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Despite a few rain delays over the course of the day, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Division’s return to Thompson
Speedway Motorsports Park could not be dampened by Mother Nature as the division made it’s first appearance at the
Big-T since 2009 in style. The brightest future stars of NASCAR took to the historic track for the first annual Busch
North Throwback 100 on Saturday, July 8 with several drivers sporting paint schemes honoring the best of the best of
the series’ past as they honoring the history of motorsports in New England.
The field consisted of numerous series regulars and a few drivers familiar with Thompson Speedway looking to make
their own mark by using their experience on the historic oval to their advantage. The day started with a new track
record as Chase Purdy topped Martin Truex, Jr’s previous record of 20.200 with a lap time of 20.197 in group qualifying,
nabbing Purdy his third consecutive pole. Purdy would lead the first few laps of the night’s main event, but eventually
found himself under attack by Todd Gilliland, son of NASCAR driver David Gilliland, who started on the outside pole and
had a dominant car for much of the event.
Despite Gilliland’s dominance however, the last 25 laps saw another generational driver rise to the top and find his way
to victory lane. Harrison Burton, son of NASCAR staple Jeff Burton, was able to wrestle the lead away in the final
quarter of the event after racing side-by-side with Gilliland for nearly five laps before finally completing a pass and
never looking back. The win was Burton’s fourth of the season, and fourth in the last six races, building on his points
lead as he continues to make his mark on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Division.
After the win a humble Burton said it was a fun and challenging day and that he was proud to come out on top. “It was
an awesome race. We had a really great race car. We weren’t quite as good as we needed to be at the end of the first
day so we came back today with a little bit of a different setup and it took to the racetrack well,” Burton told reporters
after his win. “I’m proud of my guys. They put together a really great race car and made my job a heck of a lot easier.
You need a car that’s pretty good to pass here.”
With the K&N Pro Series East Division having an extensive history at Thompson, much of which was celebrated
throughout the weekend as part of the Throwback 100 theme, Burton said he was proud to add his storied family name
to the history of the Big-T.
“It’s awesome. The Burtons are kind of like a team themselves,” Burton said. “It’s cool that we’re kind of branching out
a little bit and trying some new race tracks and getting the opportunity to race on tracks like (Thompson). This is why I
do it. I couldn’t do it without the guys in the shop, my mom and dad, and my sponsors and it’s cool to bring the Burton
name to victory lane.”
Todd Gilliland held on for a second place finish and took the blame for the loss, but said Thompson was a fun track to
race on and hopes to return to the speedway in the future.
“It was pretty fun. I think I just ran too hard and got the rear tires too hot and they were slipping and sliding,” Gilliland
said. “We knew when (Burton) got by us it was going to be hard to pass him. Overall we had a great car tonight. I think
this was on me just burning up the rear tires a little too much.”
Elsewhere on the night, the Mini Stocks division started off the evening of racing and it was the defending champion
who charged his way to the front as Wayne Burroughs continued his consistent season claiming victory in the 15-lap
feature. Burroughs survived contact from runner-up Nate Taylor in a green-white-checkered finish to claim the win.
While Burroughs managed to pull away from the incident without harm, he said it was a surprising moment that made
for an interesting final two laps.
“(Taylor) got me good. I didn’t think we were getting out of it. I knew it wasn’t intentional when he backed out. That’s a
risk you take when you start on the outside. It’s a faster groove, but you know that guy is going to wash up into you,”
Burroughs said. “This car was awesome. We’ve been real consistent since we’ve been here. That’s what it takes is
consistency. You have to be on top of your game.”
The Limited Sportsman series saw redemption for Brent Gleason after the driver was disqualified from his previous
victory at Thompson in May due to issues with his engine. He got a clean win at Thompson in July however, taking the
top spot in the 20-lap shootout that he felt helped him come full circle as a racer.
“This is definitely redemption. I noticed a difference in power. I have to drive harder. These guys are tough to beat,”
Gleason said. “I wanted this race. I wanted redemption. I wanted to come back to win.”
While Gleason was claiming victory the points leaders stayed close together on the track with points leader Scott
Sundeen finishing third and maintaining his slim lead over Shawn Monahan and Ryan Waterman, currently second and
third in points, who finished second and fourth in the race respectively.
Late Model driver Matt Lowinski-Loh celebrated a rare career first at Thompson as he took victory in the division’s 25-
lap feature. While it was Lowinski-Loh’s second win at Thompson in his five-year career on the track, it was his first
time actually visiting victory lane, which he called a humbling experience.
