Seventy-Five Lap SK Modified Feature to Kick Off Season At Thompson Speedway

(Press Release from Thompson Speedway)

Keith Rocco will be one of a stacked field looking for victory in the 75-lap season opening SK Modified feature Sunday at the Thompson Speedway Icebreaker

Keith Rocco will be one of a stacked field looking for victory in the 75-lap season opening SK Modified feature Sunday at the Thompson Speedway Icebreaker

This is modified country. That one statement defines short track racing in the northeast. Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) will honor its storied past of 75 years by running a 75 lap feature for the Sunoco Modifieds at the Icebreaker this weekend with $2,000 paid to the race winner.

The Sunoco Modified class at TSMP is a who’s who of driving talent including the hottest driver in modified racing Ryan Preece. Although not a single race has been run in the northeast this season, Preece has already captured 5 wins in 2015 beginning with Speedweeks at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida and Saturday’s Southern Whelen Modified Tour win at South Boston.

Preece comes into the year as the defending track champion off the strength of 3 victories. Not much has changed with his team, but a strategy could change with the 75-lap distance at the Icebreaker. Teams will be allowed to change 2 tires during the race. “It will be interesting because you will see some teams pit late or some not at all,” Preece said.

Woody Pitkat returns after a break through 2014 season in Whelen Modified Tour competition including the coveted first win. He’ll be driving for a different team however, as he steps behind the wheel of the Stan Mertz owned modified. The relationship is not on its maiden voyage as Pitkat drove for Mertz last season in the Tri-Track Modified Series.

“The car was brand new last season and it only has 15 races on it,” said Pitkat. “We have a brand new spec motor. They are great people and there’s no pressure. They just like to go have fun.”

Another driver in a new ride this year is Keith Rocco. Rocco will be driving in a modified owned by his in-laws replacing his father-in-law Todd Ceravolo in the No. 16. He was the runner-up to Preece last season while placing 3rd in the national Whelen All-American Series standings. He will be competing for titles in both the Sunoco Modified and Late Model ranks.

Sunoco Modified villain Ted Christopher is entered in a Doug DePisa owned machine for the Icebreaker. As the season unfolds, expect to see Christopher in one of his own cars at TSMP.

Sophomore Cam McDermott is back in the Sunoco Modified division after winning 3 consecutive track championships from 2011-13 in the Thompson Modifieds (2011) and SK Light Modifieds (2012-13). In his rookie season, the goal was to finish in the top-5 every week. Although he came short of that, he has upped the ante with a clear goal of competing for victories.

“It was experience that kept me out of victory lane last year,” said McDermott. “The first race last year, right off the bat I went right to the front, but sometimes you can’t do that. There’s a lot different from the SK Light car. We learned something at the World Series and I feel we can challenge for wins.”

Nick Ladyga is making the move up to the Sunoco Modified division in a family car after turning some heads as a Late Model rookie last summer. “I think it’s the best thing for me,” said Ladyga. “Whether it was lacrosse or soccer I’ve always played up to the competition.”

The Icebreaker is scheduled the weekend of April 10-12. The 75-lap feature for the Sunoco Modified division will be contested on Sunday, April 12. The weekend begins with a rotating practice session on Friday, April 10. For more information, including an event schedule, visit 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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