Thompson, Conn. — Ron Silk celebrated his eighth career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory in an extended 159-lap event after Rowan Pennink was posted for not allowing Silk, who chose to take the inside groove for the final restart, to set the pace. He officially jumped the restart.
“I had a better car than Rowan (Pennink),” said Silk after the race. “Before the last restart, he had me up in the marbles. He didn’t even give me a chance to have a line. You can’t beat the leader to the line. If you do, you have to lift. I’m happy to win and we had a better car than he did. I ran him down and passed him with 15 to go. The rule is in black and white. You can’t beat the leader to the line.”
Silk started the race in eighth and led just one time throughout the race distance taking the lead at lap 138 when he dove underneath Pennink in turn three. The win marked his fourth at Thompson International Speedway, and his first during Icebreaker weekend.
In other action, Ryan Preece, Tommy O’Sullivan, Derek Ramstrom, Glenn Boss, Scott Sundeen, and Tyler Poulin all garnered victories in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions.
Ryan Preece jumped to the lead in the Sunoco Modified feature and held off Woody Pitkat for the win in the 30-lap Sunoco Modified feature Sunday afternoon. It was Preece at the drop of the green with Woody Pitkat getting by Ted Christopher for the second position. As Preece began pulling away, the first caution flew at lap four when John Catania spun and hit the backstretch wall.
The green quickly went to yellow when on the restart Shawn Thibeault, Wayne Arute, and Moose Douton got tangled up in turn four. The action continued with Pitkat and Preece side-by-side through turn one and Pitkat pulling ahead by a nose in turn two, however, it was Preece ahead at the line with Pitkat in tow. Todd Ceravolo rounded out the top-three and the trio pulled away to a significant lead over the rest of the field.
The torrid pace of Preece and Pitkat saw them lapping the field by the 17th circuit, and as they maneuvered through lapped traffic, Ceravolo dropped a half a straightaway in the rear view mirror. Preece took the checkers in commanding style followed by Pitkat, Ceravolo, and Christopher, who were later disqualified for an altered muffler.
Tommy O’Sullivan began his defense of the 2011 Late Model Championship by soaring to victory in the 25-lap Late Model feature Sunday afternoon. O’Sullivan led every lap of the feature after holding off Woody Pitkat on a double-file restart at lap 10.
“I don’t know if we got any better (in the race) as much as they were falling off,” said O’Sullivan in victory lane. “If we had to step it up we could have.”
O’Sullivan took the early lead followed by Mike Scorzelli, and John Falconi. O’Sullivan pulled away to a three car length advantage from the start as Marc Palmisano looked to make his presence know in the top-five. On lap six, Palmisano went low and got side by side with Falconi for the fourth spot and pulled ahead coming out of turn two on lap seven. Scorzelli began closing in on Pitkat by lap ten, but a spin by Falconi in turn two brought out the caution for the first time at lap 10.
O’Sullivan and Pitkat lined up for the restart with Pitkat pulling ahead by a nose on the back straightaway. Despite the challenge, O’Sullivan charged through and took the lead coming into turn four with Pitkat, Palmisano, and Scorzelli rounding out the top-four. O’Sullivan put five car lengths over the rest of the field as a battle emerged for the fifth spot. Falconi was looking for a way around Damon Tinio to no avail as the leaders pulled away by a half a straightaway. On lap 23, Palmisano charged Pitkat coming off turn four, but Pitkat shut the door to his challenges as they took the white flag. O’Sullivan could not be stopped and took the win over Pitkat, Palmisano, and Scorzelli.
In Super Late Model action, Larry Gelinas took the early lead with Derek Ramstrom in the wings waiting for his opportunity to challenge, which he got at lap four. Ramstrom went low in the corner, but was held off by Gelinas. He looked low again on lap six coming off of four, but again, had to back out of it. On lap seven, coming off of four, Ramstrom got his No. 35 machine side-by-side with Gelinas and pulled ahead for the lead coming off turn two of lap eight. Once out front, Ramstrom was able to pull ahead by two car lengths before the caution flew at lap eight.
Ramstrom jumped to the lead with Gelinas hanging right there with him in second. Mike O’Sullivan followed in third, and began looking for a way around Gelinas by lap 13. He found the chance to challenge at lap 14 in turn four, where they ran side-by-side, but Gelinas held the position and settled back in comfortably to second by the following circuit. On lap 20, O’Sullivan challenged again and the two ran door-to-door for an entire lap before O’Sullivan took the second position away in turn two of lap 21. Ramstrom continued his dominance up front until caution slowed the pace at lap 28.
Ramstrom jumped right back out front on the start with O’Sullivan, Gelinas, Jim Banfield, and Norman Wrenn rounding out the top-five. Ramstrom went unchallenged out front for several more laps, but caution at lap 38 would tighten the field back up. Ramstrom could not be shaken, however, and drove right back out front. Caution flew for the final time at lap 47. The race went green for a single lap before Greg Nanigian spun and took a hard hit to the inside pit road retaining wall.
Try as he may, O’Sullivan could not knock Ramstrom from the lead and Ramstrom took the victory followed by O’Sullivan and Banfield.
Glen Boss led the field to the green in the Thompson Modified division with John Lowinski-Loh, Jr. close behind. All eyes, however, were on Chad LaBastie and Payton Henry battling it out for the fifth spot. The two were side-by-side, but it was LaBastie of Uxbridge, Mass. who took over the position. Boss continued to show the way around Thompson’s tricky 5/8th’s mile oval while Jay Sundeen tried the bottom line for second and put himself in the mix for the battle for the top-spot. Seventeen laps into the race, Boss was able to put some breathing room over Lowinski-Loh, who was still persistent in his challenges for second, and Sundeen before taking the checkered flag.