“It was definitely a fun race,” said Lowinski-Loh who led every lap in the feature. “We got out to the lead and we kept it
and we kept a safe distance without overworking the car. It’s my first time in victory lane. Last year I got a win due to
a disqualification, but it’s definitely wild to be in victory lane in front of all these fans.”
Rick Gentes finished sixth and managed to cut slightly into the points lead of championship rival Ray Parent. Parent
minimized the damage however with an eighth place finish before climbing into a K&N Pro Series car to take part on
the Busch North Throwback 100.
The Sunoco Modified Series ended the night with the points leaders all having trouble in a caution littered first half of
the 30-lap feature. Points leader Ryan Preece as well as his closest challengers for the title, Keith Rocco and Woody
Pitkat, all experienced setbacks in different incidents over the course of the first half of the race while veteran racer
Ted Christopher returned to a familiar position atop the leader board, leading much of the second half of the event.
Christopher held off numerous challengers, including several charges by Todd Owen on numerous restarts. Is wasn’t
until the final restart of the night that Owen managed to beat Christopher to the punch when Christopher took the
outside line after having found success on the bottom groove all night, allowing Owen the chance to gain the
momentum he needed to capture a win at Thompson.
“The car was super fast,” Owen said in victory lane. “I don’t know what (Christopher) was thinking. He was killing me
on the bottom on restarts and he would have done it again. I guess I want to thank him. It was good racing. I know
some of the heavy hitters weren’t up there, but at the end of the day we’re still number one.”
Finally, in the Lite Modifieds Glenn Korner took home the win in the 20-lap feature. It was Korner’s first win in an open
wheel car, which he implied was a highlight moment of his Motorsports career so far. “This feels so great, we’ve had a
lot of bad luck,” Korner said in victory lane. “It feels so good to get the monkey off my back. We were just hoping for a
good finish. To come out and win, it feels so good for everybody.”
Next up for Thompson Speedway the Whelen Modified Tour makes its third stop at the Big-T in 2017 with the annual
Bud 150 on Wednesday, August 9. The night will feature the biggest stars in open wheel racing looking to edge closer to
a series title at the World Series in October while Thompson’s track division drivers will also take center stage as their
own points battles become even more heated as the summer begins to wind down.
NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES EAST DIVISION BUSCH NORTH THROWBACK 100 FINISH TOP-10: 1. Harrison Burton; 2. Todd
Gilliland; 3. Ronnie Bassett, Jr.; 4. Doug Coby; 5. Dillon Bassett; 6. Ryan Preece; 7. Chase Purdy; 8. Ruben Garcia, Jr.; 9.
Jay Beasley; 10. Chase Cabre
MINI STOCKS FINISH TOP-10: 1. Wayne Burroughs, Jr. (Oakdale, CT); 2. Nate Taylor (Brooklyn, CT); 3. Eric Bourgeois
(East Haddam, CT); 4. Doug Curry (Groton, CT); 5. Tommy Silva (Groton, CT); 6. Mike Anzalone (Plainfield, CT); 7. Nick
Matera (Warwick, RI); 8. Keith Ballou (Pascoag, RI); 9. Steve Michalski (Brooklyn, CT); 10. Mitch Bombard (Willimantic,
LIMITED SPORTSMAN FINISH TOP-10: 1. Brent Gleason (Griswold, CT); 2. Shawn Monahan (Waterford, CT); 3. Scott
Sundeen (Sutton, MA): 4. Ryan Waterman (Danielson, CT); 5. Jesse Gleason (Lisbon, CT); 6. Mike Palin (Dudley, MA); 7.
