Christopher Reigns Supreme at Thompson; O’Sullivan, Coury, Arena, Studley, & Gorgieveski Score Victories

Thompson, CT — The Thompson International Speedway played host to the Modified Racing Series for the second time in 2010. In the end it was “one of their” own standing in victory lane with Rowan Pennink of Huntington Valley, PA, scoring his third Modified Racing Series victory. In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action, Ted Christopher of Plainville, CT, earned his ninth Sunoco Modified feature event of the season. Mike O’Sullivan of Springfield, MA, bested a strong field to post the victory in the Super Late Models.

Wayne Coury, Sr. of Milford, CT, celebrated with a win in the Late Models. Joe Arena of Bristol, CT, earned a hard-fought victory in the Limited Sportsman division. John Studley of Framingham, MA, streaked to consecutive victories in the TIS Modifieds. It was a night banner night for Mike Gorgieveski of Auburn, MA, who scored his first career victory in the Mini Stocks.

Rowan Pennink of Huntington Valley, NY, who has called Thompson International Speedway home for the last few seasons competing in the NASCAR All American Series Weekly, claimed the victory in Modified Racing Series 75. Mike Stefanik showed the way in the early going before relinquishing the lead to Bobby Santos III. Stefanik would retire from the event two laps shy of halfway.

[Photo Galleryby Nicholas Teto

#25 -Rowan Pennink

Santos led through lap 56 before giving up the battle to Pennink. Three laps later, Ted Christopher moved by Santos and into second. In a repeat of the Sunoco Modified event earlier in the evening, Pennink and Christopher waged a heated battle for the lead.

A late race restart with less than 15 laps to go gave Christopher his best shot at Pennink’s lead. After a quick bid, Christopher had to settle back in line in second. The lead duo stretched their advantage over third running Santos. An incident involving the previous week’s winner Todd Annarummo brought out the caution with seven laps remaining. Pennink was up for the challenge on the single-file restart. Pennink went on to claim his third MRS win of the season over Christopher, Santos and Eric Goodale. Les Hinckley recovered from a practice crash to finish fifth.

Ted Christopher of Plainville, CT, used his veteran prowess to score another Sunoco Modified victory at Thompson. Rowan Pennink took advantage of his pole starting position in the Sunoco Modified main event to immediately drive out to a sizeable lead. Tim Sullivan freed himself from a heated multi-car battle to run in second. When things shook out Ronnie Silk was third followed by Danny Cates, Ted Christopher, Keith Rocco and Woody Pitkat.

Sullivan got a bit out of shape in turn four opening the door for Silk to take over second. Pennink continued to enjoy a sizeable lead with Christopher moving past Sullivan and into third. On lap seven, Christopher dove low exiting turn four to grab second. Rocco maneuvered his way through traffic and into the fourth spot by lap 10.

Pennink was all alone out front followed by Christopher, Silk, Rocco and Pitkat. Sullivan and Cates were locked in a skirmish for the sixth position. The first caution flew on lap 11 when Dave Flammia lost a motor on the front stretch; erasing Pennink’s lead. Under the caution period Sullivan and Silk headed down pit road for service.

On the restart, Pennink got a push from Keith Rocco and was able to resume his place at the head of the pack. Christopher settled back into the second spot. On the front stretch, a slip by Rocco gave Pitkat an opening. Christopher got a run on Pennink exiting turn four on lap 14. He dove to the low side to steal the lead. Once out front, Christopher was able to stretch his advantage.

Dave Salzarulo made contact with the outside wall bringing out the second caution on lap 16. Under the caution period, Cates dove down pit road. On the lap 16 restart, Christopher had company from Pennink and Pitkat. On lap 18, Pennink dove low on Christopher entering turn four to grab the lead briefly. Christopher slid back up the track to get alongside Pennink. Christopher was able to grab the lead back once again exiting turn two on lap 19.

Christopher and Pennink exchanged cross-over moves in turn four on lap 24. Piktat had the best seat in the house in third. Rocco looked content to run in fourth. On lap 26, Pennink tried the cross-over once again; however, contact between the two cars sent Pennink spinning.

The single-file restart on lap 26 gave Christopher the advantage over Pitkat, Rocco, and Silk. After some bumper tag on the backstretch, Christopher was able to edge out to a car length advantage over Pitkat. Christopher headed to the checkers extending his point lead. Pitkat had to settle for second over Rocco, Silk, and Sullivan.

Five randomly selected finishing positions each received a $200 bonus from Bruce and Pat Webber of Independent Truck Service. The recipients included Pitkat, Andy Gaspar, Pennink, Carl Oberg, and Jodi Johnson

Mike O’Sullivan of Springfield, MA scored his second Super Late Model win of the year and took a scant two-point lead in the championship point chase. There was a heated battle for the top spot right from the drop of the green flag between Denny Stampfl, Dave Silvia, and George Bessette. Front row starters Stampfl and Silvia swapped the lead before Bessette asserted himself as the new leader. Bessette quickly had company with Mike O’Sullivan. After a single lap, O’Sullivan was able to steal the lead away.

