THOMPSON SPEEDWAY BACK IN ACTION HONORING MILITARY THIS SUNDAY
FOURTH ANNUAL LIMITED SPORTSMAN EXTRA DISTANCE HEADLINES NASCAR RACING CARD; LOCK CITY DRIFT JOINS PROGRAM
By Kyle Souza, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park
THOMPSON, Conn. – Race fans won’t want to miss the second NASCAR raceday of the season this Sunday at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
Two extra distance NASCAR Whelen All-American Series races, three additional battles under the NASCAR banner, the first competitive drifting in New England with Lock City Drift and a full day of honoring the Military are just some of the headlines for a jammed Sunday of racing action.
On the NASCAR side, the Fourth Annual Limited Sportsman Extra Distance event headlines the afternoon, as drivers in the Division III class showcase their talent for 30 laps. Last year, it was Ryan Waterman, who won this year’s opener at the Icebreaker, who captured the checkered flag in the special event. In a division that is always known for three-wide, heart-pounding action throughout the entire field, adding 10 laps to the distance has been successful over the last three years, and has given drivers a little bit of an extra chance to get the job done.
Waterman leads the early championship standings in the division in chase for his second title, while Brent Gleason and Corey Fanning are just a few markers behind following their strong run at the opener. Defending champion Shawn Monahan looks to get back on track with his new ‘Swaggin Wagon’ after a run at the Icebreaker that didn’t quite live up to his standards.
The Late Models also take center stage, with a 40 lap extra distance show of their own planned for Sunday. With 15 extra laps on the track, Late Models drivers will set their chase towards Tom Carey III, who dominated the opener and is seeking his first title this year. But, former champions William Wall and Woody Pitkat aren’t far behind, along with names like Mark Jenison and veteran Rick Gentes.
Lock City Drift’s partnership with Thompson Speedway takes another step towards the future on Sunday with the first competitive drifting in all of New England taking place as part of this Sunday special. Through the Street Series, Lock City will give fans the chance to see drivers showcase their talent on the edge of control. Judges will select the winners at the end of each round, and overall winners will be crowned.
“Lock City Drift is excited to be welcomed into the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series family of fans this Sunday at Thompson,” Michael Lynch, the Director of Lock City Drift, said. “We will be showcasing our first Street Series competition right in conjunction with the oval track. With drifting becoming an ever-growing motorsport, it is humbling for us to have our event happening at the same time as the NASCAR racing. We hope you come out and enjoy the smoking of rubber.”
In the Sunoco Modifieds, Keith Rocco has won five of eight races dating back to last year and is showing no signs of slowing down. Rocco has the early advantage over the rest of the field following his win at the Icebreaker, but some of the top Modified talent in New England is right on his heels looking to slow him down. Former division champion Woody Pitkat has a new ride this season, while Todd Owen is looking to finally break into championship glory.
A streak is on the line in the SK Light Modifieds®, as Bryan Narducci looks to grab his sixth win in a row in a competitive class. Narducci will have to start in the middle of the pack, though, which could create some fireworks for the fans as the Connecticut rising star looks to make his way back to the front of the field. Thompson added this division to the weekly NASCAR slate in 2019, and if the opener is any indication, the support from drivers is a sign that this division will be one of the best for years to come.
In the Mini Stocks, veteran Steve Michalski opened his season with a victory at the Icebreaker, but there are multiple staple drivers in the Division V class looking to slow him down this weekend. Ian Brew comes into the event second in the early standings, while the Trudeau family is sitting in third with David Trudeau Jr. trying to chase down the two leaders.
Practice for NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions begins at 12:30 p.m., with qualifying heat racing set to roll at 2 p.m. The feature events for the second race of the season will immediately follow qualifying.
Lock City Drift’s events are included inside the schedule for the day. The full schedule of events, with times for the opening of the pit area and general admission gates, is available at www.thompsonspeedway.com.
As mentioned, any active military and veterans will be admitted for general admission free of charge. Fans can purchase a ticket at the front gate for just $18, while those 65+ can purchase for $16, and Kids 12 and under are free. A paddock pass for race teams and any fans that wish to get a close view of the cars and stars of Thompson is $35.
Race fans and teams are encouraged to visit the website for more information, and also follow the track on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.