Story By: CALE KING / THOMPSON SPEEDWAY MOTORSPORTS PARK – THOMPSON, CT – The epic Saturday portion of the 60th Sunoco World Series presented by Budweiser featured all important end-of-year action for the divisions present with championship implications laying in every corner.
Deserving winners across the board made their mark in World Series victory lane Saturday all in preparation for bigger and better things to come.
To start the afternoon’s action, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour used two-lap time trials to determine the starting line-up of tomorrow’s Phoenix Communications 150. After 24 drivers took to the Thompson highbanks, Ronnie Williams prevailed over Ron Silk to earn the Mayhew Tools Pole Award with his 19.073-second lap. Both will lead the Phoenix Communications 150 field down to take the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour green flag tomorrow afternoon to round out the 60th Sunoco World Series presented by Budweiser.
Frequent hard-luck driver Bill Schoeler led the Thompson Mini Stocks to green for their 2022 championship ending 20 lap main event. Point leader Kevin Moore drove up through the back of the field and began to eye the leaders early before the first caution would come out on lap 9 for the spinning and stopped #9 of Dave Trudeau Jr. in turn four. Schoeler would defend his lead against the challenging Dave Trudeau Sr. on the restart, both drivers’ neck-and-neck for multiple laps before Trudeau bested the #84RI.
The final caution on lap 18 found Schoeler made contact with point leader Moore, cutting a tire and ending his night as Moore returned to the tail of the field ready for the restart. In the final two laps, Kevin Moore charged into a fifth-place finish and clenched the 2022 Thompson Mini Stock track championship. Dave Trudeau would take down his second win of the season followed by Jarred Roy and John Bavolacco.
Next on the field, Scarborough, Maine’s Garrett Hall and Rehoboth, Massachusetts’ Jake Johnson lead the Pro All Stars Series Super Late Models to green in their 75 lap main event on Sunoco World Series Saturday presented by Budweiser. Hall led the early paces with former Oxford 250 winner Wayne Helliwell Jr. moving swiftly through the field, setting his sights on Hall and the first place position by lap 6. After stalking the young hot-shoe, Helliwell moved around to take the lead on lap 12 with Johnson moving into second shortly after.
By lap 25, D.J. Shaw entered the top-5 mix as Hall began to rebound ahead of him. Hall caught up to the rear bumper of Johnson and used the slingshot move to jump underneath and claim second back at the line before setting his sights on Helliwell. Garrett Hall would take the lead from inside Helliwell to take the lead and never looked back in the green-to-checkers 75 lap sprint for the PASS Super Late Models. Hall would take his first Thompson win since 2016 followed by Wayne Helliwell Jr. and D.J. Shaw to round out the podium after just barely motoring around Jake Johnson.
Defending Weston’s Automotive Triple Crown champion Todd Owen started off the Sunoco Modified feature by quickly taking the lead from RJ Marcotte at the start with Mike Christopher Jr. in tow. The first caution flag would come down for the stopped Adam Gada in the backstretch grass, just an inkling of what was to come. Following the successful restart, a massive melee across the start/finish line included multiple drivers including point leader Stephen Kopcik, Troy Talman, Jon Puleo and others.
With Kopcik’s team slamming wrenches in the infield pit area, the race resumed following the lengthy clean-up with Christopher Jr. leading Owen into turn one under the return to green. After stalking behind them, Keith Rocco made his presence known with a dive-bomb move into second under Todd Owen in turn three. At the halfway point Christopher Jr. held steadfast to a ten-car-length advantage over the bumper-to-bumper-to-bumper threesome of Rocco, Owen and Cory DiMatteo laying in wait.
Stephen Kopcik would return to take two laps with crucial championship points on the line while DiMatteo tried to move all around Keith Rocco for third. Mike Christopher Jr. would break Kopcik’s four-win streak by taking Round #2 of the Weston’s Automotive Triple Crown Series for the Sunoco Modifieds. Todd Owen would take second with Cory DiMatteo coming home third over Keith Rocco and RJ Marcotte.
The New England Supermodified Series held their penultimate event as part of the 60th Sunoco World Series presented by Budweiser led to point by Thunder Road winner Ben Seitz and Massachusetts standout Matt Swanson. After five side-by-side laps, Swanson took the commanding lead over Seitz and Rob Summers and never looked back. Matt Swanson would take down his first Supermodified win in only his second start followed by Ben Seitz and Russ Wood after mechanical issues took out Summers and Derek Ranstrom.
