Jeff Connors and Mike Scorzelli Take Checkers at Thompson Speedway
3 of Top 5 Finishes in both Late Model and Super Late Model Feature belong to BFR Chassis cars
Career First for NEMA’s Horn; Field’s Domination Continues at Thompson
Rocco, Connors, Scorzelli, Monahan, & Boss
Thompson, CT(July 7, 2011): A hot summer night proved to be fitting for the racing action at Thompson International Speedway on Thursday night. The only thing hotter than the mercury was Danny Field. The Deep River, CT, driver remains undefeated in Mini Stock action during the 2011 season as he scored his seventh straight victory. Thompson Speedway hosted the Northeastern Midget Association (NEMA) for the annual Marvin Rifchin Memorial event. Mike Horn of Ashland, MA, made a bold move on the opening lap that proved to be the winning one.
Keith Rocco of Wallingford, CT, ran high and dry to his second straight Sunoco Modified feature victory at Thompson. Jeff Connors of Ellington, CT, stretched his point lead with his first victory of the season in the Super Late Models. Mike Scorzelli of Malta, NY, was victorious in the Late Models. Shawn Monahan of Waterford, CT, earned his third victory of the season in the Limited Sportsman division. Glenn Boss of Danielson, CT, streaked to consecutive TIS Modified victories.
Mike Horn of Ashland, MA, wired the field to score his first career Northeastern Midget Association (NEMA) in the Series’ special event. Horn made it three-wide on the opening lap to take over the top spot. Almost immediately Randy Cabral moved into the second spot. Greg Stoehr ran in the third position. Point leader Russ Stoehr, who started deep in the pack, had worked his way into the sixth position by lap five.
Cabral had begun to reel in the leader Horn. Cabral got within striking distance of the lead. Cabral got close but got could not seem to muster up a real challenge. B.J. MacDonald had moved into third followed by G. Stoehr.
R. Stoehr got past his brother to advance to the fourth position. Over the final laps, all Cabral could do was chase the determined Horn. The career first was made sweeter by coming in the Rifchin Memorial. Cabral finished a solid second followed by MacDonald. The Stoehr brothers, Russ and Greg, rounded out the top five.
Much drama surrounded the fourth Thompson win of the season for Keith Rocco of Wallingford, CT. Outside polesitter Todd Ceravolo lost power on the original start bringing out the caution. When the race officially got underway, Ryan Preece rocketed past pole sitter Danny Cates to take over the lead. The battle for second was heating up between Cates, Woody Pitkat and Rocco. George Wilkinson came to rest on the front stretch to bring out the second caution on lap three. Preece led the field to the stripe. The battle for second erupted once again. Cates held the second spot but was getting a double barrel assault from Pitkat low and Rocco on the high side.
Shelly Perry made hard contact with the outside wall in turn three bringing out the third caution. The restart featured much of the same inside the top-five; however, Cates emerged as the new leader. Rocco moved into the second spot. Pitkat and Preece were locked in their own battle for the third spot as Rocco dogged Cates.
At the halfway marker, the lead duo of Cates and Rocco gained a five-car length advantage over Preece and Pitkat. Pitkat got the edge over Preece and began to run down the lead duo, who had edged out to nearly a straightaway advantage.
On the backstretch on lap 20, Rocco got the run to take the lead from Cates. A report of fluid coming from Rocco’s #57 necessitated the caution. After a check of Rocco’s mount, his car was cleared and he was given his spot back at the head of the field. Under the caution, Preece headed to pit road for service to his car.
Rocco picked up where he left off back under green flag racing. Cates ran on Rocco’s back bumper in second. Preece, Pitkat and Carl Oberg completed the top five. On lap 26, Preece took advantage and sailed past Cates for second. With three laps remaining, Rocco had marched out to a five car-length advantage. Pitkat continued to chase Cates. At the checkers, Rocco scored his second straight victory and fourth overall. For the second straight week Preece ran in the runner-up spot. Early leader Cates had to settle for third. Pitkat and Oberg rounded out the top five.
Jeff Connors accelerated from his front row starting position to set the pace in the early going of the Super Late Model feature event. Mike O’Sullivan made quick work of pole sitter Jim Banfield to run in the second spot. George Bessette and Derek Ramstrom followed through relegating Banfield to fifth. The best battle on the track was for the third spot. Bessette held the position with Ramstrom applying heavy pressure to Bessette.
At halfway, O’Sullivan had caught the rear bumper of Connors while Bessette was able to get a bit of breathing room over Ramstrom. On lap 16, O’Sullivan got alongside Connors. The lead duo ran side by side as they approached a pack of lapped traffic. Ramstrom once again began to pressure Bessette. On lap 19, Ramstrom took the position. He immediately ran down the leaders Connors and O’Sullivan.
