Column By: MATTHEW WIERNASZ / RPW – THOMPSON, CT – For the first time in two years, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour made a return to the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, and Craig Lutz continued where he left off as he dominated the Phoenix Communications 150. Lutz would lead 119 laps.
” It was just one of those days. It was a picture-perfect race, picture-perfect car. Just everything worked out to our favor. You don’t get many of those to be able to pull one off is pretty damn special.” Lutz Said
Eric Goodale finished in second. Doug Coby finished in third. Jon McKennedy finished in fourth and Justin Bonsignore rounded out the top five.
Jimmy Blewett set the fastest time in qualifying in Tommy Baldwin Racing 7NY. He had a fast car and led some laps but his night would come to an end early after Doug Coby, Blewett, and Tyler Rypkema went three wide. Blewett would end up crashing on the frontstretch wall. Coby has driven for Tommy Baldwin this year winning two races at Riverhead and Lee. Blewett won in July at Wall Stadium. Both Blewett and Coby gave their thoughts about the contact.
” Honestly still trying to process it. This is a team effort for Doug (Coby) myself, and Michael (Christopher, Jr) to get Tommy (Baldwin) this owner’s championship. I’ve seen video three or four times. All I know is my spotter was telling me three wide. You’re in the middle Give them room and I just maintained my lane. He just come up and hit me in the left front and cleaned us out. It’s just unfortunate. I’ve made moves like that and I know what the end result is. Doug has made moves like that and knows the end result. You know personally, I think he messed up. He better take ownership for it and I am going to tell him that. Nothing for nothing, this put us right behind an eight-ball. Guys worked their tails off. Gave us a great car. Unloaded right out of the trailer Tommy and I we’ve worked great together. We just stuck to plan from the time we’ve unloaded all the way through the race. Everyone did a phenomenal job. It’s just unfortunate we’re sitting here. It felt like I had the car to win tonight. For me, I am extremely disappointed in Doug for making that move on me knowing the situation were all in. Nobody in this pit area works harder than Tommy Baldwin in my eyes and his guys. We’re down but we aint out. These guys will get this thing back together and we’ll be back. The season aint over yet.” Blewett Said
” I restarted on the bottom behind Eric Goodale. Jimmy started on the outside behind Spencer Davis. I am following Goodale by on the bottom. Goodale got up next to Davis. I was getting up next to Jimmy. Jimmy chose to get a run on the backstretch next to Davis and put himself three wide in the middle. I was far enough into three through three of four and if I wasn’t. I would’ve gotten wrecked because I was far enough up. He was the car that went three wide and when it didn’t work. He should’ve backed out of it. I feel terrible. I am not like you know happy about it. Not looking forward to the conversations that I have to have with him and Tommy. We all make decisions in the cars and I understand I am driving the 7 and trying to help them win an owner’s championship but when I am here with the 10. I have a big investment in that car and I have to protect my spot and my team and the work they put in. That’s kind of my stance. I don’t feel like I put us in a bad spot. I feel like he did. I think they should cool down and think about things. Think about the decisions that he made that caused that as opposed to me having to be the one to get them out of a jam they put themselves in.” Coby Said
Jordan Hadley crossed the finish line first in the Late Model race ending Derek Gluchacki’s winning streak but would not pass post-race inspection. Woody Pitkat would win the Late Model race as he originally crossed the finish line in second. Pitkat won his 50th race overall at the 5/8 mile oval putting him eighth on all the time win list. Corey Fanning crossed the finish line first in the Limited Sportsmen race but would fail post-race inspection. Zach Robinson would win the race. Nathan Pytko won the SK Lights race on Thursday and Steven Chapman won the race on Tuesday in the SK Lights Double down championship event. Chapman got the most points and won the championship. Stephen Kopcik continued his winning streak in the Sunoco Modifieds as he won the race on Tuesday. Paul Newcomb won the Street Stock Open race and Kevin Moore won the Mini Stocks race
The next event for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will be at Langley Speedway this weekend on Saturday, August 27.
Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park will have two more events during the 2022 season. The final midweek event of the season will take place on Wednesday, September 14 featuring the Tripoint Showdown 75 Outlaw Open Modified Series along with the Sunoco Modifieds, Late Models, Limited Sportsmen, Mini Stocks, and the SK Lights. and then in October, a fall tradition will be coming back as the 60th annual Sunoco World Series of Racing comes back to the 5/8 mile oval that will feature many different divisions of racing that will include the return of the Thompson 300 for the Outlaw Open Modified Series, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Sunoco Modified Triple Crown Series as they will race all three days. The PASS Super Late Models and the ACT Tour Late Models will also be a part of the program. More details regarding other divisions and scheduling about this prestigious short-track event will be announced at a later date.