BUILDS AS THOMPSON’S ICEBREAKER NEARS
New England race fans are counting the days until the season-opening
Thompson ICEBREAKER kicks off the 25th year of the NASCAR Whelen Modified
Tour’s racing season. The ICEBREAKER ushers in the beginning of the season
for the Modified Tour and for Thompson’s “Super Six” NASCAR All American
Series divisions. All of this is scheduled for the weekend of April 4th &
5th at the Thompson International Speedway.
Preparations for this event have been going on for some time and
winter weary fans are beginning to get excited about the start of another
season of exciting races at the historic speedway. The first signs of racing
will come alive on Saturday, March 21st when virtually any legal race car
will be welcomed at Thompson for the first of two open practice sessions.
The second such session will be held on Saturday, March 28th. The director
of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Chad Little, has given permission to
“Tour” teams to take advantage of both of the Thompson open practice dates.
The open practices will be held between the hours of 11 AM and 6 PM.
Thompson’s ICEBREAKER is one of he most exciting race weekends of
the season. New teams, new drivers, new paint schemes and more are mixed
with the return of many veteran race teams. Some driver’s find themselves
working with new cars and crews while others return with their tried and
true cars and teams. Each race team looks to kick start their season with a
good finish at the ICEBREAKER. Many racers believe that a good performance
at the ICEBREAKER will lead to a successful season of competition in their
Many eyes will be on the famed NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour team
owned by Mystic, CT veteran car owner, Bob Garbarino. This team, with driver
Donnie Lia, won the 2007 “Tour” championship. Lia then moved to the NASCAR
Camping World Truck Series. His 2009 efforts will be centered on the
Garbarino team’s desire to capture a second Modified Tour title. However,
Lia will compete in selected Camping World Truck Series events as well.
Lia’s championship year began with wins in five of the first eight
events and that momentum carried him to the team’s first-ever division
title. Both Lia and Garbarino have made no secret about the fact that they
are looking for that second title. Defending champ, Ted Christopher, along
with last year’s ICEBREAKER winner, Ed Flemke, Jr. may have something to say
about that as will many other WMT race teams searching for the season-ending
Thompson’s ICEREAKER will be a two-day event with practice and
qualifying on Saturday, April 4th. Once qualifying events have been
completed, fans will be treated to the first of two feature races that
weekend from Thompson’s Sunoco Modifieds and the Late Models. Each of these
divisions will compete in feature event races on both Saturday and Sunday.
The introduction of Thompson’s Super Late Model division will also
take place as part of the ICEBREAKER weekend. Super Late Models is the new
name for the track’s former Pro Stock division. The name change was
announced over the winter and was done to more closely reflect the changes
that these ultra sleek and fast race cars have gone through in recent years.
In addition to the WMT, Sunoco Modifieds and Super Late Models, the
ICEBREAKER will also host the Thompson Modifieds, Late Models, Limited
Sportsman and Mini Stock divisions. Competition in these divisions is also
expected to be fierce. 2008 division champs will be looking to defend their
titles while others will be dedicated to claiming the crowns themselves.
Race fans look forward to the ICEBREAKER every year with great
anticipation. It is not only a huge racing weekend, but it is also a truly
wonderful social event. Campers take full advantage of the track’s free
parking policy and move in as early as a week before the race. The Thompson
complex offers fans a full lineup of food, drink and fun at the on-site
Raceway Restaurant and Lounge. It all starts Friday night with a special
Clubhouse menu for dinner. The famous breakfast buffet will be available on
both Saturday and Sunday mornings. Saturday night is when the clubhouse
shines with a special ICEBREAKER menu and live entertainment. On Sunday
night, once the racing is complete, many fans avoid the traffic congestion
by heading to the Clubhouse for food and drink to complete the
Tickets for ICEBREAKER 09 are now available by calling the track
office. 860-923-2280. More information along with the weekend’s schedule,
the entire season’s schedule, driver rosters, nearby accommodations,
attractions and much more are all available on the
Thompson web site.
Source: Russ Dowd
/ Thompson International Speedway