Category Archives: NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour

Doug Coby Bests Justin Bonsignore To Claim Bud 150 Crown

Tom Morris/Myracenews photos

THOMPSON, Conn. — The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour took center stage at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Wednesday, August 14 for the third time in 2019 with the 30th running of the Budweiser King of Beers 150. Coming into the race three drivers were considered the ones to watch. Points leader Doug Coby looked to extend his perfect streak of top ten finishes on the season, second place Ron Silk sought his third consecutive series victory, and third place defending champion Justin Bonsignore was looking for his seventh consecutive win at Thompson. 

Coby earned the early edge by grabbing the pole in group qualifying earlier in the evening, but Bonsignore made sure to keep the five-time champion in his sights, staying within striking distance of Coby through the first half of the race. A caution on lap 83 brought the field to pit road where Jon McKennedy exited first and Justin Bonsignore beat Doug Coby back to the track giving him his best shot at the lead all night. 

A poor restart for McKennedy allowed Bonsignore to storm to the lead with 90-laps to go, but an impressive power move by Craig Lutz saw Bonsignore fall back to second where Doug Coby was waiting to pounce. While Bonsignore and Coby battled it out for the runner-up spot with 50-laps to go, Lutz opened a .422 second lead seeking his first Whelen Modified Tour victory. A pair of cautions forced Lutz to fend off both Bonsignore and Coby, but a hard charging Bobby Santos III proved too much for Lutz, who was forced to relinquish the lead on lap 128 leaving Lutz, Bonsignore and Coby hoping for one more shot at the win. 

They got their wish with just over ten laps to go as the fifth caution of the night led to chaos when Lutz spun his tires while Santos broke a shifter ending his day. The ensuing caution set up a clash between Doug Coby and Justin Bonsignore, but it was Coby who claimed another Thompson win and his fourth win of 2019. The victory was extra special as it came just days shy of Coby’s 40th birthday. 

“This is a special place for me and my family,” Coby said on Thompson Speedway in Victory Lane. “What a great race. My last Modified Tour race in my 30s and I won it. What a great decade it was for me and I hope my 40s are even better.” 

Justin Bonsignore settled for a runner up finish and saw his winning streak at Thompson come to an end. “It’s tough when you’re that close. It just didn’t work out tonight,” Bonsignore said after the race. “You’re not going to win every race. We were prepared for it to happen. I’ve probably been more prepared (to lose) as it’s gone more and more – we lost to the best car this year.” 

The NEMA Midgets followed up the Whelen Modified Tour with a 25-lap feature that saw Todd Bertrand lead the early laps of the event seeking a repeat victory after winning the same race in 2018. However, a mechanical failure 14 laps into the race sidelined Bertrand handing the advantage to points leader Avery Stoehr. Stoehr went on to earn the win defeating Randy Cabral by a margin of just over a second. The win was Stoehr’s first at Thompson in the NEMA Midgets and his best finish at the Big-T since a fourth-place result in 2015. 

In addition to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NEMA Midgets, Thompson’s five NASCAR Whelen All American Series divisions also took to the track with only a handful of races remaining before the season finale in October. First up were the Sunoco Modifieds where Keith Rocco looked to continue to solidify his position as the frontrunner for what would be his eighth Thompson title. Rocco carried a 38-point lead into the race over Todd Owen and it was those two drivers who battled it out for the first ten laps. While Rocco would manage to fight off his rival, it wouldn’t be the last challenge for the reigning champion in the 30-lap feature. Rocco also defended his position against a hard-charging Woody Pitkat, but it was Ronnie Williams, who defeated Rocco in May, who offered the biggest challenge making several dives for the lead right up to the final corner. It wasn’t enough to dethrone the champion however as Rocco claimed his third win of the season and extended his points lead to 44. 

“(Williams) was really good. I do have to say tonight he showed me a lot of respect and that goes a long way,” Rocco said of his rival after the race. “He ran me like a gentleman tonight and that goes a long way – If we could race like that every night the two of us could put on one heck of a show.” 

