Tag Archives: Whelen

Thompson Brings Down the Curtain on the 2018 NASCAR WMT Season

Tom Morris Myracenews photo

By Michael Jaworecki Myracenews

Westbury NY,-  Before the season started there were many questions , would Doug Coby garner another champion, would Ryan Preece in a shortened schedule still help Ed Partridge win another owners championship, who would take the next step and challenge Doug  Coby for a championship, who would have breakout season?

The last 6 month have answered many of those questions. Doug Coby was unseated as champion by a scorching hot Justin Bonsignore.  Ryan Preece had his highs and lows and during the season  but only won twice. Chase Dowling had a breakout year showcasing his talent race after race even garnering his first win in the Musket 250 at New Hampshire.

The season started in March at the Myrtle Beach Speedway,  Jon McKennedy in the Tommy Baldwin Racing #7 started off 2018  strong with a win at Myrtle Beach then at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park was in the running for a second win then everything would change.  Jon ran out of gas late in the race under caution,  Justin Bonsignore  took the race lead then went on to win his first of 7 races and his first NASCAR WMT championship.

While the 2018 championship will be anti climatic the World Series weekend will not.  36 cars have entered and with most points positions settled and several top teams hungry for wins it will be an all out battle for the first place prize.

Sunoco 150 Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park who to watch:

Justin Bonsignore: Just because he has won the championship doesn’t mean he will not be shooting for win number 8. I asked Justin if this week would be any different than others. ” It will be a little different, we can race as hard and be aggressive with our strategy without worries of it backfiring or costing us a lot of points.”

Ryan Preece: This season Ryan has seen the highs in a part time schedule  in the Ed Partridge TS Hauler #6 with wins at Stafford and Langley  and the lows, a big crash on the last lap in the Musket 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. But this year was about showcasing  his talent in the NASCAR Xfinity series  and getting to the top of our sport. Ryan signed  on to race the #47 Monster Energy NASCAR Series in 2019.  With a full time commitment in the #47 car this could be one of the last times he comes back to run the NASCAR WMT, Ryan is always a threat at Thompson and with a rebuilt car after Oswego will be a favorite this weekend.

Chase Dowling: Take away a couple of bad finishes Chase would be entering the final weekend with a chance for a championship. With the announcement that his team will only run part time next year a win at Thompson would show other team owners that Chase belongs on the tour full time.

Timmy Solomito- Timmy although in 4th in points has had a frustrating year with a zero in the win column. He has shown improvement in the second half of the season but taking the gas can with him after a pit stop in the Musket 250 and a disappointing  9th place at Stafford have slowed that momentum. The Starrett Tools #16 Ford will be loaded for bear.  Timmy’s only comment about the race “1 race to go nothing to lose! Go out and win!!”

Doug Coby:  Doug was in the running for the win late in the going at both New Hampshire and Stafford and came away empty. This is the first year since 2013 that Doug will not take the Champions trophy home from Thompson. Doug  and the team will be ready.

Bobby Santos III: While running a part time schedule he won the July New Hampshire race but other than a 5th place finish and 9th place at Thompson his best finish was an 11th at Stafford. After a 22nd place finish at NH and a 23rd at the Fall final Bobby will be hungry for a good finish.

Craig Lutz: Since finishing 8th at Thompson in  August Craig has finished out of the top 10 in every race  until a chassis change to LFR prior to Stafford garnered a 2nd place finish. Craig would defiantly like to finish 1 position higher this weekend.

Matthew Swanson: Matt is one of the up and coming young drivers  on the tour. Matt moved into the historic Ole Blue #3 when Rowan Pennink retired prior to the King of Beers 150 at Thompson garnering a second place finish their first time on the track.  Matthew’s last 2 races ended up in the wall and disappointing finishes.  To put the Starrett / Mosquito Free / USNE #3 in victory lane would offset those late season troubles.

Burt Myers: His northern swing opened some eyes this year in the Ed Harvey owned Doug Dunleavy sponsored car.  Burt is a multi time Bowman Gray Stadium champion  and normally stays close to his North Carolina home to race.  This year Burt showed he can race with the best at New Hampshire and Stafford. Can he get his first Thompson win?

Dave Sapienza: A strong run at the Fall final in his new LFR chassis bodes well for a good race at Thompson.

Other notables:

Kyle Bonsignore: 2 in a row?

Eric Goodale: He is due.

Ronnie Williams: He won the pole at the Icebreaker so he can run fast at Thompson. He won the pole and was gunning for the win when he go together with race winner Justin Bonsignore on the last lap;

Ron Silk: Ron and the team have found late season speed and should be a threat.

Woody Pitkat: This has been a disappointing season but Woody might also be due.

