Archive for the 'NASCAR WA-AS' Category

Dan Wesson Aims for SK Light Title

Stafford Springs, CT — In just two seasons, Monson, MA native Dan Wesson has quickly established himself as one of the drivers to watch in Stafford Speedway’s SK Light division.  Wesson graduated from the Wild Thing Karts in 2015 where he scored over 40 total feature wins and a championship in the Junior Outlaw division. He quickly showed that he could carry his winning ways over to the SK Light division with 3 feature wins during his rookie season.  The 2016 season saw him score 5 SK Light feature wins behind the wheel of his #92 Competitive Edge Coatings machine, second only to Tony Membrino, Jr.’s 7 wins.  Despite missing 4 races last season, Wesson finished 7th in the points standings and is ready to be a championship contender in his third season of SK Light competition.

“We have a great car again and a great team,” said Wesson.  “I have great support from my sponsors Monaco Ford, Ceric Fabrication, Patriot Coatings, Trackside Motors, Smith Auto Body, Jericho Transmissions, and Competitive Edge Coatings and if everything goes our way I think we have a good chance of repeating our performance from last year and being contenders for the championship.  The championship is what everyone is shooting for but if we can get a lot of wins this year and win the championship, that would be our ultimate goal.”

Wesson isn’t just an up and coming ace behind the wheel of a modified race car, he is also an accomplished air rifle shooter at his high school, Wilbraham & Monson Academy.  Wesson’s air rifle duties took him away from the track for several races last season but Wesson says he has no regrets about missing the races, which cost him a chance to be among the championship contenders.

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Ed Flemke, Jr. and Paula Bouchard Named NAPA Spring Sizzler® Grand Marshals

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway has announced that Ed Flemke, Jr. and his sister Paula Bouchard will serve as Grand Marshals of the 46th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler®, April 29-30.  Flemke and his sister will give the command to send the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour field of cars on their way to the green flag in “The Greatest Race in the History of Spring.”

“This will be the first time for me being a grand marshal and it will be quite an honor,” said Flemke.  “I remember going back to the very first Sizzler, my father was really excited about the race because he thought it was a good combination of being a great spectator race as well as being a great drivers race.  That race has always had momentum behind it and it’s always cool to have a big race at the start of the season.  The Spring Sizzler is just like the Daytona 500.”

The 2017 season marks the 50th season since Stafford Speedway was first paved, ushering in the era of asphalt racing.  The winner of the very first feature to be run at Stafford on the new coat of asphalt was Ed Flemke, Sr. on June 1, 1967.  The win was also the first of 23 career modified wins at Stafford for Flemke.  Flemke also nearly won the very first Spring Sizzler® in 1972 driving the #34 Pinto for owner Fred Vigliarolo but after leading the race from lap 7 to lap 70, a water pump failed on Flemke’s car and he ended up finishing 17th while Fred DeSarro ended up taking the checkered flag in the Len Boehler “Ole Blue” #3 machine.  Flemke was one of 7 Pintos in the starting lineup of 33 cars that marked the beginning of the Pinto Revolution at Stafford.  Flemke then came back the very next year in 1973 and won the Spring Sizzler® driving Bob Judkins’ #2x.

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Ryan Preece Looking to Complete Career Quartet in NAPA Spring Sizzler®

Stafford Springs, CT — After spending the 2016 season behind the wheel of Johnny Davis Motorsports’ #01 car in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ryan Preece has returned to full-time competition on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour for the 2017 season.  The Berlin native will pilot Ed Partridge’s #6 T.S. Haulers machine and is looking to capture the NAPA Spring Sizzler® to complete what would be a career Stafford quartet of checkered flags.  Preece has already won the late May/Early June, August, and NAPA Fall Final events during his NWMT career, all that remains is to win the grand-daddy of them all, “The Greatest Race in the History of Spring” the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler®.

“A Sizzler win would definitely be nice,” said Preece.  “I’ve had moments where I’ve led the most of the race but we’ve been unable to win it.  I’ve won the Fall Final, the late May/early June race, as well as the August race at Stafford, so the Sizzler is the only Stafford tour race left that I haven’t won.  To finally get a win and add a Sizzler trophy to the others would be pretty special.”

