|OLD School Photos
Ronnie Williams came on late to spoil a great shot by Boehler Racing’s Matt Swanson on lap 81. Williams had started twelfth and edged his way through the
crowd. Swanson, meanwhile, had spoiled Ron Silk’s bid for another win in the event, by stealing the lead midway through the race, which Silk had led since lap
15. Williams collected the big check and Tommy Barrett sneaked past Swanson for second three laps after Williams had gotten by. Five laps later, the finish was
Williams, Barrett and Swanson for the podium. Matt Hirschman grabbed fourth and Todd Patnode rounded out the top five.
Woody Pitkat and Todd Kochenash led the field down to the green flag. Swanson was outside Anthony Sesely in row two while Silk and Patnode backed them up.
Pitkat and Kochenash were door-to-door out of the box and Pitkat gained an edge. Kochenash grabbed second with Sesely third. Swanson was fourth with Silk at
his back. Sesely attempted to get under Kochenash but was held off. Silk then ducked under Sesely into third and ran to Kochenash’s bumper. Ten laps in, it was
four cars at the front running bumper-to-bumper: Pitkat, Kochenash, Silk and Sesely. Silk then ducked under Kochenash into second. The field, running single file,
filled most of the third-mile oval.
Silk got by Pitkat for the lead on lap fifteen but the latter pursued relentlessly. The field settled in for some hard running, nose-to-tail in many places. Andrew
Charron became the first lapped car on lap 29 and four more loomed ahead. Silk and Pitkat motored through them.
Geoff Rollins brought out the first caution on lap 31 coming loose in turn two and running into the grass at mid-track.
Silk and Pitkat lined up and Silk nosed into the lead on the green. Pitkat settled in with Sesely behind him followed by Patnode. Rob Murphy had been working on
Patnode and broke into fourth on lap 34. Hirschman now put in an appearance in the top five by getting past Patnode, as well as Keith Rocco.
Silk went to work and had a four-car lead on lap 40. Behind him, Pitkat was three up on Sesely and it was another three back to Hirschman who had moved
Murphy back. Rocco had also passed Murphy, who followed with Swanson surging up behind him. Swanson took his position on lap 42 with an underneath move.
Carl Medeiros then slide off the front stretch to the infield bringing a lap 43 restart. He retired to the pits.
The grid still featured Silk, Pitkat and Sesely as the top three, but Hirschman sat on Sesely’s shoulder. Rocco and Swanson made up Row 3. Russ Hersey and
Murphy backed them up. It was door-to-door out of the box with Silk again taking the lead coming out of turn two. But Charron spun, bringing a second restart.
This time, Silk grabbed the front immediately.
Hirschman got under Sesely into third and began working on Pitkat. In the meantime, Swanson moved into fifth on lap 46. He looked under Sesely but the latter
slammed the door.
The fi eld ran single-file through the race’s midpoint. Sesely, Swanson and Rocco followed the leaders, chased by Russ Hersey and Rob Murphy.
Caution flew on lap 53 with Kirk Alexander and Dana DiMatteo against the wall. Alexander pulled away, but DiMatteo was off on the hook. Alexander made
another lap but then ended his evening. Many cars ran to the pits for tires and adjustments. The entire top 40 made the move and this elevated Swanson to the
On the restart, Rob Murphy accompanied him to the front row. Rocco and Kochenash were the second tier, ahead of Calvin Carroll and Brian Robie. Out of the
box. Swanson took a nose on Murphy. They ran a lap side-by-side before Swanson grabbed the lead the next time through turn two. Murphy dropped in ahead of
Kochenash and Andy Jankowiak as the field again was quickly single file.
Over the next eight laps, Swanson generated a four-car advantage over Murphy and Kochenash. But now Williams was on his way up and got under Sesely and
into fifth place. Barrett was now on Carroll’s bumper and looking to grab sixth place. He got by with thrity laps to go.
At the three-quarters point, Swanson was still up on Murphy. Kochenash was third, ahead of Jankowiak but Murphy was shortening the distance as was
Kochenash, who went by Murphy into second.
But Silk, running deep in the pack after the tire stop, suddenly spun and caution flew.
Williams was in the top five, now, and went past Murphy. Another lap and he was past Kochenash into second.