Kevin Bowe (Smithfield, RI); 8. Tommy Shea (New London, CT); 9. Randy Waterman (Danielson, CT); 10. Ed Correia
LATE MODEL FINISH TOP-10: 1. Matt Lowinski-Loh (Milford, MA); 2. Brian Tagg (Oxford, MA); 3. Glenn Boss (Danielson,
CT); 4. Tom Carey, III (Orange, MA); 6. Rick Gentes (Burrillville, RI); 7. Mike Benevides (Westerly, RI); 8. Ray Parent
(Tiverton, RI); 9. William Wall (Shrewsbury, MA); 10. Nick Johnson (Rehoboth, MA)
LITE MODIFIEDS FINISH TOP-10: 1. Glenn Korner (Canton, CT); 2. Chris Viens (Putnam, CT); 3. Glenn Griswold (Vernon,
CT); 4. Chris Correll (Old Lyme, CT); 5. Todd Douillard (Palmer, MA); 6. Damon Tinio (Mendon, MA); 7. Albert Ouellette
(Ellington, CT); 8. Ed Chicoski; 9. Paul French
SUNOCO MODIFIEDS FINISH TOP-10: 1. Todd Owen (Somers, CT); 2. Ted Christopher (Plainville, CT); 3. Troy Talman
(Oxford, MA); 4. Steve Masse (Bellingham, MA); 5. John Studley (Framingham, MA); 6. Nick Salva (Prospect, CT); 7. Joey
Gada (Uncasville, CT); 8. Adma Norton (Palmer, MA); 9. Ryan Preece (Berlin, CT); 10. Andrew Charron (East Greenwich,
Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park continued its oval racing season on Wednesday, June 14 with the Whelen
Modified Series making its second appearance of the year at the track for the main event of the evening, the Thompson
125. The race featured the second group qualifying for the Whelen Modified Tour this season and saw Donny Lia take
the pole, but it would be another familiar name that would come out on top at the end with Ryan Preece claiming his
second win of the season and second career Whelen Modified win at Thompson.
Preece certainly had to work to claim his victory as he led multiple times over the course of the event, enduring a hard
fought battle with sophomore driver Chase Dowling, a lengthy red flag period, and battling Rowan Pennink for the lead
in the closing laps to come out on top. Preece outran Pennink and Bobby Santo, III to cross the line first adding to his
already extensive Whelen Modified Series resume.
After the race Preece thanked his team, specifically owner Eddie Partridge and his wife Connie, for taking a chance to
welcome him back to the Whelen Modified Tour fulltime in 2017 and giving him the equipment he needed to get a win.
“It’s definitely special. I have a great bond with everybody on that time. A couple guys have been with me sense I was a
little kid,” Preece said. “My mother gave me a great piece of advice earlier in the year before things started and said
‘Ryan you’re not going to have a perfect car every race, so if it’s close you need to just deal with it and do what you’ve
been trained to do all your life.’ I’ve kind of lived by that motto now and it seems to be working out alright.”
Rowan Pennink held on for a second place finish and credited his team for giving him a car he could compete with,
admitting he just didn’t have the equipment to overpower a hard charging Preece in the final laps. “I had a good lead
out there and he ran me down. When he got to me he went right by me. He had a really good car. We were just a little
bit tight towards the end of the race there. Can’t be more proud of this team. We brought a brand new car here - (My
team) did an awesome job preparing this thing and giving me the shot to win the race tonight,” said Pennink.
Finishing third, Bobby Santos, III said he too felt he had a good day and was proud his team was able to get him to a top
three finish by the end of the day. “The guys did a good job. We were just a little too tight to start the race. We pitted
early to work on it and made some good adjustments that gave us a better racecar. Our strategy with the tires really
seemed to work out for us tonight,” said Santos.
Whelen Modified Tour Thompson 125 Top-10 Finish: 1. Ryan Preece (Berlin, CT); 2. Rowan Pennink (Huntington Valley,
PA) 3. Bobby Santos (Franklin, MA); 4. Doug Coby (Milford, CT); 5. Eric Goodale (Riverhead, NY); 6. Jon McKennedy
(Chelmsford, MA); 7. Ted Christopher (Plainville, CT); 8. Timmy Solomito (Islip, NY); 9. Andrew Krause (Holmdel, NJ);
10. Max Zachem (Preston, CT)
Sonoco Modified Feature Top-10 Finish: 1. Troy Talman (Oxford, MA); 2. Keith Rocco (Berlin, CT); 3. Ryan Prece (Berlin,
CT); 4. Woody Pitkat (Sturbridge, MA); 5. Timmy Jordan (Brooklyn, CT); 6. Rowan Pennink (New Egypt, NJ); 7. Tod Owen
(Somers, CT); 8. Steve Masse (Bellingham, MA); 9. John Studley (Framingham, MA); 10. Andrew Charron (East
now traditional four-race schedule is a combination of mid-week and weekend shows that kicks-off at Seekonk
Speedway in Seekonk, Ma. followed by a stop at Star Speedway in Epping, N.H. and culminates with a pair of races at
the New London Waterford Speedbowl in Connecticut.