Notes: This will be the last race for GM Josh Vanada.  Josh has overseen the Speedway through many changes but what remains the same is the fall World Series weekend still sends the season into the winter with a bang.

Sam Rameau has announced he has purchased the Dave Sapienza Troyer modified and will compete in the Sunoco 150.

Missing from the race:

Max Zachem unfortunately has withdrawn from the event.

Matt Hirschman who won at Oswego but has elected to stay close to home and not race at Thompson this weekend

150 Schedule.

Saturday: Garage Opens: 10 a.m., Practice: 11:15-12 p.m., Final Practice: 12:30-1:15 p.m., Group Qualifying: 4 p.m.

Sunday: Garage Opens: 10 a.m., Driver Autograph Session: 2:15 p.m., Sunoco World Series 150: 3:30 p.m.

Sunoco 150 Entry List

Nbr Driver Owner Car Crew Chief Sponsor
1 01   Melissa Fifield   Kenneth Fifield Chevrolet   Kenneth Fifield   Truck Stop Northeast
2 1   Burt Myers   Eddie Harvey Chevrolet   TBA   Dunleavy Truck and Trailer
3 2   Doug Coby   Mike Smeriglio III Chevrolet   Phil Moran   Mayhew Tools
4 3   Matt Swanson   Jan Boehler Chevrolet   Greg Fournier   Starrett / Cape Cod Copper
5 04   Cory Osland   Brian Midgett Sr. Ford   TBA   Keith Grimes Excavating
6 6   Ryan Preece   Ed Partridge Chevrolet   Jeff Preece   TS Haulers
7 7   Jon McKennedy   Tommy Baldwin Chevrolet   Tommy Baldwin   Accell Construction
8 07   Patrick Emerling   Jennifer Emerling Chevrolet   Jan Leaty   Buffalo Auto Auction
9 14   Blake Barney   Richard Barney Chevrolet   Robert Barney   Atlantic Sprinkler
10 15   Chase Dowling   Rob Fuller Chevrolet   Steven Kopcik   15-40 Connection / S&S Paving
11 16   Timmy Solomito   Eric Sanderson Ford   Stanley Szaban   Starrett
12 18   Ken Heagy   Robert Pollifrone Ford   Desmond Gorman   Buoy One Seafood
13 20   Max Zachem   Ken Zachem Chevrolet   Timothy Armbruster   Lu-Mac?s / Spafco
14 21   Ronnie Williams   Joseph Bertuccio Chevrolet   Michael Bologna   Empower Financial
15 22   Kyle Bonsignore   Kyle Bonsignore Chevrolet   Bobby Foley   Chalew Performance
16 23   Joe DeGracia   Paul DeGracia Chevrolet   Paul DeGracia   PJ DeGracia Contracting
17 24   Andrew Krause   Diane Krause Toyota   John Cooke   Supreme Mfg
18 25   Calvin Carroll   Joe Carroll Chevrolet   Joe Carroll   Power With Prestige / Cruising With Betty
19 26   Gary McDonald   Sean McDonald Chevrolet   Gary McDonald   Lakeland Landscaping Supply / TRC Electric
20 33   Wade Cole   Wade Cole Chevrolet   Richard Rodenbaugh   Performance Engines / Kendal Oil
21 36   Dave Sapienza   Judy Thilberg Chevrolet   Tommy Grasso   DSR Racing
22 38   Dave Salzarulo   Richard Rodenbaugh Chevrolet   Robert Bourne   Performance Engines / Kendal Oil
23 44   Bobby Santos III   Sully Tinio Chevrolet   Bob Santos   Tinio Corp
24 46   Craig Lutz   Russell Goodale Chevrolet   Douglas Ogiejko   Riverhead Building Supply
25 51   Justin Bonsignore   Kenneth Massa Chevrolet   Ryan Stone   Phoenix Communications Inc.
26 54   Tommy Catalano   Amy Catalano Chevrolet   Dave Catalano   Catalano Motorsports
27 58   Eric Goodale   Edgar Goodale Chevrolet   Jason Shephard   GAF Roofing
28 64   Rob Summers   Mike Murphy Chevrolet   Steve Lemay   Hoosier Tire East / FastTrack Electrical
29 66   Shawn Solomito   Jerry Solomito Chevrolet   TBA   Elders Service / Finish Grade Excavating
30 75   Chris Pasteryak   Charles Pasteryak Chevrolet   Nick Walsh   Dawley’s Collision & Custom
31 76   Jimmy Blewett   John Blewett Sr. Chevrolet   Rob Ormsbee   Starrett
32 77   Gary Putnam   Mike Curb Chevrolet   Teddy Musgrave Jr.   Curb Records
33 78   Walter Sutcliffe, Jr.   Steven Sutcliffe Chevrolet   Steven Sutcliffe   Last Minute Racing
34 82   Woody Pitkat   Pamela Hulse Chevrolet   Jarod Zeltmann   Horton Ave. Materials
35 85   Ron Silk   Kevin Stuart Chevrolet   Kenny Stuart   Stuart Automotive
36 92   Anthony Nocella   Anthony Nocella Chevrolet   Jesse Vasconcellos   Nocella Paving



