(THOMPSON, CT) - Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP), the famed 5/8-mile oval in Northeast Connecticut,
announced the expansion of its NASCAR Whelen All-American Series schedule to 10 events in 2016. The announcement
was greeted with excitement by many teams and drivers who are looking forward to competing in more races at the
historic speedway. The schedule is highlighted by four NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (NWMT) events, the return of the
Triple Crown Championship for the Limited Sportsman and Mini Stock divisions, and the inaugural Fan and Driver
“We're excited to release another creative oval schedule,” stated Josh Vanada, General Manager of TSMP. “We're proud
to showcase our talented drivers in three additional events. It's a privilege for us to honor both our fans and drivers
with their own special events in July. It's the least we can do with their great support throughout our 75-year history.
It will be an exciting year with traditional favorites and some new, exciting formats."
This will be the 30th season that the track operates under the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series (NWAAS) banner,
offering Sunoco Modified, Late Model, Limited Sportsman, and Mini Stock competitors the benefits of NASCAR
membership, awards, as well as state and national championship competition.
The season will begin on Friday, April 8 – Sunday, April 10 with the 42nd Annual Icebreaker. This year’s season opener
has been enhanced to include twelve divisions of racing throughout the weekend. It will once again be headlined by the
return of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, with the first championship race of its 31st season, and include TSMP’s
four NWAAS divisions, the NEMA Lites, and the Vintage Outlaws. The most notable addition is the Pro All Stars Series,
as they will do battle in a 75-lap main event on Sunday afternoon, marking their first event at the 5/8-mile oval since
2012. The North East Street Stock Tour and New England Pro 4 Modifieds will be opening their seasons on Icebreaker
weekend, also. As another new addition, Thompson will be organizing their own Truck race, including a generous and
consistent purse. Fans will once again be invited to the Icebreaker Fan Appreciation party on the track Sunday morning
for the opportunity to meet the stars and cars and enjoy some live entertainment.
The Limited Sportsman and Mini Stocks races at the Icebreaker will be their first in the Triple Crown Championship
series. Both divisions will participate in three events in which their finishing positions will earn them both TSMP
championship points and Triple Crown Series points. The Triple Crown will pay their own point fund and award the top
The regular Wednesday night season will start on May 18 with the Limited Sportsman Long Distance, presented by
Circuit One Events. A new event in 2016, the Limited Sportsman Long Distance will be an opportunity for our Division III
drivers to be showcased. Known for their wheel-to-wheel racing, the drivers of the Limited Sportsman will headline the
only NWAAS event in the month of May. They will be joined by the Sunoco Modified, Late Model and Mini Stock divisions.
TSMP will hold Military Night on Wednesday, June 1, honoring our military and veterans with discounted pricing. The
event will feature the 3rd Annual Late Model 20/20 Sprint, once again showcasing TSMP’s top-tiered fendered division.
Known for its unique, segment-style format, the Sprint will once again be run in the same format that it has been for the
past two season. A complete inversion of the second segment will set the stage for a charge to the front for the front-
runners of the first segment. The final segment will be ordered by lap times of lead lap cars. The winner will not only
take home $1,000 in purse money, but will also be a guaranteed starter for the American-Canadian Tour race at the
The NWMT will return on Wednesday, June 15 for the 2nd Annual Mr. Rooter 125. The only 125-lap event of the four
NWMT races at TSMP, this one is guaranteed to be exciting with pit strategy playing a big part. TSMP’s four NWAAS
divisions will also be in competition, as well as the NEMA Lites. This will be their second of three stops.
TSMP has dedicated July as Fan and Driver Appreciation month, kicking off with “For the Fans Night” on Saturday, July
9. This special event will give fans an opportunity to attend a weekend race at a reduced ticket price – only $12. The
event will include Ladies Night, honoring females in all positions of motorsports. Fans will also have the opportunity to
take home a trophy as a souvenir, as all drivers will be given two – one to keep and one to give to a lucky fan. This
event will include the second Triple Crown race of the season for the Limited Sportsman and Mini Stock divisions.
“For the Drivers Night” on Wednesday, July 27, will show appreciation for drivers, with free admission for them for that
night’s event. Cash bonuses will be added on top of the already substantial $22,000 purse for the four NWAAS divisions.
