Ronnie Williams Wins Pole For Whelen Mod Tour Sunoco World Series 150 At Thompson

Ronnie Williams celebrates his second Whelen Modified Tour pole of the season Saturday at Thompson Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont)

THOMPSON – The 2018 season at Thompson Speedway opened with Ronnie Williams making a daring move to chase a win on a green-white-checkered finish of the NASCAR Whelen Modifiedd Tour Icebreaker 150.

The dramatic attempt at overtaking Justin Bonsignore for the lead on the final lap of the Icebreaker ended not so happily for Williams, who ended up in the turn one wall in the battle for the lead.

And while the opener ended unpleasantly for the Tolland driver, Sunday Williams gets the chance for redemption from the best starting spot.

Williams, who got his first career series pole in the Icebreaker, got his second pole of the season in qualifying Saturday for Sunday’s Sunoco World Series 150 at Thompson.

“It’s great, coming to the last race and get a pole for these guys,” said Williams, who is looking for his first career Whelen Modified Tour win. “We got it early at the Icebreaker. To do it on the World Series Weekend, it’s a good feeling. We’ve just got to execute during the race now.

“Every race is a different race and the last race of the season guys are going to be on their toes so I’ve just got to be on mine. Hopefully we can stay up front and have a chance to win at the end.”

Williams toured the .625-mile oval with a fast lap of 18.664 seconds (120.553 mph).

Behind Williams there was a little bit of drama taking place during group qualifying.

Justin Bonsignore, who clinched his first Whelen Modified Tour championship with a 12th place finish at the NAPA Fall Final 150 on Sept. 30 at Stafford Speedway, felt like Ryan Preece cost him a chance at winning the pole. Bonsignore had the fast time for all teams in practice.

During the final group of qualifying Bonsignore felt like Preece pulled up in front of him while he was trying to lay down a fast lap shooting for the pole. Preece, of Berlin, is making his final start Sunday as a regular on the Whelen Modified Tour before heading to a full-time ride in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series in 2019.

Bonsignore, of Holtsville, N.Y., had a fast lap of 18.745 seconds (120.032 mph) and ended up third behind Williams and Preece in qualifying.

“That group qualifying deal is tough,” Bonsignore said. “With three minutes and guys want to just scuff their tires and then pull right in front of you when you’re on a lap. Good thing he’s going south after today, I don’t want to deal with that shit anymore. It’s unfortunate. We had a car that could have won the pole. But we have a car that can win the race tomorrow and we’ll go down swinging.”

Preece, who had a fast lap of 18.723 seconds (120.173 mph), smiled about Bonsignore’s reaction.

“I don’t know, I figured I was going to help him like at Loudon and give him a draft,” Preece said sarcastically. “It’s so cold. My goal was to go out there and run three laps on the bottom and get heat in my tires – or two laps whatever it may be – and I expected the car to fire off better out of [turn] two and it was still pretty cold. I’m pretty happy. That’s the best qualifying effort we’ve had in a while. I think we’re going to race pretty good.”

Doug Coby of Milford and Jon McKennedy of Chelmsford, Mass. rounded out the top-five in qualifying respectively.

Full Qualifying Results


  1. It’s fair to judge Williams season at Stafford in the SK’s as a tremendous success. How he avoided being collected in so many jingles and passed so many cars and won the championship so handily over stiff competition was magical.
    On the other hand it’s fair to say his NWMT season was a monumental failure. From the shake down at New Smyrna to the hope of great finishes ending in merely 5 top tens he under performed.

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