It took several weeks to complete the first of the Thompson International Speedway Town Fair Tire Tour-Type Modified Shootouts for the 2010 season. For Ronnie Silk of Norwalk, CT, and his TS Haulers Racing Team it was worth the wait. On Thursday night, Thompson Speedway featured the continuation of an event that was postponed back on June 3 after rains halted the program. In addition to the Tour-Type Modifieds, all six of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions were in competition.
In weekly racing action, Ted Christopher of Plainville, CT, scored his fourth Sunoco Modified victory of the season. Derek Ramstrom of Worcester, MA, continued his winning ways in the Super Late Models; also scoring his fourth feature victory of ‘10. John Falconi of N. Grafton, MA, turned his luck around this season with a commanding victory in the Late Model division. Paul Coutu of Thompson, CT, scored a convincing victory in the Limited Sportsman division. Keith McDermott of Scituate, RI was the winner in a controversial TIS Modified dash. Leo Defevers of Brooklyn, CT was tops in the Mini Stocks. The Super Late Models, Late Models and the Limited Sportsman division all treated the fans to caution-free main events.
Ronnie Silk of Norwalk, CT, was in the right place at the right time to earn the victory in the Town Fair Tire Tour-Type Modified Shootout. Ryan Preece won the drag race to turn one to start the 40-lapper. Woody Pitkat, driving for the Santos Family, followed through relegating pole sitter Stefanik to third early. Preece enjoyed a large advantage early over Pitkat and Stefanik. A four car battle for fourth featured Silk, Steven Reed, Jeff Malave and Tom Bolles.
Malave dropped off the pace while troubles for Tom Bolles made it only a three-car battle for position. Ted Christopher, who had been working his way through the field, moved into the sixth position by lap 11.
Pitkat was able to reel in Preece as the leader entered lapped traffic on lap 15. Pitkat was able get up alongside Preece. As the duo approached the crossed flags for halfway, Pitkat was the new leader. Preece immediately fell into the clutches of Stefanik. Preece had the advantage over Stefanik by inches at the stripe to complete lap 23. Stefanik settled back in line in third.
A pair of laps later, Stefanik got by Preece on the backstretch to take over the second spot. Stefanik trailed Pitkat by nearly a straightaway. Silk ran in fourth a distance behind Preece. Reed, Christopher and Louie Mechalides followed.
The first caution of the event flew on lap #29 for a single car incident involving Butch Perry. The restart was stalled for another incident involving Perry. After a false start, the third time was a charm with Pitkat resuming his lead. Stefanik was well within striking distance while Silk got a great run to take over the third position from Preece. Christopher took the fourth spot from Preece on lap 32.
Pitkat had his hands full with a charging Stefanik. The two went wheel-to-wheel for successive laps. Neither had a decided advantage when the caution flew for a spin by Eric LeClair. Preece, who had slipped back through the field, headed to pit road for service on lap 35.
The crowd was on their feet for the double-file restart with five laps remaining. Pitkat held the top spot with Stefanik to his outside. On the backstretch, contact between Pitkat and Stefanik sent Pitkat into the outside wall. Pitkat’s crippled #98 was collected by Butch Perry as it sat in turn three. Stefanik was put to the rear of the field for his involvement.
Silk found himself as the new leader with five laps to go. Christopher, Mechalides, Reed and Keith Rocco made up the top-five for the last dash to the finish. Silk got a great restart to lead his first competitive laps of the event. After falling back to third on the initial start, Christopher was able to get back by and into second. Reed ran a slight distance back in fourth.
Over the final laps, Silk was able to extend his advantage over Christopher to take down the win. Christopher came home second followed by Mechalides, Reed and Rocco.
Silk, Christopher, Rowan Pennink, Ryan Preece, Kevin Goodale, Mike Stefanik and Woody Pitkat all raced back from Whelen Modified Tour qualifying at New Hampshire Motor Speedway to take part in action at Thompson International Speedway.
