Stephen Kopick & DJ Shaw Among Icebreaker Winners To Start 83rd Thompson Season A Shattering Success

Story By: THOMPSON SPEEDWAY MOTORSPORTS PARK – THOMPSON, CT – The annual Icebreaker weekend Saturday opener was nothing short of a shattering success for Thompson Speedway and co-promoters Tom Mayberry with the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) and Cris Michaud with the American-Canadian Tour (ACT).

Growth in both the Sunoco Modified and Mini Stock divisions showcased a strong faith local drivers have in this combined venture between Michaud and Mayberry while the racing itself provided racefans with some much-needed entertainment after another New England winter.

The visiting PASS Super Late Models, EXIT Realty Pro Trucks and NEMA Lites also wowed the crowd with defensive driving and plenty of highspeed thrills, with a few spills along the way.

Starting off feature racing action was the first event for the Sunoco Modifieds in 2022. The 30-lap sprint proved coming off Thompson’s Turn 2 straight and true is no easy feat with all four cautions resulting from spins coming off the East corner of the track. Newton, Connecticut’s Stephen Kopcik kept the lead from the initial green before Jon Puleo threw his No.7 to the bottom coming out of Turn 2. Puleo would lose the lead with another slide job move from Kopick when Stafford Speedway super star Todd Owen started pressuring the duo at the halfway point.

The final caution on lap 26 bunched up the field, leaving Kopick with a rearview mirror full of Owen and fellow standout Mike Christopher, Jr. With Christopher in second, Kopick drove on the defense as the two swapped lanes again and again in the final five laps. Coming down to the checkered flag, Christopher threw one last, desperate shot to the bottom of Turn 4 undernieth Kopick, but it was too little, too late. Stephen Kopick would claim the Sunoco Modified’s Icebreaker victory with Wolcott’s Christopher in second and Somers’ Owen in third.

The NEMA Lites brought their usual lightning speed to the Thompson Icebreaker weekend with their 25-lap feature going green-to-checkered in under nine minutes. Danielson, Connecticut’s Todd Bertrand took the gold with his No.48 while a pair of Massachusetts drivers swept the rest of the podium. Medway’s Jake Trainor took second and Kyle Valeiri from Monument Beach earned third.

The only thing in DJ Shaw’s windshield this afternoon was redemption. Last year’s PASS Icebreaker 75 proved illusive for Shaw who had to settle for 6th following Derek Griffith’s dominance of the 2021 event. Content with following pole-sitter Johnny Clark through the opening stages, Shaw laid in wait for the first 40 laps until Clark’s handling faded away, the No.54 coming out of Turn 4 nearly sidewise on multiple occasions. On lap 47, Nova Scotia’s Austin MacDonald, a major threat for the lead throughout his preliminary heat and the feature, slammed hard into the Turn 1 retaining wall before coming to a rest against the wall in Turn 2.

On the restart, Shaw launched like a rocket, with Clark and Jake Johnson in tow. While these three took off, the remaining top-ten cars cruised around the 5/8-mile under a blanket before veteran drivers Joey Polewarczyk and Eddie MacDonald left the party. In the remaining laps, Shaw, Johnson and MacDonald made their own lane to the finish while Polewarczyk and fellow New Hampshire driver Gabe Brown mixed it up in the final two laps with Brown on top for fourth and Polewarczyk capping the top-five.

The Thompson Mini Stocks rolled out onto the track seventeen-strong compared to just eleven during last year’s Icebreaker weekend. The first caution flag flew on lap 6 with the strong-running No.31 of Tommy Silva took a dive into the frontstretch grass, just barely missing the inside retaining wall. By then, 2021 champion Jarred Roy had already taken the lead, and kept it through to the end of their first 20-lap feature of 2022. Charles Canfield would take second with Kevin Moore, recovering strong from a missed-shift restart, to finish third.

To round out the day, the EXIT Realty New England Pro Trucks launched their 2022 season with plenty of action. Early into the 35-lap feature, three trucks came together coming off the fourth corner with Tyler Chapman having to take his No.81 truck behind the wall. Following several peaceful laps, Andy Pellagrini drove off Turn 4 with a little too much throttle, spinning him backwards into the frontstretch grass and into the inside pit wall. After twenty feet of scraping atop the concrete wall, Pellagrini come to rest on top with his drivers-side tires free-floating. After the crowd received another lesson in the infamous Thompson Double Hook, Gerard Giordano, Jr. once again took the Pro Truck Icebreaker victory with Duane Knoll and Connor Souza rounding out the podium.

With weather for Sunday looking far less than favorable, the decision was made Saturday to postpone Sunday’s Icebreaker 125 schedule to Saturday, April 9th.

This coming Saturday the rescheduled $10,000-to-win Icebreaker 125 will roll alongside the Thompson ACT-type Late Models, SK Lite Modifieds and Limited Sportsman. Pits will open at 9:00am with practice to follow. Racing set to begin at 1:00pm.

Specific times and other information will be released this week. Combo General Admission tickets will be honored for Saturday’s rescheduled event, as will pit passes. You must keep and show your pit passes on Saturday to be honored. Any questions can be made to the ACT office email and phone.

