Ronnie Williams Runs It Back For Victory In Showdown 75 At Thompson Speedway Wednesday
Story By: KYLE SOUZA / THOMPSON SPEEDWAY MOTORSPORTS PARK – THOMPSON, CT – Tolland, CT’s Ronnie Williams made it two in a row with the Outlaw Open Modified Series by capturing the Twisted Tea Tripoint Showdown 75 at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Wednesday, September 15.
Williams followed a similar script to his Midsummer 75 victory in August by coming on strong late in the going to take home another $5,000 top prize at the final tune-up for the $20,000-to-win Thompson 300.
Thanks to the plus-four they earned in their qualifying heats, Williams and Bethlehem, CT’s Chase Dowling led the field to the green flag. Williams paced the first seven laps in his Casella Racing machine before Dowling muscled inside entering turn two, bringing Chelmsford, MA’s Jon McKennedy along for the ride.
After initially coming back on McKennedy, Williams began to drift back in the field. As he did, McKennedy asserted himself, grabbing the point from Dowling on lap 25. McKennedy then led a four-car breakaway of Dowling, Chris Pasteryak, and Richard Savary.
The race shifted on lap 36 when Russ Hersey came to a halt at the pit road entrance, bringing out the first caution. Every lead lap car except McKennedy headed to the pits with all of them putting on a fresh right rear tire and some also making chassis adjustments. Pasteryak won the race off pit road to restart second with Matt Swanson, Williams, Tyler Barry, and Dowling in tow.
McKennedy’s gamble looked good at first as the field diced for second on the restart, which allowed him to open a big lead. But once they got organized, Williams, Dowling, and Swanson ran McKennedy down. Williams gracefully drove below McKennedy coming into turn three on the 52nd circuit, then parried the crossover attempt to reassume command.
Five laps later, Barry’s Modified went up in smoke to trigger the second caution. McKennedy finally decided to pit, handing the second spot to Dowling with Swanson and Keith Rocco in his rear view mirror. Berlin, CT’s Rocco — who had started the feature at tail after problems in qualifying — grabbed third on the restart and took second from Dowling a couple laps later.
But Rocco had nothing for Williams, whose crew had again made all the right calls. The former Stafford Speedway champion was off into the night, pulling farther and farther away over the final laps and making him an early favorite for the Thompson 300 on October 10.
Dowling put some heat on Rocco down the stretch before settling for third. Swanson and Savary had solid top-five efforts while McKennedy could climb no higher than sixth after his late pit stop. Brett Meservey, Pasteryak, Rob Richardi Jr., and Paul Charette completed the top-10.
Franklin, CT’s Ryan Morgan padded his Late Model point lead with his first win of the year. Morgan was one of five cars who spent the first half of the 25-lap feature duking it out inches apart. Mark Jenison barely led the way after an aggressive lap-one move while Rick Gentes, Woody Pitkat, Morgan, and Derek Gluchacki completed the hornet’s nest.
Bellingham, MA’s Pitkat went three-wide inside down the frontstretch as they completed lap seven, shuffling Gentes back a row. The big winner, though, was Morgan, who darted to second on the outside. Morgan then slingshot around Jenison on lap 10 to get the top spot.
The thrilling battle came apart on lap 13 when Gentes whacked the turn two wall and collected Gluchacki. Morgan, and Pitkat broke away after the restart, and Morgan had enough to hold the former Thompson Speedway champion at bay.
After a midrace lull, Warwick, RI’s Jenison came back to steal third from Mike Benevides in the final corner. Nick Johnson rounded out the top-five.
Chaplin, CT’s Nicholas Hovey sped to his first career Thompson Speedway victory in the Vandi Auto Supply Limited Sportsmen. Hovey started third in the 20-lap feature and spent the first three circuits tandem-drafting away from the field with Troy Waterman. Coming into turn three for the fourth time, Hovey found a hole underneath Waterman and rolled right through.
Waterman then fell into the clutches of Scott Sundeen, and they spent eight laps going back-and-forth for the runner-up spot. By the time Sundeen had finally cleared Waterman, and taken Brett Gleason with him, Hovey was a country mile ahead. The youngters kept cruising the whole way to win a caution-free event.