With 20 laps remaining, Swanson was nursing a four-car lead on him. But Silk, running deep in the pack after the tire stop, suddenly spun and caution flew.
Swanson pulled away, but after five hard laps, Brian Robie’s motor died on the front stretch and they lined up again.
Kochenash and Murphy backed up Swanson and Williams, while Barrett was restarting fifth. Patnode and Hirschman rounded out the top ten for the green. They
ran door-to-door as Kochenash looked underneath but was rebuffed. Swanson edged into the lead with Williams all over his bumper. He looked underneath and
went. As they battled, and the count clicked down to ten to go, caution flew once more, and for the last time.
Swanson and Williams lined up. Swanson nosed out, then took the lead, but Williams dropped under and came on hard. They were door-to-door and then Williams
grabbed the front on the backstretch. Swanson attempted to drop under, but the door was closed. Barrett moved in behind them with Kochenash now third.
Hirschman was barging into fifth.
Barrett got under Swanson and into second with four laps to go. Kochenash was trying to fend of Hirschmann, but the latter prevailed to move into fourth sending
Carroll back to fifth. As the leaders streaked toward the finish, Patnode and Pitkat pushed forward into fifth and sixth to complete the race.
Seventh on the evening went to Kochenash, followed by Carroll, Silk, John Kievman, Murphy and Sesely.
Epping, NH (July 27, 2019): Ron Silk of Norwalk, CT, used pit strategy and veteran moves to win the SBM 125 at Star Speedway for the Tri-Track Open Modified Series
(TTOMS) on Saturday night. The victory was hard-fought over runner-up Ronnie Williams of Ellington, CT, and was determined coming to the checkers. It was the
second Modified win in the state of New Hampshire in seven days for Silk. The win was also redemption of sorts for Silk who has endured terrible luck in recent
Matt Swanson of Acton, MA, turned in another strong performance to complete the podium. Early leader Matt Hirschman of Northampton, PA, finished fourth over
Andy Jankowiak of Tonawanda, NY. Richard Savary of Canton, MA, Cam McDermott of Canterbury, CT, Brad Babb of Windham, ME, Woody Pitkat of Bellingham, MA,
and Brian Robie of Sunapee, NH, completed the top-ten.
After qualifying through the consolation event and starting deep in the pack, Silk methodically worked his way through the field and by lap 35 he was solidly in the
top ten. He took advantage of a lap 47 caution to come to pit road for service. During a lap 71 caution, Silk was one of only three cars to remain on the track; giving
him the point when the track went back to green. The strategy worked to perfection for Silk who went on to hold off challenges from Hirschman and finally Williams
to score the popular victory.
By virtue of the redraw following heat race qualifying, Hirschman led the 27- car field to green for the start of the SBM 125. Hirschman jumped out to the lead with
Pitkat following in line in second with Hersey and Swanson in tow. Over the opening laps a brewing battle for third between Hersey and Swanson was stalled by the
first caution of the event on lap 6; involving Josh Cantera of Sanford, ME, and Jon Kievman of Deerfield Beach, FL.
Hirschman was able to retain the lead on the restart ahead of Pitkat and Hersey. From the outside groove Swanson gave up a position to Savary. On lap 11, Savary
took third from Hersey. Deeper in the pack, rows of side-by-side racing saw Babb and Jacob Dore of Sanford, ME, McDermott and Anthony Sesely of Matawan, NJ,
and Anthony Nocella of Berlin, MA and Andy J vying for position.
Fluid on the race track necessitated a caution on lap 19. Under yellow, Dore, Andy Shaw of Center Conway, NH and Nocella pitted. Back under racing conditions, it
continued to be Hirschman over Pitkat and Savary. A bobble from the outside groove on the restart saw Hersey losing several spots.
The third caution flew on lap 20 for a spin my Carl Medeiros, Jr. of Westport, MA. It was much of the same for Hirschman with Pitkat, Savary, and Swanson. Dana
DiMatteo of Farmington, CT, joined the top five once back under green. Kirk Alexander of W. Swanzey, NH, joined the fray using the outside groove to get by Babb.
Williams was also on the move and into the top ten. The action outside of the top ten continued to be spirited with McDermott, Jankowiak, Sesely and Silk.
