Mike Stefanik Ends Up With Thompson Open
Comp Mod Show Victory After Tech is Completed
Championships Are Decided in Several Weekly Divisions
Track PR Report

On a blustery Sunday, the 2010 champions were crowned in all six NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions at Thompson International Speedway. The evening also featured what would ultimately be the fourth leg of the Tour-Type Modified Shootout originally scheduled for August 5, 2010. Mike Stefanik of Coventry, RI, who crossed the stripe in second, was declared the winner of the event after post race technical inspection.

In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action Ronnie Silk of Norwalk, CT, turned in a dominating performance to score his first victory of the season in the Sunoco Modifieds. Ted Christopher of Plainville, CT, by virtue of his dominating season, had sewn up the championship prior to the start of the night’s events. Mike O’Sullivan of Springfield, MA, made it a run to the end in the chase for the Super Late Model championship by winning the event. His rival Derek Ramstrom chased him to the checkers to secure the 2010 divisional title-his second straight.

In the Late Models, Tom O’Sullivan of Springfield, MA, made winning a family affair as he posted the feature victory. Rick Gentes of Woonsocket, RI, wore the 2010 Late Model crown. Scott Sundeen of Douglas, MA, bested the field in the Limited Sportsman division in an attempt to dethrone Larry Barnett. He won the battle but it was Barnett of Moosup, CT, winning the war with his second straight divisional title. Keith McDermott of Scituate, RI, ran to the victory in the TIS Modifieds taking the victory from the 2010 champion R.J. Marcotte of Millville, MA. In the Mini Stocks it was Dwayne Dorr of Ledyard, CT, posting the feature victory while Chuck Rogers of Quaker Hill earned the championship.

Mike Stefanik of Coventry, RI, became the first repeat winner in the Tour-Type Modified Shootout competition at Thompson in 2010. Stefanik crossed under the checkers in second position but was awarded the victory after apparent winner Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville, NY, was disqualified following post race technical inspection. Ted Christopher jumped from the second starting position to lead the opening of the 40-lap Tour-Type Modified Shootout. His efforts were made in vain as the caution flew immediately for a melee that started when Ed Flemke got out of shape coming out of turn four collecting Bonsignore and a host of others including Richard Savary, Eric Goodale, Dave Bitondo, Adam Norton, and Brad Van Houton.

At the second attempt at the start, pole sitter Stefanik got the edge; however, Christopher was the leader once again before the completion of lap one. Ronnie Silk brought his #6 down pit road under green on lap two. The top-six of Christopher, Stefanik, Charlie Pasteryak, Keith Rocco, Louie Mechalides and Shelly Perry ran nose-to-tail a distance ahead of the remainder of the field.

Bonsignore was making a speedy recovery; running back to the eighth position by lap 10. Back up front, Stefanik was all over the back bumper of Christopher while Pasteryak was looking equally as strong. Bonsignore had run down Perry for the seventh spot.

Deeper in the pack, Steven Reed headed a fierce battle that featured Tony Ferrante, Steven Masse, Flemke, and Dave Etheridge. The battle erupted when the lapped car of Butch Perry sent the pack scattering. Norton and Etheridge lost the most in the incident. Both were able to continue at the back of the pack.

On the restart, behind Christopher, Pasteryak got a run to the bottom of Stefanik. Pasteryak could not make the pass stick. He got stuck on the bottom groove; getting freight-trained by Rocco and Bonsignore. Bonsignore continued his march to the front making his way past Rocco for third.

The completion of the race changed dramatically on lap 22 when B. Perry spun in turn one. The leader Christopher, committed to the outside lane in turn one, had no where to go and collected Perry. Christopher retired from the event. Stefanik inherited the lead for the lap 22 restart. The veteran campaigner was pitted against the rookie Modified competitor Bonsignore.

On the restart, it was all Bonsignore, who bolted to the front. The caution flew again on lap 23 for a spin by Mechalides on the front stretch. After a quick caution period the race went back to green. It was Stefanik getting the edge to retake the lead. Pasteryak was fast on the low groove putting up a fight for the second spot. Rocco got a run on the topside to take over the third spot from Pasteryak. Bonsignore was back in pursuit of the lead once again; looking both high and then low on Stefanik.

