(THOMPSON, CT) - Racing action resumed at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Wednesday, July 27th as
the speedway celebrated “For the Drivers Night” with all drivers receiving free admission to the race as local
racing series and the annual Sunoco Modified 20/20 Sprint took center stage.
The 3rd annual Sunoco Modified 20/20 Sprint saw drivers competing to win not only two points paying events, but
also an overall victory with a third race helping decide the final outcome. Drivers looked to obtain the least amount
of points in a secondary points system based off of finishing spots in the segments to win it all. The feature would
see some of the biggest names in the series run up front throughout the evening and a popular name return to the
top in victory lane.
The 20/20 event consisted of three segments, two 20 lap races and a third ten-lap feature, with the first event
ordered by qualifying, the second inverting the field for the starting lineup based off the finishing positions in the
first event and the third and final segment utilizing timing in the first race to set the field. With the first two
segments being points paying races, Keith Rocco was looking to defend his undefeated status this season but
faced some tough competition as he relinquished his hold of victory lane in the first race to one of the series’ most
popular talents, Ryan Preece, who made the trip to Thompson from North Carolina that morning to take part in the
Preece celebrated in victory lane, giving credit to his crew for helping him gain early momentum in the 20/20
feature. “It was pretty tough there,” Preece said. “We’ve just been struggling with the brakes with this car and it’s
been making it so free in – To fly up here and win, it’s a lot of fun for me,” Preece said after the first segment.
Preece wouldn’t be able to make it a perfect night in the Sunoco Modifieds however as Keith Rocco made a strong
comeback and claimed a win in segment two. In the end Preece held on to not only win segment three but also
produced good enough finishes to win the overall 20/20 feature title for the second time in his career, and hopefully
put an end to a rough season in the series so far in 2016.
“It’s pretty special,” Preece said. “It’s been a rough year – No matter how bad I wanted to do good it was like
something was stopping me. Tonight was the night where we got the monkey off our back hopefully.” Rowan
Pennink finished second overall in the 20/20 feature followed by Rocco, Ronnie Williams and Woody Pitkat.
The Late Models started off the night strong with good, close racing throughout the field for their 25-lap feature.
The complexion of the race changed several times, including after the race itself was finished, with the early
domination by Jared Materas starting off a strange trend for the event when Matera’s dominance was cut short
after he lost control of his car six laps into the race. The spin creating a multi-car incident that retired Materas
from the race while series regular Brian Tagg took over the lead after an extensive cleanup process.
Tagg would soon find himself under attack by several cars, eventually being involved in a close, hard battle with
Marc Curtis before the two made contact, causing Curtis to spin and Tagg to be sent to the back of the field,
ruining his chance at a win as well. Meanwhile the stage was set for a dramatic finish as points leader William
Wall made a hard charge to the front to compete with his closest rival in the points, Rick Gentes, for third in the
final ten laps. Up at the front Lloyd Anderson and Matt Lowinski-Loh added to the action as the two sought their
first ever respective wins in the series. In the end it was Lloyd Anderson who came out of top over Lowinski-Loh, or
so it appeared. Anderson celebrated in victory lane after crossing the line in a backup car but the win was stripped
away as after the event Anderson’s team was informed they were disqualified from the Late Model race due to a
right front lower control arm of the car that did not meet specified measurements. This turn of events put an end
to an interesting Late Model feature and gave the win to Lowinski-Loh, his first in the series. Gentes finished
second in the adjusted results after spinning across the finish line and Wall finished an eventual third.
The fireworks continued with the Xtra Mart Limited Sportsman series as two and three-wide action was
commonplace throughout that event. Several drivers found themselves fighting hard for position throughout the 20-
lap feature, but it was the #25 car of Jesse Gleason, a car he borrowed from the Waterman family, that held on for
the win after leading most of the event despite several strong runs from his competition to take the victory,
including a late race push from his brother Brent Gleason who held on for a second place finish.
“This is short track racing. The first one up front is the guy who has the advantage. Maybe you don’t win it on lap
one, but maybe on lap two or three,” Gleason said in victory lane. “You’ve got to stab me to get by me. That’s about
it.” Gleason added that he was proud to race alongside his brother for the win and praised Brent for the strides he
has made in his own racing career.