With 5 career NWMT wins and 25 career SK Modified® wins at Stafford to his credit, Preece knows how to get to NAPA Victory Lane behind the wheel of a modified.  With the NAPA Spring Sizzler® being 200-laps in length, the strategy game could determine who ends up winning the 46thedition of the NAPA Spring Sizzler®.  A new tire rule for the 2017 season, which will allow NWMT teams to change 4 tires rather than the customary 3 during a pit stop combined with the fact that most teams will also have to pit for fuel at some point during the race already has Preece and other NWMT teams already plotting out a strategy for the race.

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Four Divisions of Racing at Grandview Saturday

Point Battle is Close As NASCAR Racing Moves into Third Week

BECHTELSVILLE, PA April 18, 2017 . . . With NASCAR stock car racing action at Grandview Speedway moving into its third Saturday the same drivers that won the championships in 2016 are leading the current point standings.

Multi-time TP Trailers NASCAR 358 Modified champion Craig VonDohren sits on top of the standings holding a slim lead over 10-time champion Jeff Strunk and past champion Duane Howard. VonDohren has 577 counters while Strunk has 568 and Howard sits with 563. Interesting to note that none of the top three have visited victory lane so far.

In the BRC Late Model division Chuck Schutz, another multi-time and defending champion, is in front of the stadnings with 468 points while second place Wayne Pfeil has 457. Third place is held by Bryan Sipe with 447 points. Again none of the top three in points have cracked victory lane.
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Seekonk Set for 72nd Season Opening Day May 7

SEEKONK, Mass. — After a long offseason filled with preparation, Seekonk Speedway is set to open their 72nd season of racing on Sunday, May 7. The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Pro Stocks, Late Models, Sportsman and Sports Trucks classes will compete in qualifying and feature racing to start the action-packed 2017 schedule. Although the season is a long one, many drivers will be hoping to start the season with a solid run to collect crucial points.

In the Pro Stocks, Tom Scully Jr. will look to begin his quest at a second straight division championship, but it won’t be an easy task. Last year, Scully captured multiple victories in route to the title and likely will need to do the same thing to capture another. Some of his top challengers include former champions David Darling and Fred Astle, who both look to return to the top of the division this year. Names like Rick Martin, Ryan Lineham, Mike Brightman, Angelo Belsito, Kyle and Kevin Casper and many others are also prepared to challenge for wins.

In the Everett’s Auto Parts Late Models, two-time division champion Dylan Estrella leads the list of favorites coming into the season. Estrella has dominated the division that last few years, winning a handful of times and being a master of consistency in route to the two straight titles. He will return behind the wheel of his Everett’s Auto Parts No. 46, but he has some young talent hoping to hunt him down. Former Nick’s Pit Stop Legends competitor Ryan Kuhn will make a Rookie of the Year run this season and is expected to challenge Estrella for the title come October. Ray Parent, who is a former Late Model winner at Seekonk, is also planning a full-time schedule in the Anytime Realty No. 98. Other names ready to contend include Jake Johnson, Vinny Arrenegado, and former champion Gerry DeGasparre Jr.
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Seekonk Speedway Practice Schedule

Saturday, April 22 – Open Practice for all divisions except for SYRA & Bandoleros. Pits Open at 9 am and pit admission is $20. Rookie practice begins at 11 am and all divisions run 12-5.

Saturday, May 6th – Open Practice for all divisions except for SYRA & Bandoleros. Pits Open at 9 am and pit admission is $20. Rookie practice begins at 11 am and all divisions run 12-5.

Friday, May 12th – Minicups & Bandoleros ONLY. Pits open at 3 pm, Practice from 4 till 7 pm. $20 pit admission.

Wednesday, May 24 – Fast Friday Practice – Pits open at 3 pm, practice runs from 4-7 pm. $20 pit admission.

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Kyle Weiss Wins 35-lap TP Trailers NASCAR Modified Feature Worth More Than $3500 at Grandview on Saturday Night; Brian Shuey Tops in BRC Late Models and Ryan Lilick Tops in Sportsman

BECHTELSVILLE, PA. April 16, 2017 . . . Kyle Weiss, Brian Shuey and Ryan Lilick didn’t fare well in their outings during opening night racing at Grandview Speedway last Saturday night.

