THOMPSON CT- Last weekend was the famed Thompson World Series. The weather was a small factor as it has been all season. With rain Thursday and Saturday morning there was a little shuffling around of the schedule but all and all it worked out though many campsites were muddy. Saturday afternoon and Sunday were nice days and not overly cold for this time of year. With 17 divisions in three days many got their race fill.
Friday night would see Mark Jenison #22 win the Late Model Race and crown a very consistent Nick Johnson champion in his Propane Plus #6. Though he had no wins this season he had consistent top 5 finishes that put this talented driver on top at the end of the season. The Granite state Pro Stocks would run their 50 lap feature too. A tight points battle led into the race between O'Connell and Doiron but both would have their own incidents during the race that would have them both finish out of the top ten. The"Outlaw" Eddie Macdonald in his EXIT Realty #17 would claim the checkers. The GSPSS will crown its champion this weekend at the Waterford Speedbowl. The Lite Modifieds would run a 20 lap feature with 16 cars. Cousins Alexander Pearl and Bryan Narducci would battle it out. Pearl coming off his first win from the Stafford Fall Final and division 3 NASCAR champion Bryan Narducci would run up front and battle, with Narducci taking his 4th win out of the 4 races at Thompson this season. Bakaj, Veins and Gonyaw would round out the top 5. The beautiful Vintage Modifieds and Antique Racers would cap off the nights features.
Saturdays Schedule would get shuffled slightly because of rain. The weather forced them to with limit practice and ax out of some heats. The ACT tour would run their 75 lap feature with a tight championship at hand and between Eddie Macdonald and Scott Payea. These two stayed within a few spots of each other for most of the race. Early on it looked as the race would go smooth but that all went out the window on lap 67. There would be multiple restarts that seemed to take excessive time. A lap 71 yellow would put MacDonald in the lead but after a controversial call he would be penalized and put to the rear not only losing all chances to win the race but the championship too as Payea would be named champ. It was young gun Jake Johnson taking the checkers but after tech it would be Thompson regular Will Wall with the official win.
Next to shake the track was the Valenti Modified Racing Series, with a strong field of 31 ground pounders. A wild and dicey points battle has lead to the crowning of the champion on Saturday night. The Last MRS race was a rained shorted Twin 50 event at Lee last weekend. At Lee the then points leaders Sam Rameau and Anthony Nocella would both have bad nights. Nocella would have mechanical failures before the heats ending his night and Rameau would ultimately be disqualified from the Series. Rameau would be involved in an wreck, MRS would decide to start counting yellow flag laps as to try and make the race official as it had started to rain again under yellow. A post race confrontation at Lee between MRS officials and the #6 team of Rameau would lead to the teams DQ. Ultimately it would be a fast Woody Pitkat in his Thompson SK Stan Mertz Owned #6 Modified that would win the rain shortened event at Lee.
Now coming into the World Series the championship battle would be between two likely drivers, Woody Pitkat and Mike Willis Jr. Pitkat would barrow a ride to compete at Thompson from Hew Hampshire veteran Todd Patnode in one of his #24 cars. The monkey on Pitkat's back would once again show its head as Pikat would have motor failure Friday. Pitkat would get a motor from fellow competitor car owner Jimmy Page so he could start Saturdays feature. And that's about all Pitkat would do is "start" the feature as early on he had a rear end break. Looking to leave the championship to Willis.
Willis would also find bad luck striking halfway as he was involved in an incident. Yellow and red flags would now be the story as oil would be all over the track. Track crews and MRS officials seemed to have a hard time getting a handle on the leaking car(s) and clean up. Pitkat and Patnode's team would get Woody's car patched up enough to click off a handful of laps for point positions and he would ultimately be crowned MRS champion for the second time. As for the race itself Keith Rocco would lead early followed by a fast Chase Dowling in the Paige #00. Dowling would make the pass on lap 16 and would stay there until a 6 to go restart and Rocco would fall back fast after losing the lead. Todd Owen in one of the Gary Cassela #25 would find his way in the front of the pack, followed by team member for this race, Whelen Tour driver Matt Swanson in the other Cassella #25M. Owen would get by Dowling who has victory's also in the car Owen was driving.
