Story By: KYLE SOUZA / THOMPSON SPEEDWAY MOTORSPORTS PARK – THOMPSON, CT – The Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park season gets back underway this Wednesday, August 11, with the Truly Lemonade Hard Seltzer Midsummer 75. A six-division card is ready to do battle with big stars on hand and a great weather forecast.
The focus for many fans will be the 75-lap showdown for the Outlaw Open Modified Series. A stout field is expected that includes Tour-type Modified standouts Eric Goodale, Dave Sapienza, Chris Pasteryak, Matt Swanson, NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Preece and Mike Christopher Jr.
Several new Outlaw Open Modified entries have also come in over the last few days. NASCAR’s Preece, the winner of the Whelen Modified Tour event at Stafford Speedway this past Friday, has confirmed he will be at Thompson Speedway on Wednesday. Entries also have arrived from Tyler Barry, the grandson of legendary Modified car owner Art Barry, and Brett Meservey, whose family is well-known in the Northeast Modified ranks.
However, there is more to the show than just the main event. The Late Models, SK Light Modifieds, Vandi Auto Supply Limited Sportsman, and Mini Stocks have the latest round of their championship battles. A $1,000-to-win Street Stock Open completes the card, which should draw many of the Limited Sportsman cars. These local heroes have as big a passion for motorsports as anyone and will give it their all every lap around the 5/8-mile high banks. Names like Ryan Waterman, Larry Barnett and Icebreaker Open Street Stock winner Paul Newcomb are expected to be among the top contenders.
The Late Models are racing for a $1,200 top prize in their 25-lap main event. The man to beat so far in 2021 has been New Salem, MA’s Tom Carey III. He won the Icebreaker feature and followed that with a runner-up at the June 16 event. Carey also has a victory and four podium finishes on the ACT Late Model Tour, making him a contender for two different championships.
Oxford, MA’s Brian Tagg looks to ride the momentum of his flag-to-flag June 16 victory. North Franklin, MA’s Ryan Morgan sits second in points after a pair of top-three efforts. Other Late Model drivers to watch on Wednesday night include Woody Pitkat, Rick Gentes, Matthew Lowinski-Loh, and Nick Johnson.
The SK Light Modifieds are going 20 laps in their Midsummer shootout. Newtown, CT’s Anthony Bello and Woodstock, CT’s Buddy Charette have split the two features this year, both of which were up for grabs right until the end. Bello leads the overall standings after finishing second to Charette last time out.
Ellington, CT’s Albert Ouellette sits second in the standings, sandwiched between Ouellette and Charette, after a pair of top-five finishes. John O’Sullivan III, Josh Carey, Jason Paquette, and Nathan Pytko are other potential contenders for the win on Wednesday.
The Vandi Auto Supply Limited Sportsmen are expecting another strong field. They’re led by Moosup, CT’s “Leadfoot” Larry Barnett and Mapleville, RI’s Corey Fanning, the two feature winners in 2021. Barnett, one of the drivers planning double duty with the Street Stock Open, is among the winningest racers in Thompson Speedway history. Fanning is a 27-year-old up-and-comer with a new baby at home as a former champion at Seekonk Speedway.
Age doesn’t matter, though, when they get on the racetrack. Both wheelmen are on top of their games and could bring the championship chase down the wire. Brent Gleason, Ryan Waterman, Scott Sundeen, and Nicholas Hovey will try to play spoiler.
The Thompson Mini Stocks are bringing four-cylinder excitement for their fans. They had a great turnout at the July 7 event before rain halted the proceedings early. With all July 7 pit passes being honored on Wednesday, much of the field should return. This includes point leader Steven Michalski, Icebreaker winner Jared Roy, and veteran campaigners Dave Trudeau and Russell Barboza. With only 15 laps to get it done, the pressure is on for them to make moves and slash to the front.
Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park goes green with the Truly Hard Lemonade Midsummer 75 this Wednesday, August 11 at 6:00pm. The Outlaw Open Modified Series is joined by the Late Models, Vandi Auto Supply Limited Sportsmen, SK Light Modifieds, Mini Stocks, and a $1,000-to-win Street Stock Open. Admission is $30 for adults, $10 for kids ages 6-12, and free for ages 5 and under.