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BFR Late Models Take Top 3 Spots at Thompson Speedway

Tommy O’Sullivan Takes Checkers followed by Mike Scorzelli and Marc Palmisano

StefanikWires the MRS Field for Thompson Victory

Pitkat Wins Hotly Contested Sunoco Modified Main Event

Ramstrom, O’Sullivan, Monahan, Marcotte & Field Share Victory Lane



Thompson, CT (June 16, 2011): Mike Stefanik of Coventry, RI, had a spring in his step following the Valenti Modified Racing Series event at Thompson International Speedway on Thursday Night. The veteran campaigner led green-to-checker to score the victory for car owner Eddie Marceau. Woody Pitkat of Stafford, CT made a triumphant debut in the #00 for owner Jimmy Paige taking a hard-fought victory in an exciting Sunoco Modified feature.


Derek Ramstrom of Worcester, MA, scored a commanding win in the Super Late Model main event while Tommy O’Sullivan of Springfield, MA, ran to his first victory of the 2011 season in the Late Models. Shawn Monahan of Waterford, CT, scored his second-straight Limited Sportsman feature event victory and R.J. Marcotte of Millville, MA wired the field to score the victory in the TIS Modifieds. Danny Field of Deep River, CT, remains undefeated in the Mini Stock division thus far in 2011; scoring his fifth straight win.


Mike Stefanik of Coventry, RI, jumped out from his front row starting position to take the lead on the opening lap of the Valenti Modified Racing Series 75-lapper. He proved his mastery of the race track leading every lap en route to the victory. The greatest advantage he enjoyed during the event came in the final ten laps.


An animated Stefanik was excited in victory lane singing the praises of his crew and car owner for giving him a stout race car. Stefanik called the victory “a boost to his morale” after he, admittedly, “has been down on racing lately”. The victory was a much-needed shot in the arm.


The late stages of the race featured a great battle for the second spot between Chris Pasteryak, Rowan Pennink and Steve Massey.


Penninkcontinues to be one of the hottest Modified competitors in 2011 coming from deep in the pack to finish second. Pasteryak joined the duo on the podium. Steve Massey and Les Hinckley rounded out the top-five.


Woody Pitkat of Stafford, CT, had some pretty big shoes to fill; taking over the driving duties of the #00 Sunoco Modified. Pitkat was up to the challenge as he did battle with Keith Rocco lap-after-lap to score the triumph. The duo swapped the lead countless times in the closing laps of the main event before Pitkat took the lead from Rocco for good with two laps remaining to score the exciting victory.


Danny Cates and Jeff Fuller led the field to green in the 30-lap Sunoco Modified main event. Cates got a great jump to take the lead over Fuller. Rocco dove low exiting turn two in a bid for the second spot. Rocco bobbled losing several spots. The caution flew shortly after for a spin by Shelly Perry.


When the division finally completed lap one, it was Cates holding the top spot. Todd Ceravolo took chase in second. Fuller got a great run on the outside to take over the second spot. Ryan Preece followed through and into third. Ceravolo continued to fade losing positions to Rocco and Pitkat. Cates edged out to a two-car-length advantage as Fuller and Preece battled. Preece got loose coming out of turn four sending the field scattering. Pitkat made a bold move going three-wide under a lapped car to move into the third spot. Rocco charged by Pitkat and into third. 


Up front, Fuller caught Cates. Rocco, in turn, was glued to the back bumper of Fuller. The three cars ran nose-to-tail in a high-speed freight train. As the top three played bumper tag, Pitkat joined the fray making it a four-car battle for the lead. Ceravolo and Preece were locked in a great battle of their own for the fifth spot.


Rocco got a run on Fuller, running the veteran competitor up out of the groove in turn two. Fuller had to lift losing positions to both Rocco and Pitkat. Rocco was able to steal the lead away from Cates on the same lap. Pitkat followed through. Pitkat immediately reeled in Rocco. He did one better; gaining the advantage and the lead on lap 20.


A lapped car slowed the momentum of Pitkat enough to allow Rocco to get back alongside. Rocco grabbed the lead back on lap 22. Pitkat got a run; taking the lead back again on lap 23. Rocco got alongside Pitkat exiting turn four on lap 24. He drifted up slightly taking away some of Pitkat’s running room. The move allowed Rocco to regain the lead.


Pitkat was all over the back bumper of Rocco. He got alongside Rocco’s #57 in turn two. Pitkat returned the favor exiting turn four sliding up slightly to take over the lead once again. Pitkat held off Rocco for the final two laps to score the victory. Cates had to settle for the third spot. Fuller came home fourth with Ceravolo rounding out the top five. In post-race inspection, Cates was found to be in violation of the rules (illegal muffler) moving Fuller to third, Ceravolo to fourth and giving Preece a top-five finish.


Derek Ramstrom of Worcester, MA, turned in a dominating performance to score his second win of the 2011 season in the Super Late Models. It did not take long for Ramstrom to take over the top spot. While Ramstrom was the new leader on lap three, Jeff Connors had his hands full with George Bessette. Mike O’Sullivan trailed in fourth. Larry Gelinas had moved into the top-five. Things had settled down at the half-way marker with Ramstrom handily at the head of the pack. It was a five-car freight-train from second position on back to sixth.


