Thompson, CT: The final night of Thompson Thursday Night Thunder saw Lite Modified driver Cam McDermott secure his 12th victory of the season. Other winners in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action included Woody Pitkat in the Sunoco Modifieds, Tommy O’Sullivan in an action packed Late Model feature, Jay Sundeen in the Thompson Modifieds, Larry Barnett in the Limited Sportsman, and Chad Baxter in the Mini Stock division.
Woody Pitkat held off Ryan Preece in an exciting Sunoco Modified 30-lap feature. Pitkat took the lead on lap six and battled Preece until lap 20 when he was able to shake him off his rear bumper and drive on to the checkered flag. Kerry Malone held off Todd Ceravolo at the start to take the early lead. The top-four – Malone, Ceravolo, Woody Pitkat, and Ryan Preece – were bumper-to-bumper until lap three when Ceravolo went underneath Malone to challenge for the top spot. Malone held him off as Pitkat and Preece drove by Ceravolo using the outside groove. On lap six, Pitkat went underneath Malone and maneuvered around a lapped car to take over the lead in turn four. Preece moved into the second spot on lap 10 and attached himself to the back bumper of Pitkat. On lap 13, Preece went to the inside and took over the lead in turn three, but Pitkat retaliated and reclaimed the lead on lap 14. In a nail-biting duel, Preece challenged Pitkat several times, but Pitkat continuously closed the door. On lap 19, Pitkat pulled away enough from Preece to have some breathing room. The field began to stretch out until Pitkat took the checkered flag a commanding ten-car lengths over Preece.
Tommy O’Sullivan edged out Damon Tinio to win the Late Model race by less than a nose. O’Sullivan took the lead on a restart and battled until the checkered flag fell. Tinio wasted no time in shooting out to the lead at the start of the race, but caution slowed his pace before the lap was complete. After two failed restarts, Tinio jumped right back out front only to have the race slowed again when John Falconi spun in turn two. Tinio drove to the front again with Randy Tucker close behind in second. Mike Scorzelli took over third with a dueling Glenn Boss and O’Sullivan close behind. By lap five, Tinio pulled away to a healthy lead over Tucker as Boss and O’Sullivan continued to battle for the fourth spot. Boss held the position and O’Sullivan was intent on taking it away. Scorzelli closed in on Tucker, and began a series of challenges on the bottom groove until taking over the second spot on lap nine. Tinio held a half-a-straightaway lead over Scorzelli and O’Sullivan at the halfway mark. Caution slowed the pace at lap 18 and put Tinio side-by-side with Scorzelli for the restart. Tinio defended his lead and drove straight to the front with Scorzelli, O’Sullivan, and Boss fighting it out for the second spot. O’Sullivan took over the position and started to close in on Tinio when the caution flew at lap 20. On the restart, O’Sullivan challenged on the high side with O’Sullivan holding a slight advantage heading into turn three. The two made slight contact in turn four with O’Sullivan getting a little loose and allowing Tinio to reclaim the lead. On the restart, Tinio and O’Sullivan were side-by-side in turns one and two with O’Sullivan taking the lead at the start/finish line. The two remained in a tight battle with O’Sullivan leading the charge. On lap 23, Tinio retaliated and the side-by-side battle continued with O’Sullivan having a nose-length advantage. On the final circuit, O’Sullivan took the win by inches over Tinio.
Jay Sundeen held off John Lowinski-Loh for his fourth win of the season in the Thompson Modified division. Chad LaBastie jumped to the early lead with Sundeen right on his bumper. On the second circuit, Sundeen went low and took the lead coming out of turn four. LaBastie then shifted his focus to the determined Lowinski-Loh who took over second using the same maneuver in turn four. Sundeen pulled away to a five car length advantage, but Lowinski-Loh reeled him back in on the corners, only to have Sundeen pull away on the straightaways. Danny Gamache, Jr. was on the move further back in the field having taken over the third spot after a three-car battle also involving LaBastie and Brian Tagg. LaBastie reclaimed the third position from Gamache as Tagg patiently waited behind in fifth. Up front, Sundeen continued to hold strong against Lowinski-Loh. The caution flew at lap 16 after contact between LaBastie and Tagg made contact in the middle of turn one and two. Sundeen and Lowinski-Loh went side-by-side into turn one on the restart and remained that way until lap 17 when Sundeen pulled ahead coming out of turn two. Once out front, Sundeen commanded the race once again and drove on to the checkered flag.
Cam McDermott scored his 12th Lite Modified victory and extended his points lead to 90 over his closest competitor, Troy Talman. McDermott drove right out to the lead with John Studley attached to his rear bumper. The duo pulled away by nearly two seconds over the rest of the field as they set a torrid pace around the 5/8th’s mile. McDermott put some breathing room between him and Studley by pulling away by a five-car length advantage. McDermott was unstoppable, but Studley persisted and tried to close up the distance. He ran out of time, however, and McDermott went on to win the race unchallenged.