The action for second got hairy on the final lap as Gleason went to the outside of Sundeen entering turn three. Corey Fanning tried to take advantage with a three-wide dive off turn four, and the trio spun across the finish line.
Sutton, MA’s Sundeen held onto the second spot with Mapleville, RI’s Fanning getting third. Gleason, Ryan Waterman, Larry Barnett, Zachary Robinson, Jeffrey Van Pelt, Troy Waterman, and Charles H. Stott III completed the top-10.
SK Light Modified point leader Anthony Bello of Newtown, CT extended the gap between himself and the competition with his second win of the season. Bello started the 20-lap feature fourth, which had already been decimated by a qualifying race accident. After alertly slicing to second on the initial start, Bello had his hands full trying to get around early leader John O’Sullivan III.
Bello finally got a good run underneath O’Sullivan as they approached turn three on lap 12. O’Sullivan got all out of sorts coming off turn four, letting Bello pull way out in front. Paul Charette’s turn-three spin with three laps to go gave O’Sullivan a second chance, but he couldn’t capitalize as Bello smoothly drove to the victory. Nathan G. Pytho completed the podium followed by Steven Chapman and Albert Ouellette.
Sterling, CT’s Jared Roy made it three victories in four events for the Mini Stock division. Roy spent the first part of the 15-lap feature in a five-car tango for the lead, which was led by Steven Michalski and Dave Trudeau. William Schoeler went three-wide inside the front row as they completed the fifth circuit, but couldn’t make it stick in turn one, which gave Trudeau the lead by half a car length.
The very next time around, Roy tried the same move as Schoeler. The point leader, however, was successful in his attempt as Roy snatched the lead. Michalski and Schoeler then tangled up out of turn four with Michalski tagging the inside wall. Michalski was able to get out of harm’s way, which kept the event under green and let Roy walk away to the win.
After dogging Mansfield, CT’s Trudeau for the second half of the feature, Plainfield, CT’s Russell Barboza got around him for second on the final lap as Trudeau started to slow down. Trudeau was able to coast home third followed by Rick “The Rocket” Laflesh and Schoeler.
Thompson Speedway caps its 2021 racing season with the annual Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing from Friday, October 8 to Sunday, October 10. The Sunday portion of the World Series features the return of the $20,000-to-win Thompson 300 for the Outlaw Open Modified Series. The weekend also includes the Sunoco Modified Triple Crown Series, ACT Late Model Tour, PASS Super Late Models, all local divisions, an 8-Cylinder Street Stock Open, and much more.
The full World Series weekend schedule and pricing will be announced soon.
THOMPSON SPEEDWAY MOTORSPORTS PARK — Thompson, CT
TWISTED TEA TRIPOINT SHOWDOWN 75
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2021
OUTLAW OPEN MODIFIED SERIES
Pos., Start Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown, Laps
1. ( 1 ) Ronnie Williams ( 25 ) Tolland, CT , 75 Laps
2. ( 18 ) Keith Rocco ( 57 ) Berlin, CT , 75 Laps
