|OLD School Photos
Seekonk, MA: (June 27, 2018): The traditional Open Wheel Wednesday, unofficially turned Tri-Track Tuesday, saw Ron Silk of Norwalk, CT, claim the
victory in Tri-Track Open Modified (TTOMS) Series competition and a cool $10,000 on the eve of Independence Day. The event, which began on Wednesday
June 27, was halted after only 22 laps due to rain. Less than a week later, Silk was the class of the field scoring a popular victory aboard the Bob Horn
owned #50. Matt Hirschman of Northampton, PA, came home second. Chase Dowling of Roxbury, CT, in relief of Rowan Pennink, who could not return for
the conclusion of the race, finished third.
Russ Hersey of Swanzey, NH, recovered from a three-lap deficit to finish fourth. Home track favorite, Todd Annarummo, from Swansea, MA, completed the
After two races of the four-race Tri-Track Series schedule, defending Series champion Matt Hirschman leads the point standings by a mere two points
over Silk. The next race for the TTOMS is Saturday, July 28 at Star Speedway in Epping, NH.
Richard Savary led every lap of a caution-filled start to Open Wheel Wednesday before a persistent rain claimed the race at 9:25pm. With a dismal weather
forecast for the original rain date of Thursday, track officials set July 3 for the resumption of the race. While nearly a week later when racing resumed, it
was much of the same in the early going for Savary.
With the rain delay and the event tire rule, teams could pit during pace laps before the race officially went green. Hirschman, who would have lined up
second for the restart, was among those to head pitside.
When the event officially went green again, Savary took the point with Rocco and Silk duking it out for second. Silk was able to take the spot away on lap
23. He immediately went to work on Savary for the lead. Dowling was making moves early; coming from scratch in the field.
The first caution of the night flew on lap 31 for a stalled Ricky Collins. Hersey received the free pass. Hirschman, who was making little progress from
deep in the field, pitted once again under the caution. Dowling also headed to the pits.
Silk got alongside Savary on the outside groove on the ensuing restart. The two went wheel-to-wheel for several laps before Silk settled back in line in
second. After a single lap, he dove low behind Savary and was able to steal the lead way on lap 35. Silk was the new leader over Savary, Rocco, Woody
Pitkat and Tommy Barrett in the top five.
During the green flag run, Silk was able to get a bit of breathing room over Savary. Annarummo and Sammy Rameau were making headway taking
positions away from Barrett.
Silk had nearly a straightaway advantage over Savary as the halfway point of the event approached. Rocco ran in third followed by Pitkat, Annarummo,
Rameau, Jon McKennedy, Barrett, Matt Galko and Dan Meservey, Jr. inside the top ten at crossed flags.
The event’s ninth (second of the night) caution flew on lap 57 for a single-car spin by Dana DiMatteo. A number of contenders pitted during the caution
period including Silk and Savary. Hersey once again received the free pass to join the remainder of the lead laps car for the ensuing restart.
Pitkat, who had earlier taken a position from Rocco, inherited the lead for the restart. Rocco had his hands full with Annarummo and McKennedy.
Annarummo took advantage of the bottom groove to battle his way into second. He immediately put pressure on Pitkat for the lead and was able to take
over the top spot on lap 63.
Rocco ran a few cars-lengths back as McKennedy struggled in the outside grove. After quick pit work and a fast race car, Silk was already back in the top-
five by lap 65.
Dowling continued his march to the front; taking second from Pitkat, who continued to backslide falling to fourth. Rocco faded to seventh. Early leader
Savary would spend much of the second half of the race in an out of the pits.
The third caution of the night came out for a spin by Meservey. For the lap 70 restart, Annarummo was lined up against Dowling. Silk was third beside
McKennedy. Derek Ramstrom, Barrett, Hirschman, Colbey Fournier, Rameau and DiMatteo made up the remainder of the top -ten running order when the
race went back to green.
