Category Archives: Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

Pitkat Earns Two Thompson Wins; O’Sullivan, Fanning & Curry Also Score Sunday Checkered Flags

Tom Morris Photo

THOMPSON, Conn. — Five NASCAR Whelen All American Series divisions took center stage at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on the hot summer Sunday of July 28 as the best racers in New England sought to earn not only victory, but also valuable points with the second half of the 2019 season looming. The afternoon provided intense competition as tempers flared and big names broke long winning and losing streaks in the latest chapter of one of the most competitive seasons in Thompson’s recent history. 

The SK Light Modifieds® provided probably the most controversial finish of the day as points leader Bryan Narducci sought to continue his season dominance and claim his ninth consecutive division win at Thompson. Narducci quickly worked his way to the front once the green flag waved on the 20-lap feature, eventually passing Steven Chapman for the lead. Chapman worked his way through the top five to challenge Narducci for the lead in the final laps, managing to get to Narducci’s bumper on the final lap. Entering turn four Chapman got underneath Narducci, and there was contact, sending Narducci around. Narducci suffered his first loss in over a year at Thompson with a fourth-place finish. While Chapman crossed the line first, he was disqualified for his on-track actions and the win was originally given to second place Keith Caruso, his first career win at Thompson. However, following post-race inspection, Caruso was disqualified for a carburetor that didn’t fit the rules. That handed the win to John O’Sullivan, his first career in Thompson’s division. O’Sullivan is a former standout in the Legends Cars, but now picks up his first career victory in a modified class.

Speaking of drama, the Limited Sportsman division featured controversy even before the main feature got underway. Points leader Ryan Waterman and defending champion Shawn Monahan found themselves in a three-wide battle for the lead coming out of turn four in the heat race, leading to contact on the frontstretch that eventually sent Waterman into the turn one wall. Waterman retrieved a backup car, numbered 75, a number that he had won the title with in years past. However, while the sparks flew in the heat races, the race itself was much tamer with Corey Fanning taking the early lead in the 20-lap feature and winning handily by over three seconds. It was Fanning’s first win of the season at Thompson making him the fourth different winner in five Limited Sportsman events in Thompson’s 2019 season. Fanning called the race one of the best he’s raced in all season at any track in New England. 

“Green to checker, I don’t think you can ask for any better racing than that. Did I expect it? No. We had a little bit of time off so I thought everyone was going to race pretty hard, but it played out in my favor,” Fanning said. “We had no cautions and that’s big. Congrats to everybody on that one. I know it can get rocky out there. That’s probably the best race, door to door, fender to fender, I’ve been in all year.” 

The Mini Stocks kicked off the afternoon with a 15-lap feature and a measly 16 points separating the top four contenders for the division title. After four features in 2019, Scott Michalski, Jared Roy, and Steve Michalski placed first through third in the standings respectively and each had a win, while Evan Bourgeois, who came in fourth in points, sought his first win of the year. However, none of them would find victory in the fifth race of the 2019 campaign. Instead the battle for the win would come down to Doug Curry and Mark Panaroni leading to a three-lap shootout with Panaroni coming out on top on the track. However, following post-race inspection, Panaroni was disqualified for his compression being over the allowed numbers. That handed the victory to Curry, his first of the season in the Mini Stock class.

The race also provided major implications for the points battle as Jared Roy was black-flagged after an on-track incident with Dave Trudeau and Evan Bourgeois wrecked out of the event in the closing laps. Scott Michalski maintains a slim three-point lead over Steve Michalski in the championship standings, with Curry now third, 19 back.

The Late Model 25-lap feature saw a familiar name come out on top as Woody Pitkat earned his first win of the season in the division becoming the fourth different winner in four features in 2019. Pitkat survived several cautions and a hard-fought battle with Derek Gluchacki in the middle segment of the race to take the checkered flag. Pitkat was joined by an ecstatic crew in victory lane celebrating the latest win for the Jeff Hartwel owned #91 car.   

“We came here in the ACT race with a different car and we were really good. We took some of the notes that I took from that and brought it to this deal and it’s definitely woken it up since then,” Pitkat said after the race. “I just tried to keep my composure on the restarts and be nice and consistent. It’s cool to win for Hartwell, those guys have been together for so long.” 

It wouldn’t be Pitkat’s last moment of glory on the night however as he took his Dan Avery owned #10A Sunoco Modified to the front of the field in the final race of the evening. Pitkat raced alongside veterans Keith Rocco, Todd Owen and Ronnie Williams up front for most of the 30-lap feature but Pitkat found himself in the lead in the closing laps and had to survive a restart and a late charge from Rocco with three laps to go to win twice in the same night at Thompson for the first time in his career. 

“It’s funny how this works sometimes. You get a spark and it gives you the fire to go even harder,” Pitkat said in victory lane. “To start, it wasn’t good. We lost a bunch of spots and I just tried to keep my composure and pick them off one at a time. Towards the end when the sun started coming down and the track started cooling off, I knew we had something that could be in victory lane. I just can’t thank these guys enough. It’s a small group over here.” 

The NASCAR Whelen All American Series drivers will be in the spotlight again in just a week as all five divisions will return to the asphalt on Sunday, August 4.  

