England with a brand new doubleheader at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. Red Bull Global Rallycross New
England will host two separate championship rounds on Saturday, June 3 and Sunday, June 4.
“New England is traditionally one of rally’s most prominent regions in the United States,” said Red Bull GRC CEO Colin
Dyne. “We’re greatly looking forward to our debut event at Thompson Speedway, a track well-known for treating its
fans well and producing exciting action. It was a top priority for us to bring our unique Red Bull GRC action back to
New England this year, and we look forward to entertaining some of the most passionate race fans in America.”
Located west of Providence and south of Worcester, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park combines easy access with
a pristine New England setting. The Red Bull GRC New England track will use portions of both TSMP’s oval and road
course, with the start, finish, key passing zones, and signature 70-foot jump all in front of fans. Starting from the center
of the oval and working clockwise, drivers will charge off of the line into the oval and a wide right-hand first corner,
before returning to the infield and facing the dirt and jump. Cars will then enter the road course portion, which includes
a Joker Lap expected to significantly shorten lap times.
"All of us at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park are eagerly anticipating Red Bull Global Rallycross' inaugural visit
to Connecticut's quiet corner,” said Josh Vanada, TSMP general manager. “This segment of motorsports, which is
rapidly growing, fits perfectly with our commitment to innovation—even after 76 years of excellence in motorsports.
We're grateful to the folks at GRC for working with us to bring their world-class series and talented drivers to
Thompson. We look forward to seeing everyone in June."
Red Bull Global Rallycross New England will be the first of four doubleheaders on the 2017 Red Bull GRC schedule,
joining events in Indianapolis, Atlantic City, and Seattle. Vermont-based Subaru Rally Team USA, defending GRC Lites
champion and Massachusetts native Cabot Bigham, and Vermont native and two-time GRC Lites race winner Conner
Martell are among the competitors with local ties expected to take part in the event. Other drivers expected to enter
include Tanner Foust, Brian Deegan, and two-time defending series champion Scott Speed.
Tickets for Red Bull Global Rallycross New England are on sale now at www.redbullglobalrallycross.com/tickets.
General Admission and Club tickets are available. Tickets purchased at the door will be $5 more than regularly priced
admission. All tickets include full access to the paddock, where fans can get up close to the cars and stars of Red Bull
GRC. Kids 12 and under are free to attend with a ticketed adult. For more information visit www.redbullglobalrallycross.
com, or follow Red Bull GRC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @GRCseries.
About Red Bull Global Rallycross
Created to produce the most exciting action in all of motorsport, Red Bull Global Rallycross combines the best
elements of stage rally, off-road and circuit racing in a fan-friendly environment. International superstars battle wheel-
to-wheel over dirt, gravel, and the series’ signature 70-foot jump behind the wheel of 600 horsepower Supercars. Events
also include the developmental GRC Lites class and a new electric division due to begin competition in 2018. For more
information visit www.RedBullGlobalRallycross.com.
(The Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) Limited Sportsman Division has a reputation for being one of the
most competitive in New England. This makes the achievement of Phil Jacques, driver of the No. 77 entry, even more
impressive. Heading into Icebreaker 2016 he was focused on consistency; finishing every race and keeping the car in
It appeared at the beginning of the season this would be a tall task. Some minor set backs, including mechanical
gremlins and a self-admitted rookie mistake relegated his No. 77 entry to a 17th place finish. Soon, though, through the
determination of the driver and crew, success was had.
Jacques won his first race at TSMP on Wednesday June 1, following up with consistent finishes throughout the summer
months. Describing this stretch, Jacques explained, “During summer months, we stayed in contention regularly, but a
few mistakes on my part cost us better finishes than we probably could have had. Still we ended up with a 5th, 6th 6th
and 5th in the next 4 races to follow.”
Heading into the final two races of the season, Jacques and his team were hungry for more. Many teams look at a rain
out as an opportunity to relax, not so with Jacques and Company. The Dudley, MA driver recalls, “With a rainout on
September 7th, we were on to the World Series. Even though the car was ready for battle on the 7th, we opted to go
through the car and make a few more changes for the World Series. After a few intense restarts, and a very hairy 3
wide pass on some lap cars coming to the white flag, we rolled into victory lane for the second time of the 2016 season
in the biggest race of the year!”
On the heels of his quick succes, Jacques was quick to thank Joe Brockett, Les Rose, Brent Gleason, Bill McNeil,
Woody Pitkat, Patrick Thomas, Aaron Williamson, Scott Garrity and his girlfriend, Rachel Briana, for their contributions
and support throughout the season. In addition, Jacques was grateful for his 2016 sponsors: Falmouth Ready Mix, M&R
Customs of Vero Beach, Rent a Racecar, Str8Line Performance and Automotive, and Competitive Tire.
Looking forward, the driver of the No. 77 Limited Sportsman continues to pursue new sponsorships, in hopes to keep his
racing dream alive. “Financially, we were looking at the possibility of having to call off the 2017 racing season.
Thankfully now we were able to move forward … We are still looking for additional sponsors to join us during the 2017
racing season,” the team announced on the Phil Jacques Racing Facebook page.
He will begin his 2017 season at Icebreaker 2017, Friday, March 31 - Sunday, April 2. For more information on Jacques
or the Icebreaker, visit www.thompsonspeedway.com.