Next up was the SK Light Modifieds® where points leader Bryan Narducci sought his sixth win of the year, with Albert Ouellette not far behind. However, neither driver would last long in the race, as the two points leaders were caught up in a multi-car incident only six laps into the 20-lap feature opening the door for a new winner to shine in the division. That driver was Teddy Hodgdon, who outraced former Thompson Mini Stock champion Wayne Burroughs, Jr. for his first Thompson victory. 

“I’ve always wanted to win here since I started last year. We’ve been very close many times, but we were able to do it tonight. The car was on rails,” the 18-year-old Hodgdon said in Victory Lane. “The car went away a little bit towards the end. (Burroughs) was coming. I knew he was better on the long run than I was, so I just had to defend, and we ended up getting a victory.”  

Sporting the closest points battle of Thompson’s five divisions, the Limited Sportsman series saw Shawn Monahan step up to the plate to take full control of the points race scoring his third victory of the season in dominating fashion. Monahan made it look easy cruising to a 1.4 second lead and walking away with a trophy and an eight-point lead over Kyle Gero putting Monahan in prime position to earn his third consecutive division title. 

“I’m going to take any win I can get – we can’t let go now. We’ve got a goal and there’s not even time out there to run in second place because somebody can get you when you least expect it,” Monahan said after the win. 

In the Mini Stocks, the points race was shuffled after both Scott and Steve Michalski, who sat first and second in points respectively with only six points separating them, each had problems in their heat races. This opened the door for Doug Curry, who was third in points facing a 35-point deficit, to cut into their lead. He took full advantage of his opportunity leading nearly the entire race and scoring his second win of 2019 making him the first multi-race victor in the Mini Stocks this season. Despite their troubles the Michalski’s still maintained a tight grip on the top two spots with finishes inside the top ten. Scott Michalski goes into the Labor Day race with an eight-point lead over Steve Michalski. 

Finally, the Late Models took to the track for a 25-lap feature with William Wall holding a 17-point advantage over Woody Pitkat for the championship. The points battle took a backseat to some division veterans however as Brian Tagg, Rick Gentes and Ryan Morgan, all virtually eliminated from the title hunt, looked to score a late-season win. Brian Tagg came away with the win while Woody Pitkat picked up minimal points over William Wall as the title contenders finished fourth and fifth respectively. 

Racing action returns to Thompson on Labor Day weekend for a makeup day of on-track action on Sunday, September 1. NASCAR’s Whelen All American Series divisions will take center stage as drivers seek valuable points with only two more races before the Sunoco World Series of Racing season finale in October.  

WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR 30TH ANNUAL BUD 150 FINISH TOP-10: 1. Doug Coby; 2. Justin Bonsignore; 3. Craig Lutz; 4. Jon McKennedy; 5. Timmy Solomito; 6. Jimmy Blewett; 7. Andrew Krause; 8. Patrick Emerling; 9. Matt Swanson; 10. Woody Pitkat 

NEMA FEATURE FINISH TOP-10: 1. Avery Stoehr; 2. Randy Cabral; 3. Paul Scally; 4. Mike Horn; 5. Bethany Stoher; 6. Jake Trainor; 7. Sammy Swindell; 8. Andy Lunt; 9. Jeff Champagne; 10. Todd Bertrand 

SUNOCO MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH TOP-10: 1. Keith Rocco (Berlin, CT); 2. Ronnie Williams (Tolland, CT); 3. Woody Pitkat (Bellingham, MA); 4. Todd Owen (Somers, CT); 5. Troy Talman (Oxford, MA); 6. Noah Korner; 7. Corey Barry (Brooklyn, CT); 8. Kyle James (Westerly, RI); 9. Adam Gada; 10. Danny Cates 

SK LIGHT MODIFIEDS© FEATURE FINISH TOP-10: 1. Teddy Hodgdon (Danbury, CT); 2. Wayne Burroughs, Jr. (Oakdale, CT); 3. Nathan Pytko (Oxford, MA); 4. Wesley Prucker; 5. Anthony Marvin (Colchester, CT); 6. John O’Sullivan (Salem, CT); 7. Todd Taylor (Stonington, CT); 8. Matt MacDougall (Derby, CT); 9. Albert Ouellette (Ellington, CT); 10. Mikey Flynn (Hampden, MA) 

