(Thompson, CT) – The 41st Annual Icebreaker on April 11th and 12th will mark the beginning of Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park’s 75th season. Originally opened in 1940, the track has remained under the ownership of the Hoenig family throughout its operation. To commemorate this significant anniversary, this year’s Icebreaker will feature some special activities and events for fans throughout the weekend. The event will be headlined by the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (NWMT), which is celebrating its 30th season this year.
Defending NWMT champion, Doug Coby and the No. 2 Mike Smeriglio III Racing Team, will face stiff competition at the first points event of the season this weekend, as they go up against a 37-car field. The roster includes Justin Bonsignore, who scored two wins last season out of the three NWMT races held at Thompson, including the Icebreaker 150. Ryan Preece, the 2013 NWMT Champion, will challenge Coby with a new team, driving for TS Haulers racing in the No. 6 Chevrolet. The team has already found success, with a win in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour (NWSMT) at South Boston. Eric Goodale, who currently sits atop the points standings in the NWSMT, will also be competing at the Icebreaker 150.
The New Hampshire-based Granite State Pro Stock Series (GSPSS) will hold a 40 lap race for its first of twelve races this season on Sunday. Going into their fourth season, the GSPSS has had four different winners at their four races they’ve held here since 2013 – George Bessette, Larry Gelinas, Mike O’Sullivan, and Derek Ramstrom. “Magic Mike” O’Sullivan claimed the victory at least year’s Icebreaker weekend, followed by two 2nd place finishes in four starts. He only ran part-time last season, as he chose to spend time with family after welcoming third son, Cameron. Last year’s champion, Dillon Moltz, also picked up Rookie of the Year honors, driving for car owner Mark Bracket. He finished 5th at last year’s Icebreaker.
Thompson’s four NASCAR Whelen All-American Series (NWAAS) divisions will also be participating during the two-day race weekend. The track’s premier division, the Sunoco Modifieds, will be running a special 75-lap feature with $2,000 paid to the race winner. Defending champion, Ryan Preece, will be looking to hold off runner-up Keith Rocco. Six-time Thompson champion, Rick Gentes, is making a strong push to add a seventh notch to his belt in the Late Model division. It was a tight battle in the division last year, between Gentes and Glenn Boss, who will be driving for the Lillie family race team this season. The Limited Sportsman division will run two events at the opening weekend. In the division last year, Scott Sundeen came away with his third championship, without scoring a win. This year, he has his eyes on Victory Lane at the Icebreaker. The Mini Stocks will also run a double feature this weekend, and will see Nick Anderson, the World Series winner, look to follow up on his strong finish last season.
The NEMA Lites, Lite Modifieds, New England Truck Series, and Vintage Outlaws will all be in competition as well. The weekend event begins on Friday, April 10, with an optional practice day for race teams. Practice and qualifying will take place prior to six feature events on Saturday night. Six feature events headline the race program on Sunday with all of the on-track activity beginning at 12:30PM.
Fans are also invited to attend the annual Pit Party on the Sunday morning from 10:30AM – 11:30AM. This is a great chance to get up close to the cars and drivers that will be racing at the event! There will also be driver autographs, a live concert featuring American Idol contestant, Timmy Brown, and a pit crew competition. For more information about the Icebreaker, or about TSMP, please visit our website – www.thompsonspeedway.com, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter or Youtube.
-Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Press Release. Photo credit: Speed51.com