STREAK ON THE LINE FOR BRYAN NARDUCCI
DRIVERS CHASING DEFENDING DIVISION III NATIONAL CHAMPION IN SK LIGHT MODIFIEDS®
By Kyle Souza, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park
THOMPSON, Conn. – Two of the top modified drivers in the Northeast will have streaks on the line over the next month at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
Defending NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Justin Bonsignore has been to Victory Lane in the last five Whelen Modified Tour events at the Connecticut oval, and will look to add to that already impressive streak on Wednesday, June 5, when the series returns for the Thompson 125.
But, one of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series drivers is going to have a chance to extend his own five in a row streak coming up on May 19.
Bryan Narducci, the defending NASCAR Division III National Champion, has won five consecutive SK Light Modified® races at Thompson dating back to last year. The Colchester, Connecticut, driver opened the 2019 season with a victory at the Icebreaker, dominating the 20-lap feature, and taking the early advantage in the championship standings.
“All of the hard work in the shop every week. They always say that races are won in the shop, and I think it’s 100 percent true,” Narducci said when asked how he could put together the run of success. “All of the work that goes on to get the car ready with the setup, nut and bolt, making sure the numbers on the scales are perfect. I want to be perfect. If you want to win, you have to have all of your ducks in a row.”
In the last five wins, Narducci has managed to lead most of the laps of competition, but when the division returns to the track next Sunday afternoon, Narducci will have to start in the middle of the pack due to the handicap system in place – something he’s used to doing in his SK Light Modified® career. Narducci also competes over at Stafford Motor Speedway, where he nearly won the title last year on the heels of five victories.
“We won’t do anything different with the car, I’ve watched a lot of races at Thompson over the course of my life and learning how passing works is important. It’s definitely the hardest track to complete a pass,” Narducci said. “The outside is the preferred line, but you aren’t going to get outside of someone unless they slide down. You have to try to make the passes without getting into the other driver, and that’s why it creates such great racing. It should be fun to try to be able to get through the field to the front.”
Narducci’s busy season puts him up against a few challenges going forward. He runs the same car at both Stafford and Thompson, and with Stafford running on Friday night, and Thompson running multiple Sunday races throughout the 10-race NASCAR Whelen All-American Series schedule, the turnaround time is going to be short each week.
“I think the Sunday shows aren’t going to be that bad because we will have Saturday to get the car ready but the show that is on a Saturday when the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East is at Thompson, that will be definitely be tough,” Narducci said. “It will be a late night.”
As the defending Division III national champion, Narducci is placing his focus on that same goal again this season, before he hopes to move to the next level for the 2020 season. But, for now, it’s going to be about keeping his streak going and extending it to six straight wins in Thompson’s competitive SK Light Modified® division.
“I haven’t really thought about it that much, but I know when I pulled into Victory Lane at the Icebreaker I thought about how cool it was to win five in a row,” he said. “When Justin won the Whelen Modified Tour race, and he had five in a row, I thought that was really cool. It’s incredible to have my name up there with someone as successful as him as the defending Whelen Modified Tour champion.”
Narducci’s next challenge is just a week away, when the division returns to competition during the Fourth Annual Limited Sportsman Extra Distance and Military Night.
“It’s great that Thompson has the military night to honor the past and the present with all of the people that have scarified everything for us. It’s nice to be able to perform in front of them,” Narducci said. “Everyone says you can be patient and pick people off, but if you can pass three cars on the restarts, you definitely want to do that. Restarts can be free positions for you. I think if you can pass some people early and start making your moves, I think you will be better off. We’ll see what happens.”
Thompson’s next event has quickly become one that fans will not want to miss. With the Limited Sportsman division going 30 laps, there is no telling what could happen in a division where excitement is always at a high level. The Late Models will also run extra distance, as they take to the track for 40 laps of high-speed action. The Sunoco Modifieds, Mini Stocks and SK Light Modifieds® will also compete in regular qualifying and feature racing.
The full schedule for the event is posted on www.thompsonspeedway.comunder the event schedule tab. It shows that qualifying heat races begin at 2 p.m., with features to follow around 3 p.m.
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