.
A full field is expected for the Whelen Modified Tour’s sixth stop of the season. Already, the event has been given a jolt of star power in the form of Berlin, CT’s Ryan Preece. The NASCAR Cup Series competitor has announced he will return home for the Thompson 150 driving the TS Haulers Team car owned by Ed and Connie Partridge.
Preece is no stranger to success at Thompson Speedway. He won the Sunoco Modified championship in 2012 and 2014 to go with three Whelen Modified Tour wins at the track. Still, with the caliber of competition on the Tour, it will be anything but an easy homecoming.
In fact, Holtsville, NY’s Bonsignore is likely the man to beat. The 2018 NASCAR Modified champion has won seven of the last eight Tour events at Thompson. Bonsignore also won the first two features of 2020 and leads the standings by 10 points over Milford, CT’s Coby, who is the only driver to interrupt Bonsignore’s Thompson dominance over the past two years.
Plenty of other racers on the entry list are worthy of fans’ attention come Wednesday, including former Thompson winner Timmy Solomito, recent Jennerstown Speedway winner Craig Lutz, 2015 Sunoco Modified champion Pitkat, and former International Supermodified Association champion Jon McKennedy. Other standouts expected to take the green include Anthony Nocella, Ron Silk, Matt Swanson, and David Sapienza.
Meanwhile, the track’s local classes finally get their first taste of competition in 2020. The Sunoco Modifieds have a 30-lap, $1,500-to-win shootout that will surely draw some of the region’s top SK Modified racers. Eight-time Thompson Speedway champion Keith Rocco of Wallingford, CT never backs down from a challenge, and neither does Pitkat, who still wins regularly in both the Modifieds and Late Models.
The Thompson Late Models also have a big show with $1,200 going to the winner of their 25-lap feature. Dartmouth, MA’s Derek Gluchacki and Warwick, RI’s Mark Jenison, along with Pitkat, are a few of the standouts known to be heading for Northeastern Connecticut. The 18-year-old Gluchacki is a rising Late Model star who currently leads the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) rookie standings. The veteran Jenison has three wins over the last two years. The Limited Sportsmen, SK Light Modifieds, and Mini Stocks will also bring their A-game for the long-awaited return of Thompson oval track racing.
The Thompson 150 for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is coming to Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Wednesday, September 2. Qualifying begins at 5:00pm with features starting at 6:00pm and the Thompson 150 expected to go green at 8:00pm. Admission is $44 for adults and $25 for kids ages 12 and under. Advance tickets are available now at https://happsnow.com/event/Thompson-Speedway-Motorsports-Park-YHPQ. General admission is limited to 25% of capacity per state health and safety guidelines.
For more information, contact the ACT offices at (802) 244-6963, email@example.com, or visit www.acttour.com/thompson-speedway or www.thompsonspeedway.com. You can also get updates on Facebook and Twitter at @ACTTour. For general Thompson Speedway inquires, call (860) 923-2280 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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