Four Track Championships To Be Decided At Sunoco World Series At Thompson Speedway

(Press Release from Thompson Speedway)

world-series-2016-logo-thompsonWith one race remaining on the 2016 racing calendar at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, four track championships remain undecided. Competing amidst 18 divisions over three days as part of the largest short track event in the Northeast, four will etch their names into the Thompson Speedway record books.

Having a historic season is Keith Rocco who at one point looked as though he would sweep the entire Sunoco Modified schedule. Rocco came out this season firing on all eight cylinders and has a comfortable 23-point lead over his closest foe, NASCAR Xfinity Series regular Ryan Preece.

“The consistency we have had this season has been unreal,” said Rocco. “It all comes down to preparation, good equipment, and the people you have around you. What we have accomplished this year is impressive. I don’t really look at it now, but when we are sitting around the winter wishing we were racing, I’ll look at it then.”

Rocco’s worst finish of the year so far was a fourth place effort. The top-5 positions pay points in the qualifying heats in all divisions with the winner receiving five points, second earns four points and so on through the top-5. In order for Rocco to win the crown, assuming he earns no points whatsoever in qualifying, he needs to finish 10th or better regardless of what Preece does.

What makes Rocco’s run truly remarkable is that he has teamed with former car owner the Pane Brothers for the first time in five seasons. The last time the two groups partnered resulted in a 2011 Thompson championship and a title at the Waterford Speedbowl the same year.

Late Model

The Late Model division has seen a new challenger rise to the top of the division in his second year, driver William Wall. Wall started driving quarter midgets at Thompson’s Little T as a kid before moving to the high banked 5/8 mile oval. After advancing through the ranks he landed in the Late Models earning his first win in the season opening Icebreaker. Like Rocco, Wall didn’t stop there and continued to rattle off the wins, most of them with late race surges to the front of the pack.

Wall won 3 of the first 4 events this season and picked up his fourth “W” during the Bud ‘King of Beers’ 150. Quietly lurking in the shadows all season has been veteran Rick Gentes. Gentes has only one win this season, but has come on strong at the end of the year to close the championship battle to only 14 points. Wall controls his own destiny with a finish of 5th or better in the main event. Qualifying points could give Wall an even greater advantage, but the clear advantage in the experience category belongs to Gentes. Gentes knows how to win championships, while Wall will try to secure his first in a race where he finished 20th a year ago.

“I am going to do what we have done all year which is to have fun and what happens, happens,” said Wall. “I can’t complain with the year we have had this year.”

Xtramart Limited Sportsman

The Xtramart Limited Sportsman will see the tightest point battle among all the weekly divisions. Ryan Waterman holds a slight 10-point lead over defending and 4-time track champion Scott Sundeen. The two have finished directly in front of one another just about all season long.

If there is any momentum to be had, it might belong to Sundeen who won the last race contested. Sundeen started the season with a brand new car that took him some time to get used to.

Waterman has been shut out of from victory lane this season, but has gained his point advantage through the qualifying heats. Waterman has 8 more qualifying points than Sundeen. To win the title, Waterman would need to finish no worse than 3rd if he scored no points in the heat races.

Mini Stocks

Early in the season the Mini Stock title chase looked to be a repeat performance for defending champion Dave Trudeau. After winning the first three events, Trudeau ran into a string of bad luck however. The downward spiral started when he was battling for the win with Brad Caddick on the final lap during which Wayne Burroughs made a three-wide move on the final lap to earn his Thompson first victory.

From there Trudeau had engine problems, transmission issues and gremlins seemed to plague him every race. Although Trudeau returned to victory lane again at the end of July, Burroughs had already firmly planted his stake in the ground as the one to beat in the division.

Burroughs has a total of three wins this season, including victories in the last two races. It’s been an impressive performance for the driver who hadn’t turned a lap at Thompson in over 10 years prior to this season. He holds a 36-point advantage over Trudeau meaning a 16th or better would seal the deal on the 2016 crown.

“We are going to approach it as we have all year and get to where it is safe, out front,” said Burroughs. “This is our first full season here and to run as competitively as we have it would be a huge accomplishment for this team to win the championship.”

The Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing, presented by Xtra Mart begins on Friday, October 14 and continues through Sunday, October 16 featuring 18 divisions of cars. A three-day spectator ticket is just $55, seniors, veterans and active military are $53, kids 12 and under are free. For more information visit


  1. So to race a late model it cost you $75 to race one day because your feature is on Friday night. Great deal

  2. Too many divisions on too many days. Can’t make on Friday or Saturday. Only two races I want to see on Sunday. Not interested in anything else. I’m not paying $55.00 to see two races.

  3. So than stay home. Sorry the track didn’t check with you before making there schedule for the world series. too many division’s on to many days? Wtf are you talking about? It’s a one time a year special event that’s a little bigger than your schedule. I for one can’t wait for this weekend. Sorry I won’t see you

  4. Fast Eddie says

    I still think there should be single day tickets, however I always try to go all three days. It’s well worth it; just about every regional and local division runs. I’ll be missing Saturday night due to a family event, but I’ll be there for everything else.

  5. Oh gee. Sorry Brian n. I’ve got a life. Maybe you should get one too.

  6. My life is great can’t wait for races whine like a female dog about the length of the event and I need to get a life that’s great. It’s one weekend a year you sir need to grow a pair and tell wifey or partner it’s a race weekend. If complaining about races being to long is something you felt needed to be addressed on a racing forum my guess is you are the one who needs a life or you missed a dose of Geritol or need to get back to nursing home either way it won’t affect the fun I’ll be having all weekend at the track.haha

  7. Brian n, You are obviously a Trumpateer. You’re insults just prove it. Again, get a life.

  8. Fast Eddie says

    Some people want an efficiently run show with a limited number of categories. Others like to get there before the gates open and tour the pits when the race has ended. Some people can’t commit to a 2-3 day event due to other commitments. Single day tickets would allow more fans of the first and third options to go some of the bigger events (and buy food, drinks, and souvenirs). I’ve seen many times people arguing with the ticket booth workers, mad because they have to pay full price and can’t go back the following day. It seems to work well for the drag racing contingent; you can always buy single day or full event tickets.

  9. Thank you Fast Eddie. You’ve made my point.

  10. Agree with (Brian n) !!!! LOL funny

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