Wake Up Call: Ronnie Williams Wins Monaco Modified Tri-Track Opener At Thunder Road 

Ronnie Williams celebrates victory in the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series Granite City 100 Sunday at Thunder Road (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

BARRE, VT – It was a long journey Sunday morning for Ronnie Williams from his Connecticut home to Barre, VT. One that started with him hitting the road at 4 am for the three-hour plus roll north. 

And like the long day, it was a long journey back to victory lane with the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series for the Tolland driver. 

Williams had the field covered for the majority of the way Sunday to roll to victory in the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series season opening Granite City 100 at Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre. 

Williams passed Doug Coby for the lead on lap 36 and never trailed again. 

“Me beating one of the best Modified drivers probably with Doug Coby is pretty cool,” said Williams, who started 12th. “I haven’t raced with him a lot, just being in different stuff. He’s mostly done [NASCAR Whelen Modified] Tour stuff and me being in SK [Modifieds] and [Open] Modifieds, it’s cool finally race with him. 

“Great car by these guys. I can’t thank these guys enough. They put the time and effort into this thing and I just have to come out here and drive. If I do my job correctly we’ll end up [in victory lane]. It’s a pretty awesome feeling.” 

It was the second career Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series victory for Williams, of Ellington, who earned $10,000 for the win. He got his first on June 26, 2019 at Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway on the way to winning the series title that season. Sunday’s event marked the second consecutive year the series has competed at Thunder Road. Williams finished fourth in the division’s inaugural event at the track in 2022. 

“It’s pretty cool,” Williams said. “Coming up here, waking up at whatever it was, 4 [am] to come up here. I love this track. This track is awesome. I wish it was closer to home. As many times as the Tri-Track wants to come here I’ll come here. … Hopefully we come back here next year.” 

Coby, of Milford, was second and Woody Pitkat of Stafford third. 

The first caution flew on lap eight for a crash on the frontstretch involving Les Hinckley III and Chris Pasteryak. Officials quickly showed the red flag for the incident with Hinckley’s car coming to rest on it’s side against the wall directly below the starter’s stand. Hinckley and Pasteryak were battling for 15th place off of turn four. Contact sent Pasteryak spinning in front of Hinckley and Hinckley’s car ultimately drove up the wall off of the turn. 

After a long delay for cleanup the race went back to green, but was almost immediately back to caution. Austin Beers held the top spot on the restart. In seventh place, Matt Hirschman had an issue coming off of turn two and spun, collecting Anthony Nocella, Ron Silk and others. 

On the next restart it was second place Coby finding a lane underneath race leader Beers. The pair came to the line side-by-side to complete lap 8 before Coby completed the pass for the lead on lap nine, with Chase Dowling following to second and Williams to third. 

On lap 17, with Coby leading, Williams in second and Dowling in third, the third caution flew with Sam Rameau getting into the frontstretch wall. Coby continued to hold the top spot on the ensuing restart, with Williams giving him chase in second. 

After pestering Coby’s bumper for two laps, Williams found a lane low into turn three and came off of turn four with the lead on lap 36. With Williams leading, Coby in second and Matt Swanson in third, the fourth caution of the day flew on lap 71 for slowing car of Beers. Williams was able to get away from Coby and Swanson on the ensuing restart. 

“Ronnie is known to go really hard and I did not want to go that hard,” Coby said. “So when he went by me I was content to let him go knowing with the ‘Cone Rule’ I could start third every time during a caution. I was content running second. Then he did not start wiggling like he normally does, so they made great adjustments for the feature. He was driving a line that I thought maybe if I could get some good forward drive, I could close in on him when I wanted to. But we got a little too free at corners, so I had to make sure that I did not kill the thing trying to get to him.”

The fifth caution of the event flew on lap 88 for the stopped car of Bryan Narducci, who had been battling with Hirschman for sixth place before suspension issues brought him to a halt near the pit entrance. Williams led Coby with Mike Christopher Jr. in third when the caution flew. 

On the lap 88 restart it was Williams quickly checking out. Behind him Coby and Christopher battled for second place, with Christopher ending up making contact with the backstretch wall and falling to 10th place. Pitkat was able to move to third.

