Celebrating 25 years, 1995 - 2020

Tommy O’Sullivan Wins Late Model Championship in BFR Chassis at Thompson Speedway

Marc Palmisano Wins LM Feature in BFR Chassis


Tommy O'Sullivan

Marc Palmisano

Pitkat Caps off Regular Season at Thompson with Sunoco Mod Win;

Ramstrom, Palmisano, Barnett, Boss & Jurcik Also Victorious;

Rocco, Gelinas, O’Sullivan, Douton, McDermott & Field Crowned ‘11 Champs


Thompson, CT (October 6, 2011): After three consecutive rain-outs, Thompson International Speedway finally was able to put the finishing touches on the regular season. Six-divisions vied for feature victories and championship laurels. When the final checkered flag of 2011 Thursday Night Thompson Thunder it was Woody Pitkat of Stafford, CT (Sunoco Mods), Derek Ramstrom of Worcester, MA, (Super Late Models), Marc Palmisano of Hadley, MA, (Late Models), Larry Barnett of Moosup, CT (Limited Sportsman) and Travis Jurcik of Chaplin, CT, (Mini Stocks) scoring feature victories.


Earning championships for the 2011 season where Keith Rocco of Wallingford, CT, in the Sunoco Modifieds, Larry Gelinas of Buxton, ME, in the Super Late Models and Tommy O’Sullivan of Springfield, MA in the Late Models. Chris “Moose” Douton was crowned the Limited Sportsman champ for 2011; Cam McDermott of Scituate, RI reigned in the TIS Modifieds; and Danny Field, Deep River, CT, earned top-honors in the Mini Stock division.


Woody Pitkat of Stafford, CT, led only one lap in the final Sunoco Modified point race of the 2011 season - the final one. There was plenty of drama during the feature event as Keith Rocco appeared to suffer mechanical troubles taking the chase to the championship down to the wire. Rocco salvaged a 12th place finish; enough to score his second-straight championship by a mere six points.


John Catania watched as a great start was for naught as the caution was waving before the completion of the first lap could be completed for an incident involving George Wilkinson and Carl Oberg. Catania would not be so lucky on the second attempt at the start. Rick Fuller rocketed to lead the opening lap bringing Keith Rocco, and Ryan Preece along for the ride. Catania continued to slide backward.


On lap three, Rocco was the new leader. Preece was in hot pursuit in second. A brewing battle was cooled for a single-car incident involving Shelly Perry. On the ensuing restart on lap four, Rocco was able to maintain his lead. Rocco had plenty of company in Preece. Fuller ran in third ahead of a great battle for fourth between Todd Ceravolo and Woody Pitkat.


Rocco bobbled on the backstretch handing the led over Preece. There looked to be a problem on Rocco’s #57 as he lost positions to Fuller and Ceravolo. An advantageous spin by Wilkinson found the caution waving before the completion of the lap. Going back to the last completed green flag lap, Rocco was able to restart in the second position.

Preece maintained his lead for only a half a lap. In turn two Preece slid high in the corner opening the door for both Fuller and Rocco. Fully recovered, Preece drove by Fuller on lap 10 for the top spot once again. Again, Rocco began to slide backward. A spin by Jay Goff found the caution flying once again on lap 11. Under the caution, Fuller was brought to pit road with reports of leaking fluid. Officials found fluid coming from Fuller’s car; ending his bid for a feature win in 2011.


Danny Cates lined up beside Preece for the restart on lap 11. Preece was up for the challenge and back into the lead. On the restart Rocco faltered. Rocco lost a lap to the leaders on lap 16. Back up front, Preece was able to get away from Cates and Pitkat. Pitkat jockeyed for position behind Cates looking for an opening. Pitkat was able to get by Cates with five laps remaining. Pitkat immediately tracked down Preece.


