2010 season officially got underway at Thompson International
Speedway with Day One of the traditional Icebreaker. Bobby Santos
III of Franklin, MA, made an impressive debut in the famed “Mystic
Missile”; qualifying on the pole for the NASCAR Whelen Modified
Tour. Keith Rocco of Wallingford, CT and Derek Ramstrom, defending
champions of their respective divisions, scored opening day
With the 2010 season quickly approaching car owner Bob Garbarino
announced that Bobby Santos III would be the driver for his
championship race team. In his first attempt to qualify, Santos not
only put the #4 on the pole for his new car owner, he did it with a
new track record of 18.418 seconds.
Chris Pasteryak of Lisbon, CT, Ronnie Silk of Norwalk, MA, and Mike
Stefanik of Coventry, RI, qualified inside the top five. Burt Myers
of Walnut Cove, NC, an icon in southern Modified racing, who has
gained notoriety as a TV star on History Channel’s Madhouse, made
the trip north of the Mason-Dixon Line to compete in his first
NASCAR (Northern) Whelen Modified Tour. He rounded out the top-five
in Coors Light qualifying. The top-ten cars will redraw for position
to make up tomorrow’s starting line-up.
Keith Rocco of Wallingford, CT, running for a new team at Thompson
for the 2010 season and the defending track champion, was back to
his old and winning ways; scoring a victory in the first race of a
weekend twin bill for the Sunoco Modifieds. Rocco jumped from his
pole starting position to lead the opening laps.
After the events first and only caution on lap one, leader Rocco had
plenty of company from Ted Christopher, Rowan Pennink and Ronnie
Silk. Danny Cates quickly joined the mix. The top-five ran
nose-to-tail as the edged away from the rest of the field.
With ten laps down, Christopher began to pressure Rocco for the top
spot. Silk ran in third followed by Cates and Pennink, who was
beginning to fall back. At halfway, Christopher continued to dog
Rocco as the duo entered lap traffic. Silk and Cates ran in close
proximity. Christopher looked low on Rocco lap-after-lap in turns
one and four but could not muster up a pass.
On lap 18, Christopher got up along side of Rocco. The two went
wheel-to-wheel with Christopher leading lap 19 by inches. The two
continued to run side-by-side for the distance of lap 20 before
Rocco was able to take the regain the top spot. Silk, too, was able
to get by Christopher. Over the final two laps, Rocco edged away
from the fierce battle for second. Christopher was able to motor by
Silk for the second spot as they exited turn four while Rocco ran
unchallenged to the checkers.
Breaking from tradition, the Super Late Models were the second of
the twin bill on Saturday. (The Late Model division has
traditionally run on Saturday.) Defending divisional champion, Derek
Ramstrom of Worcester, MA, bested the strong field of Super Late
Models in convincing fashion.
Pole sitter Larry Gelinas suffered mechanical failure on a lap two
restart handing the lead over to Ramstrom. Dennis Maxfield took up
pursuit in the second spot with heavy pressure from Mike O’Sullivan.
O’Sullivan was able to make the pass on Maxfield on lap seven and
immediately began to cut into Ramstrom’s lead. The battle for the
fourth position began to heat up between Steve Desmarais and Norm
At halfway Ramstrom’s lead had diminished to five car lengths while
Maxfield ran a distance back. Desmarais still had his hands full
with Wrenn. The distance between the lead Ramstrom and second-place
O’Sullivan had stabilized.
With only a handful of laps remaining, Wrenn was able to get by
Desmarais. He was immediately able to run down Maxfield; but ran out
of time. Ramstrom headed to the victory followed by O’Sullivan,
Maxfield and Wrenn and Desmarais.
Heat races were also held for all six divisions of NASCAR Weekly
Racing Series action.
The racing action resumes tomorrow, Sunday, April 11, with Day Two
of Icebreaker 2010. Feature action will include the Mini Stocks,
Limited Sportsman, TIS Modifieds, Late Models, Super Late Models,
and Sunoco Modifieds followed by the headlining NASCAR Whelen
Pit gates open at 8:30 AM with grandstands opening at 10AM. The
green flag falls for the first of the six NASCAR Whelen All-American
Series features at noon. The anticipated start time for the Whelen
Modified Tour is 3:45PM
For a complete listing of Sunday’s schedule visit
thompsonspeedway.com or contact the Speedway hotline at
Sunoco Modified 25-Lap Feature Finish (Top Ten): 1. Keith
Rocco, Wallingford, CT; 2. Ted Christopher, Plainville, CT; 3.
Ronnie Silk, Norwalk, CT; 4. Danny Cates, Chaplin, CT; 5. Rowan
Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, PA; 6. Kerry Malone, Needham, MA; 7.
Nichole Morgillo, Wallingford, CT; 8. Tim Sullivan, S. Windsor, CT;
9. Bert Marvin, New London, CT; 10. Woody Pitkat, Stafford, CT.
Super Late Models 25-Lap Feature Finish (Top Ten): 1. Derek
Ramstrom, Worcester, MA; 2. Mike O’ Sullivan, Springfield, MA; 3.
Dennis Maxfield, Fitchburg, MA; 4. Norm Wrenn, Nashua, NH; 5. Steve
Desmarais, Somerset, MA; 6. Jim Banfield, S. Glastonbury, CT; 7.
David Darling, Seekonk, MA; 8. Mike Brightman, Acushnet, MA; 9.
George Bessette, Danbury, CT; 10. Jeramee Lillie, W. Warwick, RI.T