Heated Fight: Derek Gluchacki Tops Dramatic Late Model Features At Thompson Icebreaker 

Derek Gluchacki celebrates victory in the Late Model feature Friday at the Icebreaker at Thompson Speedway (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)

THOMPSON – By the time the Late Model division at Thompson Speedway hit the track Friday evening, the temperatures in the air had fallen down into the 30’s. 

But those chilly temperatures couldn’t stop things from heating up late for the division. 

Derek Gluchacki of North Dartmouth, Mass. got by Jake Johnson on the final lap to win the 30-lap Late Model feature Friday at Thompson Speedway. 

“I couldn’t catch a break there in the beginning,” Gluchacki said. “Wrong lane, wrong time, stuff like that. We finally found a few holes and we were able to get through there. That was a great time racing with [Johnson]. It was awesome. I hope everyone here enjoyed it.” 

Johnson, of Rehoboth, Mass., ended up second after leading every lap but the final one. Johnson was making his debut in the Hartwell Motorsports Late Model ride. 

Nick Johnson of Rehoboth, Mass. was third. 

Gluchacki got a nose under Jake Johnson off of turn four on lap 29. Gluchacki used a strong run off turn two to carry a big momentum run low into turn three. The pair went side-by-side through the final corner with Gluchacki winning the drag race to the checkered. 

“We had a strong piece,” Jake Johnson said. “… I’m having a lot of fun racing with these guys. I wish I could have been one spot better.”

On lap 10 Brian Tagg caught the bumper of Jake Johnson out front. On lap 11 Tagg found a lane under Jake Johnson out of turn four and the two came to the start/finish line side-by-side to complete the lap. But in turn one Tagg had to correct in the corner and fell back to fifth.

The red flag flew on lap 19 when Mike Benavides got into the wall in turn one with Johnson out front, Devin Deshaies in second and Derek Gluchaki in third. 

On the restart it was Gluchaki getting by Deshaies for second place. In turn two Deshaies and fourth place Matt Lowinski-Loh made contact with Deshaies getting sideways off the corner to bring the caution back out again. 

On the next restart it was Jake Johnson holding the lead and leaving Gluchaki and Lowinski-Loh battling behind him. 

On lap 20 Lowinski-Loh found a lane under Gluchaki for second. The two went side-by-side to the line in the battle for second on lap 21. On lap 22 Gluchacki got by Lowinski-Loh to take control of second place, with Nick Johnson moving to third. 

Kris Watson of Kenduskeag, Maine won the 50-lap Open Street Stock feature. Ryan Waterman of Danielson was second and Jon Porter of East Lyme third.

Duane Noll of Monroe won the 35-lap Pro Truck feature. Gerard Giordano of Freeport, N.Y. was second and Todd Taylor of Stonington third.

Cody LeBlanc of Berlin, N.H. held off Desmond Skillings on a lap 20 restart and drove away over the closing laps to win the 25-lap Mighty Mini Stock feature. 

Skillings, of Antrim, N.H., held on for second and Erin Aiken of Claremont, N.H. was third. 

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