While Gleason was celebrating in victory lane other drivers found themselves scratching their heads, especially
Corey Hutchings who followed up a strong win in his last race at Thompson with another strong run that ended in
an early retirement from the race when a battle for position with Phil Jacques resulted in heavy damage to
Hutchings’ car. Jacques was penalized for the incident and sent to the rear of the field but still managed a sixth
In the Mini Stocks reigning champion Dave Trudeau celebrated his fourth victory of the season in his mission to
defend his 2015 series title, but it was not an easy trip to victory lane. Trudeau started the event on a low note
after mechanical issues forced him to pit and restart in the back of the field after a lap one caution. Trudeau would
overcome adversity, and a significant lead by Christopher Viens, to take the win and return to victory lane in
“I have no idea how I got back up there. I was fast. I’ve got an awesome crew. I can’t thank everyone enough,”
The event was made even more special as it also marked the debut race for Trudeau’s son, Dave Trudeau, Jr., in
the Mini Stock Series. Trudeau, Jr. sprinted to victory lane after the conclusion of the event to embrace his dad
and celebrate possibly the most unpredictable victory of the evening.
In the Lite Modifieds Corey Barry took advantage of a mid race caution and strong restarts to claim a dominating
victory in a 20-lap dash. Damon Tinio had control of much of the first half of the event before he lost control of his
car in turns one and two after the halfway point, leaving the door open for Barry to claim the win while Wesley
Prucker and Marcello Rufrano rounded out the top three.
Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park will welcome the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour back to Northeastern
Connecticut on August 10th for more racing action with the 27th annual Bud “King of Beers” 150. The event will
also include the NEMA Midgets as well as Thompson’s own four divisions.
SUNOCO MODIFIED 20/20 SPRINT SEGMENT ONE FINISH: 1. Ryan Preece (Berlin, CT); 2. Rowan Pennink (New
Egypt, New Jersey); 3. Ronnie Williams (Tolland, CT); 4. Keith Rocco (Berlin, CT); 5. Woody Pitkat (Stafford, CT); 6.
Adam Norton (Palmer, MA); 7. Jason Sundeen (Douglas, MA); 8. Jeff Gallup (Agawam, MA); 9. Andrew Charron (East
Greenwich, RI); 10. Steven Kopcik (Newtown, CT); 11. Mike Benevides (Westerly, RI); 12. Nicholas Giardina (South
Salem, MA); 13. Eddie LeClerc (Taunton, MA); 14. Kyle Cafro (North Windham, CT); 15. Kyle Trainor (Marlboro, MA);
16. Joey Parker (Weymouth, MA); 17. John Catania (Agawam, MA); 18. . John Studley (Framingham, MA); 19. Renee
Dupuis (Hebron, CT); DNS - Paul LaPlante (North Attleboro, MA)
SUNOCO MODIFIED 20/20 SPRINT SEGMENT TWO FINISH: 1. Keith Rocco (Berlin, CT); 2. Rowan Pennink (New
Egypt, New Jersey); 3. Woody Pitkat (Stafford, CT); 4. Ryan Preece (Berlin, CT); 5. Ronnie Williams (Tolland, CT); 6.