Steve Kenneway and David Banta are no strangers when it comes to finding success in a Limited Sportsman at
Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP). Kenneway, who previously raced the No. 55 Limited Sportsman for
Banta Racing, is switching gears to the No. 26 and is building a brand new car in conjunction with Banta Racing for the
Kenneway has brought good fortune to the Banta team in years past. In 2012 he came in 4th in points after becoming
the backup driver. In 2013 he celebrated his first large career milestone after winning the Limited Sportsman Division
Championship at TSMP. In 2014 he finished 2nd in the division then shortly after parted ways with Banta Racing with
Diego Monahan taking over the driving duties for the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
Banta stated on the reconnection of Kenneway “After he (Kenneway) left, Diego took over. After the 2015 season, Diego
was taking on the work load of the Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen All American Series which he didn't have time
for the team after that....We tried to get Steve back during the summer of 2016, but he was also running his own races
in his car.”
Kenneway is back for the 2017 season in a brand new car with the help of one of his “best friends” (Banta) who has
committed to building and fixing the car. The pair share a common goal to "go out and win races" and "compete to
He will begin his 2017 season at Icebreaker 2017, Friday, March 31 - Sunday, April 2. For more information on the
Icebreaker, visit www.thompsonspeedway.com.
now traditional four-race schedule is a combination of mid-week and weekend shows that kicks-off at Seekonk
Speedway in Seekonk, Ma. followed by a stop at Star Speedway in Epping, N.H. and culminates with a pair of races at
the New London Waterford Speedbowl in Connecticut.
“The schedule was a strong one to begin with,” said Wayne Darling, managing partner. “The goal simply was to
ccontinue doing what works. The partnerships that we enjoy with these three race track is, in large part, why this
format has been successful in the past.”
The TTOMS season will commence on June 28 at Seekonk Speedway with the running of Open Wheel Wednesday. This
popular event has attracted the biggest names in racing including the newly crowned NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
champion Doug Coby, who was last year’s winner of the event. It was his third Open Wheel Wednesday victory.
“Seekonk Speedway is excited to have the Tri-Track series back again for the 14th annual Open Wheel Wednesday
featuring the $10,000 to win main modified event,” said Ed St. Germain, director of business development for Seekonk
Speedway. “We look forward to working with the organizers and helping the series grow in years to come.”
The second race on the schedule is the SBM VI at Star Speedway on Saturday, July 29. This two-groove bullring has
been the site of many great Modified battles. With championship drivers like Jon McKennedy calling Star Speedway
home, the competition is always fierce.
“Since its inception the SBM event has been an important race to us here at Star Speedway,” said owner and promoter
Bobby Webber, Jr. “We are happy that we were able to keep it going strong through the affiliation with the Tri-Track
Open Modified Series over the last few years. My family and I are proud to work with a group that, like us, believes in
the grassroots of racing.”
The series finishes up with two events at the New London Waterford Speedbowl including Wednesday August 23 and
Sunday, October 22, 2017 as part of the Bemer’s Big Show. Another ultra-competitive quarter-mile speedway, the
events at the New London Waterford Speedbowl draw the best-of-the best in Modified competition. Championship
drivers dot the entry lists for the TTOMS events at the Speedbowl last season including the likes of hometown favorite
Chris Pasteryak, Ryan Preece, Ronnie Silk, perennial Waterford and SK Modified Champion Keith Rocco, Woody Pitkat,
and Rowan Pennink. “Big Money” Matt Hirschman and Steve Masse split wins at the Speedbowl in 2016.
“Car counts were strong at each of the events held in 2016,” added Darling. “With basically the same schedule and a
focus on improving the program operationally, we firmly anticipate that it will be equally, if not stronger, in 2017.”
Thompson, CT (December 5, 2016) – Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park today announced dates for the 2017 racing
schedule, celebrating its 77th season on the high banked oval. The 2017 seven event NASCAR Whelen All-American
Series (NWAAS) schedule is highlighted by the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and the return of the NASCAR K&N Pro
“This year’s schedule balances our commitment to tradition and innovation,” states Josh Vanada, General Manager of
TSMP. “The 2017 schedule preserves fan favorites while introducing unique and creative events and promotions.”
The speedway will continue to showcase Sunoco Modifieds, which will compete in eight points-counting races
supported by the Late Models, Limited Sportsman and Mini Stocks, who will all have seven points-counting races. The
Lite Modified Division will race in five of the seven events, but will not race under the NWAAS sanction.
Several touring series will be making appearances at TSMP in 2017. At the top of the list will be the NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour visiting the track four times followed by NEMA Lite making three stops. NEMA, the North East Street
Stock Tour and Mr. Rooter ProTruck Series will all be appearing twice. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, American-
Canadian Tour, Pro All Stars Series, International Super Modified Association, Valenti Modified Racing Series, Granite
State Pro Stock Series, North East Mini Stock Tour, New England Pro 4 Modifieds, Vintage Outlaws, and Senior Tour
Auto Racers will make single stops at the track throughout the season.
The 2017 season of racing kicks off Friday, March 31st with the 43rd Annual Icebreaker. Eleven divisions will be
featured in TSMP’s season opener, headlined by Thompson’s 135th NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race. The Race of
Champions has been added to this year’s event, featuring our four NWAAS champions. They will face off in equally
prepared cars from The Racing School. Bragging rights are on the line to determine who the champion of the
champions will be. The highly-anticipated Fan Appreciation Party and Champion’s Banner Raising will be held on the
last day of the event.
