Anthony Nocella Wins Bullring Bash Thunder In The Mountains 100 At White Mountain

(Press release from The Bullring Bash) 

Anthony Nocella celebrates victory in the Bullring Bash Thunder in the Mountains 100 at White Mountain Motorsports Park Saturday (Photo: Courtesy Bullring Bash)

After 100 laps of ground-pounder action, it was Anthony Nocella taking down the win in the Thunder in the Mountains 100 at White Mountain Motorsports Park, along with the $3,500 going to the victor in the inaugural Bullring Bash Quarter Mile Challenge presented by RaceChoice.

Nocella, who started on the pole, got around Woody Pitkat with 32 laps to go and didn’t look back.

“I think it was an awesome race,” Nocella said. “I’m glad we decided to come here… Everybody I talked to said [White Mountain] is an awesome place. I can’t thank Josh [Vanada] enough for putting this race on and the people at White Mountain for letting us run here.”

Behind Nocella was Mike Willis in second. Andy Jankowiak was third, followed by Richard Savary and Kirk Alexander.

On the very first lap, outside polesitter Christopher Bolton spun in turn three, collecting Russ Hersey, George Sherman, and Matt Swanson, bringing out a quick yellow flag.

On the first restart, Geoff Rollins spun into the tire barrier in turn three to bring out another yellow flag.

Once the race finally went green, Woody Pitkat began stalking Nocella. He was unable to get by him until lap 17 when he wriggled underneath Nocella to take the lead.

Pitkat pulled away over the course of the run, which was slowed on lap 45 when Hersey spun off of turn two.

Pitkat stumbled on the ensuing restart, and Mike Willis moved to the lead, taking Nocella to second with him. After pressuring him for several laps, Nocella moved back to the lead on lap 69, just two laps before Andy Jankowiak spun to bring out another caution.

Another issue for Pitkat on another restart sent him to the back of the pack. Willis remained all over Nocella down the stretch, but was unable to make a move, and Nocella hung on to take the win.

The full results can be found below:

1. Anthony Nocella

2. Mike Willis

3. Andy Jankowiak

4. Richard Savary

5. Kirk Alexander

6. Woody Pitkat

7. Chris Bolton

8. Geoff Rollins

9. George Sherman

10. Russ Hersey

11. Matt Swanson


  1. Fast Eddie says

    Eleven cars? As much as I wanted to check out a new track i had a family obligation. If I went for an 11 car field I would have been a little disappointed at the small turnout. Maybe as these racers talk to others who didn’t go, hopefully the future turnouts will improve. I hope the fans enjoyed it and WMMP has something to build off of.

  2. Nice to Jankowiak finish third and definitely a throw back racking hauling all over the NE to run; wish more drivers were like him.

  3. They actually discounted the price of admission for the lack of modifieds that showed up. There was a rain delay to start the show and then it was a very cold August night in the mountains. Very cool venue. I would travel again if more modifieds showed. Great track for them. Too bad for Swanson in the 25 never made a lap.

  4. Ken Latham says

    Had to be tough to watch what sounds like a 100 lap heat race

  5. 11 cars had to be a disappointment for the track and promoters. There was no competition either for cars due to MRS cancellation. Like many have said too many series.

    MRS- on life support

    Bullring Bash- future in doubt

    AMT- Jokes with fake series

    TTOM’s- strong but fading

    Stafford- started weak but is growing

    Stafford has the advantage IMO, its run by the track not a outside series. All the best drivers and Teams want to race there. Half are already there every Friday night. Tri Track is clearly not the same since Darling took over and Coil Binding rule will continue the slow exodus of top teams which all have cars set up to Coil Bind. MRS purse just doesn’t compete anymore. Bullring had good effort and purse but is just too far away for the masses. Lastly you have AMT they have no rulebook, no dates,no purse, no staff, it’s not a legit racing option.

    WMT is King and will always be, but who will be Queen? For years it was MRS, for now its Tri Track,

    I personally believe if SK purse was alot better we would not have any of these tours. It would be Nascar WMT only and SK would be the Queen

  6. It’s hard to say any tour that is sending cars home is fading and tri track continues to do just that. Whelen tour is also gaining some cars although quality could be debated. Used to be guys were running multiple tours guys like Penniks, Pitkat, Bonsingore ran MRS schedule as well as Whelen. Guys now seem to run only one and might make an appearance or two in another. Exception being tri track. There is no incentive to run an entire MRS season as an owners championship is worth very little. Guys are not inclined to show up every race and race for points. Top 10 to 15 cars used to be there every race now it is only a couple of cars every week and they aren’t necessarily front runners. There is no reason to show up and race every show when you can pick and choose and run multiple tours races ect. Sad MRS had a grip on a lot of things and were really putting on some good shows but seem to be loosing a grip on things and are suffering.

  7. I guess since I agree with 95% of what you say that’s a good analysis. I’ll be interested to see any challenges.
    Best comment on the event aside from Rich…….. MikeB. Cold, low car count and discounted ticket. When has that ever happened?
    These folks at the Bash did everything a promoter could do to make the race a success but it was not meant to be. It’s like real estate. Location, location, location.
    It was a bust. Move on. Stick with what people go there for. Late Models
    This year is a time of experimentation and attempts for new events. This may not have made the cut but some track could use their promotion expertise.