In their second showing of the season all three more than made up for it as they all ended their night in victory lane in their respective division on Checkered Flag Fan Club Night.

NASCAR T.P. Trailers 358 Modified action saw Kyle Weiss inherit the lead from race leader Danny Erb on the 25th lap of the 35-lap main event when mechanical problems forced Erb to the sidelines. Weiss, who dedicated the win to promoter Bruce Rogers, who recently passed away, commented that Erb, “had the right line and the field covered,” before he broke.

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New England Racing Fuel Powers Stafford Contingency Program

Stafford Springs, CT — New England Racing Fuel, Sunoco Brand has been part of the Stafford Speedway contingency program every year since the founding of the program prior to the 1999 season.  The 2017 season will mark the 19th consecutive season that New England Racing Fuel owned by John Holland and Mike Joy have helped power drivers through the Contingency Program.  Last season New England Racing Fuel distributed over $10,000 in gas certificates to Stafford Speedway drivers, the fuel company is slated to distribute that same amount in 2017.

“I really like how the SK Lights are growing,” said John Holland of New England Racing Fuel.  “It seems like I see more news about new drivers joining that division and moving up from that division.  The quality of that division gets better every season and that’s only going to eventually become a stronger SK Modified® division.  I think the SK Modified® division is already the best racing at any track that I’ve gone to and I go to about 100 races a season.  I always try to get to Stafford on a Friday night.  The Late Model division also looks like it’s adding a few extra cars so we’re all looking forward to another exciting season of weekly racing at Stafford.”

New England Racing Fuel, Sunoco Brand will provide the top-3 finishers from the SK Modified®, Late Model, SK Light, Limited Late Model, and DARE Stock feature events with a $25 gas certificate.  They will also support Stafford’s rookie drivers with the top finishing rookie driver from each Late Model, SK Light, Limited Late Model, and DARE Stock feature event also taking home a $25 gas certificate.   With 22 races on the schedule, New England Racing Fuel, Sunoco Brand will offer competitors over $10,000 in gas certificates.

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Devil’s Bowl Speedway Car Show Heading to Downtown Rutland on May 21

See the cars and meet the stars in two locations

RUTLAND, Vt. – The City of Rutland, Vt., will once again host the cars and stars of Devil’s Bowl Speedway and the annual “Devil’s Bowl Downtown” car show on Sunday, May 21.  Stock car racing machines and local drivers will be on hand for the fun, free, and family-friendly event in the heart of Vermont’s third-largest city, which coincides with the City’s annual “Blessing of the Bikes” charity event.

The Devil’s Bowl Downtown event is a favorite among fans of all ages.  Speedway officials, the Downtown Rutland Partnership, and the Red Knights International Firefighters Motorcycle Club bring together motorcycle riders and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series competitors from Devil’s Bowl Speedway’s 1/2-mile Asphalt Track and 3/10-mile Dirt Track for an exciting day of interaction with racing fans, gearheads, and newcomers.

The day begins at Rutland’s newest restaurant, Ground Round Grill & Bar, coming soon to the site of the former Ponderosa Steakhouse on U.S. Route 7.  Racecars are on display from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., and then the show moves to Center Street and Merchants Row in Downtown Rutland at 11:00 a.m.  Fans can see the cars up close, meet the drivers, and greet the Red Knights as they arrive around 12:30 p.m. for the annual Blessing of the Bikes.  The Downtown portion of the show also offers dining, shopping, and entertainment options for everyone.

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NASCAR Modifieds Race for $3,500 to Win Saturday Night at Grandview Speedway

35 Lap Feature Tops the Action for the TP Trailers 358 Modifieds at Grandview Saturday; BRC Late Models and Sportsman Also Part of Show

BECHTELSVILLE, PA April 12, 2017 . . . Extra money in the purse is always a great incentive for racers to give it their all and extra money is waiting for the winner of the 35-lap NASCAR TP Trailers 358 Modified feature on Saturday night at Grandview Speedway.

In addition to the increased laps for the Modifieds, fans will also get to see the exciting Sportsman and BRC Late Models.