Sunday, May 21: 2nd Annual Limited Sportsman Long Distance & Military Night
Wednesday, June 14: 3rd Annual NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour 125
Friday, July 7-8: Inaugural NASCAR Busch North Throwback
Wednesday, August 9: 28th Annual Bud ‘King of Beers’ 150
Sunday, September 10: 2nd Annual For the Fans Event; 4th Annual Sunoco Modified 20/20 Sprint
Friday, October 13 – Sunday, October 15: 55th Annual Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing
About Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park
Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP), “Indianapolis of the East”, the famed 5/8 mile, high banked, oval and
motorsports facility is tucked away in the beautiful countryside of Thompson, CT. Our 2017 Schedule includes seven
exciting events: March 31-April 2 (Icebreaker), May 21 (Limited Sportsman Long Distance & Military Night), June 14
(NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour 125), July 7-8 (NASCAR Busch North Throwback 100), August 9 (Bud ‘King of Beers’
150), September 10 (For the Fans Event; Sunoco Modified 20/20 Sprint), October 13-15 (Sunoco World Series of
Speedway Racing). To purchase tickets or a season pass, call 860.923.2280 or visit www.thompsonspeedway.com.
Follow TSMP on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube for the latest news and events.
Planning is well underway for the 2017 season at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP). Officials from the
historic ⅝-mile oval announced that they are receiving car number registrations for their 77th season. Renewals for
drivers in the Sunoco Modified, Late Model, Limited Sportsman, Mini Stock, and Lite Modified drivers will continue until
January 15. After that date, numbers will be issued on a first come-first served basis. As an incentive, anyone
registering their car number from now through January 1, will receive discounted rate of $25. After January 1, the rate
will increase to $35. Drivers can visit the competitor info tab under NASCAR Racing on www.thompsonspeedway.com
to download the registration form. Instructions for return are also on the form.
Officials also announced some personnel changes within the technical inspection team. Veteran inspector, Todd Stiles,
has been promoted to Technical Director, effective immediately. All Divisional Inspectors will report directly to Stiles.
John Kelly, a well-respected INEX Legend inspector, and current TSMP Official has been promoted to Late Model
Divisional Inspector. Kelly will join Mark St. Hilaire (Sunoco & Lite Modified Divisions), Joe Delorimiere (Limited
Sportsman), and Chris Austill (Mini Stock), who all will be returning to inspect their respective divisions.
“We’re pleased to elevate Todd to the Technical Director position,” TSMP General Manager, Josh Vanada, stated. He
went on to explain, “Todd has proven himself as a detail-driven individual, who places a premium on the integrity of the
rulebook. He also balances this with understanding the challenges of crew chiefing a car. He’s built a good team
around him, which now includes John Kelly. I see lots of overlap in the way the ACT and INEX rulebooks are written and
enforced. John works very well within that framework, and has always been well-like in a position that usually does not
receive much fan fare.”
This team of inspectors has been hard at work, and is pleased to release the 2017 rules packages for the Sunoco
Modified, Limited Sportsman, Mini Stock, and Lite Modified Divisions. The Late Model rules will be released in
conjunction with the 2017 American-Canadian Tour rules package.
The 2017 schedule will be released Monday, December 5, at 7:00pm on the Victory Lane Radio (www.victorylaneradio.
com). For more information on 2017 registration, rules and contact information for our technical inspectors, please
visit our website at thompsonspeedway.com.
Seekonk Speedway set to welcome the new Modified Touring Series
to the schedule in 2017.
Seekonk Speedway and The Modified Touring Series are proud to announce that a date has been schedule for the new
Open Wheel touring series based out of New Hampshire. The Modified Touring Series will be joining the storied history
of the Venditti family owned Seekonk Speedway for the 2017 season on June 10th.
“We are excited to be joining the Venditti family in their 70+ year family tradition of racing at Seekonk Speedway on
June 10 of 2017. Seekonk Speedway has a standard of excellence in New England for short track racing that we, at the
Modified Touring Series, are honored to be a part of in 2017 and hopefully many years to come.”- Gary Knight (MTS)
The Modified Touring Series “MTS” is committed to bringing a program to race tracks in the North East that is
entertaining for the fans as well as having a program that is not only enjoyable but beneficial to the teams that support
Seekonk becomes the fourth date released in a proposed 12 race inaugural schedule. The Modified Touring Series
season kicks off at Monadnock Speedway on April 29th.
“We are hoping to see some great modified racing from the new tour. We are excited as a track to help promote a new
series and continue to be a part of the growth of short track racing in New England.” states Ed St Germain, Director of
Business Development at Seekonk. “ This will be our first open wheel show of the season followed by Open Wheel
Wednesday on June 28th and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour later in the season.”
“The Modified Touring Series has some innovative new ideas that we look forward to being a part of for years to come “
says David Alburn, Competition Director at Seekonk Speedway “ the Speedway looks forward to being there at the start
of something that has the potential to be great”.
Seekonk Speedway is a 1/3 mile paved oval NASCAR sanctioned track featuring weekly racing on Friday & Saturday
nights featuring Pro Stocks, ACT Late Models, Street Stocks, Sport Trucks, INEX Legends, Sport Fours, Pure Stocks &
The Seekonk Speedway races from the first Sunday in May till Columbus Day weekend every year.
