Category Archives: Sunoco World Series

William Wall Captures Second Late Model Title To Kick Off 57th Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing

THOMPSON , Conn. — Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park hosted a busy day of racing on Saturday, Oct. 12 to kick off the 57th Annual Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing, after Mother Nature rained out the first night of on-track action Friday. With a combined twenty divisions set to race over 48 hours, the Sunoco World Series promised plenty of highlights to close the season.

The day started with the championship race for the Thompson Speedway NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model division, with a 25-lap feature deciding a three-way battle for the title. Leading the way coming into the weekend was Woody Pitkat — whose late season charge, including three wins in three months — helped him build a six-point advantage over 2016 champion William Wall and a 20-point lead over division newcomer Derek Gluchacki.

The feature proved to be quite stressful for the championship contenders with 30 cars on track. While Gluchacki ran up front most of the race to challenge for his first win, Wall and Pitkat found themselves mired back in traffic hoping to earn solid finishes. Unfortunately, Pitkat was unable to escape unscathed during a restart five laps into the race as he was collected in a multi-car incident in turn three ending his race early — leaving Wall and Gluchacki to decide the title. Gluchacki did everything he could, taking the lead and leading the most laps on route to his first win. However, a sixth-place finish was all Wall needed to secure his second title.

“Once I saw (Pitkat crash) and he was parked for the afternoon I knew I had to get a top ten if Derek Gluchacki won it,” Wall said. “I remember my first championship in 2016 I had a little bit more of a cushion and coming into this one behind the eight-ball meant I really had to work for it.”

The Late Model drivers of the American Canadian Tour took to the track later in the evening for the final race of their season. Rich Dubeau held an 81-point lead over second place Jimmy Hebert in a season that saw Dubeau score a series-high eight top fives and perfect string of top tens in the first nine events as well as two wins — tied for most on the season. While Dubeau couldn’t make it a perfect season of top ten finishes, ending the day in twelfth, he did secure his first championship in an ACT career that has been all about building to the next step of success one year at a time.

“I’m just the driver. This is a total team effort. There’s no way I could go out and win a championship on my own. It takes a complete team,” said Dubeau. “It’s been progression. We were in tenth place in the points standings our first year. We went to seventh place, fifth place, then fourth and now we’re here. It doesn’t even seem real.”

As for the race win, that went to Jonathan Bouvrette, who benefitted from a lap-one incident that impacted all of the top five starters. Their bad luck was Bouvrette’s gain as he survived the caution filled race to drive to a dominant win, his first ever in the American Canadian Tour.

“It’s a monster track. This is a really cool place. It’s a pleasure for me to win my first ACT race here,” Bouverette said. “I was behind the wreck. It was a very fast car. That’s why we got the win today.”

The Granite State Pro Stock Series took to the track for a 50-lap feature, their penultimate race of the 2019 season. Joey Doiron entered the event with a 55-point advantage over Ray Christian, III as he sought to wrap up a championship after finishing runner-up last season. Christian looked to be in perfect position to score maximum points on the day, leading more than half the race, however, after battling with Eddie McDonald for over ten laps and two restarts, Christian finally conceded the top spot 37 laps into the race allowing McDonald to drive away to the win.

“(Ray Christian) was really quick. I was worried about him all day, but my guys did a great job,” MacDonald said. “I’ve always loved coming to Thompson so to get another win here is awesome.”

The Valenti Modified Racing Series closed out their 2019 with Mike Willis Jr. entering the 50-lap World Series feature holding a 54-point advantage over Thompson Speedway regular Ronnie Williams for a championship. Williams let his experience at Thompson shine, starting up front and staying there for the duration of the race earning a dominant victory, his third of the year.

“After finishing second in the spring this means a lot,” Williams said in Victory Lane referencing his second-place finish in the Thompson Icebreaker at the start of the year. “We had a fast race car all weekend. I’m confident in these guys and I think we showed in the end how much speed this car has.”