“The schedule was a strong one to begin with,” said Wayne Darling, managing partner. “The goal simply was to
ccontinue doing what works. The partnerships that we enjoy with these three race track is, in large part, why this
format has been successful in the past.”
The TTOMS season will commence on June 28 at Seekonk Speedway with the running of Open Wheel Wednesday. This
popular event has attracted the biggest names in racing including the newly crowned NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
champion Doug Coby, who was last year’s winner of the event. It was his third Open Wheel Wednesday victory.
“Seekonk Speedway is excited to have the Tri-Track series back again for the 14th annual Open Wheel Wednesday
featuring the $10,000 to win main modified event,” said Ed St. Germain, director of business development for Seekonk
Speedway. “We look forward to working with the organizers and helping the series grow in years to come.”
The second race on the schedule is the SBM VI at Star Speedway on Saturday, July 29. This two-groove bullring has
been the site of many great Modified battles. With championship drivers like Jon McKennedy calling Star Speedway
home, the competition is always fierce.
“Since its inception the SBM event has been an important race to us here at Star Speedway,” said owner and promoter
Bobby Webber, Jr. “We are happy that we were able to keep it going strong through the affiliation with the Tri-Track
Open Modified Series over the last few years. My family and I are proud to work with a group that, like us, believes in
the grassroots of racing.”
The Seekonk Speedway races from the first Sunday in May till Columbus Day weekend every year.
D. Anthony Venditti, “The Godfather of New England Auto Racing,” began construction of Seekonk Speedway in 1945.
On May 30, 1946, the gates were opened for the first time. D. Anthony owned, operated, and promoted the Speedway
until his death in 1991. Anthony received the promoter of the year award in 1978. His wife Irene continued till her
passing in 2014, her son Francis, and grandson David continue the tradition of operating the speedway. Know as the
“Action track of the East” Seekonk Speedway has been family owned, operated, and promoted for over 70 consecutive
BEN SEITZ DRIVES TO ISMA VICTORY AT STAFFORD IN ONLY THIRD APPEARANCE IN LOCKE 37
ISMA Stafford 17 8368Stafford Springs, CT (June 23, 2017) – At the end of the 2016 ISMA season, Bourne, Mass. driver
Ben Seitz found himself without a ride for the 2017 year. Along came car owner Ken Locke who just happened to have a
vacant supermodified that needed a driver and a new team was born. And, to date, Seitz has acclimatized himself quite
well and the union has been quite productive. Seitz started out with a fifth place at the ISMA opener at Oswego in his
first run in the car and followed that with a twelfth at Lancaster.
Friday night at Stafford Motor Speedway, Ben started outside front row in the 22-car field , took the initial lead and
easily fled from the competitive field behind him, leading the entire 60 laps. A late race challenge by Timmy Jedrzejek
was the only close call for the talented former 4-time NEMA champion. Only two yellows slowed the way with Seitz
picking up his 7th career ISMA win, his first in the Locke 37 at a track he ran as early as age 16 when he competed
with the Legends class.
Seitz described his feat with characteristic gratitude. “The car was great. We had a tough time in time trials. But we
made the save in the heat race. We were a little tight in the heat, but the car was flawless all day. We got loose in
traffic in the feature but other than that the car was really, really good in clean air. I need to thank Ken Locke and the
whole family for putting me in the car. I think there is a lot of potential. I need also to thank Brian Allegresso and the
crew. They did a lot of work to this car from Lancaster to here. I can't thank them enough. It was really cool that my
family and kids were here to see this. Thanks to Locke Crane Service, Shawmut Equipment and my old sponsor who is
helping us out, Sam Lorruso and Cape Cod Aggregates. It was just a good day all around.”
ISMA Stafford 17 8333Jedrzejek also had a big smile after his closing laps showed what the new Lane Racing 97 could
do in only its first outing.