D. Anthony Venditti, “The Godfather of New England Auto Racing,” began construction of Seekonk Speedway in 1945.
On May 30, 1946, the gates were opened for the first time. D. Anthony owned, operated, and promoted the Speedway
until his death in 1991. Anthony received the promoter of the year award in 1978. His wife Irene continued till her
passing in 2014, her son Francis, and grandson David continue the tradition of operating the speedway. Know as the
“Action track of the East” Seekonk Speedway has been family owned, operated, and promoted for over 70 consecutive
Coming into Wednesday June 29, Coby had scored the victory at the annual Open Wheel Wednesday modified event in
2011 and 2013.
Coby grabbed his third trophy from Seekonk Speedway by winning round one of 2016 for the NorthEast Race Cars and
Parts Tri Track Open Modified Series Wednesday evening, behind the wheel of his No. 2 Dunleavy Truck and Trailer
Repair, LFR Chassis mount.
“I wasn’t even planning on getting out front, I was going to just ride fifth for a lot of the race then those guys gave me
the room,” Coby said following his victory.
“Whether I’m going to win or not in the end, I wanted to be in the lead and be in control, I’ve always said that about
these open shows. It’s easy for guys to roll up to your bumper here at Seekonk but when they go to pass you they just
slide the rear end.”
Coby was slated to go off seventh based on where he finished in his qualifying heat race, but during the redraw on the
track prior to the green, he drew a fourth behind the wheel of his No. 2.
He worked inside the top-five for much of the early portion of the race, riding fifth while drivers in front of him tangled
for the lead. He started making his move on lap 30 when he slid by Jon McKennedy to fourth. Then, Coby made a move
to the bottom, three-wide and quickly jumped to second.
He wheeled his No. 2 to the advantage over the rest of the field on a lap 40 restart and never looked back for the
remaining of the event. He held off challenges from McKennedy, Justin Bonsignore and Ron Silk in the final stages and
captured his first career win on the Tri Track Open Modified Series.
“This is huge LFR Chassis and all of my team,” Coby said. “It was up in the air what car I was going to come with. This
is a great series, Dick Williams, James Schaefer and these guys put a lot of time and money into these shows.”
Silk, who started outside the top-10 behind the wheel of his No. 50, quickly worked this way through the field and was
inside the top-five by the time the field hit the halfway point. He was all over the back bumper of Coby in the final laps,
but couldn’t find the way around to the big payday.
“Doug did a good job of protecting the bottom like you have to do to win the race,” Silk said. “I could roll the top and
get to his right rear, but I was just that much tight that I couldn’t hold him down and get by. It was good hard racing in
the front all night and really clean.”
Rowan Pennink drove the Gary Casella owned No. 25 to a third place run and he was followed across the line by Les
Hinckley, who piloted a Wayne Darling No. 52. Rounding out the top-five was Matt “Money” Hirschman.
The NorthEast Race Cars and Parts Tri Track Open Modified Series gets back on track at Star Speedway for the SBM
coming up on July 30.
The 2017 season is shaping up to be an exciting one for Ray Parent. After winning the 2016 D. Anthony Vendetti Fall
Classic at Seekonk Speedway in his No. 17 Ford Fusion Late Model, Parent decided it was time for a change of pace,
with support from a new primary sponsor, Anytime Realty. Parent will be driving the No. 98 Ford Fusion Late Model for
Don Parsons Racing and Anytime Realty in pursuit of a Divisional Championship at Thompson Speedway Motorsports
Parent has been active in motorsports since he was 16 years old, becoming one of the most popular Late Model drivers
in New England. The veteran racer has many accomplishments to his credit, including a 1996 Formula Four
Championship at Seekonk Speedway, D. Anthony Venditti Fall Classic Late Model race wins in 2010 and 2016, and
American-Canadian Tour wins at Airborne (2012) and New Hampshire Motor Speedway (2012).
Recently, Parent sold his No. 17 ACT Late Model after his previous sponsorship ended which put him on the search for a
“I lost a sponsorship and was looking for a new sponsorship when Don approached me about driving. I knew from the
moment we spoke I was all in,” Parent explained.
Don Parsons, Principal of Anytime Realty, shared the sentiments with Parent. Describing their relationship, Parsons
explained, “I heard that Ray was looking for sponsorship for the 2016 season and, I believe I reached out to him on
Facebook, or gave him a call and we came to an agreement to put Anytime Realty as the primary sponsor for his ACT
Late Model for the rest of the 2016 season. A few weeks later, a seat became available in my Super Late Model and Ray
was willing to jump in and help me out while I was in the process of selling it and we did very well. I was happy with
how his team and family work together, and have great chemistry on and off the track. They are really great people; so
after Ray had sold his car in victory lane after winning the DAV Fall Classic at Seekonk, I decided to put together a
brand new ride for the 2017 season and have him as my primary driver.”
Jointly, Parent and Parsons have the same goals for the 2017 season: to keep the car in one piece en route to the Late
Model Championship at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park .
“We have a great driver, great crew, the best car money can buy, and I try to do everything I can financially so we have
what we need to win with the best of the best,” Parsons enthusiastically explained.
