Mike Christopher Jr. Takes 30-Lap Modified Feature Event At Thompson Speedway’s World Series

Story By: CALE KING / THOMPSON SPEEDWAY MOTORSPORTS PARK – THOMPSON, CT – The epic end to the 83rd season of racing at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway featured plenty of thrills and spills in all six-divisions running on Sunoco World Series Sunday presented by Budweiser.

Three track champions were crowned alongside the Weston’s Automotive Sunoco Modified Triple Crown champion, the NEMA Lites, EXIT Realty Pro Truck Series and, of course, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in their penultimate event leading to their championship event at Virginia’s Martinsville Speedway on October 28th.

The Sunoco Modifieds came into Sunoco World Series Sunday presented by Budweiser with two championships on the table. While one dug deep to hold onto the Thompson track title, several were ready for glory as the Weston’s Automotive Triple Crown Champion. 2021 Triple Crown champion Todd Owen led the early way until lap 7 when Troy Talman and Mike Christopher Jr. dove underneath him in turn three to take over the top spot. Meanwhile in 6th-place, Stephen Kopcik cautiously went along with the pace to protect his title hopes.

After following Talman for a few cycles, Christopher Jr. motored around the No. 3 machine to take the lead on lap 12 and never looked back. In the caution-free event, Mike Christopher Jr. doubled up on Sunoco World Series Weekend presented by Budweiser winning both the Saturday and Sunday Sunoco Modified 30-lap events. With the wins, Christopher also took down the Weston’s Automotive Triple Crown. Todd Owen hung on for second place with Corey DiMatteo taking third around Troy Talman. With his fifth-place finish, Stephen Kopcik was able to secure the 2022 Thompson Speedway Sunoco Modified championship after a dominant season at the 5/8-mile speedplant.

Continuing the track championship events, the always popular Limited Sportsman took the track to wrap up their 2022 season. Cautions came early with contenders Aaron Plemons and Brett Gleason motoring into the turn two grass broadside on the fifth lap. The restart soon found fellow title contender Corey Fanning with a flat right rear on lap 8, almost giving ‘Leadfoot’ Larry Barnett the championship until Fanning returned from the pits with fresh Hoosier rubber.

It wasn’t until the final caution on lap 18 with Fanning and Tyler Trott coming together in the middle of turns one and two that Barnett had the clear lead in the standings. Scott Sundeen would take the Limited Sportsman Sunoco World Series win over hardnosed competitors Zach Robinson and Ryan Waterman to round out the podium. After sandbagging and playing safe throughout the 20 lap feature event, ‘Leadfoot’ Larry Barnett took down the 2022 Thompson Speedway Limited Sportsman championship with his 9th-place finish.

One of the strongest SK Lite Modified fields of the season entered Thompson’s high banked surface next to wrap up 2022 championship festivities on Sunoco World Series Sunday presented by Budweiser and it started with a bang. Coming down to the green flag a massive pile-up blocked the frontstretch with nearly 10 SK Lites involved. After the smoke cleared, Dylan Liseo’s No. 47x laid atop the Josh Carey and George Bessette Jr. machines leaving the wrecker crews quite the challenge. After clean-up the field again met disaster, this time in turn two with several cars skidding across the beginning of the backstretch.

Once again under the restart green, the field was able to complete two laps before Cassandra Cole got loose and broadside in the high groove of turns three and four, creating a road block and bringing out the caution yet again. Race Control opted for single file restarts. Through two more cautions, Alexander Pearl would take down the Sunoco World Series win in his first turn at Thompson in 2022 followed by Tyler Barry and John O’Sullivan. After being a dominant force in the SK Lite Modifieds all season long, Steven Chapman had the biggest point lead of the day but that didn’t stop him from getting on the wheel. Chapman was involved in at least three cautions in the plagued event but continued to drive up through the field, taking a 5th-place to secure his 2022 Thompson Speedway SK Lite championship.

The annual Sunoco World Series presented by Budweiser for the NEMA Lites proved to be a fast one. The green to checkers 20 lap main event was dominated by Avery Stoehr en-route to the Sunoco bonus in victory lane followed by Dan Cugini and Dylan Coutu to round out the podium.

The EXIT Realty Pro Truck Series made their second Thompson Speedway visit of the season on Sunoco World Series Sunday presented by Budweiser. After Tyler Chapman and Shawn Monahan led the early goings, Seekonk Speedway Legends car champion Devin Deshaies motored around the two of them to take the lead. The first caution would fly on lap 7 as the No. 5 of Chris Taylor spun and got struck by ‘Dangerous’ Dave Koenig in turn two.

