Category Archives: Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

Shaw outduels Griffith in PASS North Opener at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

Thompson, CT – Reigning Pro All Stars Series North Super Late Model Champion DJ Shaw of Center Conway, New Hampshire outdueled fellow Granite State racer Derek Griffith of Hudson to kick off his title defense in winning fashion, prevailing in a thrilling 75-lapper Sunday afternoon (April 7) at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

Shaw, seeking a third series title this year in the Precision JLM / Dale Shaw Race Cars 60, used the outside groove to reclaim the lead from Griffith, the defending PASS Super Late Model National Championship Series kingpin.  It was a reversal of fortunes for the top two finishers, as Griffith bested Shaw in last year’s opener at New England’s fastest short track.

Shaw started from ninth position on the starting grid while third-starting Griffith quickly moved into contention, chasing early race leader Gabe Brown of Center Conway, NH.  Multi-time PASS North and National Champion Ben Rowe of Turner, Maine was an early factor up front, as was six-time PASS North champ Johnny Clark of Farmingdale, Maine.

Griffith and Shaw looked like they were going to settle the race amongst themselves, but 11th starter Ray Christian III had other ideas, and drove into contention while making good use of restarts to move as high as second in the running order late in the event. 

Shaw beat Griffith to the checkered flag by just over a half-second after racing several laps side-by-side with runner-up Griffith, who moved up to second spot, unoficially the National Championship Series points lead with his performance.  Christian claimed the final podium finishing position, ahead of Johnny Clark.

Jake Johnson of Rehoboth, Massachusetts followed up a runner-up finish in the PASS National Championship race in Richmond, Virginia with a fifth-pace run at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park to unofficially claim the top spot in the PASS Super Late Model National Championship standings.

Former PASS TSMP winner Garrett Hall of Scarborough, Maine was the sixth-place finisher, with Gabe Brown, who led several laps early on and turned in the fastest lap of the race, crossing the finish line in seventh spot.  Former PASS North champ and 2018 runner-up Travis Benjamin was eighth, followed by Nick Sweet of Barre, Vermont and Devin O’Connell of Madison, Connecticut.

Brown and Rowe won Saturday afternoon heat races to set the grid for Sunday’s main event.

The next PASS North event is set for this Sunday afternoon (April 14) at Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, Maine.  The ACT Late Model Tour, PASS Mods, the North East Mini Stock Tour and a special 50-lap Street Stock race also highlight this special racing card.  For more information visit oxfordplains.com or call (207) 539-8865.

Unofficial Results from the April 7, 2019 Pro All Stars Series North & National Championship Super Late Model 75 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park; Thompson, Connecticut, showing finishing position, car number, driver’s name, driver’s hometown:

1 60 DJ Shaw, Center Conway, NH; 2 12 Derek Grifith, Hudspn, NH; 3 93 Ray Christian III, Uncasville, CT; 4 54 Johnny Clark, Farmingdale, ME; 5 15 Jake Johnson, Rehoboth, MA; 6 94 Garrett Hall, Scarborough, ME; 7 47 Gabe Brown, Center Conway, NH; 8 7 Travis Benjamin, Belfast, ME; 9 40 Nick Sweet, Barre, VT; 10 43 Devin O’Connell, Madison, CT; 11 15 Mike Hopkins, Hermon, ME; 12 7 Cory Casagrande, Stafford Springs, CT; 13 8 Angelo Belsito, Auburn, MA; 14 4 Ben Rowe, Turner, ME; 15 59 Reid Lanpher, Manchester, ME; 16 6 Nick Johnson, Rehoboth, MA; 17 28 Greg Nanigian, Braintree, MA; 18 7 Kyle Casagrande, Stafford Springs, CT; 19 00 Jimmy Renfrew, Jr., Candia, NH; 20 81 Dan Winter, Windham, NH; 21 35 Derek Ramstrom, Worcester, MA.

Next Pro All Stars Series North Super Late Model race: Sunday, April 14 at Oxford Plains Speedway, Oxford, Maine.

Next Pro All Stars Series National Championship Super Late Model race: Saturday, April 20, Hickory Motor Speedway, Newton, North Carolina.

