Thompson Speedway Boasts Star Studded Sunoco Modified Field For 2016 Season

(Press Release from Thompson Speedway)

Woody Pitkat celebrates the 2015 SK Modified championship at Thompson Speedway

Woody Pitkat celebrates the 2015 SK Modified championship at Thompson Speedway

As the start of the 2016 racing season nears on April 9-10 for the traditional Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Icebreaker, the Sunoco Modified field is shaping up to be one of the most competitive in recent history.

Woody Pitkat returns as the division’s champion in the Stan Mertz owned Sunoco Modified. By virtue of winning the title, Pitkat’s team decided to rebuild the car in time for the championship banquet that was held in December for the first time at Mohegan Sun. Since that time, the car has been ready to race and to begin a title defense.

“It’s been a weird offseason because the car has been ready to go and I haven’t been to the shop all winter,” said Pitkat.

When asked if being separated from the team for five months will impact his on track performance, Pitkat felt it would make the team stronger.

“If anything a long break would only fuel the fire more because the team hasn’t been doing the daily grind. Some people may be rushing and burning the midnight oil, but we are ready to go and to fire on all eight cylinders so it will be more of an advantage to us,” he said.

2014 division champion and defending Icebreaker winner, Ryan Preece, has moved up to the national scene and is competing full time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for JD Motorsports. Preece is scheduled to be on hand for the season opener driving for Al and Cathy Moniz in the Sunoco Modified division. The husband and wife duo also back Preece’s Xfinity Series car as an associate sponsor with their company Falmouth Ready Mix appearing on the car for all 33 events this season. The remainder of his schedule will be determined on a race by race basis.

Adding his name to the list of regulars for 2016 is Rowan Pennink who hasn’t raced at Thompson full time since 2010 when he too drove for the Moniz family in the 31 machine. Pennick, the reigning SK Modified champion at Stafford Speedway, will replace Keith Rocco in the Ceravolo machine and make the weekly 4 hour drive from his home in New Egypt, NJ to compete at Thompson. Pennink will also be on hand for the Whelen Modified Tour event as he takes over the Boehler Racing No. 3 full time this season.

Rocco, a 4-time Thompson champion will return once again, but not only as a driver. He will also enter as a car owner for rookie Ronnie Williams who will run full time. Williams at just 19 years old has already garnered a lot of attention after a 6 win season at Stafford in 2015. He has never run a Sunoco Modified at Thompson and has only two starts at the track including his first ever SK Lite Modified start in 2011 at only 15 years old. It was the first time he drove anything other than a go kart. However, regardless of William’s inexperience at the Big T, he is expected to be a factor this season.

“I’m not worried at all. Keith’s cars are the best out there so at this point it is all up to me,” said Williams. “Last year I gained a lot of experience and matured a lot. I’m racing against guys I know; Keith, Woody, and Rowan. It’s going to be a new track, but I am definitely looking forward to it.”

Not only is this the first time Rocco will own a car he will race against all season for the drivers championship, it is also the first time Williams will drive a car that isn’t prepared by his family team.

Thompson Speedway opens its gates for the first time this season on Saturday March 26, for an open practice session. The Icebreaker kicks off the season on the weekend of April 9-10. An additional practice day is scheduled for Friday, April 8. For more information on Thompson Speedway news and events, visit


  1. See you at the party in turn four!!

  2. Should be a he’ll of a show with 4 cars

  3. I wonder if any other fool time Xfinity drivers will compete in the mighty Sunoco modified division at Thompson?

  4. WONDERING says

    look it’s everyone’s favorite trolling hater……Chris D. Yay!!!!!!!!!

  5. Well one can go watch the SKs at Stafford…..Let me save you the time. 30 cars following each other like a train until they start pushing each other out of the way with 5 to go….But hey, Stafford is the best 1 groove track in Connecticut.

  6. Could someone please tell me when did 3 cars a rookie and a guy that’s not even gonna be there every week become classified as a star studded feild? Sounds more the typical overpriced 4 car bore a rama to me. They start in front and stay in front yeehaw that’s excitement at its finest…….no thanks

  7. I’m in WONDERING’s head… I love it

  8. I don’t think Williams is your typical rookie

  9. Ok a rookie with potential the point remains the same hardly worthy of being labeled star studded

  10. They have to hype up their “headlining division” somehow. Two words I heard throughout the season last year when the mods came onto the track was, “that’s it?” Should be the same kinda thing this year. I expect Williams to run up front. He’ll have top notch equipment. Jimmy Z did real well in Rocco’s car at the bowl and they say Thompson is easier to run at. It is interesting that Rocco isn’t running the 16 this year. I heard it has something to do with motor. Maybe he doesn’t want to take a chance on getting dq’d with it?

  11. WONDERING says

    Not in my head I just think you are a clown.

  12. You guys forgot about everyones favorite driver, the rolling obstacle, Melissa Fifield. That’s star studded right there.

  13. Steve she drive in the modified tour not the weekly sk. Sorry to correct your star studded comment

  14. Lets just be honest here people everyone has an opinion but if you want an enjoyable night of exiting competitive racing thompson is by far the last place you want to go unless you want to spend half a paycheck to watch the limited sportsman as I will say they go hard but hardly justifies going for one decent race

  15. According to race monitor there were a whole 8 Sunoco mods at practice.

  16. Mark Fisher says

    Hey Shawn , any entry list for the icebreaker as of yet ???

  17. Mark,
    If there is anything out yet it would be on the NASCAR Home Tracks page. I have not seen anything yet.

  18. If anyone wants to know why the car count is so low at Thompson, just look at the purse distribution list on their website.

  19. Race monitor only showed 8 cars bc those cars were the only cars with transponders. They had a total of 96 cars at the open practice

  20. LM, if you read my post it says 8 Sunoco mods, not cars total.

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