The highlight of the night will be the Sunoco Modifieds, competing in their 3rd Annual 20/20 Sprint, with a purse of
$2,000 on the line for the winner of the race.
One of Thompson’s most popular summer events, the Budweiser ‘King of Beer’s 150 on August 10 will see the NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour return for their 3rd time in 2016. The program for the evening will include six divisions including
TSMP’s four NWAAS divisions and the first of two stops for the NEMA Midgets.
Back to School Night will return on Wednesday, August 24. This event will feature the Sunoco Modified Twin 25 Lap
races, giving fans double the open-wheel excitement, and drivers the opportunity to make up some ground in the
NASCAR and TSMP points. This will also be the final race in the Triple Crown series for the Limited Sportsman and Mini
#WayBackWednesday, the final event of the summer stretch will be a throwback event, held on September 7. It will
feature many of the cars and drivers of the rich 75-year history at TSMP, and will include local involvement from racing
museums and historical organizations. Past champions will be invited to gather, giving fans and competitors a great
time to reflect and celebrate the rich history at Thompson.
The final championship weekend once again promises to be the one of the largest short track racing events in the
country, with 15 divisions on the card for the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing, Friday October 14 – Sunday,
October 16. This three-day extravaganza will see many champions crowned, culminating on Sunday afternoon with the
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, the International Supermodifieds (ISMA), NEMA Lites and Thompson’s own Limited
Sportsman and Sunoco Modified divisions. Thompson’s Late Models will start off the racing for the weekend with a 25-
lap feature on Friday evening. The American-Canadian Tour will return for a 75-lap feature on Saturday, after a great
showing at last year’s World Series with a field of over 35 cars. They will be joined on Saturday by the NEMA midgets,
Pro4 Modifieds, Valenti Modified Racing Series, Thompson’s Mini Stocks, the North East Mini Stock Tour, the Trucks,
the North East Street Stock Tour, and the Lite Modified division. In addition to an action-packed weekend on track, fans
will also be treated to a variety of off-track activities. The NWMT will once again arrive with a Hauler Parade on Friday
afternoon, giving fans the chance to cheer for their favorite driver as their car enters. TSMP will also offer fan hay rides
on Sunday morning, which will tour the paddock area, take a lap around the track, and feature guest appearances from
some of the drivers. When all is done, 13 drivers will emerge as champions at the end of the Sunoco World Series
The new Season Pass program, launched by TSMP at the end of November, makes racing more affordable than ever for
teams, drivers and fans. With a variety of options to choose from, and savings of nearly $125 (25% off) the season pass
is another way that TSMP is making it easier to come to the track for those dedicated fans and drivers that are an
integral part of racing at the speedway.
For more information about the 2016 schedule or Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, visitwww.thompsonspeeedway.
com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Youtube.
THOMPSON, CT - Russ Dowd, the Voice of Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) for over thirty years, has
announced his retirement. Dowd, a resident of Woodstock, CT, has spent some 46 years behind a microphone.
Dowd has been a familiar part of the Thompson landscape most of his life. He first raced go karts on the old Thompson
¼ mile oval and then raced NASCAR Modified cars until 1980. Shortly thereafter, Thompson’s race director, the late Bill
Slater convinced Dowd to join Rich Bonneau in the announcer’s booth at Thompson. He then went on to announce at
tracks up and down the east coast including thirteen years at the Stafford Motor Speedway. He also worked at The New
London – Waterford Speedbowl, Westboro Speedway, Riverside Park Speedway, Pocono and many more but he always
considered Thompson to be home.
“For nearly four decades, Russ’ voice has boomed over our PA,” recalled TSMP General Manager, Josh Vanada. He’s
become synonymous with the character of our facility, and our presentation has been, in large part, his. We will
certainly miss him, and all the contributions that he has made over his accomplished career. We wish to express our
sincere gratitude for his dedicated service, attention to detail, and his deep care and concern for Thompson’s best
interest. Thank you, Russ, and congratulations!, Vanada concluded”
Dowd began his broadcasting career in his teen years when he announced Go Kart races at Woodstock, CT Fair. He
went on to develop his skills and got his first radio job in 1969 while serving in the U. S. Army in Washington, DC. After
leaving the military, Dowd returned home and went to work at WESO & WQVR radio in Southbridge, MA. He was soon
named News Director and then Operations Manager. He spent the next 27 years running those stations.
