Archive for July, 2000

Marquis Magic at Budweiser Kick-Off

Thompson, CT — A packed grandstand watched as Jerry Marquis won the Budweiser Kickoff 2000 Featherlite Modified Series event that highlighted an action-packed night of racing action. Roger Godin made it two-in-a-row in the Weekly Racing Series Pro Stocks, while Bert Marvin put an end to Ted Christopher’s winning streak in the Sunoco Modifieds. Jeff Zuidema put his lucky green #37 Late Model into victory lane; Rich Barry returned to Thompson glory in the Mini Stocks; Ryan Stone led green-to-checker to record the Strictly Stock win. George Savary continues to show the way in the Pro-Four Modified division.

Les Hinckley III and Phil Rondeau brought the full field of Weekly Racing Series Pro Stocks to the green and by lap four multiple feature winner, George Bessette, had moved into the fight. Michael Rivard went for a spin causing the caution to wave at lap four. On the ensuing restart Bessette lost control putting his car into the turn two wall. A five-car freight train headed by Roger Godin developed when green flag racing resumed. The top five had stretched out with Godin taking a full straightaway lead. The best battle on the track was between Ken Kohler and Dick Houlihan for fifth spot. At the checkers it was Godin in for a convincing win.

It took the Sunoco Modifieds some time to record the first two laps of their event. Attrition for those laps claimed the cars of Joe Phinney, Dave McElroy, and Ted Christopher for mechanical failure. Pole sitter John Sneade was also a victim during those laps although he was able to continue. When things settled down Bert Marvin had moved to the point. The top four cars ran nose-to-tail, lap after lap, with Bert Marvin closely pursued by Todd Ceravolo, Scott Quinn, and Tom Tagg. These four cars would make contact on several occasions as the vied for the win. Tom Tagg had his best run of the season going when contact with Scott Quinn caused him to lose several positions with only two laps to go. Marvin withstood pressure, contact, and more pressure from Todd Ceravolo to hold on for the win, bringing an end to Ted Christopher’s unbeaten streak.

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Godin, Christopher, Wheeler, Puleo & Gagnon Win at Thompson

Thompson, CT — Double points were on the line for all NASCAR divisions last Thursday night at Thompson International Speedway. Repeat winners were the order of the evening as Roger Godin grabbed the Pro Stock gold; and Ted Christopher, Chris Gagnon, and George Savary continued to dominate their respective divisions. Billy Wheeler towed in from Long Island to take his first checkers of the season in the Late Model division, as did Ed Puleo in the Strictlys.

At the drop of the green flag Jeff Zuidema engineered a very fast freight train in the Pro Stock main event heading Ken Kohler, Jr., Roger Godin, and George Bessette. The four ran nose-to-tail until lap sixteen when Godin pulled out of line and took the second position from Kohler. Godin took the point on a lap 20 restart prompted by a spin by Michael Rivard. Contact between Zuidema and Bessette resulted in what has become a classic late race duel between Godin and Bessette. On this night it was Godin taking down the win, breaking Bessette’s two race winning streak.

Scott Quinn put the #6 on the point taking the lead from Steve Lombardo on lap two of the Sunoco Modified double-point feature. Curt Brainard, running second, was relentless in his pursuit of the lead. Quinn was equally as relentless in his defense of the lead. The two rubbed on a number of occasions until severe contact sent them both spinning on lap 18. The venerable Ted Christopher inherited the lead and withstood a number of restarts and heavy pressure from 1999 Modified Champion Todd Ceravolo to remain undefeated in Sunoco Modified competition at Thompson.

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Bessette, Stone, Falconi, and Gagnon as Brilliant as the Firework Sky

Thompson, CT — The Mini Stocks were the first to take to the 5/8th mile oval and none other than Chris Gagnon took the checkered fag. The win would mark his fourth of the season and second in as many races after tech inspection gave him the win on last Thursday.

The lead position was not the place to be during the Late Model feature. George Greco jumped to the lead from his pole starting position but lost the lead when he spun in turn two. Charles Bailey III took the lead on the ensuing restart. Jeff Plakias used the lapped car of R.J. Marcotte as pick to take the lead from Bailey. Plakias’ lead was short-lived as Rick Gentes got a jump on a lap 10 restart. Gentes, himself, spun while leading giving the lead back to Plakias. Plakias was struck by the “jinx” as his car failed to come up to speed on the restart. Bruce Adams inherited the lead but on the lap 20 restart John Falconi grabbed the point and went on to take his second win of the season. Both Rick Gentes and George Greco rebounded from their early problems to finish in the top five.

The forty Strictly Stocks had a tough time getting going Sunday night. The event was plagued by a number of cautions with the worst coming on lap 13 when fourth running Cliff Gaumond got of shape in front of the field. Collected in the pile-up where several fast cars that had moved through the field; including point leader Lyle Wolfinger. Mark Jennison led the lion’s share of the race until a lap 17 restart when his car did not come up to speed. Ryan Stone flexed his muscle for the drop of the green, motored through the field, and took down win number 3 on the season.

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July 2000
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