Ronnie Williams Tops Thompson Outlaw Modified Nutmeg State 50 At Thompson Speedway 

Ronnie Williams celebrates victory in the Thompson Outlaw Modified Nutmeg State 50 presented by Twisted Tea Thursday at Thompson Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

THOMPSON – The Thompson Outlaw Modified features at Thompson Speedway are known this year as a Dash for Cash event by the event promoters. 

On Thursday Ronnie Williams did the dashing and the cashing. 

Williams, of Tolland, sprinted to the lead on lap two and never looked back on the way to victory in the 50-lap Thompson Outlaw Modified Nutmeg State 50 presented by Twisted Tea Thursday at Thompson Speedway. 

The event had six cars entered. (Click to listen to the drivers in the field analyze why so few cars were at Thompson Thursday)

“Of course we want to have more cars and put on a show for the fans,” Williams said. “I had a little struggle the first part of the season so hopefully this gets the monkey off our back and we come back here stronger.” 

Williams earned $5,000 for the win.

Matt Swanson of Acton, Mass. was second. 

“Not bad, we’ve kind of been on a good little stride here, having good runs at not only small track, but big tracks as well where we’ve kind of struggled since I took over [this car] full-time,” Swanson said. “Nonetheless these guys do an amazing job just continuously trying to make this race car better. Obviously that 50 is in a class of their own here at Thompson. Ronnie is a hell of a driver and that whole team over there, they bust their butts. … Just really happy to be running good here and be competitive with the cars that we know are competitive.” 

Jacob Perry of Pawcatuck was third. 

“We had a really good car tonight,” Perry said. “Unfortunately we fought a skip all day. It kind of killed us in practice. We didn’t really get to dial on the car at all so we just kind of hope and prayed for the feature. The car was great, unfortunately the skip was still there. We fired off pretty decent and then unfortunately it just got worse and worse.” 

RJ Marcotte was fourth, Kevin Folan fifth and Josh Carey sixth. 


  1. Ouch. This does not bode well for the June 27th event right after Open Wheel Wednesday.

  2. Open wheel Fan says

    The best thing the two promoters could do is pull the plug on the Thursday night open modified events. Deplorable car counts except for late models. June 27th will be total disaster as was last night. Worst night of racing I have ever witnessed. Four of us attended and will be our last except for modified tour events. Open modified events are not worth the time or money. Show was a total disaster and future shows will be the same.

  3. It just shows that Track promotion is awful not racing weekly will kill this iconic track people are not going to build cars to race 3-4 times a year and fans deserve better for the price they pay Open the track on Sundays from May till October And make it Worth it to Competitors

  4. @Henry Thompson seems to have a hard enough time making the open races $5,000 to win. I’m just not sure where they are going to find the purse money to support weekly racing, not to mention the money to staff the track every week. We might just have to face the reality that Thompson is just for special events like the Whelen Tour. Or maybe the rumored NASCAR truck race in Connecticut is headed Thompson’s way? I don’t know if that will be enough for the track to survive, but lots of tracks around the country survive with only one race date a year so maybe?

  5. Fast Eddie says

    Surprised there weren’t more Open cars. Late models and street stocks were the best races along with the skl’s. After Chapman took the lead the battle for second was pretty cool. I appreciate what they’re trying to do with the 604’s, but there aren’t many NH teams joining in. It seems to have taken cars out of the skl lineup.

  6. Marshall says

    @Fast Eddie I’m honestly not sure what they’re trying to do with the 604 mods. Keith Rocco said he didn’t have any cars that could run in that division because of the different engine package. I don’t know if any other track around Thompson has a “604” mod program, so maybe they should have picked an engine package more people ran? I’m definitely limited in my understanding though.

  7. Congrats to Ronnie,Adam, Les and the whole #50 team. Great job.

  8. 6 CARS!!! Midweek events are going to kill this track

  9. I’m not sure why they didn’t pull the race from the card. Was it worth running 6 cars out there and having the negative commentary that would follow. It sounds like a more deeper issue as to why they aren’t getting cars to show up. I wonder if it’s just a Thompson issue or a north east issue?

  10. J.A

    so your solution for the low car count is to cancel the event? that will surely lead to more support of your future events.

    And i dont know if you’ve noticed, but tour modified racing is struggling in the NE right now. of course the lower end events are going to get like this.

  11. Suitcase Jake says

    Lets not forget that Stafford had a Race the following night that had 3 laps in and many of the cars were going back to finish that Open Event… They just can’t be 2 places at once along with their cars were SET UP to Run the Stafford Race and they already had tires paid for to Run Stafford… The Icebreaker , The Mod Tour in August . Along with the World Series are the BIG MONEY MAKERS… BIG 3 so to speak… The 604 are supposed to be a less expensive option to run a Modified.. They have Strong Cars counts up at Monadnock an in NH… I believe they could put on a Great Shows at Thompson if they can Increase their numbers.. I know the “Men from Maine.” are also trying to get a Consistent Day to run their events form Thompson Owners and that would help a lot…Hoping the BIG 3 RACES can keep Thompson Alive until a solid schedule can be ironed out…A Truck Race on the high banks would be EPIC !!!!!

