Mike O’Sullivan Cruised to his Fourth Super Late Model Victory at Thompson Speedway
Stefanik Brings Winning Ways to Thompson on Thursday Night
Preece Scores Sunoco Mod Win; O’Sullivan, Douton, Boss & Field Victorious
SUPER LATE MODELS
Thompson, CT(August 18, 2011): Mike Stefanik triumphed over the competition and Thompson International Speedway beat the weather for an action-packed night of racing action. With weather and Ryan Preece bearing down, Stefanik of Coventry, RI, was flawless to score the victory in the Tour-Type Modified Special. Stefanik had to hold off another Thompson winner to visit victory lane. Preece jumped out of his winning Sunoco Modified to run second to Stefanik in the event. The Sunoco Modified victory earlier in the evening was Preece’s third at Thompson in 2011.
In other racing action, Mike O’Sullivan of Springfield, MA, handily took the win in the Super Late Models. Chris Douton of Waterford, CT, extended his point lead with a Limited Sportsman victory. Glenn Boss of Danielson, CT, continued his hot-streak in the TIS Modifieds with a division-leading five victories. Another point leader, Danny Field, also tacked on points with his victory in the Mini Stocks.
Mike Stefanik of Coventry, RI, is riding the wave of good fortune straight to victory lane. On Thursday night, the veteran backed up his Whelen Modified Tour victory the previous Saturday with a Tour-Type Modified victory on the CT short track. Ryan Preece was strong on the initial start of the Tour-Type Modified event leading the first lap over pole-sitter Steven Reed. Exiting turn two on the first lap, Steven Massey made it three wide with Reed and Rich Pallai, Jr. Massey came out with second followed by Pallai. Reed quickly found himself in the fourth spot. Stefanik and Richard Savary relegated Reed to sixth.
Back up front, Preece had gained a five-car length advantage over a fierce battle for second between Massey and Pallai. Pallai was able to get the edge. Stefanik was coming on strong with only ten laps gone. He motored by Massey, took the second spot away from Pallai, and then immediately began to cut into Preece’s lead.
Pallai began to fade giving up positions to both Massey and Savary. As Pallai was fading, Stefanik was gaining. By lap 15, he had reeled in the leader Preece. Stefanik stayed glued to the back bumper of Preece while Savary was getting racy with Massey.
Slight contact between Savary and Massey sent both cars careening toward the wall. With nowhere to go, Pallai piled into the accident as well. Both Massey and Pallai sustained heavy damage in the incident. Stefanik got a run on Preece on the restart but had to settle back in line on the backstretch. Not content to run second, Stefanik got alongside Preece entering turn three. He gained the position just as the caution flew for a spin by Shelly Perry.
Preece was strong on the restart but could not hold back Stefanik for long. The two were wheel-to-wheel for the top spot for the duration of lap 21. Kenny Barry had the best seat in the house now running in third. Stefanik edged ahead of Preece for the lead at the stripe on lap 22. Barry ran within striking distance in third. Tom Bolles had worked his way into the fourth spot. Rookie Tommy Barrett ran in fifth.
The best battle on the speedway was for the sixth position between Steven Reed and Louie Mechalides. Renee Dupuis took chases in eighth.
With every lap, Stefanik continued to extend his lead over Preece. Barry could not shorten the distance on Preece. On lap 32, Tommy Barrett got out-of-shape giving up the fifth spot. Dennis Perry also spun to bring out the caution.
The outside groove paid dividends for Stefanik, who rocketed back into the lead on the restart with only eight laps remaining in the event. Preece continued to dog Stefanik with Barry running in third. Bolles took up his position in fourth. Reed headed a multi-car battle for the fifth that also included Mechalides and Rick Gentes.
Over the closing laps, Stefanik stretched his advantage over Preece as the top-four maintained their positions. Reed continued to hold back Mechalides. In the end, it was all Stefanik. Preece had a solid night finishing second. Barry, Bolles, and Reed completed the top five.
Earlier in the evening, Ryan Preece of Berlin, CT, was victorious in a hotly-contested Sunoco Modified feature event. Joe Allegro, Jr. held the point at the start of the 30-lapper. Danny Cates got a run to take over the lead on lap one. Cates’ time at the head of the pack was short-lived as Woody Pitkat was the new leader on lap three. Pitkat quickly had his hands full with Keith Rocco. After two laps of side-by-side racing, Rocco was able to wrestle the lead away from Pitkat.
Cates, looking to make his way back to the front, made a bid at Pitkat. The #24 slid up the race track and ran Pitkat toward the wall exiting turn four. Pitkat lost his momentum and several spots; giving up positions to both Cates and Ryan Preece. Pitkat began to claw his way back; working over Preece. Up front, Cates began to cut into the lead the Rocco has amassed.
At halfway, Cates was a car-length behind Rocco and Pitkat was glued to the back bumper of Preece. Cates dove low on Rocco on lap 16 in an effort to get the lead. Cates lost the handle on his ride momentarily sliding up and almost into Rocco. He was able to gather it in. The bobble allowed Preece and Pitkat to catch the lead duo to make it a four-car battle for the lead.