“I leave the announcer’s booth with very mixed emotions,” Dowd said. “Thompson Speedway has been a huge part of
my life. Not only have I worked the announcer’s booth, but have served as the Track’s General Manager and its Director
of Operations. Thompson is in my blood. However, there comes a time when things must change and I feel that that
time has come. I can’t begin to thank Don Hoenig and his family enough for all of these wonderful years. I also wish to
thank virtually everyone I have had the privilege to work with over the years. It has been a very special experience and I
feel fortunate to have been able to be a part of this historic speedway.” In 2014, Dowd was named the Best Short Track
Announcer by voters on the Speed51.com web site.
“I certainly will miss being on the PA system on race days. I’ll miss the fun that we have had over the years in the booth
and will miss the camaraderie that exists with a great group of people who work and have worked in race control. I
have had a chance to work with some of the very best announcers in the business and I was able to learn from each one
of them,” said Dowd. I have been very fortunate to have been in the booth for every race held at Thompson since I
became an announcer and have had the pleasure of doing play by play of all 130 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races
that have been run at Thompson along with Tour races at both Stafford and Waterford, Riverside Park and elsewhere”.
Dowd’s retirement does not mean that he will disappear from the Thompson scene. He will continue to provide
assistance to his administrative successor to make for a smooth transition. Fans can also expect to see him on some
race days and he might even make an occasional guest appearance on the track’s PA system.
(THOMPSON, CT) - Since the re-opening of the 1.7-mile road course at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) in
2014, the facility has worked on developing a robust and varied schedule of events that will cater to drivers and fans
alike. This year’s schedule will see the return of some events that have quickly turned into annual traditions and new
events will complement the already robust road course schedule. The most important is the launch of Thompson’s own
Summer Road Race Series, which will offer New England racers and fans the opportunity to try something completely
new in a friendly one-day format.
“We are delighted to continue on with some of the road racing traditions that we have started over the past several
years. In addition, we are looking forward to hosting our own Summer Road Race Series, which will be headlined by the
Legends. Last year they provided some of the best racing we have seen on our newly renovated road course has
opened,” TSMP General Manager, Josh Vanada, remarked.
The road racing season will once again kick off with the 2nd Annual Icebreaker, Road Race Style on Friday and
Saturday, April 29-30. This event will be first opportunity of the season to race, giving competition license holders the
opportunity to dust off the racing cobwebs after a long winter. The event is open to holders of all licenses eligible for
regional competition in SCCA, NASA, IMSA, PCA, VRT, ChumpCars, LeMons, VSCCA and BMWCCA. The event is unique in
its format, giving drivers much more track time than is typical. An addition to this year’s event will be the first TSMP
points race for the INEX Legends.
The next event on the schedule will be the inaugural Vintage Motorcycle Classic, on Sunday, May 15, immediately
following the Historic Oval Invitational. This event will include a track event, swap meet, antique motorcycle show, and
Another returning event will be the Open Wheel Weekend on Friday and Saturday, May 20-21, featuring the Formula
Lites, along with the INEX Legend series. The Formula Lites, a new open-wheel racing series with machines based on
Formula Three cars, held their inaugural race at TSMP last year. This series is part of the development ladder for young
drivers looking to move up into Formula 1 or IndyCar. They will be joined on Friday by the INEX Legend cars, who will be
returning to the 1.7-mile track, as one of their five road course stops in the schedule. The weekend will also see
Formula Vee and Formula F cars, two of the oldest open-wheel classes, take to the track.
The premier event of the 2016 road course season will once again be the 3rd Annual Vintage Motorsports Festival on
June 23-25. This event showcases cars from each of the periods in which the Thompson road course has operated, and
embodies the rich history of the track. The 2016 event will see over 150 cars, including sports cars, open wheel,
production and sports racers, race wheel-to-wheel throughout the 3-day event, and will be co-hosted by VRG (Vintage
Racer Group) and VSCCA (Vintage Sport Car Club of America).
The Optima Batteries ChumpCar World Series, one of the most popular endurance series in the country, will also be
coming to the road course at TSMP for the first time on July 1-2 to run a 12-hour endurance race on the 1.7 mile track.