Jim Banfield was looking racy; dogging Bessette for second. The first caution flew on lap 13 for a spin by Scott Rutherford. On the ensuing restart, O’Sullivan was able to hold on to the top spot. Banfield falterd on the restart opening the door for Larry Gelinas. Gelinas bolted to the inside of Bessette to take over the second position. Derek Ramstrom came along for the ride relegating Bessette back to fourth.

O’Sullivan was able to drive out to a bit of an advantage as Ramstrom began to work over Gelinas. It was an equally as heated battle for fourth between Bessette and Banfield. Stefanik joined; making it a three-car battle for fourth. Both Banfield and Stefanik were able to get by early leader Bessette. Ramstrom continued to stalk Gelinas for second.

A move in turn two gave Ramstrom the running room he needed to take over the second position from Gelinas. With less than five laps to go, Ramstrom had a distance to make up to get to the leader. In the closing laps, Ramstrom was able to run down O’Sullivan; however, he ran out of time. O’Sullivan ran to the victory over Ramstrom and Gelinas. Banfield and Stefanik rounded out the top-five.

Wayne Coury, Sr. of Milford, CT, ended an extended winless streak with a victory in the Late Models. The veteran competitor parlayed his front row starting position to take the lead early. Once out front, Coury would not be headed. The win seemed inevitable as Coury has run well over the last several weeks. Last week it appeared as if Coury might break into victory lane; however, a late race incident ended his bid for the victory. This week he held back all challengers in a caution-free main event to score the win. Coury held off the advances of multi-time feature winner Tommy O’Sullivan to post the victory. Jeff Hartwell put a string of bad luck behind him to come home third. John Materas and Rick Gentes rounded out the top five.

In the Limited Sportsman action, Joe Arena of Bristol, CT, held off the persistent challenges of rookie competitor Art Moran III. After the division struggled to get things going, Arena found himself in the lead when things settled down for a green flag run. Arena maintained a scant advantage over Moran while deeper in the pack the side-by-side racing was abundant. Chris Douton, Scott Sundeen, Shawn Monahan, and Larry Barnett were maneuvering their way through traffic.

Douton had motored his way into the third spot while the rest continued to jockey for position. On lap nine, Moran got alongside Arena for the lead at the stripe. The two went side-by-side for the length of the lap. Arena was able to maintain his advantage. The battle allowed Douton and Sundeen to join the frey.

Arena was able to gain some breathing room with the tight battle for second. Sundeen made it three wide with Moran in the middle and Douton on the outside. Douton backed off leaving Moran and Sundeen to duke it out for the position. Moran bolted back into second. Douton began to fight back on the outside. He was able to grab third from Sundeen. Monahan joined the battle. Barnett ran just outside the action in sixth.

With things back to single-file, Arena had pressure from Moran. Monahan got by Sundeen and into fourth. As Moran dogged Arena for the lead, Monahan pressured Douton for third. With two to go, Moran jumped to the inside of Arena. On the white flag, Moran pulled even with Arena. Exiting turn four, Moran got loose allowing Arena to streak to the checkers. Moran had to be satisfied with the runner-up finish. Douton, Monahan and Sundeen all posted top-five finishes.

It took 10 years to get his first win but it now appears that John Studley of Framingham, MA, is getting comfortable in victory lane after his second-straight visit. After some pressure early in the event, Studley was able to gain a bit of breathing room as Jay Sundeen and Keith McDermott battled for the second position. The battle from third on back was fierce featuring R.J. Marcotte, Brian Tagg, Ryan Morgan, and Shane Michalski. Marcotte was able to free himself of the battle and began to hunt down the battle for second. His progress was stalled when the caution flew on lap nine.

Contact between Sundeen and McDermott ended with Sundeen spinning to the infield to stop the action. On the restart Studley had to contend with R.J. Marcotte and Tagg. Studley reclaimed his lead with Marcotte in tow. Tagg made it a three-car battle for the top spot. Marcotte made a bid for the lead entering turn one with three laps remaining. Studley was able to hold his line and the lead. Marcotte in turn had to immediately defend his position with pressure from Tagg. Brian Sullivan, who started from scratch on the field, had worked his way into the top five. Despite the quick bid by Marcotte, Studley ran unchallenged to the checkers. Marcotte continued to pad his point lead with his runner-up performance. Tagg, Sullivan, and McDermott completed the top-five.