Ted Christopher of Plainville, CT, posted his fourth Sunoco Modified feature victory of the season at Thompson. The battle is what has come to be expected at Thompson; coming down to the wire between Christopher and Keith Rocco. Danny Cates jumped out to the early lead in the Sunoco Modified main event with Woody Pitkat in tow. Rocco came up from his sixth starting position to battle with Pitkat for the second position.
Rocco used the crossover move in turn four in an effort to take second from Pitkat. He could not hold the car down allowing Pitkat to dive below to retain the position. Rocco tried an outside move in turn two on the following lap. It was a repeat of the crossover once again entering turn four. Pitkat, again, kept the position. This time by mere inches when they hit the stripe. With momentum in the outside groove, Rocco was able to take over the second spot on lap five. Christopher had worked his way into the fifth spot. After a quick battle with Tim Sullivan, he took over the fourth spot.
Out front, Cates continued to enjoy a half straightaway advantage over a continuing battle between Rocco and Pitkat. While the battle for second brewed, Christopher joined in; making it a three car battle for the second spot. On lap 12, Pitkat tried to make a move from the bottom groove entering turn two. The move cost Pitkat not only a shot at second but the third spot to Christopher as well.
The caution that Cates did not want to see flew on lap 13 when Wayne Arute made hard contact with the outside wall in a single-car incident. Cates chose the inside groove on restart to retain the lead. Christopher got running room on the inside below Rocco. Contact between Cates and Christopher sent Cates spinning. Cates was collected by Ricky Shawn as the car came to rest on the backstretch.
When the dust settled, Rocco had inherited the lead with Christopher in second. Pitkat, Tim Sullivan, and Dave Salzarulo made up the top five on the restart on lap 13. Rocco held a slight advantage over Pitkat on the restart. Christopher used the outside groove to regain the position from Pitkat.
Christopher was glued to the back bumper of Rocco. With ten to go, Christopher continued to dog Rocco for the lead. Christopher got a great run on lap 21 getting alongside Rocco in turn one and again in turn four. Each time, Christopher had to settle back in line on the straight-aways.
On lap 23, Christopher was up for the challenge making the pass stick in turn one to lead lap 24. Once out front, Christopher was able to gain a car-length advantage over Rocco. Pitkat ran a distance back in third. Sullivan was an equal distance back in fourth.
Over the final laps, Christopher was able to stretch the advantage over Rocco. It was the fourth victory of the season for Christopher. Rocco settled for second over Pitkat. Sullivan posted his best finish of the season in fourth. Quietly Rowan Pennink rounded out the top five.
After a run of three-straight victories to open the 2010 season, Derek Ramstrom of Worcester, MA, returned to his winning ways posting his fourth Super Late Model feature win in six starts. It took Ramstrom only a single lap to move from the fourth starting position to the head of the class. Ramstrom made quick work of Larry Gelinas, Dave Silvia, and George Bessette to take the lead.
Mike O’Sullivan moved passed Dennis Maxfield to move into the fourth position. The battle was far from over as contact between O’Sullivan and Maxfield, allowed Maxfield to get up along side O’Sullivan once again. The top-three were meanwhile able to pull away. Ramstrom held a five-car length advantage over Bessette, who enjoyed an equal margin over Gelinas.
At halfway, the balance of the field was strung out over the length of the speedway. The only thing that changed over the second half of the event was the distance between the top three. Ramstrom extended his margin over Bessette while Gelinas had reeled in Bessette. O’Sullivan cut into the advantage that Gelinas had previously held in third.
With three laps remaining, O’Sullivan dove low underneath Gelinas in an attempt to steal third. O’Sullivan could get alongside Gelinas exiting the corners but could not muster up a pass on the straightaway. In the end, the recent High School graduate scored his fourth victory of the season. Bessette came home second over Gelinas, O’Sullivan, and Maxfield.
John Falconi of N. Grafton, MA, kept a family tradition alive at Thompson with his Late Model victory on Thursday night. Speedway announcer Russ Dowd pointed out that a member of the Falconi Family has posted at least one race win a season at Thompson for the last seven decades. After what has been a dismal start to the 2010 season, Falconi turned in a dominating performance to score the win for the family.