TSMP will play host to StarFest, the Mercedes-Benz Club of America’s (MBCA) largest national event, for the first time
this year,. This event sees MBCA members from around the country converge on the “Quiet Corner” of Connecticut for
track events on the road course and autocross skid pad at TSMP, Road Rallyes, a Concours d’Elegance and more. This
event will be August 3 – 6, 2016.
Other returning events will include the 24 Hours of Lemons, “GP du Lac
Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg,” which will be held on August 12-14.
The SCCA New England Region will once again run two regional races as part of the New England Road Racing
Championship (NERRC) series, on July 22-23 and October 7-8.
Thompson will also be launching its own Summer Road Race Series to be held on Sunday afternoons throughout the
summer. This series will give drivers a cost-effective way to race on the road course, with a one-day format providing
the opportunity to get a full weekend’s worth of racing in one afternoon. This series will be held on June 5, July 10, and
August 7 with classes for Fiat 500 cars, small bore (including Miatas), big bore and the INEX Legends. Registration for
these events will be available through the TSMP website, beginning February 1st. For more information about the series,
contact the TSMP office at 860-923-2280.
In addition to racing events, the 2016 schedule will see the long-awaited return of Skip Barber Racing School to the
track where it first started as it will hold several schools throughout the season on the road course.
TSMP will also host several car shows throughout the year, including the New England Dustoff Volkswagen & Audi meet
on May 1, Honda Fest on June 12, and Toyota vs. Mazda “Bragging Rights” on September 18.
With a full schedule on the docket for 2016, there is sure to be something for every race fan and driver at Thompson
Speedway Motorsports Park. For more information about our 2016 schedule, including ticket prices, visitwww.
thompsonspeedway.com or call 860-923-2280. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube to stay up to the date on
the latest news and events.
As John Zych Jr. and Anthony Payne are celebrating their 2015 NEMA driver's championships, NEMA President Russ
Stoehr is reflecting on a very successful Northeastern Midget Association season. It was a year that highlighted a
diverse group of winners across both venues, and 13 events.
Highlights on the season included 2 wins by back to back NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby, one on
opening day at Chemung and one at Waterford, respectively. Jim Chambers took down his first ever NEMA victory at the
Twin State Speedway, and Joey Payne returned to NEMA victory lane after a two year hiatus at Monadnock Speedway
after a hard fought victory over John Zych. Champion, Zych captured three wins, coming at Thompson Speedway,
Oswego and Evans Mills, and Randy Cabral captured wins at Star Speedway and Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
Todd Bertrand performed a "wing dance" after winning the Speed Sport TV, Boston Louis Memorial at Seekonk
Speedway, and Seth Carlson took down an impressive Wings & Wheels win at the New-London Waterford Speedbowl.
Alan Chambers took down Rookie honors.
In the Lites division, young star Anthony Payne bested the wiley veteran, Randy Cabral for the season championship.
Scott Bigelow captured his second consecutive owner's championship. On the racing front, many highlights included
Meg Cugini's first ever career win, and PJ Stergios' repeat win at the Boston Louis Memorial. Jim Cataldo took down
President, Stoehr, has already been very busy working on the 2016 schedule for the group as a whole. "Building on the
momentum that was created over the last few years - in 2016, we are forging some important strategic partnerships
with several facilities that are committed to both the NEMA brand and short track racing in general and are working on
multiple dates at Waterford, Thompson, Star Speedway," he said.
divisions were professionally organized and provided some ultra competitive racing on our 5/8 mile oval. Congratulations
to John Zych and Anthony Payne as well as all other teams on their achievements this season. We look forward to
seeing NEMA again in 2016," said TSMP General Manager, Josh Vanada.
"We can see that NEMA is on the up swing, and we want to partner with divisions that can both bring us consistent car
count, and put on a great show," said Star Speedway Promoter, Bobby Webber Jr. "We are excited to have NEMA return,
and are looking forward to some great races over the year to come."
"NEMA is very excited to have secured multiple dates at all of these facilities for 2016," Said NEMA President, Stoehr.
"Between both divisions, we will have over 12 races at these facilities, - Waterford, Thompson and Star, in 2016."
