Category Archives: Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

Ronnie Williams Earns Big Trophy in Annual 20/20 Sunoco Modified Sprint at Thompson

Photo Noah Watts/Myracenews

THOMPSON, Conn. — Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park’s Sunoco Modified division headlined the penultimate races of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season on Sunday, September 8. A full day of racing, which also included Lock City Drift’s Street Series, was part of the sixth annual Sunoco Modified 20/20 sprint and the fourth annual For the Fans Night at TSMP.

The highlight of the day was Sunoco 20/20 sprint — which featured two, 20-lap points-paying feature races and a 10-lap shootout to decide the overall winner of the day. In addition to championship points in the first two races, drivers also received points to help determine the overall victor in the final sprint. The driver that earned the best finishes combined between the three races would be the handed the big trophy.

Ronnie Williams dominated the first race, earning his second feature win of the season, while in the second segment, Keith Rocco and Woody Pitkat duked it out for the win in the closing laps, but after a caution tightened the field, Williams took the lead away from both title contenders to take segment two. That meant Williams only needed to place in the top five in the final 10-lap sprint to take the overall win. Rocco spoiled Williams’ attempt at sweeping all three segments by winning the 10-lap sprint, but a fourth-place finish was enough to earn Williams the overall victory for the event.

“These guys gave me an awesome car and I just can’t thank them enough. We’re getting closer and closer to having a perfect car here. The last couple of races I think we’ve really figured it out,” Williams said in victory lane. “I just wanted to make sure we got a top five to make sure we got the win and we did it.”

The Late Models started off the afternoon with a 25-lap feature and two drivers in the running for the title — William Wall and Woody Pitkat. With only fourteen points separating the two coming into the race, Wall looked to continue his perfect streak of top-ten finishes in 2019 while Pitkat sought to maintain a late season surge that has seen him win three of the last four races. Pitkat took and early advantage into the main after Wall retired early from his heat race, allowing Pitkat to cut the points deficit in half after earning points for his third-place finish in his own heat race.

Wall continued to struggle in the feature, finishing tenth after surviving a near disastrous wreck with sixteen laps to go. Pitkat finished fourth, securing a five-point lead over Wall in the points heading into the season finale. Meanwhile, Mark Jenison dominated en route to his first win of the season.

“When you’re that much faster it’s not because you’re the greatest driver in the world, it’s because you hit the right setup and we did. We had great bite off the turn. I could drive it anywhere I wanted. Fortunately, the other guys couldn’t,” Jenison said.

For the entirety of the 2019 season, Bryan Narducci has been the class of the SK Light Modified® field with seven top-fives and six wins in eight races. It looked like Narducci had an opportunity to make a charge for a seventh win on Sunday. Fourteen laps into the race, Narducci looked to make a move for the lead against Steven Chapman when the two made contact, sparking a multi-car wreck in turns three and four. The incident opened the door for Brian Sullivan to race to his first victory of the season as he took the checkered flag. Sullivan is a former winner in the Thompson Modified division, but proved a bit of time away from the track didn’t slow him down.

“I kind of thought we were going to settle in for a third there. I knew if we had a short caution it would have been better. I saw everything unfolding with the front row and I was planning on going low. After that it kind of just fell into our hands,” Sullivan said.

Despite crashing out of the race, Narducci became the first driver to clinch a championship in 2019. Going into the Sunoco World Series, Narducci carries a 64-point lead, more than enough to guarantee the championship, since Thompson drivers can only earn a most of 55-points per event.

The Limited Sportsman division continued to be one of the most dramatic of the season with Kyle Gero coming into the race holding a 16-point lead over Meghan Fuller, while three-time season winner and defending champion Shawn Monahan sought to recover from a 17-point deficit. Monahan would not be denied another win, as he took the lead in his No. 55 car with five laps to go, crossing the line first for the fourth time this season.

“Last week bluntly just wasn’t even fun. I knew today I was going to wheel it to the front and if I couldn’t get there and I needed to tangle with some guys I’d remind them what I’m capable of,” Monahan said. “There’s nothing better than standing in victory lane after a day like that.” 