The leaders were side-by-side on lap 26. The youngster was able to take over the top spot once again as they crossed the stripe of lap 27. S. Perry was coming on strong in the late stages of the event moving into the fourth position. Rocco faded losing positions to both Perry and Goodale. Bonsignore continued to hold a slight advantage over Stefanik. Pasteryak ran alone in third followed a distance back by S. Perry.

Rocco stalked Goodale in fifth followed by a great battle for the seventh between Steven Reed and Mechalides. S. Perry’s car started to show smoke; falling into the clutched of Goodale.

Back up front, Bonsignore enjoyed a ten car length advantage over Stefanik.

Pasteryak closed the gap to Stefanik but ran out of time. Goodale was able to get by Perry over the final laps. At the checkers, it appeared as if Bonsignore had posted his first Modified victory at Thompson. Officials deemed the fuel in Bonsignore’s #51 to be in violation of the rules. Stefanik was awarded the victory. Pasteryak had a great run to come home second. Goodale, S. Perry and Rocco completed the top-five.

Ronnie Silk of Norwalk, CT, had to wait all season to post his first Sunoco Modified feature victory of the season at Thompson Speedway. Dave Salzarulo led the strong field of Sunoco Modifieds to the green. As the pack bore down on the lead duo of Salzarulo and Tim Sullivan, Danny Cates dove below Silk and Keith Rocco to make it three-wide. Rocco came out of the pack with the fourth position.

Up front, there was contact between Salzarulo and Sullivan. They bumped wheels on several occasions exiting turn four. The continued contact sent Sullivan sliding through the infield in turn one. As the incident unfolded, Pitkat’s car stopped against the wall in turn one. Rowan Pennink ended up in the outside wall on the backstretch. Pitkat brought his ride behind the wall. Pennink and Sullivan sat on pit road. Pennink was the only competitor unable to continue.

Silk was the new leader on the lap 1 restart. Rocco moved into second followed by Cates as Salzarulo faltered. Silk continued to stretch his advantage as Cates and Rocco did battle for the second spot. Ted Christopher ran a distance behind in fourth. Things settled down for second as Cates fell in line behind Rocco. Christopher, who was already crowned the divisional champion, was beginning to cut into the margin held by Cates in third. Pitkat was quickly making his way through the pack when the event’s second caution flew on lap nine for an incident that involved John Catania and Wayne Arute.

On the restart, Rocco got alongside Silk. Rocco slid up the track slightly bringing Silk along for the ride; giving Rocco the edge as the duo hit the backstretch on lap nine. A spin by Cates on lap 10 brought out the caution. Christopher was put to the tail of the field for his involvement in the incident. After the penalty, Christopher headed to pit road for service to his car.

On the restart, it was a three-car battle for the lead with Rocco holding on to the point with both Silk and Pitkat in pursuit. Silk dove low entering turn two despite sliding up the track as Rocco could not complete the slide job and had to settle into the second spot. An incident that saw Cates make heavy contact with the front stretch wall brought out the caution and negating Silk’s pass for the lead.

Rocco was the leader once again for the restart on lap 11. Rocco continued to hold the lead through turn three until Silk used the bottom groove to take the top spot away once again. Rocco immediately had his hands full with Pitkat. Sullivan rebounded to ride in fourth while Christopher was locked in a heated battle for fifth between Salzarulo and Andy Gaspar. On lap 17, he was able to get past both cars. He went on the hunt for Sullivan in fourth.

Silk was able to stretch his lead to over ten-car lengths as Rocco continued to fend off Pitkat. Over the course of two laps, Christopher had erased the gap over Sullivan. On lap 21, TC made the pass look easy as he moved into the fourth spot. He was nearly a half-lap behind the battle between Rocco and Pitkat.

On lap 24, Pitkat got his car crossed-up exiting turn two losing some of his momentum in his battle with Rocco. Once recovered, Pitkat settled back in and caught the back bumper of Rocco once again. Christopher was not able to reduce the margin to third. Silk took the white flag a distance ahead of Rocco and Pitkat. Silk went unchallenged to the checkers for his first win of the 2010 season at the Thompson Speedway. Rocco, Pitkat, Christopher and Sullivan rounded out the top-five.

The Super Late Model division had the closest point race of the season. Entering the night’s event Derek Ramstrom held a two-point margin over a tie for second between Larry Gelinas and Mike O’Sullivan. It was Mike O’Sullivan who would take the win but Ramstrom the crown.

