Tag Archives: Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park



By Kyle Souza, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

THOMPSON, Conn. – Race fans won’t want to miss the second NASCAR raceday of the season this Sunday at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

Two extra distance NASCAR Whelen All-American Series races, three additional battles under the NASCAR banner, the first competitive drifting in New England with Lock City Drift and a full day of honoring the Military are just some of the headlines for a jammed Sunday of racing action.

On the NASCAR side, the Fourth Annual Limited Sportsman Extra Distance event headlines the afternoon, as drivers in the Division III class showcase their talent for 30 laps. Last year, it was Ryan Waterman, who won this year’s opener at the Icebreaker, who captured the checkered flag in the special event.  In a division that is always known for three-wide, heart-pounding action throughout the entire field, adding 10 laps to the distance has been successful over the last three years, and has given drivers a little bit of an extra chance to get the job done.

Waterman leads the early championship standings in the division in chase for his second title, while Brent Gleason and Corey Fanning are just a few markers behind following their strong run at the opener. Defending champion Shawn Monahan looks to get back on track with his new ‘Swaggin Wagon’ after a run at the Icebreaker that didn’t quite live up to his standards.

The Late Models also take center stage, with a 40 lap extra distance show of their own planned for Sunday. With 15 extra laps on the track, Late Models drivers will set their chase towards Tom Carey III, who dominated the opener and is seeking his first title this year. But, former champions William Wall and Woody Pitkat aren’t far behind, along with names like Mark Jenison and veteran Rick Gentes.

Lock City Drift’s partnership with Thompson Speedway takes another step towards the future on Sunday with the first competitive drifting in all of New England taking place as part of this Sunday special. Through the Street Series, Lock City will give fans the chance to see drivers showcase their talent on the edge of control. Judges will select the winners at the end of each round, and overall winners will be crowned.

“Lock City Drift is excited to be welcomed into the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series family of fans this Sunday at Thompson,” Michael Lynch, the Director of Lock City Drift, said. “We will be showcasing our first Street Series competition right in conjunction with the oval track. With drifting becoming an ever-growing motorsport, it is humbling for us to have our event happening at the same time as the NASCAR racing. We hope you come out and enjoy the smoking of rubber.”

In the Sunoco Modifieds, Keith Rocco has won five of eight races dating back to last year and is showing no signs of slowing down. Rocco has the early advantage over the rest of the field following his win at the Icebreaker, but some of the top Modified talent in New England is right on his heels looking to slow him down. Former division champion Woody Pitkat has a new ride this season, while Todd Owen is looking to finally break into championship glory.

A streak is on the line in the SK Light Modifieds®, as Bryan Narducci looks to grab his sixth win in a row in a competitive class. Narducci will have to start in the middle of the pack, though, which could create some fireworks for the fans as the Connecticut rising star looks to make his way back to the front of the field. Thompson added this division to the weekly NASCAR slate in 2019, and if the opener is any indication, the support from drivers is a sign that this division will be one of the best for years to come.

In the Mini Stocks, veteran Steve Michalski opened his season with a victory at the Icebreaker, but there are multiple staple drivers in the Division V class looking to slow him down this weekend. Ian Brew comes into the event second in the early standings, while the Trudeau family is sitting in third with David Trudeau Jr. trying to chase down the two leaders.

Practice for NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions begins at 12:30 p.m., with qualifying heat racing set to roll at 2 p.m. The feature events for the second race of the season will immediately follow qualifying.

Lock City Drift’s events are included inside the schedule for the day. The full schedule of events, with times for the opening of the pit area and general admission gates, is available at www.thompsonspeedway.com.

As mentioned, any active military and veterans will be admitted for general admission free of charge. Fans can purchase a ticket at the front gate for just $18, while those 65+ can purchase for $16, and Kids 12 and under are free. A paddock pass for race teams and any fans that wish to get a close view of the cars and stars of Thompson is $35.

Race fans and teams are encouraged to visit the website for more information, and also follow the track on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Photo: Tom Morris Myracenews

Brian Tagg Looking To Return To Title Form In Late Models

By Kyle Souza, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

THOMPSON, Conn. – Brian Tagg is no stranger to success at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

The Oxford, Massachusetts, driver won the championship in Thompson’s Late Model division in 2015 – one accomplishment that easily goes down as one of the top in his racing career so far. 
He had competed in Thompson’s Sunoco Modified division previously, and also had winning success in the former Thompson Modified division and the ACT Tour before making the Late Model effort his top priority.