Scott Sundeen and Allen Coates paced the field to green in the Limited Sportsman feature with Coates taking the lead in turn two. Sundeen wasn’t about to give up, however, and took the low line out of turn four to pressure Coates on lap two. Coates shut the door on his challenges with Sundeen settling into second followed by Jesse Gleason in third. Sundeen’s determination was clear as e continued to ride Coates’ bumper over the next four laps. On lap six, Sundeen went low in turn four again and got side-by-side for the lead. The two were dead even over the next circuit with Sundeen pulling ahead by a nose in turn four of lap seven, and comfortably moving ahead by turn two. Meanwhile, all attention turned to the battle for fourth between Shawn Monahan and Kevin Mason. The two, like the leaders had previously been, were dead even before Monahan took the position and pulled away. As Sundeen moved through lapped traffic, Coates began to close in on him and pressure for the lead with only two laps to go, but it was all Sundeen when the checkers dropped on the 20-lap feature.
Pascoag, RI-native Tyler Poulin took the front spot at the drop of the green of the Mini Stock feature and was quickly tailed by Scott Michalski. The two pulled away from the rest of the field by a five-car length advantage as Steve Violette, Dave Trudeau, and Steve Michalski rounded out the top five. The field tightened up at lap five when a tangle in turn four brought out the first caution of the day.
Poulin held off a hard-charging Michalski when the race resumed as the battle heated up for the fifth spot between Brent Gleason and Violette. Michalski continued to pressure Poulin for the lead – trying both the high line and the bottom groove – until getting side-by-side with him in turn four on lap 12. Poulin pulled back out front to take the white flag with continued pressure from Michalski, but it was Poulin who drove on to the first feature victory of the season.
WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR FINISH: 1. Ron Silk, Norwalk, CT; 2. Ted Christopher, Plainville, CT; 3. Michael Stefanik, Coventry, RI; 4. Jimmy Blewett, Howell, NJ; 5. Donny Lia, Jericho, NY; 6. Jamie Tomaino, Howell, NJ; 7. Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, NY; 8. Doug Coby, Milford, CT; 9. Wade Cole, Riverton, CT; 10. Rowan Pennink, Huntington Valley, PA.
SUNOCO MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH: 1. Ryan Preece, Berlin, CT; 2. Woody Pitkat, Stafford Springs, CT; 3. Todd Ceravolo, Gales Ferry, CT; 4. Kerry Malone, Needham, MA; 5. Randy Churchill, Jr., Oakdale, CT; 6. Shawn Thibeault, Plainville, CT; 7. Craig Lutz, Miller Place, NY; 8. John Jensen, Wolcott, CT; 9. Dave Salzarulo, Monson, MA; 10. Henry Stampfl, Norwood, MA.
SUPER LATE MODEL FEATURE FINISH: 1. Derek Ramstrom, Worcester, MA; 2. Mike O’Sullivan, Springfield, MA; 3. Jim Banfield, S. Glastonbury, CT; 4. George Bessette, Danbury, CT; 5. Norman Wrenn, Nashua, NH; 6. Larry Gelinas, Buxton, ME; 7. Glenn Tyler, Hampton Bays, NY; 8. Daryl Stampfl, Norwood, MA; 9. Carl Eriksson, Deep River, CT; 10. Colbey Fournier, Berkley, MA.
LATE MODEL FEATURE FINISH: 1. Tommy O’Sullivan, Springfield, MA; 2. Woody Pitkat, Stafford Springs, CT; 3. Marc Palmisano, Hadley, MA; 4. Mike Scorzelli, Malta, NY; 5. John Falconi, Oakham, MA; 6. Damon Tinio, Mendon, MA; 7. Randy Tucker, Millis, MA; 8. Ryan Waterman, Danielson, CT; 9. Rick Gentes, Woonsocket, RI; 10. P.J. Howard, Norwood, MA.
LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH: 1. Scott Sundeen, Douglas, MA; 2. Allen Coates, Ledyard, CT; 3. Jesse Gleason, Lisbon, CT; 4. Shawn Monahan, Waterford, CT; 5. Art “Goose” Moran III, Preston, CT; 6. Kevin Mason, W. Warwick, RI; 7. Scott Cook, Uncasville, CT; 8. Scott Sousa, Uncasville, CT; 9. Tom Shea, New London, CT; 10. Mike Palin, Dudley, MA.
THOMPSON MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH: 1. Glenn Boss, Danielson, CT; 2. John Lowinski-Loh, Jr., Milford, MA; 3. Jay Sundeen, Douglas, MA; 4. Payton Henry, Willington, CT; 5. Chad LaBastie, Uxbridge, MA; 6. Danny Gamache, Jr., Woonsocket, RI; 7. Brian Tagg, Oxford, MA; 8. Denis Legere, DNS.
MINI STOCK FEATURE FINISH: 1. Tyler Poulin, Pascoag, RI; 2. Scott Michalski, S. Killingly, CT; 3. Steve Michalski, Brooklyn, CT; 4. Eric Bourgeois, East Haddam, CT; 5. Jeff Moffat, Smithfield, RI; 6. Nick Anderson, Oxford, MA; 7. Brent Gleason, Norwich, CT; 8. Mike Gorgievski, Auburn, MA; 9. Steve Violette, Canterbury, CT; 10. Mike Viens, Seekonk, MA.
Sources: Penny Aicardi/Thompson International Speedway PR