The Don Parsons Racing/Anytime Realty entry will begin their Championship quest at the 43rd running of the Icebreaker
at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, schedule for Friday, March 31 - Sunday, April 2. For more information, visit
www.thompsonspeedway.com, and follow us on social media.
|OLD School Photos
(THOMPSON, CT) - Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park saved the best for last in 2016, crowning several champions on the final day of the Sunoco World
Series of Speedway Racing, presented by Xtra Mart including a champion in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
Defending series champion Doug Coby looked to earn his third consecutive title and fourth in the last five seasons after extending his points lead on Justin
Bonsignore and Timmy Solomito with a victory at Stafford Motor Speedway on October 9th. Coby came into the race with a 20-point advantage over
Bonsignore and a 48-point lead over Solomito and only needed to finish 16th or better to lock up the championship.
Coby started off the race on the right foot, qualifying for the outside pole next to Solomito who led the first portion of the event with Coby hot on his trail.
Things changed around lap-73 however when a caution brought the cars to pit road where Justin Bonsignore made up ground and Coby lost ground setting
up a battle between Solomito and Bonsignore for the second half of the event. While Coby kept his eye on the prize for a title, his closest rivals for the
championship battled it out for one last win of the season. Bonsignore finally took the lead with twenty laps remaining and would hold on to win his fourth
race of 2016 while Coby worked his way to a sixth place finish and a third consecutive title, a series record in the modern era which dates back to 1985.
“Every (championship) is different and every one is special for a different reason. There’s many ways to win them and many ways to lose them. We just
found a lot of ways to win them. It goes back to preparation and having a car that’s just good everywhere we go. We obviously had a little better than a
sixth place car today but I had to play it cool and just keep my eye out for who was around me and what the situation was if the caution came out,” Coby
told reporters after securing the title. “I didn’t even want to be sixth. I would have rather been on the bottom if a restart had come later so I was trying to
get fifth, but I was playing it cool.”
When asked how it feels to be considered among the greatest in his sport and the only driver to ever win three consecutive titles since 1985, Coby said he
takes none of his titles for granted and knows how hard it is to win one title, let alone three.
“It’s neat, but it doesn’t matter what era you’re in. It’s difficult to win a championship and it’s still seventeen races and a war you have to win. We won a lot
of the battles. Tonight Justin Bonsignore won the battle and did what they had to do,” Coby said. “We just put ourselves in the position all year with a really
clean season. I don’t think there’s any question that during the season we just chipped away every week and got our wins.
As for Bonsignore, he called his race victory bittersweet, enjoying the moment of capping off his season with a strong win but lamenting on his failed
attempt to dethrone the champion in the closing months of the 2016 campaign.
“It’s probably the worst win we’ve ever had at Thompson under the circumstances, but there’s a lot worse things I could be doing with my life and I get to
race cars with a bunch of guys I call my friends,” Bonsignore said during his visit to victory lane. “We kept them honest for sure this year, but it is a little
depressing I’m not going to lie.”
Starting off the day’s racing action was the Xtra Mart Limited Sportsman series, which featured the tightest points race of the weekend as far as track
championships where concerned at Thompson. Ryan Waterman entered the final event of the season with a slim 10-point lead over Scott Sundeen. The two
drivers have been at the top of the class all year with Waterman recovering from a slow start in the Icebreaker to notch four second-place finishes and
seven top-five finishes prior to the season finale, using pure consistency to maintain his points lead on Sundeen who also had seven top-five finishes
including four third-place finishes and a single win in the August feature.
The race started with near catastrophe for both championship contenders as Corey Fanning spun in traffic, nearly collecting Waterman and causing damage
to Sundeen’s car forcing Sundeen to make repairs under caution. Sundeen was able to continue, but from the back of the field while Waterman was able to
maintain a position in the top ten for much of the 20-lap event. While it was not the strong showing fans have become accustomed to by Waterman, the
young driver managed a sixth-place finish, one spot better than Sundeen, to score his first Thompson track championship and he did it without winning a
single race in the Limited Sportsman series.
“It feels like it’s not happening,” Waterman said in victory lane. “I would have never guessed I would be able to do this. I knew (Sundeen) was in trouble,
but I was also in trouble because in the same wreck Scott Sundeen was in I bent something on the front end and the car was really slow.”
While Waterman celebrated a championship, another driver celebrated success in the Limited Sportsman season finale as Phil Jacques came home with the
race win after a hard fought battle with Brent Gleason in the closing laps. An emotional Jacques was brought to tears in victory lane as he celebrated with
his family by his side.
“I don’t even know what to say. Today is twenty years to the day from the first time I ever set foot here (at Thompson),” Jacques said. “We’ve lost a lot of
good friends this year and it’s been a little rough. I couldn’t do it without all these guys who helped me. We struggled. We were quick in practice on Friday
and yesterday the car was just junk. If you had asked me yesterday if I thought I’d be here today I would have told you ‘not a chance’.”
The Sunoco Modifieds also crowned a Thompson champion, but for many there was never a question who would hoist the trophy at the end of the day. Keith
Rocco has enjoyed a historic season, dominating the series with no finish worse than 4th coming into the final event, four wins and a 23-point advantage
over NASCAR Xfinity Series regular Ryan Preece. A finish of tenth or better would guarantee Rocco a title, but it would not come easy.
