Thompson International Speedway kicked off the holiday weekend with a great night of racing. For the second week in a row, the Tour-Type Modifieds headlined an action-packed night that also included the Northeastern Midget Association and five of the regular NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions. Mike Stefanik of Coventry, RI, stormed to victory lane in the Tour-Type Modified Shootout. Randy Cabral of Plymouth, MA, earned the victory in a thrilling finish to the Marvin Rifchin Memorial event for the Northeastern Midget Association (NEMA).
Ted Christopher of Plainville, CT, made it three-in-a-row in Sunoco Modified action with another last lap pass for the win. Rick Gentes of Woonsocket, RI, turned in a commanding performance to win his third Late Model victory of the season. Shawn Monahan of Waterford, CT, turned it on late in the Limited Sportsman main event to score his third victory of the season. Brian Tagg of Oxford, MA, charged to his first TIS Modified win of the 2010 season and Leo Defevers of Brooklyn, CT, made it two straight in Mini Stock competition.
Veteran competitor Mike Stefanik proved his prowess on Thursday night as he scored a victory in the Tour-Type Modified Shootout over Ronnie Silk. Taking advantage of his front-row starting position, Silk worked over Stefanik to lead the first of the 40-lap event. Almost immediately, the duo stretched out their advantage over third running Steven Reed. Contact between Tom Bolles and Ted Christopher sent Christopher spinning on lap three. Bolles was sent to the rear for his involvement in the incident.
On the ensuing restart, Silk was able to resume his lead over Stefanik. Reed took chase a distance back in third followed by Louie Mechalides in fourth. Christopher’s woes continued when his car ended up against the wall in turn one on lap 10. Christopher was able to continue and the race remained under green.
The best battle on the field was for the fifth position between Shelly Perry and Bolles. Perry was able to maintain her advantage over Bolles. Upfront, Stefanik began to hound Silk for the lead. Lap-after-lap, Stefanik remained glued to the back bumper of Silk. At halfway, Silk held the slightest advantage over Stefanik. Reed ran all alone in third with Mechalides a distant fourth. Perry and Bolles still battled for fifth.
While Stefanik continued to chase Silk, Bolles had freed himself from Perry and set his sites on Mechalides. On lap 30, Stefanik turned up the wick. He got alongside Silk. The two went wheel-to-wheel lap-after-lap. On lap 33, Stefanik gained the advantage coming out of turn four. Once out front, he was able to run out to a five-car length advantage. Bolles continued to chase Mechalides.
Over the final laps, Stefanik stretched his advantage over Silk. He cruised to the victory over Silk. Reed quietly finished third over Mechalides and Bolles.
Randy Cabral of Plymouth, MA, edged out Russ Stoehr in a NEMA thriller. Mike Horn debuted a new car in fine style as he jumped out from his pole starting position to lead the way in the NEMA main event. Horn was able to extend his lead over a fierce battle for second between Cole Carter and Russ Stoehr. Carter held the spot but Stoehr worked every angle in an effort to steal the position away.
The first caution of the event flew on lap eight when Chris DeRitis suffered a flat tire spinning on the front stretch. On the restart, Horn was able to maintain his position at the head of the field. Stoehr was able to grab second from Carter. Once free of Carter, Stoehr set sail for Horn. The former champ made quick work of Horn; taking over the top spot on lap 10. Meanwhile, Randy Cabral had worked his way all the way into the second position.
At halfway, Stoehr held a sizeable advantage over a charging Cabral. By lap 15 Cabral had caught Stoehr. He was able to motor underneath Stoehr as they completed lap 16. Cabral quickly stretched out his advantage. Carter ran a distance back in third followed by Horn, Greg Stoehr and Jeff Horn.
With Cabral and R. Stoehr way out front, the best battle was for the fifth spot between Jeff Horn and G. Stoehr. After several laps, Horn was able to grab the position away.
Over the final laps, Stoehr had inched his way ever closer to Cabral. On the final lap, Stoehr found a surge of power; catching Cabral. The two came off turn four nearly even. On the front stretch, Cabral was able to edge ahead. Cabral scored the victory over Stoehr by a nose. Carter, M. Horn, and J. Horn completed the top five.
Once again, it was a last lap pass that gave Ted Christopher of Plainville, CT, the win in the Sunoco Modifieds. Kerry Malone set the pace to start the Sunoco Modified main event. Malone led a high-speed freight train that included Danny Cates and Tim Sullivan. The battle for fourth position on back included Ronnie Silk, Rowan Pennink, Woody Pitkat, Keith Rocco, and Christopher.
On lap three, contact between Cates and Malone got Malone crossed up. He was able to gather it in quickly while everyone checked up. Malone continued to lead Cates and Silk, who had moved into third. On lap six, Cates dove to the low side to take over the top spot in turn one. Malone was forced to check up making contact with Silk.
Malone remained in the second spot followed by Silk and a fierce battle for fourth between Sullivan and Cates. On lap nine, the two made contact sending the cars spinning in a tandem to bring out the caution.