Tri-Track Open Modified Series, Seekonk Speedway, Open Wheel Wednesday, June 27/July 3 Official Finishing Order: 1. Ron Silk, Norwalk, CT; 2. Matt
Hirschman, Northampton, PA; 3. Chase Dowling, Roxbury, CT; 4. Russ Hersey, N Swanzey, NH; 5.Todd Annarummo, Swansea, MA; 6. Sammy Rameau,
Westminster, MA; 7. Jon McKennedy, Chelmsford, MA; 8. Woody Pitkat, Stafford Springs, CT; 9. Richard Savary, Canton, MA; 10. Dana DiMatteo,
Farmington, CT; 11. Keith Rocco, Berlin, CT; 12. Matt Galko, Meriden, CT; 13. Tommy Barrett, Millis, MA; 14. Ron Frees, Brick Township, NJ; 15. Mike
Willis, Jr., Grantham, NH; 16. Colbey Fournier, Berkley, MA; 17. Derek Ramstrom, Worcester, MA; 18. Dan Meservey, Jr., West Chatham, MA; 19. Rob
Murphy, Rochester, MA; 20. Carl Medeiros, Westport, MA; 21. Ricky Collins, Williams Grove, PA; 22. Ryan Preece, Berlin, CT; 23. Jon Kievman, Deerfield
Beach, FL; 24. Steve Masse Bellingham, MA;25. Anthony Nocella, Woburn, MA; 26. Les Hinckley, Windsor Locks, CT; 27. Mike Holdrid
Matt Hirschman and Ron Silk came into the Tri Track Open Modified Series’ season-ender dead even for the points lead. The hundred-lap Haunted Hundred,
also Seekonk Speedway’s final racing event for 2018 would settle it once and for all, and as TTOMS’ announcer told the crowd: “This is it. No tie-breakers.
They’re tied. Whoever comes in ahead of the other wins it.”
Patnode held onto fifth as the leaders ran hot and hard in chase mode. It wasn’t until Les Hinckley got by Anthony Nocella to work on Patnode and finally
slipped underneath and into fifth on lap 14.
Rocco was leading Dowling by four lengths and Pasteryak was third. DiMatteo was six cars back of Pasteryak with Hinckley on the hunt behind
him. Rocco pushed his lead to seven cars just before Hinckley went under and into fourth. Pasteryak then ducked under Dowling and Hinckley followed
him through. It was then that Fournier spun with multiple cars pitting for adjustments.
Rocco sprinted away from Dowling on the restart, but two laps later, caution waved again. Rocco bolted back to the lead but this time, Hinckley
slipped under Dowling into second. Matt
They relined and Rocco was looking at Hinckley on his shoulder and Pasteryak in his rear-view mirror with DiMatteo alongside. Keith zoomed
away and Pasteryak got under Hinckley, who decided to battle for the spot. He nosed ahead in turn two, grabbed second in turn four and fastened
onto Rocco’s bumper.
Silk was up to twelfth, now. On the restart, Dowling ran ahead and Hirschman followed under Hinckley. He looked under the leader but was
denied. Swanson got under Rocco looking for fourth just before another caution. This put Dowling and Hirschman side-by-side at the front with
Hinckley and Rocco behind them, just ahead of Swanson and Selsey. Dowling squirted ahead by Hirschman let it loose and charged ahead out of turn
two. Cowling dropped in ahead of Rocco with Hinckley fourth ahead of Swanson, who ducked underneath Keith to steal fourth.
get the lap 71 taken care of, and another spin called for a lap 72 caution. Hirschman now had Swanson on the outside with Dowling and the returning
Pasteryak behind him. Selsey and Nocella were row three – and Silk lurked low on the grid behind them.
Hirschman reclaimed the lead and Swanson dropped into second. Dowling was under Pasteryak. But Silk was coming: he got under Pasteryak
into fourth on lap 77 and climbed onto
Dowling’s bumper, then deprived him of third. In the midst of battle, Hirschman gained a five car lead over Swanson, who led Silk by ten lengths. Selsey
and Dowling followed. But with fifteen laps to go, the leads collapsed when Fournier spun. Now Silk was restarting behind Hirschman in row two.
Swanson and Selsey were the outside cars.
Hirschman escaped Swanson in turn two and Silk drove under him into second as the leader took a five-car lead. Swanson followed Silk. Before
much could happen, another caution halted things on lap 88. Now Hirschman and Silk – tied for the championship in points, restarted side-by-side with 12
circuits (4 miles) remaining. After a false start, the brawled it out and it took Hirschman until turn four to grab the lead. He led by two cars into lap 90
as Pasteryak, Swanson and Dowling chased Silk. With five to go, Hirschman was five up on Silk and things looked inevitable, but Pasteryak and Swanson
tangled; Pasteryak made a save but Swanson sailed into the infield grass and a restart with two to go was on the table. Hirschman and Silk lined up again.
Hirschman pulled away once more and Pasteryak looked under Silk, but Ron shut the door. Under the white flag, Hirschman pulled a two-car lead
and they ran in order to the checkers with Hirschman taking all the marbles: the Haunted Hundred and the Tri-Track Championship. Silk claimed second
with Pasteryak third. Dowling and Selsey rounded out the top five. Sixth went to Hinckley, followed by Rob ie, Nocella, Patnode, Rocco and DiMatteo.
Attleboro, Massachusetts (March 13, 2019) — The inaugural Bullring Bash Quarter Mile Challenge event at N. Woodstock, NH’s White Mountain
Motorsports Park (WMMP) on Sunday, June 16 now has another added incentive for Tour-type Modified racers around the region.
