Racers beat the
weather Thursday night at
Thompson, Conn: Rain showers could not dampen the excitement in Thompson’s Thursday Night Thunder as the track played host to a first time winner in the Thompson Lite Modifieds and a crowd pleasing door-to-door battle in the Mini-Stock division. Ryan Preece held off Keith Rocco for the Sunoco Modified win while Mike Scorzelli took the checkers in the Late Models.
Preece was “just having fun” as he held off a determined Keith Rocco in the 30-lap Sunoco Modified division Thursday night. Preece took the lead at lap 10 and never looked back despite Rocco’s bumper in his rear view mirror. Kerry Malone took over the lead at the drop of the green flag with Ted Christopher closing in on his bumper. Preece made it a three-way battle when he dove to the bottom of Christopher for second. Christopher shut the door on his challenges, and made his own bid on Malone out front at lap two. Christopher took the lead with Preece in tow relegating Malone to the third position. Preece was all over Christopher as Keith Rocco made his way into contention. On lap seven, Rocco dropped to the bottom and drove by Malone for the third position with Todd Ceravolo following. As the race approached lap 10, Preece got up alongside Christopher in a tight battle that lasted until turn four when Christopher went high. Preece was able to drive to the lead with Rocco taking over second and Christopher recovering for third. Rocco closed in to Preece’s bumper and dove low in turn four of lap 23 in a challenge for the lead. Preece wasn’t about to give it up that easy, however, and closed the door on his challenge. Rocco kept the pressure on and tapped Preece’s bumper through the turns - constantly reminding Preece he was there. Preece was not intimidated, however, and held the lead until the checkers dropped.
Mike Scorzelli used a power move on the bottom to the take the lead and eventual victory in the Late Model division’s 25-lap feature. Randy Tucker led the charge at the drop of the green flag, but Scorzelli powered to the bottom and took the lead away before Tucker completed the circuit. Marc Palmisano took over second while John Falconi moved into third after having the rear bumper of his No. 10 machine lifted at the start. At lap nine, Tommy O’Sullivan used the bottom groove to get by Falconi for third and set his sights on Scorzelli and Palmisano, who held a half-a-straightaway advantage. Palmisano closed in on Scorzelli’s bumper by lap 15, and started to look down low for a way around. At lap 20, Palmisano tried his hand on the bottom groove, but Scorzelli shut the door. Palmisano was not giving up, but Scorzelli proved to be too strong and took the victory with a car length distance between them.
Troy Talman scored his first career victory in the Thompson Lite Modified division after holding off a determined Cam McDermott on the final lap. McDermott powered into the early lead, but it was all Talman at the completion of the first lap. McDermott continued to challenge using the inside groove, and got side-by-side with Talman in turn four on every circuit. Talman, however, wasn’t having it and held him off on every attempt. Talman was still the leader at the halfway point, but McDermott shadowed his every move. Shawn Brule and Nikki Ouellette rounded out the top-four. McDermott patiently waited behind in hopes that Talman would make a mistake, but it wasn’t to be. On the final lap, McDermott shot to the bottom groove in turns one and two, but again Talman closed the door on his challenge and cruised to the checkered flag.
Scott Sundeen earned the Limited Sportsman feature victory after powering from an 11th place starting position to the lead in just 15 laps. Steve Kenneway maneuvered his way by Jason Chicolas to take the point before caution slowed the field on lap one. On the restart, Kenneway proved his early lead was no fluke and drove right back out front. Chicolas and Kevin Mason rounded out the top-three, but things shuffled quickly. Kenneway extended his lead to five car lengths as Mason powered by Chicolas for second. Chicolas continued to drop through the field as Kenneway dominated out front. A caution at lap 12 put Mason, Jesse Gleason, and Art Moran behind Kenneway for the restart with Kenneway the leader at the drop of the green. Scott Sundeen was the quick mover on that restart after using the bottom groove to catapult himself into a challenge for second with Gleason. The two were side-by-side for a full lap before Sundeen took over the position and set his sights on Kenneway. Caution slowed his progress, but Sundeen was the first driver into turn one after a brief side-by-side battle. Sundeen pulled away from the rest of the field and took the victory in commanding fashion.