Veteran competitor Kevin Hirthler is coming off an opening night victory and will be considered a strong favorite to make it two in row. However, Jeff Strunk, a 10-time track champion, finished second on Saturday and will be looking to make a strong run for the win. Past champions Craig VonDohren, Duane Howard and Ray Swinehart along with Doug Manmiller, Frank Cozze, Brett Kressley, and Jared Umbenhauer are all considered threats to take the $3500 first place money plus the TP Trailers and Truck Equipment bonus bucks along with VP Racing Fuels product award.
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ACT Spring Green Returns to Open Devil’s Bowl Speedway’s 51st Season

Regional Late Model Stars Headed to Rutland County for May 7 Opener

WEST HAVEN, Vt. – Devil’s Bowl Speedway is ready to roar for its 51st season of stock car racing, and the schedule opens with the return of one of the year’s biggest and most important traditional events: The “Spring Green.”  The sleek Late Model cars and the regional stars of the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) join the local favorites of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series for a pavement-pounding show on Sunday, May 7 at 1:30 p.m.

The Spring Green race has a storied and somewhat quirky history.  The event began at the former Catamount Stadium in Milton, Vt., in 1974, running 74 laps in distance.  After Catamount closed in 1987, the event bounced between three facilities including the 1/2-mile Asphalt Track at Devil’s Bowl Speedway, which previously hosted the race four times.  The Spring Green returns to West Haven, Vt., in 2017 with a 117-lap distance.

The list of past Spring Green winners reads like an all-star lineup.  Brothers Beaver and Bobby Dragon, Dave Dion, Jean-Paul Cabana, Stub Fadden, and Robbie Crouch are former winners, along with Vermont NASCAR star Kevin Lepage and Canadian icon Junior Hanley.  Modern-era winners include Governor Phil Scott, second-generation star Brent Dragon, and former Devil’s Bowl champs Todd Stone and Jean-Paul Cyr.  ACT greats Brian Hoar and Wayne Helliwell Jr. each won the Spring Green twice during its previous Devil’s Bowl run in 2011-2014.

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Pennink Brings “Ole Blue” Back to Victory Lane with Thompson Win

The newly unified NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour took center stage during day two of Icebreaker weekend at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park with the Icebreaker 150 capping of the tracks annual opening weekend on Sunday, April 9.

Thompson served as the second stop of the Whelen Modified Tour season and after finding early success in Myrtle Beach, reigning Icebreaking winner Timmy Solomito looked to continue his strong early run in the 2017 campaign with a possible win at the Big-T. While Solomito got off to a good start on the day, capturing the pole for the 150-lap feature, it was another driver who shined with a dominating performance as Rowan Pennink took the checkered flag in the weekend’s main event.

The win didn’t come easy for Pennink, despite a dominating performance during the mid-portion of the race and leading the most laps. Pennink, who started fourth, wrestled the lead away from Timmy Solomito after an early caution and opened up a significant lead, but had to recover following a late race pit stop that put him in seventh after a caution with 28 laps to go. Pennink made a daring three-wide pass for the lead against Bobby Santos, but lost the top spot when a caution came out before he could complete the pass. When the green flag finally came back out Pennink left it all on the track, passing Santos for good and taking the checkered flag, his second at Thompson and his first since the World Series in October of 2013.
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Waterman Leads List of Winners on Icebreaker Saturday at Thompson

The ice is breaking and racing is back at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. The 43rd Annual Icebreaker got underway on Saturday with six feature races at the historic motorsports facility.

The Lite Modifieds, Street Stocks, NEMA Lites, Mr. Rooter Pro Truck Series and Vintage Outlaws all ran feature races on Saturday, and for the first time a “Race of Champions” event was held featuring all four Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park track champions from 2016 in equally-prepared race cars.

The Vintage Outlaws was the first feature of the day. Jim Lowrey walked away with the win repeating his success from the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing in 2016.
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5-Time SK Modified® Champion Bob Potter Still Going Strong at 75 in Stafford Speedway’s 2-Seater Modified

Stafford Springs, CT — No matter what the sport may be, there has been an adage as old as time itself that states Father Time is undefeated.  All athletes reach a point in time during their respective careers that sees them retire, most often due to old age.  One driver who has continued to defy the odds is 75-year old Norwich native and 5-time Stafford SK Modified® track champion Bob Potter. 

