Archive for August, 2000

Gordon Ends Jinx; Houlihan, Rose Duplicate; Quinn, Sutcliffe, & Dean Take First Checkers of 2000

Thompson, CT — The Busch North Series made their season debut at the Thompson International Speedway on Sunday in the Sunoco 150 and when the checkers flew it was Tracy Gordon of Strong, ME with the victory. The win was Gordon’s second straight in the Busch North Series. Dick Houlihan of Berkley, MA in the Winston Racing Series Pro Stocks recorded his second straight victory as well. Not to be outdone Les Rose, Jr. recorded his second consecutive taking the Pro Four Modified win. New faces in victory lane on Sunday included Scott Quinn of Slatersville, RI in the Sunoco Modifieds, Walt Sutcliffe, Jr. of E. Haven, CT in the Late Models, and Todd Dean of Danielson, CT in the Strictly Stocks. Rich Barry of Central Village, CT made a return visit to victory lane in the Mini Stocks.

Tracy Gordon took the lead from Jamie Aube of Manchester, NH with only eleven laps remaining in the Sunoco 150, ending his self-proclaimed “Connecticut jinx”. The late stages of the race resembled earlier times in the Series with veterans Aube and Bobby Dragon of Milton, VT leading the pack around the 5/8th mile oval. Each would finish in season highs as Aube, with older tires, held off Dale Shaw for the second position. Dragon, also with older tires, held on to finish in the fifth position behind Brad Leighton.

Dick Houlihan duplicated last week’s feat holding off a hard-charging Ken Kohler, Jr. to record the win in the Weekly Racing Series Pro Stocks. Ken Kohler jumped out to the lead from his pole starting spot and would hold the position through halfway. A lap 16 caution for a spin by Jim McCallum would prove to be Kohler’s downfall as Dick Houlihan took the lead on the restart.

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T.C. in Typical Fashion at Thompson

Thompson, CT — The Featherlite Modified Series made their second visit of the season to Thompson International Speedway for the presentation of the Pepsi 125. Winners on the evening were Ted Christopher of Plainville, CT and Bob Polverari of W. Springfield, MA. In NASCAR Weekly Racing Series action it was none other than Ted Christopher back in victory lane in the Sunoco Modifieds, with Dick Houlihan of Berkeley, MA in the Pro Stocks, Rick Gentes of Woonsocket, RI in the Late Models; Ed Puleo, of E. Haven, CT in the Strictly Stocks, Roger Larson of Milford, MA in the Minis; and Les Rose, Jr. in the Pro-Four Modifieds also taking wins.

Ted Christopher made his debut in the Gary Cretty owned #26 Modified and put on a dominating performance to take his second consecutive Featherlite Modified Tour victory. Jerry Marquis extended his point lead with a runner-up spot while “the Reg” Reggie Ruggerio joined the others on the podium. Two Riverside Park Speedway Alums showed the way in the Non-Qualifiers race as Bob Polverari of W. Springfield, MA took the checkers ahead of Ricky Miller of Agawam, MA.

Dick Houlihan has been a strong contender all season and the number two point man proved to be the strongest on the night. Joe Perry led the pack of Pro Stocks to the green for the start of the 30-lap feature event. Green flag racing was quickly slowed when point leader Roger Godin, who was piloting Jim McCallum’s machine after suffering a blown engine in practice, and Liane Lombardi got together prior to the completion of the first lap. On the restart Ken Kohler jumped into the top spot followed by Steve Ribbe. Contact between the two sent the pack scattering and the yellow flying. Dick Houlihan had inherited the lead when the green flew again on lap three and would show the way for the remainder of the event. The trip to victory lane was not an easy one; however, as Jeff Zuidema applied heavy pressure to Houlihan throughout the late stages of the event. The win was Houlihan’s second of the season.

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Godin and Sneade Top a Wild Night of Racing at Thompson

Thompson, CT — All six NASCAR Weekly Racing Series divisions took to the Connecticut oval on Thursday Night Thompson Thunder. When the checkers fell it was Roger Godin in the WRS Pro Stocks, John Sneade in the Sunoco Modifieds, Rick Gentes in the Accel Late Model division, Ed Puleo in the Exide Shortrack Strictly Stocks, Chris Gagnon in the Mini Stocks, and George Savary in the Pro-Four Modifieds all taking down victories.

A wild Sunoco Modified race saw John Sneade of Oxford, MA in victory lane. Young Josh Steeves brought the field to green in the thirty-lap event and looked to be on his way to his first career Sunoco Modified victory when disaster struck . The Uxbridge, MA native withstood countless restarts only to retire from the event from the lead position with only two laps to go with a broken transmission.

Former Pro Stock track champion, “Radical” Rick Martin, made his return to Thompson International Speedway making his SK Modified debut in the Angie Cerase owned #5. An impressive run, from seventeenth to fourth, was halted at halfway when the motor expired in the G. Lopes Construction machine, ending Martin’s bid for the victory.

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Mecteau Grabs First As Godin, Stone, and Gagnon Continue Their Winning Ways

Thompson, CT; The Smith Boilers Triple, a 75-lapper for the Late Models, highlighted a night of racing action at Thompson International Speedway and when the checkered flag fell it was Lonnie Mecteau of Plainfield, CT taking down the win. Pro Stock winner Roger Godin of Spencer, MA and Strictly Stock winner Ryan Stone of Branford, CT both scored consecutive wins, while Chris Gagnon of Moosup, CT made a return visit to victory lane in the Mini Stocks.

Late Model point leader Lonnie Mecteau extended his lead by working his way through traffic and keeping his nose clean to take the down the victory in the Smith Boilers 75. Attrition played a major role in the outcome of the 75-lap event. Early leader Bruce Adams of Dayville, CT got heavy pressure from Scott Bronczyk of N. Grosvenordale, CT until he got loose going into turn two and made hard contact with the wall. On the restart a torrid battle developed behind Adams between George Greco, Jeff Plakias, and Gerry Young. Contact between the three on lap 36 sent Plakias into the backstretch wall and Young to the back of the pack.

On the ensuing restart at lap 43 Adams lost the handle and spun at the start-finish line collecting a number of strong cars including Dennis Botticello and Charles Bailey III, handing the lead to George Greco. His stint at the front of the pack was short-lived as Lonnie Mecteau took the lead. An extended green flag run saw the top-five run nose to tail. A caution on lap 71 for debris set-up a two lap shoot out to the finish. Mecteau, anxious to make his first trip to victory lane this season, jumped starter Tony Leckey’s flag bringing out the caution. Another shot at the green saw a picture perfect restart and a win for Mecteau. “Once I got the lead I radioed my crew,” said Mecteau, “and told them that the car just keeps getting better and better.” And so, too, does the season as Lonnie Mecteau extends his point lead.

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August 2000
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