58th annual Sunoco World Series of Racing returns this weekend at Thompson

Racing

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at Thompson (Matthew Wiernasz Photo)

THOMPSON, Conn. (WWLP) – The 58th annual Sunoco World Series of Racing makes a return to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park this weekend as there will be 19 divisions of racing throughout the weekend from open-wheel to full-fendered divisions.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will close out their season with the Sunoco World Series 150 as Justin Bonsignore comes to Thompson with a 27 point lead over Doug Coby. The tour came to the 5/8 mile oval last month as Ron Silk took down the win in the Thompson 150. Silk has been carrying a lot of momentum as he won the NAPA Auto Parts 150 at Stafford two weeks ago. The American Canadian Tour and Pro All Star Series are leasing the track to put on the event this weekend.

Silk talked to 22News about going to Thompson, “I think it’s great. We owe a lot to those guys this year with our races at White Mountain. They’re directly going to be responsible for us having four races. I hope it can work for them and just excited to go back to Thompson. Just looking forward to a good weekend up there.”

Justin Bonsignore has won seven out of the last nine NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races at Thompson. He talked about the World Series weekend to 22News.

“Obviously we’re excited the World Series is on. It’s always a great weekend of racing to wrap up New England racing. We love being apart of that event. Huge thanks to Cris (Michaud) and Tom (Mayberry) especially Cris for everything he did for the tour this year to get us on some racetracks. Hopefully, there is a long-term partnership with his facilities,” Bonsignore said. “Will go in there. It’s a nice lead but crazier things have happened. We just gotta go in do our job. First of all, try to win the race and see where we end up.”

Many drivers will be racing in more than one race this weekend. Eric Goodale will be racing in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour on Sunday along with the Budweiser Open Modified on Saturday night. Goodale talked about the weekend to 22News.

“We got to race there a few weeks ago and we were really good. Excited to get back there. Glad that the World Series is proceeding as it typically has in the past. Would’ve been a little upset if the format had changed. It’s exciting to show up with all the different cars and divisions. I know my kids are certainly excited about it as much as I am,” Goodale said.

Goodale feels with 19 divisions if you’re interested at all into racing, it’s the ticket to go to.

“You get a little bit of everything. Luckily we get to be the sendoff on Sunday and be the final race. Excited about it. I think all the fans are excited about it,” Goodale said.

Craig Lutz will also be racing in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and the Budweiser Modified Open. He talked about it to 22News.

“Anytime you can race at Thompson is very exciting. Luckily enough through the management of the people who are putting it together made it happen. Feel like the last couple of times we were there, the race slipped through my fingers. To able to try to pull one off of there would be amazing,” Lutz said.

The ISMA Supermodifieds will make a return to Thompson for a 50 lap race on Sunday. Jon McKennedy is the defending winner of the ISMA race. He talked about the race to 22News.

“Real happy. A neat track for the Supers. You can really open them cars up. They can say what they want but a lot of the guys and girls go to watch the Supers. They’re awfully fast there and a lot of fun to drive. I was happy to be going back. Always a blast running those things at Thompson,” McKennedy said.

McKennedy will also be racing in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race on Sunday for Tommy Baldwin.

The 350 Supers will be apart of the weekend for the first time. Bobby Timmons and Brad Babb will be racing in the 350 Supers.

Babb has raced at Thompson before in the Granite State Pro Stock Series. He talked about the event to 22News, “I am really excited. I love Thompson. Everyone knows that. It’s always been one of my favorite race tracks. Just excited to be one of the first groups to be able to bring the 350’s.”

Timmons told 22News how excited he is to get to Thompson.

“We’re really excited. It was my dad’s favorite track. My dad absolutely loved racing there. I never raced there. I turned some laps on Iracing. To actually get there and race is pretty cool and even cooler they added ISMA to the lineup so I think we’re going to bring both cars down. It will be a good time. I am looking forward it,” Timmons said.

The event will kick off on Friday with practice. There will be qualifying for the STAR (Senior Tour Auto Racers) Modifieds and Late Models, along with Open Vintage Modifieds the Thompson Mini Stocks, and the Street Stock Open. Qualifying will begin at 5:00 p.m. with features to follow.

On Saturday, 14 divisions will practice and qualify including the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. There will be features for the EXIT Realty Pro Truck Series, Pro 4 Modifieds, North East Mini Stock Tour, NEMA Midgets, 350 Supermodified Open, ACT type Open Late Models, and the Budweiser Modified Open. Qualifying will begin at 2:00 p.m. with NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour qualifying at 4:30 p.m. and features to follow.

On Sunday, racing will begin at 12:15 p.m. with the ISMA Supermodifieds, the Pro All Star Series Super Late Models, Sunoco Modifieds, Sam Adams Limited Sportsmen, Truly NEMA Lites, Twisted Tea SK Lights. The Sunoco World Series 150 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season finale will go off at 4:00 p.m.

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