Plenty of Racers Share in World Series Glory by Denise DuPont
Last Big Weekend Of Racing Produces Many Winners
Chris Perley took a victory lap around Thompson International Speedway as he won the 50 lap ISMA World Series race – the lap was actually for two reasons. Chris had wrapped up the 2007 ISMA championship before the World Series began, but winning a championship was not the end of his quests for victory. He won the second heat race so he started the race from the front and went forward from there.
“It was tough out there I knew that Dave [McKnight] and Mike [Lichty] were going to be my toughest competitors out there, the way that they were running yesterday in the heats. For a while I didn’t have much for Dave. I was just trying to keep in touch with him. He got though the lap traffic and tried to get some distance on me and I stayed with him.”
Perley snuck to the front by going high and scrapping the wall in a daring move to pass McKnight for the lead as the race made the half way mark.
“He [McKinght] ended up getting a little tight. I was loose and then my car kind came around at the end. I did not know if it would stick on the outside I figured if I showed him a wheel and hold him down could go around him. That was about the only shot that I had. “
Last year Perley missed victory when he suffered a broken shock on his car. This year the victory lane celebration was for the Perley’s team as they crossed the finish line to take the checkered flag ahead of second place finisher and pole sitter McKnight.
Chris Perley waves the winning flag at Thompson. (Jim DuPont Photo)
While Bobby Santos, III might have won the headlining NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event as part of the World Series weekend at Thompson International Speedway (CT), he was not the only big winner over the weekend.
Here are a few of the other major features that were won at the Big T this past weekend:
“The race was just awesome. I want to thank everyone for coming out here. I want to thank my crew. To win another championship is just unbelievable. I am real proud to be part of this team.”
Jimmy ‘Showtime’ Blewett dominated the Sunoco Modified 30 lap race and held off Kerry Malone’s many advances to take a victory in memorial to his late brother John, who lost his life in a wreck at the track in August.
It was a tough victory lane celebration and a heart warming moment for Jimmy as he reflected on this year and the last couple of months.
“This victory means a lot. It has been a rough couple of months,” said Blewett. “I just want to thank everybody for their support for my family. I am sure you know who this (race) is for. I just thank everybody again for coming out here every week and supporting us because without you guys we would not have anything. That is really it.”
Woody Pitkat started the World Series Late Model race with ‘the professor’ Jay Stuart at his outside. Pitkat led the race for eight laps until he was passed by fellow competitor Corey Hutchings. For a few laps it was the Hutchings - Pitkat duel until both cars separately stopped during a caution with separate problems. Woody’s great run in his Stafford Late Model car came to an abrupt end when the car’s transmission broke.
On lap 22, the Late Model race was called with a red-checker flag finish after a major incident took out the leading three cars: Rick Gentes, Marc Palmisanto and Tommy O’Sullvan. Gentres had tapped Palmisanto’s car to pass him in turn three. Palmisanto spun hitting O’Sullivan’s car which went up into the air almost going over the track wall and came back to rest onto of Palmisanto’s car.
The declared winner of the shorten race was Ron Levesque, Jr.
“I wish that I won the race the real way, rather then this way,” said Levesque. “ I just cannot believe it.”
The caution filled race took a toll on many competitors and cars. There were not enough tow trucks to return cars to their haulers. Many cars were repaired after the race, while others were just returned to their haulers in pieces.
Randy Cabral in the #47 car won the 30 lap NEMA Midget World Series race at
“I really have to thank Big Bob Santos and all his help and helpful hints. That is what
this series is all about, helping one another. I am just speechless.”
This was Cabral’s fifth win at Thompson and third win there during 2007.
Ben Seitz has unofficially won his fourth NEMA midget championship this year. This
is the first time in history that a competitor has won four championships. The last
NEMA competitors that have won three championships were Drew Fornoro and
OTHER WORLD SERIES RESULTS
Pro Stock – 1) Jeff Connors, Ellington, CT 2) Jay Macedonio, Somerset, MA 3) Wayne
Dion, Warwick, RI
Outlaw Late Model - 1) Rick Gentes, Woonsocket, RI 2) Gerry DeGasparre, Jr. 3) Wayne Coury, Jr., Milford, CT
Limited Sportsman - 1) Larry Barnett 2) Ed Puleo, Branford, CT 3) Chris Douton
Outlaw Strictly Stocks – 1) Tim Sullivan, S. Windsor, CT 2) Sean Foster, Ellington, CT 3) Robert Hyer, South Amboy, NJ
Mini Stock - 1) Mike Romano, Pascoag, RI 2) Ron Rixham, Jefferson, MA 3) Andy Publicover, Sudbury, MA
TIS Modified - 1) Leo Adams, Putnam, CT 2) Roger Larson, Jr., Milford, MA 3) Brian Sullivan
Outlaw Mini Stocks – 1) Randy Churchill, Jr., Niantic, CT 2) Ace Johnson, Barre, MA 3) Chuck Rogers, Quaker Hill, CT
Pro-Four – 1) Norm Wrenn, Nashua, NH 2) Jeff Zuidema 3) Kevin Iannarelli, Maynard, MA
With support from fellow racer Woody Pitkat (R), Jimmy Blewett (C) talks to track announcer Matt Buckler in an emotional victory lane at Thompson. (Rick Ibsen Photo)
Cabral's #47 was the quickest Midget of them all at Thompson. (Jim DuPont Photo)