John Lowinski-Loh, Jr. took the checkers in the Thompson Modified division under the threat of rain after taking the lead away from Glenn Boss at lap 15. Jay Sundeen led a three-car battle into turn two at the start of the feature. Boss and Lowinski-Loh, Jr. closed in as the trio pulled away from the rest of the field. On lap five, Boss went high in turn two and allowed Sundeen to pull away. At lap six, Sundeen suddenly slowed as smoke emerged from the left front tire on his machine. Boss took over the lead just before caution slowed the field at lap eight. Lowinski-Loh tried to muscle the lead away from Boss as the race resumed, but Boss put an end to his challenges and separated himself by a car length. Lowinski-Loh was back in position to challenge at lap 13, and set up a bid on the bottom, but Boss shut the door. Lowinski-Loh tried again on lapping 15, and when Boss went high in turn two, Lowinski-Loh drove to the front and took the checkered flag unchallenged.
Mike Viens took the win in the 15-lap Mini Stock feature after being tested every step of the way by Chad Baxter. The close competition between the two yielded a tight, door-to-door battle throughout the entire race distance. Damon Fratantonio and Jim Helger paced the field to green, but their run up front came to an early end when the two tangled in turn four and ended their night. Viens took the lead as the feature got back underway followed by Baxter in second and Steve Violette in third. Baxter reeled in Viens comfortable lead by lap five as a spin on the front straightaway brought the field to caution. When the race resumed, Baxter challenged on the bottom, but Viens held him off. The two were side-by-side coming out of four, but it was Viens at the line with six laps complete. The battle wasn’t over, and Baxter continued to fight for the lead with Viens crossing the line just inches ahead. The third caution put the duo side-by-side again, where they remained in a nail-biting battle until caution flew at lap 11. Viens continued to lead on the restart, albeit with the smallest of margins, and Baxter continued to challenge. The two finally sorted it out at lap 12 when Viens settled out front with Baxter behind him in his rear-view mirror. As the two took the white flag, Baxter made his final challenge on the bottom, but Viens held him off and cruised to the win.
SUNOCO MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH: 1. RYAN PREECE, Berlin, CT; 2. Keith Rocco, Meriden, CT; 3. Ted Christopher, Plainville, CT; 4. Todd Ceravolo, Gales Ferry, CT; 5. Kerry Malone, Needham, MA; 6. John Catania, Agawam, MA; 7. Dennis Perry, Pawcatuck, CT; 8. Dave Salzarulo, Monson, MA; 9. Wayne Arute, Glastonbury, CT; 10. Shawn Thibeault, Southington, CT.
LATE MODEL FEATURE FINISH: 1. MIKE SCORZELLI, Malta, NY; 2. Marc Palmisano, Hadley, MA; 3. Tommy O’Sullivan, Springfield, MA; 4. John Falconi, Oakham, MA; 5. Damon Tinio, Mendon, MA; 6. Randy Tucker, Millis, MA; 7. Ryan Waterman, Danielson, CT; 8. Robert Palmer, Lisbon, CT; 9. Robert O’Connell, Jr., Wrentham, MA.
LITE MODIFIEDS FEATURE FINISH: 1. TROY TALMAN, Oxford, MA; 2. Cam McDermott, Scituate, RI; 3. Shawn Brule, W. Thompson, CT; 4. Nikki Ouellette, East Granby, CT.
THOMPSON MODIFIEDS FEATURE FINISH: 1. JOHN LOWINSKI-LOH, JR., Milford, MA; 2. Glenn Boss, Danielson, CT; 3. Ryan Morgan, Mystic, CT; 4. Brian Tagg, Oxford, MA; 5. Danny Gamache, Jr., Woonsocket, RI; 6. Jay Sundeen, Douglas, MA.
LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH: 1. SCOTT SUNDEEN, Douglas, MA; 2. Ed Puleo, Branford, CT; 3. Art (Goose) Moran, III, Preston, CT; 4. Mark Jenison, Warwick, RI; 5. Corey Fanning, Mapleville, RI; 6. Jesse Gleason, Lisbon, CT; 7. Tom Shea, New London, CT; 8. Jason Chicolas, Sutton, MA; 9. Mike Caprio, New Haven, CT; 10. Lloyd Anderson, Jr., Wauregan, CT.
MINI STOCK FEATURE FINISH: 1. MIKE VIENS, Seekonk, MA; 2. Chad Baxter, Pascoag, RI; 3. Eric Bourgeois, East Haddam, CT; 4. Joe Baxter, Pascoag, RI; 5. Steve Violette, Canterbury, CT; 6. Nick Anderson, Oxford, MA; 7. Dave Trudeau, Mansfield, CT; 8. Travis Jurcik, Chaplin, CT; 9. Leo Defevers, Moosup, CT; 10. Jeff Moffat, Smithfield, RI.