Steven Kopcik (Newtown, CT); 7. Jason Sundeen (Douglas, MA); 8. Jeff Gallup (Agawam, MA); 9. Kyle Trainor
(Marlboro, MA); 10. Eddie LeClerc (Taunton, MA); 11. Kyle Cafro (North Windham, CT); 12. Joey Parker (Weymouth,
MA); 13. Nicholas Giardina (South Salem, MA); 14. Mike Benevides (Westerly, RI); 15. Adam Norton (Palmer, MA);
16. Andrew Charron (East Greenwich, RI); DNS - John Catania (Agawam, MA); John Studley (Framingham, MA);
Renee Dupuis (Hebron, CT); Paul LaPlante (North Attleboro, MA)
SUNOCO MODIFIED 20/20 SPRINT SEGMENT THREE FINISH: 1. Ryan Preece (Berlin, CT); 2. Rowan Pennink (New
Egypt, New Jersey); 3. Keith Rocco (Berlin, CT); 4. Ronnie Williams (Tolland, CT); 5. Steven Kopcik (Newtown, CT);
6. Jason Sundeen (Douglas, MA); 7. Jeff Gallup (Agawam, MA); 8. Woody Pitkat (Stafford, CT); 9. Andrew Charron
(East Greenwich, RI); 10. Kyle Trainor (Marlboro, MA); 11. Eddie LeClerc (Taunton, MA); 12. Kyle Cafro (North
Windham, CT); 13. Joey Parker (Weymouth, MA); 14. Nicholas Giardina (South Salem, MA); DNS - Mike Benevides
(Westerly, RI); John Catania (Agawam, MA); John Studley (Framingham, MA); Renee Dupuis (Hebron, CT); Paul
LaPlante (North Attleboro, MA); Adam Norton (Palmer, MA)
SUNOCO MODIFIED 20/20 SPRINT FINAL FEATURE RESULTS: 1. Ryan Preece (Berlin, CT) 6 pts; 2. Rowan Pennink
(New Egypt, New Jersey) 6 pts; 3. Keith Rocco (Berlin, CT) 8 pts; 4. Ronnie Williams (Tolland, CT) 12 pts; 5. Woody
Pitkat (Stafford, CT) 16 pts; 6. Jason Sundeen (Douglas, MA) 20 pts; 7. Steven Kopcik (Newtown, CT) 21 pts; 8. Jeff
Gallup (Agawam, MA) 21 pts; 9. Andrew Charron (East Greenwich, RI) 34 pts; 10. Kyle Trainor (Marlboro, MA) 34
pts; 11. Eddie LeClerc (Taunton, MA) 34 pts; 12. Kyle Cafro (North Windham, CT) 37 pts; 13. Nicholas Giardina
(South Salem, MA) 39 pts; 14. Joey Parker (Weymouth, MA) 41 pts; 15. Adam Norton (Palmer, MA) 120 pts; 16. Mike
Benevides (Westerly, RI) 124 pts; 17. John Catania (Agawam, MA) 215 pts; 18. John Studley (Framingham, MA) 216
pts; 19. Renee Dupuis (Hebron, CT) 217 pts; DNS - Paul LaPlante (North Attleboro, MA) 297 Pts
LATE MODEL FINISH: 1. Matt Lowinski-Loh (Milford, MA); 2. Rick Gentes (Harrisville, RI); 3. William Wall
(Shrewsbury, MA); 4. Mark Curtis (Brookfield, MA); 5. Ryan Lineham (Hope Valley, RI); 6. Nick Johnson (Rehoboth,
MA); 7. Brian Tagg (Oxford, MA); 8. Larry Gelinas (Buxton, ME); 9. Michael Bennett (Willington, CT); 10. Walt
Sutcliffe (East Haven, CT); 11. Brandon Warren (Chicopee, MA); 12. Jared Materas (Westfield, MA); 13. Tom Carey,
III (Orange, MA); 14. Scott Serydyniski; Disqualified - John Studley (Framingham, MA);
XTRAMART LIMITED SPORTSMAN FINISH: 1. Jesse Gleason (Lisbon, CT); 2. Brent Gleason (Griswold, CT); 3. Scott
Sundeen (Sutton, MA); 4. Ryan Waterman (Danielson, CT); 5. Ed Puleo (Branford, CT); 6. Phil Jacques (Dudley, MA);
7. Mike Palin (Dudley, MA); 8. Tommy Shea (New London, CT); 9. Troy Waterman (Killingly, CT); 10. Corey Fanning
(Mapleville, RI); 11. Hank Stott (Medway, MA); 12. Zack Robinson (Putnam, CT); 13. Nick Anderson (Oxford, MA); 14.
. Larry Barnett (Moosup, CT); 15. Corey Hutchings (Salem, CT); 16. Dan Coutu (Canterbury, CT); 17. John Carpenter
(North Grosvenordale, CT); 18. James Bendiak (Hopkinton, MA); 19. Joshua Wood (Palmer, MA); 20. Ed Correia
MINI STOCK FINISH: 1. Dave Trudeau (Mansfield, CT); 2. Christopher Viens (Putnam, CT); 3. Wayne Burroughs, Jr.