Despite starting in the back after skipping practice and qualifying days to run the NASCAR Xfinity Series race in Kansas, Ryan Preece made quick work of
the field and cracked the top five in the opening laps of the 30-lap feature. Preece worked his way to second place in the first half of the event, engaging in
an intense battle with Rowan Pennink while Rocco worked his way into a top five position as well. Preece made one final effort at relinquishing the lead in
the closing laps, finally making the pass on Pennink on the final lap after seemingly running Pennink into the top groove to secure a win. However it was not
enough to best Keith Rocco who took the title in the Sunoco Modified division at Thompson with yet another top-five finish, ironically his worst finish of the
“We definitely hit something in August with the car. Even today we weren’t at our best, but we were good enough,” Ryan Preece said after the victory. “I
was just kind of riding there behind Rowan (Pennink) between laps ten and twenty watching his car, seeing when it was going to start freeing up. Right
when it did I think I beat on it a little too early and I freed myself up. I knew I wasn’t going to get him on the outside so I started working the bottom - I’m
sure Rowan has (ran me up the track) before. Racing is racing if you look at it like that.”
The champion, Keith Rocco, reflected on an impressive 2016 Sunoco Modified campaign where only himself and Preece reached victory lane noting that he
took a conservative approach in the final race of season to try and capture yet another Thompson track title.
“It was tough. There’s time when you’ve really got to think about the big picture. The way the racing has been up here it’s been getting pretty rough for the
leader so we didn’t really want to put ourselves in a predicament,” Rocco said. “You race all year for that one trophy. You race every night for a trophy, but
it’s pretty special to get this one because it’s not just one night. It’s a whole season.”
The International SuperModified Association also crowned a champion at Thompson at the Sunoco World Series. Providing some of the fastest racing of the
weekend, the ISMA series drivers took to the track for a 50-lap feature where Mike Lichty hoped to put the finishing touches on a championship run.
Looking to chase down the title himself, defending champion Dave Shullick, Jr. put on an impressive performance, staring from the front and doing
everything he could to wrestle the points lead away from Lichty.
Shullick had a little help after Lichty experienced mechanical issues in the middle of the race, forcing him to retire and surrender the title to Shullick who
not only repeated as series champion, but as winner of the Sunoco World Series ISMA race at Thompson Speedway with a dominant flag-to-flag run.
“This car has been amazing all weekend,” Shullick said after his win. “We just tried to be calm with it and not make a mistake. We figured it would be good
at the end and it was – Hats off to Mike (Lichty) and the tough battle they gave us all year.”
Finally in the NEMA Lites, PJ Stergios came home with a victory in that series’ penultimate race of the season. Stergios, who grew up racing quarter
midgets at Thompson’s Little-T, outraced his points rival Jim Chambers to the line. Chambers edged closer to a championship with a runner-up finish while
Stergios put some distance between himself and Danny Cugini, who was unable to start the event due to engine issues, for the second spot in the standings
with one more race on the schedule.
NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED SERIES SUNOCO WORLD SERIES 150 FINISH TOP-10: 1. Justin Bonsignore (Holtsville, NY); 2. Ryan Preece (Berlin, CT); 3.
Jimmy Blewett (Howell, NJ); 4. Donny Lia (Jericho, NY); 5. Timmy Solomito (Islip, NY); 6. Doug Coby (Milford, CT); 7. Woody Pitkat (Stafford, CT); 8. Eric
Goodale (Riverhead, NY); 9. Matt Swanson (Acton, MA); 10. Dave Sapienza (Riverhead, NY)
XTRAMART LIMITED SPORTSMAN SERIES FINISH TOP-10: 1. Phil Jacques (Dudley, MA); 2. Brent Gleason (Griswold, CT); 3. Corey Hutchins (Salem, CT); 4.
Chris Meyer (Norwich, CT); 5. Dwayne Dorr (Ledyard, CT) ; 6. Ryan Waterman (Daneislon, CT); 7. Scott Sundeen (Sutton, MA); 8. Jack Aquilina (Oakdale, CT);
9. Rob Janovic, Jr. (Waterford, CT); 10. Al Stone (Durham, CT)
SUNOCO MODIFIED SERIES FINISH TOP-10: 1. Ryan Preece (Berlin, CT); 2. Rowan Pennink (New Egypt, NJ); 3. Ronnie Williams (Tolland, CT); 4. Woody
Pitkat (Stafford, CT); 5. Keith Rocco (Berlin, CT); 6. Matt Gallo (Berlin, CT); 7. John Studley (Framingham, MA); 8. Danny Cates (Chaplin, CT) ; 9. Nick Salva
(Prospect, CT) ; 10. Mike Benevides (Westerly, RI)
NEMA LITES FINISH TOP-10: 1. PJ Sturgios (Newmarket, NH); 2. Jim Chambers (Atkinson, NH); 3. Joey Sipriano (Waterbury, CT); 4 Todd Bertrand
(Danielson, CT); 5. Anthony Payne (Fair Lawn, NJ); 6. Ben Mikitarian (Northborough. MA); 7. Chad Labastie (Uxbridge, MA); 8. Meg Cugini (Marshfield, MA); 9.
