Late Model Showdown Part Of Busy Wednesday Racing Card At Thompson



(Press Release from American-Canadian Tour)


Tom Carey III celebrates victory in the Late Model feature at the Icebreaker on April 10 (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)

Some of the top local Late Model stars are expected on Wednesday, June 16 when Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park roars back to life for the second time this season. Although the special mid-week event will be headlined by the second round of the Outlaw Open Modified Series, with the Nutmeg State 75 presented by Twisted Tea worth $5,000 to the winner, the Late Models are one of five local divisions in action.

Competitors are set for a 25-lap feature in what will be a hotly contested battle. Some of the top drivers from the Icebreaker are expected back for another round. One of those drivers is Woody Pitkat, a multi-time Thompson Speedway champion who is no stranger to success over the last few years. Pitkat swept both races in the COVID-shortened 2020 season at the 0.625-mile oval, including the 50-lap World Series showdown where he took home $4,800 in purse and lap money.

In 2019, Pitkat came just a few laps from championship contention, but a wreck took him out of the race late. Over the last three years, he’s been the winningest driver in the tough division.

“We were dominant there with the car last year and the new tire this year for the Late Models has given us a little bit of a curveball,” Pitkat said. “But, everyone is in the same boat out there on the tires. We just have to continue to work on the car and get it better.”

Pitkat will be looking to advance from his fourth-place finish at the Icebreaker driving for Hartwell Motorsports, a team which has proven to be a successful combination. He’s expected to be joined by the likes of Nick Johnson, Mark Jenison, Shawn Monahan and Icebreaker winner Tom Carey III, among others. Carey is coming off his first career American-Canadian Tour triumph at White Mountain Motorsports Park on Saturday and will be carrying momentum.

Pitkat is hoping the adjustments the team made over the two-month break will help the speed in his entry.

“We had something good going at the Icebreaker during the heat race, but I got nervous and I asked my crew to change it a little bit and it didn’t work out,” Pitkat said. “What worked last year didn’t quite work this time around. Hopefully we have a good night and we can have a good finish.”

Pitkat is also one of several drivers who have declared Thompson Speedway their “home track” in the inaugural New England Late Model Challenge Cup. Brian Tagg, Ryan Morgan, Charles Bailey III, and others are chasing a $5,000 top prize for the Challenge Cup champion. Contingency prizes from Port City Racecars/Crazy Horse Racing, Five Star Race Car Bodies, and ARBodies are also on the line.

Outside of the Late Models, the Sunoco Modifieds return to competition with a 30-lap feature, while the Mini Stocks are set for a 15-lap contest. The SK Light Modifieds are set for 20 circuits, coming off their photo finish at the Icebreaker, while the always exciting Vandi Auto Supply Limited Sportsmen will hit the track for 20 laps of their own.

Headlining the night is the Nutmeg State 75 presented by Twisted Tea for the Outlaw Open Modified Series. Some of the top names in asphalt Modified racing are expected to visit the Connecticut oval. Names like Mike Christopher Jr., Matt Swanson, Jon McKennedy, Keith Rocco, Ronnie Williams and others have already entered what should be a tight field of racers.

NASCAR Cup Series regular Ryan Preece, a two-time Thompson Speedway Modified champion, has entered both the Nutmeg State 75 presented by Twisted Tea and the July 7 Sam Adams Wicked Hazy IPA Spirit of 76. In local action, Rocco (Sunoco Modifieds), Carey (Late Models), Jared Roy (Mini Stocks) and Larry Barnett (Limited Sportsman) all look to back-up their victories at the Icebreaker and grab their second straight.

At the Icebreaker, Ron Silk won the debut of the Outlaw Open Modified Series in a 125-lap event. The Nutmeg State 75 is the second of six events, culminating with the $20,000-to-win Thompson 300 as part of the World Series of Speedway Racing on October 8-10.

All of Thompson’s Wednesday night races will be sponsored by Boston Beer Company and Hartford Distributing. The Wednesday schedule also includes races on July 7, August 11, and September 15.

Qualifying for the Nutmeg State 75 presented by Twisted Tea begins at 6:00pm on Wednesday, June 16 with features to follow. The pits for the June 16 program open at 2:00pm with practice set for 4:00-5:30pm. The main grandstands open at 3:30pm. All six divisions that are in action will compete in both qualifying and feature racing. The 75-lap, $5,000-to-win showdown for the Outlaw Open Modified Series will wrap up the night.

General admission is $30 for adults, $10 for kids ages 6-12, and free for kids ages 5 and under. and under. Speed51.TV will also have a live pay-per-view broadcast for those who can’t make it to the track. Sign up at www.speed51.tv/products/ppv-outlaw-open-modified-series-at-thompson.

For more information about the American-Canadian Tour, contact the ACT offices at (802) 244-6963, [email protected], or visit www.acttour.com. You can also get updates on Facebook and Twitter at @ACTTour.

For technical information concerning all PASS divisions, and for media or marketing questions, please contact [email protected] or visit www.proallstarsseries.com. Don’t forget to “Like” the Pro All Stars Series on Facebook or follow on Twitter @PASSSLM14 to keep up with breaking news as it happens.

For general Thompson Speedway inquiries, call (860) 923-2280, email [email protected], or visit www.thompsonspeedway.com. You can follow Thompson Speedway on Facebook and Instagram at @ThompsonSpeedway or on Twitter at @ThompsonSpdwy.

Comments

  1. No one seems to mention it in this forum but Vault Productions show Making Laps featuring the Gleason brothers Brent and Jesse should be getting some mentions in my view. Brent being a moderately successful driver in the Limited Sportsman at Thompson. The limited schedule gives him plenty of time to do the podcast. They entertain guest’s as well including Bonssa Tufa in the latest episode that helps promote local racing and inform fans.
    So what’s bad about Making Laps. Not much really. They like to call fans expressing opinions on social media DARF’s. They say 90% are DARF’s actually. Probably not a good idea to insult your audience but Brent and Jesse are Darf’s as well on some topics including Ted Christopher’s career. They also drop a slow but steady stream of snarky political asides. Mostly the ignorant stuff you’d hear on a right wing talk radio call in shows. NASCAR shouldn’t be going to “Commifornia” I could do without but considering the audience perhaps it plays well.
    As for the good there’s far more of that. Jesse and Brent have a broad knowledge in racing from the highest levels of NASCAR and Indy cars to the support divisions at the Connecticut tracks. Far more then most any of us in this forum for sure. They don’t cover all the races at all the tracks in Connecticut but they cover a lot of the races at all the tracks in Connecticut with some pretty accurate and at times controversial commentary. They’ve joined FloRacing to enhance their reach for races, yet another endorsement for the importance of streaming in broadening it’s exposure to more people. They don’t mind poking fun at themselves and for the most part offer intelligent commentary with just the right amount of colorful but not too sallty asides sprinkled in for affect.
    We talked here about the Mike Jr/Rocco dust up at Waterford last time out and in the second to last episode they talked about that. Bonssa Tufa in the last episode on the podcast, a chance to get to know him better and the behind the scenes on his TC doc.
    In this forum there are a lot of folks that are only interested in the top divisions and tours in local racing and the show would probably have little interest for them. For the A to Z fans that love all the divisions and everything about all the tracks in Connecticut this should be a must watch show on Youtube. The best part is that as insiders they have a library of racing minutia and first hand experiences that none of we fans can match on any level. These guys will fire you up, get you mad and inform you all at the same time. Yet another new and good thing to local racing compliments of the creativity of Vault Productions and made possible by all the technology available now.

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