Setting The Scene: Whelen Modified Tour Bud 150 At Thompson Speedway

(Press Release from NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)

Timmy Solomito (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Timmy Solomito (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Nine races down. Eight races to go. And finally, at least as far as everybody not named Doug Coby is concerned, the door to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship has cracked open just a bit as the tour heads into the Budweiser King of Beers 150 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Thompson, Connecticut on Wednesday night.

A fuel pump issue in the late stages of Friday night’s Stafford 150 robbed Coby of what would have been a third victory this season at the track, a certain stranglehold atop the standings and momentum heading into the 2016 stretch run. Justin Bonsignore leapt two spots in the standings to second following Stafford, just 20 points behind Coby. Bonsignore has three career wins at Thompson.

Jimmy Blewett’s surprising win at Stafford moved him up to fourth, 35 points behind Coby. Just ahead of him in the standings, Timmy Solomito’s excellent breakthrough season has him in title contention, too, with three wins this season — including one in the Icebreaker 150 at Thompson to kick off the season.

It’s fitting, then, that the Whelen Modified Tour rolls into the track that has hosted more races than any other facility in history under the lights of primetime. With 35 different winners in 131 previous events at Thompson, the championship field might truly be wide open.

Race: Budweiser King of Beers 150
Place: Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, Thompson, Connecticut
When: Wednesday, Aug. 10
Time: 8:45 p.m. ET
TV Schedule: NBCSN, Friday, Aug. 26, 8 p.m. ET
Track Layout: .625-mile banked asphalt oval
2015 Winner: Doug Coby
2015 Pole Sitter: Patrick Emerling
EVENT SCHEDULE: Wednesday, August 10 – Garage opens: 1 p.m.; Practice: 4-5 p.m.; Driver Autograph Session: 6:15 p.m.; Qualifying: 7 p.m.; Budweiser King of Beers 150: 8 p.m.
TWITTER: @ThompsonSpdwy

The Race: The Budweiser King of Beers 150 is the 10th of 17 championship points events in the 2016 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season. It is the third of four events at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park this year.

The Procedure: The maximum starting field per the official entry blank is 36 cars, including provisionals. The first 31 cars will have secured starting positions based on two-lap qualifying. The remaining five spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race is scheduled for 150 laps (93.8 miles) and the tire change rule is three tires, any position.

The Track: A .625-mile high-banked oval that opened in 1940, Thompson was the first entirely asphalt track in the nation and the largest in New England for five decades. Thompson has played host to 131 Whelen Modified Tour races all-time, more than any other track, and is one of two facilities to welcome the tour in each of its previous 31 years of competition.

Race Winners: There have been 35 different race winners at Thompson, led by Mike Stefanik’s 15 victories.

Pole Winners: There have been 44 different pole winners at Thompson, led by Tony Hirschman’s 13. Bobby Santos maintains the tour’s track qualifying record at 18.237 seconds (123.376 mph), set on April 10, 2011.

Budweiser King of Beers 150 Notes
Consistency On Tour: Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville, New York, is the only driver currently in the top four in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour standings without a win, but his consistency this season has driven his championship hopes. Bonsignore’s six top-five finishes are the most of any driver this season, and he has three top fives in his last four races. Bonsignore, who has three career wins at Thompson, has three podium finishes in 2016, including a third in the Icebreaker 150 at Thompson.

History Honored: New England racing icons Mario Fiore and Ron Bouchard, who both passed away earlier this year, will be honored as part of the Budweiser King of Beers 150. Fiore, a member of the New England Racing Hall of Fame, was a longtime car owner for Reggie Ruggeiro and a Whelen Modified Tour championship owner with Jerry Marquis in 2000. Bouchard won 37 career races at Thompson, including the 1978 Modified title at the track. Along with the on-track tributes being paid, award-winning author Bones Bourcier will be on hand for a signing of his book about Bouchard’s racing life.

Welcome Back: Jimmy Blewett’s win at Stafford in the tour’s most recent event was the sixth win of his career and his first since 2009. Three of the career wins for the driver nicknamed “Showtime” have come at Stafford, and last weekend’s win moved him into fourth in the current standings in his first season with car owner Bob Garbarino’s Mystic Missile.

Winning: Doug Coby and Timmy Solomito are the only Whelen Modified Tour drivers with multiple wins this season, with three wins apiece. Ron Silk, Bobby Santos III and Blewett won the other events on the schedule. Santos also won the non-points Whelen All-Star Shootout at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last month, and he is the defending winner of the Budweiser King of Beers 150.

NASCAR Home Tracks: SK Modifieds on tap Wednesday
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour won’t be the only open-wheeled division on the card Wednesday night at Thompson. The track’s premier division, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Sunoco Modifieds will also be in action. Keith Rocco, who is currently second in the national standings and has eight consecutive Connecticut state titles, leads the division over NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Ryan Preece.


  1. The 2 will have afresh fuel pump, better watch out, it will be untouchable.

  2. I don’t know about that he will be a favorite but if my memory serves me right a couple of other guys were pretty fast last time they came to Thompson. Would love to see Max win.The racing gods owe him one from that last race at Thompson.

  3. is the rain date thursday night

  4. Brian,
    Yes it is. Stated above.

  5. Hey good fella you on coby’s payroll ? He won’t do nothing at Thompson … They will woop his ass ! And were is my boy Dan f. ? Avery did nothing Friday like I said ! Lol…. #51 and # 8 will be tuff to beat ! Bonsingsnore and Lia…. Coby is so overrated! Will say they do have a great combination and I can admit that ! Enjoy the races everyone ! And my prayers go out to Bryan Clauson and his family ! So said … Was going to be married . Tuff deal ! Enjoy your family people And live life to the fullest ! Be safe !

  6. Thompson has Tweeted, about 2 hrs ago, that racing is on for Wednesday.

  7. Shawn,

    Where is the rain date “Stated above”? I can’t find it.

  8. darealgoodfella,
    My apologies, when I originally saw the comment I thought it had been posted to the “On Tap” preview in which the rain date was stated. The rain date is Thursday.

  9. 👍

    Thursday does look different. Hotter, much hotter, but less chance of rain. Hope this happens on Wed when it isn’t so hot.

    If this doesn’t happen Thur, it will have to be postponed. Teams have to get ready for Bristol.

  10. If it doesn’t happen this week it won’t happen. The only off week between now and Oct is Sept 17th and that is the week ROC 250 at Oswego. I don’t see Nascar going up against Oswego two weeks after they run there themselves. Especially if the tour wants to return there in 2017. This show is a big payday for Thompson. They will move it to Thursday tomorrow if it gives them a better shot at drawing a full house. I’m not leaving home unless the chance of rain is less than 10%. I’ve played a losing game with the rain this year. This is the last New England event until Seekonk too.

  11. Anybody know why there is a change in the normal sequence of events at Thompson?
    The NWMT goes off at 8 PM, followed by the NEMA, Late Model and a Sunoco Mod make-up.

  12. dareal,With the weather uncertainty i think its a smart move.more time time to get it in if necessary

  13. Art, he could have figured that out himself. I mean, he knows about the #2’s cheater carbs and chassis dyno. And that NASCAR is letting them get away with it.

  14. Grey Matter says

    Mod Man makes me laugh… Doug being over rated.. bahahahahaha!! that’s why he’s won so many tour championships right or maybe won so many midget races or a Prostock championship his rookie year.. You need to drink a tall glass of reality. Oh and cheater carbs… man you guys are hilarious!!

  15. It was scheduled like that all along nothing to do with weather.

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