Potter began his long and storied racing career in 1963 at Waterford Speedbowl, where he would go on to win 6 championships and a total of 93 feature events spread out over the Bomber, Modified, SK Modified®, and Late Model ranks.  Potter ran his last full time season in 1999 in the SK Modified® division at Stafford, but that wasn’t quite a curtain call on his career.  Potter made a handful of starts over the next seven seasons and although he is no longer racing in the SK Modified® ranks, he began his 2-seater modified duties in 2012 and he is still behind the wheel today.  Every Friday night at Stafford, Potter takes race fans for the ride of their life as passengers in the 2-seat SK Light machine.  Although he is no longer racing competitively, Potter gets just as jazzed up from meeting new people and giving them a ride they have only dreamed about in one of four ride along packages.  There are practice session rides, in between heat race rides, SK Light heat race rides, and then the most popular option, the SK Light feature ride.

“I love being able to take people around the track and really give them the experience of what it’s like to race in a modified at a good speed,” said Potter.  “I love the fans, they make racing worthwhile and they really appreciate what you do out there.  Most of the people I take out now always tell me something like they can’t believe how we race so close to each other like we do.  It gives them a whole different perspective once they ride around the track with me and that really makes me feel good inside.  I still have a great time and there’s no pressure on me.  I get to meet so many new people now and I’ve been to football, basketball, and baseball games, and those fans don’t compare to racing fans.  The racing community hangs together and sticks together and there’s nothing like it.”

Continue reading ‘5-Time SK Modified® Champion Bob Potter Still Going Strong at 75 in Stafford Speedway’s 2-Seater Modified’

Gaston Racing Enterprises Adds Heat Race Bonus

Stafford Springs, CT — Friday May 26th, Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair Modifiedz Night has has already been tabbed as the biggest payday in SK Light Modified racing history.  Stafford Speedway has teamed up with their official track parts supplier, Gaston Racing Enterprises, to add a $375 bonus to each of the SK Light Modified qualifying races on May 26th.

“I’ve always enjoyed modified racing and the SK Light division is a great starting point for future modified drivers,” said Gaston.  “I know almost all of the competitors and I thought this would be something nice to do for them.”

Each qualifying race will have a payout for the top 4 finishers, $150, $100, $75, and $50.  Stafford Speedway has successfully implemented qualifying race purse money for other events such as the NAPA SK 5k.  Both drivers and fans have enjoyed the added excitement to the qualifying.

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Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Opens 77th Season with Icebreaker Test Day

THOMPSON, CT — Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) opened it’s 2017 season with the test day for the 43rd running of the Icebreaker. 100 cars participated in the optional practice, including the four NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions, plus the Lite Modifieds, Vintage Outlaws, and Thompson Open Street Stocks.

Of the cars recording times today, several defending champions and some newcomers topped the speed charts. Rowan Pennink and Glenn Griswold led the way in the Sunoco Modified and Lite Modified Divisions, respectively. Scott Sundeen, and Joe Arena showed the way around the 5/8-mile in their Limited Sportsman and Thompson Open Street Stock racecars, while defending Mini Stock Champion, Wayne Burroughs, Jr., was the fastest in his Division. Newcomer Ray Christian, III, laid down the fastest Late Model lap and Frank Dumicich, Jr. was quickest in the Mr. Rooter Pro Truck Series.

The day concluded with practice for the Race of Champions – a unique 12-lap match race that will face the four NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Champions off against each other in equally prepared cars from The Racing School. Defending Sunoco Modified Champion, Keith Rocco, will be driving the No. 21.  William Wall – defending Late Model titlist – will be behind the wheel of the No. 29. Wayne Burroughs, Jr. will be representing the Mini Stock Division in the No. 19, and Ryan Waterman – the top point-getter for the Limited Sportsman – will be driving the No. 09.
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NASCAR Ends New London-Waterford Speedbowl Sanction

NASCAR has dropped sanctioning agreements with New London-Waterford Speedbowl in Waterford, CT. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race on July 22 has been canceled.