(Oakdale, CT); 4. Eric Bourgeois (East Haaddam, CT); 5. Brad Caddick (Wyoming, RI); 6. Roger Ducharme (Foster,
RI); 7. Nathan Taylor (Brooklyn, CT); 8. Ed Field (Deep River, CT); 9. Nick Matera (Warwick, RI) 10. Scott Michalski
(South Killingly CT); 11. Mitch Bombard (Willimantic, CT); 12. Keith Ballou (Pascoag, RI); 13. Mike Viens (Putnam,
CT); 14. Dave Trudeau, Jr. (Mansfield, CT)
LITE MODIFIED FINISH: 1. Corey Barry (Plainfield, CT); 2. Wesley Prucker (Stafford, CT); 3. Marcello Rufrano (North
Haven, CT); 4. Cam Sontag (Sterling, MA); 5. Matt Rzewnicki (Chicopee, MA); 6. Damon Tinio (Mendon, MA)
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.
Tri Track 100 Feature Finish: Doug Coby, Ron Silk, Rowan Pennink, Les Hinckley, Matt Hirschman, Woody Pitkat,
Richard Savary, Eric Berndt, Jon McKennedy, Dwight Jarvis, Dennis Perry, Chris Pasteryak, Keith Rocco, Andy
Jankowiak, Todd Szegedy, Andy Seuss, Kirk Alexander, Todd Annarummo, Calvin Carroll, Branden Dion, Anthony
Sesely, Dan Meservey Jr., Justin Bonsignore, Jeff Rocco, Carl Mederios Jr., Chase Dowling, Tommy Barrett
Tri Track B-Main Feature Finish: Carl Mederios Jr., Earl Paules, Mike Holdridge, Troy Talman, Roger Coss, Austin
Kochenash, Mike Benevides, Jeff Gallup, Eddie LeClerc, Ken Bouchard, Mike Douglas Jr., Dick Houlihan
Tri Track Consi #2 Finish: Les Hinckley, Branden Dion, Andy Seuss, Earl Paules, Mike Douglas Jr., Jeff Gallup, Dick
Houlihan, Troy Talman, Eddie LeClerc
Tri Track Consi #1 Finish: Matt Hirschman, Jeff Rocco, Dennis Perry, Roger Coss, Mike Benevides, Carl Mederios
Jr., Mike Holdridge
Heat Race #1: Todd Annarummo, Keith Rocco, Chase Dowling, Woody Pitkat, Austin Kochenash, Eddie LeClerc,
Heat Race #2: Ron Silk, Doug Coby, Andy Jankowiak, Tommy Barrett, Branden Dion, Dennis Perry, Earl Paules, Andy
Heat Race #3: Anthony Sesely, Richard Savary, Justin Bonsignore, Kirk Alexander, Jeff Rocco, Les Hinckley, Ken
Bouchard, Mike Holdridge
Heat Race #4: Rowan Pennink, Chris Pasteryak, Calvin Carroll, Dwight Jarvis, Dick Houlihan, Matt Hirschman, Mike
Douglas Jr., Jeff Gallup
Heat Race #5: Jon McKennedy, Todd Szegedy, Eric Berndt, Dan
Meservey, Roger Coss, Troy Talman, Carl Mederios, Ted Christopher
|OLD School Photos
(Stafford Springs, CT)---The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to Stafford Speedway on August 5th for the Stafford 150, the third of four
NWMT races to be held at Stafford this season. The NASCAR WMT will make stops at New Hampshire and Monadnock before returning to Stafford on
Aug. 5. With the Stafford 150 just 3 weeks away, the question will be can anyone dethrone Doug Coby?
Coby has been an absolutely dominant force in the first 2 NWMT races held at Stafford this season. Coby and the #2 Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer
Repair team have won pole position for both races and they’ve won both races, leading a combined 322 of 330 laps. The only other drivers to lead
laps at Stafford this season have been Ted Christopher with 5 and Justin Bonsignore, Donny Lia, and Jamie Tomaino have each led 1 lap.
Despite Coby’s dominance there have been several drivers with great performances at Stafford. The next best driver at Stafford thus far in 2016 has
been Rowan Pennink and the #3 Cape Cod Copper / Canto Paving team. Pennink finished 3rd in the April NAPA Spring Sizzler and then 6th in the June
TSI Harley-Davidson 125 for an average finish of 4.5. Pennink is currently second in the Stafford’s SK Modified® points standings and he has 3 SK
Modified® wins and one Valenti Modified Racing Series feature win this season at Stafford.