Mike Willis, Jr. didn’t have the race he wanted after finishing outside the top twenty thanks to damage obtained from an on-track incident, but he was still able to hold on for the championship, his first in the Valenti Modified Racing Series. “The car was the best car I ever had here but then I got dive bombed and the car wasn’t handling good after that,” Willis said. “I thought we were going to get (the title) last year and it didn’t go our way. It was important for me to get this championship in a touring series.”

The 2019 Thompson SK Light Modified® champion Bryan Narducci earned his seventh win of a dominant season on a last lap pass of Albert Ouelette. Narducci locked up the title in September after securing a 64-point lead over Wayne Burroughs, Jr. for the championship.

The Northeastern Midget Association finished their 2019 season with the annual Shane Hammond Memorial Race, where Avery Stoehr followed in his father Russ Stoehr’s footsteps to become a NEMA Champion for the first time while Ben Seitz took home the feature win. Finally, the Pro-4 Modifieds finished off the night capping off their 50th season with a 22-lap feature won by Rob Riccardi.

LATE MODEL FINISH TOP-10: 1. Derek Gluchacki (Dartmouth, MA); 2. Tom Carey, III (Warwick, RI); 3. Mark Jenison (Warwick, RI); 4. Joey Parker (Weymouth, MA); 5. Matt Lowinski-Loh (Milford, MA); 6. William Wall (Millbury, MA); 7. Tony Macrino (Waterford, CT); 8. Alexandre Tardif (Notre Dame des Pins, QC); 9. Brian Tagg (Oxford, MA); 10. Ryan Linehan (Hope Valley, RI)

ACT LATE MODEL FEATURE FINISH TOP-10: 1. Jonathan Bouvrette (Blainville, QC); 2. Woody Pitkat (Bellingham, MA); 3. Mark Jenison (Warwick, RI); 4. Ryan Kuhn (E. Bridgewater, MA); 5. Dylan Payea (Milton, VT); 6. Derek Glychaki (Dartmouth, MA); 7. John Donahue (Graniteville, CT); 8. Michael Mitchell (Cumberland, RI); 9. Ryan Morgan (North Franklin, CT); 10. Bryan Kruczek (Newmarket, NH)

VALENTI MODIFIED RACING SERIES FINISH TOP-7: 1. Ronnie Williams (Ellington, CT); 2. Chase Dowling (Roxbury, CT); 3. Craig Lutz (Miller Place, NY); 4. Todd Owen (Somers, CT); 5. Joey Cipriano (Waterbury, CT); 6. Donnie Lashua (Canaan, NH); 7. Cameron Sontag (Sterling, MA)

GRANITE STATE PRO STOCK SERIES FINISH TOP-10: 1. Eddie MacDonald (Rowley, MA); 2. Ray Christian, III (Uncasville, CT); 3. Cory Casagrande (Stafford Springs, CT); 4. Ryan Kuhn (East Bridgewater, MA); 5. Reid Lanpher (Manchester, ME); 6. Jimmy Renfrow, Jr. (Candia, NH); 7. Josh King (Vernon, VT); 8. Devin O’Connell (Madison, CT); 9. Joey Doiron (Berwick, ME); 10. Tommy O’Sullivan (Springfield, MA)

SK LIGHT MODIFIED® FINISH:  1. Bryan Narducci (Colchester, CT); 2. Albert Ouellette (Ellington, CT); 3. Alexander Pearl (Salem, CT); 4. Brian Sullivan (Tolland, CT); 5. Kyle Ellwood; 6. Noah Korner (Bloomfield, CT); 7. Jon Puleo (Branford, CT); 8. Wayne Burroughs, Jr. (Oakdale, CT); 9. Teddy Hodgdon (Danbury, CT); 10. Robert Bloxsom, III (Stratford, CT) 

Doug Coby Secures Sixth NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Title at Thompson; Rocco, Gero & Curry Become NASCAR Champions For 2019

THOMPSON, Conn. — Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park capped off its 2019 season with the third and final day of the 57th Annual Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing on Sunday, Oct. 13.

