For the third-time this season, the Thompson International Speedway hosted their Tour-Type Modified Shootout. Ryan Preece of Berlin, CT, added his name to the already impressive list of winners with his exciting victory on Thursday night. There was no shortage in intensity in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series with five winners posting victories.
The last time a competitor posted double digit wins in the Sunoco Modified division at Thompson International Speedway the year was 2001 and the driver was Ted Christopher. With his win on Thursday night, Christopher of Plainville, CT, duplicated the feat; winning his tenth Sunoco Modified victory of the 2010 season.
Rick Gentes of Woonsocket, RI, was the big winner in the Late Models while Lloyd Anderson of Wauregan, CT, scored his second Mini Stock feature victory of the 2010 season. Victory lane was a family affair for the Sundeens of Douglas, MA. Son Jay scored his first career victory in the TIS Modifieds while father Scott scored his second win of the 2010 season in the Limited Sportsman.
Ryan Preece of Berlin, CT, scored a popular win in Thompson’s Modified Shootout aboard his family-owned #40. Preece took advantage of his pole starting position to take the early lead. Bobby Santos III and Ronnie Silk were locked in a great battle for the second spot. Santos held the position with Silk in pursuit. On lap four, Silk was able to dive into second; leaving Santos to defend his position against Richard Savary. Eddie Flemke ran all alone in fifth. In the back half of the top ten, Tom Bolles, Mike Stefanik, and Justin Bonsignore were having a great battle of their own.
Silk had run down Preece at the head of the pack. Savary continued to dog Santos. John Jenson had caught Flemke. The first caution of the event flew on lap 13 for a spin by Bolles. On the restart, Preece had to contend with Silk. The Norwalk driver bolted to the lead from the outside groove; relegating Preece to second. Green flag racing was short-lived when a lap 14 incident involving Bolles and Dennis Perry brought out the second caution. Under the caution, Santos relinquished the fourth position to head to pit road for service. Jensen and Flemke also pitted under the caution.
Silk motored back out to the lead when green flag racing resumed. Stefanik had worked his way into third. Bonsignore vaulted to fourth on the restart. Preece was all over the back bumper of Silk as Stefanik lurked within striking distance. At halfway, Preece continued to hound Silk followed by Stefanik and Bonsignore. Things got physical between Eric Goodale and Richard Savary for the fifth spot. Contact sent Goodale sliding up the track to open the door for Savary to gain the position.
Lap-after-lap, Preece would look low on Silk in the turns but settle back in line on the straight-aways. On lap 27, Preece was able to keep up his momentum exiting turn four. They went side-by-side under the stripe. Neither driver could get a decided advantage for the duration of the lap. Preece was finally able to make the pass for the lead on lap 28.
Bonsignore had erased the distance from Stefanik for third. The third caution flew when Goodale and Bryon Chew made contact on the front stretch. The lap 29 restart gave Preece the advantage once again. Bonsignore was able to pressure Stefanik for third. The two went side-by-side for several laps with Bonsignore just barely getting the edge. On lap 33, Bonsignore took possession of the third spot. The battle for third allowed the leaders to get some distance on the rest of the field. An incident involving Bolles brought out the fourth caution on lap 33.
This time it was Silk gaining the advantage on the restart. Silk led lap 34 before losing the lead to Preece once again. Stefanik was able to get the edge on Bonsignore, who settled back in line in fourth ahead of Savary.
Over the final dash to the checkers, Preece was able to run out to a sizeable advantage over Silk. With only three laps remaining, Bonsignore slowed on the front stretch and made his way to pit road; ending his bid at a strong finish. In the end, it was all Preece as he cruised to the victory over Silk. Stefanik came home third followed by Savary. Kenny Bouchard quietly completed the top five.
Ted Christopher of Plainville, CT, extended his point lead in the Sunoco Modified division with his tenth victory of the season at Thompson International Speedway. Rowan Pennink jumped out to the lead with Danny Cates and Christopher in tow. The top five cars, which also included Ryan Preece and Keith Rocco, ran ahead of sixth-place Woody Pitkat. Almost at the drop of the green flag, the #12 of Ronnie Silk faltered.
A tense moment between Christopher, Preece and Rocco saw sparks flying as Preece made slight contact with the front stretch wall. All were able to continue almost without missing a beat. The action allowed Pitkat to make it a six-car breakaway at the head of the pack.
Christopher got alongside Cates making the pass into the second spot on lap seven. Rocco immediately went to work on Cates. Rocco had company in Pitkat. Christopher had chased down Pennink making the pass for the lead look easy on lap nine. Cates followed Christopher by Pennink. Pitkat and Rocco went wheel to wheel-to-wheel.
Cates got alongside Christopher on lap 12; however, using his text book crossover move, Christopher was able to maintain his lead. It was a repeat on lap 13 with a different outcome. Contact between Christopher and Cates exiting turn four gave Cates the edge and the lead. Rocco had moved past Pitkat into third.
On lap 16, a move entering turn four gave Christopher the lead back once again. Rocco was able to catch the back bumper of Cates. Christopher, Cates and Rocco ran nose to tail nearly a half straightaway ahead of Pitkat. With 10 laps to go, Christopher enjoyed a two-car length advantage over Cates; his largest margin of the event. Cates had extended his advantage over Rocco as well. Pitkat continued to run a distance back in third followed by Preece. The best battle in the field with five laps to go was between Pennink and Tim Sullivan.
In the final laps, Cates had cut into Christopher advantage only slightly as the two stretched their advantage over Rocco. Cates could not gather in Christopher to muster up a serious challenge. Christopher went on to earn his tenth win over Cates. Rocco, Pitkat, and Preece completed the top five. Sullivan bested Pennink for sixth.
