Thompson, CT — Thompson International Speedway featured Twin 30 lap features for the Sunoco Modifieds on Thursday night. Woody Pitkat of Stafford, CT, made it two in a row in Sunoco Modified action in the night’s Modified the opener. In the second of the twins, Ryan Preece was declared the winner of a controversial feature event that saw Pitkat cross the checkers first. In a more conventional finish, it was Tommy O’Sullivan scoring the victory in the Late Models.
Troy Talman of Oxford, MA wired the field to secure the victory in Sunoco Lite Modified. Scott Sundeen continued his domination of the Limited Sportsman division with a win on Thursday night. John Lowinski-Loh, Jr. made it five consecutive wins in the TIS Modified division. Dave Trudeau of Mansfield, MA, earned top honors in the Mini Stocks. Bill Cummins of Clinton, MA, earned top honors in the Vintage Outlaw Modifieds.
The first of the twin 30s for the Sunoco Modifieds ran under the bright sunshine. Shining brightly was Woody Pitkat of Stafford, CT. Kerry Malone jumped out from his pole starting position to lead the opening laps. Keith Rocco made quick work of Ryan Preece for second position. The first caution of the event flew on lap three for a spin by Mathew Rzewnicki. On the ensuing restart, it was all Rocco. He took the top spot away from Malone. Woody Pitkat came along for the ride followed by Preece; relegating Malone back to fourth.
Pitkat made a bold move diving low on Rocco entering turn two. He came out of the corner with the lead. Rocco returned the favor a lap later. Preece continued to take chase in third. The battle cooled on lap nine for a spin by veteran Richie Gallup. Rocco continued to hold the top spot on the ensuing restart.
While Pitkat dogged Rocco for the lead, a heated battle for the fourth spot was building between Malone, Dennis Perry, and Ted Christopher. Malone held the position with continued pressure from Perry as Christopher followed closely behind.
In turn one on lap 17 Pitkat dove low on Rocco. Nearly losing the handle, Pitkat bounced off Rocco then stole the lead away. Rocco tried to retaliate on lap 18. Contact between the two sent Rocco scrambling up the track. Pitkat drove away with the lead. Preece motored through to take over second.
A spin by Rzewnicki brought out the third caution. On the restart, Pitkat was pitted against Preece. Pitkat got a great shove from Malone to retain the lead. Malone faltered opening the door for Preece and Rocco. Christopher had made his way into the fourth spot. Preece had his hands full with Rocco giving Pitkat some breathing room. A spin by Andrew Charron set up another heated restart.
Preece gave Pitkat a run on the restart but got shuffled back opening the door fro Rocco and Christopher. On lap 29, Rocco made his move on Pitkat to take over the lead. Pitkat dove low exiting the fourth turn. Pitkat and Rocco made contact. Pitkat was able to gain the advantage. Pitkat edged out Rocco for the victory. Christopher came home third. Preece and Malone rounded out the top five.
From victory lane, Pitkat pulled out the chip numbered 8 indicating that eight cars would be inverted for the second thirty lap feature.
Dennis Perry started the second of the Twin 30’s from the pole position. Malone was stout on the start jumping out to the lead. Christopher and Pitkat were able to get by Perry before the caution flew for an incident involving Rocco and Perry. Rocco headed to pit road with a flat tire. On the ensuing restart, Christopher got the edge to take the lead. Pitkat and Malone ran inside the top three. In less than a lap, Rocco was sixth.
Pitkat got a run on Christopher to no avail. Pitkat settled back in line in second. Malone ran in third as Preece had heavy pressure from Rocco. Pitkat dove low on Christopher in turn two on lap three. Pitkat nearly lost the handle on his #00 in his bid for the lead. He collected his ride but lost momentum; falling into the clutches of Malone. Malone was not as lucky as he spun his car trying to get around Pitkat to bring out the caution. Preece headed down pit road under the caution for adjustments to his #31.
On the lap 6 restart, it was a three car battle for the top spot. Christopher was able to gain the advantage. Rocco got by Pitkat for second. He immediately went to work on Christopher. Laying the bumper to Christopher, Rocco could not get by Christopher for the lead. As Rocco dogged Christopher, he was getting similar pressure from Pitkat in third. Perry ran close by in fourth.
The top four cars ran nose-to-tail as the green flag laps clicked off the scoreboard. Perry started to lose the top three with 10 laps to go. The lead trio ran flawless through heavy lapped traffic. They continued to run in line.
With two laps to go Rocco went to the outside of Christopher. He could not make the pass for the lead. Pitkat got along side Rocco momentarily but Rocco fought back. A spin by Kerry Malone brought out the caution flag setting the stage for an exciting restart.