Several champions were crowned, including in three Thompson NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions, but the main event brought the drivers of the Whelen Modified Tour front and center for one final time in 2019 for their season-ending Sunoco World Series 150.

Two champions sought to claim the title in the main feature at a track where both had seen great success in the past. Five-time champion Doug Coby carried a 19-point lead over defending champion Justin Bonsignore and needed a fourteenth-place finish to guarantee himself another title regardless of what Bonsignore did. Bonsignore, on the other hand, knew that the only way he could control his own destiny was to win and hope that something went wrong for Coby.

Bonsignore almost got his wish, as Coby suffered tire issues in the opening laps causing him to pit and be mired back in traffic. Coby worked his way methodically through the field, eventually entering the top ten by lap 115, while Bonsignore led most of the race and survived a late-race challenge from Ron Silk to claim is seventh Thompson win in the last eight races. With his top-ten finish, Coby wrapped up his sixth title, putting him second all-time behind the late Mike Stefanik.

“This is really tough to do. It’s hard to win one championship and then it’s hard to win two and then to keep doing what these guys do with preparation, the shop and the dedication, the days away from the family, the work days to fly to places and drive to places. This isn’t easy to do. It’s a special feeling to win a race on this tour and to win a championship, let alone six,” Coby said. He later said he cherishes each win and each title as if it were his last victory. 

“Nothing is given in this sport. (This title) is well earned by my team, I’ll tell you that much.”

Justin Bonsignore celebrated a victory, his series leading sixth of the season, but lamented on what could have been had they started the season with a better result right out of the gate. “We spotted them way too many points in the beginning of the year and they’re way to good of a team to give that big of a lead. I’m really proud of our effort,” Bonsignore said. “We didn’t get the championship, but we backed up eight wins last year with six wins this year, so I’m really proud of my whole team.” 

Ron Silk, Matt Swanson, Bobby Santos, III, and Woody Pitkat rounded out the top five. Coby finished seventh.

A few more champions were crowned over the course of the day — the first of which was Keith Rocco, who had the Sunoco Modified title virtually wrapped up coming into the weekend carrying a 40-point lead over Woody Pitkat. Rocco earned four victories in search of his eighth Thompson track title, his fourth consecutive Sunoco Modified title and his seventeenth NASCAR Division I track championship all of which he wrapped up with a top ten finish in the season finale.

“Four straight championships is just really awesome,” Rocco said after the race. “To win eight overall from 2007 to now is awesome. We’ve always been dominant here – every year we’re winning a championship whether it’s here or Stafford or Waterford, so to just be in championship contention every year at a different track says a lot for our team and the people that support me and let me drive their equipment.”

Meanwhile, the battle for the win came down to Todd Owen and Mike Christopher after Ronnie Williams, who challenged for the lead early, found himself out of contention after a penalty sidelined him. Christopher nearly stole the victory with a bold move in the closing laps, but Owen would not be denied, capturing his elusive first win of the season in the Sunoco Modifieds.

“It was a fun race,” Owen said. “(Mike Christopher) came from nowhere. I wasn’t expecting that. To come out of here with the win, I thank all my guys. It’s an awesome team with awesome people.”

The Limited Sportsman division title came down to two-time defending champion Shawn Monahan and second-year competitor Kyle Gero. Despite amassing four wins in nine races Monahan found himself behind by 10 points due to Gero’s consistent season of top fives. Monahan did what he needed to do, making the race winning move with four laps to go to secure his fifth victory of the year. However, Gero continued his momentum, earning a fourth-place finish and his first Thompson Limited Sportsman title despite having a winless 2019.

“We made some adjustments to the car today and it was junk to start with. It was a little tough the whole time. I knew I had to finish within four spots of Shawn and I’m seeing him picking off three and I’m only picking off one. It was a good battle,” Gero said. “I was counting positions the whole time and wishing the car was better – I’m glad it’s over.”

Monahan took defeat in stride, congratulating Gero while expressing no regrets in his final run of the season. “I came out today and knew we had two jobs, to win the race and put on a good show. That’s what I did today. I congratulate Kyle Gero. As much as I would like to be a champion three times in a row some things just didn’t go our way,” Monahan said.