The series has made 22 visits to the 1/3-mile oval since its inaugural season in 1985. Ron Silk won the most recent race in 2016.

The track’s weekly Saturday program was sanctioned by the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series since 2000. Reigning champion Keith Rocco has found great success in the SK Modifieds with 6 championships. The track’s winningest driver has won the Connecticut championship 9 times and was the 2010 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion.

The decision comes after track owner Bruce Bemer was arrested March 28. He has been charged with patronizing a trafficked person. The Glastonbury, CT resident purchased the track in October 2014 at auction.

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Thompson 04/02/2017 Gallery

Thompson (CT) Speedway Motorsports Park hosted its first practice session of the season on Sunday. Icebreaker 2017 was postponed to this weekend, April 7-9.

[Photos] by Nicholas Teto

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Chiavettone Still Rolling Strong at 81

(Apr 5, 2017) SEEKONK, Mass. — Sitting just over a mile from Seekonk Speedway, 81-year-old Nat Chiavettone turns plenty of wrenches on a daily basis. He isn’t working on a chassis setup on a race car, but instead he is turning wrenches on preparing engines that many teams will count on to get them into victory lane at Seekonk Speedway for the NASCAR Whelen All American Series season at the third-mile oval.

Since he was 14 years old, Nat has been turning wrenches on engines of all different kinds. Some have been for oval track racing or drag racing, while others have been for custom cars or anything else that someone brought to the table in front of him.

“I just started working on motors because I was working on the farm when I was a kid,” Nat said. “You had to fix farm equipment so I just did it. It was the thing to do back then.”
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All is Ready for Opening Day at Grandview Speedway April 8

Popular “Low Down and Dirty” Meet and Greets Ready for Another Season

BECHTELSVILLE, PA APRIL 5, 2017 . . . Are you ready for some great dirt track racing action? The 55th consecutive season of stock car racing action is set to officially get started on Saturday, April 8th at 7 p.m. at NASCAR sanctioned Grandview Speedway.

New clay has been added to the racing surface and it held up well during last Saturday’s practice session. With more track work being performed this week management of the one-third-mile, banked clay track is excited about another season getting the green flag.

The T.P.Trailers NASCAR 358 Modifieds will headline the tripleheader show that will also include the BRC Late Models and Sportsman stock cars. At least 12 events of action packed, wheel-to-wheel racing competition will be featured.

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2017 Seekonk Pro Stock Season Preview

Coming into the 2017 Pro Stock season, Tom Scully Jr. is at the top of the list when it comes to championship favorites. Last year, Scully finally was able to capture his first title in a consistent season while he captured some victories along the way. The plans for the West Warwick, R.I. driver are fairly simple — he wants to collect back-to-back crowns in Seekonk’s toughest class. However, it’s not going to be an easy task for the veteran.
With a field of fellow veterans breathing down his neck, Scully will have to be on top of his game for the entire season if he wants to duplicate last year. The list of challengers for him begins with Angelo Belsito, the 2015 division champion that came onto the scene in April of 2014. Since then, Belsito has captured more than a handful of wins and has been the car to beat many Saturday nights at the track. From Auburn, Mass., Belsito, and Scully have been the drivers that have dueled it out for the title the last two years. In 2015, it was Belsito holding him off on the final night of the season. Last year, it was Scully clinching the crown while pulling away from Belsito in the final few weeks.

Hot on their tail, six-time Pro Stock champion Fred Astle is returning to action with Everett’s Auto Parts in his No. 30. Astle, who went to victory lane a few times in 2016, has been one of the top contenders in the division for a few decades. Despite not winning the Track Title in 2016, Astle won the NASCAR State Title narrowing outpacing Scully Jr. His partnership with Everett’s Auto Parts has helped him keep his career alive and he has not lost a step to the young guns the division has to offer. Winning is a must for Astle.

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Nick Bendiak Ready to Live His Dream at Stafford Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — When the green flag falls on the 2017 DARE Stock season at Stafford Motor Speedway, Hopkinton, MA native Nick Bendiak will be living out his dream.  Bendiak has been part of racing for the past 8 seasons helping his father Jim and brother Patrick and he has even made several starts himself behind the wheel.  But the 2017 season will mark his first full-time season behind the wheel of a race car and he is itching to get started.