Pitkat caught Preece with two laps remaining. The duo entered heaving lapped traffic on the white flag lap. Pitkat got alongside Preece coming out of two making it three-wide with a lapped car. The duo went wheel-to-wheel through turn three and into four. Pitkat came out of turn four to grab the lead and ultimately the win. Preece had to settle for second. Cates earned a podium finish. Preece’s teammate for the night Todd Ceravolo and Rick Shawn completed the top give.


Derek Ramstrom of Worcester, MA, turned in a flawless performance to score a commanding victory in Super Late Models. Ramstrom cruised out to the lead in the opening laps of the Super Late Model event. He stretched his advantage as Larry Gelinas, George Bessette and Mike O’Sullivan waged a heated battle for the second position. Gelinas, who entered the final point race of the season by a mere four points over Mike O’Sullivan, was the first to get by Bessette. His rival O’Sullivan was not far behind; taking the position away from Bessette a lap later.


Back up front, Ramstrom continued to enjoy a huge advantage over second-running Gelinas. Gelinas held a 10-car length advantage over O’Sullivan. Meanwhile, Bessette and Jim Banfield duked it out for fourth. The duo went fender-to-fender for many laps before Banfield settled back in line behind Bessette.


At halfway, Ramstrom ran alone up front clicking off fast laps at the head of the field. O’Sullivan, who needed to advance two positions over Gelinas for his shot at the championship, could not cut into the distance to Gelinas in second. It was smooth sailing for Ramstrom as he cruised to his fifth victory of the 2011 season. Gelinas finished second to secure the 2011 Super Late Model championship for car owner Rollie Lindblad. Mike O’Sullivan had to settle for third. Banfield was able to steal the fourth position away in the closing laps. Bessette rounded out the top five.


Marc Palmisano of Hadley, MA, an infrequent visitor to Thompson over the last several seasons, visited victory lane in the Late Models for the first time since 2008. The Late Models had a tough time getting going on Thursday night. When the smoke cleared it was Corey Hutchings in command. During the first stretch of green flag racing, Marc Palmisano was getting racy with leader Hutchings. Tommy O’Sullivan, who clinched the championship by simply starting the event, made it a three-car battle for the lead.


After running side-by-side for a pair of laps, Palmisano established himself as the new leader. Hutchings fell into the clutches of O’Sullivan. After a quick battle, O’Sullivan freed himself of Hutchings. The early leader was falling back when Kevin Bowe made significant contact with the turn four wall to bring out the caution. Hutchings headed down pit road under the caution and would not return to the event.


Palmisano retained his lead when the race returned to green. O’Sullivan remained in striking distance while the battle for third raged between John Falconi and Rick Gentes. Just after halfway, Gentes was able to gain the advantage and sole possession of third. Up front, Palmisano appeared to be inching away from O’Sullivan. Gentes continued to run in third a distance behind O’Sullivan.


Palmisano turned it on late in the race and motored away from O’Sullivan to post the victory. O’Sullivan finished the battle in second but won the war as he crossed the stripe as the 2011 Late Model champion. Rick Gentes came home third followed by Falconi and Phil Rondeau inside the top-five.


Larry Barnett of Moosup, CT, earned a hard-fought victory in a wild Limited Sportsman main event. Tommy Shea led the opening lap of the Limited Sportsman main event. He was able to maintain his lead through a two-fold assault by Corey Fanning and Art Moran III. A lap later, Shea lost the battle to a hard-charging Chris Douton, who went from fourth to the lead in a single-lap. Moran was able to get by Shea to run second. Larry Barnett was making his way into contention. Early contender Fanning spun in turn two on lap six to bring out the caution.


On the restart, Douton had his hands full with Moran. Barnett made it a three-car battle for the top-spot. Dwayne Dorr, who had been in contention early, and the early leader Shea tangled in turn two to bring out the event’s third caution. An overzealous Moran went early on the ensuing restart. He received the consolation flag and was penalized to the rear of the field. Douton was now pitted against Barnett.