“It was pretty amazing because we were still learning the car. The Late Model is such a different animal and it was only my first season back at Thompson with it,” Tagg said about the title. “Racing on the ACT Tour teaches you so much, when you race against great drivers in a long race. You go back to Thompson and it gives you a different respect for it. It makes you a better driver.”

Winning Thompson’s Late Model championship was something Tagg will never take for granted. Four years later, it still feels like it was just yesterday that he sealed the deal. 

“Not a day goes by that I don’t think about it. You think about all of the good times, and there is really no better feeling than winning races, but to win a championship, you really need everything to go right for you,” Tagg said. “Not everyone gets the chance to have that feeling. I think about it all the time, and even though some people have more than one, just getting that one was amazing for me.”

This year, Tagg has refocused his efforts to look for another title in the competitive Division II class. In seven races last year, four drivers visited Victory Lane, including a division-high three wins by Ryan Morgan. Tagg knows a return to the top isn’t going to be easy against the likes of Icebreaker winner Tom Carey III and the remainder of the field, which includes multiple former champions.

He feels like the list of competitors is even better than it was when he won the title four years ago, making his path back to the top a difficult one.

“I knew Tom Carey III and Ryan Morgan and others were going to be tough, but with everyone so close, if you don’t start in the top five in a 25-lap race, you really have your work cut out for you. It takes you a few laps to get by someone most times,” Tagg said. “Before, there were some guys that weren’t as quick, but now, everyone is right there with you. It’s really tough. Things have changed in a good way. A lot of fans like our race because everyone is close and we really put on a good race.”

In the season opening Icebreaker, Tagg was up to eighth at one point, but fell back in the final circuits and finished 12th. It wasn’t exactly what he was looking for, but after starting back in 16th, he was able to make some moves and gain what could be crucial points when it comes down the stretch of the season.

The Late Model race at the Icebreaker followed the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Icebreaker 150, and teams were given a few hot laps to get a feel for their cars with the Modified rubber on the track. Teams were then given a few short minutes to make adjustments before the feature.

“It was a mix of both for us, having a deep starting position and the rubber down on the track. Giving us the few hot laps after the Whelen Modified Tour race, we were really free and we decided to make two adjustments to tighten the car up, but, we ended up going so far that we were tight,” Tagg said. “But we are very close.”
With how close he feels like his team is, Tagg isn’t planning to make any major adjustments ahead of the next event.

“After what we learned at the Icebreaker and after looking at the lap times, we are right there. I need to be better in the heat races, and we need to improve the car, so I can make some moves out there. I just want to win races,” he said. “Taking pictures is a really good time. Worrying about the points this early is way stressful for me. Even going down to the last race back

in 2015, we didn’t change anything and it worked out for us.”
That next event for Tagg is going to be one of the biggest of the season for the Late Models. The upcoming May 19 race will be 40 laps in distance, as the division joins the Limited Sportsman (30 laps) as the two NASCAR Whelen All-American Series classes with extra laps planned. 

“I am a huge fan of the longer distance races, coming from racing the longer events on the ACT Tour, you know you might not have to change the setup much but you do have to take care of the car,” Tagg said. “But you still have to attack this one as a 25-lap race, and you have to make sure the car is going to handle for the entire race.”
He has sponsorship from JV Mechanical Contractors, B&G Toys and Trains, Harvest Moon Health Foods, La Mountain Brothers, P&D Pizza, HMG Builders and others, and with this support, Tagg is able to compete at a high-level on the track.

For him, even though the first race of the season resulted in a finish outside the top 10, the confidence is still flowing for his race team. 
“It is pretty high, the finish at the Icebreaker didn’t really show what we are capable of. We have a top five car,” Tagg said. “The confidence is really important in racing, and we have it. Especially with our ACT Tour racing last year, we know we are better than what we showed at the Icebreaker. May and June have been my good months in the past. I’m looking forward to it.”