Bullring Bash and Tri-Track Open Modified Series (TTOMS) officials announced today that the Battle of the Banks 125 will be an automatic qualifier for the
$10,000-to-win Open Wheel Wednesday 100 at Massachusetts’ Seekonk Speedway on Wednesday, June 26. The overall winner of the three-segment
Bullring Bash Modified event at WMMP will be eligible for a provisional starting spot at Seekonk should they make a competitive attempt to qualify.
“The partners of Tri-Track are trying to bring back the spirit of cooperation between race series,” TTOMS managing partner Ed Bennett said. “Josh
(Vanada) and I both want to get involved in trying to have similar events, rules, and things like that. An automatic qualifier adds some goodwill and lets us
meet some different people, and by helping Josh out with this new series, we think it could at least attract a couple extra cars to his first race.”
“Ed is a great asset to Tri-Track,” Bullring Bash founder Josh Vanada added. “He and I share a passion for high-quality Modified events. I’m grateful that
they are partnering with us to offer a guaranteed starting position for one of the region’s premier Modified events. We look forward to working with Ed to
continue to offer competitors some of the best Modified events in our area.”
An Open Wheel Wednesday automatic qualifier bid is the latest addition to what is shaping up as one the biggest Modified events of the summer in New
England. The Battle at the Banks winner was already slated to receive a guaranteed starting spot for the $12,500-to-win Race of Champions (RoC) 250 on
Saturday, September 28 should they attempt to qualify for that event. Both auto-qualifiers come on top of at least $5,000 in purse and contingency money
that will go the WMMP winner. By parlaying that victory into wins at the Tri-Track and RoC events, a driver could add at least $27,500 to their bank
account this summer.
The partnership also pairs the Bullring Bash with one of the more popular racing series and events in New England. Founded in 2014, the Tri-Track Open
Modified Series has since grown beyond its three-event roots. Open Wheel Wednesday, which also includes the NEMA Midgets and NEMA Lites, is part of a
six-event 2019 schedule at tracks throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. As an open series, Tri-Track allows any Tour-type Modified team
to race provided their car is legal for another series or sanctioning body such as the Bullring Bash.
“It’s really just about the racers,” Bennett said. “Every bit of sponsorship and purse goes to the racers. No one at Tri-Track is trying to profit. It’s just a
nice, fun series.”
The Bullring Bash Quarter Mile Challenge will have additional announcements regarding registered teams, sponsors, officials, partnerships, and much
more in the coming weeks. To keep up with the Bullring Bash, teams and fans can visit http://www.bullringbash.com. Fans can also stay connected on
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @BullringBashQMC. Those who want to learn more about the Tri-Track Open Modified Series can visit http://www.
tritrackmods.com or follow them on Facebook and Twitter at @TriTrackMods. For more information on Open Wheel Wednesday, visit http://www.
After multiple years in the Mini Stock division at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, former champion Wayne
Burroughs is taking a leap to the newly-formed SK Light Modified® class at Thompson this season.
Burroughs, a two-time Mini Stock champion, sold the car he was so successful with last weekend. He will be moving to
Thompson’s Division III SK Light Modified® class starting with the 45thannual Icebreaker, April 5-7, where he will look
to continue his Thompson success, but in a different ride.
“Overall, we expect to go there and be competitive and win races and hopefully contend for the championship right out
of the gate,” Burroughs said. “We might be a rookie in the SK Light Modifieds® at Thompson, but I have a lot of laps in
the Mini Stocks there and I’m not a rookie in the SK Lights in general. I don’t think I’ll have a big learning curve.”
Burroughs mentions that he isn’t a rookie in the SK Lights – and even though he might be on paper at Thompson – he
does have experience in the car, just across the state, at New London-Waterford Speedbowl. In 2019, Burroughs will
once again team with Tom Abele to drive the No. 32, this time at Thompson – as the combination looks to build on last
year, where they finished second in the championship standings at the Speedbowl.
“I’ve run the SK Light at Waterford the last two years, but I picked up a different ride in the SK Modifieds over there for
this year, so I wasn’t going to run the Light, and Tom asked what I thought about running it at Thompson,” Burroughs
said. “Right at that time, I still had the Mini Stock and I didn’t see a way financially I could do both. We had a lot of fun
in the Mini Stock, so it was bittersweet, but we decided we had done everything we could do, so we put it up for sale
and it sold last week. I didn’t have the opportunity to run the SK Light at Thompson previously, but now, with the offer
there, I couldn’t pass it up.”
He is hoping his Thompson success in the Mini Stock transfers over to his new venture. Burroughs capped his Rookie
season in the Mini Stocks in 2016 with a championship trophy, adding his name to the long list of successful drivers at
the Connecticut oval. That was just the start of his success, though.
