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Nick Johnson Takes Second Career Thompson Late Model Crown

The Milton CAT Modified Racing Series and Mighty Mini Stock Tour were both able to crown their touring champions and the Thompson Late Models saw a return champion in victory lane


hero image for Nick Johnson Takes Second Career Thompson Late Model Crown

Although rains dampened much of Friday’s planned mid-day practice sessions, the 61st Sunoco World Series was able to start off with a bang as the Milton CAT Modified Racing Series and Mighty Mini Stock Tour were both able to crown their touring champions and the Thompson Late Models saw a return champion in victory lane. Throw in some vintage racing, a hard-nosed open Street Stock showdown and the first of three Sunoco Modified events, the 61st Sunoco World Series began in great style!

The Milton CAT Modified Racing Series brought the 61st Sunoco World Series weekend to a roaring start, 30 cars strong with Matt Swanson leading Kirk Alexander by a mere 5 points in the championship battle. While NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour invaders Austin Beers, Jake Johnson and Craig Lutz took down heat race wins, as did Tour-type Modified freshman Brett Meservey. Beers brought the 27-car starting field to green and paced the field with championship chasers Swanson and Alexander caught in the back of the pack. The field stretched out as cross-over passing and nerf-bar banging ruled the roost at the Big-T.

After running him down for the first 20 laps, Jake Johnson brought ‘Ole Blue’ to the front and led lap 21 with a hard-charging Ronnie Williams joining the picture in third. Williams moved into second under Beers at the halfway point with 25-laps remaining to chase down Johnson. Meanwhile, Swanson faced a rear-view mirror full of Kirk Alexander as the championship battle was waged in 16th and 17th-place, respectively. Lap 31 saw contact between leader Johnson and Williams in turn four with Johnson spinning and calling out the first caution of the 50-lap event.

Williams would keep the lead on the restart as Beers and Eric Goodale kept him looking in the mirrors. Deeper in the pack, Alexander made his way around Swanson on lap 36 before a turn two melee saw Swanson dirt-track the Gary Casella-machine around the apron and Tommy Barrett’s stop in turn two bringing the caution back out on lap 39. While Williams led the restart, Teddy Hodgdon ran bumper-to-bumper in his tire tracks. Hodgdon challenged for the lead on lap 45 with the turn four crossover as the two kept it side-by-side around the 5/8-mile Thompson Speedway lap after lap. Ronnie Williams took down the win over Teddy Hodgdon and Woody Pitkat rounding out the podium while Kirk Alexander took down his fourth Milton CAT Modified Racing Series championship and first since 2007.

Clark Brooks and Shane Gendron brought the R&R Race Parts NH Street Stock Open 50 to green with a field of Thompson regulars and hopeful invaders behind them. ‘Kid Chaos’ Corey Fanning quickly launched into third behind the front row starters as the field settled in. The first caution would slow the field on lap 17 for the stalled Brandon Plemons in turn three. Gendron continued his dominance at the front on the return to green as Maine street stock legend Kris Watson made his way into the top-5. Watson went to work on Fanning as the two battled side-by-side at the halfway point.

A big turn two pile-up brought the yellow back out just after the restart as Brooks, Fanning, Watson and more going around. Watson and Gendron made it through to lead the restart with Ryan Lineham and ‘Leadfoot’ Larry Barnett in tow behind them. While Gendron piled up a straightaway lead, Clark Brooks powered his way from shotgun on the restart to fifth by the closing laps. Shane Gendron kept up the power out front to take the R&R Street Stock Open win with Kris Watson in second and Ryan Lineham rounding out the podium.

Following their qualifying heats, four drivers were in the running for the 2023 Thompson Speedway Late Model championship. Two of those pilots, Jake Johnson and Andrew Molleur, led the field to green for their 30-lap season finale on Sunoco World Series Friday. Jake Johnson got the early lead before Connor Souza went for the spin-cycle in turn two, bringing point leader Nick Johnson with him to the rear of the restart line-up. Jake ‘The Jet’ again took the lead while Andrew Molleur ran in his tracks as Nick Johnson charged up through the field. The caution flag returned on lap 8 as Erick Sands and Tom Carey III went around coming off turn two.