George Bessette led the opening laps with O’Sullivan taking up the second position. Jim Banfield ran in third. Ramstrom, who blew an engine in practice, was quickly making his way through traffic with a motor borrowed from the Bessette team under the hood. Ramstrom had moved into third as O’Sullivan was making a bid on the leader. On lap seven, O’Sullivan was the new leader. Ramstrom also got by Bessette to run in second. Larry Gelinas was not a factor as he struggled; running at the back of the pack.

O’Sullivan continued to lead but by only a slim margin over Ramstrom. Rick Fuller made his way past Banfield and Bessette to run third. At halfway, Fuller had begun to run down the lead duo of O’Sullivan and Ramstrom. Bessette led a three-car battle for the fourth spot that also featured Banfield and Mike Stefanik.

With ten laps remaining, Ramstrom began to apply real pressure to O’Sullivan for the lead. O’Sullivan had his hands full exiting turn two on lap 20 after contact with Ramstrom. O’Sullivan was able to gather it in to maintain his advantage. Fuller remained in striking distance in third.

An incident involving Stefanik and Bessette brought out the caution on lap 22. Under the caution, Gelinas headed to pit road for service to his #48. On the ensuing restart, O’Sullivan was able to maintain his lead. With Ramstrom to his outside, O’Sullivan drifted up the corner opening the door for Fuller to move into the second spot. O’Sullivan was able to get away from the battle for second.

Fuller slowed entering turn one allowing Ramstrom to easily move past and into the second position. Over the final laps, O’Sullivan maintained a five-car length advantage over Ramstrom. O’Sullivan went on to post his third win of the season. Ramstrom, Fuller, Bessette, Banfield, and Daryl Stampfl rounded out the top five. In the season-long point chase, O’Sullivan and Ramstrom ended up tied for the points. Ramstrom was crowned the champion by virtue of his six wins.

Tommy O’Sullivan of Springfield, MA, posted his fourth feature win of the season in an eventful Late Model feature event. The division had a difficult time getting going with a pair of cautions before the first lap could be posted. With the first lap finally completed, it was Jeff Hartwell with the lead. His stay at the front was short-lived as John Falconi grabbed the top spot away. Hartwell continued to fade losing positions to John Materas, Rick Gentes, and O’Sullivan.

Falconi continued to lead with Materas in hot pursuit. Gentes ran in third with a two-car length advantage over O’Sullivan. At lap 10, Falconi continued to have his hands full with Materas while O’Sullivan was looking racy with Gentes. Mike Scorzelli ran all alone in fifth.

There was some contact between Falconi and Materas as the duo motored under the crossed flags for halfway. Falconi was able to maintain the lead. O’Sullivan continued to dog Materas. All battles cooled when the third caution of the event flew on lap 15 for an incident involving Wayne Coury, Sr. and Mark Oliveira.

On the ensuing restart, Falconi and Materas went fender-to-fender. Sparks flew between Falconi and Materas on the backstretch opening the door for Gentes to move into the second spot. A caution for debris pitted Falconi against Gentes. Entering turn one, Falconi got out of shape losing several positions. Hartwell slid in some fluid left on the track making hard contact with the outside wall to bring out the caution. Going back to the last completed green flag lap, Falconi was able to retain the lead.

On the restart, Gentes looked to make an outside pass on Falconi, who drifted up the track. O’Sullivan dove low to go from third to the lead. Materas and Scorzelli went for the same spot on the speedway making contact. Both were able to continue. Falconi faded back outside of the top-ten.

Up front, O’Sullivan was able to run out to a sizeable margin as Ryan Posocco, who recovered from two early race incidents to do battle with Gentes for second. At the checkers, O’Sullivan cruised to his fourth win of the season. Gentes held back Posocco to finish second to clinch his second Late Model championship in three years. Materas and Scorzelli completed the top five. Following post race technical inspection, Scorzelli was disqualified moving Shawn Thibeault to the fifth position.

In the Limited Sportsman division, Scott Sundeen won the battle scoring the feature victory event. Barnett won the war. By virtue of his ninth-place finish, Barnett was able to win back-to-back championships by two-points. Jesse Gleason emerged as the leader in the early going after a four-car battle for the lead. Gleason was able to get away from the pack as Scott Fanning, William Wall, Steve Kenneway, and Larry Barnett battled. Barnett moved into the fourth spot while Wall got alongside Fanning. Wall moved into second with Barnett following through. Chris Douton worked his way into fourth. Wall was able to get away momentarily as Douton and Barnett battled for position. Douton was able to take third from Barnett at the halfway marker.

