Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park celebrated the 2015 oval track season this weekend at Mohegan Sun at its annual award ceremony honoring four division champions in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. Woody Pitkat celebrated his 2nd Sunoco Modified title, while Scott Sundeen was honored as a 4-time Xtra Mart Limited Sportsman champion. Late Model driver Brian Tagg and Mini Stock competitor Dave Trudeau each took home their first career championship.
For Pitkat, it was his first season driving for car owner Stan Mertz in the Sunoco Modified division and the combination found immediate success. The duo placed in the top-10 in every race this season including five 2nd place finishes. Pitkat won the Modified title in 2006 in his first full-time season in the division to compliment his 2002 Late Model crown. It is the first championship for Mertz as a car owner at Thompson Speedway.
Late Model driver Brian Tagg saw his childhood dreams come true when he accepted the championship trophy before a large group of supporters. Tagg grew up attending races at Thompson Speedway with his dad, a former Sunoco Modified champion, who won the championship in the Speedway’s 50th anniversary season. This year’s Late Model triumph came in as the 75th season was celebrated. 2015 was Tagg’s rookie season in the division.
Scott Sundeen defended his 2014 championship from one year ago to earn his 4th title in his 14th season competing in the Xtra Mart Limited Sportsman division. Each of his championships were won while driving the same race car, which was proudly on display Saturday night at Mohegan Sun. With the banquet complete, that chassis will be retired as a champion after winning two races in 2015.
Sundeen will be back next season to attempt his 3rd straight championship.
Dave Trudeau has been a long time competitor at Thompson Speedway, but 2015 was his first taste of the champion’s champagne after earning the Mini Stock title. Trudeau was a factor all season by finishing 2nd in 3 of the first 4 races. His two victories came in the month of August only to pad his point lead heading into the Sunoco World Series where he captured the crown.
Special awards were presented to the Rookie of the Year including Sunoco Modified driver, Ryan Morgan who finished 5th in the final standings on the strength of 4 top-5 finishes in 2015. William Wall led laps and registered two podium finishes to earn Late Model Rookie of the Year honors. Xtra Mart Limited sportsman driver Josh Wood was the Rookie of the Year in his division with 4 Top-5 finishes and 5 Top-10s. Robert ‘Bob’ Ducharme earned the honor in the Mini Stock Division by earning 2 Top-10 finishes. Each rookie driver was measured by his performance both on and off the racetrack.
In 2015, Thompson Speedway introduced the new Triple Crown Series in the Mini Stock and Xtra Mart Limited Sportsman Division. The Series became a race within a race as points counted for both the track championship and the Triple Crown. In the Mini Stocks, the Triple Crown races were held on June 10th, July 29th, and August 26th and Eric Bourgeois was honored as the first Triple Crown winner. Xtra Mart Limited sportsman driver Corey Hutchings won two of the three Triple Crown races that were held on June 10th, July 8th, and August 12th to earn the award in his division.
The John Hoenig Memorial Award, which recognizes one individual for their hard work and dedication to the Speedway, was presented to Olivia Bouchard.
Bouchard was born into racing and grew up around racetracks along the east coast. She has spent countless hours working tirelessly at Thompson Speedway in many different capacities. She has been responsible for speedway marketing, NASCAR licensing, the redesign of speedway awards, coordination of autograph sessions and many behind the scenes tasks. She has shown unmatched devotion to Thompson Speedway and its competitors. Bouchard was presented with the prestigious award that is given in her great-grandfathers name as part of Thompson Speedway’s Awards Celebration.
As a final conclusion to the Awards Banquet, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park management announced that 2016’s schedule would expand to include ten NASCAR Whelen All-American Series races. The complete schedule will be released at 7PM E.T. on December 8th, through a live broadcast with Victory Lane Radio. Tune in at www.victorylaneradio.com.