Archive for the 'NASCAR WMT' Category

NBCSN to Broadcast Championship Stretch Runs

Showcase for NASCAR K&N Pro East and West and NASCAR Whelen Modified Titles

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 27, 2017) – NASCAR fans are watching Kyle Larson, Joey Logano and Chase Elliott battle in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series week in and week out, and NBCSN will again be the showcase of the next crop of drivers following in their path.

NBC and NASCAR announced today the remainder of the 2017 broadcast schedule, which will capture the championship races for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West, as well as the newly unified NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

The next NBCSN broadcast will be Thursday, April 27, and will showcase Harrison Burton’s first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win at Bristol Motor Speedway from this past Saturday. Burton is the son of former NASCAR driver and current NBC Sports analyst Jeff Burton, and is a member of the current NASCAR Next class.

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NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Stat Advance: Stafford

Analyzing NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 at Stafford Motor Speedway

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 26, 2017) – The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will continue the 2017 season at Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford, Connecticut, on Sunday afternoon, headlining the historic NAPA Spring Sizzler weekend. Below is a statistical look at the 46th annual NAPA Spring Sizzler 200.

NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 Setup:
• This marks the first of three appearances this season for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at Stafford in 2017. Other stops will come on Friday, August 4 and Sunday, October 1. 
• Ted Christopher — who returns to the NWMT this weekend — will look to capture his first series win since 2011. He leads all active drivers with 12 career wins at Stafford. 
• Doug Coby will look to capture his sixth straight and ninth career Stafford Coors Light pole award Saturday. Coby has won both the pole and the race four times at Stafford and also was at the point for 193 of 200 laps of the Spring Sizzler last season in route to a victory. 
• Timmy Solomito started the season with two consecutive top-two finishes, including a win at Myrtle Beach on March 18. He holds a four-point advantage in the championship standings over Icebreaker winner Rowan Pennink.

Continue reading ‘NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Stat Advance: Stafford’

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour News & Notes: Stafford

Pennink Heads To NAPA Spring Sizzler Hoping To Keep Hot Streak Going

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 26, 2017) – Rowan Pennink captured the victory in the Icebreaker 150 at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on April 9, helping return the iconic team to Victory Lane for the first time since Ryan Preece won in the car in 2009. Pennink led 109 of the 150 laps at Thompson in route to his win and also led 38 laps in the season-opening race at Myrtle Beach Speedway back on March 18.

His two consecutive top 10 finishes have him sitting second in the championship standings heading into Sunday’s NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway.

Interestingly enough, Preece’s 2009 win came at Stafford and was the second of back-to-back wins in the No. 3. He had also won at New York’s Riverhead Raceway the week before.

Continue reading ‘NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour News & Notes: Stafford’

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.

Continue reading ‘Ed Flemke, Jr. and Paula Bouchard Named NAPA Spring Sizzler® Grand Marshals’

Justin Bonsignore Seeking First Stafford Win in NAPA Spring Sizzler®

Stafford Springs, CT — When it comes to NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour racing at Stafford Motor Speedway, Long Island native Justin Bonsignore will be the first to admit that Stafford hasn’t been one of his better tracks.  Bonsignore has racked up 9 top-5 and 16 top-10 finishes in 28 career NWMT starts at Stafford in addition to one career pole position coming at the 2011 NAPA Fall Final but is still in search of that elusive first career Stafford win.

“I’m really excited to get back to Stafford,” said Bonsignore.  “On one hand it hasn’t been my best or easiest tracks for results, but we had a lot of speed at Stafford last time out for the Fall Final and we had a freak issue with the kill switch take us out of contention.  We’re hoping we can carry over our speed from the Fall Final to the Sizzler.  We sure hope we can get our first win in the Sizzler.  If I were to ever get that first win at Stafford, what better race to get it at than the Sizzler?  It’s the biggest race of the year at Stafford so to get our first win at the Sizzler would mean a little more and it would be nice to drink the milk in victory lane.”

If Bonsignore needs inspiration, he needs to look no further back than the NAPA Fall Final last season.  Bonsignore and the #51 Phoenix Communications team won at New Hampshire last September and he followed that win up with a 4th place finish in the Fall Final.