With the win, Monahan closed his points deficit to ten points behind Kyle Gero going into the Sunoco World Series weekend. Meghan Fuller finished in the top three and stands sixteen points out of the top spot.

The Mini Stocks have been the most competitive division of the season for 2019 with six different winners in eight races prior to Sunday. Scott Michalski and Steve Michalski carried a tie for the points lead into the event while Doug Curry had only a ten-point deficit to overcome. In the end, another different winner was added to the season with former champion Dave Trudeau scored his first win.

Next up is the Sunoco World Series weekend spanning the second weekend of October, from October 11-13. In addition to crowning Thompson’s track champions for 2019, the ISMA Super Modifieds, NEMA Midgets, Valenti Modified Racing Series, Granite State Pro Stock Series, North East Mini Stock Tour, Pro 4 Modifieds and more will also be featured throughout the weekend all caped off by the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour series finale, the Sunoco World Series 150.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 8 RACE RESULTS:

SUNOCO MODIFIED 20/20 SPRINT SEGMENT ONE TOP-10: 1. Ronnie Williams (Tolland, CT); 2. Troy Talman (Oxford, MA); 3. Keith Rocco (Berlin, CT); 4. Woody Pitkat (Bellingham, MA); 5. Danny Cates; 6. Todd Owen (Somers, CT); 7. Corey Barry (Brooklyn, CT); 8. Tyler Leary; 9. Adam Gada (Bozrah, CT); 10. Wayne Burroughs, Jr. (Oakdale, CT) 

SUNOCO MODIFIED 20/20 SPRINT SEGMENT TWO TOP-10: 1. Ronnie Williams (Tolland, CT); 2. Woody Pitkat (Bellingham, MA); 3. Keith Rocco (Berlin, CT); 4. Danny Cates; 5. Troy Talman (Oxford, MA); 6. Todd Owen (Somers, CT); 7. Corey Barry (Brooklyn, CT); 8. Todd Patnode (Swanzey, NH); 9. Justin Albernaz (Rehoboth, MA); 10. Adam Gada (Bozrah, CT) 

SUNOCO MODIFIED 20/20 SPRINT SEGMENT THREE TOP 10: 1. Keith Rocco (Berlin, CT); 2. Woody Pitkat (Bellingham, MA); 3. Todd Owen (Somers, CT); 4. Ronnie Williams (Tolland, CT); 5. Danny Cates; 6. Todd Patnode (Swanzey, NH); 7. Troy Talman (Oxford, MA); 8. Corey Barry (Brooklyn, CT); 9. Tyler Leary; 10. Adam Gada (Bozrah, CT)

LATE MODEL FEATURE FINISH TOP-10: 1. Mark Jenison (Warwick, RI); 2. Derek Gluchacki (Dartmouth, MA); 3. Matt Lowinski-Loh (Milford, MA); 4. Woody Pitkat (Bellingham, CT); 5. Buddy Charette (Woodstock, CT); 6. Jake Johnson; 7. Ryan Morgan (Franklin, CT); 8. Rick Gentes (Harrisville, RI); 9. Brian Tagg (Oxford, MA); 10. William Wall (Millbury, MA)

SK LIGHT MODIFIED® FEATURE FINISH TOP-10: 1. Brian Sullivan; 2. Alexander Pearl (Salem, CT); 3. Glenn Griswold (Vernon, CT); 4. John O’Sullivan (Salem, CT); 5. Wayne Burroughs, Jr. (Oakdale, CT); 6. Jon Puleo; 7. Ed Chicoski (New Hartford, CT); 8. Matt Janisch (Wind Gap, PA); 9. Bert Ouellette (Ellington, CT); 10. Matt McDougall (Derby, CT)

LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH TOP-10: 1. Shawn Monahan (Waterford, CT); 2. Ryan Morgan (Franklin, CT); 3. Meghan Fuller (Auburn, MA); 4. Kyle Gero (Baltic, CT); 5. Ryan Waterman (Danielson, CT); 6. Corey Fanning (Mapleville, RI); 7. Jordan Hadley (Oakdale, CT); 8. Jason Chicolas (Sutton, MA); 9. Jeff VanPelt (Pawtucket, RI); 10. Steve Kenneway

MINI STOCK FEATURE FINISH TOP-10: 1. Dave Trudeau (Mansfield, CT); 2. Charles Canfield (East Haven, CT); 3. Doug Curry (Norwich, CT); 4. Scott Michalski (Danielson, CT); 5. Jared Roy (Sterling, CT); 6. Steve Michalski (Brooklyn, CT); 7. Andrew Krzeminski; 8. Russ Barboza (Griswold, CT); 9. Bill Sylvia (Preston, CT); 10. Tom Silva (Gales Ferry, CT)

SUNOCO MODIFIED 20/20 & FOR THE FANS NIGHT THIS SUNDAY AT THOMPSON SPEEDWAY MOTORSPORTS PARK

By Kyle Souza, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park 

Photo Noah Watts/Myracenews

THOMPSON, Conn. — With just two races left in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, this weekend will mark the final Sunday showdown of the year. Sunday, September 8, will be the 4th annual For The Fans Night, with discounted general admission tickets, and the 6th annual Sunoco Modified 20/20 sprint race. Lock City Drift will also return to action with the final round of their Street Series on the TSMP road course. 

After this, the only remaining event to decide the NASCAR champions will be the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing, October 11-13. 

Sunday’s Sunoco Modified 20/20 sprint has become a fan favorite, with three separate races for the Division I class all in the same day. Drivers will compete in the three segments – made up of two, 20-lap races and one, 10-lap race. Points will be awarded towards the championship battle in both of the first two races, but not the final 10-lap sprint. The overall finish of the three races combined will also decide the overall winner and purse for the day.  

In the Sunoco Modified title chase, Keith Rocco could all but seal the division championship with a strong run, and a bit of bad luck for some of his competitors. Rocco leads by 40 points over Woody Pitkat, and the two drivers have combined to win five of the eight races this season, including the last four. Todd Owen is third, 46 back, searching his Thompson first win of the season.  

Three of Thompson’s championship battles are heading down to the wire tight at the top. Pitkat is also in the middle of a close battle in the Late Model division, where he has been to Victory Lane in two of the last three events. He trails former division champion William Wall by just 10 points, closing it up a bit more with his victory last Sunday afternoon. With both drivers having carried the championship hardware before, this battle could be one of the best to watch in the final two races. Rookie contender Derek Gluchacki is third, 34 points out, waiting for someone to slip.  

Thompson’s Mini Stock championship battle has three drivers separated by just seven points. Scott Michalski might only have one victory in the first eight races, but his consistency has proven enough to give him a one-point advantage over Steve Michalski. A hot streak by Doug Curry has closed him from well outside the battle to just seven markers back with two races left. Curry has finished inside the top three in four of the last five races.  

In the Limited Sportsman, a turn of events last weekend took Shawn Monahan off the top and moved Kyle Gero back to the lead spot. Gero holds a 16-point lead over Meghan Fuller and 17 over Monahan, who is the champion from the last two years. Each of the three drivers have had their ups and downs in the first eight races, with Monahan winning three events. Gero and Fuller have yet to visit Victory Lane but share a total of 11 top five finishes between the two of them.  

The SK Light Modified® division could already have a champion crowned at the end of this Sunday afternoon. Bryan Narducci leads by 73 over Albert Ouellette, and Thompson drivers can only earn a most of 55 points in each event. If Narducci leaves Sunday with at least a 55-point lead, he will be the champion. Tiebreakers wouldn’t be an issue for Narducci, who has six wins in eight races this year. Ouellette and former Mini Stock champion Wayne Burroughs Jr. are separated by just one point in the battle for second. 

