Category Archives: NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour

Divisions and Other Information Announced for Thompson Event on September 2

Tom Morris/Myracenews photo

Waterbury, VT and Naples, ME — The American-Canadian Tour (ACT) and the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) have announced the divisions, start times, and pricing for the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park season opener on Wednesday, September 2. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour headlines a five-division card with the first green flag flying at 5:00pm.

The Thompson 150 will be the 147th visit for the NASCAR Modifieds in the touring era (1985-present), more than any other race track. All the biggest stars of the Whelen Modified Tour are expected to be in attendance, including current point leader Justin Bonsignore, six-time and defending champion Doug Coby, and former Thompson Speedway winner Timmy Solomito.

Four local divisions join the regional and national stand-outs as they tackle the historic 5/8-mile oval. The Sunoco Modifieds, ACT-type Late Models, Limited Sportsmen, and Mini Stocks are all on the card for their first event of 2020. Officials in talks to add other division(s) to the program.

Qualifying for the Thompson 150 begins at 5:00pm with features slated to start at approximately 6:00pm. The front gates will open at 2:30pm.

Front gate admission is $44 for adults. A limited amount of tickets for children age 12 and under are available for $25. Fans can order advance tickets at https://happsnow.com/event/Thompson-Speedway-Motorsports-Park. Pit pricing, the full schedule of events, and other information is anticipated in the near future.

Spectator attendance is limited to 25% of capacity per Connecticut state guidelines. All state and local health and safety mandates in effect at the time of the event will be followed.

In addition, ACT and PASS will announce more details on Tuesday regarding the open practice scheduled for Wednesday, August 19. This includes a partial unveiling of the divisions and series that are participating in the 58th World Series of Speedway Racing. All confirmed World Series divisions, along with those competing at the September 2 event, will be permitted to attend the practice session.

For more information, contact the ACT offices at (802) 244-6963, media@acttour.com, or visit www.acttour.com. You can also get updates on Facebook and Twitter at @ACTTour.

For technical information concerning all PASS divisions, and for media or marketing questions, please contact passracing@roadrunner.com or visit www.proallstarsseries.com. Don’t forget to “Like” the Pro All Stars Series on Facebook or follow on Twitter @PASSSLM14 to keep up with breaking news as it happens.

New Agreement Brings NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Back to Thompson

By: Kyle Souza / Photo: Tom Morris/My Race News

NASCAR announced on Thursday that they will hold two NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in 2020. The first will be held on Wednesday, September 2, and the second will be the World Series weekend on October 9-11.

The agreement with the track stems from an agreement the track made with the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) & Pro All Star Series (PASS). The two racing organizations, that run races throughout New England with Late Models and Super Late Models, will promote the events. These will be the first events held at the .625-mile oval track since the COVID pandemic started.

A joint press release from the organizations says they will release further details surrounding the races including division lineups and prices next week. Per the state of Connecticut, events will be forced to run at 25 percent capacity and advanced ticket sales will be available. The group will also hold an open practice on Wednesday, August 19.

The track was originally scheduled to hold three Whelen Modified Tour events as part of the Icebreaker in April, Bud 150 in August and World Series in October, but all three were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally, Econn Motorsports was taking over operations of the oval track. However, PASS and ACT officials have now worked out an agreement to promote these two events.

“We’re excited about this opportunity,” Chris Michaud, owner of the ACT Tour, said in the release. “The ACT Tour was part of the World Series the last five years, and we were always impressed with the facility and with the racing there. We’re looking forward to working with the local teams and touring series that have made Thompson their home and putting on a great show for the fans.”

“It’s a remarkable race track,” Tom Mayberry of the Pro All Star Series added. “I spent a lot of nights on the backstretch with Don Hoenig watching the Modifieds and the local divisions. You can practically feel the history every time you’re there. Being part of the Icebreaker for three years was one of the biggest stages PASS has ever raced on. We’re glad to continue contributing to the legacy of such an important speedway.”