Photo: Tom Morris Myracenews

Justin Bonsignore Continues Dominance at Thompson

Collects Fifth Straight NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Win At Connecticut Oval

THOMPSON, Conn. — Justin Bonsignore has become the modern day master of Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

The Holtsville, New York, driver scored his fifth straight NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win at Thompson on Sunday afternoon in the Icebreaker 150. The victory allowed Bonsignore to become the first driver in the history of Whelen Modified Tour action at the historic Connecticut oval to win five straight.

Justin Bonsignore #51 takes the lead late in Sundays race at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park April 7th 2019 Tom Morris Myracenews Photo

It was the 10th career Thompson win for the defending series champion, and his 21st overall.

“We’ve had speed at every race so far,” Bonsignore said. “I just said that we had to put together a full race and execute. You have to have a little bit of luck to go your way, and we finally got some this year.”

RACING-REFERENCE: Icebreaker 150 Race Results

After Doug Coby won his second Mayhew Tools Dominator Pole Award and led the first 107 laps, the race took a turn for Bonsignore when the field slowed for a caution at lap 99. Bonsignore followed Coby down pit road for fresh tires, and although Coby did beat him off pit road, a penalty for running over his air hose sent Coby to the rear of the field.

While Coby fought back to finish fifth, Bonsignore took the advantage for the restart, and held off South Boston Speedway winner Ron Silk during a green-white-checkered finish to continue his Thompson dominance.

Coby and Bonsignore paced the entire weekend, running first and second, in that order, for both practice sessions and qualifying.

“It would have been a good race, neither one of us would have given an inch, I know that,” Bonsignore said of what would have been with Coby. “We were so close all weekend. I’ve won a bunch here and some of them are just on luck. You have to put yourself in position, and my team always does.”

Silk, who qualified ninth, got back to the track in third following the pit stop, and when Coby was sent to the tail, the former series champion was in position for his second place effort.

“Things are going good,” Silk said. “It’s nice to get a win and back that up with a second today. It’s good for the guys on the team. They are all pumped up.”

Eric Goodale was third, while Patrick Emerling and Coby, who was able to work his way back up through the field, completed the top five. After three races, Coby holds a slim seven point lead in the Whelen Modified Tour championship standings.

Burt Myers was sixth, followed by Matt Swanson, Woody Pitkat, Chris Pasteryak and Jimmy Blewett.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track as part of the NAPA Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor Speedway on April 28

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour-Icebreaker 150 Results

Sunday At Thompson International Speedway Thompson, Conn.

Lap length: 0.625 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

1. (2) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, NY, Chevrolet, 154 laps, 91.184 mph.

2. (9) Ron Silk, Norwalk, Conn., Chevrolet, 154.

3. (19) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 154.

4. (5) Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, NY, Chevrolet, 154.

5. (1) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 154.

6. (8) Burt Myers, Walnut Cove, N.C., Chevrolet, 154.

7. (12) Matt Swanson, Acton, Mass., Chevrolet, 154.

8. (16) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Chevrolet, 154.

9. (6) Chris Pasteryak, Lisbon, Conn., Chevrolet, 154.

10. (17) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 154.

11. (24) Sam Rameau, Westminster, Mass., Chevrolet, 154.

12. (10) Kyle Benjamin, Easley, S.C., Chevrolet, 154.

13. (11) Craig Lutz, Miller Place, N.Y., Chevrolet, 154.

14. (3) Kyle Bonsignore, Bay Shore, N.Y., Toyota, 154.

15. (18) Timmy Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Ford, 153.

16. (21) Blake Barney, Lakewood, N.J., Chevrolet, 153.

17. (13) Jon McKennedy, Chelmsford, Mass., Chevrolet, 153.

18. (4) Tommy Catalano, Ontario, N.Y., Chevrolet, 152.

19. (23) Calvin Carroll, Newton, N.J., Chevrolet, 152.

20. (15) Dave Sapienza, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 152.

21. (28) J. B. Fortin, Jr., Holtsville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150.

22. (22) Timmy Catalano, Ontario, N.Y., Chevrolet, 149.

23. (25) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Ford, 148.

24. (14) Anthony Nocella, Woburn, Mass., Chevrolet, 146.

