Category Archives: Touring Modified Series

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Statistical Advance: Thompson

Thompson 2016

Analyzing the Icebreaker 150 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 6, 2016) – The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will open the 2016 season with the Icebreaker 150 on Sunday at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. Below is a statistical look at the performance of the tour and selected drivers at the track:

 

 Icebreaker 150 Setup:

  • Doug Coby, by Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
    Doug Coby,
    by Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)

    Two-time defending NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour titlist Doug Coby recorded a season sweep of the 2015 events at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. This week he will look to become the first driver in tour history to win five consecutive races at the track.

  • With wins in the last three events of 2015, Coby is also looking to become the first driver to win four straight races overall since Mike Stefanik in 1997.
  • Icebreaker winners have gone on to capture the NWMT title that season eight times, including Coby last year.
  • The last nine Icebreaker 150s have been won by eight different drivers.
  • Of the 28 cars entered for the event, seven are new to the tour or have different drivers from the conclusion of 2015.
  • Eric Goodale is set to extend the active NWMT consecutive starts streak to 100 races in this event.

 At Thompson Speedway:

History

  • Opened on May 26, 1940 as the largest and first entirely-asphalt track in New England at the time.
  • An inaugural member track of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, now in its 35th season. Woody Pitkat is the defending track champion out of the track’s headlining Sunoco Modified division.
  • Held NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in 1951, 1969 and 1970, and 27 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East events from 1988-2009.
  • Site of the inaugural NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event on March 31, 1985, a race won by the late NASCAR Hall of Famer Richie Evans.

 Notebook

  • Thompson has played host to 130 NWMT races, the most in the tour’s 32 seasons.
  • There have been 34 different race winners at Thompson, led by Mike Stefanik’s 15 victories.
  • There have been 44 different pole winners at Thompson, led by Tony Hirschman’s 13.
  • Jamie Tomaino is the only driver that has participated in all 130 previous NWMT Thompson races.
  • There have only been three races won in wire-to-wire fashion at Thompson, the last by Rick Fuller in 1997.
  • Bobby Santos was the youngest Thompson race winner at 22 years, 11 days in 2007.
  • Stefanik was the oldest Thompson victor at 54 years, 10 months, 25 days in 2013.

 Thompson Data

Race:  #1 of 17 overall, #1 of 4 at Thompson

Track Layout:  .625-mile asphalt oval

Banking/Turns:  26 degrees

Race Length:  150 laps (93.75 miles)

 

Qualifying/Race Data

2015 Race Winner:  Doug Coby, 1 hr. 23 mins. 19 secs., 67.514 mph

2015 Pole Winner:  Doug Coby, 18.679 secs., 120.456 mph

Qualifying Record:  Bobby Santos, 18.237 seconds, 123.376 mph, April 10, 2011

  Active Category Leaders at Thompson: Wins

  1. Ted Christopher … 13
  2. Doug Coby … 5
  3. Bobby Santos … 4

Ron Silk … 4

 

Poles

  1. Ted Christopher … 7
  2. Bobby Santos … 5
  3. Donny Lia … 4

Ryan Preece … 4

Top Fives

  1. Ted Christopher … 34
  2. Jamie Tomaino … 20
  3. Ron Silk … 16

Top 10s

  1. Ted Christopher … 49

Jamie Tomaino … 49

  1. Todd Szegedy … 27

Laps Led

  1. Ted Christopher … 1,750
  2. Doug Coby … 771
  3. Donny Lia … 645

Laps Completed

  1. Jamie Tomaino… 15,969
  2. Ted Christopher … 11,837
  3. Wade Cole … 9,461

Starts

  1. Jamie Tomaino … 130
  2. Ted Christopher … 89
  3. Wade Cole … 84

 Select Driver Highlights:

Jimmy Blewett (No. 4 Starrett Dodge)

  • Has five wins, three poles and 36 top 10s in 106 career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour starts.
  • Last participated on the tour in 2013. Best career points finish was eighth in both 2007 and 2012.
  • Has a pole (June 2006), nine top 10s, an average finish of 16th and a best result of second (Oct. 2006, April 2009) in 29 career NWMT starts at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

 Justin Bonsignore (No. 51 M3 Technology Chevrolet)IMG_6348 (2)

  • Has eight wins, five poles and 51 top 10s in 88 career NWMT starts.
  • Has three wins, 11 top 10s and an average finish of 13th in 21 career starts at Thompson.
  • Won the 2014 Icebreaker 150.