On the restart, Cates was able to maintain his lead. Christopher was on the move getting into the third spot. Coming down to complete the lap, Malone got out of shape making contact with the outside wall on the front stretch. Rocco was collected and sent sliding to the infield. There was only minor damage to Rocco’s mount. He rejoined the tail end of the field for the restart on lap nine.
Cates was pitted against Silk on the second attempt at a lap nine restart. Cates got sideways as he jumped on the gas for the restart opening the door for Christopher, who rocketed into the top spot. Cates settled into the second with Silk and Pitkat in tow. The top-four broke away from Dave Salzarulo in fifth.
Rocco, who was trying to work his way back through the field, made contact with Andy Gaspar on the front stretch. Something appeared to break on Rocco’s car as he shot up the speedway making hard contact with the outside wall in turn one. Wayne Arute and Nicole Morgillo were also involved in the incident. Rocco’s #57 sustained heavy damage and was retired for the night. Pitkat headed down pit road for service during the caution.
Christopher cruised out to the lead on the ensuing restart. Silk was able to take over the second spot from Cates, who had his hands full with Pennink. At halfway, Christopher led Silk, Cates, Pennink and Salzarulo. The yellow flew once again when Dave Flammia, Jr. went up in smoke.
Silk was able to steal the top spot away from Christopher on the lap 17 restart. Pennink challenged Christopher briefly for second but settled back in line in third. Cates was shuffled back to the fourth spot.
Christopher used the low groove entering turn one to take the lead from Silk once again. Silk immediately had to fend off the challenges of Pennink. Silk lost the battle as Pennink was able to steal away second. Silk immediately fell into the clutches of Cates. Sullivan found himself back in the hunt following his early race incident.
A spin by Andy Charron brought out another caution. Christopher was deemed to have gone too early forcing another attempt at a restart. Christopher was, once again, up for the challenge. Pennink was not satisfied with second and immediately went to work on Christopher.
Pennink dogged Christopher with the laps winding down. Entering turn three Pennink dove low to muscle the lead away. On the white flag lap, Christopher returned the favor in turn one. He was able to hold on to the top spot on the backstretch. Pennink gave a one last ditch effort exiting four but it was all Christopher as he streaked to his fifth victory of the season. Pennink had an outstanding run in second followed by Silk, Sullivan, and Pitkat.
Rick Gentes of Woonsocket, RI, made it look easy as he went on to score his third win of the 2010 season. Mark Jenison returned to the speedway with his primary car after several weeks aboard his back-up. He parlayed his pole starting position into a sizeable advantage over the field. During an extended green flag run, Jenison saw his lead dwindle. Gentes used some aggressive moves as he worked his way through the pack and into the second position.
On lap 10, Gentes had reeled in Jenison. It took only a lap for Gentes to assert himself as the new leader. Once out front, Gentes immediately ran out to a 10-car length advantage. A distance behind was third place runner Jeff Hartwell and John Falconi. Deeper in the pack, things were getting dicey between Wayne Coury, Sr., Tom O’Sullivan, and John Materas. As the three battled, Mark Oliveira joined in to make it a four-car battle for fifth.
O’Sullivan was able to work his way by Materas and set his sites on Coury. O’Sullivan came off turn four a bit too hot on lap 20; giving up ground to Coury. Once gathered up, O’Sullivan resumed his assault on Coury for fifth.
It was all Gentes at the checkers; scoring a commanding victory. Jenison came home second over Hartwell and Falconi. Coury turned back all challenges to finish in the fifth spot.
With rotors aglow, Shawn Monahan of Waterford, CT, charged in the closing laps of the Limited Sportsman feature to score the victory. Steve Kenneway took advantage of his front row starting position to grab the lead to open the Limited Sportsman main. Early Kenneway had to fight off the advances of rookie William Wall.
Kenneway enjoyed a fairly comfortable lead for the first half of the race. Larry Barnett, who had worked his way through the field, caught Kenneway at halfway. Barnett dogged Kenneway while Shawn Monahan had caught the lead duo. On lap 15, Monahan motored to the outside of Barnett. He inched ahead and into the second spot. He immediately went to work on Kenneway for the lead.
For the final two laps, Kenneway had to withstand the assault of Monahan. He got the nose below Kenneway in turn two. They went side-by-side down the backstretch. Exiting turn four, to take the white flag, Monahan was the new leader. Kenneway fell into the grasp of Barnett. He looked like he was going to hold on for the second spot but a bobble exiting turn four gave Barnett all he needed to steal away the second spot. Wall and Jesse Gleason rounded out the top five.
Brian Tagg of Oxford, MA, turned around a string of bad luck with a commanding win in the TIS Modifieds. Tagg jumped out to the early lead while R.J. Marcotte took chase in second followed by John Studley. The lead duo began to stretch out their advantage over Shane Michalski, now in third place. Marcotte had caught the back bumper of Tagg at halfway. Marcotte got alongside leader Tagg when contact on the backstretch sent the two toward the infield. Both were able to recover allowing Michalski to join the duo in the fight for the lead.
