Category Archives: Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

Three Drivers Aiming For Late Model Title at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

By Kyle Souza, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park 

THOMPSON, Conn. — The battle at the top of the Late Model division is going right down to the wire at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. 

Woody Pitkat leads the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track championship standings by just five points over William Wall, with Derek Gluchacki third, 20 points out. Behind them, Mark Jenison and Matthew Lowinski-Loh are fourth and fifth, respectively, but would need the top three to have a major stumble in order to be in contention.  

Pitkat and Wall are former champions of the division – with Pitkat earning his crown back in 2002, while Wall is recent title holder – picking up his crown in 2016. Gluchacki, who is a newcomer to the Thompson division, is in the middle of his first championship chase, and hoping to steal the show. 

These three drivers are set to battle it out at the 57th annual Sunoco World Series, October 11-13, where the Late Models will take center stage on Friday night, opening the weekend with their championship 25-lap feature. 

Thompson competitors earn 50 points for winning a feature race, while each position down through the field earns two less, meaning second earns 48, third receives 46, etc. In heat races, the winner earns five points, with a one-point drop throughout the top five, with fifth earning just one. 

For Pitkat, the season has been filled with success since July. He’s finished fourth or better in the last five races and has three wins across the stretch. “The start of the year, this is the goal (to be in position to win the title). I do feel like we had more speed than we ever had when the year started, but we definitely struggled, and one night that the Whelen Modified Tour was there, we struggled really bad,” Pitkat said. “Everyone took more of a look over everything and had a little bit of a different mindset throughout the rest of the year.” 

That change in mindset seems to be working for the Stafford, Connecticut, native and his Hartwell Motorsports team. They enter the World Series in position to get the job done. For Pitkat, he is hoping it will be the first time since 2002 that he hoists a TSMP Late Model title. He was able to win the Sunoco Modified crown in 2006 and 2016 — so he is looking for his fourth overall Thompson title.  

Until TSMP media spoke with him, he wasn’t even exactly sure of how many points he was ahead, showing he is relaxed heading into the finale.  

“I’m not going to change anything I have done the whole year,” Pitkat said. “I’m going to the World Series to do the same thing. I knew we were leading the points, but I didn’t know exactly how it was until you just told me. Whatever happens in the heats, I want to know what position we are in going into the race, then see how the race goes. We’ve seemed to be close every race.” 

Wall enters the final 25-lap feature of the season looking to gain on some lost momentum. He opened the season with three finishes inside the top two, including a victory on June 5. But, since then, he’s finished outside the top five twice, including a 10th place effort last time on the track, which allowed Pitkat to sneak by into the lead.  

“I’m feeling confident about it, I’m going to go into this race like I do every other race, just go out there and try to finish well,” Wall said. “Racing is a lot of luck, as well as being prepared. We will be as prepared as we can be, and just let the cards fall where they do.” 

Last time out, his 10th place effort in the feature, coupled with his 11th place heat race finish, cost him some points he will need to make up. 

“The heat race was a big deal for me the last race, just have to try and keep my nose clean, I don’t want to be overly aggressive,” Wall said. “Back when Woody won his title, they had different motors, and it’s a big deal to go to these motors. I think we are close to even. I’m excited to see what the outcome is going to be.” 

Wall, as a former winner at Little T Speedway, and former Thompson Late Model champion, is just hoping he can hold the trophy again. 

“The first title definitely opened a couple of doors for me,” Wall said. “I got a couple of rides in a Pro Stock off it. I’m hoping that if I win this, it opens a few doors for me in the future. I would love to win this one. I’m just going to go out there and put my best foot forward and see what happens.” 

Gluchacki, who has a racing background in the Legends Cars, has busted onto the scene this year, finishing inside the top 10 in all the races, and inside the top five on five different occasions. He’s 20 points back but hopes to still have a shot. 

“No, not at all,” Gluchacki said when asked if he thought he would be in this position. “We struggled at the Icebreaker, and we didn’t know what to expect. We figured it out somewhat in the middle of the year. But we didn’t realize there was heat race points until about three races in. At the World Series, the heat race is going to be important for me to make up as much as I can before going into the feature.” 