“I pretty much won everything today,” Pitkat said. “I won practice, I won the tire scrub and I won my heat race. It was a good race. I probably got a little greedy there. I was pretty confident that I had a good car the whole day, so I got greedy and took the top early in the race. I was thinking maybe if I could get down I could take the lead to set my own pace. Because it is very hard to pass here. It is pretty narrow. That plan did not work well and I fell back to ninth at one point. After that I decided to just pick and choose the bottom to get back up front.”

Pasteryak rallied from his early race wreck to finish fourth and Swanson was fifth. David Arute, making his series debut, was sixth.

Denise DuPont contributed to this report


  1. Ouch.

    That was brutal.

    Just brutal.

    If it wasn’t rapid-fire wrecking it was a freight train.

    The dude that drove into the T3 wall under yellow was a trip. Made his parents so proud.

    The 60 spun on his own, very uncharacteristic.

    But this looked like the first season of the MRS. We used to laugh at those races.

    Glad to see Pasteryak recover and finish rather well. Woody was there too.

    So can we agree this was a Mulligan for Tri-Track?

  2. bill michael says

    congrats on yr win ronnie

  3. so we held the tour accountable for *checks notes* a pit reporter/announcer mispronouncing some names.

    When are we going to hold Tri Track accountable for their below average telecasts? They are the NE’s “favorite” modified series, apparently. 1 manned roof cam and very zoomed out 1 stationary cam just doesn’t cut it these days. Constantly lagging stream. only 1 announcer, no roaming pit/victory lane cam, no reporter, no produced content/recorded interviews to set the stage of the day.

    I would take some mispronounced names over an all around disappointment that tri-track’s telecasts are.

    Also of note, bad week or two all around for the people that care about car count more than anything and don’t think you can have a good race unless you are sending 10 people home.

  4. Hillary 2024 says

    If the fans didn’t show up for Lee but packed Thunder road, it wasn’t due to car count. Very poor showing for both series although it is expected with the Whelen tour.

  5. Zig13,
    The Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series has no streaming agreement for their series events. They have nothing to do with the broadcasts of their events. Their events that are broadcast are done so because the track where they are racing has their own streaming agreement in place.

  6. Never said they did. And it’s not really my problem.

    Streaming telecasts are an important part of a series reach these days. Letting bad ones be put out of your series is not a good look. Watchers don’t care who is technically putting the telecast on.

    This will probably be the 2nd best telecast the series has this year, behind Stafford. That embarrassing for the series.

  7. Zig,
    Just to be clear, you said: “When are we going to hold Tri Track accountable for their below average telecasts?” Again, how do we hold them accountable for something they have no control over? As far as what goes out and how it reflects on any series or track, I agree with you to some extent, and I think the Tri-Track managment is aware of that too. But I think at this moment they’re focused on other aspects of the business they see as being more important to their growth. And when you consider the attendance they get for most events, I can understand why it’s not at the forefront for them at the moment.

  8. Just because they don’t actively control it at the moment doesn’t mean they can’t.

    They can control and sell the telecast rights just the same as any other series in the country. They can set standards that need to be met. And they can choose to go to places that meet them. Or they can choose to bring a crew of their own.

    There are plenty of examples of different parts of an event being telecast by different crews/services.

  9. Robert B says

    Fun day, great weather and what a facility. One thing not pointed out was Williams started 12th then methodically picked off drivers one at a time, picked the right lanes for restarts then saved enough to stay ahead of Coby when he needed it the most. A very patient/aggressive drive to the front that was fun to watch. Long drive home but definitely worth the ride. I’d recommend if you can, you have to make the trip. You won’t be disappointed!!

  10. That was an impressive run by the 50. Coby in his own ride as well.
    We’ve seen the really young Ronnie Williams in his family car perhaps a little over his head starting out in the SK’s. I loved rooting for that Ronnie Williams. Then the multi time SK champ in the 50, college educated, maybe a little full of himself. Probably the smartest guy in the room and knew it. Racing career going well and a career already mapped out in the family business. I loved rooting against that Ronnie Williams. Is this Ronnie Williams different? Wife and the beginnings of a family, smiling, hugging seemingly really enjoying being in the moment. Is this a new, softer, more cuddly Ronnie Williams emerging?

  11. Here comes the gauntlet of Tour Type schedule

    From end of May till Sept the Calander is packed with Races and will spread car counts to lower than anticipated levels. Tri Track just got a taste of it, Stafford did as well last week.

    Racing Guy’s

    and a Loaded Nascar Schedule piled on-top of it all

  12. Congratulations to Ronnie, Adam and the #50 team. Great job.

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