The front duo was beginning to breakaway from the field once again. Savary took chase followed by DiMatteo and Swanson. Alexander and Williams had joined the
battle for the top-five before the #92 of Nocella slowed on the speedway to bring out the fourth caution on lap 35.
Behind the lead trio, the lap 35 restart saw some movement with the lead pack as Swanson and Williams gained positions. During the stretch of green flag racing,
Silk got around Barrett, Hersey and Galko. He immediately went to work on Babb; taking the position on lap 43. He continued his charge to the front with a bold pass
on Alexander for seventh.
At the head of the field, Pitkat looked to be getting racy for the lead when the fifth caution flew for a spin by Vigeant on lap 47. Andy Shaw was penalized for his
involvement. Silk pitted under the caution.
On the lap 47 restart, Hirschman continued to show the way over Pitkat and Savary. Williams capitalized on the restart to move into fourth. He dove low on Savary on
lap 52 and was able to make the pass stick. Once again, the lead duo was getting some breathing room over now third-running Williams. Savary was still in striking
distance while Swanson ran alone in fifth.
The top-ten at halfway were Hirschman, Pitkat, Williams, Savary, Swanson, DiMatteo, Alexander, Galko, Sesely, and Babb. Silk was mired deep in traffic.
Hirschman was enjoying his largest lead of the night when the sixth caution flew on lap 71 for a multi-car incident in turn one. Under the caution, the entire field
headed to the paddock area for service, except for Silk and Jankowiak, each who had short-pitted, and lucky dog recipient Donny Hartzel of Hunlock Creek, NJ.
For the safety of the competitors, the lap 71 yellow served as a competition caution and a cold pit situation. Teams coming off pit road maintained their positions
behind the cars that stayed out. The ensuing restart found Silk and Jankowiak on the front row ahead of Hirschman and Pitkat.
Hirschman darted to the inside; taking over second from Jankowiak. Williams was able to take a spot from Pitkat as well. The top-six ran nose to tail with Silk
showing the way over Hirschman. Williams took over third from Jankowiak on lap 79. The lead pack continued to run in close quarters as the laps began to wind
At lap 90, Silk was able to gain some breathing room over Hirschman. Williams was getting some pressure from Jankowiak while Pitkat had his hands full with
Swanson. Sparks were flying for position just outside the top ten with Alexander, Galko and Cam McDermott as cars stacked up behind DiMatteo. Alexander got the
short end of the action losing several positions.
Swanson got underneath Pitkat on lap 98. Despite lapped traffic, Silk was able to maintain his lead. Ten laps later, the lapped traffic nearly played a factor when
Calvin Carrol of Andover, NJ, spun in close proximity to the leader, who was bearing down on a pack of cars, to bring out the seventh caution.
The lap 108 restart allowed Hirschman to get alongside Silk. The move opened the door for Williams on the bottom groove. He was able to make the pass and mover
into second. Williams was right on the back bumper of Silk. Matt Swanson was similarly working on Hirschman.
A large pile-up of cars deep in the field in turn four brought out the eighth and final caution on lap 114; setting up an 11-lap shootout to determine the winner with
some very racy cars up front. On this restart, Silk had to contend with Williams to his outside. Silk got a great restart and darted out to the lead. Williams got in line
On lap 117, Williams poked in nose underneath Silk but could not make the pass. Swanson got by Hirschman to take third. Some ‘bump and run’ between the lead duo
allowed Swanson to join the battle for the win. In the end, it would be a two-horse race to the checkers. Over the final laps, Williams tried high and low; to no avail.
On the final lap coming to the checkers, Williams dove to the inside of Silk. With the crowd on their feet, the two made contact. But Silk was able to keep it going in
the right direction to score the victory.
Tri-Track Open Modified Series, SBM 125, Star Speedway, July 27, 2019 Finish: 1. Ron Silk, Norwalk, CT; 2. Ronnie Williams, Ellington, CT; 3. Matt Swanson, Acton,
MA; 4. Matt Hirschman, Northampton, PA; 5. Andy Jankowiak, Tonawanda, NY; 6. Richard Savary, Canton, MA; 7. Cam McDermott, Canterbury, CT; 8. Brad Babb,
Windham, ME; 9. Woody Pitkat, Bellingham, MA; 10. Brian Robie, Sunapee, NH; 11. Anthony Sesely, Matawan, NJ; 12. Russ Hersey, Swanzey, NH; 13. Calvin Carroll,
Andover, NJ; 14. Matt Galko, Meriden, CT; 15. Mike Holdridge, Madison, CT; 16. Jacob Dore, Sanford, ME; 17. Andy Shaw, Center Conway, NH; 18. Tommy Barrett,
Millis, MA; 19. Les Hinckley, Windsor Locks, CT; 20. Dana DiMatteo, Farmington, CT; 21. Kirk Alexander, W. Swanzey, NH; 22. Donny Hartzell, Hunlock Creek, NJ; 23.