Continue reading ‘Justin Bonsignore Seeking First Stafford Win in NAPA Spring Sizzler®’

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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Doug Coby Looking to Get Back in the Groove in NAPA Spring Sizzler®

Stafford Springs, CT — Coming off three consecutive NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championships, Doug Coby and the #2 Mayhew Tools / Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair team enter the 2017 season as favorites to once again be among the championship contenders.  After the first two races of the season, Coby and the #2 team find themselves sitting 16th in the points standings, 46 points out of the lead.  Fortunately for Coby and the #2 team, the NAPA Spring Sizzler® at Stafford Speedway is next on the schedule and will serve as the perfect opportunity for them to get their season back on track. 

Coby and the #2 team led by crew chief Phil Moran, won 3 of the 4 Stafford races during the 2016 NWMT season and might have gone 4 for 4 at Stafford if not for running out of fuel late in the Stafford 150 last August.  After finishing 13th at Myrtle Beach and last at Thompson after a first lap crash, Coby is ready to get back to his winning ways, if not at least running up front once again.

“Obviously things haven’t gone how we’re accustomed to in the beginning of the year, but that’s racing,” said Coby.  “Sometimes you start off firing on all cylinders and sometimes things just don’t go your way.  The two races have nothing to do with each other but it really stinks when it happens back to back.  Myrtle Beach was my mistakes over the course of the day starting with qualifying and then Thompson was something that was out of our control.  We’re not too worried, it is what it is.  A lot of other teams have had to deal with this year in and year out and it’s our turn now.  We’re excited to be going to Stafford.  We won 3 of 4 last year and probably would have won all 4 if we didn’t run out of gas so it’s a good place for us to hopefully get our season started.  I feel like we haven’t even gotten our season started yet.  Our season begins at Stafford.”

Continue reading ‘Doug Coby Looking to Get Back in the Groove in NAPA Spring Sizzler®’

Timmy Solomito Looking to Continue Dream Start to 2017 Season

Stafford Springs, CT — Timmy Solomito is looking to continue his good fortunes when the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour visits Stafford Motor Speedway on April 29-30 for the 46th Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler®.  Solomito and the #16 Starrett Tools team won the season opening race at Myrtle Beach and followed that up by sitting on the pole and finishing runner-up in the second event of 2017 at Thompson. 

“It’s been a pretty good start to the season so far,” said Solomito.  “We’re taking things race by race and trying to do the same things we did last year and get better each time we come to the racetrack.  We’ve been strong at Stafford and have been close to winning in the past but haven’t been able to seal the deal.  The start to the season has given us an extra boost of confidence and momentum is picking up for us.  We have Myrtle Beach and Thompson behind us and now the focus is on putting together a good car for Stafford.  Hopefully with what we’ve learned and my experience behind the wheel we can take that to Stafford and be even better.”

One area that Solomito will have to improve on if he is to carry his early season momentum to Stafford will be a good qualifying lap to get a starting spot towards the front of the field.  In 14 previous NWMT starts, Solomito has qualified in the top-5 only twice but feels that a recent rule change might play to his benefit for qualifying this season.

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Pennink Puts Ole Blue Back into Victory Lane

First Points Win for Iconic Whelen Modified Team Since 2009

THOMPSON, Conn. (April 9, 2017) – Rowan Pennink outdueled Bobby Santos on a restart with three laps to go and drove on to victory in the Icebreaker 150 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

Sunday marked the third career victory for Pennink, and first since the 2013 season, which also came at Thompson. It was also the first points race victory for the famed “Ole Blue” No. 3 Cape Cod Copper Chevrolet since 2009. The Boehler Racing team, which has six NASCAR Modified championships, is celebrating its 60th season.

Coors Light Polesitter Timmy Solomito rallied in the closing laps to finish second and Max Zachem crossed the line third. Santos, who was leading the race on the Lap 147 restart, settled for fourth with Patrick Emerling fifth.
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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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QUALIFING: Solomito On Point at Icebreaker

Second Straight Coors Light Pole at Thompson

THOMPSON, Conn. – After taking the checkered flag in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season opener last month in South Carolina, Timmy Solomito has brought his momentum north.

Solomito, of Islip, New York, posted a fast lap of 18.868 seconds (119.250 mph) Sunday afternoon around the .625-mile Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park to win the Coors Light Pole Award for the Icebreaker 150.

Solomito was also the polesitter for the 2016 Whelen Modified Tour season finale at Thompson. Today’s pole was the fourth of his career overall.