Chapman would best Deshaies under the restart green flag with Monahan waiting in the wings. The final caution would come out for Bert Ouelette after a hard smash into the turn one wall following either a flat right front tire or suspension issues on his Pro Truck. Chapman would again get the jump on the restart but would dust up into the frontstretch wall with five laps remaining, the damage slowly eating into his successful run over the final laps. Shawn Monahan would take over the lead and win the EXIT Realty Pro Truck event followed by Duane Knoll and Gerard Giordano.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Phoenix Communications 150 rounded out the 60 Sunoco World Series weekend presented by Budwesier and the 83rd season of racing at Thompson Speedway. After taking fast time in yesterday’s qualifying session, Ronnie Williams led the 24-car field to green and held on until former Tour champion Doug Coby dove underneath him to steal the lead on lap 3. Another former Tour champion and national standout, Ryan Preece, would use the same move to take second under Williams on lap 11.

The lone caution on lap 13 saw Tommy Catalano sideways on the frontstretch and almost claimed narrow-lead point leader Jon McKennedy. Coby would set off against Preece on the restart and a seemingly endless game of chase was on. Eric Goodale charged up through the top-five to steal away the lead from Coby just before the halfway mark and never looked back. Eric Goodale took down the Phoenix Communications 150 win for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour to wrap up the 60th Sunoco World Series presented by Budweiser. Mike Christopher Jr. took second place and earned car owner Tommy Baldwin the 2022 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour owners championship with Anthony Nocella rounding out the podium.


Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park – Thompson, CT

60th Sunoco World Series presented by Budweiser

Sunday, October 9, 2022



NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour – Phoenix Communications 150