25. (26) Wade Cole, Hartland, Conn., Ford, 130.

26. (27) Melissa Fifield, Wakefield, N.H., Chevrolet, 91, rear end.

27. (20) Andrew Krause, Holmdel, N.J., Chevrolet, 82, power steering.

28. (7) Rob Summers, Manchester, Conn., Chevrolet, 36, handling.

Race Statistics

Time of Race: 1 hour 3 minutes 20 seconds

Margin of Victory: 0.449 seconds

Fastest Qualifier: D.Coby (119.332 mph, 18.855 seconds)

Caution Flags: 3 for 23 laps.

Lead Changes: 1 among 2 drivers.

Lap Leaders: D. Coby 1-107; J. Bonsignore 108-154.

Standings: 1. D. Coby, 124; 2. P. Emerling, 117; 3. J. Blewett, 116; 4. B. Myers, 116; 5. C. Pasteryak, 112; 6. R. Silk, 109; 7. J. Bonsignore, 99; 8. J. McKennedy, 99; 9. K. Bonsignore, 97; 10. M. Swanson, 97.

Photos: Tom Morris Myracenews

Chase Dowling Claims First Thompson Win in the Valenti Modifieds

TThompson Ct (April 6th 2019)-Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park kicked off the 2019 season with the first of two days of the 45th Annual Icebreaker weekend. The first official day of racing brought five feature events to the track on Saturday, April 4 with competitive racing and close finishes that kept fans on the edge of their seats the entire afternoon. Several racing series and divisions kicked off their respective seasons as drivers sought to claim victory in one of the most prestigious racing weekends in New England.

The main event of the afternoon was the 50-lap Valenti Modified Racing Series feature kicking off their sixteenth season in style with a battle of two young stars of the sport surviving caution after caution chasing their first wins. While early on it looked like Chase Dowling was securely in control of the race Ronnie Williams quickly worked his way up the field and by halfway was battling Dowling for the lead. The rest of the event was filled with side by side racing and lead exchanges between the two young guns as they endured numerous cautions that saw each driver gain an advantage restart after restart. It all came down to a three-lap shootout after the final caution of the race where Dowling got the jump and outraced Williams to score his first Valenti Modified Victory as well as his first win at Thompson in any division.

“The car was really good on the long runs and on the short runs Ronnie Williams was obviously better. I wasn’t going to lose this one. These guys needed a win and they’ve been busting their tails week in and week out,” Dowling said. “It’s not the cleanest race to push someone up (the track) but when you have the passion to win and guys that are behind you week in and week out, you’re not going to finish second.”

Dowling won the race in the #00 car previous driven by the late Ted Christopher, a ninety-nine-time Thompson race winner considered to be one of the greatest modified drivers of all time. Dowling celebrated his win waving a Ted Christopher flag during a victory lap after his entire crew came out to celebrate.

“I think it was more these crew guys who have been with Teddy. It’s not just the #00, you go back to racing at Thompson in general and he’s had a huge impact on the crew,” Dowling said of his victory celebration. “It means the world to those guys and I’m just happy to be behind the wheel of that race car.”

The Exit Realty Pro Truck Challenge kicked off the afternoon with the first points race of the 2019 season at Thompson and concluded with its own exciting finish. Gerard Giordano, Jr. ran a dominant race starting on the pole and leading 34 laps of the 35-lap feature surviving several cautions to try and capture the Pro Truck season opener. However, it’s not over until it’s over as they say. That was the case for Jacob Perry who raced behind Giordano in second for the entire race until he picked his moment and relinquished the lead on a bump-and-run move on the final lap.

Perry’s win was his first season opener victory in his career and one he said was a long time coming. “My spotter did an absolutely phenomenal job keeping me calm behind the wheel. I hate to have to move somebody for the win, but after last year we had some serious unfinished business,” Perry said. “To be standing in Thompson Speedway Victory Lane at the Icebreaker is an honor.”