Following the restart, it seems the pressure for point leader Nick Johnson saw the Propane Plus machine spin in turn three on lap 14, relegating him all the way to the rear as the championship battle became even more hotly debated. Jake Johnson looked shot from a cannon once again on the restart with Molleur and Woody Pitkat following. With the field back under green for the final stretch, Jake Johnson would bring the Cady’s Tavern, Hartwell Motorsports Ford Mustang back to victory lane followed by Andrew Molleur and Woody Pitkat. By virtue of his 8th-place finish, Nick Johnson would take down his second Thompson Late Model track championship by just six points over Molleur.

In their final event of the 2023 season, point leader Cody LeBlanc led the Mighty Mini Stock Tour field to green before Edmond Cousineau’s spin in turn four brought out an early caution. Nick Anderson led the restart off the line before LeBlanc got back to the front by the end of turn four. With the field rapidly stretching out, Leblanc continued to lead Anderson and Heywood Herriott as Pat Houle and Desmond Skillings battled side-by-side for fourth. Cody LeBlanc would steal the show and the 2023 Mighty Mini Stock Tour championship flanked by Nick Anderson and Heywood Herriott in Sunoco World Series victory lane.

JP Puleo and Paul LaPlante led off the Sunoco Modified showdown to open their Sunoco World Series Triple Crown. Puleo quickly launched off with the lead as LaPlante and Chase Cook battled side-by-side for second. LaPlante took over the advantage but faced Troy Talman coming with a full head of steam from shotgun on the field. Talman pulled up to LaPlante’s rear bumper under the crossed, half-way flags. JP Puleo took down the lightning-fast 7-minute feature to start off the Sunoco Modified World Series Triple Crown with Troy Talman and Paul LaPlante completing the top-three.

The Senior Tour Auto Racers (STAR) Tour brought Sunoco World Series Friday to a close with a twin bill of vintage Modifieds and Late Model Sportsman. Twin fifteen lap features for both divisions, Curt Snow was able to steal away the vintage modified win by less than a car length while Mark Parmentier lapped the field to win the Late Model Sportsman showdown. Parmentier would be disqualified by STAR officials with second-place runner Greg Gilbert declared the winner.

The Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park oval is back in action for day two of the 61st Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing tomorrow, Saturday October 7. Saturday will feature the $10,000-to-win Sunoco 100 for the Thompson Outlaw Open Modifieds, Limited Sportsman championship event, the New England Supermodified Series, Sunoco Modifieds, Street Stock Open 40-lapper and qualifying for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour! Two-Day, Saturday and Sunday general admission is available at $60 for adults, $15 for children 12-6 and free for kids 5 and under. Saturday-only general admission is also available at $35 for adults, $10 for children 12-6 and free for kids 5 and under.

For more information about the American-Canadian Tour, contact the ACT offices at (802) 244-6963, media@acttour.com, or visit www.acttour.com. You can also get updates on Facebook and Twitter at @ACTTour.

For technical information concerning all PASS divisions, and for media or marketing questions, please contact passracing@roadrunner.com or visit www.proallstarsseries.com. 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 oval@thompsonspeedway.com, or visit www.thompsonspeedway.com. You can follow Thompson Speedway on Facebook and Instagram at @ThompsonSpeedway or on Twitter at @ThompsonSpdwy.

-ACT Media Press Release
-Photo credit: Alan Ward

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Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park – Thompson, CT

61st Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing

Friday, October 6, 2023


Milton CAT Modified Racing Series – (50 Laps)

1. 50W Ronnie Williams Ellington, CT
2. 55CT Teddy Hodgdon Danbury, CT
3. 88 Woody Pitkat Bellingham, MA
4. 00 Austin Beers Northampton, PA
5. 58 Eric Goodale Calverton, NY
6. 07 Kyle Bonsignore Hebron, IL
7. 46 Craig Lutz Miller Place, NY
8. 3 Jake Johnson Rehoboth, MA
9. 75 Chris Pasteryak Lisbon, CT
10. 45 Brett Meservey Brewster, MA
11. 76 Kirk Alexander W. Swanzey, NH
12. 179 Anthony Bello Newtown, CT
13. 17 Donnie Lashua Canaan, NH
14. 43 Matt Kimball Bennington, NH
15. 50M Carl Medeiros, Jr. Westport, MA
16. 25 Matt Swanson Harvard, MA
17. 66NH Jimmy Renfrew Jr. Candia, NH
18. 20 Bryan Narducci Colchester, CT
19. 19 Jeffrey Battle Dunstable, MA
20. 13 Cameron Sontag Sterling, MA
21. 9 Tommy Barrett Millis, MA
22. 31C Andrew Charron E. Greenwich, RI
23. 06 Sammy Rameau Westminster, MA
24. 04VT Joey Jarvis Ascutney, VT
25. 18 Andrew Martell Charlestown, NH
26. 47 Jacob Perry Pawcatuck, RI
27. 76z Derek Robie Sunapee, NH
DNS 02 Mike Collins Strafford, NH
DNS 52 Mark Bakaj Lebanon, CT
DNS 55 Ryan Doucette Framingham, MA

