Thompson International Speedway, The New England Dodge Dealers, and
Charter Communication joined together to present an action-packed
night of racing that included a 75-lap green flag race for the
Whelen Modified Tour along with six divisions of weekly racing
series action. Ronnie Silk of Norwalk, CT, who has gained an
affinity to the Speedway, scored the second win of his career at the
Todd Ceravolo of Gales Ferry, CT, took top honors in a tremendous
Sunoco Modified war. Sixteen-year-old Derek Ramstrom of Worcester,
MA, scored his second straight win in the Pro Stock division. Tim
Sullivan of S. Windsor followed suit with consecutive wins in the
TIS Modifieds. Jeff Zuidema of N. Brookfield, MA, continued his
domination of the Late Model division with his third win of the
short season. Mike Romano of Glendale, RI, in Mini Stocks and Scott
Sundeen of Douglas, MA, in the Limited Sportsman division also
scored victories during Charter Communications’ presentation of the
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.
Silk took the lead on a late race restart to score the win over Ted
Christopher. Early in the race, it was a battle of the young guns
with Coors Light Pole Award winner Bobby Grigas III and Kevin
Goodale duking it out for the lead. Contact between Flemke and
Grigas shuffled the top positions. Eric Beers and Chuck Hossfeld
also took their turns at the front of the pack. Christopher led the
lion’s share of the laps; however, Silk was strong in the final
stages. After taking over the top spot, despite some initial
pressure, the young driver was able to turn away the challenges of
veteran Christopher. Mike Stefanik, Chuck Hossfeld, and Tony
Ferrante, Jr. completed the top five.
Todd Ceravolo of Gales Ferry, CT, scored a hard-fought victory in a
talented field of competitors in the Sunoco Modified main event on
Thursday night. Ceravolo became the fourth different winner in four
weeks of Whelen All-American Series racing at the Speedway in 2008.
“It’s nice to win with a Dodge motor on Dodge night,” said Ceravolo
in victory lane.
Ceravolo took command of the 30-lap main event from the drop of the
green flag. In the early going, Ceravolo was chased by Bobby Grigas
and Danny Cates. Bert Marvin and Jimmy Blewett were getting racy for
the fourth spot. Tommy Cravenho, Keith Rocco, and Kerry Malone
battled deeper inside the top ten.
Contact with Cates found Grigas falling into the clutches of
Blewett and Marvin. Grigas maintained third while Marvin was able to
take the fourth spot from Blewett. Rocco continued to battle with
Cravenho as Malone looked on.
Ceravolo had checked out on the field with Cates running in third.
Marvin was all over the back bumper of Grigas in pursuit.
At halfway, Ceravolo continued to lead Cates. Things really heated
up between Grigas and Marvin. They swapped positions back and forth
before the first caution of the event flew on lap 17 for a spin for
Carl Oberg. The yellow erased the sizeable lead for Ceravolo.
Blewett ducked down pit road for service under the caution.
After a failed attempt at a restart, Ceravolo was able to regain
his lead. Both Cates and Grigas lost ground as Marvin moved into
second followed by Rocco, and Malone. A scary looking wreck slowed
the event again on lap 20 that involved Eric Goodale and Anthony
Ceravolo got the edge on the restart with Rocco charging. There was
a tense moment when Rocco made contact with Marvin as they battled
for position. Sparks flew when Marvin lost a right front tire. The
field scattered when the caution flew. No one was collected during
On the restart, Rocco lined up to the outside of Ceravolo. With a
push by Malone Ceravolo edged ahead once again. Rocco dove low
trying in vain to get the lead from Ceravolo. Malone ran strong in
third. Pitkat, who started deep in the field, had moved into the
Over the final five laps, Ceravolo had his hands full with Rocco.
Pitkat had reeled in Malone making a race for third as well. In the
end, Ceravolo held on for the victory over Rocco, who slid through
turn four coming to the checkered flag making a valiant effort.
Malone turned back the advances of Pitkat. Cates rounded out the top
Crowd favorite Derek Ramstrom of Worcester, MA, pulled his Charter
Communications #35 into Pro Stock victory lane for the second
straight week. George Bessette took the lead from polesitter Jim
Banfield on lap four. Jay Macedonio cleared Banfield while last
week’s winner Ramstrom joined the top three. Norm Wrenn was reeling
in the trio as the race approached halfway. Macedonio peeked inside
of Bessette exiting each corner. Ramstrom applied similar pressure
to Macedonio as the three cars battled at the head of the field.