The Mini Stocks featured the closest points battle of the weekend at Thompson with Scott Michalski leading Doug Curry by only a single point while third-place Steve Michalski sat three points out for the championship. The title was Scott Michalski’s to lose and unfortunately his championship hopes ended when he was involved in an incident six laps in leaving Steve Michalski and Doug Curry to decide to title. Curry, who experienced his own issues early in the race with a flat tire, worked his way to the front and finished second, completing a Cinderella story comeback after overcoming a 30-point deficit in the last four races of the season.

“That’s the story of my racing career right there. We never give up. We always dig and we never stop digging. We always fight no matter what the circumstances,” Curry said. “This is awesome. This is the best time of my life.” Tommy Silva went on to win the race while Curry’s closest competitor, Steve Michalski, finished in fourth. 

The International Supermodified Association capped off its 2019 season with a fifty-lap feature race where Mike Lichty locked up his second ISMA title and Jon McKennedy claimed his first career win at Thompson in any division. Ryan Locke was officially crowned the champion in the NEMA Lites while Randy Cabral took the feature win in the annual Shane Hammond Memorial Race. 

Ryan Bell won in the New Hampshire Short Track Racing Association Late Model Sportsman, while Alby Ovitt secured the win and title in the Street Stock Showdown Series. Those two events were run in unison with Bell and Ovitt crossing the line in a dead heat. The Exit Realty Truck Challenge crowned a winner in Gerard Giordano, Jr. and the North East Mini Stock Tour saw Matthew Kimball earn the final win of the 2019 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. 

NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR SUNOCO WORLD SERIES 150 FINISH TOP-10: 1. Justin Bonsignore; 2. Ron Silk; 3. Matt Swanson; 4. Bobby Santos, III; 5. Woody Pitkat; 6. Eric Goodale; 7. Doug Coby; 8. Chase Dowling; 9. Rob Summers; 10. Timmy Solomito

SUNOCO MODIFIEDS FEATURE FINISH TOP-10: 1. Todd Owen (Somers, CT); 2. Woody Pitkat (Bellingham, MA); 3. Mike Christopher, Jr. (Wolcott, CT); 4. Troy Talman (Oxford, MA); 5. Keith Rocco (Berlin, CT); 6. Steven Masse (Bellingham, MA); 7. Glen Reen (Belchertown, MA); 8. Nick Ladyga (Voluntown, CT); 9. Joey Gada (Salem, CT); 10. John Studley (Framingham, MA)

LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH TOP-10: 1. Shawn Monahan (Waterford, CT); 2. Ryan Morgan (Franklin, CT); 3. Cory Fanning (Mapleville, RI); 4. Kyle Gero (Baltic, CT); 5. Jesse Gleason (Lisbon, CT); 6. Jordan Hadley (Oakdale, CT); 7. Jason Chicolas (Sutton, MA); 8. Brent Gleason (Griswold, CT); 9. Bo Norman (Clinton, CT); 10. Steve Kenneway (Lowell, MA)

MINI STOCK FEATURE FINISH TOP-10: 1. Tommy Silva (Gales Ferry, CT); 2. Doug Curry (Norwich, CT); 3. Charles Canfield (East Haven, CT); 4. Steve Michalski (Brooklyn, CT); 5. Mark Panaronio (Ivoryton, CT); 6. Scott Michalski (Danielson, CT); 7. Joe Bavolacco (Stratford, CT); 8. Andrew Krzeminski; 9. Ian Brew (Woodriver Junction, RI); 10. Jared Roy (Gales Ferry, CT)

ISMA FEATURE FINISH TOP-10: 1. Jon McKennedy (Chelmsford, MA); 2. Mike Ordway, Jr. (Windham, ME); 3. Ben Seitz (Bourne, MA); 4. Timmy Jedrzejek (Independence, OH); 5. Kyle Edwards (Bartlett, TN); 6. Mike Lichty  (Innerkip, ON); 7. Michael Barnes (Mexico, NY); 8. Dave Schulick (N. Ridgeville, OH) 9. Dan Bowes (Epping, NH); 10. Mark Sammut (London, ON)