Justin Bonsignore and the #51 M3 Technology team have recorded a pair of 5th place finishes in the 2 Stafford races and he will be hungry as he is
still in search of his first career Stafford victory. Just behind Bonsignore in terms of average finish is Bobby Santos and the #44 Tinio Corporation
team. Santos has finished 7th and 8th in the two Stafford races this season and he 6 of his 14 career NWMT wins have come at Stafford.
In addition to Coby, Bonsignore, and Santos, there are 4 other drivers who have an average finish inside the top-10 in the first two races of the season
at Stafford. Shawn Solomito, driver of the #75 Eastport Feeds Chevrolet has an average finish of 8.5; Brendon Bock, driver of the #29 Pro System
Brakes Chevrolet has an average finish of 9.0; Donny Lia, driver of the #8 Sypher Construction Chevrolet has an average finish of 9.0; Patrick
Emerling, and Max Zachem, driver of the #20 Lu-Mac’s Package Store Chevrolet has an average finish of 10.0.
Tickets for the August 5th Stafford 150 are on sale now and are priced at $33.00 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and
children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating is $35.00 for all ages and all ticket prices
include 10% CT Admission Tax. Stafford Motor Speedway offers plenty of free parking along with overnight parking available for self-contained
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.
On Saturday night, $5,000 was up for grabs as Rifenburg Construction presented the annual King of the Track feature. However, rains forced a hurry-
up procedure. Chad Jeseo was just fine with that.
Jeseo earned the pole in his No. 25 and held off Mike King to get out in front. On the second lap of the race, there was contact exiting turn 4 as Brian
Berger and Kyle Sheldon were balked. Mike Keeler ended up with a big dent in his right side, but everyone continued. No caution was thrown.
The stack-up allowed Jeseo to pull out a big lead. Brett Hearn, who started 15th, was able to make up a number of spots as a result. So was Andy
Bachetti, who once again had a very fast car.
Jeseo continued to expand his advantage to nearly a straightaway over the rest of the field as Bachetti moved up. By lap 11, Bachetti was already
fourth after starting 14th.
From there, Bachetti began making inroads. He took third from Olden Dwyer on lap 13. A few laps later, he ran down and passed King for second.
Then, he zeroed in on Jeseo.
However, all the charging had taken a bit out of Bachetti’s tires. By the time he got to Jeseo, there simply wasn’t much left. On the other hand,
Jeseo had saved a little bit and was able to exploit that. That extra oomph allowed Jeseo to hold off Bachetti for his second career Modified win.
After the race, Jeseo talked about his late-race strategy.
“With about ten [laps] to go, I saw that Bachetti had broke[n] into second and I knew we were going to have our hands full,” Jeseo said. “That’s when
we really started picking the pace up. I saw [Bachetti] beneath me a couple of times, but the car was spot on.”
Behind Jeseo and Bachetti was King in a season-best third, just beating out Matt Pupello. Kyle Armstrong beat out Hearn for fifth.
In the Small Block Modifieds, the big story of the week was that officials added 50 pounds to Kenny Tremont, Jr.’s No. 115 as a result of his
domination of the class (six wins in eight races). While Tremont did show speed on Saturday night, he was ultimately not a factor and finished eighth
after starting 15th.
Brian Peterson started from the pole, but the real star of the race was Alan Houghtaling. Houghtaling quickly moved up from the third starting spot
to take the lead away from Peterson on lap 2. From there, no one could do much with the Poughkeepsie native.
A caution was thrown on lap 6 when Joey Scarborough spun on the backstretch. That bunched the field up, but once the green was displayed,
Houghtaling drove off into the distance. Meanwhile, J.R. Heffner was on the move. Starting 11th, Heffner methodically made his way forward. By
lap 10, he had entered the top 5.
Matching Houghtaling’s lap times, Heffner passed Peter Carlotto for second on lap 18 and tried to run down Houghtaling. Heffner was just a little bit
faster on some laps, but would then lose that time back on the next lap.
Ultimately, Houghtaling was able to pull out the victory by just over three seconds. For Houghtaling, he entered the race 11th in points and had
struggled a fair amount, but he had finished fourth two weeks ago and brought a little bit of momentum into the race.
For Heffner, he moved up to second in points after Brett Haas was unable to move forward and finished 12th. Tremont now holds a 68 point lead in
Behind Houghtaling and Heffner was Carlotto in a season-best third. Steve Hough and Peterson rounded out the top 5. For Peterson, Saturday night’s
fifth-place finish was his best finish of the year as well.