Icebreaker Friday Kick-Starts New England Racing Season

Derek Gluchacki's last-lap pass headlined the first night of the Thompson Icebreaker.


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Thompson, CT — The 49th Icebreaker Weekend at Thompson Speedway began the 2023 New England racing season in style on a frigid Friday night in northeast Connecticut. For some powerhouse teams it was a successful and steady start to the new season, for others Icebreaker Friday spelled redemption and a fresh start for the new season.

The Mighty Mini Stocks took the first green in their inaugural, point-counting event led to point by youngster Jake Rheaume and veteran Mike Viens. Under the starting flag, third-place starter Desmond Skillings jumped to the bottom to take the lead by turn one with a calamity in store for turn two. With Rheaume slipping and sliding out of turn two, drivers scattered and ultimately sent Viens and Thompson Speedway standout Jarred Roy into the concrete wall. Skillings would again take the point until fellow Mini Stock titan Cody LeBlanc jumped up to the top spot and led the way to the checkered flag. Erin Aiken followed Skillings and LeBlanc to round out the top three.

Young-guns Jake ‘The Jet’ Johnson and Devin Deshaies lead the Thompson Speedway Late Model field to green in their 30-lap main event to start the 2023 championship season. Johnson would lead the way in the Hartwell Motorsports #91CT as the best battle on the track was for third between Matt Lowinski-Loh, Deshaies and Derek Gluchacki. After dispatching Lowinski-Loh, Gluchacki and Deshaies continued to battle for second until a hard crash for Mike Benevides in turn one slowed the field on lap 18.

The restart would see former Legend Car standout Deshaies go around on the backstretch and leave the race up to Johnson and Gluchacki. After several rounds of side-by-side racing, Gluchacki would take the last-lap pass over Jake Johnson to win the Icebreaker opening round for the Late Models followed by Nick Johnson for third, Lowinski-Loh in fourth and rookie Andrew Molleur to round out the top-five.

The Thunder and Lightning of the Sunoco Modifieds returned to Thompson Speedway with the championship-winning duo of Keith Rocco and Stephen Kopcik pacing the field. Fans would see a tough start to 2022 SK Lite Modified champion Stephen Chapman in his Sunoco Mod debut at Thompson with a hard wreck in turn one. Rocco would power off once again until defending track champion Kopcik began to challenge the former NASCAR National Weekly Series champion on lap 8 before taking the lead on lap 12.

After coming up from shotgun on the field to fifth, Mike Christopher, Jr. slammed hard into turn one wall to end his day while Todd Owen also caught a piece during his third-place run. On the restart Kopcik would follow-up with a drag race alongside Rocco until a huge run off turn two helped the defending champ to keep the lead. Under the white flag Rocco jumped to the bottom of Kopcik in turn one and led the way to the checkered flag. Post-race technical inspection disqualified Kopcik due to weight and carburetor infractions giving JP Puleo second and allowing Troy Talman to round out the top three. Anthony Bello charged to a fourth place run while Todd Owen rebounded to fifth on the field

To start their 2023 season off, the Evolve Bank & Mortgage Pro Truck Challenge remembered one of their own. The Jim Boyle Memorial Icebreaker 35 was dominated by former Waterford Speedbowl track champion Duane Noll who led every lap en route to victory lane followed by Gerard Giordano, Jr. and Todd Taylor.

The Street Stock Open saw fantastic racing from the start between Southern New England stalwarts Ryan Waterman, Chad Baxter, and Corey Fanning. With Mainer Kris Watson joining the early mix, the four would swap lanes and positions throughout the first 48 laps until Fanning spun in turn four on the overflowing water from Baxter’s overheating radiator. The instant reshuffle granted Waterman and Watson a two lap shootout for the $1,200 prize waiting in victory lane. The already physical duo didn’t back down and in spectacular fashion saw Kris Watson take the prize back home to Vacationland.

The 49th Icebreaker weekend at Thompson Speedway continues tomorrow, Saturday April 8th with the 49th Icebreaker 125 for the Thompson Outlaw Open Modifieds. The $10,000 to win showdown will pit the best of the best in Tour-type Modified competition plus the PASS Super Late Models and local Thompson Speedway Sunoco Modifieds, Limited Sportsman, SK Lite Modifieds and Mini Stocks.

For more information, contact the ACT offices at (802) 244-6963, [email protected], or visit You can also get updates on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @ACTTour.

For technical information concerning all PASS divisions, and for media or marketing questions, please contact [email protected] or visit Don’t forget to "Like" the Pro All Stars Series on Facebook or follow on Twitter @PASSSLM14 to keep up with breaking news as it happens.

