Second Half of Tour Season Underway With Two Crucial Thompson Events Remaining on 2023 Schedule
THOMPSON, Conn. – With 10 races complete on their 18-race 2023 schedule, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is set for the first of two stops at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park this Wednesday, August 16. The rumble of the Modifieds will return to the Thompson high-banks for the 151st time under NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour banner for a crucial race. Heading into the Thompson 150, the championship battle is beginning to heat up, with two former multiple-time Thompson winners and series champions battling it out.
Ron Silk, the 2011 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion, currently leads Justin Bonsignore by just eight points. Silk has five Tour wins at Thompson to his credit, with the most recent coming during the 2020 season. Silk is also no stranger to Victory Lane in the Open Modifieds at the Connecticut oval – winning the most recent Outlaw Open Modified Series 50-lap Dash For Cash race in July. That night, he drove for the same team that he will during the Tour race – the No. 16 for Haydt-Yannone Racing. Silk has 57 Thompson starts on the Whelen Modified Tour alone and will surely be a threat on Wednesday night.
Bonsignore has been the one driver who seems to have been on his game most at Thompson in the last five years. He currently has 12 Whelen Modified Tour wins at the track, including six consecutive victories between 2018 and 2019. Although his most recent Thompson win came in 2019, Bonsignore has finished inside the top-five in 11 of his last 12 starts. The Holtsville, New York, three-time series champion will be looking to add yet another trophy to his mantle another on Wednesday.
They won’t be the only two contenders looking for glory, either.
Six-time series champion Doug Coby is looking to crawl his way back into the championship battle as the summer heats up and returns to Thompson driving the Mayhew Tools No. 7NY for Tommy Baldwin Racing. Baldwin has certainly had his fair share of Thompson success as a car owner, with multiple wins in the last few years in the Outlaw Open Modified Series. Coby is excited to be heading to the high-banks with Baldwin for the first time together and will be a major threat for the win.
Last year in the two races at Thompson, Craig Lutz and Eric Goodale went to Victory Lane. Both drivers will be back to chase another trophy on Wednesday night. They will be joined by Whelen Modified Tour young hotshoe Austin Beers, who is the most recent series winner after his triumph at Lancaster Motorplex last weekend, the second win of his season. Other names to watch heading into the Thompson 150 include Tyler Rypkema, Kyle Bonsignore, Anthony Nocella and Jake Johnson.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will also return to Thompson on Sunday, October 9 as part of the World Series – the penultimate race of their 2023 season.
The Whelen Modified Tour Thompson 150 won’t be the only race of the night, either. Thompson has a full contingent of local divisions ready to roar and they each have their own championship battles heating up with just three oval track events remaining in the Thompson season. The event will include races for the SK Light Modifieds, Late Models, Limited Sportsman and Mini Stocks.
Wednesday’s schedule of events includes the pit gates opening at 1 p.m. for all divisions, with rotating practice for Thompson divisions beginning at 2:30 p.m. The green flag for NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour practice will be at 4 p.m. for one-hour, followed by the start of heat races at 5:30 p.m. Front grandstand gates will open at 2:30 p.m. for fans to catch practice to start the day. NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour qualifying is set for 6:20 p.m. and the green flag for the Thompson 150 is set for 8 p.m.
Tickets for Wednesday’s Thompson special will be available at the gates on race day and are $45 for adults, $10 for kids ages 6-12 and free for five and under. Parking is also free. Pit admission will be $55 for adults and $30 for kids 12 and under.
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