Thompson, CT — What a difference a day makes. After a rain soaked Saturday, the skies were crystal clear making the way for eleven feature events for the culmination of the XtraMart World Series of Speedway Racing on Sunday, October 25, 2009. Drivers from all over the northeast competed with winning drivers coming from five different states in New England.
Ted Christopher of Plainville, CT, book-ended the season with Thompson Speedway victories in the Whelen Modified Tour. The veteran racer opened the season with a victory in the Icebreaker and capped off the 2009 season with a World Series win. Donny Lia secured the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship with his fourth-place finish.
A last lap pass found Chris Perley of Rowley, MA, in International Supermodified Association (ISMA) victory lane. Nokie Fornoro of Stroudsburg, PA, scored the Northeastern Midget Association 30-lap main event to send his retiring car owner out in grand style.
Ronnie Silk of Norwalk, CT, came out on top of a fierce Sunoco Modified battle to score the World Series win. In racing of the Late Model variety it was Mike O’Sullivan of Springfield, MA, scoring the Super Late Models victory; his brother Tommy made it a family affair winning the Late Models. Rick Gentes of Woonsocket, RI, continued his domination of the Outlaw Late Models with a dominating performance.
Other winners included Larry Barnett of Moosup, CT, in the Limited Sportsman; Sean Foster of Middletown, CT, in the Outlaw Strictly Stocks; and Beth Adams of Winchendon, CT, in Outlaw Mini Stocks. Rob Richardi, Jr. of North Easton, MA, was tops in the Pro-Four Modifieds.
Ted Christopher jumped out to the early lead in the Whelen Modified Tour 150; relinquishing the lead when he headed to pit road for tires after a caution lap 82. He restarted the event inside the top ten and began to meticulously pick his way toward the front. He took the lead on a number of occasions only to have the caution come out to negate the passes.He took over the top spot for the final time from Lia on lap 131.
Ryan Preece recovered from an incident with Todd Szegedy on lap eight to run in the top three for the final half of the event. Doug Coby came on strong late to become a contender.In the end, Christopher sailed to the victory. Preece settled for the second position followed by Coby. Lia wrapped up his championship with a fourth place finish.Rowan Pennink rounded out the top five.
Chris Perley of Rowley, MA, came on strong late in the 50-lap main event for the ISMA Supermodifieds; making a last lap pass to score the victory. The victory sealed the 2009 championship for Perley. While World Series Sunday meant jubilation for Perley, it spelled heartbreak for Mark Sammut.
Sammut had led the lion’s share of the main event holding off the likes of Mike Litchey, Dave Shullick, Jr. and Russ Wood before a right front wheel sheered off his #78 in turn two on lap 42; only eight laps shy of the finish. Following the incident, Shullick inherited the lead with Wood in second. Perley laid in wait until the late stages of the event pouring it on with less than 10 laps to go. The “Rowley Rocket” had moved into the third position and was hunting Wood for second. He took over second position on lap 47. Perley had caught the back bumper of Shullick with two laps to go. On the final lap, Perley made the pass for the lead in turn two to score the victory.
Nokie Fornoro of Stroudsburg, PA, knew that today’s event was the final one for his car owner Mike Jarret. He sent him out in style with a World Series victory. Jarret and his MJ Motorsports team would end up losing the owner’s championship by a scant four points to Tim Bertrand, whose driver Randy Cabral had already secured the driver title.
Russ Stoehr had enjoyed a comfortable advantage in the early stages before a high flying Jeff Horn was able to take over the top spot. Jim Miller was having a great run in the third spot.Fornoro began picking off cars after the race hit the halfway maker. Fornoro passed Miller; Stoehr headed to pit road. Cole Carter had worked his way into the fourth position before giving way to his teammate Cabral.
The first and only caution of the event flew when the mount of Erica Santos came to rest in turn two. The yellow erased the sizeable lead Horn had enjoyed. The lightning fast Fornoro lined up to the outside of Horn. Fornoro bolted out to the lead on the restart leaving Horn in second followed by Cabral. The top five positions would not change over the final dash to the checkers with Fornoro taking the win over Horn, Cabral, Carter, and Miller.
Ronnie Silk of Norwalk, CT, bested a 29-car field of Sunoco Modifieds to score the World Series victory. Silk came out on top after a heated battle with Ted Christopher. Rowan Pennink was the early leader; however, under a caution necessitated when Tyler Chadwick went up in smoke, the leader had to be pushed to pit road with mechanical failure. Silk inherited the lead and set sail. Tim Sullivan and Bert Marvin battled for the second spot a distance behind Silk.