This week promised to be a memorable one for Mike Gorgieveski of Auburn, MA, with a Saturday wedding date. Life got sweeter when the Mini Stocker scored his first career victory on Thursday night. Pole sitter Chad Baxter lost the lead to Roger Ducharme when Mike Gorgieveski made it three wide for the top spot. After a second attempt at a restart, Gorgieveski was able to jump out to the lead. Green flag racing was short-lived when the caution flew for an incident near mid-pack. Chuck Rogers got out of shape and was collected by Randy Churchill, who had no where to go.

Dwayne Dorr failed to come up to speed on the restart necessitating a caution. Dorr recovered and was making quick work moving through the pack once back under green. Up front, Anderson began to began to apply heavy pressure to Gorgieveski. Anderson lost the handle on his mount exiting turn two losing several positions including one to Dorr.

Dorr continued his march to the front taking the second spot from Jeff Moffat. He immediately ran down Gorgieveski. A ways behind the lead duo there was a great battle for the third spot between Moffat, Leo Defevers, and Anderson. Gorgieveski was chased all the way to the victory by Dorr. Defevers was able to get by Moffat to claim third. Moffat and Anderson completed the top five.

Modified Racing Series Feature (Top-Ten) Finish-Unofficial: 1. Rowan Pennink, Huntington Valley, PA; 2. Ted Christopher, Plainville, CT; 3. Bobby Santos, III, Franklin, MA; 4. Eric Goodale, Wading River, NY; 5. Les Hinckley, Windsor Locks, CT; 6. Steve Masse, Bellingham, MA; 7. Charlie Pasteryak, Lisbon, CT; 8. Ken Barry, Preston, CT; 9. Jeff Malave, S. Windsor, CT; 10. Jimmy Kuhn, Bridgewater, MA.

Sunoco Modified Feature (Top-Ten) Finish: 1. Ted Christopher, Plainville, CT; 2. Woody Pitkat, Stafford, CT; 3. Keith Rocco, Wallingford, CT; 4. Ronnie Silk, Norwalk, CT; 5. Tim Sullivan, E. Windsor, CT; 6. Danny Cates, Chaplin, CT; 7. Andy Gaspar, Andover, CT; 8. Wayne Arute, Glastonbury, CT; 9. Rowan Pennink, Huntington Valley, PA; 10. John Catania, Agawam, MA.

Super Late Model Feature Finish: 1. Mike O’Sullivan, Springfield, MA; 2. Derek Ramstrom, Worcester, MA; 3. Larry Gelinas, Buxton, ME; 4. Jim Banfield, S. Glastonbury, CT; 5. Mike Stefanik, Coventry, RI; 6. George Bessette, Danbury, CT; 7. Dave Silvia, Warwick, RI; 8. Daryl Stampfl, Norwood, MA; 9. Scott Rotherford, Glastonbury, CT.

Late Model Feature (Top-Ten) Finish: 1. Wayne Coury, Sr., Milford, CT; 2. Tommy O’Sullivan, Springfield, MA; 3. Jeff Hartwell, E. Putnam, CT; 4. John Materas, Voluntown, CT; 5. Rick Gentes, Woosocket, RI; 6. Mark Oliveira, Blackstone, MA; 7. Mark Jenison, Warwick, RI; 8. John Falconi, N. Grafton, MA; 9. Jeremy Sadowski, Voluntown, CT; 10. Paul Palen, Pelham, NH.

Limited Sportsman Feature (Top-Ten) Finish: 1. Joe Arena, Bristol, CT; 2. Art Moran III, Preston, CT; 3. Chris Douton, Waterford, CT; 4. Shawn Monahan, Waterford, CT; 5. Scott Sundeen, Douglas, MA; 6. Larry Barnett, Ledyard, CT; 7. Scott Fanning, Mapleville, RI; 8. Jason Chicolas, Sutton, MA; 9. William Wall, Shrewsbury, MA; 10. Joe Coates, Eastford, CT.

Thompson Modified Feature (Top-Ten) Finish: 1. John Studley, Framingham, MA; 2. R.J. Marcotte, Millville, MA; 3. Brian Tagg, Oxford, MA; 4. Brian Sullivan, S. Windsor, CT; 5. Keith McDermott, Scituate, RI; 6. Glenn Boss, Danielson, CT; 7. Ryan Morgan, Mystic, CT; 8. Shane Michalski, Woodstock, CT; 9. Leo Adams, Putnam, CT; 10. Denis Leger, N. Reading, MA.

Mini Stock Feature (Top-Ten) Finish: 1. Mike Gorgievski, Auburn, MA; 2. Dwayne Dorr, Ledyard, CT; 3. Leo Defevers, Brooklyn, CT; 4. Jeff Moffat, Warwick, RI; 5. Lloyd Anderson Wauregan, CT; 6. Roger Ducharme, Foster, RI; 7. Mike Viens, Seekonk, MA; 8. Chad Baxter, Pascoag, RI; 9. Joe Baxter, Pascoag, RI; 10. Nick Anderson, Oxford, MA.

Sources: Dale Wolbrink/Thompson International Speedway PR