“We had a fast race car, our 2015 season at the Speedbowl we found some things with the car and built a foundation,
and then in 2016, I ended up getting a second Mini Stock and two weeks before the Icebreaker we said since we had the
other car, we decided to bring it to the Icebreaker and give it a try,” Burroughs said. “We brought it to Thompson,
unloaded, and we were the fastest car right in the first practice. We weren’t even planning on running the full season.
We were just going to have some fun but we were really fast all weekend at the Icebreaker. We went back and it wasn’t
even until halfway through the season when we decided to run for points that first year.”
One year later, in 2017, he clinched back-to-back Mini Stock titles in dominant fashion – and set his sights on winning a
third straight in 2018. But, after the Limited Sportsman Extra Distance Night was rained out, and later rescheduled,
Burroughs ran into an issue last summer. He had already booked a vacation with his family, outside the country, for the
date the race was rescheduled for, therefore, he couldn’t make it. He ended up coming up one spot and just 27 points
short of the third straight title, but won five of the six races he competed in.
“Thompson is a motor track,” Burroughs said of the Mini Stocks. “My motor, built by Larry’s Auto Machine, was just
dynamite. It was almost unstoppable. A lot of it is the motor package, but endless hours in the shop, testing, and a lot
of effort. The open rules in the Mini Stock definitely help. We built our own cars, build our own stuff into the cars, and
the motors are all different, so there is a little bit of variation in the division.”
In the SK Light Modifieds®, Burroughs is hoping to come out of the gate on top of his game. But, with realistic
expectations, the first few races will be about getting the setup tuned to his liking and coming up with some consistent
finishes. Burroughs feels like he is going to be up against a difficult challenge from one of his competitors specifically.
“The biggest thing I’m expecting is Bryan Narducci being really tough to beat,” Burroughs said. “I’ve raced him quite a
bit in the SK Lights, and he’s a class act, a heck of a wheelman. I’ve beaten him some and I haven’t beaten him some.
But he’s going to be tough.”
Narducci is just one of many challengers that Burroughs is going to have to beat. Narducci actually has four victories in
four races in SK Light Modified® races at Thompson in the past, but names like Alexander Pearl, John O’Sullivan and
Anthony Marvin are just three of the early entered drivers who look like they will be challenging. And there are more
drivers coming in their footsteps.
For Burroughs, the chance to showcase his driving talent to Thompson’s fans in a different style of car is going to be
important. He’s moving from full-fendered action to the open-wheel ranks.
“It would be important to me,” he said of being in contention for the title this year. “I like to say all the time that I don’t
want to be someone that is known for one thing at one track. It’s important to show that my skills are just not behind
the wheel of a Mini Stock. My goal this year is to prove that I can jump from the Mini Stock to the SK Light and not miss
a beat. I don’t think we will go win five out of six races, but I think we can run up front, and with some consistency we
can be in contention as far as the points are concerned.”
Even though the Mini Stock was more of a family-owned operation, Burroughs isn’t going to be handling everything
inside his own shop this year. But, as with many drivers in Thompson’s Whelen All-American Series divisions, it’s still
going to be about spending time with his family.
“A lot of it is just a lot of work by me, my dad, my cousin. Even last year, when we were winning races but we were out
of the Mini Stock championship race, we spent a lot of the season experimenting. We would go with something different
at each race, trying to learn. Fast is never fast enough in racing,” he said. “We are always spending a lot of hours in the
Thompson’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series schedule, where the SK Light Modifieds® will compete this season,
includes 10 races -- spanning from April to October. Last year, teams competed in just seven races.
“I think 10 races is almost a perfect number, I thought seven wasn’t quite enough,” Buroughs said. “I saw the schedule
and I like that a majority of them are on Sunday. The weekday races are a little bit different for work and the crew. I
thought the schedule overall looked great, and that’s what enticed us to go back. The schedule is appealing to me.”
Overall, even though Burroughs feels it is going to be important to have some consistency and hopefully chase the
championship this season, all of his mindset is steered towards the opener for now. The 45thannual Icebreaker, which
begins in just over two weeks, is one race Burroughs really wants to win.
“The Icebreaker is a lot of fun. You’ve been sitting around all winter, and you’re chomping at the bit ready to race. You
get to see everyone again for three days, seeing everyone you haven’t seen all winter,” he said. “I have won every single
major event at Thompson except the Icebreaker, and my goal is to win the Icebreaker this year. I’ve won the World
Series, the Bud 150 twice… the division is going to be very popular. There are going to be some big heavy hitters. You
can go on and on with the list of young kids that are coming up and have some talent. I would love to win the
Icebreaker. That’s definitely our goal when we roll in there.”
