Mike Jr. Brings the Christopher Name Back to Icebreaker Glory

After battling weather all day, the Icebreaker 125 hit the track at Thompson.


hero image for Mike Jr. Brings the Christopher Name Back to Icebreaker Glory

Thompson, CT — The famous American author Mark Twain once said, “If you don’t like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes.” If anyone ever needed concrete evidence of that quotation, they should’ve been standing in Thompson, Connecticut on Saturday, April 9th. After on-again, off-again rain showers, the crew at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park were able to prepare the racing surface for one of New England’s biggest Tour-type Modified events; the Icebreaker 125.

Utilizing the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) ‘Plus/Minus’ qualifying system, the Icebreaker 125 was led to green by Connecticut Modified master Todd Owen with a plus-six beside young Matt Swanson, who earned a solid plus-five in his respective heat. Swanson quickly charged to the lead on lap 4 with Jon McKennedy, Eric Goodale and Teddy Hodgdon fighting for 3rd through 5th on the field. The first caution took place on lap 17 with, ironically, the #17 of Kevin Folan going for a spin in the middle of turns three and four.

Following the restart, Goodale stalked Swanson before jumping into the lead on lap 24 with McKennedy following close behind and around the early leader for 2nd. This trio flew around the Thompson 5/8-mile until David Arute slammed into the turn-one wall on lap 40, stacking the field for a fierce restart between Goodale and McKennedy. The #79 would lead until Ronnie Williams, after a strong day and a 3rd place starting position, slowed on the backstretch and brought out the caution. In a devastating coincidence, the Ronnie Williams team car driven by Swanson met a similar fate just nine laps later with Swanson losing power coming out of turn-four, bringing out another caution.

The restart on lap 53 brought Mike Christopher Jr. into the top-3, and by lap 78, Junior moved the Tommy Baldwin #7NY into second around Goodale then took to stalking McKennedy. A lap 99 accident between Keith Rocco and Artie Pederson in turn-four gave everyone the golden opportunity to hop into the pits for fresh tires and a splash of fuel. On the restart it was Anthony Nocella with the quick-stop, Christopher Jr., Goodale, McKennedy and Bobby Santos III after his ‘Free Pass’ savior to keep the #44MA on the lead lap.

Christopher Jr. would lead the rest of the way in dominating fashion, turning his fastest time on lap 112. In victory lane, young Mike Christopher Jr. thanked Tommy Baldwin’s team for their lightning pit-stop, saying the last 25 laps were the best he’d ran all night. Jon McKennedy was disappointed with yet another 2nd place finish in Tour-type Modifieds at Thompson but excited about the team’s long run speed. Eric Goodale’s 3rd place finish also mirrored McKennedy’s disappointment but thanked his team’s efforts, saying the trip back to Long Island wouldn’t be all that bad. Anthony Nocella bounced back from early problems for 4th and Bobby Santos III hard-charged for a strong 5th place finish in the Tinio Motorsports entry.

The always thrilling Limited Sportsman started off the night’s feature action with an incredible 26-car field. Following some opening lap spins, a strong three-way battle between Rhode Island’s Corey Fanning and the Connecticut duo of Aaron Plemons and ‘Leadfoot’ Larry Barnett dominated the 25-lap event. The bouncing, floating Limited Sportsman-drivers jumped around the Thompson highbanks and, after surviving a late charge by Danielson’s Troy Waterman, Fanning would cross the finish in 1st with Plemons and multi-time champion Barnett taking 2nd and 3rd.

A late addition to the line-up last week, the Mini Stocks held a sprinting, green to checkered feature. After bobbing and weaving, the #82 of Kevin Moore took the lead with just five to go and stalked by the Michalski family of Steve and Scott, in the #44 and #51 respectively, under the twin checkered flags. It would be Moore’s first Thompson Speedway victory.

