Familiar Faces Returning To Late Model Division In 2015 At Thompson Speedway

(Press Release from Thompson Speedway)

Glenn Boss celebrates a Late Model victory last year at Thompson Speedway

Glenn Boss celebrates a Late Model victory last year at Thompson Speedway

Last season, the Late Model division at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) saw 6 different winners in 7 events. All but one of them will return to compete full time in 2015, with the lone exception being surprise World Series winner Charlie Rose.

In the final race of the season, Rose drove to victory in a car fielded by the Lillie family race team. This year the team has tabbed Glenn Boss to take over the driving duties after Boss parted ways with his former team. Rose still serves as an active member of the crew by assisting in the preparation the ride for Boss, who was the only driver to visit victory lane twice in 2014, including a win at the Icebreaker.

Boss keeps close ties with fellow competitor Jeff Smith of Old Lyme, CT who will attempt his first full season at TSMP. Smith, the 2011 Late Model champion at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, is well respected among his competitors and he has to be. He doesn’t have a big crew to rely on so if his car comes to pit road, he leans on the crews of Boss and others to repair his car during the race. For Smith it’s a small family operation that gets big results and is expected to be a contender. Even while missing two events in 2014, Smith still managed a top-10 points finish and one victory, which came in his second outing.

Two drivers who nobody looks past at the 5/8 mile oval are Keith Rocco and Rick Gentes. Rocco plans to run the full season for a different car owner – longtime supporter Mike Sullivan. He won’t be running the same exact car he took to the victory lane in May last season, but his 2015 car is a duplicate chassis designed identically to his former ride.

Gentes returns after winning his 6th Thompson championship last season and has more bullets in his holster than anyone. In the offseason, he has been diligent in his work preparing three cars for the new season. He is known for bringing at least two to the track each week, but with the stiff competition ahead he is changing his strategy. Past practice for him was to bring two identically prepared cars to the track each week with one standing by as a backup. This season, his second car will be an R & D effort to try new setups to maintain his advantage over the field.

Gentes is a man of few words so when he does speak, you listen. When asked what he expects in 2015 Gentes responded, “I think it is going to be extremely competitive.”

Larry Gelinas is a former champion of the TSMP Super Late Model division and drives 320 miles round trip from his home in Buxton, ME to race each event. He came 8 points shy of a Late Model championship in 2014 and had one win to his credit in the car owned by Jeff Hartwell. Gelinas is a crafty veteran who knows what he needs in a stock car to perform at its best. He will get some extra laps on Icebreaker weekend while competing in the 40-lap Granite State Pro Stock race.

With the competition so equally balanced, the new rule awarding points in qualifying heats will add to the excitement. Every point will count for the title and this year’s crown is up for grabs with several experienced teams ready for the Icebreaker.

The Icebreaker is scheduled the weekend of April 10-12 and will include a 25-lap feature for the Late Model division, beginning with rotating practice session on Friday, April 10. For more information, including an event schedule, visit www.thompsonspeedway.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube for the most up to date news and updates about Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

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  1. I have a feeling that you will see a lot of Rocco at the front in this division this year. With his driving skills and the Osullivans knowledge of car and track, seems like an unbeatable combination.

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