1. 58 Eric Goodale GAF Roofing 150

2. 7 Mike Christopher, Jr. Stuart Automotive 150

3. 92 Anthony Nocella Nocella Paving/K&D Associates/Airgas 150

4. 07 Patrick Emerling Captain Pip Marina & Hideaway 150

5. 22 Kyle Bonsignore Chalew Performance/MTT/Munn’s Auto 150

6. 79 Jon McKennedy Middlesex Interiors 150

7. 15 Kyle Soper Eastport Foods 149

8. 10 Doug Coby Mayhew Tools 149

9. 16 Ron Silk Blue Mountain Machine and Future Homes 149

10. 44 Bobby Santos III Harshaw Paving/Olivas Market 149

11. 64 Austin Beers Dell Electric/Lumiere Electrical 149

12. 36 Dave Sapienza Sapienza Enterprises 148

13. 18 Ken Heagy Buoy One Seafood Market & Restaurant 148

14. 51 Justin Bonsignore Phoenix Communication Inc. 148

15. 54 Tommy Catalano FX Caprara 148

16. 50 Ronnie Williams Empower Financial Services/RB Enterprises 147

17. 3 Ryan Preece Propane Plus/ACG/Island International 147

18. 32 Tyler Rypkema Northeast Drilling/MUSCO 146

19. 78 Walter Sutcliffe, Jr. Last Minute Racing 146

20. 34 J.B. Fortin Johns Fuel/John Tree Removal 144

21. 27 Gary McDonald Lakeland Landscape Supply 139

22. 26 Ed Brunnhoelzl III Lakeland Landscape/TRC Electrict 136

23. 82 Craig Lutz Horton Avenue Materials 121

24. 01 Melissa Fifield Pine Knoll Auto Sales 30


Sunoco Modifieds – 30 Laps

2022 Sunoco Modified Track Champion – Stephen Kopcik

2022 Weston’s Automotive Triple Crown Champion – Mike Christopher Jr.

1. 82 Mike Christopher Jr. Wolcott, MA

2. 81 Todd Owen Somers, CT

3. 6CT Cory DiMatteo Farmington, CT

4. 3 Troy Talman Oxford, MA

5. 179 Stephen Kopcik Newton, CT

6. 57 Keith Rocco Berlin, CT

7. 5 RJ Marcotte Millville, CT

8. 1x Tyler Leary Hatfield, MA

9. 18 Tyler Berry Griswold, CT

10. 28 Rich Gautreau S. Windsor, CT

11. 27A Adam Gada Bozrah, CT

12. 02 Paul LaPlante Scituate, RI

13. 62 Cody Rose Worcester, MA

14. 26 Jason Sundeen Douglas, MA

15. 08 Nick Halkowicz Shelton, CT

16. 44 Darin Renihan Woodbury, CT

17. 34 Tom Fox Stafford, CT

18. 88 Mark Bakaj Lebanon, CT


Limited Sportsman – 20 Laps

2022 Limited Sportsman Track Champion – ‘Leadfoot’ Larry Barnett

1. 36 Scott Sundeen Sutton, MA

2. 89 Zach Robinson Putnam, CT

3. 7 Troy Waterman Danielson, CT

4. 1 Nathan Taylor Brooklyn, CT

5. 51 Bert Ouellette Ellington, CT

6. 01 Brett Gleason Griswold, CT

7. 11 Corey Fanning Maplewood, RI

8. 22 Tim Poulin N. Grosvenordale, CT

9. 73 Larry Barnett Moosup, CT

10. 75 Ryan Waterman Danielson, CT

11. 45 Tommy Shea New London, CT

12. 37 Kevin Mason W. Warwick, RI

13. 33x Jacob Coutu Moosup, CT

14. 52 Al Stone III Durham, CT

15. 38 Jon Porter E. Lyme, CT

16. 10 Hank Stott Medway, MA

17. 31 Nick Bendiak Pepperell, MA

18. 7x Jason Chicolas Sutton, MA

19. 43 William Rheaume Uncasville, CT

20. 80 Tyler Trott E. Hartford, CT

21. 67 Aaron Plemons Uncasville, CT

22. 66 Tyler Cinamella Willimantic, CT

23. 13 Jeff Van Pelt N. Providence, RI

DNS 28 Ed Flanagan Jr. Warwick, RI

DNS 46CT Jason Finkbein Manchester, CT

DNS 23 Bill Porter Canterbury, CT

DNS 46 John Carpenter Danielson, CT


SK Lite Modifieds – 25 Laps

2022 SK Lite Modified Track Champion – Steven Chapman

1. 7 Alexander Pearl Salem, CT

2. 18 Tyler Barry Griswold, CT

3. 15 John O’Sullivan Norwich, CT

4. 02 Meghan Fuller Auburn, MA

5. 14 Steven Chapman Ellington, CT

6. 24 Nathan Pytko Oxford, MA

7. 09 Cassandra Cole Westbrook, CT

8. 41 Tyler Chapman Ellington, CT

9. 22 Isaiah Newcomb Plymouth, MA

10. 15x Amanda West Colchester, CT

11. 34MA Dalton McCarthy Oxford, MA

12. 26 Steve Kenneway Hampton, NH

13. 31 Trent Goodrow Carver, MA

14. 52 Anthony Forino Waterbury, CT

15. 07K Cole Kugler Bradford, RI

16. 27 Corey Caddick Richmond, RI

17. 16MA Todd Douillard Palmer, MA

18. 47 Zach Sangermano Plainfield, CT

19. 46 Nick Hovey Chaplin, CT

20. 16CT Ethan Durocher Canterbury, CT

21. 03 Jaden Brown Kunkletown, PA

22. 69 Josh Carey Belchertown, MA

23. 39 George Bessette Jr. Danbury, CT

24. 78 Evan Bourgois E. Haddam, CT

25. 76 Ron Milford Jr. Ellington, CT

26. 47x Dylan Liseo Windsor, CT

27. 75 Casey Vogt Windsor Locks, CT

DNS 56x Derek Debbis Oakdale, CT


EXIT Realty Pro Truck Series – 35 Laps

1. 55 Shawn Monahan Waterford, CT

2. 2 Duane Noll Monroe, CT

3. 15 Gerard Giordano Jr. Freeport, NY

4. 10 Andrew Morin Old Saybrook, CT

5. 02 Jim Boyle E. Windsor, CT

6. 32 Randy Burr Middleboro, MA

7. 19CT Kyle Gero Oakdale, CT

8. 81 Tyler Chapman Quaker Hill, CT

9. 01 Al Leone Southington, CT

10. 47 Todd Taylor Stonington, CT

11. 6 Andy Pellegrini N. Grosvenordale, CT

12. 98 Shawn Passero Oakdale, CT

13. 64 Devin Deshaies Harrisvile, RI

14. 151 Bert Ouellette Ellington, CT

15. 5 Chris Taylor E. Lyme, CT

16. 97 Dave Koenig Freeport, NY


NEMA Lites – 20 Laps

1. 10 Avery Stoehr Lakeville, MA

2. 51 Dan Cugini Marshfield, MA

3. 53 Dylan Coutu Griswold, CT

4. 4 PJ Stergios Candia, NH

5. 48 Todd Bertrand Danielson, CT

6. 17 Kyle Valeri Monument Beach, MA

7. 21 Joey Bailey Monroe, NJ

8. 29 Jake Trainor Medway, MA

9. 28 Michael Pernisiglio Ronkonkoma, NY

10. 35 Randy Cabral Kingston, MA

11. 59 Brayden Egan Ashford, CT

12. 8 Ethan Dionne Oakdale, CT

13. 94 Tiana Kibbe Fairfield, CT

14. 16 Eric Bacon Brimfield, MA

15. 1 Chase Locke Chester, NH

16. 26 Lanson Fomoro

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