Kurt Vigeant, Oxford, MA; 24. Anthony Nocella, Berlin, MA; 25. Carl Medeiros, Jr., Westport, MA; 26. Jon Kievman, Deerfield Beach, FL; 27. Josh Cantara, Sanford, MA.
DNQ: Geoff Rollins, Groton, MA; Andrew Charron, E. Greenwich, RI; Colbey Fournier, Berkley, MA; Kreig Heroth, Fort Plain, NY; George Sherman, Framingham, MA.
Tue 8/20/2019 10:22 AM
KYLE GERO UP FRONT IN LIMITED SPORTSMAN TITLE CHASE AT THOMPSON SPEEDWAY MOTORSPORTS PARK
By Kyle Souza, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park
THOMPSON, Conn. -- With just three races remaining in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season, Kyle Gero is
right in the middle of a tight Limited Sportsman championship race.
The former Thompson Mini Stock competitor, and New London-Waterford Speedbowl X-Car champion, is second, just
eight points out in the title fight. He’s trailing two-time and defending division champion Shawn Monahan, who has
three wins in the first seven events.
For Gero, this season has been about improving the setup and continuing to seek his first victory after a little bit of a
learning curve over the last few years. Moving to the Limited Sportsman division was a welcomed challenge for Gero,
who seems to be excelling in his second season. Before returning to Thompson competition, Gero had been off for more
than one decade at the Connecticut oval. His Mini Stock days were in the early 2000s.
“Going from a front-wheel drive car that made around 125 horsepower to a rear-wheel drive car that makes over 300 is
definitely a huge difference. The track was familiar to me, and I had been up to Thompson watching races, but one of
the things I’m just now starting to get down is what they had to do to the track in turns three and four for the road
course,” Gero said. “When I ran before, there was a line there where you could gauge where you were in the turn, but
now there isn’t. It was something I struggled last year with while trying to find some marks to stick with every lap.”
Even though he started his season with two finishes outside the top 10, since then, it’s been all about consistency. Gero
finished fifth in the third race of the season and has followed it up with three second-place efforts and a fourth.
“I’ve always thought that we are going to the track with a chance to win, otherwise we wouldn’t go. We did a lot of
work over the winter, so it doesn’t surprise me to be where we are at. What’s surprised me the most is my ability to see
what has been going on out on the track,” Gero said. “The guys up front have been beating and banging a little bit more
at the beginning of races, and I’ve just been sitting back and watching it and saying that I would capitalize when
something happens. We’re very grateful to be where we are at.”
His career started at a young age, competing in go-karts for many years, winning races and countless championships. In
fact, in one season, he was able to win all the races in his division, traveling from Connecticut to Maine to compete
each week. After building the Mini Stock and competing for a few years, it was time for a step away.
“I needed a break, and my dad needed a break after that,” Gero said. “I had my eyes on something different at the time,
but I wish I would have stayed with it. I raced four-wheelers for a few years competitively, then I started helping some
guys out at the track with their cars and I decided I would step back into it slowly.”
His slow step back into racing saw him carrying a championship trophy at another Connecticut track, then decide it
was time to step back to Thompson to try and chase a NASCAR championship.
“Just as much work goes into the go-kart compared to the race car,” Gero said. “The 10-race schedule isn’t too much
for us – working full-time and having limited help, it works.”
Gero also knows competing in the Limited Sportsman isn’t easy. A total of 36 drivers have taken the green flag this
season, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a few more drivers enter the division before the end of the year. For Gero to
be only eight points back with three races left, he’s pleased.