“It was a very good run for us. We'll take that. We didn't run really well the first two races. And to come back and
rebound with the new car here is great. We had to make a decision to race it and jump in and commit to it today. It was
pretty stable earlier. We didn't have the best times out there but we knew we had a good race car. The heat race went
well. We made a few adjustments for the feature and finished second. With that last caution, I thought I could creep up
with him but we got real tight. I had to search for a different line. Toward the end lap traffic slowed him down a little
bit. We dragged raced to the finish line. I have to hand it to all the guys who work on these cars. Now they have to
prepare two. And, they did a great job. Thanks to Dr. Mom Says School is Cool, Essex Seafood, Enerco-Mr. Heater, EGI,
Howie and Debbie Lane, and everybody that puts the effort and finances into this team. It is really a joy. Congrats to
the 37. I really respect their team and Ben as a driver. It takes the sting away a little bit when you respect the guys
who beat you. Of course we want to win, but tonight we roll it back in the trailer and head for Jennerstown in a few
ISMA Stafford 17 8312Oswego non-wing champ Otto Sitterly, jumped behind the wheel of the Bodnar 96 for only the
second time and brought home a podium finish for the team.
“It was a good run," said the Canajoharie, NY driver, “I hadn't been here for years. The car was good. I have to thank
Jim Bodnar, DJ Shullick and the guys for doing this deal. These guys are tough. They run with a wing every race and we
only do it here and there. Going to different venues is really challenging. That 96 car goes really good. It's the only
second time I've driven it. Both those cars are obviously good ones. If anything, going back, knowing what we know
now, we were just a little bit loose. But, the guys up front tonight were going good too. Hats off to them. Glad to see
Ben and Kenny win. Overall it was a good night.”
|OLD School Photos
Seekonk Speedway is excited to announce the addition of a new Tri Track Open Modified Series race to be held on October 28th, 2017.
The “Haunted Hundred” will be the fourth and final race in the 2017 Tri Track series season. The rain date for this event will be Sunday October 29th. The
Race will feature a $6000 first place winners share of the $35,000 purse with great payouts throughout the entire field. The Haunted Hundred will count
towards the Tri Track point fund standings.
“We are grateful to the Venditti Family and Seekonk Speedway for hosting a second race this year,” said Wayne Darling, managing partner of TTOMS.
“Seekonk has always been a great race track for the series. Fourteen years of $10,000 to win modified races has really put the track on the map in the
modified racing world.”
“As I said before…Tri Track has always been about the owners and the drivers,” stated Darling. “We committed to a four-race schedule and we plan to
deliver that to those who support us.”
The four race Tri Track series opened at Seekonk Speedway on June 28th with Matt Hirschman picking up the $10,000 win. The next two races will be at
Star Speedway in Epping, New Hampshire on Saturday July 29th and Wednesday August 23rd. The series will conclude for 2017 at Seekonk on Saturday
The October “ Haunted Hundred “will mark the end of the race season in New England. Race Director Frank Sgambato stated “with the Thompson World
Series, Lee’s Ocktoberfest and Staffords Fall Finale all in the books, all eyes and cars will be at Seekonk for one last run.”
The star-studded roster for the Tri Track series includes the likes of NASCAR Modified Tour champions Ryan Preece, Ted Christopher and Ron Silk, other
former Modified champions Matt Hirschman, Jon McKennedy, Rowan Pennink, and Chris Pasteryak. Perennial favorites who have also registered include
Justin Bonsignore, Bobby Santos III, Woody Pitkat, Eric Goodale, Todd Annarummo, Tommy Barrett, Anthony Nocella, Richard Savary and Andy Jankowiak.
The race card for the event will feature the 100 lap Tour Type Modified Open feature, a 50 lap Late Model event and a 30 lap Legends race. The Late
Models will race for $1500 to win while the Legends will compete for a $750 winners share.
“Seekonk Speedway is committed to helping make sure we can get these big shows in when circumstances stack up against their scheduled dates,
Racers commit to supporting us on a weekly basis and for our big races , its only right to show them the respect back and ensure they get to run the
races they have had circled on their schedule” stated Ed St Germain, Director of Business Development for Seekonk Speedway. “The Late Models and
Legends have been two of the best divisions at Seekonk in 2017 so it was an easy move for the Tri Track management to reward them with one more
race at the end of the year”
The Late Models will compete under the rules package used for the Seekonk Fall Classic which aligns with the ACT type Late Model rules. Please see
www.tritrackmods.com for rules info. The Legends will compete under the standard INEX rules package.
Tickets for the event will be $25 at the front gate with kids under 12 free and $35 for pit access. Pits will open at 8am with practice starting at 10am.
The show will have a 1 pm start time. The “Haunted Hundred” will also feature a costume contest for the young and young at heart with each winner
being awarded a gift package from the Seekonk Grand Prix Family Amusement Center.
For more information on Seekonk Speedway, fans can visit www.seekonkspeedway.com