 Doug Coby (No. 2 Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer Repair Chevrolet)

  • Three-time NWMT champion has 17 wins, 10 poles and 90 top 10s in 172 career starts.
  • Has five wins, two poles, 26 top 10s and an average finish of 11th in 46 career Thompson NWMT starts. Also won the inaugural non-points UNOH Showdown in 2011.
  • Is the defending Icebreaker 150 winner, which launched a season sweep of 2015 events at Thompson.

 Chase Dowling (No. 9 S&S Asphalt Paving/Dunleavy’s Repair Chevrolet)IMG_8503

  • The 2015 Sunoco Rookie of the Year recorded eight top 10s with a best finish of third (Aug. Riverhead Raceway) in 15 races.
  • Recorded an average finish of 13.5 across his first four races at Thompson last year, including a ninth-place effort in the World Series.

 Eric Goodale (No. 58 GAF Roofing Chevrolet)

  • Has a win, a pole and 44 top 10s in 101 career starts.
  • Maintains the NWMT’s active lead for consecutive starts, now at 99 races.
  • Has 12 top 10s, an average finish of 14th and a best result of third (Aug. 2013) in 24 starts at Thompson.

IMG_8512Donny Lia (No. 8 Sypher Construction/Bardahl Chevrolet)

  • The 2007 and 2009 NWMT champion has 17 wins, 21 poles and 87 top 10s in 169 career starts.
  • Has three wins, four poles, 18 top 10s and an average finish of 13th in 39 career Thompson starts.
  • Thompson wins have come in June, August and September events. Will look for his first Icebreaker 150 victory.

 Rowan Pennink (No. 3 Cape Cod Copper Chevrolet)

  • Has two wins and 58 top 10s in 124 career races.
  • Has a win (2013 World Series), eight top 10s and an average finish of 12th in 33 career NWMT starts at Thompson.

 Woody Pitkat (No. 85 Stuart’s Automotive Chevrolet)

  • Has three wins, four poles and 55 top 10s in 106 career starts.
  • Has three poles, 10 top 10s, an average finish of 15th and a best result of second (2014 & `15 Icebreakers, Aug. `15) in 29 NWMT Thompson starts.
  • Was the Icebreaker 150 runner-up the last two years.
  • Thompson’s 2006 and 2015 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion out of the Sunoco Modified division.

IMG_8586 (2)Ryan Preece (No. 6 TS Haulers/Riverhead Raceway Chevrolet)

  • The 2013 NWMT champion has 15 wins, 14 poles, 40 podiums, 55 top fives and 78 top 10s in 123 career starts.
  • Has a win (2014 World Series), four poles, 20 top 10s and an average finish of 11th in 32 NWMT Thompson races.
  • Earned the 2012 and `14 Thompson NWAAS track titles in Sunoco Modifieds, where he has 18 career wins.
  • Will head to Thompson from Texas Motor Speedway where he will compete Friday night in the NASCAR XFINITY Series race.

 Bobby Santos (No. 44 Tinio Corp./Dan Kelley/Curb Records Chevrolet)

  • The 2010 NWMT champion has 13 wins, 16 poles and 58 top 10s in 107 career events.
  • Has four wins, five poles, 19 top 10s and an average finish of 14th in 35 Thompson races.
  • One of his Thompson triumphs came in the 2010 Icebreaker 150, which launched his championship campaign.

Ron Silk (No. 82 Horton Avenue Materials Chevrolet)

  • The 2011 NWMT champion has nine wins, nine poles and 86 top 10s in 145 career starts.
  • Has four wins, 25 top 10s and an average finish of 11th in 40 NWMT Thompson races.
  • Won the Icebreaker 150 in 2012 as the reigning NWMT champion.

 Timmy Solomito (No. 16 Diversified Metals/R.B. Enterprises Ford)IMG_8412

  • Has a pole and 17 top 10s in 35 career starts with a best finish of third at Riverhead in September 2013 and twice at Stafford in 2015 (June, Oct.).
  • In 10 Thompson starts he’s posted average finish of 10th and a best result of third in the 2015 World Series.