Stoehr recognizes the stereotype that had been cast over midget racing in the Northeast over the last fifteen years, and
is working hard to educate racers who are interested in midget racing on both affordability and reliability. "We had
many races go green to checkered this year, and ninety percent of our cars finish the race in both classes," he said.
"That's a lot different than midget racing fifteen years ago." "We have a tire rule that we actively police to keep costs
down, and most teams are running engines between fifteen and twenty races before rebuilds in NEMA and multiple
seasons in the Lites. There are teams who have run the same engine eight seasons in the LItes with no rebuilds!," he
went on to say.
"If you look at the race cars that are winning - most are older cars that teams have refurbished over the years. John
Zych Jr.'s Drinan car was built in 1999, and its the same car he has been running for the last six seasons. These cars
exist in garages - with engines, and often times can be purchased for under $15,000. Many of the Lites cars are fifteen
year old cars that have been passed down through the years, and there are teams running in front who have less than a
$10,000 total investment in their program. I'm not sure of a place where you can go this fast, put on a great race, and
run for that price," he said. "The other nice thing is that midget racing is one of the only places where a father &
son/daughter team can compete without having an army of a crew to work on the car. The Club is great about helping
people out and providing assistance at the track. The Zych family is a great example - most races its just the two of
them at the race track," Stoehr went on to say.
There are also changes being implemented in the Lites division to bring parody to the engine rules. "We decided as a
Board that the Honda engine package was not the right decision for the Club, so we have decided to put a moratorium
on those going forward. We have a solid set of rules for the Focus engines, and are looking forward to having the
premier division on the East Coast for that engine package going forward," he said.
Stoehr is also excited about adding new venues to the docket for 2016. "We have added a big Memorial Day weekend
event to the schedule at Riverhead, and will be hosting a memorial race for Allan Cantor. That's a place we have wanted
to go back to for a long time, and really appreciate the Partridge family giving us a shot to put on a show there," he
said. Stoehr is also negotiating the schedule, which will be published in mid December, with a number of other venues.
With a very interesting schedule taking shape, a growing list of car owners, and costs & reliability well under control
there is no doubt that the Northeastern Midget Association is on the upswing headed into 2016.
|OLD School Photos
|Keith ROCCO 2015 Waterford Speedbowl champ
Seekonk Speedway is excited to announce its 2016 schedule. The schedule will feature 21 NASCAR Whelen All American Series events beginning with
Opening Day on May1st. NWAAS events will follow on every Saturday through September 24 except for July 2nd for the mid season break. Seekonk NWAAS
divisions Pro Stocks, Late Models, Street Stocks and Sport Trucks will all be battling their way to get into Everett's Auto Parts Victory lane in 2016.
Opening Weekend will feature the final test and tune session on Saturday April 30 as well as the 6th annual Classic Car Show & Go featuring many of the
best classic show cars around and drags on the track. The season officially opens on Sunday May 1st with Pro Stocks, Late Models, Street Stocks and Sport
Trucks all beginning their drive for the championship.
Saturday Nights at Seekonk will also feature appearances from the following regional Touring series: NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (Sept 10), American-
Canadian Tour (July 16), Valenti Modified Racing Series (June 4) New England Antique Racers ( Aug 13), Senior Tour Auto Racers ( July 9). Gates will open at
4 pm with the racing program starting at 6 pm. Ticket prices will remain unchanged at $14 for adults for regular NWAAS Saturdays with kids under 12 free.
The Fast Friday Racing series will feature 16 events beginning on June 3rd and running through September 23rd with a night off on July 1st for a mid season
break. Fast Friday series consist of weekly racing featuring Nick's Pitstop Legend Series, Pure Stocks, Sport Fours and the Seekonk Youth Racing
Association (SYRA). The Nicks Pitstop Legend series will open their season on Saturday May 21st with a $500 to win race and will also have a Regional
Qualifier on Saturday July 16th. The Sport Four division will once again open their season on May 29th on the Memorial Day Thrill Show. Gates for Friday
night races will open at 5 pm with racing starting at 7 pm. Ticket prices will remain unchanged for 2016 at $7 for adults and kids under 12 free.