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

MINI STOCK FEATURE TOP-10: 1. Doug Curry (Norwich, CT); 2. Jared Roy (Sterling, CT); 3. Glen Thomas, Jr.; 4. Ian Brew (Woodriver Junction, RI); 5. Joe Bavolacco (Stratford, CT); 6. JT Suprenant (Central Village, CT); 7. Scott Michalski (Danielson, CT); 8. Steve Michalski (Brooklyn, CT); 9. Evan Bourgeois (East Haddam, CT); 10. John Ekdahl (Chepachet, RI) 

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

BUD ‘KING OF BEERS’ 150 ON TAP AT THOMPSON SPEEDWAY MOTORSPORTS PARK THIS WEDNESDAY

(Tom Morris/Myracenews photos)

THOMPSON, Conn. — For the third time in 2019, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will invade Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Wednesday night. The 30th annual Bud ‘King of Beers’ 150 will bring NASCAR’s top stars back to Connecticut for a crucial race in the tour’s championship battle. 

Joining the Whelen Modified Tour, all five of Thompson’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions and the NEMA Midgets will also battle. Not only will fans be able to watch some of NASCAR’s best, they will also witness sprint car veteran and champion Sammy Swindell compete in a Midget for Bertrand Motorsports, and some of the top local talent from New England in their short-track action.  

On the Whelen Modified Tour championship front, Doug Coby, Ron Silk and Justin Bonsignore enter the race as the title favorites with just six races remaining in their season. Coby leads Ron Silk by 24 points, but Silk is coming off back-to-back series victories at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Stafford Motor Speedway. 

Bonsignore is chasing some history at Thompson on Wednesday. The driver of the No. 51 Phoenix Communications Inc. Chevrolet has been to Victory Lane in the last six tour races on the high-banks and is showing no signs of slowing down. Bonsignore didn’t lead the most laps in the Thompson 125 in June but was in the right position when it mattered most. He’s become the only driver to win five, and the only driver to win six races in a row at Thompson over the last four months. 

Coby and Silk aren’t going to be far behind him. Both have their eyes set on the championship chase and are former winners at TSMP. Coby most recently won the finale en route to the title in 2015, but Silk hasn’t carried the checkered since 2012 in the Icebreaker. 

Outside of them, there are over 25 more drivers planning to compete. Jon McKennedy will be behind the wheel of the famed No. 7NY for Tommy Baldwin, while the Whelen Modified Tour Sunoco Rookie of the Year battle continues with Sam Rameau entering the race ahead of Timmy Catalano and J.B. Fortin. Fans can also watch for names like Jimmy Blewett, Matt Swanson, Eric Goodale and Chris Pasteryak. Woody Pitkat, who has won the last two Late Model races at TSMP, will also compete in the Danny Watts owned No. 82 Chevrolet. 

Through the first five races of the NEMA season, Avery Stoehr leads Todd Bertrand and Randy Cabral in their championship fight.  

Speaking of Pitkat, he will be looking to continue to close the gap in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model standings in the 25-lap feature. Pitkat is just 17 points back of former champion William Wall, who has one victory, but top 10 finishes in all five races. Derek Gluchacki, who’s looking for his first TSMP win, is 26 points back. 

The Limited Sportsman point chase might be one of the tightest in New England. With the top four drivers separated by just nine markers, anything can, and will happen when the green flag drops for their 20-lap race Wednesday. Kyle Gero, in search of his first title, leads by just one over Shawn Monahan and seven over Meghan Fuller. Ryan Morgan is fourth, while Brent Gleason, with one victory, is fifth.  

The top two in the Mini Stock standings are separated by just six points, with two drivers named Michalski showing the way at the top. Scott leads Steve, but both are not going to give an inch going down the stretch. They both have been to Victory Lane, along with four other drivers this season, making it six winners in six races. Fans can watch names like Russ Barboza, Evan Bourgeois and Ian Brew, who are all inside the top 10 in the points chase but haven’t been to Victory Lane just yet. 