2023 Milton CAT Modified Racing Series Champion – Kirk Alexander

R&R Race Parts NH Street Stock Open – (50 Laps)

1. 7 Shane Gendron Chelmsford, MA
2. 35 Kris Watson Kendeskeag, ME
3. 19 Ryan Lineham Warwick, RI
4. 11 Corey Fanning Mapleville, RI
5. 21 Clark Brooks Raymond, NH
6. 68VT Jason Woodard Waterbury Ctr., VT
7. 73 Larry Barnett Danielson, CT
8. 67 Aaron Plemons Montville, CT
9. 36 Corey Hutchings Salem, CT
10. 81 Andrew Brousseau Charlestown, NH
11. 07 Christopher Buffone Belchertown, MA
12. 03 Josh Gerard W. Wareham, MA
13. 116 Jim Silvia Middleton, RI
14. 54 Colby Lambert Westport, MA
15. 46 Jason Finkbein Bolton, CT
16. 52 Rob MacRae Billerica, MA
17. 71 Donny Silva Hudson, ME
18. 66 Jaysin Beal Ledyard, CT
19. 38 Jon Porter Lisbon, CT
20. 67x Brandon Plemons Uncasville, CT
21. 28 Austin Flanagan Warwick, RI
22. 39 Moose Douton Waterford, CT
23. 45 Adam Maynard Milton, VT
24. 12 Bo Norman Clinton, CT
DNS 0 Chad Baxter Warwick, RI

Thompson Late Models – (30 Laps)

1. 91CT Jake Johnson Rehoboth, MA
2. 31CT Andrew Molleur Shelton, CT
3. 88 Woody Pitkat Bellingham, MA
4. 9MA Brian Tagg Oxford, MA
5. 1 Corey Fanning Mapleville, RI
6. 36NH Erick Sands Derry, NH
7. 37 Jordan Hadley Waterford, CT
8. 6MA Nick Johnson Rehoboth, MA
9. 17MA Matt Lowinski-Loh Milford, MA
10. 38RI Connor Souza Riverside, RI
11. 76 Tyler Tomassi W. Greenwich, RI
12. 42CT Manny Dias Danielson, CT
13. 5MA Tom Carey III New Salem, MA
14. 50RI Mike Benevides Westerly, RI

2023 TSMP Late Model Champion – Nick Johnson

Sunoco Modifieds – (20 Laps)

1. 7 JP Puleo Branford, CT
2. 3 Troy Talman Oxford, MA
3. 02 Paul LaPlante Scituate, RI
4. 8 Chase Cook Beacon Falls, CT
5. 62 Cody Rose Southbridge, MA
6. 49 John Bercham West Greenwich, CT

Mighty Mini Stock Tour – (20 Laps)

1. 7NH Cody LeBlanc Berlin, NH
2. 55 Nick Anderson Oxford, MA
3. 17NH Haywood Herriott Berlin, NH
4. 57 Pat Houle Vernon, VT
5. 90 Desmond Skillings Antrim, NH
6. 34 Mike Viens Seekonk, MA
7. 9CT Rick LaFlesh Griswold, CT
8. 82 Kevin Moore Moosup, CT
9. 34RI Roger Ducharme Foster, RI
10. 1NH Ken Marier Newfield, NH
11. 16 Timothy Dorr Gates Ferry, CT
12. 07 Edmond Cousineau Palmer, MA
13. 44 Steve Michalski Brooklyn, CT

2023 Mighty Mini Stock Tour Champion – Cody LeBlanc

STAR Vintage Modifieds Top-3 – (15 Laps)

1. 110 Curt Snow West Warren, MA
2. 6 Darryl Dutch Greenville, RI
3. 70 Skip Swiantek Higganum, CT

STAR Vintage Late Model Sportsman Winner – (15 Laps)

1. 71x Greg Gilbert Milton, VT