CONCORD, NC- The inaugural “Musket 250” event for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour on Saturday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway even proved to doubters that NASCAR’s oldest division can still bring race fans some of the best competition in the world, especially in a long distance event.
    Five drivers benefited from the lap money program, which was a grass roots effort spearheaded by Modified Promotions founder Craig Gabriele, assisted by Kevin Rice and the originator of lap sponsorships for Modified drivers, Marilyn Toal. Each of the 250 laps paid the race leader $100, totaling an additional $25,000 which added to a total purse that was the largest ever paid in the 33 year history of the NWMT.
    Race winner Chase Dowling and his car owner Rob Fuller earned an approximate total payday of $31,500 which included $5,400 in lap money. Justin Bonsignore may have lost the lead on the final lap, but he collected a race high $7,700 in just lap money alone for his efforts.
    Ryan Preece earned $6,500 in lap money for car owner Gary Putnam, while Ron Silk pocketed $4,100 for his car owner, Kevin Stuart, and Bobby Santos earned $1,300 in lap leader bonuses in the Sully Tinio car before retiring early from the historic event with mechanical problems.
    The lap money raised was made possible by several businesses and individuals. At the top of that list is F.K. Bearangs and Rod Ends of Southington, Conn., who generously sponsored an event high 20 laps. They sell custom engineered bearings and related products, and are heavily involved in the motorsports industry. Check out www.fkrodends.com for more on their product line and to thank them for supporting the NWMT.
    Many other businesses also supported the event by sponsoring at least five laps. Included in that list was Rockingham Boat of Hampstead, N.H., Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer Repair, All Source of New England, Anytime Realty, Exit Realty, Riverhead Raceway and Phoenix Communications
    Additional gold level sponsorship was provided by A&J Romano Construction, builders of custom homes out of Stamford, Conn., Florida Connection Racing, Anytime Realty, Exit Realty, Hoosier Tire East, Kaloutas Painting, Worldband IT Consulting, Starrett Tools, MS3 Racing, University of Northwestern Ohio, and Lajoie’s Auto and Scrap recycling of Norwalk, Conn.
    On the heels of an inaugural event that was more successful both on the race track, and with a larger than expected number of campers and race fans, New Hampshire Motor Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager David McGrath quickly confirmed that the Modifieds would be back next September as the headline event for the 2nd annual “Full Throttle Fall Weekend” at the Loudon, N.H. track.
    “Oh heavens yes,” McGrath stated when asked if the Modifieds would return. “That’s the anchor. You can count on it. We were all pleasantly surprised with the number of campers, and we hope to grow that. I think that the crowd was very strong.”
    With that confirmation, Gabriele also confirmed that he fully intends to invest his time in creating more lap money bonuses for the 2019 event as well, even going as far to say that he hopes to do even more.
    “”I want to do more. I want to do the lap money, but I want to try and do some other things. Maybe something for tenth place, or fifteenth. I can tell you now the lap money is going to happen. As soon as I get home and catch my breath from this wonderful event and thank those who supported it this year, I’m going to start right in.
    “This race was better than the Race of Champions at Pocono (PA). I couldn’t have scripted it any better. The whole last ten laps, every fan was on their feet. I thought the 250 was a good lap number and the pit strategy was wonderful. Everybody handled themselves excellent.”
    Modified promotions would like to thank each and every lap sponsor for their generosity and belief that making this event that much better by sponsoring a lap, and helping make every lap count, as confirmed by race winning car owner Rob Fuller immediately following the event.
    “You know something- it’s funny,” Fuller smiled. “We kind of came together as a group. We wanted to decide. Do we want to push the 51 or do we want to lead the 51 to get lap money? When I told the guys we were going to split the lap money, they all wanted to lead the 51.
    “It was an unbelievable thing that everybody did to raise that extra money. I want to thank everybody that got involved in that program. It just shows the depth in the community that is formed around the NASCAR Modified Tour, which is why I love being a part of it.”
    Information will be forthcoming within days, on how those who sponsored laps in the inaugural event can continue that support, and also how others can become a part of what is sure to be an even bigger and better “Musket 250” in 2019.
Photo:Michael Jaworecki Myracenews

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Hit Big Stage With Inaugural Musket 250 at NHMS

“Magic Mile” Hosts Triple Header With Full Throttle Weekend

It’s here.

One of the most anticipated short-track weekends in New England is on deck, as New Hampshire Motor Speedway hosts its first “Full Throttle Weekend.”