Falconi parlayed his pole starting position into a commanding lead in the early going of the Late Model main event. He was able to further extend his advantage when John Materas and Tommy O’Sullivan battled for the second position. Materas settled into a groove and was able to distance himself from O’Sullivan. Rick Gentes had his hands full battling Scott Oliveira for the fourth position.
At lap 10, O’Sullivan had caught Materas in second. After a few laps, O’Sullivan settled back in line behind Materas. At halfway, Falconi enjoyed a half straightaway advantage over a spirited battle for second between Materas and O’Sullivan. Oliveira was successful holding off Gentes.
Over the final two laps, O’Sullivan caught Materas. While still battling, the two had cut into Falconi’s lead ever slightly. Gentes fell back from Oliveira.
Falconi may have been able to see the duo on the white flag lap for the first time since the start of the race but the veteran competitor never missed a beat en route to the victory. Materas was able to hold back the last ditch effort of O’Sullivan to finish second. In post race technical inspection, the #16 of O’Sullivan was found to have illegal fuel. Oliveira was officially scored as third followed by Gentes and Mark Jenison inside the top five.
Local driver Paul Coutu led green-to-checker to score the victory in the Limited Sportsman division. Despite leading every lap en route to the victory, the win was a hard-fought one for the Thompson, CT driver. Coutu and Steve Kenneway were having themselves a pretty good battle for the top spot as Larry Barnett, Scott Sundeen, Chris Douton, and Shawn Monahan were mired in traffic. Coutu held the top spot with Kenneway in pursuit. Jesse Gleason ran in third just behind the leaders.
During the extended green flag run, it became a three-car battle for the lead between Coutu, Kenneway, and Gleason. The battle for position allowed Barnett, who had worked his way from mid-pack, to join the fray. At halfway, Gleason moved past Kenneway in search of leader Coutu. Barnett had run down Kenneway and into the third spot. He began to work over Gleason. With only a handful of laps Barnett moved into the second spot. Kenneway watched his good night end when his car went up in smoke on lap 17.
Over the final two laps, Barnett caught the back bumper of Coutu. All he could do was chase Coutu to the checkers. Barnett had to settle for second. Jesse “Zoom” Gleason had a great run to finish third ahead of Sundeen and Joe Arena
With his victory on Thursday night, Leo Defevers of Brooklyn, CT, became the first repeat winner in the Mini Stocks in 2010. Veteran competitor Mike Viens was back in top form leading the Mini Stock main event early. Both Chuck Rogers, who has been running great at Thompson this season, and defending champ Scott Michalski each took their shot the lead of at Viens. Michalski was the first to strike; taking the top spot from Viens on lap seven.
Michalski may have been caught by surprise when a bold move on lap nine catapulted Defevers from third position to the lead on the backstretch. Defevers crossed the stripe as the new leader. The caution flew on lap 10 for an incident just outside of the top five involving Randy Churchill and Dwayne Dorr. On the ensuing restart, Defevers and Michalski went door-to-door for several laps before Defevers shook loose of Michalski. Defevers went on to score his second victory of the season over Michalski and Rogers. Viens and Chad Baxter completed the top five.
Keith McDermott of Scituate, RI, scored his second TIS Modified feature event win of the 2010 season under interesting circumstances. The division had their own “Shootout” on Thursday night after the rains came back on June 3 stalling their main event with only five-laps remaining. Some three weeks later, Jay Sundeen led the field to green for a five-lap dash to the checkers. Immediately, the duo of Sundeen and R.J. Marcotte broke out to a sizeable advantage over the remainder of the field.
The dash to the checkers was uneventful with Sundeen leading Marcotte until the final turn of the final lap. Contact between Sundeen and Marcotte sent Sundeen spinning. Marcotte took the checkers first; however, he was denied the win as he was scored at the tail-end of the lead lap for his involvement in the incident. McDermott ran under the checkers second but stood alone in victory lane. The race winner literally stood in victory lane as his car sustained damage after an incident with Michalski exiting turn four also on the final lap. McDermott walked to victory lane while his car was towed to the infield. Shane Michalski, Ryan Morgan, John Studley, and Tyler Poulin rounded out the top five.