Joining the Pro Trucks was the Exit Realty 375 Sportsman Challenge series with its own 35-lap and yet another dramatic finish. Reigning champion Shawn Monahan looked like an easy winner early in the race after relinquishing the lead from Alby Ovitt following a caution. However, Ovitt refused to concede and challenged Monahan in the closing laps, racing to his bumper with four laps to go. Ovitt would make the winning move on the final lap diving to the bottom groove in turns one and two and holding the lead to the finish line. Despite crossing the line first, Ovitt’s win was being contested as of press time.

The NEMA Lites kicked off their 2019 season with a 20-lap feature with a very familiar name in victory lane. John Zych, Jr. had won at Thompson before in the NEMA Midgets but never visited victory lane at the Big-T in the NEMA Lites. He crossed that off his to-do list in the first race of 2019 after working his way to the lead by the halfway point and surviving a late race restart to rocket his way to Victory Lane. “The car had been stumbling taking off all day, so I was concerned when the caution came out. I started running as hard as I possibly could. I knew if I kept my line it would be really hard for somebody to pass me. It worked out,” Zych said after the race.

Finally, the night concluded with the kick off of Thompson Speedway’s divisional racing season with a new entry in the track’s lineup, the SK Light Modifieds®. This division has grown in popularity at Thompson over the last few years leading it to become an official addition to Thompson’s lineup in 2019. Coming into the event Bryan Narducci had a perfect record winning all four SK Light Modified® races run at Thompson since 2017. He continued that success with a dominating effort winning the division’s first event of 2019 at Thompson.

Icebreaker action continues on Sunday, April 7 with the biggest race of the weekend, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Series. Reigning champion Justin Bonsignore won all four events at Thompson in 2018 and after a slow start to the 2019 season he could use a good run at the Big-T. However, he will need to fend off the best in modified racing to keep his Thompson winning streak alive. In addition to qualifying and the running of the Icebreaker 150 for the tour modifieds the afternoon will kick off the season for four Thompson divisions as the Limited Sportsman, Late Models, Mini Stocks and Sunoco Modifieds hit the track for their first races of their new seasons and the Pro All Star Series (PASS) hosts a 75-laps event of its own.

VALENTI MODIFIED SERIES TOP-10 UNOFFICIAL RESULT: 1. Chase Dowling; 2. Ronnie Williams; 3. Mike Willis, Jr; 4. Todd Owen; 5. Dylan Rock; 6. Jeff Gallup; 7. Artie Pederson, III; 8. Dan Maservey, Jr.; 9. Carl Medieros, Jr.; 10. CJ Bolton

EXIT REALTY PRO TRUCK SERIES TOP-10 UNOFFICIAL RESULT: 1. Jacob Perry; 2. Gerard Giordano, Jr.; 3. Dave Koenig; 4. Lucas Leone; 5. Tony Nagleri; 6. Jim Thompson; 7. Dylan Cabral; 8. Andrew Morin; 9. Greg Hurley; 10. Todd Taylor

NEMA LITES TOP-10 UNOFFICIAL RESULTS: 1. John Zych, Jr.; 2. Jake Trainor; 3. Richie Coy; 4. Kyle Valeiri; 5. Dan Cugini; 6. Jim Cataldo; 7. Matt Janisch; 8. Chris Vose; 9. Drew Eldridge; 10. Ryan Locke

EXIT REALTY 375 SPORTSMAN CHALLENGE TOP-10 UNOFFICIAL RESULTS: 1. Alby Ovitt; 2. Shawn Monahan; 3. Jim Renfrew, Jr.; 4. Chad Baxter; 5. Paul Lallier; 6. Paul Williams; 7. RJ Surdell; 8. Crystal Seydynski; 9. Ryan Waterman; 10. Steven Potter

SK LIGHT MODIFIEDS® TOP-10 UNOFFICIAL RESULTS: 1. Brian Narducci (Colchester, CT); 2. Teddy Hodgdon (Danbury, CT); 3. Alexander Pearl (Salem, CT); 4. John O’ Sullivan (Salem, CT); 5. Wayne Burroughs, Jr. (Oakdale, CT); 6. Mikey Flynn (Hampden, MA); 7. Brett Gonyaw (Vernon, CT); 8. Bert Oulette (Ellington, CT); 9. Keith Caruso (Millbury, MA); 10. Andrew Les (New York, NY)