“We are starting to learn more about what we need to do with the setups,” Gero said. “The adjustments have been big
for us. These cars are over 3,000 pounds and it takes a lot to wheel one of them. You have a big heavy race car with a
decent amount of power, they aren’t going to handle that great. I’ve always been a smooth driver and being smooth in a
Sportsman almost goes out the window. You have to manhandle them.”
For now, with the support of his dad, family and crew, as well as Advanced Overhead Door, Thames Electric, 1-800-
blacktop, Tick Mike, Park Roway Commercial Doors, JS Landscaping, KLT Industries and Lathrop Construction, Gero is
in a good position to chase two goals down the stretch.
He’s hoping to earn his first win and contend to become the Thompson Limited Sportsman champion as part of the
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.
“Just have to take it race by race -- I try not to points race because it can mess up your head and take a little bit of the
fun away,” Gero said. “We definitely have to be a little better on the setups. We are doing a little bit different package
for the last three races.
“There is always that chance of a championship, which would be amazing. I want to win a race but standing up there on
the stage at the end of the year is why we are all doing this.”
Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park returns to NASCAR racing action on Sunday, September 1, with all five NASCAR
Whelen All-American Series divisions and Lock City Drift. Race fans and teams are reminded that this is the make-up
date for the June 30 show that was rained out.
Kyle Souza <email@example.com>
Thu 8/15/2019 12:40 PM
THOMPSON, Conn. -- The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour took center stage at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on
Wednesday, August 14 for the third time in 2019 with the 30th running of the Budweiser King of Beers 150. Coming into
the race three drivers were considered the ones to watch. Points leader Doug Coby looked to extend his perfect streak
of top ten finishes on the season, second place Ron Silk sought his third consecutive series victory, and third place
defending champion Justin Bonsignore was looking for his seventh consecutive win at Thompson.
Coby earned the early edge by grabbing the pole in group qualifying earlier in the evening, but Bonsignore made sure to
keep the five-time champion in his sights, staying within striking distance of Coby through the first half of the race. A
caution on lap 83 brought the field to pit road where Jon McKennedy exited first and Justin Bonsignore beat Doug Coby
back to the track giving him his best shot at the lead all night.
A poor restart for McKennedy allowed Bonsignore to storm to the lead with 90-laps to go, but an impressive power
move by Craig Lutz saw Bonsignore fall back to second where Doug Coby was waiting to pounce. While Bonsignore and
Coby battled it out for the runner-up spot with 50-laps to go, Lutz opened a .422 second lead seeking his first Whelen
Modified Tour victory. A pair of cautions forced Lutz to fend off both Bonsignore and Coby, but a hard charging Bobby
Santos III proved too much for Lutz, who was forced to relinquish the lead on lap 128 leaving Lutz, Bonsignore and Coby
hoping for one more shot at the win.
They got their wish with just over ten laps to go as the fifth caution of the night led to chaos when Lutz spun his tires
while Santos broke a shifter ending his day. The ensuing caution set up a clash between Doug Coby and Justin
Bonsignore, but it was Coby who claimed another Thompson win and his fourth win of 2019. The victory was extra
special as it came just days shy of Coby’s 40th birthday.
“This is a special place for me and my family,” Coby said on Thompson Speedway in Victory Lane. “What a great race.
My last Modified Tour race in my 30s and I won it. What a great decade it was for me and I hope my 40s are even
Justin Bonsignore settled for a runner up finish and saw his winning streak at Thompson come to an end. “It’s tough
when you’re that close. It just didn’t work out tonight,” Bonsignore said after the race. “You’re not going to win every
race. We were prepared for it to happen. I’ve probably been more prepared (to lose) as it’s gone more and more – we
lost to the best car this year.”
The NEMA Midgets followed up the Whelen Modified Tour with a 25-lap feature that saw Todd Bertrand lead the early
laps of the event seeking a repeat victory after winning the same race in 2018. However, a mechanical failure 14 laps
into the race sidelined Bertrand handing the advantage to points leader Avery Stoehr. Stoehr went on to earn the win
defeating Randy Cabral by a margin of just over a second. The win was Stoehr’s first at Thompson in the NEMA Midgets
and his best finish at the Big-T since a fourth-place result in 2015.