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park returns to NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action on Sunday, May 19, where the Late Models (40 laps), join the Limited Sportsman (30 laps) as two divisions with extra distance as part of the Fourth Annual Limited Sportsman extra distance and Military Night. All active military and veterans may enter the grandstands for free during this special event. The SK Light Modifieds®, Sunoco Modifieds and Mini Stocks also join the action.

Lock City Drift will begin their competitive drifting partnership with Thompson on the same day, as their Street Series begins. The schedule for the event has been completed and is available on the website under the event schedule tab.

For more information, fans are encouraged to visit www.thompsonspeedway.comand follow the track on social media via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Scott Sundeen Looking To Get Back To Victory Lane

By Kyle Souza, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

THOMPSON, Conn. – During the week, Scott Sundeen is busy running a business.

On the weekend, he takes left turns at high-speed in Connecticut, as Sundeen competes at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in the Limited Sportsman division.

The Sutton, Massachusetts, driver is the owner of Sundeen Furniture, a company he started nearly 30 years ago. But when he first decided to open the business, furniture wasn’t exactly what he had planned.

“Honestly, I came off from racing motorcycles after I got hurt, and I was hoping to open a motorcycle business, but I didn’t have the money to do it,” Sundeen said. “I got lucky enough to find a place to sell furniture. I worked for a furniture store in high school and college, and I got into the business when I found a place.”

Fast-forward to the present and he is thriving with his business, and still finding the time to wheel a Limited Sportsman in a division that has fierce competition. Sundeen is no stranger to success, as the veteran has been around the block before, winning four championships in a span of eight years at one point.

Sundeen won his first title in 2008, and followed it up by winning three out of four between ’12 and ’15, marking himself down in the record books as one of the best the division has ever seen.

“It seemed like for a few years I was always battling Larry Barnett and he seemed to always win it. I never really had the time I should have to put into the car and I had a ton of mechanical issues,” Sundeen said. “It was just a huge weight off of my shoulders to finally get it.”

Since the last title, Sundeen has struggled with some unfortunate luck on the track, including this year at the Icebreaker, where he started from the pole position but had to pit early on after a spin.

“When you are on a roll, everything is easy, but when you aren’t on a roll, everything is really hard,” Sundeen said. “I had one of the fastest cars and the tow truck pushing my car out to the Fan Appreciation Party at the Icebreaker lifted my rear spring out of the car and I didn’t know about it until the feature. I knew it as soon as the race started. These are the things that happen when you aren’t on a roll.”

He went to the back of the field following his spin, but was still able to work his way up through and finish in the seventh position in the opener. Sundeen finished fifth in the championship standings in 2018 with three top fives finishes and top-10 efforts in all but one of the seven races.

This year, he has three more races on his calendar, as Thompson’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series schedule includes 10-races. Following another successful Icebreaker weekend in April, teams will now return to the track next on May 19.

But, right now, he isn’t quite planning on running for the title again in the Limited Sportsman division. Instead, Sundeen will look to compete in the premiere Sunoco Modified division for a few races.

“I had no plans on running all of the races because I want to jump in a Modified and run a few races in that,” Sundeen said. “I just want to have fun. Before I retire, I just wanted to try it. The car has been sitting there with a brand new motor in it.”

But that isn’t quite in the cards for the next event. For now, Sundeen will buckle back behind the wheel of his No. 36 Limited Sportsman for the extra distance 30-lap event on May 19. The extra distance event is something Sundeen is used to having on the schedule, but last year, he didn’t have much luck.

“In the 30-lapper last year, we didn’t even complete a lap and we got wrecked on the frontstretch,” Sundeen said. “I’m looking forward to it. You have to get to the front as quickly as you can.”

With the Limited Sportsman taking center stage, Thompson fans won’t want to miss the second race of the season. The Late Model feature for the Sunday afternoon event has been extended to 40 laps, giving drivers just a few more laps to get the job done. Thompson’s Mini Stocks, SK Light Modifieds® and Sunoco Modifieds will also all hold qualifying and feature racing.

Lock City Drift begins their competitive drifting partnership with Thompson on May 19 as well – as the Street Series gives fans a new perspective to racing at Thompson’s facility. More details surrounding the event, including the event schedule, are coming in the near future.

Fans are encouraged to find all of the latest news surrounding Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, including the full event schedule, at www.thompsonspeedway.com.

Thompson is active on social media, where fans can also keep updated with the latest information on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.