The American-Canadian Tour took the field as the fifth feature event of the evening. By virtue of his +5, longtime Thompson Speedway standout Tom Carey III took off at the front of the pack followed by former ACT Rookie of the Year Erick Sands. As Carey began to pull away, a three way battle for second between Alexendre Tardif, Sands and 2022 Thompson Speedway champion Ryan Morgan drew the fans’ attention. Sooner still, point leader D.J. Shaw jumped into the top-5 before the first caution flew on lap 18 for the spinning Jacob ‘Rowdy’ Burns in turn two.
Carey and Tardif would muscle each other at the front under the restart before Sands smashed into the turn four wall with a flat right front with junked suspension ending his night. On the restart part-two, Carey and Tardif came across the line even until Carey pulled away as they drove out of turn two. The big caution of the night came soon after with John Lowinski-Low ending up on top of Joey Parker’s hood along the frontstretch. Now up against D.J. Shaw, Carey once again held his own under the return to green. As the race played out till the end, Derek Gluchacki gathered up a full head of steam to come within inches of Carey’s back bumper but time simply ran out. Tom Carey III would earn his second career American-Canadian Tour win followed by Gluchacki and Alexendre Tardif to round out the podium.
The New England Pro-4 Modifieds returned to the Sunoco World Series presented by Budweiser for their annual Harry Kourafas Memorial event. From the beginning it was all the Brett Merservey show out front, leaving the rest of the fifteen car field to sort themselves out. Even after the lone caution for Jack Dumas heading the wrong direction in turn four, Brett Merservey found himself at the front when it counted most. Merservey would win the 2022 Harry Kourafas Memorial race followed by Rob Richardi Jr. and Doug Merservey Jr.
To round out the epic Saturday night of the 60th Sunoco World Series presented by Budweiser, the much-anticipated Sunoco 100 for the Outlaw Open Modified Series. The $10,000 to win spectacle began with Craig Lutz and Eric Goodale at the lead before Keith Rocco shot himself into the lead by lap three in turn three. Just as fast, Ryan Preece made it seem like child’s play as he joined the top-5 in just ten laps. Just to add in a little more drama, Friday night Modified Racing Series winner Ronnie Williams entered the early mix at the front as the field spread further apart. For what seemed like eternity Rocco and Williams exchanged the lead in and out of each corner with a dangerous foe making the most of it.
Woody Pitkat grew ever closer to the front in each corner. ‘The Sultan of Stafford’ finally drove into the lead using a cluster of lap traffic and set off like a rocket until Houston had a problem on lap 82 with the first caution of the event for a frontstretch spinner. The entire field came down pit road during the caution period with adjustments and tires going on nearly every one of them before Pitkat, Mike Christopher Jr. and Preece won the race off pit road. Pitkat also got the jump on Christopher Jr. under the green flag as Keith Rocco went backwards fast. Two more cautions would stack up the field allowing multiple showdowns between Ryan Preece and Woody Pitkat ultimately Preece would get it done. Woody Pitkat would take a hard earned second-place followed by Matt Swanson in the second Gary Casella ride.
The 60th Sunoco World Series presented by Budweiser wraps up with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Sunoco World Series 150 presented by Phoenix Communications tomorrow, Sunday, October 9th. Alongside NASCAR’s oldest touring division will be Thompson Speedway track championship events for the Sunoco Modifieds, Limited Sportsman and SK Lite Modifieds as well as the Weston’s Automotive Triple Crown Series for the Sunoco Mods. NEMA Lites and the EXIT Reality Pro Truck Series will also be featured on the Sunday schedule.
The 60th Sunoco World Series presented by Budweiser bookend Sunday is $45 for adults and $10 for kids aged 12-6 with Grandstand Gates opening promptly at 10:00am.
Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park – Thompson, CT
60th Sunoco World Series presented by Budweiser Night #2
Saturday, October 8, 2022
Outlaw Open Modified Series Sunoco 100 – 100 Laps
1. 40 Ryan Preece
2. 88 Woody Pitkat
3. 25M Matt Swanson
4. 00 Austin Beers
5. 58 Eric Goodale
6. 25 Ronnie Williams
7. 55 Teddy Hodgdon
8. 20 Max Zachem
9. 75 Chris Pasteryak
10. 57 Keith Rocco
11. 7NY Mike Christopher Jr.