Burroughs and many other cars are just a few days from being on the track. On Saturday, March 23, teams will take to
the high-banked oval for Test & Tune from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The full schedule for the day is available via the Thompson
Speedway Motorsports Park website.
The Icebreaker begins on Friday, April 5, with a Test & Tune session for all teams competing during the weekend except
the Pro All Star Series and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Over the course of the next two days, 11 different divisions
will compete in qualifying and feature racing action.
Camping spots are available for the Icebreaker weekend and can be reserved via the Thompson Speedway website. Fans
can attend the Icebreaker for $60 in the pit area, or $55 in the general admission seating area. Seniors (65+) and
Military may purchase a general admission seat for $50. All minors that are 12 and under are free admission in the
grandstands, but must pay full price in the pit area.
Fans are encouraged to follow Thompson on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest news. As
always, visit www.thompsonspeedway.comfor more information.
By Kyle Souza, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park
THOMPSON, Conn. – With his diverse background in racing, it should come as no surprise that William Wall seems to
have found a knack for Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
Wall has driven cars from dirt to asphalt, spanning from quarter-midgets, the NEMA Midgets, Thompson’s Limited
Sportsman and even most recently in Thompson’s competitive Late Model division.
In 2016, Wall was able to drive his Wall Trucking No. 4 Late Model into Victory Lane at the season-finale as the
champion of Thompson’s Late Model class. That accomplishment will surely stick in his mind forever.
“That was definitely the highlight of my career, being able to call myself a Thompson Speedway champion and hold the
title was really cool,” Wall said. “I had people I had never met before come up to me and said they recognized me
because I had won the Thompson championship.”
His heartbreak moment, which came in 2017, saw him finish second in the championship chase, coming up just short of
going back-to-back. That gave Wall some extra motivation to look for one more spot in 2018 – but after one bad week in
a seven-race schedule -- he found himself trailing in the standings for much of the year. He did recover to fourth in the
final tally, but it wasn’t quite what he was looking for.
Maybe this year his luck will turn back in his favor.
With three more races planned to get the job done, Wall is one driver excited for Thompson’s return to a 10-race
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series schedule, especially because his 2016 title came during a 10-race slate.
“I definitely like the 10-race schedule a lot better, because it gives the team an opportunity to redeem yourself if you do
have a bad week,” Wall said. “In the seven races, if you have a bad week, you are already really out of the championship
Thompson’s Late Model class has been well known for races that come down to the wire, often even the final few feet,
with drivers giving it their all chasing the checkered flag.
Last year, 29 drivers hit the high-banked oval in competition, with four different drivers visiting Victory Lane over seven
races. Even though Ryan Morgan won three times, and Mark Jension followed up with two of his own, the top five in the
standings ended up separated by just 33 points, with newcomer Nick Johnson crowned the eventual champion.
For Wall, it’s going to take a string of strong runs if he wants to win another title, and he knows that. It will also be
important to come out of the box strong at the 45thannual Icebreaker, which opens the NASCAR Whelen All-American
Series season, April 5-7.
“I’m definitely more of a consistency guy, we’ve had great luck at the Icebreaker and it’s always a race I look forward to
because my car seems to handle well in colder weather,” Wall said. “I’m someone who is going to try to make sure I get
the top-fives and when the points start winding down, I think we will be right there. The starting position is really
important, when it takes two, three, or four, laps to pass someone, with only a 25-lap race, you really almost need to
start up front. We just want to be in the position to win the race at the end. Almost every race seemed to finish three-
wide last year. I just want to go out there, be in the top three or five, and hopefully the wins will come along with that.”
Even with all of the experience in different types of cars, from dirt to asphalt, Wall feels like the Late Models might be
the biggest challenge he’s faced in the sport so far.
Why is that?
“These cars are definitely one of the hardest to pass with based on what I have raced. It really puts it up to the driver to
use everything they can to get by somebody,” he said. “It steps up the competition level a great deal, and I love that. In
this division, it’s all in the setup, and who can outdrive the other.”
The racing operation for the Wall family is just that – time to spend with each other doing something they all love to do.
Much like many race teams in the paddock, Wall has a background in racing that stems far past his own two hands on
the steering wheel.
“We really don’t have the winter off, we jump right into it trying to find everything we can. We are going to try a few
new things this year,” Wall said. “My dad is my crew chief and my brother is the spotter, so we are very family-
orientated. My brother grew up driving, so him looking from the outside, he has a good understanding of something I
might not be seeing from inside the car. We all work together really well.”
In the end, why does he seem to have that knack for Thompson? What is it about the .625-mile, high-banked,
Connecticut oval that seems to have fit his driving style so well? Being victorious in the Limited Sportsman, then
moving up through as champion of the Late Model division has given him plenty of experience, but he looks back years
to help find the answer.