Continue reading ‘QUALIFING: Solomito On Point at Icebreaker’

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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PRACTICE: Dowling Fast at Thompson

2015 Sunoco ROY Tops Chart for Whelen Modified’s Icebreaker

THOMPSON, Conn. – While making his first appearance of the 2017 season on Saturday, Chase Dowling was the fastest overall in practice for Sunday’s Icebreaker 150 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

Although Dowling was 15th fastest in the first session, he rocketed to the top of the charts in the final practice with a time of 18.769 seconds (119.879 mph) behind the wheel of his No. 15 15-40 Connection Chevrolet.

Four-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby — who has five career Thompson victories – was second fastest overall with a fastest lap of 18.844 (119.401). Coby was the second fastest car in final practice, and was quickest in the opening round.

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Woody Pitkat Primed for Sizzler Glory with New Team

Stafford Springs, CT — As Stafford Motor Speedway gets set to host the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour for the 46th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler® on April 29-30, hometown driver Woody Pitkat is preparing to make his 9th start in “The Greatest Race in the History of Spring” for what will be his 6th different car owner.  Pitkat has made starts driving for owners Don King, John Lukosavage, David Hill, Buzz Chew, Kevin Stuart, and now for the 2017 season, he will be driving the #46 Riverhead Building Supply Chevrolet owned by Russell Goodale. 

“We went down to Myrtle Beach in February to try to get acclimated with the team and they could see what I was looking for with the car and what they were looking for from me,” said Pitkat.  “The Goodale team has been hard at work during the winter getting the cars ready and hopefully we can be competitive and run well right out of the gate so we can have a strong season.  I’d like to be able to compete for a couple of wins and hopefully, we can get in the top-5 or the top-3 to contend for the championship.  I won the Sizzler a couple years ago and it would be nice if we could be contenders again for the Sizzler.”

Despite the hodgepodge of owners Pitkat has driven for, he enjoyed success in the Sizzler with a win, 2 top-5 and 7 top-10 finishes in his 8 starts.  Pitkat traveled with the #46 team to Myrtle Beach back in February and finished 9th to help kick start his acclimation to the new team.  In the first NWMT of the season in March, also held at Myrtle Beach, he scored an 8th place finish after a subpar qualifying effort that saw them start 25th.

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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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New Perspective for Solomito at Icebreaker

Defending Winner Already has ’17 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Victory Heading to Thompson

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 5, 2017) — Weather may have delayed the Icebreaker a week, but it hasn’t slowed Timmy Solomito’s momentum.

Heading to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, he has firmly positioned himself as the driver to beat Sunday. The Islip, N.Y. driver captured the victory in the season-opening race at Myrtle Beach Speedway on March 18 and is heading to Thompson as the defending Icebreaker winner.

Last year, he wheeled the No. 16 Flamingo Motorsports entry into Victory Lane for his first career series win. The victory began what was a breakout season for the 25-year-old driver, including four checkered flags.

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Todd Szegedy Ready to Battle for his 20th Career Win

Stafford Springs, CT — The NAPA Spring Sizzler® at Stafford Motor Speedway is the longest continuous run event on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour calendar.  While the Sizzler record books are filled with names like Christopher, Stefanik, Evans, and Troyer, one driver who quietly has amassed a sterling record in the Spring classic is 2003 NWMT Champion Todd Szegedy.  The Ridgefield native has 8 top-5 and 9 top-10 finishes in 15 career Sizzler® starts with a best finish of second, which he has achieved five different times (2003, 2007, 2009, 2015, 2016).  Szegedy is primed to go one spot better than his career best and take home his very first NAPA Spring Sizzler® trophy behind the wheel of the #85 Montanari Fuel / Stuart’s Auto Chevrolet co-owned by Bob Katon and Kevin Stuart.

“I always feel good about coming to Stafford,” said Szegedy.  “I have a lot of experience there and my crew chief Don [Barker] has a lot of knowledge for Stafford.  We know what we need to make the car go fast, the challenge will be being able to make that happen and making the right calls during the race.  Obviously, we want to win but we’ve got to start somewhere with good finishes.  It’s always a little disappointing when you don’t win and finish second.  I have 19 career wins and I’d really like to get to the milestone of 20 wins and what better place to do that than at Stafford?  The Sizzler is definitely on my bucket list for races that I’d like to win.  A Sizzler win would mean a lot to me but even more would be how happy it would make the team.  When you win, there’s no better feeling than seeing how happy the whole team is, it’s a very rewarding feeling.”