  8. What series a car runs depends on the owner, the owner’s season plan, and the schedule. Time between races is crucial. Are they running for seat time, points? All those things are factors.

    My team owner said he ran the NASCAR Tour because they have and enforce rules, safety, and they pay the purse. As you all know, some of the other series are kind of a farce when it comes to rules, and payments have not been reliable.

    So, it comes down to are there enough owners to adequately populate these series?

    Many years ago, Mike Stefanik was interviewed and he said the biggest threat to modified racing is that there weren’t enough replacement owners entering the class to replace those owners that were leaving.

  9. Not sure it’s accurate to say the VMRS teams are not showing up for points consistently. I thought that was the case as well but it may not be. Willis, Gallup, Rock, Bolton, Sontag, Robbie, the 25, Nashua, Nocella, Shaw, Robbie show up for most races. It’s a Northern tier series mostly and the teams mostly Northern tier. Fast Eddie may be the best one to comment on that.
    Higher teens on small Norther tracks, over 20 at NHMS and Thompson. Stafford may get 30 at the end of this month. That part is fine. What might not be fine is simply that modified tour racing aside from the NWMT is out of fashion.
    Obviously I don’t have a head count but I think you could make the case that more modifieds and engines have been built for this season, in and out of the NWMT then in recent memory.

  10. Had a great time seeing seeing the mods run at a track they aren’t used to. Alexander I believe was the only one with track time there. 8 of the 11 cars wouldn’t have surprised me if they won. Andy J has the coolest looking homemade cars (what’s not to like about that kid). Mertz’s sk package with Pitkat seemed to have the field covered and were the only ones that made huge separation when leading. Watched the race from the pits and the teams really seemed to be having a really good time shooting the breeze with their competitors. Great cheese burger, great scenery, great atmosphere, 15 year old won the legend race and the local racing was pretty exciting too… I get that the car count was a bit of a bummer. But it sure seemed like everyone was having a great time from my perspective

  11. I attend most MRS, tri track and Whelan shoes. The race at white mountain was as competitive racing up front as tri track races are. The MRS show at Beech ridge was the best one in the 16 years the series has gone to that track. Whelen might have a good car count but 3/4 of the aren’t competitive with the front runners. Of the 4 tours the whelen tour has had the worst races. Anyone who wasn’t at white mountain missed a great race.

  12. I agree Tri Track is still strong but it’s not 40 cars strong like it was, 28-32 cars is now the draw for them. I hope Bullring Bash rebounds at Thunder Rd but MRS is running Stafford right before it and they should have decent field making it difficult for Thunder Rd as they rely on same cars.

    MRS is unique at the moment, not alot of Big Dollar teams, lesser known drivers kind of a working man’s tour. So it offers a training ground to compete on a level playing field. Some guys prefer that, they also have rules, meanwhile the others are like the Wild Wild West. Next year will be interesting to see how the schedules all come out.

  13. Fast Eddie says

    I wonder if many of the smaller teams start out with a game plan for a certain amount of races they can afford to run, and then pick and choose from the various schedules based on their available time. It seems that some teams that used to run all or most of the MRS events are opting to run more of the open and/or TriTrack events instead, no doubt chasing the bigger payouts. And with the open events I believe the lower finishing payouts are better than the MRS, particularly with TriTrack. If I had a mid-pack car I’d much rather race for a $600 – $1000 than half of that.

  14. I would say its usually a grand to unload the car for any of these events not counting tow money, hotel if needed, sometimes its more if you are allowed to buy more tires etc,

    Tri Track usually pays the best to qualify at 700$ plus depending wich Track
    MRS uses less tires but pays 500$ to qualify
    Bullring Bash was 900$ to qualify
    Stafford is 650$ to qualify
    all of these shows have different entry fees so gotta factor that in too

    but when you factor in long tows and overnight stays and entry fees, some of these shows just don’t add up, purse looks strong on paper but a lot of hidden costs actually make it a worse ratio of cost vs payout than the lower paying series. Goal is to get as close to even as you can if you are on a limited budget,

  15. Hillary 2020 says

    I wasn’t going to be duped into thinking around 20 cars were going to show up. But I understand the need to hype up your show. When you can only pull in 17 legend cars when there’s a ton of them around. That’s an issue.

  16. Seems to make more sense for a track to run their own open shows. If a purse is decent and track is a known modified track like Monadnock, Stafford, Star cars will show up and run. Track doesn’t have to pay high fee to sanctioning body like MRS and rules tend to be more inclusive to multiple rule packages. It seems 12 or 16 good cars can put on a good show but you need to have some names in there people want to see. Problem with MRS fields of late is Hinkley, Savory, McKenedy, Pitkat, Nocella, are no longer showing up except for a spot start or two. The guys there every race aren’t names people are going to go watch. This makes it hard for tracks to justify paying the fee to have MRS sanction an event as the gate isn’t going to make it worth it.

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