“I’ve done three World Series races and two races at Stafford,” said Bendiak.  “We’ve been racing at Thompson for 8 years, my brother and father both drove 4 years each and now it’s my turn to be the driver.  We were never really competitive, we just raced for fun.  It was more of a thing being able to work with my Dad in the garage.  We finally have a real motor in the car from Don Wood at R.A.D. and he’s been a big help with us getting the right gearing and drivetrain.  We ran at Stafford a couple years ago when they were doing a test program and I love the track.  It’s a much more of a driver’s track instead of the car needing raw horsepower like at Thompson.”

Despite his lack of racing experience behind the wheel, Bendiak is itching to get his season started.  Bendiak is not focused on winning races or a championship, but rather he is looking to have fun working with his father and brother as well as seeing if he has what it takes to be successful behind the wheel.  With a BFR chassis and a R.A.D. Automachine engine, Bendiak has the equipment he feels he needs to be successful and his driving aptitude will determine how much success he enjoys this season.

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T/A Engines Adds Bonus for Dunleavy’s Modifiedz Night

Stafford Springs, CT — T/A Engines is set to join R.A.D. Auto Machine to offer an engine builder bonus for the Friday, May 26thDunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair Modifiedz Night SK Light 40 Lap Special.  With the addition of the T/A Engine bonus, all drivers in the field will be eligible for an engine builder bonus.

“Dunleavy’s night is a great purse for the SK Lights to be racing for,” explained Tony Alteri, owner of T/A Engines.  “I know this bonus money will definitely help the teams out.  We have a lot of good and loyal customers who have been with us and this is a great way for us to be able to pay something back.  We’ve also had some good success in the SK Lights.  Since Joe Allegro, Jr. won the championship in 2008, there’s only been one year where one of our engines didn’t win the SK Light championship.  We had a great season last year at Stafford with guys like Tony Membrino, Jr. and Dan Wesson and we picked up a new customer, Keith Caruso for this year.  It’s been a good run for us with the SK Light division and it’s a great way for us to be able to give something back to what has become a great division.”

The bonus totaling $1,500 will be distributed to the top-3 finishers with an engine prepared by T/A Engines, $750, $500, and $250 respectively.  With all bonuses taken into account, total posted awards for the inaugural Dunleavy Modifiedz Night SK Light 40 lap race is approaching $15,000.

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Bourgeois Ready for Mini Stock Title Run

THOMPSON, CT – For nearly 25 years, Eric Bourgeois has been on the local motorsports scene. Beginning in 1994, behind the wheel of a go-kart, the veteran driver has recorded 20 wins and earned two titles at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, one in 2004 and the second nine years later in 2013. Bourgeois finished his 2016 season with a win at the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing, and hopes to carry that momentum into his home track’s Icebreaker on April 7-9.

2016 “ was not one of the best years. We had motor problems, then got wrecked in the first race followed by getting wrecked in the practice of the second race. The only good thing about last year was winning the World Series, and placing 4th overall. Hopefully, that win can carry over into the 2017 season,” the driver of the No. 87 Mini Stock explained.

Bourgeois has worked all winter to get ready for the 2017 season, preparing two cars for the seven race championship campaign. “We are absolutely prepared for the Icebreaker. Both of the cars are ready to go. We just got the valves done in the primary car, also the backup car was finished last Thursday for the Test and Tune, which didn’t happen, but that’s alright.”

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Icebreaker 2017 Postponed One Week

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Race Moved to April 9

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 30, 2017) – With inclement weather expected in Connecticut this week, NASCAR and Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park officials have postponed this weekend’s 43rd running of the track’s Icebreaker.

The event, which is highlighted by the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour’s Icebreaker 150, will be run the following weekend: April 7-9.

The Icebreaker 150 will practice Saturday, April 8, with qualifying and the second race of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season slated for Sunday, April 9. The weekend schedule also includes the opening races in Thompson’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program.