Douton was quick on the draw to retain his lead. Scott Sundeen jumped into second ahead of Barnett. Sundeen was glued to the back bumper of Douton. Sundeen dove below leader Douton entering turn one on lap 14. Sundeen was carrying too much speed and made contact with the leader Douton. Simultaneously at the back of the pack, contact between Shea and Dorr found the yellow flying. Douton was saved as the caution was on the speedway as the leader spun. Dorr was sent to the pits for his involvement in the incident.


When things finally settled down and back to green it was all Douton. The battle for second waged between Barnett and Sundeen. On lap 15, Douton slipped up in turn two opening the door for Barnett. Barnett got the advantage to take the lead on lap 16. Douton immediately had his hands full with Sundeen. Moran had worked his way back into the fourth position. Barnett stretched his advantage by two car-lengths. Douton motored ahead of Sundeen for second. Moran dogged Sundeen in third.


Barnett earned his second win of the year holding back the division’s 2011 champion Douton to score the victory. Douton capped off his title season finishing second. Sundeen, Moran and Leo Adams completed the top five.


Glenn Boss of Danielson, CT, scored his sixth win of the 2011 season in the TIS Modifieds. Brian Tagg led the field of TIS Modifieds to the green. He held the top spot over J.P. Lowinski-Loh, Jr. Glenn Boss, John Studley, and Cam McDermott ran in a tight pack to complete the top-five. Dermott entered the night six-points ahead of Boss in the chase for the 2011 TIS Modifieds championship.


Tagg continued to lead on lap five but had his hands full with Boss. McDermott had also worked past Lowinski-Loh, Jr. Boss easily took over the lead from Tagg. McDermott made quick work of Tagg as well. McDermott had his sights set on Boss when the caution flew for a major incident exiting turn four. Tagg and Ryan Morgan locked bumpers sliding sideways with the remainder of the pack bearing down. Morgan shot straight into the wall. John Studley and Jay Sundeen sustained heavy damage. Chad LaBastie was also involved. Quick work by Morgan’s crew got the young driver back into the action.


Boss was ready on the restart on lap nine getting away from McDermott by a car length. McDermott appeared to be content to chase Boss once the duo took the crossed flags. Lowinski-Loh ran all alone in third while Tagg, LaBastie and Payton Henry had their own battle for fourth. Tagg held the position with persistent pressure from LaBastie. The battled boiled over as the two went spinning entering turn two to bring out the caution again on lap 17.


The restart with three laps remaining found Boss retaining his lead over McDermott. Boss had the race in hand taking the victory over McDermott. Lowinski-Loh, Payton Henry, and LaBastie had career nights finishing inside the top-five.


Travis Jurcik of Chaplin, CT, capped of his rookie season in the Mini Stock with his first career win. Jurcik jumped out to an early lead in the Mini Stock main event. Once out front, Jurcik set sail. He enjoyed a sizeable lead through lap five when Chad Baxter joined the fray. Lap-after-lap the margin between the Jurcik and second-running C. Baxter narrowed. By halfway, C. Baxter had found the back bumper of Jurcik; dogging him for the lead.


C. Baxter dove low on consecutive laps; to no avail. Each time C. Baxter settled back in line. He made a last ditch effort on the lead exiting turn four. Jurcik rocketed out of the turn heading to the checkers for his first career victory. C. Baxter had to settle for second. Louie Bellisle edged out Eric Bourgeois for third. Tyler Poulin rounded out the top five.

By virtue of his dominating season, Danny Field had previously clinched the divisional championship.