Other Driver Notes:

  • Andrew Krause is set to make his NWMT debut in this event. He’s the only driver entered with no prior starts at Thompson.
  • Rob Summers will attempt to make his first NWMT start at Thompson since the 2010 World Series. He has an average finish of 22.5 in 27 career races there.
  • Brendon Bock and Jeff Goodale both recorded top-10 finishes in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour season opener at Caraway Speedway in March.

 More Coby Notes:

  • Can become the first driver to win four consecutive NWMT races overall since Mike Stefanik in 1997 (five straight) … only other driver to win at least four straight was Richie Evans (five, 1985).
  • Can become the first driver since Ryan Preece in 2011-12 to capture four consecutive poles.
  • Can extend his own all-time record for consecutive wins from the pole, currently at three.
  • Can become the first driver to win the Icebreaker 150 in back-to-back seasons since Ted Christopher in 2004-05 … Jeff Fuller (1992-93) is the only other driver to accomplish the feat.
  • Can become the first driver since Christopher in 2010-11 to record back-to-back wins in a season finale and the opener the following year … others are: Reggie Ruggiero (1987-88), Steve Park (1995-96), Rick Fuller (1999-2000), Christopher (2008-09).
  • Can move into sole possession of 10th place on the NWMT career victories list with win No. 18.
  • Will vie in 2016 to become the first driver in NWMT history to win three-straight championships.

 Up To Speed:

  • This is the 32nd season of NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour racing. The inaugural race was contested March 31, 1985 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
  • The 2015 schedule features 17 points races at nine different tracks across four states.
  • Following the Icebreaker 150 the NWMT will return to action on April 24 with the NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 at Stafford Motor Speedway.

The 42nd Annual Icebreaker at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Heralds in the New England Racing Season

This week’s early spring snow makes the name of Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park’s (TSMP) season-opening event more appropriate than ever this year. The 42nd Annual Icebreaker on April 9th-10th will bring the racing season into full swing as twelve divisions of racing take to the track over two action-packed days, headlined by the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (NWMT).

Defending NWMT champion, Doug Coby and the No. 2 Mike Smeriglio III Racing Team, have proven a powerful combination over the last couple of years, securing the championship in both 2014 and 2015 and sweeping all four events at TSMP last season. That’s not to say there hasn’t been some fierce competition for them from drivers like Woody Pitkat and Ryan Preece, as the championship last season came down to a tight battle at the last race of the season, Thompson’s Sunoco World Series. With Ryan Preece running a full season in the NASCAR XFINITY series this season, he will be forced to run a limited schedule in the #6 NWMT car. This will provide the opportunity for other strong drivers in the field, like Justin Bonsignore, Timmy Solomito, Donny Lia and Ron Silk, to contend for the title.

The North East Street Stock Tour (NESST) will be opening their second season on Saturday afternoon of the Icebreaker with a 20 lap feature. The NESST race, presented by RAD Auto Machine, kicks off a ten-event championship season which also ends at Thompson’s 5/8-mile oval in October. The defending champion, Joe Arena, will face stiff competition from other championship-winning drivers, including Chris “Moose” Douton and Steve Kenneway.

Also, opening their season on Saturday will be the New England Pro 4 Modifieds and the NEMA Lites, both with 20 lap features. With a twenty plus car field anticipated for the NEMA Lites, there is sure to be some exciting battles in this race. The winningest driver at Thompson, with twelve victories, is Randy Cabral returning in his family-owned #35 Lites car. Also present will be the winner of both NEMA Lites races at Thompson last year, Scott Bigelow, and last year’s NEMA Lites Champion, Anthony “The Tornado” Payne.

Saturday afternoon’s races will also include the Lite Modified and Truck divisions.

The Vintage Outlaws, a vintage modified racing series, will race both Saturday and Sunday, offering a look back at some of the cars that used to run at Thompson throughout the 76-year history of the track.

On the schedule for Sunday, for the first time since 2012 is the Pro All Star Series (PASS). They will be running their first PASS North Super Late Model race of the season on Sunday afternoon, which will also serve as race three of the PASS National Championship Series. Following the Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory Speedway on March 26, former Thompson Speedway track champion Derek Ramstrom will enter the Icebreaker weekend leading the National points standings by two points over Ben Rowe and Mike Hopkins.