Cates ran on the edge of control exiting turn two on the subsequent lap. This opened the door for Preece to get a run to the outside of Cates to take over second. Two corners later, Preece motored to the outside of Rocco. Coming off of four, Preece pressed for the lead. Rocco slid up the track to stifle Preece’s momentum. Preece continued to keep the pressure on. He made a run on Rocco entering turn one; making it three-wide with the lapped car of George Wilkinson. Rocco, on the outside, ran out of room and into the marbles to send his #57 spinning to bring out the caution.
On the restart on lap 22, Preece was the new leader. Cates had company in Pitkat. Rocco quickly made his way by several cars in what appeared to be his recovery. Almost as quickly, his car slowed on the backstretch on lap 24. Two laps later, Rocco was on pit road. He would not finish the event.
Preece began to stretch his lead while Pitkat and Cates continued to duke it out for second. With only a couple of laps remaining, Pitkat settled back in line in third. Preece cruised to the victory over Cates and Pitkat. Joe Allegro had a strong run to finish fourth. Shelly Perry rounded out the top-five.
A bold move early in the Super Late Model feature proved to be the winning one for Mike O’Sullivan of Springfield, MA. It was three-wide at the start of the race between George Bessette, Derek Ramstrom, and O’Sullivan. When things sorted out, it was O’Sullivan with the lead. After a heated battle, Ramstrom took over the second position from George Bessette. Almost immediately, Bessette fell into the clutches of Larry Gelinas. The action was slowed by an incident involving Scott Rotherforth.
On the ensuing restart at lap eight, O’Sullivan once again cruised out to the lead. Gelinas was able to get by Bessette for third. The running order at halfway found O’Sullivan leading Ramstrom, Gelinas, Bessette, and Jim Banfield inside the top five. O’Sullivan stretched his advantage to several car lengths while Gelinas lost the lead duo.
Over the closing laps, O’Sullivan was able to further extend his advantage over Ramstrom. In an uneventful run to the checkers, O’Sullivan cruised to his fourth Super Late Model victory of the season. Ramstrom finished second to extend his point lead. Gelinas, Bessette and Banfield rounded out the top five.
Chris Douton of Waterford, CT, survived a caution-filled event for the Limited Sportsman division to score the victory. The sparks flew early. Lap one was marred when the caution flew for a spin by last week’s winner Dwayne Dorr. Jason Chicolas took command of the event on the complete restart. A bit of bumper tag in close quarters near the head of the field involving Michael Malbauran and Ray Downing, Jr. sent the field scattering and the caution waving. Shawn Monahan and Scott Sousa suffered the biggest losses as both headed to the pits for repairs.
Back under green, Douton was on the move diving into the second position. Diego Monahan had worked his way into the top-five while Scott Sundeen lurked just outside. Another quick caution set up a restart that proved to be the undoing for Chicolas. Chicolas and Douton went door-to-door before Douton was the new leader on lap four.
Through a mix of cautions and short bursts of racing action, Sundeen had made his way into third. Jess Gleason was running strong in fourth followed by D. Monahan. Dorr had rebounded from his early race incident to sixth.
Chicolas had his hands full with Sundeen and Gleason for second. Chicolas held off the duo until lap 12 when both Sundeen and Gleason were able to make their way past. While Douton was getting away from the pack, Gleason went to work on Sundeen. Unable to make the pass, Gleason found himself on the defense trying to hold off Dorr. With five laps to go Dorr gained the advantage to run in third. When things settled down behind the leader, Sundeen was able to cut into the advantage of Douton. Time; however, was not on his side. Douton cruised to the victory over Sundeen. Dorr had a great recovery to finish third followed by Gleason and Chicolas.
Glenn Boss of Danielson, CT, gave the division’s young guns a lesson in winning on Thursday night in the TIS Modifieds. Brian Tagg led the field to green to start the 20-lapper. He had plenty of company as the opening stages of the event featured a four-car battle for the top spot. Tagg and Studley went side-by-side for the lead with Boss and Ryan Morgan glued to their back bumpers in an equally as fierce battle for third. Studley was able to get by Tagg for the lead taking Boss along for the ride.
Looking for more, Boss immediately stole the lead from Studley. Morgan also made his way through relegating Tagg to fourth. Hard-chargers Jay Sundeen and Cam McDermott joined the fray as well. Sundeen and McDermott were both able to gain positions on Tagg.
Up front, Boss was enjoying smooth sailing with Studley and Morgan still going at it for second. McDermott, now ahead of Sundeen, made it a three-car battle for the second spot. Studley held the position with constant pressure from Morgan on the inside. McDermott jockeyed for position behind the duo. Sundeen made his way back into the action.
Morgan was finally able to free himself from Studley. McDermott followed through and into third. McDermott got alongside Morgan in a bid for second. He made the pass stick on the white-flag lap. It was easy going for Boss up front. Boss easily took his fifth victory of the season. McDermott came home second followed by Studley and Sundeen. Over the final lap, Morgan was shuffled back; finishing fifth.