“I don’t know if it was just growing down at the Little T Speedway, and going up on Thursday Thunder night to watch, it
might just be the amount of laps I have watched there and watching some of the big names race,” Wall said. “I’ve been
around it my whole life, and I think that really set the tone for how I was going to be as a driver at Thompson. I am not
afraid to bury it off into the corner.”
With just under a month to go until the opener, entries for the Late Model division are constantly flowing into the track
office to join Wall’s entry. Veterans Paul Charette, Glen Boss, Matthew Lowinski-Loh, former champion Brian Tagg, and
of course defending division title-holder Nick Johnson are among those earliest entries. Woody Pitkat is also set to
return to Late Model competition driving the No. 91 for Hartwell Motorsports.
Thompson’s 45thannual Icebreaker weekend is just about three weeks from taking the green flag. The schedule for the
duration of the weekend has been released and can be found in the event schedule section of the Thompson Speedway
website under the Icebreaker event page. Camping spots are still available and can be purchased either by visiting the
website or calling the track office.
For more information on Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, including both the NASCAR oval and the road course,
fans are encouraged to visit www.thompsonspeedway.com and follow the track on social media via Facebook,
Instagram and Twitter.
THOMPSON, Conn. – After countless years in the sport, in various different roles, Chris Williams will join Thompson
Speedway Motorsports Park as NASCAR Race Director in 2019.
Williams has done just about everything in the sport of auto racing – from sitting behind the wheel himself in the Mini
Stock division all the way to being the Saturday night Race Operations Manager at the New London-Waterford
Speedbowl. In between both of these roles, Williams has also worked in technical inspection, spotted for drivers on the
track and held the Race Director position with the Pro 4 Modifieds.
He is looking forward to leading the charge for Thompson’s 10-race NASCAR Whelen All-American Series calendar. The
schedule begins in just under one month, with the 45thannual Icebreaker weekend, April 5-7.
“I’ve been around racing since I was born,” Williams said. “My uncle ran modifieds back in the early 1980s, both at
Thompson and Stafford Motor Speedway. I’m ready to join the staff at Thompson. I’ve been going to the facility since I
was a kid -- I’ve raced there, and been on a crew there. The history at the track is so deep and I want to be a part of the
Williams fills the role that was most recently held by Scott Tapley, and even though Williams is bringing his own
procedures to the table, the success of his prior work with Tapley and established Race Director Tom Fox is going to
help from the procedural standpoint. He’s looking forward to putting his own structure in place for competitors to follow.
“I’ve worked under both of these Race Directors, so I know their ways and there are lot of things both of them do in
their role that I use on my side as well. I just think the years of experience help me in making the most accurate, fair,
calls on the spot,” Williams said. “That’s the biggest thing for me. It’s a split-second decision.”
Through his experience in the sport, Williams has been up and down the East Coast and visited countless tracks. With
an eye on the competition, Williams has also seen the behind the scenes work of track officials, and feels like previous
knowledge will help him in crafting the best procedures for Thompson Speedway.
“Everybody has a different way of doing it, but now, better than I have in the past, I can bring different things to the
table in the position to make it a better show for the fans, and the competitors,” Williams said. “I want to come in and
make things competitor-friendly – making sure to have the competitors in mind as the Race Director.”
After Terry Eames took over Thompson as General Manager, one of his top responsibilities throughout the winter was to
put the NASCAR staff in place to make the 10-race schedule run smoothly for fans. With the addition of Williams to the
staff, the group is nearly complete.
“We are excited to have Chris join the staff here at Thompson,” Eames said. “Chris worked with me at the Waterford
Speedbowl in the past, and he really has a deep understanding for the race management side of the operations. We’ve
developed a great plan for the season.”
Above all, Williams knows that each race is going to be just that – it’s own event. Even though races will build on each
other, and staff and competitors will make adjustments throughout the season, it’s important to begin with an open-
“Any human knows that no one is perfect, but each race, all of the cars on the track are just that – cars with numbers,
to me,” Williams said. “Everyone starts the season with a clean slate. I’m looking forward to it.”
Adding to the staff, Thompson Speedway will make a clear line between the Race Director role and the Technical
Inspection. For questions regarding Race Procedures and action on the .625-mile oval itself, competitors will be asked
to contact Williams. For questions surrounding the technical aspect of the race cars, teams are encouraged to contact
the technical staff.
Leading the list of inspectors will be the Head Tehcnical Inspector of Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, Mark St.
“We strive to make the complete field of cars as competitive with each other as possible to provide a great experience
for the fans,” Hilaire said when he was announced for the role. “We strive to make rules to help keep everyone safe. Our
tech staff is there for the competitors.”
