Thompson, CT: The Fuller legacy continued at Thompson International Speedway when Rob Fuller captured his first career NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour pole Saturday afternoon with a lap of 18.947 seconds. Ryan Preece set fast time in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and earned his 11th career pole and fourth at Thompson Speedway. Both divisions will compete in 75-lap races before the top-10 finishers in each event advance to a 50-lap exhibition race on Sunday afternoon. In other NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action, Cam McDermott earned his 13th season victory in the Lite Modified division and Chad LaBastie checkered the Thompson Modifieds.
McDermott clinched the Lite Modified track championship at Thompson International Speedway after holding off John Studley for the win in the 20-lap feature. McDermott, who has dominated victory lane this season, won in one of the largest fields this season.
“Everybody keeps getting better,” said McDermott. “We had 10 cars here this week so we knew we had to step up our game.”
Nikki Ouellette set the pace heading into turn one, but it was Shawn Brule out in the lead as the field completed the first circuit. McDermott took over the point in turn three on lap two only to have his pace slowed by the caution flag. On the restart, McDermott held off Brule for the lead and pulled out to a commanding five-car advantage. Studley used his momentum to get by Brule on the bottom groove and take over the second position before caution came back out on lap four for the spun car of Dylan Kopec. McDermott drove right by Studley to reclaim the lead on the restart as Troy Talman advanced to third. McDermott and Studley pulled ahead of the rest of the field until caution slowed the pace once again at lap nine for a car in the turn two wall. McDermott mastered the restart with Studley, Brule, Kopec and Talman in tow. On lap 10, Kopec drove underneath Brule in turn three to take over the third spot and set his sights on Studley, who was ten car lengths ahead in second. McDermott continued to command the field, but by lap 15, Studley was closing in on his bumper. Despite the pressure, McDermott never faltered and drove to his 13th victory of the season.
In Thompson Modified action, Chad LaBastie held off John Lowinski-Loh for the win in the 20-lap feature. The race was slowed three times by rain, and until the checkered flag flew, LaBastie had a mirror full of Lowinski-Loh.
“He was getting right up on my bumper and I was trying not to look in my mirror,” said LaBastie.
Danny Gamache, Jr. and LaBastie were setting up a strong battle headed into turn one at the start of the feature, but rain brought out the caution and put their race for the lead on hold. On the restart, Gamache took the lead with a slight advantage over LaBastie as Lowinski-Loh waited patiently behind in third. The caution flew again before the first lap was completed for a spun car in turn two. On the restart, LaBastie and Gamache battled into the first turn once again, but Gamache spun in turn two just as a brief rain shower moved in over the track.
After a brief pause, LaBastie and Gamache took the green side-by-side with LaBastie taking the point at the completion of the first lap. Gamache and Lowinski-Loh rounded out the top-three respectively. On lap two, Lowinski-Loh drove underneath Gamache to take over second. All eyes, however, were on the battle for fourth as Brian Tagg attempted to get by Glenn Boss. Tagg got relegated back, however, when Jay Sundeen got in the mix and took over the fifth spot. On lap nine, Sundeen got a run on Boss using the bottom groove to take over fourth and then third from Gamache on lap 12. Up front, Lowinski-Loh was all over LaBastie’s rear bumper, and was setting up a challenge on the bottom groove when caution flew at lap 13 for rain. The weather didn’t damper the event, and they were back under green just minutes later.
LaBastie drove right back out front as Lowinski-Loh attached himself to his rear bumper once again. On lap 18, Lowinski-Loh dropped to the bottom and got his front bumper only up to the rear tire as LaBastie fought hard to keep the lead. LaBastie held him off and put a car length of breathing room over Lowinski-Loh to the take the checkered flag.
Mike Viens and Chad Baxter earned wins in Mini Stock qualifying while Jason Chicolas and Scott Sundeen earned victories in Limited Sportsman heats.
LITE MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH: 1. Cam McDermott, Scituate, RI; 2. John Studley, Framingham, MA; 3. Dylan Kopec, Palmer, MA; 4. Troy Talman, Oxford, MA; 5. Shawn Brule, W. Thompson, CT; 6. Nikki Ouellette, East Granby, CT; 7. Victoria Bergenty, Plainville, CT; 8. Eric LeClair, Easthampton, MA; 9. Harry Wheeler, Stafford Springs, CT; 10. Joe Boivin, Belchertown, MA.
THOMPSON MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH: 1. Chad LaBastie, Uxbridge, MA; 2. John Lowinski-Loh, Jr., Milford, MA; 3. Jay Sundeen, Douglas, MA; 4. Danny Gamache, Jr., Woonsocket, RI; 5. Glenn Boss, Danielson, CT; 6. Brian Tagg, Oxford, MA; 7. Ryan Morgan, Mystic, CT; 8. Payton Henry, Willington, CT
MINI STOCK HEAT RACE (TOP-FIVE) RESULTS: 1. Mike Viens, Putnam, CT; 2. Jim Helger, Rutland, MA; 3. Steve Michalski, Brooklyn, CT; 4. Nick Anderson, Oxford, MA; 5. Dave Trudeau, Mansfield, CT.
MINI STOCK HEAT RACE (TOP-FIVE) RESULTS: 1. Chad Baxter, Pascoag, RI; 2. Joe Baxter, Pascoag, RI; 3. Brad Caddick, Wyoming, RI; 4. Jeff Moffat, Smithfield, RI; 5. Steve Violette, Canterbury, CT.
LIMITED SPORTSMAN HEAT RACE (TOP-FIVE) RESULTS: 1. Jason Chicolas, Sutton, MA; 2. Lloyd Anderson, Jr., Wauregan, CT; 3. Tom Shea, New London, CT; 4. Steve Kenneway, Lowell, MA; 5. Michael Malbaurn, Sterling, CT.
LIMITED SPORTSMAN HEAT RACE (TOP-FIVE) RESULTS: 1. Scott Sundeen, Douglas, MA; 2. Larry Barnett, Moosup, CT; 3. Mike Caprio, New Haven, CT; 4. Jesse Gleason, Lisbon, CT; 5. Hank Stott, Medway, MA.
Sources: Penny Aicardi/Thompson International Speedway PR