Derek Griffith drove down from Hudson, N.H., and drove by fellow Thompson ace Eddie MacDonald to claim the PASS Icebreaker 75. (Tom Morris photo)

Griffith Uses Final Restart At Thompson To Win Icebreaker 75

THOMPSON, Conn. — The crew at Thompson Speedway worked overtime during Saturday’s portion of 50th Icebreaker weekend due to intermittent rain that sprinkled down on the track.

Full feature events were run for the Thompson Street Stocks and PASS Super Late Models, but the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series was a casualty to the weather and will be postponed to Oct. 11. 

PASS Super Late Models

Following qualifying for all divisions originally scheduled for Saturday’s festivities, the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) Super Late Models took the field. After taking the victory lap in their respective heat race qualifiers, New Hampshire drivers D.J. Shaw and Wayne Helliwell, Jr. led the field to green.

An early caution for a back-field squabble in turn three saw Massachusetts’ hot-shoe Eddie MacDonald chase down early leader Shaw and, after battling side-by-side, took over the lead before a lap-39 rain delay.

Two restarts led to two spirited battles between Shaw and MacDonald with ‘The Outlaw’ taking charge but facing a mirror full of Derek Griffith. With fifteen laps remaining Griffith began to show his hand, growing ever closer to MacDonald while maintaining a safe distance, poised to pounce as laps wound down.

While a second and third rain delay dashed Griffith’s original chase, the Hudson, N.H., native powered by MacDonald on the final restart to claim the Icebreaker gold over Shaw and MacDonald.

Street Stocks

The Street Stocks started the 2024 Thompson Speedway track championship chase on Saturday with a three-wide start in their 25-lap feature event. Multi-time Waterford Speedbowl champion Al Stone III took advantage of a slip-up for ‘Leadfoot’ Larry Barnett to take the lead and growing it ahead of 2023 title contenders Corey Fanning and Ryan Waterman.

A short rain delay re-racked the field with Stone and Waterman battling as Aaron Plemons took over third from Fanning.

While Stone quickly reasserted his dominance, a spinning Austin Flannagin in turn two brought out the final caution to set up an eight-lap fight to the finish. Waterman gave it all he had left in the tank on the final restart but Al Stone III took charge on the outside lane and rim rode the Thompson highbanks to the Icebreaker victory.

Aaron Plemons followed Stone and Ryan Waterman to round out the top three.

Monaco Modifieds

The inaugural event for the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series fought the on-again, off-again rain clouds all day long, much to everyone’s dismay. Matt Hirschman, Ronnie Williams and Anthony Nocella were able to claim heat race qualifying wins but constant rain and inability to dry the track after sunset postponed the main event.

Mini Stocks

Kevin Moore and Dave Trudeau split the Mini Stock heat wins on Saturday while Jon Puleo won the first race, a qualifying heat, for the new Sunoco 604 Modified class. The Mini Stock feature will be run Sunday, April 7, and the Sunoco 604 Modifieds will run both their Saturday make-up and the originally scheduled Sunday event.

The Evolve Bank & Mortgage Pro Truck Series will not run a make-up event on Sunday.

Plans for their make-up will be announced in the near future.