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Tom Carey III celebrates a late model win Saturday night at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. (Daniel Holben Photo)

Carey Collects Thompson Late Model Victory

THOMPSON, Conn. – Tom Carey III pulled away late to win the 40-lap late model feature that was part of the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Icebreaker evening undercard Saturday night.

Carey started sixth and was challenging Derek Gluchacki when the third caution flew on lap eight for Paul Heard’s front stretch spin. It was part of a calamitous start that also Jason Larivee Jr. and Donald Macrino scale the turn-three wall in an earlier incident.

Carey put the nose out front on the third restart just before another yellow for Kevin Bowe. This time, when the green flew, Carey and Gluchacki spent multiple laps swapping paint before Carey finally gained the upper hand. Once the field finally got a long green-flag run, Carey’s Chevrolet truly came to life as he steadily extended the margin.

The fifth and final yellow for a turn-two spin by Charles H. Bailey IV set up a seven-lap dash for cash. On the restart, Ryan Morgan wound it up on the outside and went from fourth to second. Gluchacki then tried to get back at Morgan, which gave Carey the cushion he needed to take the victory and a $1,200 payday. It was Carey’s second-straight late model Icebreaker win.

“I’m lucky enough to have two of these (Icebreaker wins) now,” Carey said after the event. “It’s huge, man. This event has always been a stable to kick off the season in New England. I’m just honored, really, to win at a historic track like Thompson — a track that I really love and always have since I was a little kid.”

Morgan held on for the runner-up spot. Gluchacki completed the podium followed by Woody Pitkat and Rick Gentes. Matthew Lowinski-Loh, Corey Fanning, Charles H. Bailey III, Nicolas Johnson, and Mark Jenison rounded out the top-10.

Larry Barnett found his way to Thompson’s Victory Lane for the first time since 2017 in the 25-lap Limited Sportsmen feature. Barnett was running fourth on lap seven when Kyle Gero and Ryan Waterman tangled in turn two racing for lead. Troy Waterman had nowhere to go and piled into Gero, severely damaging both cars.

Corey Fanning and Barnett inherited the front row for the restart, with Barnett getting the jump on the restart. Barnett, Fanning, and Brent Gleason then broke away from the pack before Gleason went to work on Fanning for second, allowing Barnett to stretch his lead out.

One more caution on lap 20 for Jeffrey VanPelt’s spin re-racked the field for a sprint to the finish. Barnett took charge again and rolled to another victory on the Thompson high banks.

Fanning held off Gleason by a few feet to finish second. Ryan Waterman recovered from the lap-seven incident to finish fourth. Scott Sundeen, Douglas Curry, Nicholas Hovey, Michael Malbaurn, Tommy Shea, and Aaron Plemons completed the top-10.

Anthony Bello saved his best for last to capture the SK Light Modified feature by a whisker. Bello spent most of the 25-lap event stalking George Bessette Jr., who had led from the outside pole. As many as six cars raced under a blanket with a minor spin on lap three being the only thing to slow them down.

Bello looked to Bessette’s inside midway through the race, but nothing was doing. Coming into turn three for the final time, though, Bello swept by Bessette on the inside. Bessette pulled the crossover move off turn four and the two drag-raced to the finish line. At the checkered flag, Bello was ahead by just .023 seconds to claim victory.

Bessette settled for a heartbreaking second followed by Albert Ouellette in third. Wayne Burroughs Jr., Steven Chapman, Shawn Thibeault, Nathan Pytho, Josh Carey, Paul Charette, and John O’Sullivan III came home fourth through 10th.

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