Also on the schedule for Sunday afternoon are Thompson’s four NASCAR Whelen All-American Series (NWAAS) divisions, the Sunoco Modifieds, Late Models, Xtra Mart Limited Sportsman and Mini Stocks. The Sunoco Modified field is shaping up to be more competitive than ever, with the defending champion Woody Pitkat going up against 4-time Thompson champion, Keith Rocco. He will also be running against reigning Stafford Speedway SK modified champion, Rowan Pennink who will be returning to Thompson for the first time since 2010.

The Late Model division last season saw rookie, Brian Tagg, take his first championship in another tight points battle. He was not the only one to see success last season. Jeff Rocco, who won 4 times in 2015, will also be a favorite for the 2016 crown. Six-time champion, Rick Gentes, will also be looking to get back on top with a switch to a new engine package this season.

The Xtra Mart Limited Sportsman are always a strong division at Thompson and with over 30 drivers on the roster, should provide some good two and three-wide action at the Icebreaker. Returning veterans Scott Sundeen and Larry Barnett will both be ones to watch this season. Scott Sundeen won the title the past two seasons bringing him up to four championships total, and tying him with Larry Barnett’s title wins. Corey Hutchings has also been dominant in the division winning half of the last two years’ races, but has a history of bad luck at the Icebreaker. He will be looking to turn that around this weekend with a strong finish in the first event of the season. This will be the first of three races in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Triple Crown Championship for the Xtra Mart Limited Sportsman.

The Mini Stocks will also be competing in their first O’Reilly Auto Parts Triple Crown Championship race at the Icebreaker. First-time champion Dave Trudeau will be looking to defend his hard-earned title. There will be some fresh faces in the division this season, which will mix with seasoned veterans to make for an interesting field. Doug Curry, who showed strong potential in his two races at TSMP last season, will be coming to Thompson full time in 2016 aiming for the championship. Eric Bourgeois, last year’s inaugural Triple Crown champion, will also be back in his #87 car.

Sunday’s events will conclude with the feature event, the 150 lap NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at around 3:30 PM.

The Icebreaker kicks off the season this weekend, April 9-10. A practice day is scheduled for Friday, April 8. For more information on Thompson Speedway news and events, visit www.thompsonspeedway.com, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Youtube.

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour News & Notes: Thompson

      Season Gets Green Flag With Icebreaker 150

  • 2016 Championship: Take Coby or the Field?

 

indexDAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 5, 2016) – Doug Coby has captured three of the last four NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championships. During that period has won one out of every four races.

When laying out the odds for 2016 championship contenders, his dominance begs the question: Do you take Coby or the field?

Ryan Preece has been Coby’s chief competitor during that run. He won the 2012 title and was runner-up to Coby the other three seasons. But Preece is running full-time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series this season and his Whelen Modified Tour participation will be limited to non-conflicting dates.

On the surface, the loss of that head-to-head championship match-up would appear to widen the gap for Coby. It also provides an opportunity for others to step up.

Based on his 2014 performance, Justin Bonsignore has the potential to lead the pack of contenders. He was in the championship mix until the next-to-last race of that season and finished third. For a 2016 title run he would have to avoid another frustrating first half that plagued him a year ago.

After two seasons getting used to running on the Whelen Modified Tour, Timmy Solomito also appears ready to challenge. He finished 2015 strong with two podium finishes, but will need to prove he can win races to hang with Coby.

A trio of past champions also hopes to get back in the mix. Two-time titlist Donny Lia averaged a top-five finish across the last six events of 2015 while Bobby Santos’ team is reenergized following a switch in chassis and engines. Ron Silk has joined a new team with aspirations of running all 17 events, and they already have a win together from Speedweeks.

Is Eric Goodale ready to contend? Will Rowan Pennink return to winning form? Can Jimmy Blewett knock off the rust and run up front right away? These and many more questions will start to be answered this weekend as the season gets underway with the Icebreaker 150 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

 

RACE:  Icebreaker 150

PLACE:  Thompson (Conn.) Speedway Motorsports Park

DATE:  Sunday, April 10

TIME:  3:30 p.m. ET (approx.)

WEBCAST:  Live on FansChoice.tv

TRACK LAYOUT:  .625-mile, high-banked asphalt oval

2015 POLESITTER / WINNER:  Doug Coby

EVENT SCHEDULE:  Saturday – Practice 12-12:45 p.m., Final Practice 1:25-2:10 p.m., Qualifying 4 p.m., Sunday – Pit Party (Driver Autograph Session) 11-11:50 a.m.