Sunday’s action gets underway with practice sessions at 12:30 p.m., followed by the start of NASCAR heat racing at 230 p.m. Feature racing will immediately follow pre-race ceremonies. Throughout the day, Lock City Drift will compete in multiple rounds for their Street Series, and judges will determine who will make it to the final round, and who wins the overall event. Fans can watch both the NASCAR racing and the drifting for one grandstand ticket. 

As part of For the Fans Night, grandstand tickets for this event are just $14 in general admission, with those seniors (65+), veterans and active military just $12. As always, any children 12 and under are free in general admission, but fans should be aware that any child who wishes to entire the paddock area must pay full price. The price for a paddock pass for this event is $35. 

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

Pitkat Earns Second Two-Win Weekend of 2019 at Thompson

Noah Watts/Myracenews photos

THOMPSON, Conn. — The stars of Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions took center stage on Labor Day Sunday, September 1, a makeup day after the original event was rained out in early summer. With only three races left in the championship battles, competitors in each division were seeking every advantage they could get as time runs out on the season.

Woody Pitkat had a big afternoon — earning two wins on the same day for the second time this year at Thompson, continuing his late-summer surge in his push for the Late Model and Sunoco Modified titles. In the Late Model division, former champion William Wall held a 13-point advantage over Pitkat coming into the weekend’s 25-lap feature, but Pitkat carried momentum having won two of the last three races. Wall took an early lead before a late-race caution allowed Pitkat to take the top spot. 

It looked like Pitkat was well on his way to another win before another caution set up a two-lap sprint to the finish. Ryan Morgan, who sat third in points coming into the afternoon, wrestled away the lead from Pitkat with an aggressive move that left Pitkat frustrated after the checkered flag waved.

While Morgan was initially named the winner, his car was disqualified post-race after he refused inspection. That handed Pitkat his third win of the season, putting him within ten points of William Wall for the championship lead. The penalty also eliminated Morgan from the points battle — meaning the championship will likely be decided between Pitkat and Wall. 

Pitkat was given the opportunity to speak in victory lane at the end of all of the feature events where he thanked his sponsors. “I can’t thank these guys enough. I felt like I pretty much had that race won and got used up there for the win. Some people want to race like that, but that’s not how I race. I’m glad we were able to get the win,” said Pitkat.

Pitkat also scored a dominating win in the 30-lap Sunoco Modified feature, but his chances of earning that title are slim going into the final two events. Keith Rocco came in with a sizable 44-point advantage over Pitkat, and despite a dominating run, Pitkat left with a still-sizable 40-point deficit. Pitkat was proud that he was able to celebrate a victory with his family, having not yet learned he was the Late Model winner as well.

“I just wanted to win so bad,” Pitkat said. “I was really mad (about the Late Model finish) and wanted to win and when I get mad for some reason it makes me race a little harder. I just wanted to win one today really bad. My family is here, and they don’t get to come out every time. It’s nice to win when they’re here.”

The Limited Sportsman division has featured one of the most dramatic points battles all season at Thompson and that trend continued over Labor Day weekend with Shawn Monahan, who overcame a slow start to the season including a last-place finish in early June, looking to build on his eight-point lead over Kyle Gero. 

The 20-lap feature proved to be disastrous for Monahan, who found himself involved in a three-car accident eleven laps in after fighting for the lead with Scott Sundeen and Ryan Morgan. It would not be the only spin of the night for Monahan, who was relegated to a 16th place finish, while his closest competitors for the title, Kyle Gero and Megan Fuller, each earned top-five finishes. Gero now carries a 16 points advantage over Fuller with two races remaining while Monahan finds himself 17 points behind in his journey for a third consecutive title.

Meanwhile, Ryan Waterman scored his second Limited Sportsman win of 2019 in a brand new car. Waterman, who is well out of the points battle, said the race was a good opportunity for his team to test out the new equipment in preparation for next season. He added that just because the title is out of reach doesn’t mean he will let off the gas in the final events of 2019.