The Phil's propane Triple Crown returns for 2016 featuring three extra distance double points races for each of Seekonk's nine weekly divisions. Teams
compete in the first race and follow a "chase" format as they drive towards the Phil's Propane Triple Crown Championship.
There are also extra distance races in the Late Models in memoriam of Michael Marfeo Jr on July 9th and Crab Manchester on August 13th. The Pro Stocks
feature another extra distance race sponsored by the friends and family of Brad Scott (75 laps) on June 18th.
Wednesday June 29th is the date set for this years $10,000 to win 100 Lap Open Wheel Modified madness race in conjunction with the Tri-Track Open
Modified Series. The NEMA Midgets will be on hand for the annual Boston Louie. The NEMA Lites will fill out the program. This is the 13th year for this event
that regularly attracts the top modified drivers from the North East with car counts averaging between 44-48 modified. This event will also feature a $5000
B Main Modified event.
The US Pro Stock/ Super Late Model National Championship will make its debut race this season on Tuesday July 12th presented by Kraze Korlacki Speed
Equipment (rain dates on July 13&14). This 200 lap race also features a $10,000 first place prize and is sure to attract the upper echelon of Pro Stock and
Super Late Model teams from all over the country. Support divisions for this event TBA.
Propane Plus of Rehoboth MA will once again be sponsoring the Autograph Series for NWAAS Divisions on July 23rd for the Street Stocks, July 30th for the
Pro Stocks, August 6th for the Sport Trucks and August 13th for the Late Models. The Speedway will once again feature two Pit Parties on June 11th &
September 3rd with the annual Fans on Parade being held on August 20th.
The Spectator Drag Series is returning for its sophomore season with 12 events with 6 Sunday races, 5 Saturday races and 1 Friday night show. The
Spectator Drags are a points championship series featuring street legal cars racing head to head on one lap drag races using an elimination format to
determine the winner on a nightly basis. The Spectator series will run 5/1, 5/14, 5/29, 6/18, 7/2, 7/15, 7/23, 8/7, 8/27, 9/4, 9/17 & 10/8.
The Venditti Family Fall Classic will be held on September 30th & October 1st with rain dates on October 14th & 15th(Friday & Saturday). This annual event
will feature all nine Seekonk divisions (Pro Stocks, Late Models, Street Stocks, Sport Trucks, Legends, Pure Stocks, Sport 4's and SYRA) headlined by a
$5000 to win Open Pro Stock race won in 2015 by local favorite David Darling.
The Speedway will feature their widely popular Thrill Shows plus several off track events. These immensely popular shows consist of car & truck enduros
races and drags, spectator drags, figure 8 races, powder puff races and special features such as monster trucks, motorcycle stunt drivers and ground
pounding fireworks. Please check out www.seekonkspeedway.com for up to date schedules and event info. Each thrill show will now host an all female
"Powder Puff" race, this race has traditionally been held at select shows but has grown in popularity to warrant an addiction to the line up at every thrill
show. This years Monster Truck event will feature Moster Truck Ride-A-longs pre show from 2-5.
- Memorial Day Thrill Show Sunday May 29
Independence Day Thrill Show Saturday July 2nd
Monster Truck Meltdown Sunday August 7th
Labor Day Thrill Show Sunday September 4th
Pumpkin Smash Spooktacular Saturday October 8th
There are two Automotive Swap Meets scheduled for 2016 as well as our weekly Flea market that runs every Sunday from April till November from 6 am till
2 pm. The Auto Swap meet dates are April 30th & October 29-30.
In addition to racing events the Speedway will also host three outdoor races. The Color Me Rad 5k will be May 21st ( www.colormerad.com for ticket info),
Insane Inflatable 5k on August 6th ( www.insaneinflateable5k.com ) and a Krazy Kids Inflatable Run for ages 3-11 on June 11th.
Please refer to www.seekonkspeedway.com for up to date info on schedule changes and select sponsored night announcements.
Manchester, NH. -- Woody Pitkat, of Stafford Springs, Connecticut, was honored Saturday night, November 7, as the Valenti Modified Racing Series
Champion for the 2015 season.
The event was held at the Best Western Executive Inn at Manchester, New Hampshire.
Pitkat was joined by car owner Peter Kulessa, crew chief Greg Felton, and the Patterson Farms race team for the special presentations. The VMRS
championship was the first for both Pitkat and Kulessa.