O’Sullivan was the first to step out of line; looking low on Bessette exiting turn two on lap 16. The battle settled down when the caution flew for a spin by Keith Caruso, the grandson of the NEAR Hall-of-Famer, the late Mario “Fats” Caruso.


The complexity of the race changed dramatically on lap 17. Things stacked up on the ensuing restart. Bessette got into the back of Connors; apparently cutting down a tire. Bessette could not steer his machine making contact with Gelinas. The #48 of Gelinas careened into the wall; resulting in extensive damage. After work to his ride, Bessette rejoined the field.


On the restart, Ramstrom bolted back out to the lead.  Connors was stalked again by O’Sullivan followed by Banfield. A spin by Tom Metcalf necessitated the caution on lap 20. On the restart, Banfield began to pour it on. Banfield took the third spot from O’Sullivan on lap 22. On lap 23, he grabbed the second spot from Connors. With only three laps remaining, O’Sullivan gave up the fourth position to bring his car down pit road. Banfield was not able to reel in Ramstrom, who had built up a sizeable advantage. At the checkers it was all Ramstrom. Banfield ran across the stripe alone in second. Connors finished third over a smoking Bessette and Scott Rotherforth.


Tommy O’Sullivan of Springfield, MA, has, in his own words, struggled in the late stages of the feature events this season. After some changes to his #16 during the week, the problem appears to be behind him after scoring his first win of the season. Mike Scorzelli capitalized on his pole starting position to lead the opening laps of the Late Model main event. O’Sullivan ran in second followed by Phil Rondeau and Damon Tinio. The action slowed on lap 9 for a spin by John Falconi. The restart pitted Scorzelli against O’Sullivan. The two went side-by-side for the duration of a lap before O’Sullivan edged ahead to take the lead. Point leader John Materas came to rest in turn one to bring out the caution and negated the pass for the lead.


On the lap 10 restart, O’Sullivan was all business as he jumped out to the lead. Marc Palmisano, making his return to Thompson, followed through and into the second spot. O’Sullivan immediately ran out to a sizeable advantage. Scorzelli was able to steal the second position back from Palmisano at halfway. Scorzelli ran alone in second but could not cut into O’Sullivan’s advantage. Palmisano had settled back into the third position. Rondeau was being chased by Gentes.


An uneventful run to the checkers gave O’Sullivan his first Late Model victory of the season. Scorzelli capped off a good day of racing with a runner-up finish. Palmisano’s return netted a podium finish. Rondeau and Gentes completed the top five.


Shawn Monahan of Waterford, CT, made it two-in-a row in Limited Sportsman action.

Art Moran III led early during the rough-and-tumble opening laps of the Limited Sportsman feature. After a lap six restart, Moran got shuffled back to the third spot behind new leader Jason Chicolas and a charging Shawn Monahan. Monahan had gotten up alongside Chicolas just as the caution flew for a spin by his brother Diego Monahan.


Moran lost the handle on the restart spinning from the third spot. The entire field was able to avoid the spinning car as the caution flew. Back under green, Chicolas and S. Monahan picked up where they left off. Before the completion of lap eight, S. Monahan was the new leader. Joe Coates was holding on to the third spot while a host of cars battled including Scott Sundeen, Chris Douton, Joe Arena, Larry Barnett, Kevin Mason, and John Carpenter.


S. Monahan had stretched his advantage over Chicolas. The duo of Coates and Sundeen had reeled in Chicolas. Douton, Arena, and Barnett jockeyed for position inside the top five. With few laps remaining, Barnett’s ride came to rest in turn three.  S. Monahan was untouchable on the green-white-checkered restart. The #11 of Coury Fanning blew a motor on lap 19 to set a green-checkered restart. Again, Monahan was up for the challenge scoring consecutive victories. Chicolas finished a strong second. Sundeen got by Coates on the final lap to finish third. Coates and Douton completed the top five.


R.J. Marcotte of Millville, MA, held on to score the TIS Modified victory after an eventful final lap. After a quick battle with pole sitter Glenn Boss, Marcotte jumped out to the early lead.  Marcotte could not gain much of an advantage as the top-five cars ran nose-to-tail. A heated battle for the runner-up spot boiled over when Boss and Jay Sundeen made contact. Boss spun into the infield to bring out the caution. Marcotte was pitted against Ryan Morgan on the ensuing restart. Marcotte got a great jump to retain his lead.


Marcotte quickly had company in two-time winner Cam McDermott. Marcotte settled into a groove gaining a car-length advantage. With only five-laps remaining, McDermott again began to apply some pressure to Marcotte. Morgan laid-in-wait, a close third. There was a great battle from fourth on back between John Studley, Boss, Sundeen, and Brian Tagg. Back up front the top-three were getting racy for the top spot.


On the final lap exiting turn three, leader Marcotte threw a block forcing a charging McDermott to slow up giving Morgan a lane. As they streaked to the checkers it was Marcotte pulling away for the lead. Morgan snuck in to finish second. McDermott had to settle for the third position. Studley and Boss rounded out the top five.


