Celebrating 25 years, 1995 - 2020

Gentes and Sundeen Score Checkers At Thompson Speedway

BFR Teams Kick off Thursday Night Thunder in Winning Form

Thompson, CT: Ryan Preece, John Studley, Rick Gentes, Scott Sundeen and Eric Bourgeois earned NASCAR Whelen All-American Series victories in the kick-off of the Thursday Night Thompson Thunder (TNTT) program at Thompson Speedway.

 Preece used a restart to take the lead on lap eight of the 30-lap Sunoco Modified feature Thursday night and held off a determined Todd Ceravolo through a series of restarts for the victory.

Jay Sundeen took the early lead in the feature event, but Paul Newcomb quickly took it away coming out of turn two on the first circuit. Ceravolo challenged for second as Sundeen held him off before spinning in turn two and bringing out the first caution of the night. On the restart, Newcomb chose the high line to hold off Ceravolo and drive back out to the front. Ryan Preece and Woody Pitkat got into the mix before the lap was over. The four cars ran nose-to-tail until lap six when the caution flew for a spin on the backstretch.

On the restart, Ceravolo found his opportunity and drove by for the lead. Preece used the bottom groove to get by Newcomb for second as Keith Rocco looked to do the same. On lap eight, Newcomb got loose on the backstretch and collected Pitkat to bring out the third caution of the night.

Preece took the lead on the restart with Ceravolo on his bumper and Rocco underneath him. Rocco settled back into third, but continued to ride Ceravolo’s bumper until caution slowed the pace at lap 12. Preece maintained the lead when green flag racing resumed. Ceravolo and Rocco stayed close behind as the race reached the halfway mark, but Preece was able to put two car lengths over them for a little bit of breathing room. Preece proved his mastery of restarts by holding off Ceravolo on lap 18 and 19 restarts. Pitkat took over third and Rocco held on for fourth. The top four ran single file for the next several laps until the final three laps when Pitkat drove underneath Ceravolo for the second position. The battle for second allowed Preece to pull away to a comfortable lead at he checkers.

John Studley held off Cam McDermott for the Lite Modified win. Glenn Griswold took the early lead with a lot of pressure from Studley on the high side. Coming out of turn four, Studley dropped to the bottom to get by and officially lead the first lap. Cam McDermott challenged Griswold on the third circuit using the same bottom groove Studley did, but Griswold fought back and the duo battled for the next several laps. Meanwhile, Studley opened up a comfortable one-second lead over McDermott, who got by for second on the lap six. McDermott reeled in Studley lap after lap and was within two car lengths by lap 14. On lap 15, McDermott was on Studley’s back bumper, but Studley held him off to take the checkers on the 20-lap feature.

Rick Gentes took the lead from Chad LaBastie coming out of turn four following a late-race restart and held on for the Late Model victory after a back and forth battle with LaBastie that lasted most of the caution-filled race. LaBastie scraped the wall in turn four just four laps before the race conclusion and fell out of contention.

Wayne Coury, Sr. and LaBastie brought the field to green, but it was all LaBastie coming out of turn two. Coury dropped back in the field as John Falconi maneuvered his way into the second spot and Rick Gentes took over third. The top-three pulled away from the rest of the field and the battle for second heated up. Gentes dropped to the bottom groove and challenged Falconi at lap five, but Falconi held him off. The trio continued a torrid pace around the 5/8th’s mile until lap eight when Gentes dropped to the bottom again and got alongside Falconi for a tight door-to-door battle. Gentes had a slight advantage coming out of turn two on lap nine, but Falconi once again held him off. Gentes contested on the following circuit and took over the position before caution flew.

On the restart, LaBastie and Gentes went side-by-side into the first turn and remained that way until LaBastie got an advantage coming out of turn two. Gentes kept his foot in the throttle, however, and stayed alongside LaBastie for a tight race that saw the duo swap the lead back and forth. Gentes held the top spot when caution flew at lap 13 for a car in the wall on the backstretch. On the restart, Gentes drove straight to the point with LaBastie right on his bumper, but he would have to do it all over again as a spun car brought the caution out once again. A multi-car wreck on the following lap lined the field up once again for a third attempt at green flag racing.

LaBastie reclaimed the lead on lap 14 with Gentes in second. Falconi and Marc Curtis, Jr. battled for third with Curtis taking the spot. The caution reemerged at lap 17 when Damon Tinio made contact with Falconi in turn two, and put LaBastie and Gentes side-by-side once again. LaBastie took the high line to the front while Curtis used the bottom to drive by Gentes and take over second. On lap 20, Gentes used the high groove to reclaim second and challenge LaBastie for the lead. LaBastie scraped the outside retaining wall coming out of turn four on lap 21 paving the way for Gentes to drive out front and pull away by a commanding lead over Curtis. LaBastie was relegated back in the field before settling into sixth. Gentes continued to extend his lead before taking the checkered flag unchallenged.