A bit deeper in the pack, Shawn Monahan and S. Sundeen were picking their way through the field. Monahan was able to get by Fanning to break into the top-five on lap 13. Sundeen followed through stealing a spot from Fanning as well.

There was a scary moment for the leader Gleason on lap 14, who had entered lapped traffic, when contact with the slower car of Kris Larochelle send Larochelle spinning. Gleason was able to continue without incident; however, the caution flag flew to erase the advantage he had enjoyed.

The lap 14 restart had major implications for point leader Barnett. Contact between Monahan, Douton and Wall also collected Barnett and a host of other cars. Barnett’s closest competition in the point chase, Sundeen was able to get through the melee unscathed. Barnett had to go to the pits for service. Monahan was sent to the back.

Gleason was pitted against Sundeen on the second attempt at a restart. The two went side-by-side for the distance of lap 15. A spin by Monahan on the front stretch was followed by a series of spins toward the back of the pack that brought out the caution once again.

A single-file restart gave Gleason the edge. A hard-charging Sundeen got alongside Gleason for the top spot. Sundeen was the new leader on lap 16. Barnett was mired in traffic. With a wounded car, Barnett gingerly picked off positions over the final lap. He moved into the ninth.

With Sundeen leading Gleason, the cars of Jay Sundeen, John Bercham and Barnett went three wide as they headed to the stripe to determine the championship. Sundeen was able to grab the seventh spot followed by Bercham and Barnett. Sundeen scored the feature victory over Gleason, Joe Coates, Mike Romano and Jason Chicolas inside the top-five. By virtue of his ninth-place finish, Barnett was able to grab the championship by a mere two points over the race winner Sundeen.

Keith McDermott scored his third TIS Modified victory of the season with a commanding performance. The battle for the championship was up for grabs in the TIS Modified division as R.J. Marcotte held an eight-point advantage over Keith McDermott. On a cool and damp evening, the division was given hot laps. During the hot laps, Marcotte headed to pit road in what would have been a major shake-up to the point standings. Marcotte was able to join the field to battle for his championship.

The point leader Marcotte started the main event from the pole starting position. Marcotte held the top spot as Shane Michalski and Ryan Morgan battled for the second position. McDermott had worked his way passed both Morgan and Michalski to take chase of Marcotte. After only a few laps of taking chase, McDermott was able to steal the lead away from Marcotte.

The caution flew on lap 13 for a spin by Michalski. On the ensuing restart, it was all McDermott, who immediately ran out to a sizeable advantage. Marcotte had pressure from Morgan and Boss. Jay Sundeen got out of shape on the backstretch making hard contact with the backstretch wall to bring out the caution again on lap 14.

It was a repeat of the previous restart with McDermott rocketing out to a large lead. Brian Tagg began to make his presence know battling Morgan for third after the restart. Tagg slid up the track in turn one; losing the track position he had gained. McDermott enjoyed a comfortable lead over Marcotte. Morgan and Boss went nose-to-tail over the white flag lap for third. The victory was McDermott but with the runner-up finish, Marcotte was crowned the champion. Rookie Morgan turned in a solid performance to finish third. Boss and Michalski rounded out the top five.

Dwayne Dorr of Ledyard, CT, posted the victory in the Mini Stock main event on Sunday night. Dorr moved into third spot in the opening laps while Mike Viens held the top spot. Dorr was happy to take chase of Viens for a pair of laps before beginning his assault on the leader. Dorr could get inside of Viens in turn two but would have to settle back in line for the duration of the laps. The lapped car of David Gavlick impeded Viens in turn four just long enough to allow Dorr to grab the spot on lap 10. Once free of the lapped car, Viens began to run down Dorr in hopes of retaking the lead.

An incident involving Tim Taylor necessitated the caution with only four laps remaining. Dorr easily retained his lead on the single-file restart. Dorr was able to extend his lead to a sizeable margin over Viens. The third position was being hotly contested with Leo Defevers holding the spot with Chad Baxter and Roger Ducharme in pursuit. In the end, Dorr was able to grab his fourth victory of the season. Viens had to settle for second. Defevers held back all advances to finish third. Baxter edged Ducharme for fourth. Chuck Rogers of Quaker Hill, CT, had clinched the championship following the rain-out on September 16 winning the title by a sizeable advantage.