Albert Ouellette and John O’Sullivan look to close the gap to the top of the SK Light Modified® championship standings. Ouellette is looking for his first career win, while O’Sullivan was able to earn his first checkered flag on July 28. They will join the rest of the competitors in a 20-lap feature race. 

Fresh off his second win in six races, Keith Rocco is in prime form in search of another Sunoco Modified title. The Berlin, Connecticut, driver leads the standings entering the mid-week special, but Woody Pitkat is trying to close in. Pitkat was able to earn his first victory of the season on July 28 and followed it up with a second-place finish on August 4. 

Grandstand admission opens at 2:30 p.m., while NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour teams will hit the track for one-hour of practice from 3:55-4:55 p.m. Qualifying races for the NEMA Midgets will begin at 5 p.m. Fans should note that the Bud ‘King of Beers’ 150 is not the final race of the night – as the Mini Stocks and Late Models will follow the tour race.

Grandstand admission is $50, while seniors (65+), veteran and active military are $45. Children 12 and under are free. Anyone who wishes to purchase a pit pass for the evening can do it for just $55. 

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

PITKAT SRVIVES TO SCORE WALL MODIFIED TOUR WIN

WALL TOWNSHIP, N.J. The wait was well worth it for Woody Pitkat.

The Stafford, Connecticut, native outlasted all competitors in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour return to Wall Stadium Speedway on Saturday and took the checkered flag in the first event for the series at the third-mile oval in 12 years.

Woody Pitkat taking the Jersey Shore 150 checker flag at Wall Stadium Speedway May 18th 2019-Michael Jaworecki Myracenews Photo

It was the fourth career Whelen Modified Tour win for Pitkat, and his first in four years. It was also his first win driving for Danny Watts Racing in his 21st start with the team. Pitkat took over the ride after the passing of Ted Christopher in 2017.

“The biggest thing I told the guys today was that I wasn’t going to be over-aggressive,” Pitkat said. “I figured we wouldn’t qualify that great, but I knew I just needed to be there at the end. I was just trying to ride as much as I could. I really wasn’t sure how it was going to work out.”

The race didn’t look like it was going to fall into Pitkat’s lap until the final stages. Justin Bonsignore and Andrew Krause took turns leading early before Doug Coby took control of the race on lap 66 after starting sixth. He led a race-high 72 laps.

Coby was in control of the field on a restart on lap 138, and after contact with home town favorite Krause entering turn three, both of their chances ended. Krause, who was fastest in practice and led 35 laps himself, was done for the night.

That handed the lead to former series champion Ron Silk, who looked as though he would score his second win of the young season driving for Kevin Stuart. But, a restart with just five laps remaining ended Silk’s chances as contact sent him spinning in a wreck that collected many of the cars left on the track.

Ron Silk #85 led late but a spin ended his hopes for at win at Wall Stadium Speedway May 18th 2019 Michael Jaworecki Myracenews photo.

From there, the battle for Pitkat was underway on a green-white-checkered restart in NASCAR overtime, Pitkat lined up to the outside of Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Timmy Catalano on the front row. At the green, Pitkat powered by to the lead and never looked back, as the No. 82 Horton Avenue Materials Chevrolet started smoking when the nerf-bar starting rubbing on the right-rear tire.

In the end Pitkat made it around to the checkered flag at the top of the field.

In the late dash, rising star and local favorite Blake Barney powered his way to a second-place finish, his career best effort in Whelen Modified Tour competition. Veteran Rob Summers was third, followed by Catalano and Dave Sapienza. Sapienza crashed into an infield barrier at the finish, but no injury was reported.

Eric Goodale was sixth, followed by Ken Heagy, Ron Silk, Tommy Catalano and Doug Coby.

Kyle Scisco of Jackson won his second 25-lap main event of the young season in the companion Center State Engineering Sportsman main event. Scisco’s win came after he and fellow Jackson resident Jarret DiGiantomasso touched and tangled on a couple of occasions during the closing laps. Mancester’s Shanon Mongeau was able to slip into second spot in front of Carsten DiGiantomasso while Christian LaCicero of Lavallette and Howell’s Kevin Davison wrapped up the top five.