3. ( 2 ) Chase Dowling ( 9CT ) Bethlehem, CT , 75 Laps
4. ( 5 ) Matt Swanson ( 3MA ) Harvard, MA , 75 Laps
5. ( 6 ) Richard Savary ( 99 ) Holbrook, MA , 75 Laps
6. ( 3 ) Jonathan McKennedy ( 79 ) Chelmsford, MA , 75 Laps
7. ( 10 ) Brett Meservey ( 45 ) Brewster, MA , 75 Laps
8. ( 4 ) Chris Pasteryak ( 75CT ) Moosup, CT , 75 Lap
9. ( 8 ) Rob Richardi Jr. ( 12MA ) Taunton, MA , 75 Laps
10. ( 14 ) Paul “Buddy” Charette ( 28 ) Woodstock, CT , 75 Laps
11. ( 9 ) Anthony Flannery ( 25CT ) East Hampton, CT , 75 Laps
12. ( 12 ) Dave Etheridge ( 34 ) Portland, CT , 75 Laps
13. ( 11 ) Cameron Sontag ( 13 ) Sterling, MA , 74 Laps
14. ( 16 ) Josh Zentek ( 81X ) East Haven, CT , 71 Laps
15. ( 15 ) Paul LaPlante ( 02 ) Scituate, RI , 68 Laps
16. ( 13 ) Tyler Barry ( 21 ) Griswold, CT , 56 Laps
17. ( 17 ) Russ Hersey ( 05 ) Swanzey, NH , 54 Laps
18. ( 7 ) Max Zachem ( 20 ) Preston, CT , 51 Laps
DNS ( 19 ) Nick Anglace ( 4X ) Seymour, CT , 0 Laps
Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown
1. Ryan Morgan ( 31CT ) North Franklin , CT
2. Woody Pitkat ( 91CT ) Bellingham , MA
3. Mark Jenison ( 22RI ) Warwick , RI
4. Mike Benevides ( 50RI ) Westerly , RI
5. Nicholas Johnson ( 6 ) Rehoboth , MA
6. Charles H. Bailey IV ( 4CT ) Lisbon , CT
7. Rick Gentes ( 70 ) Harrisville , RI
8. Derek Gluchacki ( 03MA ) No. Dartmouth , MA
DNS Brian Tagg ( 9MA ) Oxford , MA
DNS Tom Carey III ( 5MA ) Warwick , MA
DNS Charles H. Bailey III ( 94CT ) Lisbon , CT
DNS Jake Johnson ( 9CT ) Rehoboth , MA
VANDI AUTO SUPPLY LIMITED SPORTSMEN
Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown
1. Nicholas Hovey ( 16 ) Chaplin , CT
2. Scott Sundeen ( 36 ) Sutton , MA
3. Corey Fanning ( 47 ) Mapleville , RI
4. Brent Gleason ( 01 ) Griswold , CT
5. Ryan Waterman ( 75 ) Danielson , CT
6. Lawrence P. Barnett ( 73 ) Moosup , CT
7. Zachary Robinson ( 89 ) Putnam , CT
8. Jeffery Van Pelt ( 13 ) Johnston , RI
9. Troy Waterman ( 7 ) Danielson , CT
10. Charles H. Stott III ( 10 ) Medway , MA
11. Michael Malbaurn ( 64 ) Moosup , CT
12. Tyler Troff ( 80 ) E. Hartford , CT
13. Kevin Mason ( 37 ) West Warwick , RI
14. Edward Flanagan, Jr. ( 5 ) Warwick , RI
15. Nick Bendiak ( 31 ) Popperell , MA
16. Nicholas Anderson ( 00 ) Oxford , MA
17. Kristopher Kay ( 8 ) Dudley , MA
DNS Tim Poulin ( 22T ) N Grosvenordale , CT
SK LIGHT MODIFIEDS
Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown
1. Anthony Bello ( 2 ) Newtown , CT
2. John O’Sullivan III ( 15 ) Norwich , CT
3. Nathan G. Pytho ( 24 ) Oxford , MA
4. Steven Chapman ( 14 ) Ellington , CT
5. Albert Ouellette ( 151 ) Ellington , CT
6. Paul Charette ( 28 ) Woodstock , CT
7. Paul French ( 37 ) Andover , CT
DNS Cameron Houle ( 05 ) Clinton , MA
DNS Charles McDougall ( 19 ) Derby , CT
DNS Alexander Pearl ( 43 ) Salem , CT
Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown
1. Jared Roy ( 1CT ) Sterling , CT
2. Russell Barboza ( 4 ) Plainfield , CT
3. Dave Trudeau ( 97 ) Mansfield , CT
4. Rick Laflesh ( 14 ) Griswold , CT
5. William J. Schoeler ( 84 ) Warwick , RI
6. Tim Taylor ( 81 ) Wauregan , CT
7. Dylan Decoster ( 18 ) New London , CT
8. Kevin Moore ( 04 ) Moosup , CT
9. Steven H. Michalski ( 44 ) Brooklyn , CT
DNS = Did Not Start