For general Thompson Speedway inquiries, call (860) 923-2280, email [email protected], or visit You can follow Thompson Speedway on Facebook and Instagram at @ThompsonSpeedway or on Twitter at @ThompsonSpdwy.

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park – Thompson, CT

49th Icebreaker – Day #1

Friday, April 7, 2023


(Finishing Position, Car #, Driver, Hometown)

$1,200-to-Win Street Stock Open – 50 Laps

1. 35 Kris Watson Kenduskeag, ME
2. 75 Ryan Waterman Danielson, CT
3. 38 Jon Porter E. Lyme, CT
4. 67 Aaron Plemons Uncasville, CT
5. 71 Donny Silva Hudson, ME
6. 22T Tim Poulin N. Grosvenordale, CT
7. 07 Chris Buffone Belchertown, MA
8. 18 Devin McConologue W. Newfield, ME
9. 26 Chase Curtis Rutland, MA
10. 0 Chad Baxter Pascoag, RI
11. 11RI Corey Fanning Mapleville, RII
12. 8 Josh Gerard W. Wareham, MA
13. 56 Andrew Gillis Ashland, MA
14. 11 Rob Macrae Billerica, MA
15. 0x Will Kuhn Springfield, NH
16. 1 Nate Taylor
17. 8RI Crystal Seryndinski Johnston, RI
18. 10 Chris Gomes Rehoboth, MA
19. 26x Mike Rotondo

Evolve Bank & Mortgage Pro Truck Challenge – 35 Lap Jim Boyle Memorial

1. 2 Duane Noll
2. 15 Gerard Giordano, Jr.
3. 47 Todd Taylor
4. 01RI Nicholas Frechette
5. 29 Jake Vanada
6. 78 Emma Monahan
7. 32 Randy Burr
8. 02 Josh Stringer
9. 97 Dave Koenig
10. 1 Dennis Charette
11. 90 Alan Coates, Jr.
12. 64 Devin Deshaies
13. 6 Andrew Pelligrini

Sunoco Modifieds – 30 Laps

1. 57 Keith Rocco Berlin, CT
2. 7 JP Puleo Branford, CT
3. 3 Troy Talman Oxford, MA
4. 47 Anthony Bello Newtown, CT
5. 81 Todd Owen Somers, CT
6. 22 Isaiah Newcomb Plymouth, MA
7. 28 Rich Gautreau S. Windsor, CT
8. 82 Mike Christopher, Jr. Wolcott, CT
9. 27A Adam Gada Bozrah, CT
10. 21 George Bessette Danbury, CT
11. 14 Stephen Chapman Ellington, CT
DSQ 179 Stephen Kopcik Newton, CT*

*Disqualified for Carburetor and Weight Infractions

Thompson Late Models – 30 Laps

1. 03MA Derek Gluchacki N. Dartmouth, MA
2. 91CT Jake Johnson Rehoboth, MA
3. 6MA Nick Johnson Rehoboth, MA
4. 17MA Matt Lowinski-Loh Milford, MA
5. 31CT Andrew Molleur Shelton, CT
6. 38RI Connor Souza Riverside, RI
7. 9MA Brian Tagg Oxford, MA
8. 31 Brody Monahan Waterford, CT
9. 81 Tyler Chapman Ellington, CT
10. 39 Moose Douton Waterford, CT
11. 33 Jaret Curtis Rutland, MA
12. 64 Devin Deshaies Burrillville, RI
13. 36NH Erick Sands Derry, NH
14. 37 Jordan Hadley Waterford, CT
15. 50RI Mike Benevides Westerly, RI
16. 12 Ed Ryan Preston, CT
DNS 71 Michael Lindquist Sandy Hook, CT

Mighty Mini Stock Series – 25 Laps

1. 7NH Cody LeBlanc Berlin, NH
2. 90 Desmond Skillings Antrim, NH
3. 33 Erin Aiken Claremont, NH
4. 18NH Jake Rheaume Rochester, NH
5. 1NH Ken Marier Newfields, NH
6. 54 Eric Finkein, Jr. Columbia, CT
7. 22 Brad Caddick Wyoming, RI
8. 57 Pat Houle Vernon, VT
9. 40 Nadine Coates Newport, NH
10. 84 Bill Schoeler Warwick, RI
11. 55 Nick Anderson Oxford, MA
12. 85 Mike Viens Seekonk, MA
13. 88NH Emerson Cayer Contocook, NH
14. 36VT Kodi Sabins Springfield, VT
15. 1CT Jarred Roy Moosup, CT

-ACT Media Press Release
-Photo credit: Connor Sullivan/Racing America

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