Danny Field of Deep River, CT, extended his win streak to five-straight in Mini Stock action. An incident involving second running Andy Jurcik piled up the field on the opening lap of the 15-lap feature event. When things settled down it was Lloyd Anderson in command. His place at the head of the field was short-lived; giving up the top spot to Eric Bourgeois.


Nate Taylor got out of shape exiting turn four on lap three battling for the lead with Bourgeois. The two made contact sending the leader Bourgeois to the infield to bring out the caution. Field had already worked his way up into the second spot. On the restart, Field easily took over the lead. Once out front, Field began to run away from the rest of the field.


Tyler Poulin held on to the second spot while Louie Bellisle and Taylor waged a tremendous battle for the third spot. In the closing laps, Poulin was able to reel in Field but could not muster up a real challenge. Field streaked to victory lane to remain undefeated. Poulin had a strong run to finish second. On the final lap, Bellisle’s efforts paid off taking over the third position from Taylor, who settled for fourth at the checkers.  Bourgeois had a strong recovery to complete the top-five.


Modified Racing Series 75-Lap (Top Ten) Feature Finish: 1. Mike Stefanik, Coventry, RI; 2. Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, PA; 3. Chris Pasteryak, Lisbon, CT; 4.Steve Masse, Bellingham, MA; 5. Les Hinckley, Windsor Locks, CT; 6. Jon McKennedy, Chelmsford, MA; 7. Eric Goodale, Riverhead, NY; 8. Richard Savary, Canton, MA; 9. Rob Goodenough, Swanzey, NH; 10. Mike Holdrige, Madison, CT.


Sunoco Modified 30-Lap (Top Ten) Feature Finish: 1.Woody Pitkat, Stafford, CT; 2. Keith Rocco, Wallingford, CT; 3. Rick Fuller, Auburn, MA; 4. Todd Ceravolo, Gales Ferry, CT; 5. Ryan Preece, Berlin, CT; 6. Carl Oberg, Sutton, MA; 7. George Wilkinson, Pawcatuck, CT; 8. Rick D’Abate, Johnston, RI; 9. Shelly Perry, Westerly, RI; 10. John Catania, Agawam, MA.


Super Late Model 30-Lap (Top Ten) Feature Finish: 1. Derek Ramstrom, Worcester, MA; 2. Jim Banfield, S. Glastonbury, CT; 3. Jeff Connors, Ellington, CT; 4. George Bessette, Danbury, CT; 5. Scott Rotherforth, Glastonbury, CT; 6. Keith Caruso, Millbury, MA; 7. Tom Metcalf, N. Stonington, CT; 8. Jeff Hartwell, E. Putnam, CT; 9. Mike O’Sullivan, Springfield, MA; 10. Larry Gelinas, Buxton, ME.


Late Model 25-Lap (Top Ten) Feature Finish: 1. Tommy O’Sullivan, Springfield, MA; 2. Mike Scorzelli, Malta, NY; 3. Marc Palmisano, Hadley, MA; 4. Phil Rondeau, Baltic, CT; 5. Rick Gentes, Woonsocket, RI; 6. Damon Tinio, Mendon, MA; 7. Wayne Coury, Sr., Milford, CT; 8. John Falconi, Oakham, MA; 9. Mark Oliveira, Blackstone, MA; 10. Jeremy Sadowski, Voluntown, CT.


Limited Sportsman 20-Lap (Top Ten) Feature Finish: 1. Shawn Monahan, Jason Chicolas, Sutton, MA; 3. Scott Sundeen, Douglas, MA; 4. Joe Coates, Groton, CT; 5. Chris Douton, Waterford, CT; 6. Kevin Mason, W. Warwick, RI; 7. Diego Monahan, Quaker Hill, CT; 8. Joe Arena, Bristol, CT; 9. John Carpenter, Danielson, CT; 10. Chris Bisson, Putnam, CT.


TIS Modified 20-Lap (Top Ten) Feature Finish: 1. R.J. Marcotte, Millville, MA; 2. Ryan Morgan, Mystic, CT; 3. Cam McDermott, Scituate, RI; 4. John Studley, Framingham, MA; 5. Glenn Boss, Danielson, CT; 6. Jason Sundeen, Douglas, MA; 7. Brian Tagg, Oxford, MA; 8. John Lowinski-Loh, Jr., Milford, MA; 9. Denis Legere, N. Reading, MA; 10. ChadLaBastie, Uxbridge, MA. 


Mini Stock 15-Lap (Top Ten) Feature Finish: 1. Danny Field, Deep River, CT; 2. Tyler Poulin, Pascoag, RI; 3. Louie Bellisle, III, Lisbon, CT; 4. Nate Taylor, Wauregan, CT; 5. Eric Bourgeois, Moodus, CT; 6. Lloyd Anderson, Jr., Wauregan, CT; 7. Leo Defevers, Brooklyn, CT; 8. Tim Armstrong, Uxbridge, MA; 9. Steve Romjue, Coventry, RI; 10. ChadBaxter, Pascoag, RI.