Thompson, CT — The World Series of Speedway Racing continued on Saturday at Thompson International Speedway with time trials for the Whelen Modified Tour and a host of other qualifying race events. Feature activity kicked off on Saturday evening with eight (8) events. Corey Hutchings of Salem, CT, scored the victory in the Outlaw Late Models; Howard Payne of Shelton, CT, came out of retirement to win in the All Star Race Trucks. Scott Michalski of S. Killingly, CT was up to his old tricks winning in the Mini Stocks. Scott Foster of Willington, CT bested his brother to take top honors in the Outlaw Strictly Stock. Norm Wrenn, of Nashua, NH topped the Pro-Four Modifieds and Chris “Moose” Douton of Waterford, CT, won in the Limited Sportsman division.
The culmination of the World Series begins on Sunday when the pit gate opens at 8:00 AM; grandstands open at 9:00 PM. The Pro Stock feature is slated to go off first after the Supermodifieds fire engines followed by the Late Models, Sunoco Modifieds, and NEMA Midgets. The ISMA Supermodifieds and the Whelen Modified Tour cap off an incredible weekend of racing. The Tour is schedule to go off at approximately 3:00.
Eric Beers of Northampton, PA, not only set fast time in Coors Light qualifying but he also set a new track record. With a lap of 18.429 seconds Beers beat the record previously held by Todd Szegedy. Ryan Preece, Matt Hirschman, Jimmy Blewett, and Chuck Hossfeld rounded out the top-five during time trials. After the redraw of the top-ten, Jimmy Blewett and Mike Stefanik will lead the field to green for Sunday’s Xtra Mart World Series 150. Christopher, who leads Matt Hirschman by 35-points in the championship chase, will start from the seventh position. Hirschman will start third.
Corey Hutchings of Salem, CT, celebrated in victory lane after a World Series Outlaw Late Model victory; ending the strong hold that Gentes had on the title. At the drop of the green flag, Hutchings and Gentes immediately jumped out to a sizeable margin over a heated three car battled between Gerry DeGasparre, Marc Curtis, and Wayne Coury, Jr.
Things got tense at the head of the pack after an early restart between Hutchings and Gentes. The two slowed slightly after contact allowing Coury to make it a three car battle for the top spot. The three ricocheted off one another coming out of turn four. Gentes appeared to cut a right front tire slamming the outside wall. On the ensuing restart, Coury made a quick bid for Hutching’s lead. Hutchings held back the challenge and went on to take a commanding victory. Coury turned in a strong performance to finish second. George Rego, Gerry DeGasparre, Jr. and Marc Curtis, Jr. completed the top five.
Chris “Moose” Douton of Waterford, CT, was in the right place at the right time to win a World Series victory. It was the second Limited Sportsman victory in a row for Douton, who actually crossed the stripe in second. Ed Puleo took the lead early and had stretched out his lead slightly over the likes of Jess Gleason and Douton. As the race wore on, Gleason and Douton began to reel in the leader. On the final lap, Gleason had caught Puleo. Exiting turn two the duo made contact sending Puleo spinning from the lead. Gleason crossed under the checkers first but was penalized. Douton was awarded the victory. Joe Arena came home second. Puleo spun across the stripe to finish third. Jay Sundeen and Joe Plonski rounded out the top five.
Brian Sullivan of S. Windsor, CT, successfully went in search for his second straight victory in the TIS Modifieds. At the head of the field, Sullivan and Glenn Boss set a steady pace. The two continued to stretch their advantage over Cam McDermott during a green flag run. Sullivan was able to maintain his lead through a pair of cautions. After a late race caution, Boss was able to apply some pressure to Sullivan, who was up to the task. Sullivan scored the victory over Boss, McDermott, Brian Tagg and Leo Oliveira.
Scott Michalski of S. Killingly, CT, posted his sixth win of the season in the Mini Stock division in the first feature event to kick off the World Series. In the early going of the Mini Stock race, it was a three-car battle for the top spot between Rick Blanchard, Scott Michalski, and Eric Bourgeois. Blanchard held the lead shortly before Michalski took control. Michalski withstood a handful of cautions to take down the win; capping off a dominant late season run that included three straight wins in September. Blanchard settled for second over St. Michalski, Bourgeois, and Billy Pomposelli.
Norm Wrenn went weaving his way through traffic and into victory lane for this eighth Pro Four Modified win of the season during World Series weekend. Wrenn had worked his way into the third position shortly after halfway. He used the high line and the low groove to move into the lead all while maneuvering through lapped traffic in the Pro Four Modified main event. Wrenn moved from third to second in turn one and into the lead in turn two on the same lap. Wrenn went unchallenged to the checkers over Dave Richardi and Brian Vincent.
Howard Payne of Shelton, CT, came out of retirement to score a World Series victory in the All Star Truck Series. It had been 10 years since Payne had made a start. He actually scored a victory in that final start, 10 years ago at the World Series. He duplicated his efforts scoring the victory after a spirited dual with Richie Brooks.
Brooks set the pace through the first half of the event withstanding pressure from Greg Butler. Payne had worked his way past Butler and set his sites on Brooks. On lap 15, Payne made his move on the backstretch to take over the top spot. Payne went unchallenged to the checkers in the caution free main event. Brooks came home second. Gee Perry, Chris Corel, and Mike Powell rounded out the top five.