Another first-time victory came in the SK Lite Modifieds. Early in the 25-lap feature, it was a four-car breakaway at the front with Steven Chapman’s #14, the #88 machine of Mark Bakaj, the #39 of George Bessette Jr., and John O’Sullivan in the #15. Bakaj loosened in the closing laps, nearly taking himself and O’Sullivan out in turn-four on lap 18. In the end it was Chapman in the #14 taking his first Thompson victory, yelling triumphantly, “I know how to get to victory lane finally!” Bessette Jr. and Tyler Chapman, in the second family-team car, nabbed 2nd and 3rd.

To finish the night’s festivities, the Thompson ACT-type Late Models, led by Woody Pitkat in the Helliwell Motorsports entry, took the green for their 35-lap feature. From the get-go, previous winner Derek Gluchacki door-smacked Pitkat coming out of tricky turn-two and ran off with the lead. Pitkat’s day would go from bad to worse, later slamming into the lap car of Charles Bailey IV on lap 26 bringing out the event’s lone caution. Gluchacki would be surrounded by former champions Rick Gentes, Nick Johnson and Brian Tagg, but held on till the end. Gluchacki took down the win followed by Tagg and Johnson in 2nd and 3rd with a strong run for Mike Benevides for 4th and 2021 Late Model champion Ryan Morgan taking 5th. Results continue to be unofficial pending further technical inspection of the top-three.

Thompson Speedway will roar back to life on Wednesday, June 15th for the first of four midweek summer events at the 5/8-mile oval. The Nutmeg State 75 for the Outlaw Open Modified Series plus feature action for the Sunoco Modifieds, ACT-type Late Models, SK Lite Modifieds, Limited Sportsman and Mini Stocks. More information including times and prices will be announced in the near future.

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.

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park – Thompson, CT

48th Icebreaker 125

Saturday, April 9, 2022


Thompson Outlaw Open Modified Icebreaker 125

Pos., Start Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown, Laps

1. (10) Mike Christopher Jr. (7NY), Wolcott CT – 125 Laps

2. (6) Jon McKennedy (79), Chelmsford MA - 125 Laps

3. (8) Eric Goodale (58), Riverhead NY - 125 Laps

4. (19) Anthony Nocella (92) Woburn MA - 125 Laps

5. (7) Bobby Santos III (44) Franklin MA – 125 Laps

6. (9) Chris Pasteryak (75CT), Moosup CT – 124 Laps

7. (4) Teddy Hodgdon (55CT), Danbury CT – 124 Laps

8. (14) JB Fortin (34), Holtsville, NY - 124 Laps

9. (1) Todd Owen (81), Somers CT - 124 Laps

10. (5) Buddy Charette (28), Woodstock CT - 123 Laps

11. (16) Carl Medeiros Jr (50), Westport MA - 123 Laps

12. (13) Artie Pederson (01NY), Ctr. Moriches NY - 122 Laps

13. (15) Anthony Bello (19), Newtown CT - 122 Laps

14. (18) Sal Accardi (93), Deer Park NY - 120 Laps

15. (11) JP Puleo (1), Branford CT - 112 Laps

16. (22) Keith Rocco (57), Berlin CT – 109 Laps

17. (17) Chace Cook (20), Norwich CT - 88 Laps

18. (20) Kevin Folan (17), N. Attleboro MA - 73 Laps

19. (2) Matt Swanson (25x), Acton MA - 53 Laps

20. (12) Tommy Barrett (4NH), Millis MA - 50 Laps

21. (3) Ronnie Williams (25), Tolland CT – 42 Laps

22. (21) David Arute (15), Tolland CT - 39 Laps

23. DNS Josh Zentek (81x), E. Haven CT

ACT-type Late Model Feature (35 Laps)

Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown

1. Derek Gluchacki (03MA), N. Dartmouth MA

2. Brian Tagg (9MA), Millbury MA

3. Nick Johnson (6), Rehoboth MA

4. Mike Benevides (50RI), Westerly RI

5. Ryan Morgan (31CT), N. Franklin CT

6. Rick Gentes (70), Harrisville RI

7. Woody Pitkat (91CT), Bellingham MA

8. Mark Jenison (22RI), Warwick RI

9. Jordan Hadley (37), Waterford CT

10. Charles Bailey III (94CT), Lisbon CT

11. Andrew Gilles (1), Ashland MA

12. Paul Newcomb (7), Plymouth MA

13. Donald Macrino (13), Waterford CT

14. Isaiah Newcomb (22), Plymouth MA

15. Charles Bailey IV (4CT), Lisbon MA

16. Josh Hedges (29), New Bedford MA

DNS Matt Lowinski-Loh (17), Milford MA

SK Lite Modifieds Feature (25 Laps)

Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown

1. Steven Chapman (14), Ellington CT

2. George Bessette Jr (39), Danbury CT

3. Tyler Chapman (41), Ellington CT

4. John O’Sullivan (15), Norwich CT

5. Ethan Durocher (16CT), Canterbury CT

6. Meghan Fuller (02), Auburn MA

7. Corey Caddick (27), Richmond RI

8. Sami Anderson (21), Wolcott CT

9. Nick Hovey (16), Chaplin CT

10. Trent Goodrow (31), Carver MA

11. Cole Kugler (07K), Bradford RI

12. Steve Kenneway (26), Hampton NH

13. Mark Bakaj (88), Lebanon CT

14. Josh Carey (69), Belchertown MA

15. Nathan Pytko (24), Oxford MA

16. Todd Douillard (16MA), Palmer MA

17. Jason Paquette (94), Baltic CT

Limited Sportsman Feature (25 Laps)

Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown

1. Corey Fanning (11), Maplewood RI

2. Aaron Plemons (67), Uncasville CT

3. Larry Barnett (73), Moosup CT

4. Brent Gleason (01), Griswold CT

5. Zach Robinson (89), Putnam CT

6. Jason Chicolas (7x), Sutton MA

7. Jason Finkbein (46CT), Manchester CT

8. Moose Douton (39), Waterford CT

9. Troy Waterman (7), Danielson CT

10. Al Stone III (52), Durham CT

11. Nick Hovey (16), Chaplin CT

12. Brian Norman (12), Clinton CT

13. Tyler Cinamella (66), Willimantic CT

14. Jon Porter (38), E. Lyme CT

15. Scott Sundeen (36), Sutton MA

16. Nick Anderson (00), Oxford MA

17. Tommy Shea (45), New London CT

18. Hank Stott (10), Medway MA

19. Kris Kay Sr. (8), Dudley MA

20. Jeff Van Pelt (13), N. Providence RI

21. Ryan Waterman (75), Danielson CT

22. Nathan Taylor (1), Brooklyn CT

23. Bert Ouelette (93), Ellington CT

24. Tim Poulin (22), N. Grosvenordale CT

25. Ed Flanagan Jr. (28), Warwick RI

26. Chris Meyer (23), N. Franklin CT

27. DNS Samantha Dell (28RI), Harrisville RI

Mini Stocks (20 Laps)

Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown

1. Kevin Moore (82), Moosup CT

2. Steve Michalski (44), Brooklyn CT

3. Scott Michalski (51), Brooklyn MA

4. Tommy Silva (31), Gales Ferry CT

5. Jarred Roy (1CT), Moosup CT

6. Chris Ivory (94X), Oakdale, CT

7. Dave Trudeau (97), Marshfield CT

8. Nadine Coates (40), Newport NH

9. Glynn Roy (81), Sterling MA

10. Bill Schoeler (84), Warwick RI

11. Ray Herman (91), Baltic CT

12. Joe Bavolacco (20), Stratford CT

13. JT Surprenant (92)

-ACT Press Release
-Photo credit: Alan Ward