In addition to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NEMA Midgets, Thompson’s five NASCAR Whelen All American
Series divisions also took to the track with only a handful of races remaining before the season finale in October. First
up were the Sunoco Modifieds where Keith Rocco looked to continue to solidify his position as the frontrunner for what
would be his eighth Thompson title. Rocco carried a 38-point lead into the race over Todd Owen and it was those two
drivers who battled it out for the first ten laps. While Rocco would manage to fight off his rival, it wouldn’t be the last
challenge for the reigning champion in the 30-lap feature. Rocco also defended his position against a hard-charging
Woody Pitkat, but it was Ronnie Williams, who defeated Rocco in May, who offered the biggest challenge making
several dives for the lead right up to the final corner. It wasn’t enough to dethrone the champion however as Rocco
claimed his third win of the season and extended his points lead to 44.
“(Williams) was really good. I do have to say tonight he showed me a lot of respect and that goes a long way,” Rocco
said of his rival after the race. “He ran me like a gentleman tonight and that goes a long way – If we could race like that
every night the two of us could put on one heck of a show.”
Next up was the SK Light Modifieds® where points leader Bryan Narducci sought his sixth win of the year, with Albert
Ouellette not far behind. However, neither driver would last long in the race, as the two points leaders were caught up
in a multi-car incident only six laps into the 20-lap feature opening the door for a new winner to shine in the division.
That driver was Teddy Hodgdon, who outraced former Thompson Mini Stock champion Wayne Burroughs, Jr. for his first
“I’ve always wanted to win here since I started last year. We’ve been very close many times, but we were able to do it
tonight. The car was on rails,” the 18-year-old Hodgdon said in Victory Lane. “The car went away a little bit towards the
end. (Burroughs) was coming. I knew he was better on the long run than I was, so I just had to defend, and we ended up
getting a victory.”
Sporting the closest points battle of Thompson’s five divisions, the Limited Sportsman series saw Shawn Monahan step
up to the plate to take full control of the points race scoring his third victory of the season in dominating fashion.
Monahan made it look easy cruising to a 1.4 second lead and walking away with a trophy and an eight-point lead over
Kyle Gero putting Monahan in prime position to earn his third consecutive division title.
“I’m going to take any win I can get – we can’t let go now. We’ve got a goal and there’s not even time out there to run in
second place because somebody can get you when you least expect it,” Monahan said after the win.
In the Mini Stocks, the points race was shuffled after both Scott and Steve Michalski, who sat first and second in points
respectively with only six points separating them, each had problems in their heat races. This opened the door for Doug
Curry, who was third in points facing a 35-point deficit, to cut into their lead. He took full advantage of his opportunity
leading nearly the entire race and scoring his second win of 2019 making him the first multi-race victor in the Mini
Stocks this season. Despite their troubles the Michalski's still maintained a tight grip on the top two spots with finishes
inside the top ten. Scott Michalski goes into the Labor Day race with an eight-point lead over Steve Michalski.
Finally, the Late Models took to the track for a 25-lap feature with William Wall holding a 17-point advantage over
Woody Pitkat for the championship. The points battle took a backseat to some division veterans however as Brian Tagg,
Rick Gentes and Ryan Morgan, all virtually eliminated from the title hunt, looked to score a late-season win. Brian Tagg
came away with the win while Woody Pitkat picked up minimal points over William Wall as the title contenders finished
fourth and fifth respectively.
Racing action returns to Thompson on Labor Day weekend for a makeup day of on-track action on Sunday, September 1.
NASCAR’s Whelen All American Series divisions will take center stage as drivers seek valuable points with only two
more races before the Sunoco World Series of Racing season finale in October.
WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR 30TH ANNUAL BUD 150 FINISH TOP-10: 1. Doug Coby; 2. Justin Bonsignore; 3. Craig Lutz; 4.
Jon McKennedy; 5. Timmy Solomito; 6. Jimmy Blewett; 7. Andrew Krause; 8. Patrick Emerling; 9. Matt Swanson; 10.
NEMA FEATURE FINISH TOP-10: 1. Avery Stoehr; 2. Randy Cabral; 3. Paul Scally; 4. Mike Horn; 5. Bethany Stoher; 6.