  12. Fast Eddie says

    Great point Suitcase particularly the $$tire$$ issue. The (former?) NHSTRA Modifieds run 604’s used to have 16-18 car counts at Monadnock, but the last few of times I saw them there were 10-12.

  13. Hillary 2024 says

    And yet again, reading comments on social media cement the fact that race fans are some of the dumbest sports fans around. ” But why can’t Thompson run Saturdays? Waterford is all but done. Surely if given the choice drivers would choose Thompson over Waterford in a heartbeat”. 🤣🤣🤣🤣
    Thompson had 6 ministocks, 8 604’s, 5 tour mods. It’s also funny how some got all excited about the return of TNT. Like moving from Wednesday to Thursday was somehow going to be a game changer. I don’t know what they’re going to do but who in their right mind is going to pay a $30 ticket price again next time when it’ll probably be 5 cars again? Stick a fork in the midweek show. Icebreaker and world series is all that works.

  14. Zig,

    My solution isn’t to cancel the event but postpone the race. What happens if there were two cars out there, do you still run the race? I don’t know what a magical number to reach to have a decent show for modified, but to have only 6 is pretty disappointing. Am I going to drive 45 minutes to an hour to see 6 cars run? Probably not. I’m sure there are people working behind the scenes to fix it. From the earlier comment, why is there a show the night after open wheel Wednesday. That’s just bad planning unless I missed something.

  15. Check this out for a recent history of tour mods at Thompson. Does this sound about right? Referring to scheduled races only not races actually run because of weather issues.

    2018-2019-Thompson had moved on from the oval track so promoters like Josh Vanada and Terry Eames tried to fill the void. Basically their season consisted of NWMT events with other shows lead by the Sunoco Modifieds (SK’s) as the premier division. In 2019 three NWMT events, 3 lead by Sunoco Modifieds, with the NASCAR K&N Pro East 100 & ACT Tour 75 the premier division in one event. Bottom line 3 tour modified type events.

    2019-2020 . Kind of blurry but here’s the gist. All plans for 2020 got put on hold because of the pandemic the first casualty being the Icebreaker. On June 29, 2020 Tery Eames and Thompson announce a new operational group (Econn Motorsports) scheduling two events to salvage a 2020 season. The deck chairs get shuffled, Econn Motorsports is out with ACT/PASS taking over what was left on 2020 highlighted by their 2020 World Series lineup.

    2021-Act/Pass makes their first bold moves. NWMT is out and opens are in. A 125 lap open for the Icebreaker, the return of the Thompson 300 at the World Series plus 4 mid season events for a total of 6 tour type modified events. From 2019 to 2021 that’s an expansion of 3 tour type modified races.

    2022-more bold moves. More open shows for the Icebreaker and mid season with shows featuring the Sunoco Modifeds left in the previous decade. NWMT is back for an August event and the World Series. MRS joins the return of NASCAR at the World Series expanding the tour type modified schedule to 7 events.

    2023-The NWMT back for the August race and World Series. The bigger news is for the first time ever the World Series has three tour type modified events with an Open race and the MRS joining the Tour. Icebreaker an Act/Pass brand open with in season opens highlighted by the introduction of the 50 lap Dash for Cash series in an attempt to attract more teams to the mid week shows. Total tour type events scheduled expanded again to 8 total.

    2024- The headline 12 events scheduled including the MMTTS. NWMT for 3 events including the Icebreaker. MMTTS at the Icebreaker and World Series plus 6 mid season Dash for Cash 50 lap events events with one on a Sunday. Add the ACT/Pass World mod open of 100 laps and that totals 12 tour type modified events.

    Might not have gotten every data point correct but it’s substantially correct.
    So what going on here? Everything ACT/PASS does looks great on paper. Consistent expansion with a steady pipeline of new ideas. Leaving the mid season shows headed up by the SK’s in the last decade and going with tour type modifieds only. The Thompson 300 attempted but with no legs for the long term. Going to the 50 laps sprint format a bold move to attract more cars the worked at first but just fizzled. Three tour type modified features at the World Series. Helping racers save money on engines with the 604 Crate Mod rules but leaving a population of race ready SK’s in the shops.
    Could it be everything they do while sounding great is just too outside the box, too many bold moves and too fast? Are they enhancing local short track racing with all the different attempts to connect with fans and teams. Of are they just throwing all their darts at the dartboard hoping one or two will be a winner when in fact they’re watering down the tour modified product for fans and teams?
    Could it be in the current environment that less is more?

  16. The cancellation of the June 7th open 80 at Stafford to the 14th doomed Thompson. I’d like to think if the show was run on the 7th as scheduled more teams would have shown up for the Dash for Cash 50 at Thompson.

  17. Hillary 2024 says

    Been seeing numerous complaints about people not even knowing Thompson was running Thursday. And not just from some Joe shmoe racing fans. From some hard core fans. I don’t know how that’s even possible but it’s a problem. But then again that should have nothing to do with the deplorable car counts.