Joining Hilaire, Thompson Speedway welcomes additional staff for the NASCAR events, including the addition of David
Faita as Track Services Manager for the Road Course events and Chris Austill as Track Services Manager for the
NASCAR events. Todd Stiles, who worked in the technical inspection department last year, will continue with the
facility as a consultant to the tech department for 2019.
With the staff in place, work continues at the track to prepare the facility for the 45th annual Icebreaker, which is
quickly approaching. The Connecticut oval will open the New England racing season, with the third race of the season
for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and the openers for all five NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions. Over
the winter, Thompson Speedway announced the addition of the Lite Modifieds as the Division III class.
Fans are encouraged to grab their camping spot as soon as possible, and can do that via the website and the
registrations tab. The season officially begins with the Icebreaker, but teams will have a chance to Test and Tune on
Saturday, March 23.
For more information on the oval track, and the road course, fans are encouraged to visit www.thompsonspeedway.com,
and follow the track on social media via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
ON PACE TO RETURN TO RACING ON ICEBREAKER WEEKEND
By Kyle Souza, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park
THOMPSON, Conn. – Sitting in the cockpit of his Sunoco Modified, unbuckling his belts, and preparing to climb out,
Justin Albernaz was simply rolling on adrenaline.
He was in the immediate aftermath of being involved in a vicious crash in turn one during practice for the 30-lap Sunoco
Modified event as part of the Bug “King of Beers” night at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park last August.
When he rolled on the .625-mile oval and put the car in high-gear, he was hoping to continue to gain experience on a
tough, high-banked track. When he exited the facility in the back of an ambulance, Albernaz turned his attention to the
long recovery he had ahead of him.
It was turn from the positive of racing, to the negative, in a matter of just a few seconds.
“It was a pretty hot day, and there were a lot of cars out there for practice,” Albernaz recalled. “We went about five
laps, and we went down the frontstretch and I think the rear-end broke on Jay Sundeen’s car. I was following the No. 19,
and when he dived to the bottom, I didn’t see Sundeen. He rolled up the track and I hit him. I heard another car come
from behind and hit me. By the time I opened my eyes, I was pretty much down in the infield.”
After being transferred to a local medical facility, Albernaz was soon diagnosed with a fractured L1 and L2 vertebrae.
He was crushed.
Not only was he frustrated with the end result of the wreck, but, just as any race car driver would be, he was
immediately wondering how long he would be out of the car.
Since then, it’s been all about the recovery in hopes of returning to competition.
“I could feel the pain in my back,” the 21-year-old said of the immediate moments after the wreck. “When you’re in a big
wreck like that, your eyes just close. It’s just straight adrenaline. I did the number one thing you’re not supposed to do
and I took my helmet off. By the time I realized the pain in my back, I was able to climb out, but the rescue workers
were holding me up. The pain was so bad.”
Fast-forward seven months and the Rehoboth, Massachusetts, driver is back to feeling himself. The recovery process
was long – and one he hopes he never has to go through again.
But he’s just happy to be back on the right track.
“It’s been a slow process. The first two months really weren’t great, I couldn’t move, just a lot of pain in my back. After
that, you actually feel like yourself again, and you feel like you can start doing some things, but you really can’t or you’ll
hurt your back again,” he said. “A lot of physical therapy, and I think it was about four and a half months before I was
back to work. I feel like I’m 100% now.”
Over the winter, the team took the opportunity to make some improvements in the shop after the car he drove last year
wasn’t going to be in racing condition. Albernaz has a brand new Troyer chassis set for action, and he’s going to debut it
as part of the first and only Test and Tune session of the season on March 23, right back at Thompson.
The Test and Tune will be his first time back buckled in the race car since that day in August where experienced
exactly what every race car driver never hopes they will.
“I always get the butterflies at Thompson, but as soon as you get out there and get the gas down on the floor, they are
gone,” he said of moving forward. “You have to just put it behind you as a driver. You have to send it in that corner. You
can’t go in there looking at that wall.”
After the Test and Tune, Albernaz will be looking forward to returning to racing action under green flag conditions at the
45thannual Icebreaker weekend. The Sunoco Modifieds will have practice on Friday, run their qualifying races on
Saturday and compete in the 30-lap season opener on Sunday. The event is the first in a new 10-race schedule for
Thompson in 2019.
“I know we are going to that test and tune to try to shake the car down and get back going into the groove I was in last
year,” he said. “I just put it behind me. Even if you just go to Thompson for the three days when you’re not racing, it’s a
great time and a great atmosphere. I’m looking forward to it.”
With just over one month until the drop of the first green flag, registrations for the Sunoco Modified division are starting
to flow in. Early on, it looks like a mix of returning veteran challengers will battle against some of the rising talent in
New England’s Sunoco Modified ranks. Last year, Connecticut native Keith Rocco added another Sunoco Modified title to
his resume in dominating fashion.
