Trackside Now: The Icebreaker at Thompson Int'l Speedway - Saturday, April 5, 2008
Welcome to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour 2008 Season Opener
Modified Tour
April 5th-6th, 2008
Thompson Int'l Speedway
Thompson, CT
Sunday, 9:45pm ET - We apologize for problems with our Trackside Now coverage today.  We're not sure if it was a software problem, hardware problem or low cloud cover at Thompson International Speedway, but we were unable to get oneline to bring you the Icebreaker coverage that we intended.

The day was a tragic one.  During the NEMA Midget feature, there was a wreck on lap three that claimed the life of Massachusetts driver Shane Hammond.  That race was red-flagged and then cancelled. offers our condolences to Hammond's family, friends and fellow competitors.

Later in the afternoon, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour held their season-opening race.   Bobby Grigas, James Civali and Todd Szegedy all led laps, but it was Eddie Flemke who was out front when the race was called official due to rain on lap 92.  The top finishers were rounded out by Chuck Hossfeld, Grigas, Joe Hartmann and Tom Abele, Jr. will have a full report on the Icebreaker coming up.  For now, here are the results of the Tour race.

Sunday at Thompson Speedway
Thompson, CT
Lap length: 0.62 miles
(Start position in parentheses)

1. (8) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn., Chevrolet, 92 laps, 56.647 mph, $7,920.
2. (10) Chuck Hossfeld, Ransomville, N.Y., Dodge, 92, $3,220.
3. (2) Bobby Grigas, III, Marshfield, Mass., Chevrolet, 92, $3,070.
4. (34) Joe Hartmann, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 92, $3,295.
5. (36) Tom Abele, Jr., Norwich, Conn., Chevrolet, 92, $2,825.
6. (1) James Civali, Meriden, Conn., Chevrolet, 92, $2,995.
7. (3) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn., Ford, 92, $2,295.
8. (11) Reggie Ruggiero, Rocky Hill, Conn., Ford, 92, $2,095.
9. (18) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 92, $1,945.
10. (15) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 92, $1,995.
11. (29) Anthony Sesely, Matawan, N.J., Dodge, 92, $1,150.
12. (5) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 92, $1,965.
13. (19) Charles Pasteryak, Lisbon, Conn., Chevrolet, 92, $1,134.
14. (22) Glenn Tyler, Hampton Bays, N.Y., Chevrolet, 92, $1,850.
15. (23) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 92, $1,385.
16. (17) Matt Hirschman, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 92, $1,870.
17. (30) Renee Dupuis, Glastonbury, Conn., Chevrolet, 92, $1,430.
18. (21) Billy Pauch, Jr., Frenchtown, N.J., Dodge, 92, $1,695.
19. (12) Ryan Preece, Kensington, Conn., Chevrolet, 92, $1,670.
20. (26) Carl Pasteryak, Lisbon, Conn., Chevrolet, 92, $925.
21. (4) Ronnie Silk, Norwalk, Conn., Pontiac, 92, $1,720.
22. (37) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 91, $1,570.
23. (35) Jake Marosz, Middletown, Conn., Chevrolet, 91, $1,225.
24. (39) Sean Patterson, Wading River, N.Y., Pontiac, 88, $800.
25. (9) Kevin Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 84, $1,510.
26. (28) Richard Savary, Canton, Mass., Chevrolet, 82, $1,700.
27. (33) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, Mass., Chevrolet, 81, $770.
28. (14) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 75, $1,580.
29. (25) Erick Rudolph, Ransomville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 75, steering, $750.
30. (6) Tony Ferrante, Jr., New Hyde Park, N.Y., Chevrolet, 73, accident, $750.
31. (16) Eric Berndt, Cromwell, Conn., Chevrolet, 37, accident, $750.
32. (32) Rick Fuller, Auburn, Mass., 34, $1,470.
33. (20) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Pontiac, 32, $1,570.
34. (13) Danny Sammons, Hamilton, N.J., Chevrolet, 29, accident, $1,470.
35. (7) Bobby Santos, Franklin, Mass., Chevrolet, 23, accident, $1,470.
36. (24) J.R. Bertuccio, Centereach, N.Y., Dodge, 23, accident, $750.
37. (27) Jim Storace, Kingston, N.H., Pontiac, 23, steering, $750.
38. (31) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 19, accident, $1,570.
39. (38) Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Chevrolet, 10, accident, $750.