Another point leader, Rick Gentes of Woonsocket, RI, helped his cause with his sixth Late Model feature victory of the season. Randy Waterman jumped out from his front row starting position to lead the opening laps of the Late Model feature. With John Falconi in tow, the lead duo was able to run out to a comfortable margin. Mark Jenison and Rick Gentes were locked in a heated battle for the third spot; while John Materas and Tommy O’Sullivan went fender-to-fender for the fifth position.
Back up front, Falconi was able to take over the top spot from Waterman on lap four. Gentes got by Jenison and set his sites on Waterman. After a brief battle, Gentes took over the second position. O’Sullivan and Jenison, looking to charge by a faltering Waterman, went three wide. Contact between O’Sullivan and Jenison sent O’Sullivan spinning on the front stretch. The #22 of Jenison came to rest in the outside wall in turn two.
On the restart, it was all Gentes, who rocketed into the lead. Falconi immediately had pressure from Materas. The defending champ was able to make the pass. Last week’s winner Wayne Coury, Sr. began to make tracks toward the front; bursting into the top five just shy of halfway.
During an extended green flag run, Gentes was able to run out to a sizable advantage over Materas, who enjoyed a similar distance over Falconi. Coury had reeled in Falconi while O’Sullivan was engaged in a dual with Jeff Hartwell. After several laps, O’Sullivan was able to get by Hartwell. A lap later he moved around Waterman and back into the top five.
With two laps to go, Coury go alongside Falconi for third. O’Sullivan caught the duo; making it a three-car battle for the fourth spot. Gentes enjoyed clear sailing to the checkers to post the victory. Materas came home second. Falconi held back all challenges to finish third. Coury edged out O’Sullivan to complete the top-five.
Scott Sundeen of Douglas, MA, followed in his son’s footsteps on Thursday night posting the second victory for the family during the night’s racing events. No less than four cars including Jesse Gleason, Tommy Shea, Paul Coutu, Jr., and Sundeen were in striking distance of the top spot right from the drop of the green flag. Gleason was able to officially lead the opening lap. A pass for the lead by Coutu, Jr. was negated by caution for an incident involving pole sitter Shea and others. Chris Douton was penalized to the tail of the field for his involvement in the incident.
On the early race restart, Gleason gave up the battle to Sundeen. Coutu followed through relegating Gleason back to third. Larry Barnett went to work on Gleason as well. Jason Chicolas ran in the fifth position while the battle for the sixth spot between Joe Arena, Shawn Monahan, and Scott Fanning escalated. Monahan came out of the battle with the position and looking for more. Monahan passed Chicolas and into the top-five. Barnett had gotten free of Gleason, to chase down Coutu. A bobble by Gleason on lap 10 enabled Monahan to grab fourth. Monahan began to cut down the advantage held by Barnett.
Sundeen continued to show the way over a building battle for second between Coutu and Barnett. While the battle for second enabled Sundeen to stretch his margin, it also allowed Monahan to catch Barnett. On lap 17, Monahan was able to take the third position away from Barnett. With only one lap remaining, Monahan had caught Coutu. On the backstretch Monahan got alongside Coutu. The two streaked to the checkers a distance behind winner Sundeen side-by-side. It was Coutu by inches at the stripe to claim second over Monahan. Barnett and Gleason completed the top-five.
Earlier in the day, Jay Sundeen of Douglas, MA, led green to checker to earn his career first TIS Modified feature event win. The opening laps of the TIS Modified main event featured a heated battle between Jay Sundeen and Ryan Morgan. Once things shook out Sundeen was the pace setter over Morgan and Shane Michalski. There was a three-car breakaway at the head of the pack as Glenn Boss and Keith McDermott duked it out for the fourth spot. Recent hot-shoe John Studley was mired deep in the pack.
Up front Sundeen continued to hold back Morgan and Michalski. Morgan peeked to the inside on successive laps. With no real progress, Morgan looked outside of leader Sundeen. The first caution flew on lap 12 with a spin by R.J. Marcotte. On the restart, Michalski gave Sundeen the nudge he needed to resume his lead. Morgan was able to get free of Michalski and pull to the back bumper of Sundeen once again. McDermott, now solidly in fourth, began to pressure Michalski for third
Over the closing laps Sundeen was able to gain a slight advantage over Morgan. With two-laps to go Michalski began to apply serious pressure on Morgan. Sundeen benefited from the challenge for the runner-up position and went on to score the victory. It was a career night for who posted a season-high runner-up finish. Michalski had to settle for the third position over McDermott and Boss.
Lloyd Anderson of Wauregan, MA, took down a hard-fought victory in the Mini Stocks on Thursday night. Pole sitter Nate Taylor gave way to Mike Viens, who showed the way through a rash of yellow fever for the Mini Stocks in the early going. Once back to green flag racing, Viens gained some running room as Lloyd Anderson had maneuvered his way into the second spot by lap four. Dwayne Dorr followed Anderson to the front.
For the distance of lap five, Viens and Anderson went door-to-door. They duplicated the effort for lap six as Dorr lurked in third. Anderson was finally able to take over the lead exiting turn four of lap seven. Viens immediately fell into the clutches of Dorr. Leo Defevers joined the fray making it a three-car battle for the second spot. The battle for second cooled with a spin by Dorr. The caution flew for Dorr, who stalled in turn four.
Viens got a great run on the ensuing restart. After only a half a lap, Anderson was able to reestablish himself as the leader once again on lap 10. Chuck Rogers, who had run strong early in the event, pulled back into second with less than five laps to go. Rogers continued to get pressure from Viens. Defevers had his hands full in third as he had to fight back advances of both Jeff Moffat and Eric Bourgeois. The battling allowed Anderson to stretch his advantage as he cruised to his second win of the season. Rogers finished second over Viens. Defevers came home in the fourth spot followed by Moffat.