Scott Sundeen commanded the Limited Sportsman feature by leading every lap and holding off a determined Larry Barnett at the end to take the checkered flag. Sundeen took the lead at the drop of the green with Bill McNeil driving by Mike Palin for second. Travis Jurcik sustained damage after contact in turn four and brought out the caution on lap three. Sundeen and McNeil went side-by-side into turn one, but it was Sundeen emerging as the leader coming out of turn two. McNeil held on for second as Corey Hutchings made his presence known in third. Sundeen was strong out front and maintained a five car length advantage over McNeil as their pace threatened to put the tail end of the field a lap down. On lap 13, Larry Barnett challenged McNeil for the second spot by getting underneath him coming out of turn two. After a brief side-by-side battle, Barnett took over the spot and set his sights on Sundeen, who was ten car lengths ahead. Barnett began to close the distance, but time ran out and Sundeen took the checkers.

A late race restart couldn’t stop Eric Bourgeois from getting to victory lane Thursday night in the Mini Stock 15-lap feature. Bourgeois led every lap and held off a determined Joe Baxter for the victory. Bourgeois shot to the early lead with Steve Michalski following his lead right by front row starters Alicia Thatcher and Joe Baxter. Bourgeois couldn’t be caught once he was out front and pulled away to a commanding two-second lead ahead of the rest of the field. Louie Bellisle moved into second as Baxter made his way into third. Caution slowed the pace at lap 10 and quickly closed up Bourgeois’ lead. The restart did not deter him, however, and the No. 33 pulled to the front once again. This time, Baxter attached himself to Bourgeois’ bumper and remained there as the laps ticked off, but Baxter could not muster up a solid bid for the lead before Bourgeois took the checkers.

SUNOCO MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (TOP-10): 1. Ryan Preece, N. Falmouth, MA; 2. Woody Pitkat, Stafford Springs, CT; 3. Todd Ceravolo, Gales Ferry, CT; 4. Keith Rocco, Meriden, CT; 5. Kerry Malone, Needham, MA; 6. Dennis Perry, Pawcatuck, CT; 7. Paul Newcomb, Plymouth, MA; 8. Joe Gada, Salem, CT; 9. Stan Mertz, Whitinsville, MA; 10. Shelly Perry, Westerly, RI.

LITE MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (TOP-10): 1. John Studley, Framingham, MA; 2. Cam McDermott, Scituate, RI; 3. Glenn Griswold, Vernon, CT; 4. Dylan Menditto, Brooklyn, CT; 5. Robert Palmer, Lisbon, CT; 6. Joseph Boivin, Belchertown, MA; 7. Danny Gamache, Jr., Woonsocket, RI; 8. Eric LeClair, East Hampton, MA; 9. Bob Vojtila, Southington, CT; 10. Nikki Ouellette, East Granby, CT.     

LATE MODEL FEATURE FINISH (TOP-10): 1. Rick Gentes, Burriville, RI; 2. Marc Curtis, Jr., Spencer, MA; 3. Glenn Boss, Danielson, CT; 4. John Lowinski-Loh, Jr., Milford, MA; 5. Bobby Polland, Cranston, RI; 6. Derryck Anderson, Jr., Coventry, RI; 7. Chad LaBastie, Uxbridge, MA; 8. Bob O’Connell, Jr., Wrentham, MA; 9. Louis Romiza, E. Falmouth, MA; 10. Randy Tucker, Millis, MA.

LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (TOP-10): 1. Scott Sundeen, Douglas, MA; 2. Larry Barnett, Moosup, CT; 3. Jesse Gleason, Lisbon, CT; 4. Bill McNeil, Preston, CT; 5. Chris Bisson, Putnam, CT; 6. Jason Chicolas, Sutton, MA; 7. Corey Fanning, Mapleville, RI; 8. Steve Kenneway, Lowell, MA; 9. Scott Cook, Uncasville, CT; 10. Scott Fanning, Mapleville, RI.     

            MONSTER MINI STOCK FEATURE FINISH (TOP-10): 1. Eric Bourgeois, East Haddam, CT; 2. Joe Baxter, Pascoag, RI; 3. Louie Bellisle, Lisbon, CT;  4. Mike Viens, Seekonk, MA; 5. Nathan Taylor, Wauregan, CT; 6. Dave Trudeau, Mansfield, CT; 7. Chad Baxter, Pascoag, RI; 8. Leo Defevers, Moosup, CT; 9. Roger Ducharme, Foster, RI; 10. Steve Michalski, Brooklyn, CT.


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