Pit Box: Thompson Speedway Welcomes Back Whelen Modified Tour

(Press Release from NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)

Justin Bonsignore (Photo:Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)

The good news for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour teams and drivers is that the tour will return to its historic stomping grounds, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, on Wednesday.

The bad news for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour teams and drivers is that championship points leader Justin Bonsignore, coming off a third win in the season’s first six races, will return to Thompson Wednesday.

And did we mention NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Preece will return to his roots with an appearance in the Thompson 150?

The good news for race fans is that there are (limited) tickets available to see this race in person, and the race will also be streamed live on TrackPass on NBC Gold.

Thompson 150


From the tour’s first race at Thompson on March 31, 1985 — won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richie Evans — until 2015, soon-to-be NASCAR Hall of Famer Mike Stefanik set the gold standard for success at the historic Connecticut track.

Stefanik won 15 times in 109 starts.

Ted Christopher came close to matching Stefanik, compiling 13 wins in 91 starts on the banked .625-mile oval in the northeast corner of the state.

Since winning the Icebreaker in 2014 – his second win at Thompson – Bonsignore has won 11 of 23 starts. That’s almost once every other race.

RELATED: Justin Bonsignore at Thompson

In fact, after winning twice there to close out 2016, Bonsignore went through a rough 2017 where he finished ninth or worse in all four races there. Since? He’s reeled off seven wins in eight races, finishing second in the other race.

The silver lining for the man chasing Bonsignore, six-time champion Doug Coby, is he has been pretty good there, too. Coby won the 2019 Bud ‘King of Beers’ 150, his fifth win at Thompson. And over the last 11 starts, hasn’t finished worse than seventh. And that was his title-clinching finish last year where he had to do just enough to earn the title (by eight points) over Bonsignore.

The wild card is Preece.

The 29-year-old Berlin, Connecticut, driver has graduated up to the NASCAR Cup Series. But before he races at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina this weekend, he’ll return home to run the familiar No. 6 T.S. Haulers Chevrolet. Preece has three wins in the tour at Thompson and plenty of victories in the track’s Modified division for the NASCAR Advanced Auto Parts Weekly Series.

Craig Lutz and Jon McKennedy both lost significant ground to Bonsignore in the championship chase at Monadnock. But Lutz has two third-place finishes at Thompson in his last three races there, while McKennedy finished fourth at the World Series finale last year.

RACING REFERENCE: Previous NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races at Thompson | NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour drivers career stats at Thompson | 2020 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Standings


PLACEThompson Speedway Motorsports Park, Thompson, Conn.
DATEWednesday, Sept. 2, 2020
TIME18 p.m. ET
TELEVISION/RADIOTrackpass on NBC Gold (live), 8 p.m. ET; NBCSN — Friday, Sept. 11, 5:30 p.m. ET
TRACK LAYOUT.625-mile paved oval
EVENT SCHEDULESunday, Aug. 30 — Garage opens: 1:45 p.m. ET; Practice: 4-5 p.m.; Qualifying: 6:30 p.m.; Thompson 150: 8 p.m.
TWITTER@ThompsonSpdwy, @NASCARRoots


CREW CHIEF HANDOUT: The starting field for the Thompson 150 is limited to 36, including provisional positions. The field will be set by qualifying (1-30) and provisional process per the entry blank (31-36) for the Thompson 150. In the event that qualifying as stated on this entry blank does not take place for any unforeseen circumstance, the field will be set in accordance with the 2020 NASCAR Touring Series Rule Book.

QUALIFYING: Two consecutive qualifying laps. Faster lap determines qualifying position. Adjustments or repairs may not be made on the vehicle after the vehicle has taken the green flag at the start/finish line. Vehicles will be impounded after qualifying. Vehicle must qualify on race set up.

The Thompson 150 will be 150 laps (93.75 miles) and is to be run in one (1) segments. The tire change rule is three (3) tires, any position. To utilize the third change tire, teams will designate a practice tire purchased at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park to be the third change tire.

The maximum tire allotment available for this event is as follows: Four (4) for qualifying and to start the race, plus an additional four (4) for a total of eight (8) tires.


  1. Relieved to see Preece on this list.
    2 massive wrecks this year in cup, including one last weekend at Daytona. Would not have blamed him a bit if he took a “bye” on this one. Guy has grit. Needs something very positive, and I hope Thompson is good medicine for him.

  2. I’m going with JBon for the win, with Swanson hot on his heels. Coby coming in 3rd with Preece and Williams filling out the top 5.


  4. Suitcase Jake says

    Looking forward to Thompson Tomorrow !! The Best place for Modifieds in my Lifetime. Having a ton of trips to the High Banks since the 70’s , So many fantastic Memories. I just wanna support the new operators . I can watch it free on NBC Gold, but wanna be there just to see and feel those Mighty Modifieds
    come Roaring by at High Speed. Two grooves of side by side racing with the best drivers in the Country there is just no other Track that showcases the Modifieds quite like Thompson. Some of the races at NHIS have been real good too, but some have been single file wagon trail rides too. For my top 5 i will go with the #7NY Mc Kennedy to finally Break through for a Big Win. Second i will go with the #85 of Silk. Third the # 10 of Coby. Fourth I will take OLD BLUE # 3 Swanson , Boehlers have T figured out all the way back to when Lenny first started coming down with Bugsy . Fifth I will go with # 6 of Preece.
    Enjoy the races any way you can !! the # 51 has been crazy hot but i think his luck runs out this time…

  5. What would be totally awesome … Tour Mods on the road course, maybe Act late models as well…Right turn Clyde.

  6. Way to fire everyone up Jake. Don’t even agree with you on the track but I’m fired up baby.
    Preece for 5th huh. Good pick. Realistic and coming in 5th as a drop in, not piloting the latest Fury or LFR creation would be a swell finish.
    I’ll stick with Amy Catalano for the win. What’s that you say? No Amy. Actually no Catalano. Hmmm, that is a shame.
    No picks. Hoping for surprises in the top 5. The 82, 50, Slammin Sammie, Goody or Sap. Or the other Bonsignor perhaps. Or how about a guy that really deserves it like Sundays victim of Darth Vadar?

  7. Suitcase Jake says

    Get Fired up Doug… The Sweet Sounds of the Squad Coming Tonight … You did sorta make a few picks
    I will call them Dougs Wild Card Top 5 . Upset Winner of The # 82 of Nocella, the # 50 of Williams, The #36 of Sapienzia and # 58 Goodale . Slammin Sammy , Victim of Darth Vader ???? Please explain >>???
    Can’t wait to just sit there and enjoy the time trials even, Very Rarely do i sit through time trials but this time I will Watch Time Trials… LOL Have fun enjoy the Races any way you Can… Start your Engines !!!!!!!

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