Larry Barnett used a lap 10 restart to take the lead away from Lloyd Anderson, Jr. and survived a caution-filled second half of the race to take the victory in the Limited Sportsman division. Chris Bisson drove straight to the lead at the start, but went high in turn three allowing Anderson to get underneath him. The two battled it out across the start/finish line with Bisson holding on to the lead by inches. Coming out of turn two on lap two, Anderson got the momentum he needed to drive out front and take over the lead. Jason Chicolas took over second on lap four before caution came out for an accident in turn two. Anderson maintained the lead on the restart, but Chicolas went high in the middle of one and two and was relegated back to the fifth spot. Larry Barnett used the bottom groove to drive by Bisson for third on lap six, and then worked on closing in on Steve Kenneway, who was in second. On lap eight, Barnett went underneath Kenneway out of turn four and took over the position on lap nine in turn two. Anderson and Barnett were side-by-side when a caution set them up for a restart at lap 10. Barnett got the advantage over Anderson driving into turn one with Kevin Mason rounding out the top-three. Barnett and Anderson were put back together for another restart when caution flew again at lap 12. Barnett wasted no time getting into the throttle and maintaining his lead over Anderson, Kenneway, and Mason. Further back in the field, a four-car wreck slowed the pace again with Barnett right back out front on the restart. A three-wide battle ensued for the second position with Kenneway taking the position over Anderson and Mason. Mason took over the third spot on lap 15 as Barnett commanded the field up front and drove on to the checkered flag.
Chad Baxter used a restart to take the lead from Nick Anderson and eventual checkers in the Mini Stock feature. Steve Michalski took the early lead with Chad Baxter maneuvering around Joe Baxter for the second spot before caution came out for the first time of the night. Michalski drove back out in front with Joe Baxter getting squeezed in the middle of Nick Anderson and Chad Baxter in a three-wide battle for the second spot. Anderson took the position and set his sights on Michalski. Baxter used the bottom groove coming out of turn four on lap three to take the lead. On the following circuit, Anderson lost the lead to Chad Baxter in turn four. The caution flew at lap five after Joe Baxter got turned around in turn four and traveled halfway down the front stretch backwards before landing in the infield grass. Anderson and Chad Baxter dueled into turn one on the restart, but it was Baxter who had the advantage coming out of turn two. Anderson soon had his hands full with Eric Bourgeois, who challenged on the outside going into turn four on lap 10. Bourgeois easily drove by for the second spot. Baxter dominated out front – leading Bourgeois by half-a-straightaway. Coming around turn four, the Pascoag, RI-native took the high groove to take the checkered flag.
SUNOCO MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH: 1. Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Springs, CT; 2. Ryan Preece, Berlin, CT; 3. Todd Ceravolo, Gales Ferry, CT; 4. Ted Christopher, Plainville, CT; 5. Kerry Malone, Needham, MA; 6. Jimmy Zacharies, Candor, NY; 7. Rick Shawn, Bradford, RI; 8. Wayne Arute, Meriden, CT; 9. Nick Boivin, Belchertown, MA; 10. George Wilkinson, Pawcatuck, CT.
LATE MODEL FEATURE FINISH: 1. Tommy O’Sullivan, Wilbraham, MA; 2. Damon Tinio, Mendon, MA; 3. P.J. Howard, Norwood, MA; 4. Wayne Coury, Milford, CT; 5. Marc Curtis, Worcester, MA; 6. Joe Curioso, Mystic, CT; 7. John Falconi, Oakham, MA; 8. Randy Tucker, Millis, MA; 9. Jeff Hartwell, Putnam, CT; 10. Jeff Plakias, Feeding Hills, MA.
THOMPSON MODIFIED FEATURE: 1. Jay Sundeen, Douglas, MA; 2. John Lowinski-Loh, Jr., Milford, MA; 3. Danny Gamache, Jr., Woonsocket, RI; 4. Glenn Boss, Danielson, CT; 5. Chad LaBastie, Uxbridge, MA; 6. Brian Tagg, Oxford, MA; 7. Denis Legere, Auburn, MA.
LITE MODIFIED FEATURE: 1. Cam McDermott, Scituate, RI; 2. John Studley, Framingham, MA; 3. Joe Boivin, Belchertown, MA; 4. Shawn Brule, W. Thompson, CT; 5. Eric LeClair, Easthampton, MA.
LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH: 1. Larry Barnett, Moosup, CT; 2. Steve Kenneway, Lowell, MA; 3. Kevin Mason, W. Warwick, RI; 4. Lloyd Anderson, Jr., Wauregan, CT; 5. Jason Chicolas, Sutton, MA; 6. Scott Sundeen, Douglas, MA; 7. Corey Fanning, Mapleville, RI; 8. Jesse Gleason, Lisbon, CT; 9. Michael Malbaurn, Sterling, CT; 10. Mike Palin, Dudley, MA.
MONSTER MINI STOCK FEATURE: 1. Chad Baxter, Pascoag, RI; 2. Eric Bourgeois, East Haddam, CT; 3. Nick Anderson, Oxford, MA; 4. Louis Bellisle, III, Lisbon, CT; 5. Steve Violette, Canterbury, CT; 6. Steve Michalski, Brooklyn, CT; 7. Nathan Taylor, Wauregan, CT; 8. Craig Phillips, Fitchburg, MA; 9. Joe Baxter, Pascoag, RI; 10. Scott Michalski, S. Killingly, CT.
Sources:Penny Aicardi/Thompson International Speedway PR