Tour-Type Modified Feature (Top-Ten) Finish: 1. Ronnie Silk, Norwalk, CT; 2.Ted Christopher, Plainville, CT; 3. Louie Mechalides, Tyngsboro, MA; 4. Steven Reed, Freehold, NJ; 5. Keith Rocco, Wallingford, CT; 6. Michael Ordway, Jr., Freemont, NH; 7. Mike Stefanik, Coventry, RI; 8. Ryan Preece, Berlin, CT; 9. Dave Etheridge, Portland, CT; 10. Adam Norton, Brookfield, MA.
Sunoco Modified Feature (Top-Ten) Finish: 1. Ted Christopher, Plainville, CT; 2. Keith Rocco, Wallingford, CT; 3. Woody Pitkat, Stafford, CT; 4. Tim Sullivan, S. Windsor, CT; 5. Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, PA; 6. Ronnie Silk, Norwalk, CT; 7. Andy Gaspar, Andover, CT; 8. Dave Salzarulo, Monson, MA; 9. Carl Oberg, Sutton, MA; 10. Henry Stampfl, Norwood, MA.
Super Late Model Feature (Top-Ten) Finish: 1. Derek Ramstrom, Worcester, MA; 2. George Bessette, Danbury, CT; 3. Larry Gelinas, Buxton, ME; 4. Mike O’Sullivan; Springfield, MA; 5. Dennis Maxfield, Fitchburg, MA; 6. Dave Silvia, Warwick, RI; 7. Jim Banfield, S. Glastonbury, CT; 8. Greg Nanigian, Braintree, MA; 9. Daryl Stampfl, Norwood, MA; 10. Scott Rotherforth, Glastonbury, CT.
Late Model Feature (Top-Ten) Finish: 1. John Falconi, N. Grafton, MA; 2. John Materas, Voluntown, CT; 3. Mark Oliveira, Blackstone, MA; 4. Rick Gentes, Woonsocket, RI; 5. Mark Jenison, Warwick, RI; 6. Wayne Coury, Sr., Milford, CT; 7. Jeff Hartwell, Putnam, CT; 8. Jeremy Sadowski, Voluntown, CT; 9. Damon Tinio, Mendon, MA.; 10. Randy Waterman, Danielson, CT.
Limited Sportsman Feature (Top-Ten) Finish: 1. Paul Coutu, Thompson, CT; 2. Larry Barnett, Moosup, CT; 3. Jesse Gleason, Lisbon, CT; 4. Scott Sundeen, Douglas, MA; 5. Joe Arena, Bristol, CT; 6. Shawn Monahan, Waterford, CT; 7. Chris Douton, Waterford, CT; 8. Jason Chicolas, Sutton, MA; 9. Scott Fanning, Mapleville, RI; 10. Kevin Bowe, Pawtucket, RI.
TIS Modified Feature (Top-Ten) Finish: 1. Keith McDermott, Scituate, RI; 2. Shane Michalski, Woodstock, CT; 3. Ryan Morgan, Mystic, CT; 4. John Studley, Framingham, MA; 5. Tyler Poulin, Pascoag, RI; 6. Denis Legere, N. Reading, MA; 7. Jason Sundeen, Douglas, MA; 8. R.J. Marcotte, Millville, MA; 9. Brian Tagg, Oxford, MA.
Mini Stock Feature (Top-Ten) Finish: 1. Leo Defevers, Brooklyn, CT; 2. Scott Michalski, S. Killingly, CT; 3. Chuck Rogers, Quaker Hill, CT; 4. Mike Viens, Seekonk, MA; 5. Chad Baxter, Pascoag, RI; 6. Bert Ouellette, Dayville, CT; 7. Steve Michalski, Brooklyn, CT; 8. Jeff Moffat, Warwick, RI; 9. Joe Baxter, Pascoag, RI; 10. Trevor Michalski, S. Killingly, CT.