Christopher, who had been involved in an incident earlier in the event, was on the march and back into the top-ten with 10 laps in the books. During the long green flag run the second position was being hotly contested between Sullivan and Marvin. The battle for fourth spot was heating up between Danny Cates, Kerry Malone and Timmy Solomito. The battle hit a boiling point when Malone went spinning into the infield to bring out the caution. Cates ducked down pit road under the caution as well.
Once back to green at halfway, Silk was able to maintain his lead. But the man on the move was Christopher; who ran in third. On a lap 15 restart Teddy bolted by Sullivan to take over the second spot. A single lap later, Christopher was the new leader. Silk drifted up into Christopher in turn one. The contact sent both cars sliding. Christopher gathered it up to retain his lead. Silk lost a position to Sullivan.
A hard wreck involving Eric LeClair brought out the caution on lap 17.On the ensuing restart, Silk was able to get back around Sullivan to take over second. Silk then did the cross-over move on Christopher to take the lead back once again. The two swapped grooves and the top spot several times before Silk settled into the lead on lap 20. The battle allowed Marvin to join the battle for the top spot. Woody Pitkat recovered from an earlier incident to run fifth.
The front duo was able to pull a few car lengths ahead of Marvin making it a two-car race for the win. Christopher was stuck to the back bumper of Silk as the laps wound down.Over the final two laps, Silk; however, was able to get away from Christopher. Silk ran under the checkers for the victory a car-length ahead of Christopher. Marvin settled for the third over Sullivan and Pitkat.
Mike O’Sullivan of Springfield, MA, used a bold three-wide move with five laps remaining to score the Super Late Model victory. Newly crowned divisional champion Derek Ramstrom jumped out to the early lead in the main event that went 23-cars strong. It was anything but smooth sailing as the teenager had to contend with cagey veteran Rick Fuller. Ramstrom led from his pole position through a caution at lap seven before relinquishing the top spot to Fuller. Ramstrom immediately fell into the clutches of O’Sullivan.
By halfway, Ramstrom was beginning to look racy again, diving to the inside of Fuller. The battle for third was heating up as well with Wrenn pressuring O’Sullivan. The top five ran nose-to-tail looking for running room. Ramstrom could get alongside Fuller while Wrenn could get a fender below O’Sullivan. Neither could make the pass.
Despite a trio of cautions, the running order in the top four remained unchanged. The battling allowed Larry Gelinas to join the mix. Contact between the lead duo of Fuller and Ramstrom opened the door for O’Sullivan, who went three wide in the outside groove to take over the lead on lap 25. The contact between Fuller and Ramstrom continued in turn four. Ultimately, Fuller went spinning. He did not continue in the event. Ramstrom was able to keep going in third.
O’Sullivan was in command with Norm Wrenn in tow. The battle for the third position was fierce between Ramstrom and Gelinas. Coming off turn four, Gelinas’ #48 appeared to scrape the wall resulting in a flat tire. Gelinas limped around the speedway as O’Sullivan was taking the victory. Wrenn came home second. Ramstrom survived the fireworks to finish third. Jim Banfield and Rob Murphy completed the top five.
In the Late Model feature event, Tommy O’Sullivan of Springfield, MA, scored his fifth win of the season.O’Sullivan and John Materas had checked out from the rest of the field during the early going while the battle from second on back was intense between Corey Hutchings, Dave Trudeau, and Mark Oliveira.
A restart picked up the battle for the second spot between Materas and Hutchings. Contact that involved Trudeau ended Materas’ 2009 championship season with his #73 in the outside wall in turn four. Hutchings sustained damage but was able to continue. Trudeau was also able to continue.
O’Sullivan was able to pick-up where he left off with the race back under green.Woody Pitkat ran in second followed by Mark Oliveira and Ryan Posocco. O’Sullivan was able to withstand a number of restarts to retain his place at the head of the pack.
In the closing laps, O’Sullivan was able to gain some distance over Pitkat. The man on the move was Hutchings. Despite some damage to his #36 he passed cars one-by-one. At the end, O’Sullivan earned another victory for his family. Pitkat ended his triple duty with a second place finish in the Late Models. Hutchings stormed to a third place finish ahead of Mark Oliveira and Ryan Posocco.