Continue reading ‘Todd Szegedy Ready to Battle for his 20th Career Win’

Ellwood Hopes to Sustain Momentum

Kyle Ellwood rallied from a cut tire on the first lap of the Performance Plus 150 to finish 15th. The inaugural NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Myrtle Beach (SC) Speedway was his third top 15 finish.

“It was a fun place to drive on and you really had to be able to figure out your limits there rather quick because if you didn’t you burned your car up,” Ellwood said. “So, it took a lot of thought. It wasn’t just to go out there and hammer down. So, my thoughts on the whole race was it was pretty good.”

The Riverhead, NY driver felt confident in his car even though he was off the lead lap. Seven cars were eliminated in a pair of late restarts.

“In the middle of the race, I picked off as many cars as I could. I damn near felt like we passed probably 20 cars out there. I seen a lot of cars but at the end, I just let ’em all have at it. I didn’t want to tear our car up since we want to have a good opportunity going into this Thompson show.”

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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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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 thompsonspeedway.com.

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

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NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Stat Advance: Thompson

Analyzing The Icebreaker 150 at Thompson Speedway 

http://hometracks.nascar.com/files/ib-2017-logo_0.jpgDAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 29, 2017) — The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will continue the 2017 season at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Thompson, Connecticut, on Sunday afternoon. Below is a statistical look at the Icebreaker 150, including selected driver notes:

Icebreaker 150 Setup:

  • This marks the first of four appearances for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at Thompson this season.
    • The track has held 134 Whelen Modified Tour races, the most of any track in series history.
    • Timmy Solomito returns to Thompson as the defending winner of the Icebreaker 150 and the current points leader following his win in the season-opening event at Myrtle Beach Speedway. 

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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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Blewett Refocuses on Home for 2017

Veteran to Compete Parttime on NASCAR WMT

Jimmy Blewett of Howell, NJ will make his first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour start of the season this weekend. He will drive the No. 76 John Blewett Inc./TS Haulers/Starrett Tools Chevrolet for the Icebreaker at Thompson (CT) Speedway Motorsports Park. Blewett expects to run 4-6 events this season thatdo not conflict with his commitment at Wall (NJ) Stadium Speedway.

“I would love to support the Thompson, Stafford schedule,” Blewett said. “That’s always been my favorite because of the history of Thompson and Stafford and their dedication to the tour. Hopefully, we can maybe hit a Loudon race or two but it’s all kind of up in the air.”

Blewett’s focus is competing for the Wall Modified championship in his No. 19. There are benefits for Blewett’s return to Wall. The track five minutes from home is easier to find sponsors. Family and friends want to follow him at Wall when they cannot attend a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race.

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NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour News & Notes: Thompson

Zachem Heads Home Looking for First Tour Win

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 28, 2017) — Last year, Timmy Solomito used his first career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win in the Icebreaker 150 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park to launch a breakout season.

To find this year’s candidate to follow in Solomito’s tracks, you don’t have to look far.

Max Zachem made his debut on the tour at Thompson in 2013, and the now 24-year-old Preston, Connecticut, driver cut his teeth racing at his home state’s short tracks. And he heads back to New England for the 43rd annual Icebreaker weekend after a fifth-place run in the newly unified tour’s season opener at South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach Speedway last week.

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Max Zachem Looking to Drink the Milk at NAPA Spring Sizzler®

Stafford Springs, CT — The 2017 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season kicked off in Myrtle Beach and Preston, CT native and driver of the #20 Lu-Mac’s Package Store Chevrolet Max Zachem, opened with a fifth-place finish.  Zachem is looking to continue his momentum at the 46th Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler® on Sunday, April 30.  Stafford has not been one of Zachem’s best tracks in his short career, but with a top-10 finish in all four Stafford races last season, Zachem is confident that he can get a top-5 finish or even a win in the prestigious Sizzler®.

“Stafford is one of my hardest tracks,” said Zachem.  “I think we can improve on our finishes at Stafford this season and be in the top-5 in each race.  Steve Lemay, who was Bobby Santos’ crew chief, has come on board with us and he’s been a great help with my driving and the car setups.   Everything as a whole package has made the race team that much better.  I think we can get a top-5 finish or even drink some milk in victory lane.  We have a shot for it, I believe our team is the best it’s ever been, and we’ll have something to show to everyone this year.”