Race Statistics
Time of Race: 1 hour 0 minutes 25 seconds
Margin of Victory: race ended under caution
Fastest Qualifier: J.Civali (120.097 mph, 18.585 seconds)
Caution Flags: 6 for 53 laps.
Lead Changes: 3 among 4 drivers.
Lap Leaders: B.Grigas,III 1-12; J.Civali 13-42; T.Szegedy 43-70; E.Flemke,Jr. 71-92.

Sunday, 12:05pm ET - Good plans sometimes go bad. is once again experiencing connectivity issues with our wireless services at Thompson International Speedway.  We are working with tech support to get the service corrected so we can bring you Trackside Now updates from the Icebreaker today.

We apologize for the inconvenience.  Hopefully we will get this corrected soon and be right back with you.

Sunday, 10:10am ET - At approximately 10:40am,'s Mike Twist will appear as a guest on the Carey and Coffey Show that airs on ESPN Radio in Connecticut and online throughout the world.  If you n the area or near a computer, you can catch it ive online at or on 940/1510 ESPN Radio

Sunday, 9:50am ET - There have been a few off-season improvements at Thompson International Speedway, the track that fans voted as “Best Race Track” in our recent 51 Awards.

There is new lighting for both the track surface and pit area.  There is still a little bit of wiring work to be done and it won’t be used this weekend but fans and competitors should love the new system when Thursday night racing starts here in May.

As part of the lighting improvement, the infield has been leveled and the light poles have been placed on top of a wall.  It’s hard to tell from the grandstands, but any car spinning off the backstretch now will find that inside retaining wall instead of a light pole.  It doesn’t look like it was an easy project to undertake, but it should be much safer.

Sunday, 9:20am ET - Here are some numbers on the Icebreaker weekend.  There are 211 cars in the pits here between the various divisions.  The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour had the highest car count, with 40 machines entered in their race.  NEMA brought 24 midgets to put on a show and the divisions of the track’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series had good car counts as well.  There are 37 Sunoco Modifieds, 29 Mini Stocks, 23 Pro Stocks, 23 Late Models, 23 Limited Sportsmen and 12 Thompson Modifieds.

Sunday, 9:00am ET - There’s a new driver for the Joe Brady #00 Modified.  The Modified Tour staple was on Icebreaker entry list with a driver listed as “TBA”.  Word in the pits was that Sunoco Modified competitor Tommy Cravenho, who has driven for Brady many times in the past, might get the nod.  But on Saturday morning, a deal was put together to get Bobby Santos, III into the driver’s seat.  Santos won the World Series at Thompson in the fall while driving for the #3 Boehler Racing Enterprises team.

Sunday, 8:15am ET - It's a gray day, but it is more importantly a dry day here in the area of Thompson International Speedway (CT).  There is only a 10% chance of showers today, so it looks to be a great day for racing.  We're here today for The Icebreaker, which will open the 2008 racing season of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

Feature races are scheduled to roll off at Noon, starting with the NASCAR Whelen All American Series weekly divisions of Thompson and a 25-lap NEMA Midget race.  The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event, scheduled for 150 laps in length, will close out the day's racing activities.

Bobby Grigas will start on the pole after time trialing second and pulling the all-important number one in the redraw.  James Civali was the top qualifier, but drew a five and will start in the third row. 

Our computer equipment appears to be working A-OK this morning as well, so hopefully the technical difficulties from Saturday are behind us and we'll be bringing you the latest news from The Big T all day long.


James Civali's #28 King Racing team won the 2007 Icebreaker at Thompson. 
Eddie Flemke's #10 is a tribute to Modified legend Ron Bouchard who is Flemke's Brother-in-Law.  (51 Photo)
Eddie Flemke and Whelen's Phil Kurze appear in victory lane after the Icebreaker.  (Jamie Williams Photo)