Jake Trainor; 7. Sammy Swindell; 8. Andy Lunt; 9. Jeff Champagne; 10. Todd Bertrand
SUNOCO MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH TOP-10: 1. Keith Rocco (Berlin, CT); 2. Ronnie Williams (Tolland, CT); 3. Woody
Pitkat (Bellingham, MA); 4. Todd Owen (Somers, CT); 5. Troy Talman (Oxford, MA); 6. Noah Korner; 7. Corey Barry
(Brooklyn, CT); 8. Kyle James (Westerly, RI); 9. Adam Gada; 10. Danny Cates
SK LIGHT MODIFIEDS© FEATURE FINISH TOP-10: 1. Teddy Hodgdon (Danbury, CT); 2. Wayne Burroughs, Jr. (Oakdale,
CT); 3. Nathan Pytko (Oxford, MA); 4. Wesley Prucker; 5. Anthony Marvin (Colchester, CT); 6. John O’Sullivan (Salem,
CT); 7. Todd Taylor (Stonington, CT); 8. Matt MacDougall (Derby, CT); 9. Albert Ouellette (Ellington, CT); 10. Mikey Flynn
By Kyle Souza, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park
THOMPSON, Conn. – Last Saturday was a special day for the Christopher family.
Mike Christopher Jr. climbed from his car victorious in the 30-lap Sunoco Modified feature at Thompson Speedway
Motorsports Park, picking up his first career win at the .625-mile oval. The win meant a lot to Christopher and his
father, Mike Christopher Sr., especially because of the hard work they had been putting in to get to that point.
But, there was also a feeling of accomplishment for the rising Modified star that he had been aiming for since day one.
He added to the list of Christopher drivers who had taken the checkered flag in a modified race at Thompson, and more
importantly, he did it while standing right in front of a painted set of initials and numbers in Victory Lane.
The ground reads: “TC 99”.
Mike’s uncle, Ted Christopher, a multiple-time TSMP champion, was killed in a plane crash en route to a NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour race at Riverhead Raceway in 2017. He scored 99 career wins at Thompson, including one just
days before his passing. While holding the checkered flag, Mike felt like that number moved to 100.
“It was kind of my goal since I saw the TC 99 in Victory Lane. I thought it would have been cool to win and dedicate it
to him and say that he got 100,” Mike Christopher Jr. said. “To be in Victory Lane with it there, it was a surreal feeling.
With my dad all excited, he was even talking to the reporters. Everyone wanted to even hear what he had to say. That
was my goal. Mission accomplished.”
That mission wasn’t successful without a wild ride. Christopher wasn’t in the lead when the field took the white flag.
He was staring down the bumper of Troy Talman, and setting up his move. On the final circuit, he made the pass for the
win, and found himself crossing the line ahead of a stout field of competitors.
Hebert was one of many winners to thank his father in victory lane, appropriate seeing as Sunday June 16 is Father’s
Day. He continued a trend that started earlier in the afternoon as many feature winners took the time to thank,
acknowledge and pose for photos with their fathers to celebrate Father’s Day a day early. But no moment seemed quite
as special as the scene that unfolded after the Sunoco Modified 30-lap feature. Mike Christopher, Jr. continued the
family tradition by claiming his first ever Thompson Speedway win in a wild last lap pass of Troy Talman who had
dominated much of the race to that point. The nephew of the late Ted Christopher who won 99 races at Thompson, Mike
Christopher, Jr. celebrated his win in a victory lane baring his uncle’s initials dedicating his victory to the racing legend
before posing for photos with his father, Ted Christopher’s twin brother Mike.
“It feels good. I’ve been coming here since I don’t even know how young I was watching my uncle win all of these races
here,” Mike Christopher, Jr. said. “His names not here in victory lane because he was a nobody, so it feels good to
finally be here and get number 100 for Ted Christopher.”
SUNOCO MODIFIEDS FEATURE TOP-10: 1. Mike Christopher, Jr. (Wolcott, CT); 2. Troy Talman (Oxford, MA); 3. Todd
Owen (Somers, CT); 4. Keith Rocco (Berlin, CT); 5. Ronnie Williams (Tolland, CT); 6. Woody Pitkat (Bellingham, MA); 7.
Kyle James (Westerly, RI); 8. Adam Gada (Bozrah, CT); 9. Corey Barry (Brooklyn, CT); 10. Paul LaPlante (Situate, RI)
|Open Wheel, Tri-Track ,Tour Mod, winner Ronnie Williams 2019
Ron (silky smouth) Silk