Even though Mother Nature dropped a significant amount of snow in the New England area this week, track officials are
working hard to prepare for the 45thannual Icebreaker weekend. The Icebreaker begins on Friday, April 5, and the three
days of action-packed battling on the track concludes on Sunday, April 7, with the third race of the season for the
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
The schedule for opening weekend is nearing completion and will be available on the track website and social media
channels once it is finished. Fans will once again be able to visit the campgrounds on the property for the duration of
the weekend, and fans also have the opportunity to purchase a pit pass and get up close with the stars and cars of
Thompson Speedway. Sunday, fans will have the opportunity to walk on the track for the annual Fan Appreciation Party
-- an event that has become one of the most highly anticipated of the season.
For more information on the track, visit www.thompsonspeedway.comand follow the track on Facebook, Twitter and
Instagram. Additional information about the 2019 racing season is coming in the near future.
MIX OF NEW CHALLENGERS CHASE FIRST DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP STARTING WITH 45TH ICEBREAKER
By Kyle Souza for Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park
THOMPSON, Conn. – One of many substantial changes at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in 2019 is the addition
of the Lite Modified division to the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series schedule.
A division Thompson has welcomed to the facility on select occasions in the past, including on the Icebreaker and
Sunoco World Series weekends, the Lite Modifieds now have become the Division III class at the Connecticut oval. This
means the Limited Sportsman will drop to Division IV and the Mini Stock drivers will have a chance to chase the
Division V title.
With a minimum weight of nearly 2,700 pounds, the Lite Modifieds nearly mirror the appearance of the Sunoco
Modifieds, but have a few technical differences.
With a newly revamped 10-race NASCAR Whelen All-American Series schedule also added to the equation this season,
Lite Modified drivers will have to find Victory Lane, but also put together some consistency if they want to go down as
Thompson’s first-ever Lite Modified champion. Drivers will compete in 20-lap events throughout the duration of the
“I think it’s great,” Bryan Narducci, who has four wins in four Lite Modified starts at Thompson previously, said. “Last
year it didn’t count towards the national points, but with the Lite Modifieds being Division III, I know there are a lot of
guys that are going to go back to Thompson, with the purse raised as well. There are going to be a lot more cars this
As Narducci mentions, a jump in the Lite Modified purse will see the driver that visits Victory Lane collect $500.
Thompson becomes the third Connecticut oval to bring Lite Modifieds into the equation, meaning drivers from across
the state will be able to take their cars to the high-banks in search of the checkered flag.
Narducci, who also won the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division III national championship last year, is hoping
to run the full schedule behind the wheel of the No. 01. Narducci runs a car out of the same stable at Sunoco Modified
winner Todd Owen, and with the support of his sponsors, Narducci has been able to dominate in the previous Lite
Modified events held at Thompson.
His knack for the high-speed racing doesn’t hurt.
Narducci’s first victory came in his first start on the .625-mile high-banks in 2017 as part of the Sunoco World Series
weekend. Last year, the Colchester, Connecticut, driver won all three races contested during the season, including the
Icebreaker and World Series events.
“I have been going there as long as I can remember, going on Thursday night to watch Ted Christopher race,” Narducci
explained. “I had experience watching and I was able to learn how passing works. It’s a lot more difficult to complete a
pass at Thompson without knocking into the other cars door. The first time I ever ran there, I started on the pole and
won the race. There was definitely some stiff competition there that night and last year. The track definitely fits my
Early on, entries are already rolling in with the season still a month from taking the green flag. Upcoming modified
competitor Anthony Marvin, the son of Sunoco Modified contender Burt Marvin, has entered behind the wheel of the No.
07. With Marvin’s Midway Auto and Thirty Two Signs supporting the Connecticut driver, Anthony is hoping to find his
way to the top of the class before long.
Additional entries for the division include John O’Sullivan and Eric Bourgeois. O’Sullivan has been a standout in
Connecticut at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl competing in their Legends Cars division, and has also been
successful in his Legend Car at Seekonk Speedway, over in Massachusetts. Last year, O’Sullivan tested the waters of
the Lite Modified division at Thompson, finishing inside the top-10 in all three of his starts. That experience could put
him ahead of some of the competitors for the upcoming campaign.
Bourgeois is truly a name that should be familiar to those in the Thompson Speedway landscape. Eric Bourgeois recently
celebrated another Mini Stock title in 2018 after a consistent season put him at the top of the division. Now, with his
focus in the Mini Stocks turned to his son Evan, Eric has registered behind the wheel of the No. 78 Lite Modified for at
least a partial schedule.
Thompson’s overall 2019 schedule, set for 10 races, includes the return of the NEMA Midgets, Pro All Star Series,
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and more. Fans can find all of the latest information by visiting www.thompsonspeedway.
comand following the track via social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.