NEMA LITES SHANE HAMMOND MEMORIAL RACE FINISH TOP-10: 1. Randy Cabral; 2. Anthony Marvuglio; 3. PJ Stergios; 4. Jake Trainer; 5. Kyle Valeri; 6. Ryan Locke; 7. Richie Coy; 8. Chris Vosey; 9. Jeff Champagne; 10. Danny Gamache, Jr 

STREET STOCK SHODOWN FEATURE TOP-10: 1. Ryan Bell; 2. Alby Ovitt; 3. Duane Provost; 4. Wayne Courcy; 5. Andrew Durand; 6. #8; 7. Chad Baxter; 8. Steve Landry; 9. Corey Fanning; 10. Jim Boyle

EXIT REALTY PRO TRUCK SERIES FEATURE FINISH TOP-10: 1. Gerard Giordano, Jr.; 2. Andy Lindemin; 3. Jacob Perry; 4. Mark Stewart; 5. Josh Stringer; 6. Lucas Leone; 7. Duane Noll; 8. Zack Robinson; 9. Dave Koenig; 10. Jason Ferreira

NORTHEAST MINI STOCK TOUR FEATURE FINISH TOP-10: 1. Matthew Kimball; 2. Devin Guy; 3. Mike Viens; 4. Nicholas Anderson; 5. Joe Katula; 6. Desmond Skillings; 7. Nate Taylor; 8. Matt Boucher; 9. Roger Ducharme; 10. Charles Canfield

One last Chance For Justin Bonsignore

By Michael Jaworecki Photos Michael Jaworecki/Myracenews

Westbury NY (October 12th 2019): When Justin Bonsignore in the Ken Massa owned Phoenix Communications #51 rolls into Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park this weekend he knows he has still one last shot to recapture the championship he won last season.

With the wildest finish of the season , Justin Bonsignore wins at Riverhead Raceway going over the line backwards Riverhead Raceway July 6th 2019 Michal Jaworecki/Myracenews

With a title defence that began in March with a 12th place finish at Myrtle Beach and a points killing 25th place at South Boston made it made the rest of the season an uphill battle. A win in the third race at Thompson where Justin has been so dominate the last 2 years gave Justin a glimmer of hope for another championship run.

Unfortunately for the 2018 champion, 5 time champion Doug Coby started the 2019 season strong jumping out to the early points lead leaving Justin looking up all season.

I spoke to Justin this week about the season and the pointers battle. Justin what are your thoughts about the World Series weekend? “Ryan Stone my crew chief always brings a great car to the track. ” Honestly I don’t wish bad luck on anyone but to get that championship I am going to have to have a good finish and Doug is going to have some sort of issue.”

“I do appreciate where we we are, defending champions and after that start we had to get 5 wins we still a chance to win championship #2. Since August we have had a lot of speed and you need that to have a chance”.

Not that Justin is conceding the championship but he admitted that it will be tough as the #2 Mayhew Tools team of Doug Coby always comes prepared and rarely has issues that cost them a race.

“We are more than ready, there is no pressure as we can not drop to 3rd place so the only way is up, will I be nervous? a little. Even though we are second in points it has been another amazing year, with 5 wins and 2 poles. “

What are Justins goals this weekend? “I hope to be fastest in practice, set fast time, lead the most laps and win the race then let the chips fall where they may.”

We talked about the large field of cars that will be at Thompson for the season ending race and how that can’t hurt because you never know what could happen.

With 19 points separating point leader Doug Coby and the only driver that can catch him Justin Bonsignore its going to be an exciting weekend to crown the 2019 NASCAR WMT Champion.

Practice is at noon today, group qualifying is at 4:00PM and on Sunday, the Sunoco World Series 150 at 3:30 to finish season and decide the 2019 championship.