Archive for June, 2000

T.C. Unbeatable at Thompson

Thompson, CT —  Thompson International Speedway finally played host to the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series divisions in Thursday Night Thompson Thunder after several weeks of bad weather. A full racing card featured both open-wheel and full-fendered excitement with the Sunoco Modifieds, NASCAR WRS Pro Stocks and all their support divisions. Winners on the evening included George Bessette, Bill McNeil, George Savary, Ted Christopher, Dennis Coates, Scott Bronczyk, and Lyle Wolfinger.

The Senior Tour Auto Racers were the first to take to the 5/8th mile oval. Mark Alden took down the win in the #21 Modified built by Winston Cup Legend Banjo Mathews and driven by George Savary. The S.T.A.R. Group honored George Savary in victory lane with an award for his 40 years in the sport. Fittingly 21 years ago the same Vega Modified sat in Thompson victory lane. Savary capped off the evening with a win in the Pro Four Modifieds.

Thirty-six Strictly Stocks took the green in the June 22nd Make-up feature. Randy Waterman of Danielson, CT showed the way through lap seven when on a restart Ed Puleo took the lead. Heavy hitters Bill McNeil, Ryan Stone, and Lyle Wolfinger were quickly making their way to the front from deep in the pack. The complexion of the race changed dramatically when Tim Taylor and Kevin Mason made contact on lap 17. The enduing pile-up eliminated several top ten contenders. Current point leader Ryan Stone suffered severe damage. The three-lap shoot out featured a battle between McNeil and Lyle Wolfinger. McNeil would hold on for the win.

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Young & Weimer Win at Thompson Before Rains Wash Out Program

Thompson, CT — The racing at Thompson International Speedway was as hot as the temperature; that is until the rains came. The Twin 25-lap Pro Stock features that were to have highlighted the events of the evening were lost to the weather. Jerry Young, Jr. of Jewitt City, CT and Chuck Weimer III of Danielson, CT beat Mother Nature and their fellow competitors to take the Late Model and Mini Stock features, respectively. The Strictlys and Pro Stocks were relegated to heat race competition only. Pro Stock heat winners were A.J. Begin, Phil Rondeau, and Roger Godin. Strictly Stock heat races were won by Randy Waterman, Bill McNeil, and Ed Puleo.

Guest announcer Matt Buckler, columnist for the Journal Inquirer, called an action-packed Late Model race that featured side-by-side racing throughout the pack. From the drop of the green flag the front three of Scott Fanning, Scott Bronczyk, and Jerry Young, Jr. battled for the front spot; swapping the lead amongst themselves. Fanning took the lead first, followed by Bronczyk, with Young taking the lead on lap 13. The first and only caution of the event flew on lap 19 of the 25-lap event when the cars of Walt Sutcliffe, Jr. and Jeff Plakias went hard into the turn three wall. On the lap 19 restart Jerry Young distanced himself from a fierce battle in the top-five. Rick Gentes had worked his way to second and would follow Young to the checkered. The rain-shortened Mini Stock event was yellow-checkered on lap nine as a downpour hit the speedway. At the colorful finish Chuck Weimer III was declared the winner.

Next Thursday, June 29, 2000 Thompson International Speedway will present a complete Thursday Night Thompson Thunder program featuring the Sunoco Modifieds, Pro Four Modifieds, Late Models, Strictly Stock and Mini Stocks. Also on the program will be the make-up event for the Strictly Stocks and the previously unscheduled Pro Stocks. Competitors in the Pro Stock division have voted to compete in a single 40-lap feature event in lieu of the Twin 25 format for their make-up event.

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Larry Emerson Sweeps Enduro Series at OPS

Enduro races are many many things. They are exciting. They are a great way to take out your frustrations. They are a crowd favorite. And they are a great way to fund your weekly series racing team. Just ask Larry Emerson of Durham. He came and he conquered and he was proclaimed the "King of the Oxford Enduro Series" Sunday afternoon at Oxford Plains Speedway. Emerson started his day by teaming up with son Zach in the 10 lap Tag Team event. They won it easily over Scott Collins and Shannon Judd.

The 25 lap Ladies Division event was a Sunday fun run for Sally Gherardi as she led the entire distance to win another race at OPS. Tina Springer closed to within a couple of car lengths before Miss Gherardi realized that competition was coming. She won by three lengths at the end. Stephanie Bowie rounded out the top three.

Next on the agenda was a 100 lap Enduro for 4 cylinder cars. About 100 cars took the green flag and before the race was 25 laps old along come quiet unassuming Larry Emerson to take the lead. Before the checkered flag fell he'd lapped the field and was standing tall in victory lane. Joe Ring got around Archie Watt Jr. with less than 20 laps to go for the next two spots. Dave Cloutier came from New York state and finished fourth. Bob Washburn rounded out the top five.

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Houlihan & Godin Dynamite in Thursday Night Thompson Thunder

Thompson, CT —  The debut of Thursday Night Thompson Thunder was not without it’s share of lightning. Lightning fast cars took home top honors in the four NASCAR Weekly Racing Series divisions. Twin 25 Pro Stock events saw Dick Houlihan of Berkley, MA and Roger Godin of Spencer, MA taking down the wins. In the Late Model division David Blain of Danielson, CT returned to victory lane after a long absence. Repeat winners were the order of business in the Strictly and Mini Stock divisions as Memorial Day weekend winners Ryan Stone of Branford, CT and Chris Gagnon of Moosup, CT took their second consecutive checkers.

In the first Pro Stock 25-lap event George Bessette of Danbury, CT and Jeff Zuidema of North Brookfield, MA brought the field of 32 cars to the green in a picture perfect start. The two would run side-by-side through turns one and two when Zuidema would establish himself as the leader on the backstretch. The two would head a pack of cars that included Dick Houlihan, Norm Wrenn of Nashua, NH, and Jimmy McCallum of Fall River; who had moved into the fray from his fourteenth starting position.

A lap nine restart would change the whole complexion of the race when a multi-car incident on the front stretch would eliminate a number of cars including the #69 of Fred Soucie, who sustained heavy damage, and Chris Perley. While under caution leader Jeff Zuidema would discover a broken right rear break caliper forcing him to relinquish the lead and retire to the pits. Dick Houlihan would restart in the lead and that is where he would stay. At the checkers it was Houlihan followed by George Bessette, Jim McCallum, Rusty Bryant, and Steve Ribbe rounding out the top five.

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June 2000
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