On lap 20, O’Sullivan was the new leader. Ramstrom got alongside Connors. Just as Ramstrom was gaining the advantage, the caution flew for an incident that involved Jim Banfield and Scott Rotherforth. Connors got a great restart staying alongside O’Sullivan. He was able to retake the lead with a pass on O’Sullivan from the outside groove. O’Sullivan settled back in line behind Connors. Ramstrom ran on the bumper of O’Sullivan, who in turn had company in Bessette.
With only two laps to go, O’Sullivan lost the handle in a last ditch effort on leader Connors. Ramstrom and Bessette both got into the wall trying to avoid the spinning O’Sullivan. The restart pitted Connors against the cagey veteran Mike Stefanik. Connors was up to the challenge, keeping Stefanik at bay on the white flag lap. Exiting turn four to take the checkers, Stefanik dove low. He got alongside Connors. The margin of victory was a matter of a few feet for Connors. Stefanik came home a strong second followed by Gelinas, Banfield and O’Sullivan.
Mike Scorzelli seized the opportunity early for his second career Late Model win at Thompson. The Malta, NY, driver jumped out to the lead at the drop of the green flag for the 25-lap Late Model feature. Scorzelli headed a freight-train that included John Falconi, Rick Gentes, John Materas and Tommy O’Sullivan.
Gentes wasthe first to step out of line. On lap seven, he had taken over the runner-up spot from Falconi. He immediately began to chase down Scorzelli. The race for the fourth spot was heating up as O’Sullivan was getting racy with Materas. O’Sullivan got alongside Materas in the turns but could not get the run out of the corner to make the pass.
After the original surge, Gentes settled back in line a couple of car lengths behind Scorzelli. Falconi ran all alone in the third spot. O’Sullivan continued to duke it out with Materas. Over the final laps, Scorzelli was able to stretch his advantage over Gentes once again. In an uneventful run to the checkers, Scorzelli scored the victory. Gentes, Falconi, Materas, and O’Sullivan completed the top five.
Shawn Monahan of Waterford, CT, was the top dog in an action-packed Limited Sportsman main event on Thursday night. Polesitter Leo Adams went spinning in the second turn of the first lap to send the field scattering and the yellow flag flying. After a complete restart, less the cars that were collected in the incident, Tommy Shea set the pace as the leader. On lap three, it was a three-car battle for the top spot with Shea holding back advances of Joe Arena and Larry Barnett. Arena edged ahead on lap four while the cars remained three wide. Barnett was able to steal the top spot exiting turn two on lap five; however, a caution for a spin by John Carpenter negated the pass.
It took a single green flag lap for Barnett to regain the top spot. Arena remained in striking distance of the leader before his car went up in smoke on lap nine. Arena gave up the runner-up spot and headed to pit road. With the battle for the lead settled and Arena retired, things were heating up for the runner-up spot between Dwayne Dorr, S. Monahan, and Ed Puleo. Just outside of the top five sat previous top guns Joe Coates, Diego Monahan, and Scott Sundeen.
A caution on lap 10 set up a race changing chain of events. On the restart, contact between Dorr and leader Barnett left Barnett with heavy damage. When the dust settled S. Monahan was the new leader followed by Shea, Puleo, Coates, and Sundeen. Sparks were flying as Coates and Puleo battled for third. Coates took the spot away taking Sundeen along for the ride. Monahan stretched his lead as Sundeen tried to wrestle the third spot from Coates on lap 15. An over-zealous Sundeen got crossed-up exiting turn four giving up several positions.
There was contact between Shea and Coates in the battle for second. Coates would gain the advantage. Shea began to falter when the caution flew for an incident involving Scott Sousa. Monahan was pitted against Coates for the top spot on the restart with three laps remaining. Monahan handily retained his position at the head of the pack. Monahan soared to his third win of the season. Coates held off Puleo over the closing laps. Chris Douton survived the lap 10 incident to come back to finish fourth. Sundeen completed the top-five.
Glenn Boss of Danielson, CT, rode a rollercoaster feature event to score his second straight TIS Modified victory. Brian Tagg got a great run to start the TIS Modified main event. Tagg watched his lead disappear quickly when R.J. Marcotte began to show his hand. Marcotte got to the back bumper of the leader before smoke began to pour from Marcotte’s car.
The caution flew on lap six for a spin by Ryan Morgan. Boss was penalized for his involvement. Marcotte headed pit side and would not return to the event. Back under green, Tagg continued to show the way. This time the pressure on the leader came from Cam McDermott.
At halfway, McDermott edged Tagg by mere inches for the lead. The battle for the top spot was far from over as the duo continued to do battle. Contact between McDermott and Tagg sent McDermott spinning. Tagg was shown the black flag for over aggressive driving. McDermott’s car sustained damage during the spin and did not rejoin the field.
Boss was the new leader on the lap 11 restart. John Studley tucked in behind leader Boss under green flag conditions. Boss quickly stretched his advantage to several car lengths. John Lowinski-Loh, Jr. was having a career night running in third. Boss continued to stretch his advantage by a half-straightaway. Lowinski-Loh was staying with Studley. At the checkers, Boss easily took the victory. Studley hung on for second followed by Lowinski-Loh, Denis Legere and Morgan.