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park – Thompson, CT
Thompson Icebreaker
Saturday, April 2, 2022

PASS Super Late Models (75 Laps)
Pos., Start Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown, Laps
1. (4), DJ Shaw (60), Ctr. Conway NH, 75
2. (10), Jake Johnson (15MA), Rehoboth MA, 75
3. (8), Eddie MacDonald (17MA), Rowley MA, 75
4. (7), Gabe Brown (50), Ctr. Conway NH, 75
5. (22), Joey Polewarczyk (4NH), Hudson NH, 75
6. (12), Ryan Kuhn (72), East Bridgewater MA, 75
7. (1), Johnny Clark (54), Hallowell ME, 75
8. (5), Cory Casagrande (7CT), Stafford Springs CT, 75
9. (14), Ben Rowe (4), Turner ME, 75
10. (2), Garrett Hall (94), Scarborough ME, 75
11. (3), Dave Farrington (23), Jay ME,75
12. (13), Brandon Barker (88), Windham ME, 75
13. (16), Jake Matheson (52M), Hillsboro NH, 75
14. (11), Derek Gluchaki (48), Dartmouth MA, 75
15. (9), Tyler Tomassi (76RI), West Greenwich RI, 75
16. (15), Joshua King (21), Vernon VT, 75
17. (17), Michael Scorzelli (18), Feura Bush NY, 75
18. (18), Dan Winter (81), Deerfield ME, 74
19. (21), Mike Mayberry (45), Naples ME, 74
20. (19), Brandon Turbush (06), Manorville NY, 71
21. (6), Austin MacDonald, Pictou NS, 47
22. (20), Austin Teras (29), Grey ME,
23. DNS JP Josiasse (24J), Ennismore, ONT

Sunoco Modifieds (30 Laps)
Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown
1. Stephen Kopcik (179), Newton CT
2. Mike Christopher, Jr. (82), Wolcott CT
3. Todd Owen (81), Somers CT
4. Troy Talman (3), Oxford MA
5. Jon Puleo (7), Branford CT
6. Keith Rocco (57), Berlin CT
7. Danny Cates (46), Chaplin CT
8. Tyler Berry (18), Griswold CT
9. RJ Marcotte (5) Millville MA
10. Bill Anderson (89), Wolcott CT
11. Cody Rose (62), Worcester MA
12. Mark Bakaj (27), Lebanon CT
13. Adam Gada (27A), Bozrah CT
14. Jason Sundeen (26), Douglas MA
15. Paul LaPlante (02), Scituate RI
16. John Lowinksi-Low (33), Thompson CT
17. DNS Corey Berry (39), Moosup CT
18. DNS Ronnie Williams (50), Tolland CT

NEMA Lites (25 Laps)
Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown
1. Todd Bertrand (48) Danielson CT
2. Jake Trainor (29), Medway MA
3. Kyle Valeiri (17), Monument Beach MA
4. Dylan Coutu (53), Griswold CT
5. Avery Stoehr (10), Lakeville MA
6. Paul Scally (30), Paul Scally MA
7. Joey Bailey (21) Manhattan NY
8. Eric Bacon (26) Brimfield MA
9. Brayden Egan (59), Ashford CT
10. Tiana Kibbe (94), Fairfield CT
11. Chris Vose (3), Gloversville NY
12. Dan Cugini (51) Marshfield MA

Mini Stocks (20 Laps)
Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown
1. Jarred Roy (1CT), Moosup CT
2. Charles Canfield (25), East Haven CT
3. Kevin Moore (82), Moosup CT
4. Chris Garside (83), Groton CT
5. Dave Trudeau (97), Marshfield CT
6. John Bavolacco (42), Stratford CT
7. Rick LaFlesh (9CT), Griswold CT
8. Tommy Silva (31), Gales Ferry CT
9. Sam Mesick (2), Norwich CT
10. Kyle Wing (7), Marshfield CT
11. Bill Schoeler (84), Warwick RI
12. Steve Michalski (44), Brooklyn CT
13. Nadine Coates (40), Newport NH
14. Ray Herman (91), Baltic CT
15. Jeff Martin (8), Barre VT
16. Chris Ivory (94X), Oakdale, CT
17. Brad Caddick (18) Wyoming RI

EXIT Realty Pro Truck Feature (35 Laps)
Pos., Driver, Car #
1. Gerard Giordano, Jr. (15)
2. Duane Knoll (2)
3. Connor Souza (38)
4. Nathan Smith (55)
5. Devin Deshaies (66)
6. Dave Koenig (97)
7. Andy Lindeman (3)
8. Jim Boyle (02)
9. Todd Taylor (47)
10. Clark Brooks (21)
11. Andrew Morin (10)
12. Mike Cavallaro (80)
13. Randy Burr (32)
14. Emma Monahan (78)
15. Gee Perry (85)
16. Joe Arena (1)
17. Ryan Perry (83)
18. Chris Taylor (5)
19. Kyle Gero (19)
20. Andy Pellagrini (6x)
21. Roger Hunt (48)
22. Ron Hunt (82)
23. Tyler Chapman (81)

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