Sunoco World Series 150 Notebook: Preece Closes Out At Thompson; Starrett Tools Leaving Series

Ryan Preece (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

By Shawn Courchesne and Polly Reid 

THOMPSON – In his last appearance for the time being as a regular with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and in the SK Modified division at Thompson, Ryan Preece went down swinging in both divisions Sunday at the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing at Thompson.

Preece, of Berlin, will drive full-time with JTG Daugherty Racing in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series in 2019.

Preece led a race-high 83 laps in the Whelen Modified Tour Sunoco World Series 150 Sunday in his Ed and Connie Partridge owned TS Haulers Racing ride.

Preece fired past pole-sitter Ronnie Williams at the start and led the first 83 laps before the leaders went to pit road under caution.

Preece headed back to pit road a second time during the caution period, dropping him back to 13th place.

“I thought something broke and I didn’t want to take tires, risk being out in front of people, or in the mix wrecking us and everyone else,” Preece said of the pit sequence. “When we checked it over, it didn’t but it put us behind the eight ball. I’m not saying we had the best car at the end but it wasn’t that bad. It just didn’t work out. We wanted to win. We wanted to win this last race here.”

In his final start for SK Modified team owners Al and Cathy Moniz at Thompson, Preece hounded race-winner Todd Owen to the checkered in the 30-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series feature.

Preece drove for the Moniz family at Thompson since 2011 and has 30 victories and two championships in their No. 31 ride.

Starrett Out

Two Whelen Modified Tour teams learned over the weekend that they would be losing major sponsorship for next season.

Starrett Tools will not be back as a sponsor with Flamingo Motorsports driver Timmy Solomito or Boehler Racing Enterprises driver Matt Swanson.

“I am thankful for everything Starrett tools has done for our team, and everyone involved with Flamingo Motorsports the past two years,” Solomito said. “We had a great 2017 season with them and struggled a little in 2018. … The entire staff at Starrett they were great to us and I am happy we were able to have a partnership with them for two years.”

Swanson carried the Starrett Tools sponsorship his family owned Whelen Modified Tour ride and Starrett carried that sponsorship over to Boheler Racing Enterprises when Swanson took over the iconic Ole Blue ride following Rowan Pennink’s retirement from racing in late August.

“Starrett will be missed,” said Matt Swanson’s father John Swanson. “They are like family and we 100 percent understand.”

By The Numbers

The numbers put up in 2018 NASCAR by Whelen Modified Tour champion Justin Bonsignore were staggering.

Bonsignore won half of the Whelen Modified Tour events in 2018 (eight), finish in the top-10 in 15 of 16 events and had a worst finish of the season of 12th.

But maybe the most amazing statistic is Bonsignore’s lap completed for 2018.

Bonsignore completed 2,589 of the 2,590 laps run on the Whelen Modified Tour in 2018. And in reality, it’s more like 2,589 and three quarters of a lap completed.

The one lap Bonsignore didn’t complete. It’s one few will forget when he was leading in turn three of the final lap of the inaugural Musket 250 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sept. 22 and ended up in the wall after getting hit from behind by Preece.

Wrong Numbers

Officials from the International SuperModified Association issued an apology Monday for mistakenly declared the wrong series champion after their feature on Sunday afternoon at Thompson.

Dan Bowes was announced as the series’ 2018 champion, but upon further review of the points it was found that Kyle Edwards was the actual champion for the series.

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Comments

  1. The 16 team should also look for a new Driver.Where in the world was his head this past weekend.

  2. Good luck to Ryan in the Cup series, as being aligned with the Gibbs organization in the JTG ride, may help, because Gibbs wanted more money from Furniture Row, he drove that Owner out, even after a winning season for Martin Truex…I hope Ryan gets half the equipment and be more than a 20th place car….however hard to believe you can break into the top 16 cars controlled by the big input teams…..

  3. Drivers make mistakes sometimes i still believe timmy is a quality driver to win races it takes complete chemistry and look how long it took the 51.That team took years and hundreds of changes.

  4. I agree with Bill d. Drivers do make mistakes. Also think Tim is a talented driver. All the TROYER teams were caught behind the 8 ball this year. It will be interesting to see if TROYER can close the performance gap next season. It’s rumored that anywhere between 3 and 10 teams are switching to LFR. Have to wait and see what happens.

  5. NH MOD CHASER says:

    Jeff, JTG is not a Gibbs alliance they run Chevolet and have a technical alliance with Hendrick Motorsports

  6. N.H….
    Your correct….Gibbs is going to alliance with the 95.

  7. Look how well Barney Vissar made out with his Gibbs alliance. The loss of an associate sponsor made him close his doors, and Truex didn’t run near as well as he did last year. JTG is a Chevy team, with technical support from Hendrick, who will also supply engines. Hopefully they manage to surround Ryan with good people, and elevate their performance. It would be great to see Ryan get Rookie of the year, and awesome if he manages to win a race.

  8. Driving Gibbs cars are way different then anything else he did good but also had bad runs which should not have happened good luck finding a drafting partner 4 car teams are hard to beat

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