DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The only blip on Doug Coby’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park radar came in the season opener in April, when the current NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour point leader finished fourth — ending a stretch of four consecutive wins at the track for the three-time series champion.
The Milford, Connecticut driver has eight top five finishes in his last 10 starts at Thompson, including four wins, six podium finishes, four poles and 439 laps led over that span. Now Coby heads into Wednesday night’s Thompson 125 as the defending champion of the event, a race he dominated by leading 124 of 125 laps en route to victory in 2015.
Timmy Solomito of Islip, New York, won the season-opening race at Thompson, and he leads a slew of drivers into the .625-mile, high-banked oval looking too slow Coby’s momentum toward another championship season.
Race: Thompson 125
Place: Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, Thompson, Connecticut
When: Wednesday, June 15
Time: 8:45 p.m. ET
Track Layout: .625-mile oval
2015 Winner: Doug Coby
2015 Pole Sitter: Woody Pitkat
Event schedule: Wednesday, June 15 — Practice, 4-5 p.m.; Qualifying, 7 p.m.; Driver autograph session, 7:45 p.m.
Track Twitter: @ThompsonSpdwy
Event hashtag: #Thompson125
The Race: The Thompson 125 is the fifth of 17 championship points events in the 2016 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season. It is the second of four events at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
The Procedure: The maximum starting field per the official entry blank is 36 cars, including provisionals. The first 31 cars will have secured starting positions based on two-lap qualifying. The remaining five spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race is scheduled for 125 laps (78.125 miles) and the tire change rule is three tires, any position.
The Track: A .625-mile high-banked oval that opened in 1940, Thompson was the first entirely asphalt track in the nation and the largest in New England for five decades. Thompson has played host to 130 Whelen Modified Tour races all-time, more than any other track, and is one of two facilities to welcome the tour in each of its previous 31 years of competition.
Race Winners: There have been 35 different race winners at Thompson, led by Mike Stefanik’s 15 victories.
Pole Winners: There have been 44 different pole winners at Thompson, led by Tony Hirschman’s 13. Bobby Santos maintains the tour’s track qualifying record at 18.237 seconds (123.376 mph), set on April 10, 2011.
Thompson 125 Notes
Solomito Strong Opener: The only driver to slow the Doug Coby train at Thompson, Timmy Solomito opened up the 2016 season by winning the Icebreaker 150 at Thompson. The win was the first of his career for the Islip, New York driver. Solomito followed that effort with a top-five run at Stafford two weeks later.
Bonsignore’s Strong Start: Justin Bonsignore has three career wins at Thompson, and the driver from Holtsville, New York, is off to one of the strongest starts of his Whelen Modified Tour career. Bonsignore sits second behind Coby in the standings with three top five finishes through the first four races of 2016, fifth-place runs in each of the two races at Stafford this season. He also finished third at Thompson in April’s season opener.
Blewett Inches Closer: Jimmy Blewett’s return to the series for longtime car owner Bob Garbarino has been a good one, one that’s getting better with time. He finished third at Waterford and followed that with a runner-up finish at Stafford to give the Howell, New Jersey driver podium finishes in each of his last two races. Blewett has five career wins, though this is just his second full-time season on the Tour since 2008.
Back Home: NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Ryan Preece of Berlin, Connecticut returns to the Whelen Modified Tour again this week to drive the No. 6 for team owner Constance Partridge. Preece, who currently sits 18th in the Xfinity Series standings, is the 2013 Tour champion and a four-time championship runner-up. He finished second in the Icebreaker 150 at Thompson in April, his first of two starts this season to date.
NASCAR Home Tracks: SK Modifieds On The Thompson 125 Bill
The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series will be highlighted as part of the Whelen Modified Tour Thompson 125 program. The track’s premier Sunoco Modified division will compete in their 30-lap feature event, Multi-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion Keith Rocco leads the division by 20 points over Ryan Preece.
-NASCAR Home Tracks Press Release
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com/Rick Ibsen