  18. Why does Thompson run SK lights but not the SKs? Is it a licensing issue since SKs are a trademark of Stafford? Or does Thompson not want to pull from the same teams as Stafford and Waterford for a third straight night?

  19. Marshall,
    Thompson ran SK Modifieds for decades, they were just called Sunoco Modifieds.

  20. Okay seriously I want to know from a car owner or driver what ACTUALLY is the reason why teams don’t show up? Based off some car owners in FB comments it sounds like it’s straight up cost to have a modified- coupled with too many races to choose from and needing people to help. So the day of the week excuse doesn’t seem to be as big of a deal, (even though I think anyone with half a brain would rather do their hobby on an off day from work than during the work week).
    Also, and I hate saying this because I like open shows, I believe for Tour Type modifieds in 2025 to work, I would try and get back to Four NASCAR Tour dates- Icebreaker, June 125 lapper, August 150 and Word Series. In addition, I like the Tri Track race and the 100 lap open $10k race at the World Series however, I think the MRS needs either a May, July or September race date and maybe throw a second race date in at the World series- or just convert the open $10k world series race into the 100 lap $10k to win MRS Finale.
    After that I’d go back to regular Sunoco Modifieds-especially if Rocco is basically saying this decision to go to 604’s makes him leave his cars at home and try to see if running regular biweekly shows in the summer works,(no Tour type mods). You can allocate the funds you had budgeted for the Open races and spread that to all the weekly series on Thursday nights. Then, you’ll know if in this day and age- even with the economy at its state, you can see if that will work.
    Otherwise it’ll be a three event schedule- Icebreaker, August tour race and World Series weekend. And nobody wants that.
    Back in 2011 they tried the 40 lap tour type division and not many cars showed up and in 2011 the economy was bad but, not as bad as 2023. I found that on Hoosier’s website the price per tire $150 not counting taxes -I’m not sure how much in Fuel -gas and diesel these guys have to pay. Just my two cents as a 28 year old.
    Shawn- what is your input on my solution and thoughts and if I’m missing the mark. Thanks.

  21. Tyler,

    As far as the statement “anyone with half a brain would rather do their hobby on an off day from work than during the work week”.
    That isn’t an option for these promoters for the events between the Icebreaker and the World Series. Firstly, the road course is operating on most days of the weekend so they don’t have the option of using the oval. Secondly, the current promoters have their own tracks and series’ away from Thompson they operate. Third, mid-week shows aren’t anything new at Thompson. The track ran regularly on Thursday nights for years.
    As far as your statement of: “I would try and get back to Four NASCAR Tour dates- Icebreaker, June 125 lapper, August 150 and Word Series.”
    From 2015-2019 to Thompson hosted four Whelen Modified Tour events annually, with the Icebreaker, June event, August event and World Series. It’s my understanding from talking to Thompson management in 2019 that the June event was not successful financially. I’m not sure that the landscape has changed at this point to make it any better. I would say that the average attendance for Whelen Modified Tour events in 2024 is lower than in 2019, so my guess would be that a June event that was losing money from 2015-2019 would probably lose more money in 2025.
    As far as your statement: “I think the MRS needs either a May, July or September race date and maybe throw a second race date in at the World series- or just convert the open $10k world series race into the 100 lap $10k to win MRS Finale.”
    I don’t understand why you think putting an MRS sanction on what is essentially a Thompson Outlaw Modified division event would change anything, generate more interest from car owners or why you think that would be a positive for the promoters.
    As far your statement: “After that I’d go back to regular Sunoco Modifieds-especially if Rocco is basically saying this decision to go to 604’s makes him leave his cars at home and try to see if running regular biweekly shows in the summer works”
    The Sunoco Modified weren’t showing up for the events outside of the Icebreaker and World Series. I’m not sure why you think adding more events will bring them back. And I don’t think operating the oval every other week for 4-5 months is feasible for the current operators.
    As far as your statement: “Back in 2011 they tried the 40 lap tour type division and not many cars showed up and in 2011 the economy was bad but, not as bad as 2023.” 
    Comparing the landscape of short track racing in 2011 to 2023 is like comparing computer technology from 1896 and to what there is in 2024.

  22. Yes, I am aware that the lessees Cris and Tom have no chance of getting the weekend dates.
    Now, Shawn I never knew that the June Nascar Tour date was a liability/ costing the track money. I had a feeling it was doing fine but thats news to me. Was it just because June is still during graduations and people vacationing? I always thought attendance seemed fine. Obviously pre covid tour car counts were decent.
    I only mentioned combining the MRS with the track series because I’m think you’d get drivers in it for points and be able to combine purses together-MRS sanctioning body and the Tracks purse from the Open series. Just thinking out loud again I don’t know how that works- does a series like the MRS even have payouts for races or is it coming from the tracks hosting and contingencies. Obviously the point fund is from the series.
    And yeah I can see what you mean see-2011 was a while ago and the more I think of it, the Sunoco Mods were struggling for cars back then. I remember your 2015 Icebreaker article when they had a 22 car field and I was so excited because, it was showing some health again.

  23. @Shawn I had no idea the Sunoco Modifieds were SKs. Now the puzzle is starting to come together…

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