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.
The Late Model race started with sparks flying as the first lap saw three-wide battles throughout the field. The sparks would continue to fly for the remainder of the event. A lap two caution found third running Chris Turrisi sideways collecting Bruce Adams and Walt Sutcliffe. Only three laps later a left front flat sent Gerry Young, Jr. into Rick Gentes and Jim Kiley, Jr. On the restart David Blain took the lead only to lose control of his racecar spinning in front to the pack. Several cars, including point leader John Falconi, were eliminated from the event.
At the crossed flags Jeff Plakias, who had recovered from an early race pit stop, paced the field. The first in yet another series of cautions came on lap 19 with a spin by second-place Scott Foster. Contact, on the ensuing restart, between the front duo of Plakias and Young put Plakias in the rear once again. Bill Wheeler took the lead on the restart and held-off the hard-charging Gerry Konopka for the final two laps to take down the win.
Mark Jenison led a stout field of Strictly Stocks until eventual winner Ed Puleo took over the point on lap nine. The caution free event would see the field string out with Puleo taking the easy victory. Thursday Night Thompson Thunder was doubly costly for point leader, Lyle Wolfinger, as mechanical problems sent him to the pits early in the double point event. Scott Cook of Uncasville, CT was honored along with Puleo in victory lane. Cook was awarded the win in the June 29th event when Ryan Stone was disqualified for a minor rules infraction.
Chris Gagnon continues to dominate the Mini Stock division recording his fifth feature event of the season. Other winners on the night included George Savary in the Pro Four Modified divisions and Tom Tork in the N.E.A.R. event.
Pro Stock finish: Roger Godin, Spencer, MA; George Bessette, Danbury, CT; Jeff Zuidema, N. Brookfield, MA; Ken Kohler, N. Providence, RI; Dick Houlihan, Berkley, MA; Chris Perley, Rowley, MA; Russ Murray, Tiverton, RI; Steve Ribbe, Kingston, MA; Andy Johnson, Rehoboth, MA; Bernie Crouteau, Monson, MA.
Sunoco Modified Finish: Ted Christopher, Plainville, CT; Todd Ceravolo, Groton, CT; Steve Lombardo, Norfolk, MA; David Kukta, Jr., Westbrook, CT; Bert Marvin, Waterford, CT; Curt Brainard, Canton, CT; Sean Buffington, Plainfield, CT; Scott Quinn Slatersville, RI; Zach Sylvester, Lebanon, CT; Stuart McCarthy, Oxford, MA.
Late Model Finish: Billy Wheeler, Sag Harbor, NY; Gerry Konopka, Lebanon, CT; Jeff Plakias, Agawam, MA; Pete Kraus, Webster, MA; Charles Bailey III, Plainfield, CT; Lonnie Mecteau, Plainfield, CT; Scott Fanning, Smithfield, RI; David Blain, Danielson, CT.
Strictly Stock Finish: Ed Puleo, E. Haven CT; Mark Jenison, Brooklyn, CT; Frank Kiser, Jr., N. Providence, RI; Tim Taylor, Danielson, CT; Kevin Mason, W. Warwick, RI; Ken Fecteau, Franklin, MA; Ryan Stone, Branford, CT; Larry Barnett, Ledyard, CT; Scott Cook, Uncasville, CT; Randy Waterman, Danielson, CT.
Mini Stock Finish: Chris Gagnon, Moosup, CT; Rod Rixham, Sutton, MA; Roger Larson, Milford, CT; Cindy Larson, Milford, CT; Pat Moreau, Auburn, MA; David Clark, Plainfield, CT; Brian Marcotte, Danielson, CT; Ray Fitzgerald, Worcester, MA; Chris Gilgar, Worcester, MA; Lee Hayes, Fall River, MA.
Sources:Thompson Speedway PR