After winning seven straight races at the beginning of the season, Mini Stock point leader Danny Field of Deep River, CT, had been shutout of victory lane three times since July. Field was opportunistic in his return to victory lane on Thursday night. The Mini Stocks had an equally as thrilling start with four cars locked in a battle for the lead. Mike Viens, Brent Gleason, Steve Romjue and Travis Jurcik went two-by-two, lap-after-lap. Viens asserted himself as the leader but with persistent pressure from Gleason. Chad Baxter had made his presence known to move into fifth.
Jurcik make it three-wide coming out of turn two going to the low side of Viens and Gleason. The young driver made the pass stick; moving from fourth to first in turn two. Once up front, Jurcik quickly began to distance himself from second-running Viens.
The caution flew on lap eight when last week’s winner, Eric Bourgeois, came to rest in turn four. Jurcik rocketed his way back into the lead on the restart. Veins was the biggest loser on the restart as C. Baxter and Gleason stole positions. Field came from deep in the field to also make tracks passed Viens.
A multi-car incident brought out the caution on lap 12. On the restart, C. Baxter made a bid at the lead. Jurcik and Baxter went fender-to-fender into turn one. The duo came off turn two hot, Baxter started to spin. Jurcik began spinning as well. The two did nearly a tandem spin in front of the field. The field went scattering to bring out the caution.
Field inherited the lead and took advantage of the opportunity. He immediately ran out to a three-car length advantage. The Monster Mini Stock dominator went on to score his ninth feature event win of the season. Gleason settled for second. Louie Bellisle, III, came on strong in the end to finish third. Viens and Roger Ducharme completed the top-five.
Tour-Type Modified (Top Ten) Feature Finish:1. Mike Stefanik, Coventry, RI; 2. Ryan Preece, Berlin, CT; 3. Kenny Barry, Preston, CT; 4. Tom Bolles, Ellington, CT; 5. Steven Reed, Jackson, NY; 6. Louie Mechalides, Tynsboro, MA; 7. Rick Gentes, Woonsocket, RI; 8. Renee Dupuis, Glastonbury, CT; 9. Bobby Drown, Southington, CT; 10. Shelly Perry, Westerly, RI.
Sunoco Modified (Top Ten) Feature Finish:1. Ryan Preece, Berlin, CT; 2. Danny Cates, Chaplin, CT; 3. Woody Pitkat, Stafford, CT; 4. Joe Allegro, Jr. Vernon, CT; 5. Shelly Perry, Westerly, RI; 6. John Catania, Agawam, MA; 7. Carl Oberg, Sutton, MA; 8. George Wilkinson, Pawcutuck, CT; 9. Keith Rocco, Wallingford, CT; 10. Rick Shawn, Bradford, RI.
Super Late Model (Top Ten) Feature Finish:1. Mike O’Sullivan, Springfield, MA; 2. Derek Ramstrom, Worcester, MA; 3. Larry Gelinas, Buxton, ME; 4. George Bessette, Danbury, CT; 5. Jim Banfield, S. Glastonbury, CT; 6. Keith Caruso, Millbury, MA; 7. Scott Foster, Broadbrook, CT; 8. Michael Rivard, N. Scituate, RI; 9. Jeff Hartwell, E. Putnam, CT; 10. Mike Stefanik, Coventry, RI.
Limited Sportsman (Top Ten) Feature Finish:1. Chris Douton, Wateford, CT; 2. Scott Sundeen, Douglas, MA; 3. Dwayne Dorr, Ledyard, CT; 4. Jess Gleason, Lisbon, CT; 5. Jason Chicolas, Sutton, MA; 6. Tommy Silva, Gales Ferry, CT; 7. Bill McNeil, Stonington, CT; 8. Michael Malbaurn, Sterling, CT; 9. Corey Fanning, Mapleville, RI; 10. John Carpenter, Danielson, CT.
TIS Modified (Top Ten) Feature Finish:1. Glenn Boss, Danielson, CT; 2. Cam McDermott, Scituate, RI; 3. John Studley, Framingham, MA; 4. Jay Sundeen, Douglas, MA; 5. Ryan Morgan, Mystic, CT; 6. Brian Tagg, Oxford, MA; 7. R.J. Marcotte, Millville, MA; 8. Payton Henry, Willington, CT; 9. Chad LaBastie, Uxbridge, MA; 10. J.P. Lowinski-Loh, Jr., Milford, MA.
Mini Stock (Top Ten) Feature Finish:1. Danny Field, Deep River, CT; 2. Brent Gleason, Norwich, CT; 3. Louie Bellisle, III, Versailes, CT; 4. Mike Viens, Seekonk, MA; 5. Roger Durcharme, Foster, RI; 6. Mike Gorgievski, Auburn MA; 7. Leo Defevers, Brooklyn, CT; 8. Steve Romjue, Coventry, RI; 9.Travis Jurcik, Chaplin, CT; 10. Chad Baxter, Pascoag, RI.
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