MRS would make the unpopular decision to have single file restarts towards the end of the race. Ultimately Owen would get the win with Dowling P2, Swanson P3, P4 Noccela and a strong run by Anthony Flannery to round out the top 5. Owen would say “When you’re second you need cautions because that’s probably the only point right there where I could have passed (Dowling.) He was probably better on the long run. I knew if we had a restart I could have a good chance at him (Dowling) and that one right there I was able to drive right by.”
The NEMA Midgets would race their annual Shane Hammond Memorial 25-lap feature. John Zych, Jr. would take the win ahead of Randy Cabral and Ben Seitz to round the podium out. NEMA will crown their champs at Wateford this weekend. The EXIT Realty Truck Challenge would name Allen Coats champion after he would also win the 25 lap feature ahead of Corey Coats and Josh Stringer. A pair of winner would be seen in the Harry Kourafas Memorial Pro 4 Race. Brett Meservey took the overall win and PJ Peters nailed the win in the limited category. North East Mini Stock Tour would have Desmond Skilling taking his first feature win and Cody LeBlanc to win the tour title. The Street Stock Showdown would end the night with a 20 lap feature with multiple hard wrecks and a red flag. The event was was called after only 11 laps just before the midnight state curfew. Wayne Corey, Sr. was named winner while Alby Ovitt would end up champion
Sunday would be the day many were waiting for. The Mini Stock feature would have Wayne Burroughs take the win and Eric Bourgeois would end up champ. The Sunoco Modified race would live up to expectations with lots of action and battling. With big names like Keith Rocco have their day end early on lap 16 and cars going airborne in some wrecks. With 25 cars strong one could look anywhere in the field and see battles. At the end of the day it would be Todd Owen carrying his momentum from the night before with the MRS win and take the Sunoco Mod win over the now NASCAR Monster Energy Cup driver Ryan Preece. Keith Rocco would take another Championship at Thompson in the Sunoco Modifieds.
The ISMA Supermodifieds would race a fast 50 laps in their season finale. Ben Seitz dominated the race with a rocket ship, he had a huge lead in these big block beasts. It was his first ISMA Supermodified win of 2018. Dan Bowes was named champion on Sunday but after a statement and release by ISMA Monday they named Kyle Edwards champion after recalculation of points. The NEMA Lites ran a 20-lap feature Jim Chambers took home the feature win. Cugini has a large point leading going into Waterford this weekend.
In one of the fan favorite divisons, the Limited Sportman we had a wild finish with cars riding the wall to the line and they would be three wide crossing it. It would be Corey Fanning over Ryan Waterman and Brent Gleason as they put on a great show to a photo finish. Shawn Monahan would get his Second consecutive Championship at Thompson.
Headlining the weekend would be the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour for their last race of 2018. Justin Bonsignore was named champion at the Stafford Fall Final last race. SO this race was set to be a battle to the end as no one had to play it safe and there was nothing to lose. Ronnie Willimas would nail the Pole. Ryan Preece would lead the most laps and early on. Since Preece is moving to the Monster Energy Cup for 2019 many did not know the next time they will see him in a modified. A lap 81 yellow and pit situations would see Bonsignore come out in the lead. Second in points Chase Dowling would be out early do to engine problems. Timmy Solomito would also be out early from a wreck in turn four. Craig Lutz would look very competitive for most of the race in his new LFR car but would fade at the end. Southern star Bury Myers keep the fans entertained has he passed to move forward. Bobby Santos was not afraid to use his nerfs and chrome horn this race as well. Ron Silk would continue to look competitive all race along with young shoe Matt Swanson in the Ole Blue #3.
But, it was John McKennedy would pit very late in the race that put on a show coming to the front. He ran out of laps for a P2 finish after passing Silk as he had the car to win. Justin Bonsignore would sweep all 4 Thompson races in 2018 and get his 8th win of 16 races this season. Justin would say, “We didn’t have the best car, but the pit crew did a great job and got us out there in the end. The car was really good on the second set of tires. It was the same thing we did all year at Thompson. We were going to race hard because we didn’t have anything to lose today.”