Much like his two other competitors, Gluchacki is approaching the weekend with business as usual. 

“Just have to go into it as another weekend. The goal is to be up there and contend for a win,” Gluchacki said. “We know that it’s going to be a wild race. Anything can happen, and we just have to do our best to stay out of trouble and be up front.” 

For Pitkat, winning the Late Model crown would mean a lot to him, but also his team. They have lost a few close friends and loved ones over the last few years. 

“It’d be more gratifying because of where I started,” Pitkat said. “When I started, I was racing against Jeff Hartwell, who is now my car owner. It just goes to show how long we have been around this sport. Being able to start my career racing against Jeff, and now the two of us being able to get together, it’s cool. I want to win it more for him.” 

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park officials are preparing for the 57th annual Sunoco World Series, scheduled for October 11-13. The event begins on Friday, with practice sessions running throughout the afternoon, and qualifying heat racing set to begin at approximately 4:30 p.m. Feature racing on Friday includes the Granite State Pro Stock Series, Late Models, Open Vintage Modifieds, and Senior Tour Auto Racers. 

Saturday, action begins early with practice at 9 a.m., while qualifying racing begins at 2:30 p.m. There are 10 different feature races planned for Saturday. On Sunday, action begins at 1 p.m., with the season-finale for Thompson’s Sunoco Modified division. The NEMA Lites, ISMA Supermodifieds and TSMP Limited Sportsman will also join the headliner of Sunday, the Sunoco World Series 150 for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. 

Admission to the paddock area for the entire three days is $75, with grandstand general admission set at $55. Any seniors (65+), veterans and active military will have general admission tickets priced at $50, while kids 12 and under are free in general admission.  

Fans should keep an eye out for information regarding the annual breakfast buffet and dinner buffet over the next few days. 

For more information on Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, fans should visit the track on the web, www.thompsonspeedway.com and follow the track on social media via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 

Schedule Announced For 57th Annual Sunoco World Series at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

By Kyle Souza, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park 

Photo Michael Jaworecki/Myracenews

THOMPSON, Conn. — With just under one month until the 57th annual Sunoco World Series takes the green flag at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, officials have released the schedule for the prestigious event, which is scheduled for October 11-13.  

Over the course of three days, twenty different divisions will compete on the Connecticut high-banks, including the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and Thompson’s five NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions.  

The schedule begins on Friday, when paddock areas open at 9 a.m., and a full day of racing kicks-off the weekend with practice beginning at 11 a.m. Practice sessions will roll right through until 4:30 p.m., when NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour haulers will enter the pit area, and racing will get underway with a time trial session for the Granite State Pro Stock Series. 

Qualifying and feature races for the Granite State Pro Stock Series, Whelen All-American Series Late Models, Open Vintage Modifieds, Senior Tour Auto Racer Modifieds and Senior Tour Auto Racer Sportsman will all take place on Friday night.  

Qualifying for the SK Light Modifieds®, Valenti Modified Racing Series, Street Stock Showdown Series and North East Mini Stock Tour will also occur on Friday, but their feature events will be held on Saturday. The final feature of the night on Friday will be the 50-lap main event for the Granite State Pro Stocks, their penultimate race of the season. 

Saturday begins with rotating practice at 8:55 a.m., followed by practice sessions for the Whelen Modified Tour and American Canadian Tour Late Models. Qualifying races will take the green at 1:30 p.m. with the NEMA Midgets, ISMA Supermodifieds, Sunoco Modifieds, Limited Sportsman, ACT, NHSTRA Late Model Sportsman, Exit Realty Truck Series and NEMA Lites. 

As part of the annual Saturday night that is stacked with feature racing, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Mini Stocks will decide their title battle, while the SK Light Modifieds®, NEMA Midgets, ACT Tour, Valenti Modifieds, NHSTRA Late Model Sportsman, Exit Realty Trucks, North East Mini Stock Tour and Street Stock Showdown Series will all run main events. 