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour drivers will take center stage in the inaugural Musket 250. The longest race in Whelen Modified Tour history will include live pit stops and put some of the best modified drivers and teams in the country up against their toughest test yet for a $25,000 first-place prize.

Canadian’s national championship for stock car racing, the NASCAR Pinty’s Series, will make its first trip to the United States with the inaugural Visit New Hampshire 100. The race will precede the Fall Brawl at Ontario’s Jukasa Motor Speedway to close out the season the following weekend, and a pair of Quebec notables – LP Dumoulin and Alex Tagliani – are separated by just five points.

And the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East returns to the stage that is known for defining its champions. Tyler Ankrum won at the ‘Magic Mile’ in July, and will look not only for a season sweep with a win in the Apple Barrel 125, but he could also clinch the series championship with a race remaining. He would be the sixth driver in the last 12 years to win at NHMS en route to the title.



It doesn’t get much bigger than this for the Whelen Modified Tour.

Considered one of the biggest stages they race on since the inaugural event in 1990, New Hampshire upped the ante this year. Not only is it the longest distance in the history of the tour at 264.5, there’s more than a $25,000 prize at stake. Throw in live pit stops and the constant shuffling and reshuffling of the running order in the draft, and the Musket 250 is shaping up as a can’t miss event.

Justin Bonsignore looks to continue on his championship path by putting himself in position to clinch his first title before the finale even takes the green. If Bonsignore has another strong day, and Chase Dowling stumbles, there is one scenario that could see Bonsignore clinch the title at the checkered flag of the Musket 250. With seven wins in 13 races, Bonsignore would love to add the longest race in Whelen Modified Tour history to his winning resume. He completed the season sweep of Riverhead Raceway in New York last time the series was on the track.

Ryan Preece will sit behind the wheel of the No. 77 for Gary Putnam, a ride that Monster Energy Cup Series star Ryan Newman piloted to a third-place finish in July after leading 16 laps from the pole. Preece, who has never been to Victory Lane in a points race at NHMS, does have one victory in the Whelen All-Star Shootout in 2017.

Bobby Santos III, who will return to competition driving for Tinio Racing, looks to complete the season sweep for the second straight year. Santos has won the last three Whelen Modified Tour events at New Hampshire, and has done it by leading a total of just 15 laps.

The 250-lap distance will also bring pit crews and crew chiefs to the forefront with strategy set to play a major role in who captures the checkered flag.

RACING-REFERENCE: Previous Whelen Modified Tour races at New Hampshire | Whelen Modified Tour drivers’ career stats at New Hampshire


PLACE New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, New Hampshire
DATE Saturday, September 22
TIME 3:30 p.m. ET (approx.)
TELEVISION Fanschoice.tv (live); NBCSN – Thursday, Sept. 27, 7 p.m.
TRACK LAYOUT 1.058-mile paved asphalt oval
2017 WINNER Inaugural event
2017 POLE Inaugural event
EVENT SCHEDULE Friday — Garage Opens: 6:30 a.m., Practice: 10:55-11:55 a.m., Final Practice: 2:25-3:10 p.m., Qualifying: 5:30 p.m.

Saturday — Garage Opens: 9 a.m., Musket 250: 3:30 p.m. (approx.)

HASHTAG #Musket250, #NWMT


CREW CHIEF HANDOUT: The starting field for the inaugural Musket 250 is 36 starters, including provisional positions. The first 30 drivers will secure starting positions based on the qualifying session for the Musket 250. The remaining six spots will be awarded through the provisional process.

Two consecutive qualifying laps will be used to determine the starting positions. Adjustments or repairs may not be made on the vehicle after the vehicle has taken the green flag at the start/finish line. NASCAR reserves the right to have more than one vehicle engage in qualifying runs at the same time.

The Musket 250 will be 250 laps (264.50 miles).

The Musket 250 will be run in two segments. There will be a five (5) minute break at or near the conclusion of lap 100. Once the yellow flag is displayed at the start/finish line for the break, the caution vehicle will pick up the field. Once the field is under control, the caution vehicle will lead the field on to pit road. No work is to be performed at the break until advised by NASCAR Officials. All participants in the event will be allowed to make changes that would normally occur during a routine pit stop. A maximum of five (5) uniformed crew members in the car servicing area. The time will start when the last car stops on pit road and the NASCAR Official advises work can begin. Teams are allowed to change four (4) tires and add fuel. Fuel cannot be added at the same time that tires are being changed. Teams must use a dry break system while adding fuel during the race on pit road. At the end of the break, cars will line up with lead lap cars to the front.

The maximum tire allotment available for this event is twenty (20) tires per team. Four (4) tires must be used for qualifying and to begin the race. The tire change rule is twelve (12) tires, any position.