Nikki Carol (Andover, NJ); 10. Kevin Iannarrelli (Shirley, MA)
ISMA FINISH TOP-10: 1. Dave Shullick, Jr. (North Ridgeville, OH); 2. Mike Ordway, Jr. (Windham, ME); 3. Mark Sammut (London, ON); 4. Ben Sietz (Bourne,
MA); 5. Mike McVetta (Wellington, OH); 6. Timmy Jedrejzek (Independence, OH); 7. Chris Perley (Rowley, MA); 8. Mike Netishen (Auburn, NH); 9. Allison
Cumens (Glenmoore, PA); 10. Joey Payne (Madera, CA)
Rowan Pennink, Tom Fearn, Tony Membrino, Jr., Duane Provost, Johnny Walker, And Noah Korner Honored As 2016 Stafford Motor Speedway Track
(Stafford Springs, CT)---Stafford Motor Speedway welcomed a guest list of nearly 500 people consisting of teams, drivers, sponsors, and employees this past
Friday night, November 18 at Maneely’s in South Windsor to officially honor Rowan Pennink, Tom Fearn, Tony Membrino, Jr., Duane Provost, Johnny Walker,
and Noah Korner as the 2016 Stafford Motor Speedway NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track champions.
With Stafford Motor Speedway broadcasters Matt Buckler and John Gates serving as the Masters of Ceremony, the 47th annual Stafford Motor Speedway
NASCAR Champions Awards Ceremony not only honored the six track champions, they also recognized the top-15 points finishers from the SK Modified®,
Late Model, SK Light, Limited Late Model, DARE Stock, and U.S. Legend Cars divisions. Special awards that were presented during the evening’s festivities
were Most Popular Driver Awards, NAPA Auto Parts Parts Rookie of the Year, R.A.D. Automachine Rookie of the Year, and the UNOH Youth Achievement
Rowan Pennink and the #99 Independent Wheel team entered the 2016 season as the defending SK Modified® champions and the question looming over
them was could they repeat with Kevin Crowley taking over as the crew chief from Jimmy Fuller? The #99 team put to doubt any questions about their
prowess with wins in 3 of the first 4 SK Modified® events of the season and they exhibited a high level of consistency with top-10 runs in all but one of the
first 16 races of the season. They wrapped up the championship with one race to go and next season will see them attempt to become the first team to
win 3 consecutive SK Modified® championships at Stafford. Pennink is the fifth driver, joining Jerry Pearl ’84-’85, Mike Christopher ’89-’90, Bob Potter ’91-’
92 and ’94-95, and Ted Christopher ’00-’01 to have won back to back championships but a three-peat has yet to be accomplished. For the season, the #99
team posted a division leading 6 wins, 11 top-5 and 15 top-10 finishes for an average finish of 4.9.
After winning 10 races last season and coming up short of the championship, Tom Fearn and the #92 SAFCO Foam team entered the 2016 season as
favorites to be among the championship contenders and they lived up to that pre-season billing with a performance that was a combination of dominance
and consistency. Fearn won 7 times and had 16 top-6 finishes in 17 starts this season but Michael Wray and the #42 DMW Graphics team took the
championship fight with Fearn all the way to the season ending NAPA Fall Final. A second place finish for Fearn wrapped up his fourth career Stafford track
championship and his first since winning the 1998 ProStock championship. Among Fearn’s 7 wins, 16 top-5 and 17 top-10 finishes this season were 13
podium finishes that helped lower his season average finish to 2.8.
The race for the SK Light championship was a seesaw affair between Tony Membrino, Jr. and Joey Ferrigno for much of the year. Membrino and the #44
Additive Manufacturing of New England team had a blazing hot start to the year with 4 wins in the first 5 races. But as dominant as Membrino was,
Ferrigno was right on Membrino’s heels and they would swap the point lead several times during the summer. Membrino took control of the points race at
the very end of the season as Ferrigno ran in to a string of bad finishes and he collected his second career SK Light championship at Stafford to go along
with his DARE Stock championship. Membrino posted 7 wins, 11 top-5 and 13 top-10 finishes this season for an average finish of 5.3.
The race for the 2016 Limited Late Model championship saw long shot Duane Provost cash in to take home his very first career championship. The driver of
the #88 Facchini Law Firm Chevrolet was in the championship mix for much of the season along with Paul Arute and Al Saunders. All three drivers had a
share of the point lead at some point during the 2016 season. Provost entered the NAPA Fall Final 12 points behind Saunders and a third place finish,
combined with a 10th place finish for Saunders, was enough to make Provost the champion by a scant 2 point margin. For the season, Provost posted 1
win, 12 top-5 and 15 top-10 finishes for an average finish of 4.6.
Johnny Walker entered the 2016 season having taken a year off from racing after back to back 2nd place finishes in the DARE Stock division. Having nearly
won the championship twice already, Walker knew what it was going to take to win the championship from the very first race and he was a model of
consistency during the 2016 season, driving to 13 podium finishes in 17 starts this season with a final tally of 2 wins, 16 top-5 and 16 top-10 finishes for an
average finish of 3.2. As dominant as Walker was finishing in the top-3 almost every week, Brandon Michael was keeping pace with him for much of the
year and took the title fight down to the last race but Walker wasn’t to be denied as he collected his first career championship.
In the U.S. Legend Cars division, it was a year of domination for Noah Korner and the #31 Midstate Site Development team. In the 11 race Legend Cars
schedule, Korner won 7 times, finished second three times, and finished third once. Such a level of dominance was too much for Teddy Hodgdon to
overcome as Korner locked down the track championship in a season that also saw him win the National Championship in the Semi-Pro division of the U.S.