Christopher picked the outside groove on the restart. Rocco got the jump on the restart only to have his car falter in turn one. Christopher was able to take the lead. With the white flag flying, Pitkat muscled by Christopher in turn two to steal the lead away. Preece got by Christopher to take over the second position. Pitkat streaked under the checkers first followed by Preece and Christopher. A dissatisfied Christopher made contact with Pitkat on the cool down lap.
Despite finishing first, Pitkat was penalized for overaggressive driving. Christopher was disqualified from the event for his actions following the event. When the dust settled, it was Preece in victory lane. Pitkat was scored in second. Perry, Gallup, and Malone completed the top five.
Tommy O’Sullivan of Wilbraham, MA, made it two-in-a-row in Late Model action. John Falconi was the early leader of the Late Model main event. He gave up the top spot to a charging Mike Scorzelli. Tommy O’Sullivan took over the second spot relegating Falconi to third. The caution flew for a spin by Randy Tucker. Falconi headed to pit road under the caution. The attempt at the restart was stalled for an incident involving Ryan Waterman. With the green flag waving, Scorzelli resumed his position at the head of the field. O’Sullivan took chase with Marc Palmisano running in third. Tucker and Falconi were locked in a battle for fourth.
O’Sullivan lurked behind Scorzelli. He followed the leader; chipping away at the lead little-by-little. On lap 17, Scorzelli bobbled and O’Sullivan capitalized. O’Sullivan was able to grab the lead. Once out front he began to build his lead. O’Sullivan cruised to the checkers over Scorzelli. Palmisano, Falconi, and Damon Tinio rounded out the top five.
Troy Talman of Oxford, MA, jumped out to the early lead and would never be headed as he took down the victory in the Sunoco Lite Modifieds. Talman capitalized on his front row starting position to jump out to a commanding lead. He had nearly a half straightaway lead when Cam McDermott had worked his way from the back of the pack and into the second position. McDermott took chase of Talman. At halfway, Talman entered lapped traffic. McDermott had cut into Talman’s advantage.
A distance behind McDermott waged a tremendous battle for the third position between Shawn Brule and Frankie Cardile. After several laps of side-by-side racing, Cardile was able to take the third position away. McDermott had continued to close the distance to Talman. With two laps to go, McDermott had caught Talman. For the final lap, McDermott rode in Talman’s tire tracks. Talman ran under the checkers to take down the victory. McDermott settled for second over Cardile, Brule, and Nikki Oullette.
John Lowinski-Loh, Jr., of Milford, MA, turned in a dominating performance to score the victory in the TIS Modifieds. It did not take long for Lowinski-Loh, Jr. to get to the front of the field. Jay Sundeen was running strong in the second position when he lost the handle on his machine going for a ride on the front stretch. Danny Gamache, Jr. hung with Lowinski-Loh for a pair of laps before the divisional point leader took off. Brian Tagg headed to pit road with mechanical woes. Gamache ran comfortably in second while a fully-recovered Sundeen duked it out with Chad LaBastie for third. Lowinski-Loh checked out on the field to take down the victory. Gamache had a great run to finish second. Sundeen, LaBastie, and Ryan Morgan completed the top five.
Scott Sundeen of Douglas, MA, started in the twelfth position and methodically maneuvered his way into contention and ultimately the victory in the Limited Sportsman division. Lloyd Anderson jumped out to the early lead in the 20-lap main event. Jason Chicolas had begun to run down the leader when the caution flew for Kevin Mason. On the restart, Anderson and Chicolas went fender-to-fender. After a pair of laps, Anderson maneuvered away from Chicolas. Sundeen was able to follow Anderson through and into second. Sundeen immediately went to work on Anderson. Behind Chicolas was a heated battle for fourth between Tom Shea and Jesse Gleason
With five to go, Sundeen got alongside Anderson. On lap 16, Sundeen held the top spot by mere inches. Anderson hung on the outside for a lap before completely relinquishing the lead to Sundeen. Over the final laps, Sundeen was able to maintain a slight advantage to take down the victory. Anderson finished a strong second followed by Chicolas. Gleason and Shea completed the top-five.
In a wild Mini Stock feature event Dave Trudeau of Mansfield, CT earned the victory. In the early stages of the event it was wildly competitive with no less than four cars in contention for the lead. Dave Trudeau took the top spot early and held the point through a series of early cautions. With five laps to go, Mike Viens, who had started deep in the field, began to pressure Trudeau for the lead. With two laps to go, Viens had edged out Trudeau by inches at the stripe. Entering turn one, contact with third running Nick Anderson sent Viens toward the turn one wall. After careening into the wall, Viens went for a wild ride; barrel rolling through the turn. Viens was able to walk away from the wreck. Anderson was sent pit side.