Sunday, the annual hayrides for race fans will begin at 10 a.m., leaving every 20 minutes, while pre-race ceremonies will begin with a quick warmup session for the ISMA Supermodifieds at 12 p.m. The run of show on Sunday includes feature races for the Sunoco Modifieds, Limited Sportsman, ISMA Supermodifieds, NEMA Lites and the season finale for the Whelen Modified Tour — the Sunoco World Series 150.   

Race fans can find the full weekend schedule by visit thompsonspeedway.com. A three-day pit pass for the weekend is $75, while a three-day general admission ticket is $55. Any seniors (65+), active military and veterans can enter general admission for $50. Kids 12 and under are free in the grandstands but do have to pay full price in the pit area. There are no one-day tickets for the Sunoco World Series. 

Fans should keep in mind that more information regarding the annual breakfast buffet and dinner buffet is coming soon. Follow the track on social media via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest Sunoco World Series updates leading up to the weekend. 

Bryan Narducci Clinches SK Light Modified® Championship at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

By Kyle Souza, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

Photo Noah Watts/Myracenews

THOMPSON, Conn. — Even though there is still one NASCAR Whelen All-American Series race remaining on the schedule at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park this season, one championship battle has already been decided. 

Bryan Narducci clinched the SK Light Modified® championship for 2019 on Sunday, September 8, becoming the first champion at the Connecticut oval for this season. Narducci also earned the right to be named the first-ever champion of the SK Light Modified division® in Thompson’s history, as the division just started running for points this year.

“It means a lot to be the first SK Light Modified® champion at Thompson. Just to add my name to the record books of all the champions at Thompson is amazing,” Narducci said. “Ted Christopher, Keith Rocco, Ryan Preece, who is now a Cup Series driver… just to add my name to that list, I could never even imagine putting my name anywhere in the same list as them.” 

“Sid DiMaggio put up a photo on Facebook from 2003 when I was three-years-old at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, I was hanging on the fence waiting for Ted to come out for driver introductions,” he added. “My dad and I would go to Thompson every Thursday night, and we’d go to watch Ted. If he didn’t go, we didn’t go most of the time. Just to be able to put my name in the record books anywhere near his is a huge accomplishment for me. No one was as good as him, and no one will be as good as him.” 

For Narducci, the partnership with Todd Owen, and his drive to compete at a high-level, has elevated him to championship glory. The Colchester, Connecticut, driver has already earned himself quite the list of accolades in his racing career, even though he is still at a young age. Last year, he won the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division III National championship.  

Between Thompson and Stafford Motor Speedway, Narducci has won 14 different races this season, including six of nine at Thompson. 

“Everyone always says races are won at the shop, and I can attest to that 100 percent,” Narducci said. “Every week, we go back to the shop and scale the car, check the toe, drop it on the scales, check the heights… and maintain the car. When we get to the track, I’m confident the car is going to be fast and there isn’t going to be something wrong with it. We worked really hard in the shop to accomplish our goal of winning races and a championship, and this year we were able to do both.” 

For now, Narducci’s goals for the remainder of the season still include what he hopes will be plenty of winning. He’s fourth in Stafford’s championship battle, hoping to close the gap in their final two races. He also leads the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division III National Championship battle with just about a week remaining, and it looks like he is well on his way to two straight.  

“It’s pretty amazing, when we won last year, it was really cool to be able to go down to Charlotte and be honored on the stage,” he said. “Hopefully we can finish well and close it out and make it back to back Division III championships.” 

His major goal related to Thompson in the final month of the season? Capture the victory in the SK Light Modified® division as part of the 57th annual running of the Sunoco World Series for the second straight year. 

“Hopefully we can close it out at the World Series. It was satisfying to win the title, but I would have liked to have finished on Sunday just to give me more satisfaction, if we would have won both the race and the title, it would have been better,” Narducci said. “But we just have to go out at the World Series and try to win another one.” 

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park returns to competition for the 57th annual Sunoco World Series, where 20 different divisions will compete in racing over the course of three days from October 11-13. The full schedule for the weekend will be available soon. 

For more information on Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, fans are encouraged to visit www.thompsonspeedway.com and follow the track on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.