Better Late Than Never: Pete Zaikarite Revels All The Same In First North East Mini Stock Tour Win

Pete Zaikarite's "victory lane" photos came a day late Sunday at Thompson Speedway after he was declared the winner of Saturday's North East Mini Stock Tour event at the track (Photo: North East Mini Stock Tour)

Pete Zaikarite’s “victory lane” photos came a day late Sunday at Thompson Speedway after he was declared the winner of Saturday’s North East Mini Stock Tour event at the track (Photo: North East Mini Stock Tour)

It wasn’t the way Pete Zaikarite had envisioned his first race winning celebration with the North East Mini Stock Tour Saturday night at Thompson Speedway.

Unforunately for the Niantic driver, getting the chance to celebrate in front of the crowd on the big stage of Sunoco World Series Weekend wasn’t meant to be Saturday.

Zaikarite was declared the winner of the North East Street Stock Tour’s feature Saturday at Thompson after first place finisher Toby Wells and second place Matt Sonnhalter were both penalized one lap after the event. Sonnhalter was penalized for removing fifth gear from his transmission and Wells was penalized for installing a four speed gear set into a five speed transmission.

“I would have loved to beat those guys on the track and not in the pits in a trailer,” Zaikarite said. “But it is what it is. The rulebook is the rulebook. Apparently the other teams interpreted it wrong. I don’t play in those gray areas so I had nothing to worry about. I was content with a podium finish that night.”

“I didn’t get to do a burnout. I didn’t get to have a celebration. There’s an excitement that comes fresh out of the racecar when you win a race. It’s just not the same when you’re in a trailer taking your car apart and someone comes over and tells you that you won.”

It was the first career series victory for Zaikrarite, who has run sporadically with the series since 2012.

“It was the big stage,” Zaikarite said “We’ve been there three times [on the oval at Thompson] and I’ve been top-five each time. I knew we’d have a stout piece to bring. We geared up, we were looking to win the race. We worked hard on the car for three and a half weeks. We had everything perfect. We were competitive, but Toby [Wells] is in a whole other time zone. You’re really racing for second in that series.”

In his first full-time season with the series Zaikarite ended up second to Wells in the championship chase.

“This year Maynard Electric and Broad Brook Heating & Cooling stepped up to cover all our travel expenses and we were able to compete and start and finish every race this year,” Zaikarite said. “Consistency adds up. Every event we were top-10. Our worst finish was ninth place. I’m looking forward to next year. Come back a little stronger and try to hold down that [first] finishing position in the points.”


  1. Management ! says

    Team Outdoor Services is proud of Pete and how he competes on such a small budget . I hope we can get him more power under the hood and show Pete’s talent . Congrats Pete were all proud of you . Keep up the great work and you’ll get that championship .

  2. Billy Parker says

    A win is still a win, Congrats to Pete and team, well deserved. The 07 will be one to watch in 2016

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