“It was a blast today. I needed this after the last couple of weeks,” Waterman said. “This was kind of a shakedown to try some new stuff, so we didn’t have to mess with our primary car. We learned some more information for the other car too. I want to finish races and just be smart and patient. This race took a lot of patience to get to the front.”

The Mini Stock division continued the tightest points battle at Thompson, as Scott Michalski held a scant eight-point advantage over Steve Michalski coming into the 15-lap feature. Curry, who had won two of the last three events dating back to July, battled for the lead for much of the race and two laps remaining he made his move underneath leader Charles Canfield but was unable to complete the pass. 

Canfield earned his second victory of the season at Thompson.

“It was definitely fun racing with Doug. With two or three laps to go, I knew he was there, and I saw him have a run. I got a little nervous, but I just had to drive a little harder. He’s got a really good car and a really good crew. It was tough holding him off,” Canfield said.

By virtue of his runner-up finish, Doug Curry cut his points deficit down to only seven points and Steve Michalski pulled within only a single point from Scott Michalski who failed to crack the top five.

Finally, the SK Light Modified® title has been all but secured by Bryan Narducci, who came into the Labor Day weekend 20-lap feature with five wins and a 65-point edge on Albert Ouellette. Narducci continued his domination, controlling the bulk of the race and earning his sixth win of the season at Thompson.

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park jumps right back into the racing action on Sunday, September 8 with the penultimate races of the 2019 schedule, the Sunoco Modified 20/20 and For the Fans event. 

LIMITED SPORTMAN FINISH TOP-10: 1. Ryan Waterman (Danielson, CT); 2. Jordan Hadley (Oakdale, CT); 3. Kyle Gero (Baltic, CT); 4. Brent Gleason (Griswold, CT); 5. Meghan Fuller (Auburn, MA); 6. Al Stone (Durham, CT); 7. Jason Chicolas (Sutton, MA); 8. Steve Kenneway; 9. Corey Fanning (Mapleville, RI); 10. Randy Waterman, Sr. (Danielson, CT) 

MINI STOCK FEATURE FINISH TOP-10: 1. Charles Canfield (East Haven, CT); 2. Doug Curry (Norwich, CT); 3. Dave Trudeau, Sr. (Mansfield, CT); 4. Steve Michalski (Brooklyn, CT); 5. Russ Barboza (Griswold, CT); 6. Al Stone, III (Durham, CT); 7. Scott Michalski (Danielson, CT); 8. Andrew Krzeminski; 9. Ian Brew (Woodriver Junction, RI); 10. Bill Sylvia

LATE MODEL FEATURE FINISH TOP-10: 1. Woody Pitkat (Bellingham, CT); 2. Matt Lowinski-Loh (Milford, MA); 3. William Wall (Millbury, MA); 4. Nick Johnson (Rehoboth, MA); 5. Derek Gluchacki (Dartmouth, MA); 6. Tony Macrino (Waterford, CT); 7. Mike Nenevides (Westerly, RI); 8. Mark Jenison (Warwick, RI); 9. Brian Tagg (Oxford, MA); 10. Buddy Charette (Woodstock, CT)

SUNOCO MODIFIED FINISH TOP-10: 1. Woody Pitkat (Bellingham, MA); 2. Ronnie Williams (Tolland, CT); 3. Keith Rocco (Berlin, CT); 4. Todd Owen (Somers, CT); 5. Troy Talman (Oxford, MA); 6. Todd Patnode; 7. Joey Gada (Uncasville, CT); 8. Corey Barry (Brooklyn, CT); 9. Paul LaPlante (Scituate, RI); 10. Justin Albernaz (Rehoboth, MA)

SK LIGHT MODIFIED® FINISH: 1. Bryan Narducci (Colchester, CT); 2. Wayne Burroughs, Jr. (Oakdale, CT); 3. Bert Ouellette (Ellington, CT); 4. Anthony Marvin (Colchester, CT); 5. Nathan Pytko (Oxford, MA); 6. John O’Sullivan (Salem, CT); 7. Matt Janisch; 8. Todd Taylor (Stonington, CT)