TRACK CONTACTS:  Theresa Condict, 860-923-2280, oval@thompsonspeedway.com

TRACK TWITTER:  @ThompsonSpdwy

EVENT HASHTAG:  #Icebreaker2016

Fast Facts

The Race:  The 32nd season of NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour competition will commence with headlining event of 42nd Annual Icebreaker weekend. The Icebreaker 150 will be the first of four events in 2016 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

The Procedure:  The maximum starting field per the official entry blank is 36 cars, including provisionals. The first 31 cars will have secured starting positions based on two-lap qualifying. The remaining five spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race is scheduled for 150 laps (93.75 miles) and the tire change rule is three tires, any position.

The Track:  A .625-mile high-banked oval that opened in 1940, Thompson was the first entirely asphalt track in the nation and the largest in New England for five decades. Thompson has played host to 130 Whelen Modified Tour races all-time, more than any other track, and is one of two facilities to welcome the tour in each of its previous 31 years of competition.

Race Winners: There have been 34 different race winners at Thompson, led by Mike Stefanik’s 15 victories. Doug Coby swept all four events there last year.

Pole Winners:  There have been 44 different pole winners at Thompson, led by Tony Hirschman’s 13. Bobby Santos maintains the tour’s track qualifying record at 18.237 seconds (123.376 mph), set on April 10, 2011.

Icebreaker 150 Notes

For Openers:  Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park will play host to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season opener for the 15th consecutive season and the 20th time overall. The last track other than Thompson to hold the Whelen Modified Tour opener was Virginia’s South Boston Speedway in 2001. The tour has opened at eight different venues since its inaugural 1985 campaign.

Coby’s Quest:  Doug Coby matched history a year ago when he became just the third driver in Whelen Modified Tour history to sweep a season of events at Thompson. In this week’s Icebreaker 150 he’ll have an opportunity to go where none have gone before. Coby is one of six drivers that have won four straight tour races at “Big T,” but no one has ever extended the streak to five. He’ll also look to become the first driver to win four consecutive overall races since Mike Stefanik in 1997.

Same Face, Different Place:  Each Whelen Modified Tour offseason traditionally features a musical chairs-like scenario of ride swapping. The 2015-16 winter months were no different. The following are the notable changes: Chase Dowling moved from the Tomaino Motorsports No. 9 to the Berkley Auto Racing No. 9; Rowan Pennink switched from his own No. 93 to the Boehler Racing Enterprises No. 3; Woody Pitkat moved from the Buzz Chew Racing No. 88 to the Kevin Stuart Motorsports No. 85; Ron Silk changed from the Rob Fuller Motorsports No. 15 to the Watts Motorsports No. 82; Todd Szegedy moved from the Mystic Missile Racing No. 4 back to the RFM No. 15. Idle in recent seasons, Jimmy Blewett (Mystic Missile Racing No. 4) and Rob Summers (KLM Racing No. 64) have also returned to the tour to fill vacant seats.

Rookie Race:  Following a deep competition for Sunoco Rookie of the Year in 2015, this season’s class is taking shape. After both tested the tour waters with a handful of events last year, Craig Lutz and Matt Swanson will take their programs full-time in 2016 to compete for the rookie crown. New Jersey newcomer Andrew Krause has also thrown his name into the mix and will run the full schedule while Nick Salva has a tentative slate of seven events.

Last Race for “The Voice”:  This week’s Icebreaker will mark the last event for the voice of Thompson, Russ Dowd, who is retiring after serving as the track’s public address announcer for more than three decades. Dowd, who has also served as general manager and director of operations at Thompson through the years, has been behind the mic for all 130 previous Whelen Modified Tour races at “Big T” since 1985.

 Home Tracks: Pitkat Reigning Champ

Woody Pitkat will enter the 42nd Annual Icebreaker weekend as the defending NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track champion at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. Pitkat averaged a podium finish across eight Sunoco Modified division features in the No. 6 Chevrolet owned by Stan Mertz to take down his second Thompson title last year with a 15-point margin of victory in the final standings over Ryan Preece. Pitkat will be fighting against recent history in an attempt to earn back-to-back titles in 2016. The last driver to accomplish the feat at Thompson was Roger Godin in 1999-2000.

Thompson 2016