It’s unclear whether Thompson’s weekly divisions (SK Modifieds, Late Models, Sportsman, Mini Stocks, SK Light Modifieds) will be part of the program. My Race News will have more on the situation as it develops.

Coby on Winning as car owner: “it’s a really cool feeling”

By: Kyle Souza / Photo: Tom Morris/My Race News

The first 28 wins in Doug Coby’s NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour career were all exciting for the Milford, Connecticut, driver. Anytime you can stop in Victory Lane on the tour circuit, after beating some of the top Modified talent in the region, you have every right to be thrilled.

Last Saturday at White Mountain Motorsports Park, Coby earned his 29th career win, but this one was a bit different. Coby celebrated his first as a car owner on the Whelen Modified Tour. He opened his own team, Doug Coby Racing, in the recent offseason, after his car owner Mike Smeriglio announced his retirement after the combo picked up Coby’s sixth championship last year.

The road was long. The battle was rough at times. But after three races with his own team, Coby was carrying the checkered flag.

“It’s been a long career and a long road, and I’ve worked with a lot of different teams and people,” Coby said. “Putting the No. 10 team together last winter was a challenge, it was unexpected, and not even really the route that I wanted to take. A lot of people don’t know the conversations that I had that led to nothing, and a lot of the equipment we tried to buy that was already sold, and making sure people and sponsors were still on board. The fact that we have been competitive at the first three events, and getting the win given all of the circumstances put together, it’s a really cool feeling. We kept our sponsors in the light and have everybody seeing that our team is still moving ahead. It’s awesome to see us having success together.”

In the first trip to White Mountain, Coby had a front-seat to a late race battle between Justin Bonsignore and Matt Hirschman, that ended with a bump-and-run that gave Bonsignore the win. Coby would finish third that day in his first effort at the North Woodstock, New Hampshire, oval.

Saturday, he had the car to beat in the second half of the race. After qualifying fifth, Coby watched Jon McKennedy, the pole sitter, lead 133 laps. But he took the top spot from him in the second half of the race and proved he was going to be tough to beat.

Coby took the lead for the final time on lap 184, per NASCAR, and picked up the victory. It gave him sole possession of sixth place on the all-time Whelen Modified Tour wins list, breaking a tie with Bonsignore and Mike Ewanitsko.

“There is no track in America that has a flat spot that long and aggressive,” Coby said of the backstretch at White Mountain. “But I love little short tracks, especially those that have a lot of grip. White Mountain fits my profile as a track where I enjoy racing as often as possible. The track has a lot of little quirks where you have to be savvy about where you put your car, and you might mess up a few times, but you make sure you don’t do it again. You are going to mess up in a 200-lap race and you might miss something by 10 inches, but you can’t do it again. I liked it the first time… this time we went back with a setup that we kicked ourselves that we didn’t have in the first race. I knew from practice that we had a different beast, not to say we were going to win, but I knew if we could keep the car like that the whole race we would be super competitive for all 200 laps. The car just performed when it needed too.”

From the outside looking in, things appear business as usual for Coby at the track, except a different hauler, car number, paint scheme, and team shirts. Does it feel like that on the inside?

“I’d say it’s business as it was before,” Coby said. “Everyone on the No. 2 team had a job and they knew what they had to do… a lot of it is still the same because the people are still the same. We are literally all just wearing different shirts and working on a car with a different number on it. That has been the easiest thing for all of us. Nothing has changed as far as the setups, or anything that we do as a team. We’re trying to get faster.”

Next up for Coby and the rest of the Whelen Modified Tour is Jennerstown Speedway on August 22, an event that is scheduled to have fans. The tour will return to Monadnock Speedway on August 29 for the first time in four years, another event that should have fans. Anything after those two races in the schedule is fluid due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re in a good spot when it comes to people, product sponsors and financial sponsors, to be able to go race to race and get through the season with whatever they hand us for a schedule,” Coby said.