Title Time: Jacob Perry Wins Modified Racing Series Championship; Ronnie Williams Scores Victory At Thompson 

Jacob Perry celebrates the 2022 Modified Racing Series championship Friday at Thompson Speedway (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)

THOMPSON – As Jacob Perry wildly spun jubilant burnouts in turn four of Thompson Speedway smoke billowed in the night air and out over the track. 

That smoke fading away the same way he could finally shake the nerves that ruled his day Friday at Thompson Speedway. 

Perry shook off the anxiety of trying to chase a championship in masterful style Friday at the Sunoco World Series at Thompson Speedway. 

Perry used an 11th place finish in the season ending event for the Modified Racing Series to clinch his first series title. 

Perry went into the 75-lap event trailing Kirk Alexander by 12 points in the series standings. Alexander finished 22nd. Perry unofficially finished eight points ahead of Alexander in the final series standings. 

“The emotion is indescribable really,” Perry said. “It’s been a dream of mine to be a Modified champion. I grew up watching the Modifieds here. I grew up watching my dad racing at Thompson in the Late Models and then the SK [Modifieds]. But Thompson has also been one of those places that has bit me. I’ve struggled here before.” 

Ronnie Williams of Ellington cruised easily to victory in the event. 

It was the first series title for Perry, who is in his second year running full-time in the division for car owner Jack Bateman. 

“I’m just super grateful for the opportunity from Jack Bateman,” Perry said. “A very chaotic year. It was a comeback story. We started off with two really really bad races and then we were able to just keep chugging along and closing the deal. I had no idea what the points were until last week.” 

“I knew we were coming in tight in the points. After the heat race I was walking around with my head low. I thought I was going to puke. I was all nervous.” 

Perry was running 16th at lap 21 with Alexander running 24th. While Perry climbed closer to the top-10 Alexander was struggling. On lap 35 then race leader Craig Lutz put Alexander a lap down. He would never get back on the lead lap. 

Perry briefly got up to tenth before settling into 11th in the closing laps. 

“The thing you worry about at Thompson Speedway is the banzai,” Perry said about trying avoid disaster late in the race. “You know it’s coming, it’s a matter of when and where. I had a lot of guys race us with a ton of respect tonight knowing that we were one of the championship contenders, and I can’t thank them enough. A couple guys gave us a hard time and raced us like they race. And I don’t have a problem with that. I didn’t expect anybody to move over and let us go, I expected to race. 

“I just kept telling myself, ‘Hit your marks, one lap after the next, I’m not celebrating until this thing is completely over.’ I didn’t know much about [Alexander]. I didn’t know where he was, I didn’t know anything. I didn’t ask question. I hate that stuff.” 

Jacob Perry rolls out of his celebratory burnout in turn four Friday at Thompson Speedway (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)

The first caution of the race came on lap 42 when Tommy Barrett Jr. stopped on the track. Officials determined Barrett stopped intentionally to bring out the caution and he was parked for the remainder of the event. 

The second and final caution flew on lap 53. Williams checked out from the field over the final 20 laps. 

“[Team owner Gary Casella] and these guys always give me a good race car. We just kind of had weird luck this year. … I know we could be a little bit better for tomorrow too. … I can’t thank these guys enough for all the hard work they do.”

Max Zachem of Preston was second in Friday’s MRS feature and Eric Goodale of Riverhead, NY was third.

Ronnie Williams celebrates victory in the Modified Racing Series feature Friday at Thompson Speedway (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)


  1. Are you kidding….32 cars for an MRS race. And some really good cars as well. Perry and Alexander perhaps wanting a simple finale populated by the MRS regulars and end up having to negotiate a meat grinder. Credit it all the the power of the World Series which means for now the promoters ACT/PASS.
    This is the annual three day grind for the publisher of this site and I for one appreciate the amount of effort it takes to pull off a one man show of reporting. Watching victory lane in the MRS race seeing Mr. Courchesne at work. Did that announcer push your recorder away? Anyway, it’s after 10, chilly, got to get the quotes then what? Hustle back up to the chilly press box and lap top to write this nicely penned piece capturing Perry’s excitement. Getting the quotes right, editing and publishing it right on the spot then comes the really amazing part. Providing it to the racing fans not for free but at no cost to them. I’m not so amazed you can do it once or a few times but this three day grind is really old by now and you’re still maintaining a high level of performance when most would phone it in by now.
    Was it a good race? That Cassela 25 has a history of success at Thompson so that was no surprise. 7ny seemed to under perform as well as the 88 while the 20 finished consistent with the speed it’s been showing lately only this time the driver didn’t screw it up. Love seeing Goodale on the podium. Lately he’s turned into a really good strategic driver.
    What a contrast in victory lane. Even after a win Williams just seems bored and uninspired. Perry’s enthusiasm off the charts. I suppose someone, somewhere will be cynical about an 11th place finish to win a limited race schedule with low car counts and less the stellar cars competing but that would be missing the point. Missing the unbridled enthusiasm of youth accomplishing a goal early in life something the vast majority of us don’t come close to doing. I’m not too old to savor every bit of that potent elixir Perry has brewed up that Mr. Courchesne captured so well on the fly.

  2. With the win or fourth place finish the #25 Casella team took the owners championship.

  3. Doug,
    Yes the announcer did push my recorder out of the way and my recorder was not blocking anyone’s camera shot or microphone flag or anything like that. I don’t know who that announcer is, though from what I gathered last night, he apparently thinks he’s the second coming of Chris Economaki, or something like that. I approached him after and asked him what the deal was and the guy called me “rude” and angrily accused me of getting in the way of photographers shooting pictures of him interviewing Jacob Perry. That was a new one to me, the track announcer who is worried he’s not going to get a good photo with the champion. And trust me, no photographers were shooting pictures of the announcer interviewing Jacob. I appreciate the kind words. And I do have some great folks who help assist me at most events. Jim DuPont, Denise DuPont, Curtis DuPont and Fran Lawlor deserve some of the credit for what they do. I enjoy the World Series, and yes it’s a grind. It’s just unfortunate when you have issues like that. I ended up locked in the track because I took the time to write a good story about the division’s race and championship. And I’m not patting myself on the back saying this, but I was the only media outlet on site covering that MRS event and that was the show of appreciation I got from that series representative. And people wonder why the division exists these days almost invisibly.

  4. Good post Doug and great work Shawn, I can’t attend and appreciate all the effort.. as always.. what a weekend for racing!

  5. Hillary 2024 says

    Must be a new announcer for the mrs. I didn’t recognize the voice. Looks like great car counts for the mods which is awesome to see. I just wonder if the mid week shows will go on in the future. The rumor mill is running strong and some things that are being questioned is the future of the oval. All we can do is enjoy this weekend and hope for the best. And don’t forget to bundle up tonight. Could be one of the coldest world series in a while. The fire ball sales should be high tonight. 🥃🍺

  6. Line of the day….Second coming of Chris Economacki😄

  7. Congrats to Ronnie Williams and team for winning the MRS race Friday. Great job. Congrats to Jacob Perry, Jack Bateman and the #47 team on winning the 2022 MRS Championship. Great job.

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