Larry Barnett of Moosup, CT, capped off his championship season with a Limited Sportsman victory in the World Series. It was no surprise that Sean Monahan and Barnett would race for supremacy in the Thompson regular division.Monahan took the lead from his pole starting position but had his hands full with a charging Barnett.
Joe Arena and Chris “Moose” Douton ran side-by-side only feet behind the side-by-side battle for the lead. Barnett used a lapped car as a pick exiting turn four on lap nine to gain the lead. Only a few laps later, Monahan dropped off the pace. Barnett enjoyed a sizeable advantage over now second Douton and Josh Galvin. Barnett cruised to the victory over Douton, Josh Galvin, Joe Arena, and Paul Coutu, Jr.
Sean Foster of Middletown, CT, bested a strong and varied mix of competitors from tracks around New England to score the victory in the Outlaw Strictly Stocks, who were the first to take to the race track for feature action on World Series Sunday. The event, which went 25 cars strong, saw Sean Foster and Andy Brooks, Jr. battle side-by-side in the opening laps before Foster gained the advantage.
Foster had his hands full with Thompson regular Mike O’Sullivan before mechanical woes sidelined the Springfield, MA, driver with only two laps remaining; leaving Foster to run unchallenged to the checkers.Sean Thibeault, Ryan Lineman, Anthony Crimaldi III, and Chris smith rounded out the top five.
Beth Adams of Winchendon, NH, wired the field to score the victory in the Outlaw Mini Stocks. Adams took advantage of her pole starting position to move out to a sizeable advantage almost immediately over the 26-car field. The fierce battle for second between Bill Leonard, Mark Panaroni, Chris McTaggart, and Joseph Kendall helped Adams stretch her advantage.
Leonard was able to assert himself into the second spot with McTaggart in tow.McTaggart was all over the back bumper of Leonard over the final stages of the event. Thompson regular Scott Michalski had moved up from his 20th starting position to run inside the top five but watched his good run come to an end with a spin in turn three as the field approached the final lap. Adams was the class of the field taking the victory over Leonard, McTaggart, Ian Brew, and Kendall.
Rick Gentes of Woonsocket, RI, turned in a commanding performance to score the Outlaw Late Model victory. He had built up a straight away advantage over a budding battle for second between George Rego and Dennis Botticello.The battle cooled when Botticello fell off the pace losing several positions. Gentes was in a groove as he went on to take a dominating win by nearly a half a lap advantage over Rego, Jimmy Rosenfield and Nick Gravel and Daryl Stampfl.
In the Pro-Four Modifieds, Rob Richardi, Jr. of North Easton, MA, held off a ferocious assault from Norm Wrenn to score the victory for the Pro-Four Modifieds.
The track will be silent but there will still be action on the grounds of the Thompson International Speedway with Don Hoenig’s Original Automotive Swap Meet and Flea Market on November 7&8, 2009. For more details visit www.thompsonspeedway.com.Look to the track’s official website for news about the 2010 season.
Whelen Modified Tour 150 Finishing Order (Top Ten): 1. Ted Christopher, Plainville, CT; 2. Ryan Preece, Berlin, CT; 3. Doug Coby, Milford, CT; 4. Donny Lia, Jericho, NY; 5. Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Station, PA; 6. Chris Pasteryak, Lisbon, CT; 7. Erick Rudolph, Ramsomville, NY; 8. Kevin Goodale, Riverhead, NY; 9. Ronnie Silk, Norwalk, CT; 10. Woody Pitkat, Stafford Springs, CT.
ISMA Super Modifieds Feature Finish (Top Ten): 1. Chris Perley, Rowley, MA; 2. Dave Shullick, Jr., N. Ridgeville, OH; 3. Russ Wood, Pelham, NH; 4. Mike Lichtey, Innerkip, Ontario; 5. Justin Belfiore, Ipswich, MA; 6. Bobby Magnor, Oswego, NY; 7. Jeff Holbrook, Oswego, NY; 8. Dan Lane, Essex, MA; 9. Ben Seitz, Bourne, MA; 10. Ray Graham, Jr., Ankeny, IA.
NEMA Midgets Feature Finish (Top Ten): 1. Nokie Fornoro, Stroudsburg, PA; 2. Jeff Horn, Ashland, MA; 3. Randy Cabral, Plymouth, MA; 4. Cole Carter, Brownsburg, IN; 5. Jim Miller, Weymouth, MA; 6. Paul Scally, Raynham, MA; 7. Chris DeRitis, Philadelphia, PA; 8. Rich Gerbe, Elmont, NY; 9. Abby Martino, Norfolk, MA; 10. John Zych, Jr., Mendon, MA.