The Holtsville, New York, driver is the fourth driver in the Whelen Modified Tour to win all of the races at Thompson in a season. Steve Park (1996), Mike Stefanik (1998) and Doug Coby (2015) also accomplished this. Of his 20 Tour wins 10 have come at Thompson. “It’s been unreal, ever since we unloaded at Myrtle Beach, we have had a great race car at every single race track,” Bonsignore said. “To come here and to sweep the season, there are only a few select people who have done that, and it means a lot to me. It’s important.” Said Bonsignore. After making big and risky changes adding star crew chief Ryan Stone to the team and switch to LFR race Chassis, the Ken Massa owned M3 Technology's Phoenix Communications sponsored team can only have their dream season described as domination. Bonsignore had 12 top five finishes and 15 top 10’s in 16 races. One 12th place finish out side the top 10 with five poles and 8 wins plus the NH All Star win.
NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED TOP 10- 1. Justin Bonsignore; 2. Jon McKennedy; 3. Ron Silk; 4. Ryan Preece; 5. Burt Myers; 6. Doug Coby; 7. Matt Swanson; 8. Bobby Santos, III; 9. Chris Pasteryak; 10. Eric Goodale
NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR POINTS FINAL-
1 Justin Bonsignore, 2 Chase Dowling, 3 Doug Coby, 4 Timmy Solomito, 5 Craig Lutz, 6 Rob Summers, 7 Eric Goodale, 8 Dave Sapienza, 9 Ronnie Williams, 10 Chris Pasteryak, 11 Rookie of the year Tommy Catalano.
WATERFORD CT- This coming weekend is the Waterford Speedbowl's final race of the season and marks the end of racing in CT for 2018 with 15 divisions. Friday will be practice day. Saturday we will see heats starting at 2:30. Competing Saturday will be headlined by the Granite State Pro Stock Series for 100 laps, EXIT Realty 375 Sportsman for 35 laps, Pro- 4 Mods, NEMA Lites, NEMA, X-Cars and Super X-Cars all for 25 laps and Bandoleros for 20 laps. A full day of side by side racing on tap no doubt.
Sunday is full of racing starting at 1:30 heats and headlined by and 80lap SK Modified feature. SK Lites, Trucks, Legends and Mini Stocks for 25 laps. Late Models and Sportsman will run 30 laps. The SK Lites will see Stafford Street Stock regular Samantha Anderson make her modified debut in the Ken Barry Spafco house SK Lite car Andrew Molleur ran this season. Being the last SK race of the season anywhere many drivers are expected to show up including Mike Christopher Jr, Ronnie William and Chase Dowling in Joey Ternullo's #10 to battle in point leader Kyle James's house with regulars Todd Owen, Rob Janovic, Andrew Molleur among many more. Also expected is Bryan Narducci and Corey DiMatteo.
We are also expecting some non- regular SK Lites as well. Brett Gonyaw will have two familiar cars on hand. The #88 of Larry Goss he has been wheeling all year as well as his Stafford #81 that his mentor and first modified car owner he had driven for Bruce Batchelder will be driving the #81. With the last race of the season we expect good car counts and great racing in all divisions at one of the best side by side race tracks anywhere. Though we are really looking forward to the SK showdown and champion being crowned we also think the SK Lite and Sportsman features will be one not to miss.
There are some tight points battles going on. In the SK Mods Kyle James leads BOTH Rob Janovic and Todd Owen By 33 points. Wayne Burroughs is only 6 points behind leader Jon Puleo. Jason Palmer trials point leader Anthony Flannery by only 7 points. In the Sportsman Shawn Gaedeke leads Jason Chicolas by 33 and Jordan Hadley by 39. Charles Canfield over Douglas Curry by 14 points in the Mini Stocks. These are just some of the points battles and championships that will happen this weekend. Though it may be a little chilly the action on the track will be hot! Come on out to cap off the CT 2018 race season with some great racing and great friends. See you there! #ShortTrackNation #ModOn Until the next green flag drops RG