The NAPA Auto Parts Rookie of the Year awards were presented to Stephen Kopcik from the SK Modified® division and Joel Monahan from the Late Model
division. Taking home R.A.D. Automachine Rookie of the Year honors were Joe Graf, Jr. in the SK Light division, Frank L’Etoile, Jr. in the Limited Late
Model division, and Michael Hopkins in the DARE Stock division. The NAPA Auto Parts rookie awards will be worth a $1,000.00 gift card redeemable at
participating NAPA Stores to Kopcik and Monahan, with Graf, L’Etoile, and Hopkins each winning a $500 bonus from R.A.D. Automachine that will be paid
out in $100.00 weekly increments to each driver as they attend events during the 2017 season.
The winners of the Most Popular Driver Awards were Woody Pitkat in the SK Modified® division, Tom Fearn in the Late Model division, Daniel Wesson from
the SK Light division, Bryan Narducci from the Limited Late Model division, Alexandra Fearn in the DARE Stock division, and Teddy Hodgdon in the U.S.
Legend Cars division. The Most Popular Driver Awards are voted on by the fans who attend Stafford Motor Speedway race events and fill out the ballots
found in the track’s weekly PitStopper Magazine.
The UNOH Youth Achievement award was won by SK Light Modified driver Daniel Wesson. The UNOH Youth Achievement Award is a program that is open
to all drivers at Stafford between the ages of 14-17. The eligible driver who scored the most track points from their best 14 finishes this season won a $500
cash award from UNOH as well as a $500 scholarship award from UNOH.
For more information about the 2016 Stafford Motor Speedway Champions Awards Ceremony, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway’s track office at (860)
684-2783 or visit us on the web at
(Stafford Springs, CT)---With just over 5 months until the 2017 season kicks off at the 46th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler, Stafford Speedway is
proud to announce the 22 event 2017 schedule.
“We are excited about the 2017 season, we have our marquee events and have added 4 new shows to the schedule,” explained Stafford COO/GM
Mark Arute. “Stafford’s key focus remains to have a strong weekly program for the fans and race teams, we believe that is the backbone of short track
The 2017 race season will begin at the 46th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler Weekend, April 29th & 30th. Doug Coby, the 2016 Whelen
Modified Tour Champion, will look to defend his crown in the Whelen Modified Tour NAPA Spring Sizzler 200. The two-day event is highlighted by the NAPA
Auto Parts Pit Party where fans have the opportunity to meet their favorite drivers prior to racing on Sunday.
Following the NAPA Spring Sizzler, Stafford racing gets back to its weekly regiment beginning with the return of BFF night on May 5th and the Late Model
50 on May 12th. The Valenti Modified Racing Series hits the half-mile May 19th for their annual early season Connecticut stop and the series will make one
additional Stafford stop on September 1st for another 80 lap feature.
Doug Dunleavy and Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair has joined the schedule with a new Memorial Day Weekend event. Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer
Repair Modified Big Money Event plus Military Appreciation Night is scheduled for May 26th. Both the SK Modified® and SK Light Modifieds will have
special events with details to be announced within the coming weeks. The night will be capped off with a fireworks display to honor all those who have
served our country.
“No one has ever paid an SK Light purse this big. Doug’s excited, we’re excited, that night is going to be fun,” explained Arute.
The month of June will play host to two new events at Stafford. June 2nd will be the first of two Stafford stops for the exciting new Modified
Touring Series with the second MTS event being held Friday July 21st.
“Our team has been working with Gary Knight of the Modified Touring Series for a few months now and we really like the series he is pulling together,” said
Arute. “We were impressed by his execution of the Winchester 200 last year at Monadnock and are looking forward to the Modified Touring Series Stafford
debut on Friday June 2nd.”
June will also play host to the ISMA Supermodified’s return to the half-mile. The fastest short track cars in the country will go 60 laps and be accompanied
by Stafford’s five weekly divisions.
Friday, July 7th will see the biggest SK Modified® event in the country, the NAPA Auto Parts SK 5K, take place. Since the inaugural event in 2014 the NAPA
SK 5K has seen 3 different winners and has paid over $120k in purse money. 2017 will be no exception, this is the event all SK Modified® drivers want to
“The NAPA SK 5K is a fan favorite and one of my favorite events,” continued Arute. “We thank NAPA for their support of this event as it has become a
highlight of our schedule for the last few years.”
The Whelen Modified Tour makes its second of three stops at Stafford on Friday August 4th for the 27th Annual Stafford 150. The final NWMT stop comes
with NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final Weekend on Sept. 30th-Oct. 1st where all 5 of Stafford’s 2017 track champions will be crowned.
Stay tuned to StaffordSpeedway.com and social media in the coming weeks for more information on the 2017 schedule.
2017 Season Ticket Packages are now available and on sale now through www.staffordspeedway.com. Visit the site and click on the BUY TICKETS
link to purchase your 2017 season ticket today.
2017 Schedule Highlights
· 3 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Events (4/30, 8/4, 10/1)
· 2 Valenti Modified Racing Series Events (5/19, 9/1)
· 2 Modified Touring Series Events (6/2, 7/21)
· 1 ISMA Super Modified Event (6/23)
· NAPA Auto Parts SK 5K (7/7)
· Dunleavy Truck & Trailer Modified Night (5/26)
· Late Model 50 (5/12)
· Mr. Rooter Truck Series (4/29, 9/30)
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.
|Doug Coby Open Wheel Wed
|Matt Hirschman SBM 125
|Steve Masse Tri Track open winner