Sunoco Modifieds Feature Finish (Top Ten): 1. Ronnie Silk, Norwalk, CT; 2. Ted Christopher, Plainville, CT; 3. Bert Marvin, Waterford, CT; 4. Tim Sullivan, S. Windsor, CT; 5. Woody Pitkat, Stafford Springs, CT; 6. Eric Goodale, Riverhead, NY; 7. Danny Cates, Chaplin, CT; 8. Rick Shawn, Bradford, RI; 9. Dave LaCroix, Fitchburg, MA; 10. Frank Hirt, III, Danbury, CT.
Super Late Models Feature Finish (Top Ten): 1. Mike O’Sullivan, Sprinfield, MA; 2. Norm Wrenn, Nashua, NH; 3. Derek Ramstrom, Worcester, MA; 4. Jim Banfield, S. Glastonbury, CT; 5. Rob Murphy, Rochester, CT; 6. Steve Desmarais, Westport, MA; 7. Dennis Maxfield, Fitchburg, MA; 8. Greg Kleila, Lindenhurst, NY; 9. Larry Gelinas, Buxton, ME; 10. Mike Cavallaro, Seekonk, MA.
Late Models Feature Finish (Top Ten): 1. Tommy O’Sullivan, Springfield, MA; 2. Woody Pitkat, Stafford Springs, CT; 3. Corey Hutchings, Salem; 4. Mark Oliveira, Blackstone, MA; 5. Ryan Posocco, Stafford Springs, CT; 6. Dillon Moltz, Waterford, CT; 7. Damon Tinio, Mendon, MA; 8. Robert O’Connell, Wrentham, MA; 9. Mike Scorzelli, Malta, NY; 10. Joe Oliver, Commack, NY.
Limited Sportsman Feature Finish (Top Ten): 1. Larry Barnett, Moosup, CT; 2. Chris Douton, Waterford, CT; 3. Josh Galvin, Franklin, CT; 4. Joe Arena, Bristol, CT; 5. Paul Coutu, Jr., Thompson, CT; 6. Brandon Plemons, Uncasville, CT; 7. Phil Evans, Uncasville, CT; 8. Joe Coates, Eastford, CT; 9. Jay Sundeen, Douglas, MA; 10. Jesse Gleason, Lisbon, CT.
Outlaw Late Models Feature Finish (Top Ten): 1. Rick Gentes, Woonsocket, RI; 2. George Rego, Dartmouth, MA; 3. Jimmy Rosenfield, Middleboro, MA; 4. Nick Gravel, Pepperell, MA; 5. Daryl Stampfl, Norwood, MA; 6. Randy Burr, Middleboro, MA; 7. Billy Schulz, Norton, MA; 8. Mark Hudson, Norton, MA; 9. Dennis Botticello, Suffield, CT; 10. Mark Curtis, Worcester, MA.
Outlaw Strictly Stocks Feature Finish (Top Ten): 1. Sean Foster, Middletown, CT; 2. Shawn Thibeault, Plainville, CT; 3. Ryan Lineham, Coventry, RI; 4. Anthony Crimaldi, III, Port Monmouth, NJ; 5. Chris Smith Scarborough, ME; 6. Andy Brooks, Jr., Winchendon, MA; 7. Leslie Keyser, Northfield, NH; 8. Andy Durand, Chicopee, MA; 9. Danny Gamache, Jr., Seekonk, MA; 10. Mike O’Sullivan, Springfield, MA.
Outlaw Mini Stocks Feature Finish (Top Ten): 1. Beth Adams, Winchendon, MA; 2. Bill Leonard, Wood River Junction, RI; 3. Chris McTaggart, N. Swanzey, NH; 4. Ian Brew, Wood River Junction, RI; 5. Joseph Kendall, Winchendon, CT; 6. Mark Panaroni, Ivoryton, CT; 7. Nick Maniatis, Hooksett, NH; 8. Tony Kumiega, Palmer, MA; 9. Derek Bergquist, Warwick, MA; 10. Jeff Moffat, Warwick, RI.
Pro-Four Modifieds Feature Finish (Top Five): 1. Rob Richardi, Jr., North Easton, MA; 2. Norm Wrenn, Nashua, NH; 3. Frank Perry, Holbrook, MA; 4. Brian Vincent, Coventry, RI; 5. George Sherman, Framingham, MA.
Sources: Dale Wolbrink/Thompson International Speedway PR