Ramstrom got a run on Macedonio on lap 17 but could not make the
pass stick. Lap after lap the top three battled. Macedonio tried a
move on leader Bessette exiting turn two on lap 19. Macedonio
bobbled; slowing quickly. Contact with Ramstrom ended Macedonio’s
bid at the win.
On the restart, Ramstrom used the coveted outside groove to take
the top spot from Bessette on lap 20. Fred Astle, Jr., who had been
quiet to this point in the race, moved by Wrenn and into third. With
five laps remaining, Ramstrom had checked out on the field with
Astle making a bid on Bessette. Over the final laps, Zuidema was
getting racy for the fourth spot.
In the end, it was all Ramstrom, handily taking the win. Bessette
came home second over Astle. Wrenn held on for fourth over Zuidema.
Jeff Zuidema of N. Brookfield, MA, continues to be the man to beat
in the Late Model division. After missing victory lane last week by
one spot Zuidema was back on top with his third win in four races.
Before polesitter Tom O’Sullivan could work up much of a lead, the
caution flew when Mark Jenison, Conrad Cote, and Pete Yetman, all
running inside the top five, were involved in an incident. The
restart pitted O’Sullivan against the high-flying Rick Gentes.
O’Sullivan jumped out to a narrow lead over Gentes. The two went
door-to-door for the top spot for a pair of laps when Zuidema joined
the fray. A single lap into the run Gentes edged ahead to take over
the top sot. O’Sullivan dropped to third behind Zuidema.
Zuidema took up pursuit of Gentes while it was a three car battle
for the third position between O’Sullivan, Marc Palmisano and Jay
Stuart. In lapped traffic O’Sullivan was able to hold onto the third
spot. Palmisano settled back in line with Stuart in tow.
After his dogged pursuit of Gentes, Zuidema was the new leader on
lap 13. Once out front, Zuidema immediately stretched his lead over
Gentes. Palmisano continued to battle with O’Sullivan and Stuart
fell back slightly. The second caution flew when Mike Scorzelli
slowed on the front stretch.
Zuidema proved to be up to the challenge on the restart taking a
commanding lead once again. Gentes ran alone in second while
Palmisano’s relentless pursuit of O’Sullivan continued. Palmisano
got a good run exiting turn two on lap 22 to take the third spot.
Over the closing laps, Zuidema stretched his lead. He went
unchallenged to the checkers for this third win. Gentes came home
third followed by Palmisano, O’Sullivan, and Stuart.
Scott Sundeen of Douglas, MA, took over where his son left off in
the Limited Sportsman division with a victory on Thursday night. The
excitement started early in the feature when front row starters
Jason Chicolas, Paul Palen, and Randy Jurcik went into turn one of
the opening lap three-wide. Jurcik emerged as the leader followed by
Chicolas. By lap two, the elder Sundeen had already started to make
his bid. He passed two cars and into the second position on a single
lap. It took only one more lap for S. Sundeen to take control of the
As the race unfolded, Larry Barnett had reeled in leader Sundeen.
Barnett got alongside Sundeen on lap 11. The two went door-to-door
for a pair of laps with neither getting a decided advantage. On lap
15, Sundeen was able to pull ahead slightly to reclaim the lead
exclusively. Over the final two laps, Barnett dogged Sundeen. He
looked to the low groove in the closing laps but could not muster up
a win. Sundeen took the victory by a car length to claim consecutive
victories for his family. Barnett settled for second. Ed Puleo,
Jesse Gleason, and Ernie Larose completed the top five.
Tim Sullivan of S. Windsor made it two in a row in TIS Modified
competition on Thursday night to kick-off feature activity. Shane
Michalski jumped from his pole starting position to lead the 20-lap
TIS Modified main event. His teammate Glenn Boss ran in second while
the best battle on the field was for the third position. Leo
Oliviera held the spot before giving way to Kurt Vigeant. The man on
the move was Sullivan. He moved into third and quickly began to
chase down the lead duo.
Sullivan handily took over second from a smoking Boss. On the same
lap, Michalski relinquished the lead to Sullivan’s charge. Sullivan
was the new leader on lap 14. He withstood a pair of cautions to
score consecutive victories. Michalski finished second. Boss held on
to stand on the podium. Vigeant and Leo Adams rounded out the top
Defending Mini Stock champion Mike Romano of Glendale, RI, scored
his first win of the 2008 season to also become the fourth different
winner in four races. Early leader Billy Pomposelli put up a good
fight leading through lap seven. On lap seven, Scott Michalski was
able to steal the lead away.