Elliott Wohl of Beachwood led most of the way to top the 25-lapper for the O’Shea’s Auto Repair Factory Stocks. Defending class champion Mike Montano of Freeport, N.Y. was the runner-up, while Farmingdale’s Kenny Green, Tim Majek of Scotch Plains and Union’s Joey Helberg wrapped up the top five.

Neil Rutt III of Edison took the lead on lap 17 and won the 25-lapper for the Surfside Collision 4 Cylinder Stocks. Early leader Jeffrey Loesch of Neptune City was second, with Alonzo Morales of Mt. Ephraim, Edison’s Darianne McLaren and Brick’s Randy Hart were third through fifth.

The 2019 Saturday night regular season then continues on Saturday (May 25) evening with the Modifieds, Sportsman cars, Legend Cars and the Limited Late Models in action The open cockpit Three Quarter Midgets will make their first appearance of the season.

In observance of Memorial day weekend, all active military and veterans will enjoy free grandstand admission when providing proper identification. Grandstands will open at 5:00 p.m. Qualifying starts at 5:45 p.m. and main event action starts at 7:00 p.m.

Saturday night racing action continues through early October with schedule details at wallspeedwayracing.com.

Wall Stadium is located on Route 34 in Wall Township, N.J., just one mile north of Garden State Parkway exit 98 and Interstate 195 exit 35B. The speedway hotline number is 732-681-6400 and email address isckmotorsports@aol.com.

– THE END –

RACE RESULTS

TOUR MODIFIED FEATURE – 150 Laps – 1. WOODY PITKAT, STAFFORD, CT., 2. Blake Barney, 3. Rob Summers, 4. Tim Catalano, 5. Dave Sapienza, 6. Eric Goodale, 7. Ken Heagy, 8. Ron Silk, 9. Tommy Catalano, 10. Doug Coby, 11. Wade Cole, 12. Jimmy Blewett, 13 Justin Bonsignore, 14. Matt Swanson, 15. Melissa Fifield, 16. Calvin Carroll, 17. Andrew Krause, 18. Chris Pasteryak, 19. Kyle Elwood, 20. J.B. Fortin, 21. Anthony Sesely, 22. Sam Rameau, 23. Patrick Emerling, 24. Jamie Tomaino, 25. Tim Solomito, 26. Craig Lutz, 27. Danny Bohn, 28. Joey Mucciacciaro

SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 25 Laps – 1. KYLE SCISCO, JACKSON, 2. Shanon Mongeau, 3. Carsten DiGiantomasso, 4. Christian LaCicero, 5. Kevin Davison, 6. John McCormack, 7. Larry Thompson, 8. Tommy Martino, Jr., 9. Jonathan Laureigh, 10. Robert Sutphin, 11. Jarrett DiGiantomasso, 12. Jake Nelke, 13. Robert Vassilatos, 14. Michael Rising, 15. Michael Carr, 16. Joe Cooley, 17. Eric Lane

FACTORY STOCK FEATURE – 25 Laps – 1. ELLIOTT WOHL, BAYVILLE, 2. Mike Montano, 3. Kenny Green, 4. Tim Majek, 5. Joey Helberg, 6. Scott Riggleman, 7. Richie Byrne, 8. John Carpenter, 9. Eric Bodenschatz, 10. John Bowers, 11. Brian O’Shea, 12. Waylon Spear, 13. Robert Ptaszynski, 14. Tony Bartone, 15. Kevin Flores, 16. Matt Badessa, 17. Theresa Collins, 18. Nancy Riggleman, 19. Billy Both, 20. Robert Stack, 21. Anthony Pancoast, 22. Gerry Koenig, 23. Tom Rajkowski, 24. Nick Kilmer, 25. terry Cain

4 CYLINDER STOCK FEATURE – 25 Laps – 1. NEIL RUTT III, Edison, 2. Jeffrey Loesch, 3. Alonzo Morales, 4. Darianne McLaren, 5. Randy Hart, 6. Mike Lavery, 7. Sal Liguori, 8. Chuck McDonald, 9. Doug Ashford, 10. Jennifer Schultz, 11. Ryan Maher, 12. Nicole Razzano, 13. Marko Vulsanic, 14. Deanna McLaren, 15. Bill Schwarz