Celebrating 25 years, 1995 - 2020

Malta, NY Driver Mike Scorzelli Takes Checkers at Thompson Speedway

Takes Down LM Win at Thompson Speedway, Scott Sundeen captured the checkered flag in the Limited Sportsman 20-lap feature

Thursday Night Thunder at Thompson Speedway

A nickname being tossed around the pits following the Sunoco Modified feature at Thompson Speedway’s Thursday Night Thunder was one generally not associated with Keith Rocco.

The Wallingford driver, known for his aggressive style, was teased about being “St. Rocco” after he and Ryan Preece waged a clean 30-lap battle. It’s not something that happens often when the two are tussling over first place.

“It was racing, it was clean and I race him like he raced me (Thursday night),” Preece said. “That’s how I want to be raced.”

The race was not without a little pushing and shoving. Preece worked his way to the front, passing Ted Christopher on the 10th lap. According to Rocco, Preece then put his Nerf bar into the side of Christopher’s car and pushed him up the track. Preece took advantage of the space and sped past the No. 13, with Rocco attached to his rear bumper.

“We were actually a lot better than (Preece) was,” Rocco said. “We ran him down, but it’s so hard to pass here and everybody’s so equal.”

Preece’s win was the third in four Sunoco Modified races at Thompson.

“I’m just happy for (car owners) Cathy and Albert (Moniz),” Preece said. “They deserve it more than anybody in the world.”

Lite Modifieds

Last year, Troy Talman was a regular at the Waterford Speedbowl in the Legends division, but the 17-year-old has moved up to race with the big boys.

“I love the Lite Modifieds,” Talman said. “The Legends are fun to drive. They are their own little animal, but I just like these Lites.”

On Thursday, for the first time, he piloted his No. 3 Lite Modified into Victory Lane as he held off Cam McDermott in a 20-lap race that featured only four cars. Despite the small field, McDermott and Talman provided some entertainment with McDermott doing his best to get by Talman on both the high and low side.

“We put on a good show. That was a great race with me and Troy,” McDermott said. “I respect him a lot. He raced me clean.”

Late Models

It takes Mike Scorzelli a little while to get to Thompson from his home in Malta, N.Y. This time, the drive was worth it.

Scorzelli held off Marc Palmisano in a duel that lasted much of the 25-lap feature.

“I’m just happy to be competitive with these guys,” Scorzelli said. “The 16 (defending champ Tommy O’Sullivan), the 03 (Palmisano), the 45 (Damon Tino) and the 10 (John Falconi), they’re all awesome drivers with good equipment and to be running with them is great. To win, it’s the best.”

Palmisano said that Scorzelli’s car was just too good for his 03 entry on Thursday which, in his mind, was just off.

“The top five guys are all right there,” Palmisano said, “and whoever has the set up for the night is the one who wins.”

Mini Stocks

The track tried to get the races in quickly because of a small window between batches of rain, and most of the divisions played ball with few in the way of yellow flags. The Mini Stocks weren’t that accommodating; the 15-lap feature had its share of troubles beginning with an incident on the first lap between teammates Jim Helger and Damon Fratantonio.

The incident between the two front-runners opened the door for Mike Viens, who took the lead on the restart and held off Chad Baxter.

“I think it’s been about two years since I’ve been (in Victory Lane),” Viens said. “I had a good car (Thursday night), a good starting spot and racing with my buddy, Chad, was a lot of fun.”

Other races

Scott Sundeen captured the checkered flag in the Limited Sportsman 20-lap feature, and John Lowinski-Loh Jr.’s late pass gave him his second victory of the season in the Thompson Modifieds.