On the green-white-checker restart, Trudeau was pitted against brothers Chad and Joe Baxter. Trudeau gained a slight advantage with the green flag waving. Trudeau had the lead and the win as he held back the advances of C. Baxter. J. Baxter, Eric Bourgeois, and Steve Michalski completed the top-five.
A trip down memory lane resulted in a trip to victory lane for Bill Cummins of Clinton, MA in the Vintage Outlaw Modifieds. After a brief battle for the top spot with Art Chartier, Cummins put his #195 out front. The event was marred by a single caution for a heartbreaking incident involving John Phillips. On the restart, Cummins quickly distanced himself from the rest of the field. Paul LaPlante came on strong in the closing stages of the event working his way into second. After taking the white flag, Cummins slowed dramatically in lapped traffic allowing LaPlante to catch the back bumper of the leader. Cummins was able to hold on for the victory followed by LaPlante, Fred Levange, Chartier, and Tom Beauregard.
Sunoco Modified (Top Ten) Feature #1 Finish: 1. Woody Pitkat, Stafford, CT; 2. Keith Rocco, Wallingford, CT; 3. Ted Christopher, Plainville, CT; 4. Ryan Preece Berlin, CT; 5.Kerry Malone, Needham, MA; 6. Dennis Perry, Pawcatuck, RI; 7. Adam Norton, Brookfield, MA; 8. Ron D’Alessandro, E. Hartford, CT; 9. Frank Cardile, Bolton, CT; 10. Shawn Brule, W. Thompson, CT.
Sunoco Modified (Top Ten) Feature #2 Finish: 1. Ryan Preece, Berlin, CT; 2. Woody Pitkat, Stafford, CT; 3. Dennis Perry, Pawcatuck, CT: 4. Richie Gallup, Feeding Hills, MA; 5. Kerry Malone, Needham, MA; 6. Adam Norton, Brookfield, MA; 7. Frank Cardile, Bolton, CT; 8. Shawn Brule, W. Thompson, CT; 9. Ron D’Alessandro, E. Hartford, CT; 10. Eric LeClair, Easthampton, MA.
Sunoco Lite Modified Feature Finish: Troy Talman, Oxford, MA; 2. Cam McDermott, Scituate, RI; 3. Frank Cardile, Bolton, CT; 4. Shawn Brule, N. Thompson, CT; 5. Nikki Ouellette, East Granby, CT; 6. Eric LeClair, Easthampton, MA.
Late Model Feature Finish: 1. Mike O’Sullivan, Wilbraham, MA; 2. Mike Scorzelli, Malta, NY; 3. Marc Palmisano, Hadley, MA; 4. John Falconi, Oakham, MA; 5. Damon Tinio, Mendon, MA; 6. Randy Tucker, Millis, MA; 7. Ryan Waterman, Danielson, CT.
Limited Sportsman (Top Ten) Feature Finish: 1. Scott Sundeen, Douglas, MA; 2. Lloyd Anderson, Jr., Wauregan, CT; 3. Jason Chicolas, Sutton, MA; 4. Jesse Gleason, Lisbon, CT; 5. Tom Shea, New London, CT; 6. Kevin Bowe, Pawtucket, RI; 7. Art Moran III, Preston, CT; 8. Mike Caprio, New Haven, CT; 9. Steve Kenneway, Lowell, MA; 10. Mark Jenison, Warwick, RI.
TIS Modified Feature Finish: 1. John Lowinski-Loh, Jr., Milford, MA; 2. Danny Gamache, Jr., Woonsocket, RI; 3. Jay Sundeen, Douglas, MA; 4. Chad LaBastie, Uxbridge, MA; 5. Ryan Morgan, Mystic, CT; 6. Brian Tagg, Oxford, CT.
Mini Stock (Top Ten) Feature Finish: 1. Dave Trudeau, Mansfield, CT; 2. Chad Baxter, Pascoag, RI; 3. Joe Baxter, Pascoag, RI; 4. Eric Bourgeois, E. Haddam, CT; 5. Steve Michalski, Brooklyn, CT; 6. Nick Matera, Warwick, RI; 7. Brad Caddick, Wyoming, RI: 8. Bill Schoeler, Warwick, RI; 9. Alicia Thatcher, Pascoag, RI; 10. Travis Jurcik, Chaplin, CT.
Outlaw Vintage Modified Feature Finish: 1. Bill Cummins, Clinton, MA; 2. Paul LaPlante, Cumberland, RI; 3. Fred Levange, N/A, 4. Art Chartier, Douglas, MA; 5. Tom Beauregard, Norwich, CT; 6. Dick Hastings, Scituate, RI. 7. Doug Tucker, Canterbury, CT; 8. John Phillips, Burrillville, RI.
Sources: Dale Wolbrink/Thompson International Speedway PR