In accepting his award Pitkat thanked the Perry family and Valenti (Auto Group) for all their support and sponsoring of the series. Pitkat acknowledged Jack
Bateman, the series founder, saying “thank you for your hard work, time, and sacrifice, to give us a great affordable series to race at week in and week out.
I admire your dedication.”
Pitkat also stated winning the series title was his first ever series championship and he considered it a special feat. “I may never win another so this one
means a lot.”
He complimented VMRS drivers. “Just because I run the tour does not put me above anyone. I am a race driver and so are these guys with this series. I am
grateful for the opportunity to run with them and compete here. I look at it as another addition to my resume.”
Kulessa spoke proudly of his first championship. “It’s unbelievable the guys just worked so hard. Last year we made the switch to Woody and had top five
finishes. We knew we had a good car and we knew we had a good driver. This year we were supposed to run a limited schedule. When July rolled around we
were leading the points so we decided we might as well give it a shot.”
In addition to the champion, the top 14 drivers were also recognized for their accomplishments. Runner-up Chris Pasteryak, Norman Wrenn, Todd Patnode,
Todd Szegedy, Donnie Lashua, Mike Willis Jr, David Schneider, Dennis Perry, Jon McKennedy, Rowan Pennink, Dylan Kopec, Russ Hersey, Anthony Nocella,
and Kirk Alexander were recognized.
Sunoco Race Fuels Jacket: Woody Pitkat
Thirty Race Care Wear Fire Suit Recipient: Matt Mead
Magnus Transmissions Rookie of the Year : Dennis Perry
Jack Competition Engines Most Improved: Carl Medeiros Jr
Tough Luck Award: Todd Patnode
Sportsmanship Award: Mike Willis Sr
Mechanic of the Year Award : Greg Felton
Dedication To Racing Award : Matt Mead
Bob Polverari Award : Kirk Alexander
Above and Beyond Award : Laura and Jerry Elliott
Jack Bateman disclosed that 14 races are on the schedule for 2016 and he anticipates two more dates to be added in the near future. The series will make
the announcement as soon as those dates are finalized.
Canaan, New Hampshire. -- A first time visit to a New Hampshire Speedway, an appearance with the Pass Pro All Stars Series in Maine, and the traditional
stops at New England’s top bull-rings and historic ovals, highlight the 2016 season for New England’s Valenti Modified Racing Series. Jack Bateman, series
founder and president, made the announcement Thursday night, December 2.
The 13th annual season opens Saturday night April 23, 2016, with Monadnock Speedway, Winchester, New Hampshire, once again rolling out the carpet for
the new campaign.
The series next competes Friday night, May 20 at the famed Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford, Connecticut. The event will be the first of three races at the
half-mile oval. Friday, June 24, and Friday, September 2, is the dates to circle for return visits.
New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame member and track owner, Joey Laquerre, opens the gates to his Speedway 51 in Groveton, New Hampshire, for the
first ever VMRS visit. The event will be held on Memorial Day weekend, May 28.
The month of June finds Seekonk Speedway, Seekonk, Massachusetts, hosting the series. Seekonk has hosted close competition and finishes through the
years. June 4 is the date.
Oxford Plains Speedway, Oxford, Maine will host the ground-pounders twice. Saturday, June 18, for the first event, and August 27, as part of the prestigious
Oxford 250 weekend.
The week after the June Stafford date, the long tradition of Monadnock Speedway hosting the series continues with their annual Independence weekend
event on Saturday, July 2.
The series remains in New Hampshire with a stop at Claremont Speedway, July 8, and Lee USA Speedway July 22. The Lee event is a return to the month of
July after June races the last few seasons.
The annual ‘Wings and Wheels’ takes place at New London-Waterford Speedbowl in Connecticut, August 13, with Monadnock Speedway on the docket August
The VMRS joins with the Pass All Stars Series, September 17, at Scarborough, Maine’s, Beech Ridge Motor Speedway for the first time.
The fall traditions continue with stops at Lee USA Speedway for the annual ‘Oktoberfest’ weekend, October 8th and 9th, and the Thompson Speedway
Motorsports Park, Thompson, Connecticut, October 14, 15.