SUNOCO MODIFIED 20/20 & FOR THE FANS NIGHT THIS SUNDAY AT THOMPSON SPEEDWAY MOTORSPORTS PARK
By Kyle Souza, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park
THOMPSON, Conn. -- With just two races left in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, this weekend will mark the final Sunday showdown of the year. Sunday, September 8, will be the 4th annual For The Fans Night, with discounted general admission tickets, and the 6th annual Sunoco Modified 20/20 sprint race. Lock City Drift will also return to action with the final round of their Street Series on the TSMP road course.
After this, the only remaining event to decide the NASCAR champions will be the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing, October 11-13.
Sunday’s Sunoco Modified 20/20 sprint has become a fan favorite, with three separate races for the Division I class all in the same day. Drivers will compete in the three segments – made up of two, 20-lap races and one, 10-lap race. Points will be awarded towards the championship battle in both of the first two races, but not the final 10-lap sprint. The overall finish of the three races combined will also decide the overall winner and purse for the day.
In the Sunoco Modified title chase, Keith Rocco could all but seal the division championship with a strong run, and a bit of bad luck for some of his competitors. Rocco leads by 40 points over Woody Pitkat, and the two drivers have combined to win five of the eight races this season, including the last four. Todd Owen is third, 46 back, searching his Thompson first win of the season.
Three of Thompson’s championship battles are heading down to the wire tight at the top. Pitkat is also in the middle of a close battle in the Late Model division, where he has been to Victory Lane in two of the last three events. He trails former division champion William Wall by just 10 points, closing it up a bit more with his victory last Sunday afternoon. With both drivers having carried the championship hardware before, this battle could be one of the best to watch in the final two races. Rookie contender Derek Gluchacki is third, 34 points out, waiting for someone to slip.
Thompson’s Mini Stock championship battle has three drivers separated by just seven points. Scott Michalski might only have one victory in the first eight races, but his consistency has proven enough to give him a one-point advantage over Steve Michalski. A hot streak by Doug Curry has closed him from well outside the battle to just seven markers back with two races left. Curry has finished inside the top three in four of the last five races.
In the Limited Sportsman, a turn of events last weekend took Shawn Monahan off the top and moved Kyle Gero back to the lead spot. Gero holds a 16-point lead over Meghan Fuller and 17 over Monahan, who is the champion from the last two years. Each of the three drivers have had their ups and downs in the first eight races, with Monahan winning three events. Gero and Fuller have yet to visit Victory Lane but share a total of 11 top five finishes between the two of them.
The SK Light Modified® division could already have a champion crowned at the end of this Sunday afternoon. Bryan Narducci leads by 73 over Albert Ouellette, and Thompson drivers can only earn a most of 55 points in each event. If Narducci leaves Sunday with at least a 55-point lead, he will be the champion. Tiebreakers wouldn’t be an issue for Narducci, who has six wins in eight races this year. Ouellette and former Mini Stock champion Wayne Burroughs Jr. are separated by just one point in the battle for second.
Sunday’s action gets underway with practice sessions at 12:30 p.m., followed by the start of NASCAR heat racing at 230 p.m. Feature racing will immediately follow pre-race ceremonies. Throughout the day, Lock City Drift will compete in multiple rounds for their Street Series, and judges will determine who will make it to the final round, and who wins the overall event. Fans can watch both the NASCAR racing and the drifting for one grandstand ticket.
As part of For the Fans Night, grandstand tickets for this event are just $14 in general admission, with those seniors (65+), veterans and active military just $12. As always, any children 12 and under are free in general admission, but fans should be aware that any child who wishes to entire the paddock area must pay full price. The price for a paddock pass for this event is $35.
For more information on Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, visit us on the web at www.thompsonspeedway.com, and follow the track on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.