Next on the schedule for the Thompson International Speedway is the traditional World Series of Speedway racing scheduled for October 15-17, 2010. The premier event which plays host to 15 divisions will feature the Whelen Modified Tour and the International Supermodified Association. For complete details visit thompsonspeedway.com.


Tour-Type Modified Feature (Top Ten) Finish: 1. Mike Stefanik, Coventry, RI; 2. Charlie Pasteryak, Lisbon, CT; 3. Eric Goodale, Wading River, NY; 4. Shelly Perry, Ashaway, RI; 5. Keith Rocco, Wallingford, CT; 6. Steven Reed, Levittown, NY; 7. Louie Mechalides, Tynsboro, MA; 8. Tony Ferrante, Jr., New Hyde Park, NY; 9. Adam Norton, Brookfield, MA; 10. John Jensone, Wolcott, CT.

Sunoco Modified Feature (Top Ten) Finish: 1. Ronnie Silk, Norwalk, CT; 2. Keith Rocco, Wallingford, CT; 3. Woody Pitkat, Stafford Springs, CT; 4. Ted Christopher, Plainville, CT; 5. Tim Sullivan, S. Windsor, CT; 6. Dave Salzarulo, Monson, MA; 7. Henry Stampfl, Norwood, MA; 8. Andy Gaspar, Andover, CT; 9. John Catania, Agawam, MA; 10. Carl Oberg, Sutton, MA.

Super Late Model Feature (Top Ten) Finish: 1. Mike O’Sullivan, Springfield, MA; 2. Derek Ramstrom, Worcester, MA; 3. Rick Fuller, Auburn, MA; 4. Jim Banfield, S. Glastonbury, CT; 5. Daryl Stampfl, Norwood, MA; 6. Jarrod Hayes, Calverton, NY; 7. Greg Nanigian, Braintree, MA; 8. Larry Gelinas, Buxton, ME; 9. Scott Rotherforth, Glastonbury, CT; 10. Mike Rivard, N. Scituate, RI.

Late Model Feature (Top Ten) Finish: 1. Tommy O’Sullivan, Springfield, MA; 2. Rick Gentes, Woonsocket, RI; 3. Ryan Posocco, Stafford Springs, CT; 4. John Materas, Voluntown, CT; 5. Shawn Thibeault, Plainville, CT; 6. Mark Jenison, Warwick, RI; 7. Damon Tinio, Mendon, MA; 8. Roy Either, Newton, NC; 9. Ryan Waterman, Danielson, CT; 10. Bob O’Connell, Wrentham, MA.

Limited Sportsman Feature (Top Ten) Finish: 1. Scott Sundeen, Douglas, MA; 2. Jesse Gleason, Lisbon, CT; 3. Joe Coates, Eastford, CT; 4. Mike Romano, Chepachet, RI; 5. Jason Chicolas, Sutton, MA; 6. Joe Arena, Bristol, CT; 7. Jay Sundeen, Douglas, MA; 8. John Bercham, W. Greenwich, RI; 9. Larry Barnett, Moosup, CT; 10. Jack Aquilina, Oakdale, CT.

TIS Modified Feature Finish: 1. Keith McDermott, Scituate, RI; 2. R.J. Marcotte, Millville, MA; 3. Ryan Morgan, Mystic, CT; 4. Glenn Boss, Danielson, CT; 5. Shane Michalski, Woodstock, CT; 6. Brian Tagg, Oxford, MA; 7. Denis Legere, N. Reading MA; 8. Jay Sundeen, Douglas, MA.

Mini Stock Feature (Top Ten) Finish: 1. Dwayne Dorr, Ledyard, CT; 2. Mike Viens, Seekonk, MA; 3. Leo Defevers, Brooklyn, CT; 4. Chad Baxter, Pascoag, RI; 5. Roger Ducharme, Foster, RI; 6. Danny Field, Deep River, CT; 7. Steve Michalski, Brooklyn, CT; 8. Chuck Rogers, Quaker Hill, CT; 9. Lloyd Anderson, Wauregan, CT; 10. Rick Blanchard, Pascoag, RI.

Mike Stefanik's winning #66 Modified.  (Rick Ibsen Photos)
Ron Silk won the SK Modified race.