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.
Jeff Zuidema said after his win in the Late Models, “I wasn’t sure if he knew how to find this place (victory lane) anymore.” Zuidema took the lead on lap five from pole sitter Lonnie Mecteau and went on to take a hard-fought win. A close call for the leaders came when, on the second attempt at a lap five restart, the cars bunched up with a number of cars making heavy contact. John Falconi sustained the most extensive damage resulting in his second DNF in as many weeks. Zuidema also sustained damage on the restart but was able to continue without missing a beat. The run to the checkers would not be without event as Lonnie Mecteau gave Zuidema a run for his money, pulling beside him on several occasions. At the checkers it was Zuidema recording the win.
Ryan Stone bounced back from several weeks of misfortune to record the Strictly Stock win. He led green-to-checker to post his third win of the season. Rich Barry, who dominated the Mini Stock division in years past, returned to victory lane Thursday beating this seasons dominator Chris Gagnon.
Pro Stock Finish: Roger Godin, Spencer, MA; Phil Rondeau, Baltic, CT; Jeff Zuidema, N. Brookfield, MA; Les Hinckley III, Windsor Locks, CT; Ken Kohler, Jr., N. Providence, RI; Dick Houlihan, Berkley, MA; Norman Wrenn, Nashua, NH; Andy Johnson, Rehoboth, MA; Russ Murray, Tiverton, RI; Bobby LeClerc, N. Dighton, MA.
Sunoco Modified Finish: Bert Marvin, Waterford, CT; Todd Ceravolo, Groton, CT; Scott Quinn, Slatersville, RI; Curt Brainard, Canton, CT; Tom Tagg, Oxford, MA; Robert Palmer, Griswold, CT; Bo Gunning, Bethlehem, CT; Matty Adanti, Old Saybrook, CT; Darryl Tiezzi, Ivoryton, CT; Shaun Buffington, Plainfield, CT.
Late Model Finish: Jeff Zuidema, N. Brookfield, MA; Lonnie Mecteau, Plainfield, CT; Gerry Young, Jr., Jewett City, CT; Jeff Plakias, Agawam, MA; Gerry Konopka, Lebanon, CT; Rick Gentes, Woonsocket, RI; Pete Krause, Webster, MA; Scott Young, Willimantic, CT; Chris Turrisi, Westerly, RI, William Nash, Norwich, CT.
Strictly Stock Finish: Ryan Stone, Branford, CT; Scott Cook, Uncasville, CT; Lyle Wolfinger, Moodus, CT; Frank Kiser, Jr., N. Providence, RI; Norm Beauvais, Jr., Mapleville, RI; Larry Barnett, Ledyard, CT; Ken Fecteau, Franklin, MA; Mark Jenison, Warwick, RI; Cliff Gaumond, Thompson, CT; Ed Puleo, E. Haven, CT.
Mini Stock Finish: Rich Barry, Central Village, CT; Chris Gagnon, Moosup, CT; Cindy Larson, Milford, MA; Brian Marcotte, Danielson, CT; Pat Moreau, Auburn, MA; David Huard, Oxford, MA; Rodney Rixham, Sutton, MA; Billy Prisco, Pawtucket, RI; Roger Larson, Jr., Milford, MA; Gene Vitiello, Pascoag, MA.
Pro Four Modified Finish: George Savary, Westwood, MA; George Sherman, Framingham, MA; Ron Louro, Bristol, RI; Kurt Vigeant, Warwick, RI; Scott Nelson, Tolland, CT; Chris Carreira, Rindge, NH; Brett LeBlanc, Northboro, MA; Paul Skraginski, Riventon, CT; Bill Mattress, Polk City, FL; Jay Massci, Millbury, MA.
Sources: Thompson Speedway PR