WATERFORD – For Glen Thomas Jr., coming to his home track to run North East Mini Stock Tour events in the past has proved mostly nightmarish.
Saturday a dream week for the Groton driver that started with an engagement ending in dream celebration.
Thomas used a late race pass of Matt Sonhalter to win the 50-lap North East Mini Stock Tour feature Saturday at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.
Sonhalter, of East Thetford, Vt., held on to finish second. Emerson Cayer of Contoocook, N.H. was third.
The victory erased the pain of seven bad finishes in previous starts with the division at the Speedbowl for Thomas.
“I haven’t even finished one of these races ever,” Thomas said. “That was the first Mini Stock Tour race that I even finished here. The first one that I finished with a car that was straight. That’s awesome.”
Thomas got engaged to his fiancé Christina last Saturday.
“Last Saturday at the Cape, it was awesome,” Glen Thomas Jr. said. “I had these big plans and it didn’t work. We got sandwiches and went down to the town green and just having sandwiches and I did it. It was really cool.
It was the second career North East Mini Stock Tour victory for Thomas, who is running part-time with the series. His first victory came in his last start with the series last year at Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway.
Sonhalter led the majority of the event and looked cruising to victory before a caution flew with 11 laps remaining. Thomas stayed on Sonhalter’s bumper after the restart and with five laps remaining he nosed past him low off of turn four and pulled away.
“I did not think I had a car to beat him,” Thomas said. “But I saw him getting tighter and tighter and my car had got a lot of grip during that [last caution]. I knew if I could get under him and give him a little pressure … I knew we weren’t going to get in any tussles and he would give me some room.”
Thomas’ cousin Bruce Thomas Jr. won the 30-lap Late Model feature Saturday at Waterford.
“To be able to win here, my cousin won tonight also, we doubled them up,” Glen Thomas Jr. said. “It’s awesome.”