Zachem began last season with a pair of career-best second place finishes and he parlayed that early season momentum into a 5th place finish in the points standings in only his second full season on the Modified Tour.  Zachem is looking to replicate that early season momentum this season while being more consistent with his race finishes to make a run at the championship.

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Rowan Pennink in Search of History, 3rd Consecutive SK Modified® Championship at Stafford Motor Speedway

Stafford Springs, CT — When the green flag falls on the 2017 SK Modified® season at Stafford Motor Speedway, Huntingdon Valley, PA native, Rowan Pennink, will be looking to make history behind the wheel of the Bob Hitchcock and Kelly Iverson owned #99 Independent Wheel machine.  Pennink is the two-time defending SK Modified® track champion at Stafford, no modified driver has ever won three consecutive track titles.  Before Pennink, there have been 7 back to back champions: Bill Wimble (’64-’65), Geoff Bodine (’77-’78), Richie Evans (’80-’81), Jerry Pearl (’84-’85), Mike Christopher (’89-’90), Bob Potter (’91-92, ’94-95) and Ted Christopher (’00-’01).  Only three drivers in the history of Stafford have ever won three consecutive track titles; Late Model drivers Phil Rondeau (’87-’89) and Ryan Posocco (’03-’05) and DARE Stock driver Norm Sears (’06-’08).

“We haven’t talked about it yet,” said Pennink.  “Obviously that’s what we’re coming back to do this year and it would be awesome if we could win the championship again this year.  It would mean a ton for us.  It would be a huge honor to have that happen and Stafford is my favorite place to go racing every Friday night.  I started off a long time ago racing modifieds at Stafford and not only myself as a driver but the 99 team also, we’ve both come a long way and the goal is another championship.  This will be my fifth year running for Bob and Kelly and it’s been four years and two championships together.”

Pennink began driving for the #99 team back in 2013 and the combination looked to be destined for great things as they won in only their third race together.  In racing, sometimes as quickly as you get to the top you can be relegated right back down and that’s what happened to Pennink and the #99 team as they went 22 races between the 2013 and 2014 seasons before finding themselves back in NAPA Victory Lane for a second time by taking the checkered flag in the inaugural NAPA SK 5k race.  Things have really taken off since that second win, with the Pennink/99 team combination recording an astounding 18 wins in 49 starts, which works out to a winning percentage of 37%, and back to back championships.

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NWMT: Guerin Excited by Team’s Performance

BJ Guerin’s goals are off to a good start. Guerin is the Product Specialist and Education in Motorsports at Starrett. Starrett’s cars finished first and eleventh at the season opener at Myrtle Beach (SC) Speedway Saturday night. Guerin noted the additional cars in the field after NASCAR merged the Whelen Modified Tours.

The Flamingo Motorsports team coached Solomito on lap times to save tires on the abrasive half mile. Teams were limited to 4 tires. Crashes on a pair of late race restarts eliminated a number of cars. Mitee-Bite Products is an associate sponsor on Solomito’s No. 16. The Roush Yates Engines partner makes clamps.

“A lot of people had great game plans last night and we were fortunate the 16 car had a better game plan than everybody else,” Guerin said.

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LFR Northeast Becomes Part of LFR Enterprises

Rob Fuller Acquires Business from Bob Charland

SHREWSBURY, Mass. (March 22, 2017) – LFR Enterprises, owned by Rob Fuller, has acquired LFR Northeast which was previously operated by Bob Charland.

Fuller will take over the Northeast region for modified distribution and sales for LFR Enterprises.  Charland will no longer be selling parts to the racing industry.

“Rob and I had an agreement that if I ever wanted to change direction that he would step up and take over,” said Charland. “Rob has a very unique product line that really requires a vast knowledge of this industry which he has, so this really makes sense not only for me, but the customers as well.”

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Solomito Charges Late for Myrtle Beach Win

First Winner For Newly Unified Whelen Modified Tour

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – One year ago, Timmy Solomito captured his first career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory in the season-opening Icebreaker at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. 

Fast-forward a year later, the Islip, New York, driver was celebrating a victory in the season-opening race once again.

Solomito captured the win in the Performance Plus 150 presented by Safety-Kleen on Saturday at another historic venue, the half-mile Myrtle Beach Speedway, and became the first winner on the newly formed unified Whelen Modified Tour. 

[Photo Gallery] by Debbie Horn

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