Michalski’s stay at the front was short-lived with Romano storming
into the lead on lap eight. Michalski remained in striking distance
over the final stage of the race. On the final lap, Michalski made
one last ditch effort on Romano’s lead. The champ went unphased to
the checkers. Michalski, Tim Taylor, Pomposelli and Glynn Roy made
up the top-five.
Sunoco Modified Feature Finish (Top Ten): 1. Todd Ceravolo,
Gales Ferry, CT; 2. Keith Rocco, Wallingford, CT; 3. Kerry Malone,
Needham, MA; 4. Woody Pitkat, Stafford, CT; 5. Danny Cates, Chaplin,
CT; 6. Tommy Cravenho, Raynham, MA; 7. Bobby Grigas, III,
Marshfield, MA; 8. Jimmy Blewett, Howell, NJ; 9. Josh Sylvester,
Lebanon, CT; 10. Bert Marvin, New London, CT.
Whelen Modified Tour Unofficial Top Ten: 1. Ronnie Silk,
Norwalk, CT; 2. Ted Christopher, Plainville, CT; 3. Mike Stefanik,
Coventry, RI; 4. Chuck Hossfeld, Buffalo, NY; 5. Tony Ferrante, New
Hyde Park, NY; 6. Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, CT; 7. Matt Hirschman,
Northampton, PA; 8. Bobby Santos, III, Franklin, CT; 9. Kevin
Goodale, Riverhead, NY; 10. Ryan Preece, Kensington, CT.
Pro Stock Feature Finish (Top Ten): 1. Derek Ramstrom,
Worcester, MA; 2. George Bessette, Danbury, CT; 3. Fred Astle, Jr.,
Westport, MA; 4. Norm Wrenn, Nashua, NH; 5. Jeff Zuidema, N.
Brookfield, MA; 6. Dave Berghman, Seekonk, MA; 7. Mike O’Sullivan,
Springfield, MA; 8. Steve Desmarais, Westport, MA; 9. Jeff Connors,
Ellington, CT; 10. Dave Silvia, Warwick, RI.
Late Model Feature Finish (Top Ten): 1. Jeff Zuidema, N.
Brookfield, MA; 2. Rick Gentes, Woonsocket, RI; 3. Marc Palmisano,
Hadley, MA; 4. Tommy O’Sullivan, Springfield, MA; 5. Jay Stuart,
Preston, CT; 6. John Materas, Voluntown, CT; 7. Jeff Hartwell,
Putnam, CT; 8. Andy Gaspar, Andover, CT; 9. Al Mandarino, Lake
Grove, NY; 10. Ken Bamford, Coventry, RI.
Limited Sportsman Feature Finish (Top Ten): 1. Scott Sundeen,
Douglas, MA; 2. Larry Barnett, Ledyard, CT; 3. Ed Puleo, Branford,
CT; 4. Jesse Gleason, Lisbon, CT; 5. Ernie Larose, Plainfield, CT;
6. Joe Arena, Bristol, CT; 7. Paul Palen, Pelham, NH; 8. Randy
Jurcik, Chaplin, CT; 9. Jason Chicolas, Sutton, MA; 10. Joe
Campbell, Moosup, CT.
TIS Modified Feature Finish (Top Ten): 1. Tim Sullivan, S.
Windsor, CT; 2. Shane Michalski, Woodstock, CT; 3. Glenn Boss,
Danielson, CT; 4. Kurt Vigeant, Oxford, CT; 5. Leo Adams, Putnam,
CT; 6. Richie Ferreira, Raynham, MA; 7. Cam McDermott, Scituate, RI;
8. Bart Ramos, Putnam, CT; 9. John Studley, Framingham, MA; 10.
Brian Tagg, Oxford, MA.
Mini Stock Feature Finish (Top Ten): 1. Mike Romano,
Glendale, RI; 2. Scott Michalski, S. Killingly, CT; 3. Tim Taylor,
Wauregan, CT; 4. Billy Pomposelli, Chepachet, RI; 5. Glynn Roy,
Sterling, CT; 6. Leo Defevers, Brooklyn, CT; 7. Tyler Poulin,
Millville, MA; 8. Chuck Rogers, Quaker Hill, CT; 9. Fred Michalski,
Dayville, CT; 10. Mike Viens, Seekonk, MA.