Whelen Modified Tour Returns To Thompson Speedway Wednesday For The Bud 150

(Press Release from Thompson Speedway)

Bobby Santos III celebrates victory in the Whelen Modified Tour Thompson 125 on June 15 at Thompson Speedway (Photo: Michael Ivins/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Bobby Santos III celebrates victory in the Whelen Modified Tour Thompson 125 on June 15 at Thompson Speedway (Photo: Michael Ivins/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour rolls into Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Wednesday night for the 27th Annual Bug ‘King of Beers’ 150. The event is traditionally the most action-packed event of the Thompson Speedway calendar and it marks the tours’ third stop to the 5/8-mile oval this season.

This year has seen a string of first time winners in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series weekly competition at Thompson and the Whelen Modified Tour has seen some of that as well. Timmy Solomito’s Icebreaker win was his first and led to a string of 3 wins this season. Max Zachem used strategy and was on his way to victory number one during the 125-lap race in June, only to get passed on the final circuit to come home second.

“When it happens it will happen,” said Zachem who has successfully runs an independent team on a shoestring budget. “Thompson is one of my favorite tracks; I grew up racing at the Little T. We just go for broke and aim for a Top-10 every week as the only way we can keep up with (Doug Coby) and (Solomito). Maybe the golden horseshoe will leave the (Coby) car soon.”

Maybe it has.

After leading 140 laps during Friday’s event at Stafford Speedway, Coby suffered a fuel delivery problem in the closing laps finishing 20th. Last season, Coby swept the 4 Thompson events, however in the two races this year he has finished 4th and 11th respectively.

“The car we had could have won last time we just got penalized, which put us behind,” said Coby. “Solomito had us beat at the Icebreaker and we had a fast car after the pit stop in June. Last year we were dominant there. This year we have been dominant at Stafford. Those guys stepped up their game a little bit and they gained some on us.”

Coby and Solomito are the only two drivers to win multiple races this season with three victories apiece making them midseason championship favorites. Solomito’s first career start came at the high-banked oval just five years ago. Now in his 3rd full time season, he has become a series veteran looking all the wiser each time the car is on track.

“I work in the Hamptons and when I sit in traffic during my commute all I think about is racing and how we can improve in every area,” said Solomito. “I think about how the car feels in certain situations. After going to tracks for a few years now I know where we need to be. We learn from that, apply it, and get better for the next race.”

Three-time Thompson winner Justin Bonsignore has quietly become a championship contender as well after a second place effort at Stafford. Two of his Thompson wins have come during this event. He now sits only 20 tallies behind Coby in the point battle, as he enters one of his best tracks with momentum.

Another driver planning on continued momentum for a strong run is sophomore driver Chase Dowling who is coming off his first top-5 finish of the season. Dowling led his first laps of his Whelen Modified career in last year’s Bud 150.

“Last year we played a lot of strategy,” said Dowling. “This is a strategy race because you can pit early or late, but you need a good car for the first half of the race.”

The Whelen Modified Tour will be joined on Wednesday night by the Northeastern Midget Association and Thompson’s four weekly divisions. The grandstands open at 3:30p with opening ceremonies slated for 6pm. For more information and the full event schedule visit www.ThompsonSpeedway.com.


  1. Fresh fuels pumps all around. Carbs have been cleaned out and flow tested. Watch out, who will get the coveted second place?

  2. Has a rain date been proposed?

  3. darealgoodfella,

    Thursday Aug. 11 is the listed rain date.

  4. Well, it looks like Max Zachem should get one of those economical low cost SPEC motors to help out with that shoestring budget.

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