Tagg recovered nicely to extend his lead over Marcotte to several car lengths. With five laps remaining in the event, Tagg continued to hold the advantage over Marcotte. The margin was a bit slimmer in the final chase to the checkers. Marcotte was glued to the back bumper of Tagg with two laps to go. Tagg was up for the challenge to take his first victory of the 2010 season. Marcotte settled for second over Michalski, Studley and Tyler Poulin.
Leo Defevers of Brooklyn, CT, scored back-to-back wins in the Mini Stock division with a late race pass for the lead. Dwayne Dorr held the point early as the second spot was being hotly contested between Defevers, Chad Baxter, and Chuck Rogers. Defevers freed himself of the battle to take possession of second.
Defevers quickly cut into the advantage that Dorr had previously enjoyed. On lap 11, Defevers got up alongside Dorr. When they crossed the stripe to complete lap 12, Defevers was the new leader by inches. Baxter and Rogers were still locked in battle. Over the late stages of the event, Scott Michalski joined the battle for the third spot. The three battled over the final laps behind Defevers and Dorr.
At the checkers, it was Defevers posting his second consecutive Mini Stock victory. Dorr settled for the second spot. Baxter held back all advances to come home third over Rogers and Michalski inside the top five. The final running order was shuffled following post race technical inspection. Both runner-up and third-place finishers Dorr and Baxter were found to be in violation of the rules. Rogers was officially scored second over a fleet of Michalskis-Scott, Fred and Steve.
Tour-Type Modified Feature (Top-Ten) Finish: 1. Mike Stefanik, Coventry, RI; 2. Ronnie Silk, Norwalk, CT; 3. Steven Reed, Freehold, NJ; 4. Louie Mechalides, Tynsboro, MA; 5. Tom Bolles, Ellington, CT; 6. Ted Christopher, Plainville, CT; 7. Shelly Perry, Westerly, RI; 8. Eddie Brunnhoelzl, III, Levittown, NY; 9. Butch Perry, Ashaway, RI; 10. Eric LeClair, Southampton, CT.
NEMA Midget Feature (Top-Ten) Finish: 1. Randy Cabral, Plymouth, MA; 2. Russ Stoehr, Lakeville, MA; 3. Cole Carter, Indianapolis, IN; 4. Mike Horn, Ashland, MA; 5. Jeff Horn, Ashland, MA; 6. Greg Stoehr, Bridgewater, MA; 7. Jim Miller, Weymouth, MA; 8. John Zych, Jr., Liverpool, NY; 9. Adam Cantor, Dix Hills, NY; 10. Paul Scally, Raynham, MA.
Sunoco Modified Feature (Top-Ten) Finish: 1. Ted Christopher, Plainville, CT; 2. Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, PA; 3. Ronnie Silk, Norwalk, CT; 4. Tim Sullivan, S. Windsor, CT; 5. Woody Pitkat, Stafford, CT; 6. Danny Cates, Chaplin, CT; 7. Dave Salzarulo, Monson, MA; 8. Andy Gaspar, Andover, CT; 9. Henry Stampfl, Norwood, MA; 10. Andrew Charron, N. Grosvenordale, CT.
Late Model Feature (Top-Ten) Finish: 1. Rick Gentes, Woonsocket, RI; 2. Mark Jenison, Warwick, RI; 3. Jeff Hartwell, N. Putnam, CT; 4. John Falconi, N. Grafton, MA; 5. Wayne Coury, Sr., Milford, CT; 6. Tommy O’Sullivan, Springfield, MA; 7. John Materas, Voluntown, CT; 8. Mark Oliveira, Blackstone, MA; 9. Jeremy Sadowski, Voluntown, CT; 10. Damon Tinio, Mendon, MA.
Limited Sportsman Feature (Top-Ten) Finish: 1. Shawn Monahan, Waterford, CT; 2. Larry Barnett, Moosup, CT; 3. Steve Kenneway, Jr., Lowell, MA; 4. William Wall, Shrewsbury, MA; 5. Jesse Gleason, Lisbon, CT; 6. Jason Chicolas, Sutton, MA; 7. Scott Sundeen, Douglas, MA; 8. Chris Douton, Waterford, CT; 9. Joe Arena, Bristol, CT; 10. Art Moran, III, Preston, CT.
TIS Modified Feature Finish: 1. Brian Tagg, Oxford, CT; 2. R.J. Marcotte, Millville, MA; 3. Shane Michalski, Woodstock, CT; 4. John Studley, Framingham, MA; 5. Tyler Poulin, Pascoag, RI; 6. Jason Sundeen, Douglas, MA; 7. Ryan Morgan, Mystic, CT; 8. Keith McDermott, Scituate, RI; 9. Denis Legere, N. Reading, MA.
Mini Stock Feature (Top-Ten) Finish: 1. Leo Defevers, Brooklyn, CT; 2. Chuck Rogers, Quaker Hill, CT; 3. Scott Michalski, S. Killingly, CT; 4. Fred Michalski, Dayville, CT; 5. Steve Michalski, Brooklyn, CT; 6. Randy Churchill, Jr., Oakdale, CT; 7. Scott Jussaume, Danielson, CT; 8. Bert Ouellette, Dayville, CT; 9. Jeff Moffat, Warwick, RI; 10. Joe Baxter, Pascoag, RI.