Next up for the Thompson International Speedway is the annual World Series Of Speedway Racing, Friday, Saturday & Sunday, October 14-15-16, 2011. The final point race for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (150 Laps) will highlight a weekend that will feature 15 divisions. The schedule includes a 50-lap main for the ISMA Super Modifieds and a 25-lapper for the NEMA Midgets. Also on tap are the Sunoco Modifieds (30 Laps), Sunoco Lite Modifieds (20 Laps), Super Late Models (30 Laps), Late Models (25 Laps), TIS Modifieds (20 Laps), Ltd. Sportsman (20 Laps), Mini Stocks (20 Laps), Pro 4 Modifieds (25 Laps), and the N. E. Truck Series (25 Laps). The ever-popular Outlaw divisions will see the Outlaw Late Models (25 Laps), Outlaw Street Stocks (20 Laps), and Outlaw Mini Stocks (20 Laps) in competition. For a complete details visit thompsonspeedway.com. Fans are reminded to keep their general admission ticket from October 6th to receive a $5.00 discount off World Series general admission!


Sunoco Modified (Top Ten) Feature Finish: 1. Woody Pitkat, Stafford, CT; 2. Ryan Preece, Berlin, CT; 3. Danny Cates, Chaplin, CT; 4. Todd Ceravolo, Gales Ferry, CT; 5. Rick Shawn, Bradford, RI; 6. Joe Allegro, Jr., Vernon, CT; 7. John Catania, Agawam, MA; 8. Carl Oberg, Sutton, MA; 9. Jay Goff, Stafford, CT; 10. Shelly Perry, Westerly, RI.


Super Late Model Feature Finish: 1. Derek Ramstrom, Worcester, MA; 2. Larry Gelinas, Buxton, ME; 3. Mike O’Sullivan, Springfield, MA; 4. Jim Banfield, S. Glastonbury, CT; 5. George Bessette, Danbury, CT; 6. Scott Rutherforth, S. Glastonbury, CT, 7. Jeff Hartwell, E. Putnam, CT.


Late Model (Top Ten) Feature Finish: 1. Marc Palmisano, Hadley, MA; 2. Tommy O’Sullivan, Springfield, MA; 3. Rick Gentes, Woonsocket, RI; 4. John Falconi, Oakham, MA; 5. Phil Rondeau, Baltic, CT; 6. Damon Tinio, Mendon, MA; 7. Randy Tucker, Millis, MA; 8. Ryan Waterman, Danielson, CT; 9. Randy Waterman, Danielson, CT; 10. Corey Hutchings, Salem, CT.


Limited Sportsman (Top Ten) Feature Finish: 1. Larry Barnett, Moosup, CT; 2. Chris Douton, Waterford, CT; 3. Scott Sundeen, Douglas, MA; 4. Art Moran, III, Preston, CT; 5. Leo Adams, Putnam, CT; 6. Tommy Shea, New London, CT; 7. Mike Palin, Dudley, MA; 8. Jared Edson, Winchendon, MA; 9. Brandon Chamberland, Moosup, CT; 10. Chris Bisson, Putnam, CT.


TIS Modifieds (Top Ten) Feature Finish: 1. Glenn Boss, Danielson, CT; 2. Cam McDermott, Scituate, RI; 3. J.P. Lowinski-Loh, Jr., Milford, MA; 4. Payton Henry, Willington, CT; 5. Chad LaBastie, Uxbridge, MA; 6. Brian Tagg, Oxford, MA; 7. R.J. Marcotte, Millville, MA; 8. Ryan Morgan, Mystic, CT; 9. John Studley, Framingham, MA; 10. Jay Sundeen, Douglas, MA.


Mini Stock (Top Ten) Feature Finish: 1. Travis Jurcik, Chaplin, CT; 2. Chad Baxter, Pascoag, RI; 3. Louie Bellisle, III, Versailles, CT; 4. Eric Bourgeois, Moodus, CT; 5. Tyler Poulin, Pascoag, RI; 6. Leo Defevers, Brooklyn, CT; 7. Mike Anzalone, Griswold, CT; 8. Brent Gleason, Norwich, CT; 9. Danny Field, Deep River, CT; 10. Joe Baxter, Pascoag, RI.