It is seven –for-seven for Mini Stock dominator Danny Field of Deep River, CT. Tim Higginbotham jumped out from his pole starting position to lead the early going of the Mini Stock main event. Behind the leader, division dominator Danny Field was making his way through the pack. The caution flew on lap five for a multi-car incident. Field was in the third position. Eric Bourgeois continued to enjoy a great season to run just outside of the top five.
On the restart, Field was second. Tyler Poulin was also on the move grabbing the second spot from Leo Defevers. At the same time, Field was motoring under the flag stand as the new leader on lap seven. Bourgeois had maneuvered his way into the third spot by lap nine. Early leader Higginbotham headed to pit road on lap 10 ending his bid at a strong finish.
Field continued to lead Poulin, Bourgeois, Joe Baxter and Defevers. All Poulin could do was chase as Field cruised to his seventh straight Mini Stock feature victory to remain undefeated on the season. Poulin settled for second followed by Bourgeois and Baxter. Over the final laps Roger Ducharme charged to a top-five finish.
Unofficial Northeastern Midget Association Feature (Top Ten) Finish: 1. Mike Horn, Ashland, MA; 2. Randy Cabral, Plymouth, MA; 3. B.J. MacDonald, Dublin, PA; 4. Russ Stoehr, Lakeville, MA; 5. Greg Stoehr, Bridgewater, MA; 6. Keith Botelho, N. Attleboro, MA; 7. Lee Bundy, Kennebunkport, ME; 8. Paul Luggelle, Holbrook, MA; 9. John Zych, Jr., Liverpool, NY; 10. Chris Leonard, Pelham, NH.
Sunoco Modified Feature (Top Ten) Finish:1. Keith Rocco, Wallingford, CT; 2. Ryan Preece, Berlin, CT; 3. Danny Cates, Chaplin, CT; 4. Woody Pitkat, Stafford, CT; 5. Carl Oberg, Sutton, MA; 6. George Wilkinson, Pawcatuck, CT; 7. John Catania, Agawam, MA; 8. David Morganstein, Taftville, CT; 9. Shelly Perry, Westerly, RI; 10. Todd Ceravolo, Gales Ferry, CT.
Super Late Model Feature (Top Ten) Finish:1. Jeff Conors, Ellington, CT; 2. Mike Stefanik, Coventry, RI; 3. Larry Gelinas, Buxton, ME; 4. Jim Banfield, S. Glastonbury, CT; 5. Mike O’Sullivan, Springfield, MA; 6. Keith Caruso, Millbury, MA; 7. Greg Nanigian, Braintree, MA; 8. Jeff Hartwell, E. Putnam, CT; 9. Scott Rotherforth, Glastonbury, CT; 10. Derek Ramstrom, Worcester, MA.
Late Model Feature Finish:1. Mike Scorzelli, Malta, NY; 2. Rick Gentes, Woonsocket, RI; 3. John Falconi, Oakham, MA; 4. John Materas, Voluntown, CT; 5. Tom O’Sullivan, Springfield, MA; 6. Damon Tinio, Mendon, MA; 7. Phil Rondeau, Baltic, CT; 8. Randy Tucker, Millis, MA; 9. Jeremy Sadowski, Voluntown, CT.
Limited Sportsman Feature (Top Ten) Finish:1. Shawn Monahan, Waterford, CT; 2. Joe Coates, Groton, CT; 3. Ed Puleo, Branford, CT; 4. Chris Douton, Waterford, CT; 5. Scott Sundeen, Douglas, MA; 6. Tom Shea, New London, CT; 7. Art Moran, III, Preston, CT; 8. Jason Chicolas, Sutton, MA; 9. Brandon Chamberland, Moosup, CT; 10. Michael Malbaurn, Steling, CT.
TIS Modified Feature (Top-Ten) Finish:1. Glenn Boss, Danielson, CT; 2. John Studley, Framingham, MA; 3. John Lowinski-Loh, Jr., Milford, MA; 4. Denis Legere, N. Reading, MA; 5. Ryan Morgan, Mystic, CT; 6. Brian Tagg, Oxford, MA; 7. Payton Henry, Willington, CT; 8. Chad LaBastie, Uxbridge, MA; 9. Cam McDermott, Scituate, RI; 10. Jason Sundeen, Douglas, MA.
Mini Stock Feature (Top Ten) Finish:1. Danny Field, Deep River, CT; 2. Tyler Poulin, Pascoag, RI; 3. Eric Bourgeois, Moodus, CT; 4. Joe Baxter, Pascoag, RI; 5. Roger Ducharme, Foster, RI; 6. Louis Bellisle III, Lisbon, CT; 7. Leo Defevers, Moosup, CT; 8. Steve Romjue, Coventry, RI; 9. Mike Viens, Seekonk, MA; 10. Brent Gleason, Norwich, CT. www. ThompsonSpeedway.com
Posted: to Racing News on Fri, Jul 8, 2011
Updated: Fri, Jul 8, 2011