It was a family affair following the Outlaw Strictly Stock main event as the Foster Brothers gathered after to celebrate in victory lane. Scott Foster took over the top spot from early leader Tim Sullivan. With Scott out front and his brother Sean taking chase the action was hot and heavy throughout the pack that went 33-cars strong. Sparks were flying as teams from various race tracks throughout the region jockeyed for position.
The Fosters continued to distance themselves from the rest of the field as the battling continued. In the stretch run, Scott took the victory over his brother Sean. Sullivan settled for third over Shawn Thibeault and Dana Shepard.
“This is the coolest victory lane I’ve ever had,” said Scott. “Racing against all my friends, it was a blast.”
Louie Bellisle III of Lisbon, CT, turned in a dominating performance to score the victory in the Outlaw Mini Stock main event. Bellisle III jumped out to the early lead in a caution-plagued feature event. While attrition began to mount, Bellisle continued to maintain his lead through several cautions. In a long green flag run later in the race, Bellisle stretch his lead to nearly a straight away over a heated battle for second between Ken Cassidy, Jr., Scott Michalksi, and Jack Aquilina. Cassidy came out of the battle in second. Bellisle streaked to the checkers with the World Series victory. Fellow Speedbowl competitor, Cassidy was the runner-up. Scott Michalski, Aquilina, and Beth Adams completed the top-five.
Earlier in day the ISMA Supermodifieds, NEMA Midgets, Sunoco Modifieds, Pro Stocks, and Late Models ran qualifying feature events.
Outlaw Late Model Feature Finish (Top Ten): 1. Corey Hutchings, Salem, CT; 2. Wayne Coury, Jr., Milford, CT; 3. George Rego, Dartmouth, MA; 4. Gerry DeGasparre, Jr., Pawtucket, RI; 5. Marc Curtis, Jr., Worcester, MA; 6. Jeremy McDermott, E. Stroudsburg, PA; 7. Ken Bamford, Coventry, RI; 8. Steve McQuillan, Glastonbury, CT; 9. Robert Visconti, Lindenhurst, NY; 10. Mark Hudson, Norton, MA.
Limited Sportsman Feature Finish (Top Ten): 1. Chris Douton, Waterford, CT; 2. Joe Arena, Bristol, CT; 3. Ed Puleo, Brandford, CT; 4. Jay Sundeen, Oxford, MA; 5. Joe Plonski, Worcester, MA; 6. Joe Coates, Eastford, CT; 7. Brandon Plemons, Uncasville, CT; 8. Al Stone, New Haven, CT; 9. Jonathan Avery, Quaker Hill, CT; 10. Steve Cole, Brooklyn, CT.
Outlaw Strictly Stock Feature Finish (Top Ten): 1. Scott Foster, Willington, CT; 2. Sean Foster, Ellington, CT; 3. Tim Sullivan, S. Windsor, CT; 4. Shawn Thibeault, Plainville, CT; 5. Dana Shepard, Putney, VT; 6. Tom Fox, Plainville, CT; 7. Rey Lovelace, Scituate, RI; 8. Ralph Garguilo, Allenwood, NJ; 9. Johnny Electric, E. Islip, NY; 10. Jay Steely, Attleboro, MA.
Mini Stock Feature Finish (Top Ten): 1. Scott Michalski, S. Killingly, CT; 2. Rick Blanchard, Pascoag, RI; 3. Steve Michalski, Brooklyn, CT; 4. Eric Bourgeois, E. Haddam, CT; 5. Billy Pomposelli, Chepachet, RI; 6. Glynn Roy, Sterling, CT; 7. Chad Baxter, Pascoag, RI; 8. Ron Rixham, Jefferson, MA; 9. Andy Publicover, Sudbury, MA; 10. Bill Schoeler, Warwick, RI.
Outlaw Mini Stock Feature Finish (Top Ten): 1. Louie Bellisle, III, Lisbon, CT; 2. Ken Cassidy, Jr. Lisbon, CT; 3. Scott Michalski, S. Killingly, CT; 4. Jack Aquilina, Oakdale, CT; 5. Beth Adams, Winchendon, MA; 6. Mark Panaroni, Ivoryton, CT; 7. Tony Kumiega, Palmer, MA; 8. Ian Brew, Wood River Jct., RI; 9. Sean Caron, E. Hampton, CT; 10. Billy Osborne, Plaistow, NH.
TIS Modified Feature Finish (Top Ten): 1. Brian Sullivan, S. Windsor, CT; 2. Glenn Boss, Danielson, CT; 3. Cam McDermott, Scituate, RI: 4. Brian Tagg, Oxford, MA; 5. Leo Oliveira, Raynham, MA; 6. Richie Ferreira, Raynham, MA; 7. Jesse Berthiaume, Mendon, MA; 8. Shane Michalski, Woostock, CT: 9. Mike Viens, Seekonk, MA; 10. Buddy Charette, Woodstock, CT.
Pro-Four Modified Feature Finish (Top Ten): 1. Norm Wrenn, Nashua, NH; 2. David Richardi, N. Easton, MA; 3. Brian Vincent, Coventry, RI; 4. Tyler Anderson, Nashua, NH; 5. Andy Major, Brookfield, MA; 6. Cory Cleary, Plymouth, MA; 7. George Sherman, Framingham, MA; 8. Rob Richardi, Jr., N. Easton, MA; 9. Frank Perry, Holbrook, MA; 10. Robin Berghman, E. Providence, RI.
All Star Race Trucks (Top Three): 1. Howard Payne, Shelton, CT; 2. Richard Brooks, Groton, CT; 3. Gee Perry, Granby, CT.
Sources: Dale Wolbrink/Thompson International Speedway PR