12. 45 Brett Merservey
13. 82 Craig Lutz
14. 19 Anthony Bello
15. 17B Tommy Barrett
16. 46 Justin Brown
17. 1 J.B. Fortin
18. 66NH Andy Shaw
19. 35 Andrew Molleur
20. 5A RJ Marcotte
21. 21 Chase Cook
22. 31 Andrew Charron
23. 17 Kevin Folan
24. 01NY Artie Peterson
25. 29 Spencer Davis
26. 3 Jake Johnson
27. 81 Todd Owen
28. 81NJ Jack Ely
29. 81x Josh Zentek
30. 48 Glen Steger
DNS 43 Devin O’Connell
DNS 41 Kevin Shea
DNS 06 Sammy Rameau
American-Canadian Tour – 75 Laps
1. 5MA Tom Carey III New Salem, MA
2. 03MA Derek Gluchacki North Dartmouth, MA
3. 21QC Alexandre Tardif Notre Dame des Pins, QC
4. 04VT D.J. Shaw Center Conway, NH
5. 41QC Jonathan Bouvrette Blainville, QC
6. 68NH Tanner Woodard Waterbury Ctr., VT
7. 31CT Ryan Morgan Franklin, CT
8. 37CT Jordan Hadley Waterford, CT
9. 9ME Shawn Swallow Groveton, NH
10. 27KY Isaac Bevin Louisville, KY
11. 77NH #Bryan Wall Jr. E. Kingston, NH
12. 38RI Connor Souza Riverside, RI
13. 60MA Joey Parker Weymouth, MA
14. 27NH #Cam Huntress Rochester, NH
15. 4CT Reese Bogue Groton, CT
16. 11QC Claude Leclerc Lanorie, QC
17. 77MA James Linardy Somerville, MA
18. 9MA Brian Tagg Millburg, MA
19. 17MA Matt Lowinski-Low Thompson, CT
20. 36NH Erick Sands Derry, NH
21. 30RI Jacob Rowdy Burns E. Greenwich, RI
22. 7NH #Cody Leblanc Berlin, NH
DNS 2CT Doug Curry Bozrah, CT
Pro All Stars Series Super Late Models – 75 Laps
1. 94 Garrett Hall Scarborough, ME
2. 27NH Wayne Helliwell, Jr. Dover, NH
3. 60 D.J. Shaw Center Conway, NH
4. 15MA Jake Johnson Rehoboth, MA
5. 17MA Eddie MacDonald Rowley, MA
6. 50 Gabe Brown Center Conway, NH
7. 7CT Cory Casagrande Stafford Springs, CT
8. 72 Ryan Kuhn E. Bridgewater, MA
9. 18s Mike Scorzelli Feura Bush, NY
10. 4NH Joey Polewarczyk Hudson, NH
11. 21 Josh King Vernon, VT
12. 81 Dan Winter Deerfield, ME
13. 60M Mike Mayberry Naples, ME
14. 7B Isaac Bevin Louisville, KY
DNS 36 Dave Silvia
New England Supermodified Series – 50 Laps
1. 97 Matt Swanson
2. 11 Ben Seitz
3. 41 Russ Wood
4. 51 David Duggan
5. 5 Rob Summers
6. 45 Derek Ranstrom
Weston’s Automotive Triple Crown Series for Sunoco Modifieds – 30 Laps
1. 82 Mike Christopher Jr. Wolcott, MA
2. 81 Todd Owen Somers, CT
3. 6CT Cory DiMatteo Farmington, CT
4. 57 Keith Rocco Berlin, CT
5. 5 RJ Marcotte Millville, CT
6. 34 David Arute Stafford, CT
7. 62 Cody Rose Worcester, MA
8. 44 Darin Renihan Woodbury, CT
9. 08 Nick Halkowicz Shelton, CT
10. 27A Adam Gada Bozrah, CT
11. 26 Jason Sundeen Douglas, MA
12. 179 Stephen Kopcik Newton, CT
13. 3 Troy Talman Oxford, MA
14. 7 Jon Puleo Branford, CT
15. 51 Anthony Bello
16. 02 Paul LaPlante Scituate, RI
17. 18 Tyler Berry Griswold, CT
18. 1x Tyler Leary Hatfield, MA
19. 28 Rich Gautreau
Thompson Mini Stocks – 20
2022 Track Champion – Kevin Moore
1. 97 Dave Trudeau
2. 1CT Jared Roy
3. 42 John Bavolacco
4. 9CT Rick LaFlesh
5. 82 Kevin Moore
6. 7 Kyle Wing
7. 22 Brad Caddick
8. 84 Bill Schoeler
9. 19 Ryan Pomposelli
10. 9x Dave Trudeau Jr.
New England Pro-4 Modifieds – Harry Kourafas Memorial 22
1. 1 Brett Merservey
2. 0 Rob Richardi Jr.
3. 67 Doug Merservey Jr.
4. 95 Ryan McPartland
5. 5 Brayden Merservey
6. 57 Kurt Lester
7. 44 Derek Robbie
8. 38 Ed Field
9. 24NY Bill Luchessi
10. 03VT Sophia Ashford
11. 04 Eric Vilandre
12. 55 Doug Viner
13. 4XL Jack Dumas
14. 24VT Ben Ashford
15. 37 Al Rieser