THOMPSON, Conn. — The 61st World Series of Racing took place Sunday at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
The Evolve Bank & Trust Mortgage Pro Truck Series took the track for their 30-lap Sunoco World Series feature event. Tyler Chapman and Duane Knoll went to battle at the front of the pack before a big pile-up in turn one ended the day for top runners ‘Dangerous’ Dave Koenig and Dennis Charette. Shawn Monahan hunted down Chapman to lead lap 27 off turn four while Chapman spun himself out in turn two to call out the final caution. Shawn Monahan took the World Series win following a strong restart.
‘Leadfoot’ Larry Barnett quickly charged to the front of the 20-lap Limited Sportsman championship event as himself, Corey Fanning and Ryan Waterman battled for the 2023 track championship. Fanning motored into the lead on lap 4 with the title chase still at play. Caution after caution, the season-long championship remained in a stalemate between Fanning and Waterman, tied as they ran throughout the feature event. ‘Kid Chaos’ Corey Fanning took down the World Series win and his first Thompson Speedway Limited Sportsman championship in tiebreaker over Ryan Waterman with three wins on the season.
The Pro-4 Modifieds made their grand return to the Sunoco World Series for their annual Harry Kourafas Memorial event. Rob Richardi Jr. and Brayden Meservey took on a hard-fought battle at the front of the pack before a quick spin for the #57 in turn four slowed the field. While Jack Dumas and Richardi battled for second, Brayden Meservey took down the Harry Kourafas Memorial 22-lap feature win. Jack Dumas held on to second with Rob Richardi rounding out the podium.
Top championship chasers Jonathan ‘JP’ Puleo and Troy Talman led the final Sunoco Modified feature of the season to the green flag with Talman taking the early lead. Talman made growing his lead over Puleo look easy until Keith Rocco caught up to his rear-bumper. Stalking the youngster, veteran Rocco played the mind games from second-place lap after lap before jumping to the low-side and leading lap 14. Keith Rocco kept the hammer down to win the battle but Troy Talman was able to win the war, taking the 2023 Sunoco Modified track championship. Jonathan Puleo able to claim the Sunoco World Series championship by six-points over Talman with his top-5 finish.
Vern Romanowski and Ryan Battle led the New England Supermodified Series (NESS) to green for their 2023 championship finale. Championship chaser Dan Bowes overtook the two front row starters to steal the lead by lap two as point leader Ben Seitz also made his way around the early leaders to take chase. Matt Swanson dove in under Seitz to battle side-by-side in spectacular fashion lap after lap before Swanson finally took the position on lap 11. The lone caution flag flew on lap 24 for Dave Duggan’s spin in turn one to reshuffle the field. Dan Bowes took charge once again on the restart, schooling second-place finisher Matt Swanson with the win and passing over third-place finisher Ben Seitz to take the 2023 NESS championship.
The NEMA Lite feature started with a spin for polesitter Tiana Kibbe as the field settled back in for another go at their 25-lap main event on Sunoco World Series Sunday. Ryan Locke inherited the top spot under green as Randy Cabral hunted him down from the second spot. Cabral took over the lead just after the halfway point and kept it all the way to Sunoco World Series victory lane followed by Jake Trainor and Locke to round out the podium during their annual World Series appearance at the Big-T.
Hard-charging Jake Johnson and Sammy Rameau brought the Sunoco 100 for the Outlaw Open Modified Series to green followed closely by Austin Beers and Keith Rocco. Rameau moved into the lead early, but Johnson wasn’t interested in another second-place run on Sunday. The two battled hard in the early goings as veterans Rocco and Eric Goodale looked to join the fun. Charlie Pasteryak’s spin in turn two called out the first caution on lap 11 leaving Beers and Johnson to fight for the restart lead.
Through several quick-spin cautions and pitting periods, Johnson, Beers and Anthony Bello kept up the action in front of the field. While troubles plagued top pilots Woody Pitkat, Chris Pasteryak, Teddy Hodgdon and Keith Rocco, the gremlins finally caught up to Johnson who missed a shift on the lap 49 restart, giving the lead to Bello. As laps wound down, Ronnie Williams made his way closer and closer to Bello before sweeping under to take the lead away on lap 77. Both would pit on the lap 80 caution, gambling with twenty laps remaining.
Rocco and Rameau led the restart, bare-knuckle battling at the front with Craig Lutz, George Bessette Jr. and Beers capitalizing. George Bessette Jr. and Rameau made hard contact in turn four, ending their days and giving Lutz the lead. Keith Rocco beat Lutz back to the line on the restart, turned around a nearly disastrous mid-race visit to pit road to win the $10,000 Sunoco 100 over Kyle Bonsignore and Austin Beers.
The SK Light Modifieds decided on a no-holds-barred affair, kicking off their 30-lap feature with three caution periods before getting in one lap. Frank Hurt led the first lap while the championship chase between Alexander Pearl and Tyler Chapman followed among the top-ten. A huge calamity broke loose across the frontstretch on lap three, ending the championship hope for Chapman and sending Hurt, George Perreault and Nick Hovey behind the wall for the evening. Pearl faced-off against John O’Sullivan again and again in restart conditions but it was the final re-rack showdown between Pearl and Meghan Fuller that saw Fuller take her first career Thompson Speedway SK Light win using the high-lane. Alexander Pearl would take the 2023 Thompson Speedway track championship with his second-place finish while Sami Anderson took third.
Dave Trudeau led the Mini Stocks to green in search of his first win of the 2023 season at Thompson Speedway with fellow championship hopefuls Kevin Moore and Jarred Roy on his tail. Roy snuck away the lead on lap 4 and kept his foot in the firewall to lead all the way to the end and take down the championship by just two points over third-place finisher, and defending champ, Kevin Moore. Dave Trudeau took home second.
Christopher Buffone and Chad Baxter took off from the Open Street Stock field to start their 40-lap feature event. The final event of the 61st Sunoco World Series, Ryan Waterman quickly joined the group as Baxter took over the lead from Buffone. Baxter’s strong run went up in smoke to give the lead to Waterman who held a full corner lead ahead of Buffone and Jason Woodard. While Woodard and Waterman raced hot and heavy through to lap 38 when contact sent Waterman into the turn three wall, sending Woodard to the rear and gifting Buffone the lead. Christopher Buffone steam-rolled his way to victory lane.