Over the course of the last few years, there has been talk about the declining health of Tour-type Modified racing on the east coast. Well, that talk has been silenced, at least for this weekend, as more than 70 touring series Modifieds are expected to be on premises at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (CT) for this weekend’s Icebreaker.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will run its second race of 2018 on Sunday at the Icebreaker, and the Valenti Modified Racing Series will kick off its season on Saturday. Both divisions are expecting 35-plus competitors to attempt their respective races.
The 150-lap NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event, the headline event of the weekend, has 36 cars on the entry official entry list as of Wednesday afternoon. The entry list is of course headlined by Doug Coby, the five-time (and four-time defending) NWMT champion.
Coby is joined on the entry list by five former NASCAR Whelen Modified and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champions, including Ron Silk (NWMT, 2011), Bobby Santos III (NWMT, 2010), Ryan Preece (NWMT, 2013), Andy Seuss (NWSMT, 2014 and 2015) and Burt Myers (NWSMT, 2010 and 2016).
Those are not the only championship drivers in the field, though. Woody Pitkat (Stafford Motor Speedway), Jimmy Blewett (Wall Stadium), Chris Pasteryak (MRS), Jon McKennedy (ISMA & MRS), Rowan Pennink (Stafford Motor Speedway/MRS), Patrick Emerling (RoC), Eric Goodale (MTS), and Justin Bonsignore (MRS) are all in the field as well.
Saturday’s Modified Racing Series season opener boasts a strong entry list as well, with a few drivers pulling double-duty on Saturday and Sunday. Ron Silk, Woody Pitkat, Rowan Pennink and Eric Goodale will all be in both events throughout the weekend.
The Modified Racing Series entry list is headlined by three former series champions. Defending champion Anthony Nocella, who also scored five victories in 2017, will begin his title defense on Saturday. Pitkat and Pennink will also be in the field.
Keith Rocco has seven MRS victories, two of which have come at Thompson Speedway. Rocco will be looking for a third victory on Saturday.
Also on the entry list is RoC Asphalt Modified Tour regular, Tommy Catalano. Catalano will be making his Modified Racing Series debut on Saturday.
If the touring series Modifieds aren’t enough, a healthy field of Sunoco Modifieds will also be in attendance with drivers such as Preece and Rocco pulling double-duty on Sunday. In all, nearly 100 Modifieds could be in the pit area at Thompson this weekend.
Speed51 will have live Trackside Now coverage of the Icebreaker at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Saturday and Sunday.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo credit: Speed51.com / MoJo Photos