MINI STOCK FEATURE FINISH: 1. Douglas Curry (Norwich, CT); 2. Charles Canfield (East Haven, CT); 3. Steve Michalski (Brooklyn, CT); 4. Dave Trudeau, Sr. (Mansfield, CT); 5. Scott Michalski (Danielson, CT); 6. Roger Ducharme (Foster, RI); 7. JT Suprenant (Central Village, CT); 8. Todd Taylor (East Lyme, CT); 9. Ian Brew (Woodriver Junction, RI) 

SK LIGHT MODIFIEDS® FEATURE FINISH: 1. John O’Sullivan (Salem, CT); 2. Anthony Marvin (Colchester, CT); 3. Bryan Narducci (Colchester, CT); 4. Brett Gonyaw (Vernon, CT); 5. Matt MacDougall (Derby, CT); 6. Wayne Burroughs, Jr. (Oakdale, CT); 7. Nathan Pytko (Oxford, MA); 8. Bert Oulette (Ellington, CT); 9. Marc Burke (Enfield, CT)

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

LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH: 1. Corey Fanning (Mapleville, RI); 2. Kyle Gero (Baltic, CT); 3. Shawn Monahan (Waterford, CT); 4. Jason Chicolas (Sutton, MA); 5. Meghan Fuller (Auburn, MA); 6. Ryan Morgan (Franklin, CT); 7. Al Stone (Durham, CT); 8. Zachary Robinson (Putnam, CT); 9. Brent Gleason (Griswold, CT); 10. Moose Dunton (Niantic, CT) 

SUNOCO MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH: 1. Woody Pitkat (Bellingham, CT); 2. Keith Rocco (Berlin, CT); 3. Todd Owen (Somers, CT); 4. Ronnie Williams (Tolland, CT); 5. Michael Rutkoski; 6. Troy Talman (Oxford, MA); 7. Andrew Moeller (Woodbridge, CT); 8. Kyle James (Westerly, RI); 9. Paul Buzei (Trumbull, CT); 10. Angelo Belsito 

Meghan Fuller Off To Strong Start in Title Quest at Thompson

By Kyle Souza, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park 

Tom Morris Myracenews Photo

THOMPSON, Conn. — Meghan Fuller is seeking her first career Limited Sportsman victory at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park this season. 

The Auburn, Massachusetts, driver was the Rookie of the Year in the division back in 2017 and finished ninth in the championship standings last year. In her first four starts of 2019, Fuller has three top-fives, and is inching closer to capturing her first checkered flag. She’s shown the speed to get the job done. 

“The car has been a lot better this year, we made some big changes and the car has felt great. We’ve been doing well and have been able to get some good finishes,” Fuller said. “The competition at Thompson is definitely pretty tough because there are a bunch of great drivers to race against. It’s definitely a challenge.” 

A victory isn’t the only thing Fuller is chasing. She also has her eyes set on the division championship at Thompson, the Street Stock championship at Stafford Motor Speedway, and two national crowns.

As of the national standings on July 8, Fuller was third in the division V chase with her 10 starts at Stafford, and she is leading the UNOH Youth Achievement Award standings, which combines her starts at Thompson and Stafford. 

“It’s definitely pretty amazing to be that high up there in the Division V national points,” Fuller said. “It’s in the back of my mind during the race, but I just try to run my own race and take my time getting through the field. I had talked to a few friends that race at different tracks and they aren’t as high up in the UNOH points, and they thought it was amazing that I was able to be that high up.” 

With her strong runs early at Thompson, Fuller is second in the track standings, just points behind Zachary Robinson. 

“If I’m being honest, I wasn’t even paying attention to the points at Thompson because I had struggled a little bit the last few years,” Fuller said. “My dad told me that I was second and I thought he was joking, but when I checked, he was right. It’s cool that I am that high in the points. Now that the car feels good, I’m in a good position.” 

Fuller runs the full schedules at both Thompson and Stafford. With Stafford running each week on Friday, and Thompson running 10 events this season, up from seven last year, it’s been busy for the entire race team. They are running two separate cars at each track, but still must make sure everything is prepared for battle. 

“I’m used to racing every Friday at Stafford, and I’m consistent over there, but with the breaks in the schedule at Thompson, you have to go back out there and get back to where you were and it can be a bit of a shock getting back out there and remembering everything I had done before to do well,” Fuller said. “It’s definitely a little bit challenging.” 

Even though all four of the championships are on her mind, Fuller is hoping July 28 marks her first Limited Sportsman win at Thompson. 

“I definitely hope so, I really want to get a win this year,” Fuller said. “I’ve been waiting for three years to get a win at Thompson. My dad and my uncle have been working hard on the car to get it to be fast and I feel like they are doing an amazing job with it. We’re definitely right there.”

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park returns to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action on Sunday, July 28, with all five divisions scheduled to compete. Lock City Drift will also compete in the third round of their Street Series. 

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

Rain Forces Rescheduling of Thompson NWAAS Racing

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park had planned to host its fifth weekend of oval racing action on June 30 with a showcase of the track’s five divisions. However, Mother Nature was the big winner of the afternoon forcing the rescheduling of the event to Labor Day weekend.

The speedway was able to get practice completed before heavy rain impacted the track and lightning in the area forced fans to take shelter. A stoppage in the weather allowed track drying to begin with plans to begin feature racing as soon as possible. Track officials canceled heat racing with the hopes of completing racing action in a timely manner, but the weather persisted, and another series of showers soaked the track. Track officials called the race just after 4:15 p.m. telling fans their wristbands would serve as credit towards any forthcoming race in 2019 at the speedway.

Lock City Drift, which served as a companion event to the oval track racing, was able to complete the second event in their 2019 Street Series schedule on the Clubhouse Circuit.

The oval race was rescheduled to Sunday, September 1. Thompson Speedway’s next oval track event will take place on Sunday, July 28 again featuring the track’s five NASCAR Whelen All American Series divisions.

Tom Morris Myracenews Photo