ROCKETS TO THOMPSON VICTORY
Rolls To Second NASCAR Whelen Modified Win After Late Pit
Preece's pit stop strategy pushed him back in the
field. But the Berlin, Connecticut, driver wasted no
time in driving to the front en route to Wednesday
night's NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory in the
Thompson 125 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
The win was the second of the season for Preece and
17th of his career.
Preece pitted with many of his lead challengers on
lap 70. The No. 6 TS Haulers Chevrolet was forced to
restart outside the top 10 behind a number of cars
including Rowan Pennink and Bobby Santos, who pitted
earlier. A late charge through the field by Preece
culminated with a move to the inside of Pennink for
the lead with just 18 laps to go.
From there, Preece pulled away from the field and
clicked off some of the fastest laps he ran all
night while out in front of the pack. He finished
2.106 seconds ahead of second-place Pennink.
"All of my guys work really hard," Preece said. "Our
guys live in Long Island, Connecticut, Rhode Island,
so it can be hard for them. As long as the car is
good and I can drive forward, it's my job to get
myself back there. I shouldn't have to depend on
Preece, who won the NAPA Spring Sizzler at
Connecticut's Stafford Motor Speedway on April 30,
missed the last tour race on May 13 to get married.
Back on the race track, he had an early hiccup when
he missed the final minutes of the only practice
session of the day because of a broken driveshaft.
Once they got to the race, though, there was no
Pennink followed up his Thompson win in April's
Icebreaker 150 with another strong run on the
.625-mile oval. He pitted under caution at Lap 50
and inherited the lead 20 laps later when the lead
pack came down pit road.
Santos, who pitted for tires on lap 33 and stayed
out for the remainder of the race, held on for
third. Santos was the defending race winner.
"Our strategy definitely worked in his favor,"
Santos said. "We weren't spectacular to start the
race but we made a good adjustment and put tires on
and we had a good car overall tonight."
Four-time tour champion Doug Coby qualified second
and finished in fourth spot, with Eric Goodale
rounding out the top five.
Jon McKennedy, Ted Christopher, Timmy Solomito,
Andrew Krause and Max Zachem. Donny Lia won the
Coors Light Pole Award earlier in the day but got
caught up in an early wreck and finished 23rd.
Pennink cut Solomito's lead to two points after five
of 16 championship events, while Goodale is 17
points back of Pennink in third. Despite missing a
race, Preece is 10th in points -- seven behind
ninth-place Coby and 47 out of first.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track
at Riverhead Raceway on Long Island on Saturday,
Whelen Modified Tour -Thompson 125 Results
Wednesday At Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park,
Lap length: 0.625 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (5) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Chevrolet, 125 laps.
2. (3) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 125.
3. (12) Bobby Santos, Franklin, Mass., Chevrolet, 125.
4. (2) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 125.
5. (8) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 125.
6. (11) Jon McKennedy, Chelmsford, Mass., Chevrolet, 125.
7. (20) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 125.
8. (4) Timmy Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Ford, 125.
9. (22) Andrew Krause, Holmdel, N.J., Chevrolet, 125.
10. (9) Max Zachem, Preston, Conn.,
11. (17) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Chevrolet,
12. (18) Matt Swanson, Acton, Mass., Ford, 125.
13. (23) Gary Putnam, Vernon, Conn., Chevrolet, 125.
14. (13) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, NY,
15. (21) Rob Summers, Manchester, CT, Chevrolet,
16. (24) Bryan Dauzat, Alexandria, LA., Chevrolet,
17. (26) Wade Cole, Hartland, Conn., Ford, 122.
18. (25) Calvin Carroll, Newton, N.J., Chevrolet,
19. (27) Melissa Fifield, Wakefield, N.H.,
20. (16) Dave Sapienza, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet,
21. (7) Chase Dowling, Roxbury, Conn.,
Chevrolet, 91, accident.
22. (19) Craig Lutz, Miller Place, N.Y., Chevrolet,
23. (1) Donny Lia, Jericho, NY,
Chevrolet, 91, accident.
24. (28) Walter Sutcliffe Jr., East Haven, Conn.,
25. (6) Shawn Solomito, Islip, N.Y.,
Chevrolet, 60, power steering.
26. (10) Brendon Bock, Franklin Square, N.Y.,
Chevrolet, 45, power steering.
27. (14) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn., Chevrolet,
28. (15) Andy Seuss, Hampstead, N.H., Chevrolet, 15,
Time of Race: 0 hours 0 minutes 0 seconds
Margin of Victory: 2.106 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: D. Lia (120.689 mph,
Caution Flags: 5 for 28 laps.
Lead Changes: 4 among 4 drivers.
Lap Leaders: D. Lia 1-23; R. Preece 24-60; C.
Dowling 61-81; R. Pennink 82-107; R. Preece 108-125.
Standings: 1. T. Solomito, 206; 2. R.
Pennink, 204; 3. E. Goodale, 187; 4. M. Zachem, 177;
5. J. Bonsignore, 177;
6. M. Swanson, 166; 7. W. Pitkat, 165; 8. R.
Summers, 160; 9. D. Coby, 159; 10. R. Preece, 152.
Jason Christley / NASCAR
June 14, 2017