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2017 Everett’s Auto Parts Late Model Season Preview

Entering the 2017 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Everett’s Auto Parts Late Model season at Seekonk, everyone is trying to figure out the way they will beat two-time champion, Dylan Estrella. The North Attleboro, Mass. driver has captured the last two crowns in the division in convincing fashion. In 2015, Estrella did it while driving for Bill Bernard. In 2016, Estrella teamed up with Everett’s Auto Parts while driving for Bernard and picked up right where he left off, winning more times than you can count on one hand.

It’s going to be a difficult task for anyone that wants to take Estrella off the top, but there are a list of challengers that are going to give it their best shot.

Young driver Austin Blais had a successful season last year, finishing inside the top five in the championship standings. Blais captured a few victories in his No. 16 and showed once again that he is on the climb at the Action Track of the East. The former Street Stock winner has come into his own behind the wheel of his No. 16 and will have a brand new paint scheme on board going into this season.

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Thompson’s Icebreaker Postponed until April 7-9

THOMPSON, CT – With a deteriorating forecast and declining temperatures, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Officials have postponed the 43rd running of the Icebreaker to Friday, April 7 – Sunday, April 9.  The schedule for the weekend will remain the same, only backed up by one week.

Camper drop off will be closed until Thursday, April 6, at 5 pm.  Camping units that are already on the property may remain on site through the week, however, no one will be permitted to stay in them until the night of the 6th.  Anyone who missed the deadline to purchase an advanced camping spot will have another opportunity, as online camping reservations will reopen on

Fans will also have the ability to purchase advanced tickets online through Wednesday, April 5, as well.

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Icebreaker Update

We are aware of the weekend’s forecast and know everyone is wondering if the schedule will be adjusted because of it. As of today, all events are taking place as scheduled. We will be monitoring the weather closely and will be releasing a weather statement tomorrow (Thursday) morning.

Any changes to the schedule for this weekend’s events will be communicated on our Facebook page as well as our website. If you have any questions that are not answered there, please call us at: 860-923-2280. We hope to see you all this weekend!

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Cleary and Hodge to be Honored at Thompson’s Icebreaker

THOMPSON, CT – This January, within four days the Northeast Modified racing community lost two pioneers.  Photographer, Howie Hodge, and Modified legend, Leo “The Lion” Cleary, both passed away. At this weekend’s Icebreaker, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Officials have announced that they will honor the memory of both men, inviting their families’ as honored guests. 

Howie Hodge, who has been a photographer on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, as well as other NASCAR regional touring series, has also frequented the infields of short tracks throughout the country, but most consistently in his home state of Connecticut. For nearly 50 years, Howie shared his passion for motorsports photography with his wife, Mary.  The two were married for 53 years, and spent 50 of those years providing the motorsports community with many memories, memorializing – through photo – some of the sport’s iconic events and moments. 

Mary, along with her son, Kevin, will be on hand to honor Howie’s late memory during pre-race ceremonies on Sunday afternoon, April 2. Also, Kevin Hodge will act as the Honorary Starter for the 150-lap NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race. 

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Garage Pass – Vinny Arrenegado

Vinny Arrenegado has a pretty eventful year ahead of him. From his newly purchased Late Model to him and his wife, Jen, expecting a little girl, Vinny has a lot to be thankful for. I was able to meet up with the Warren, RI native to talk a little bit about this upcoming season and his woes of last season; and here’s what he had to say…

How would you describe your 2016 Season?

Vinny: It wasn’t our best year. We started off with bad luck. We broke a sway bar in the first race. We were fast, but we just had bad luck. We had a lot of flats last season. After a wreck we had to put a whole new snout on the car and the next week we came back and won. We sold the car three quarters of the way through the season. I spotted for Belsito at Waterford and ran a few races here in the #5 Advance Auto Parts Late Model for the Gifford Brothers and Wayne Nunes. Then we bought the car that we now have from Ray Parent. Last season was a slump especially after the year before winning the Crab Memorial, the DAV, and a Triple Crown Race.

Vinny will be back in the Late Models this season rolling out in a brand new #17.

Is there anything new to the car for 2017? What are your expectations for this season?

Vinny: Everything. New car, paint scheme, motor…everything. We built it and put it all together ourselves. This season we just want to have patience and we are hoping that will help the wins come our way.

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April 2017
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