DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will open its 30th anniversary season on Sunday at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park with the Icebreaker 150. Below is a statistical look at the performance of the tour and selected drivers at the track:
Icebreaker 150 Setup:
• Doug Coby enters 2015 as the defending champion. The last driver to win back-to-back NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour titles was Tony Hirschman in 2004-05.
• Ted Christopher leads all drivers with four Icebreaker 150 victories (2004, `05, `09, `11). Other active drivers with wins in the traditional season-opening event include Justin Bonsignore (2014), Bobby Santos (2010) and Ron Silk (2012).
• Bonsignore will look to become just the third driver to earn back-to-back Icebreaker 150 victories following Jeff Fuller (1992, `93) and Christopher (2004, `05).
• Ryan Preece won the final two races of 2014, including the Thompson World Series. Preece was also the last NWMT driver to register three-consecutive victories when he accomplished the feat during his 2013 championship season.
• The Icebreaker 150 entry list included 37 entries at the beginning of the week. That would be the largest starting field for a stand-alone race since the 2010 Icebreaker also had 37.
At Thompson Speedway:
• Opened on May 26, 1940 as the largest and first entirely-asphalt track in New England at the time.
• An inaugural member track of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, now in its 34th season. Ryan Preece is the defending track champion out of the Sunoco Modified division.
• Held NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in 1951, 1969 and 1970 and 27 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East events from 1988-2009.
• Held the inaugural NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event on March 31, 1985, a race won by the late NASCAR Hall of Famer Richie Evans.
• Thompson has played host to 126 NWMT races, the most in the tour’s previous 30 seasons.
• There have been 34 different race winners at Thompson, led by Mike Stefanik’s 15 victories.
• There have been 42 different pole winners at Thompson, led by Tony Hirschman’s 13.
• Jamie Tomaino is the only driver that has participated in all 126 previous NWMT Thompson races.
• There have only been three races won in wire-to-wire fashion at Thompson, the last by Rick Fuller in 1997.
• Bobby Santos was the youngest Thompson race winner at 22 years, 11 days in 2007.
• Stefanik was the oldest Thompson victor at 54 years, 10 months, 25 days in 2013.
Race: #1 of 15 overall, #1 of 4 at Thompson
Track Layout: .625-mile asphalt oval
Banking/Turns: 26 degrees
Race Length: 150 laps (93.75 miles)
2014 Pole Winner: Woody Pitkat, Chevrolet, 18.724 seconds, 120.167 mph
2014 Race Winner: Justin Bonsignore, Chevrolet, 1:16:33, 73.481 mph
Qualifying Record: Bobby Santos, Dodge, 18.237 seconds, 123.376 mph, April 10, 2011
Active Category Leaders at Thompson:
1. Mike Stefanik … 15
2. Ted Christopher … 13
3. Bobby Santos … 4
Ron Silk … 4
1. Mike Stefanik … 10
2. Ted Christopher … 7
3. Bobby Santos … 5
1. Mike Stefanik … 52
2. Ted Christopher … 33
3. Jamie Tomaino … 20
1. Mike Stefanik … 67
1. Jamie Tomaino … 49
3. Ted Christopher … 45
1. Mike Stefanik … 1,853
2. Ted Christopher … 1,723
3. Donny Lia … 637
1. Jamie Tomaino … 126
2. Mike Stefanik … 109
3. Ted Christopher … 85
Select Driver Highlights:
Tommy Barrett Jr. (No. 22 Canto Paving/Ferguson Water Works Chevrolet)
• Has a win, a pole and six top 10s in 15 career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour starts.
• Finished 12th during his rookie season, a year highlighted by a win in the combo race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
• Has an average finish of 16th and a best result of seventh (2012 World Series) in four career NWMT starts at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
Justin Bonsignore (No. 51 M3 Technology Chevrolet)
• Has six wins, five poles and 43 top 10s in 73 career starts.
• Finished third in the 2014 championship standings behind a career-high three wins, two of which came at Thompson.
• Has three wins, eight top 10s and an average finish of 14th in 17 career Thompson starts.
Ted Christopher (No. 13 J&R Pre-Cast/Cape Cod Aggregates Chevrolet)
• The 2008 NWMT champion has 42 wins, 24 poles and 192 top 10s in 347 career starts. His 42 wins rank third all-time and his 24 poles are eighth.
• Is looking to end a 42-race winless drought. It’s his longest such streak since the start of his career when his first win came in his 94th race.
• Finished fifth in points last year with 11 top 10s in 13 starts.
• Has 13 wins, seven poles, 45 top 10s, an average finish of 13th and 1,723 laps led in 85 career NWMT Thompson starts. Also won the non-points UNOH Showdown there in 2012, and has a record four wins in the Icebreaker.
• Is a four-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track champion at Thompson out of the Sunoco Modified division, and enters this week’s events with 98 total feature wins at the track.
Doug Coby (No. 2 Dunleavy’s Repair/HEX Performance Chevrolet)
• The 2012 and 2014 NWMT champion has 10 wins, four poles and 78 top 10s in 156 career starts.
• Posted a win and a tour-high 12 top 10s in 13 races a year ago to capture the championship.
• Has a win (Sept. 2011), 22 top 10s and an average finish of 12th in 42 career Thompson starts. Also won the non-points UNOH Showdown there in 2011.
Eric Goodale (No. 58 GAF Roofing/RBSCorp.com Chevrolet)
• Has a win, a pole and 35 top 10s in 86 career NWMT starts.
• Maintains the NWMT’s active starts streak lead, now at 84 races.
• Ranked seventh in points last year with a win and seven top 10s.
• Has nine top 10s, an average finish of 14th and a best result of third (Aug. 2013) in 20 Thompson appearances.
• Held the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour points lead after three races, highlighted by a March 15 win at Caraway Speedway.
Corey LaJoie (No. 15 15-40 Connection Chevrolet)
• Started second and finished 27th in his only previous NWMT start, the 2012 Stafford Spring Sizzler.
• Has a win (2010 Atlanta quarter mile) and three top 10s in five career NWSMT appearances.
• Was the 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship runner-up behind a series-high five wins. Has made six NASCAR XFINITY Series starts and two more in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Donny Lia (No. 8 Sypher Construction Chevrolet)
• The 2007 and 2009 NWMT champion has 17 wins, 20 poles and 78 top 10s in 154 career starts.
• Ranked 11th in points a year ago with six top 10s, highlighted a pair of second place finishes.
• Owner of three wins, four poles, 15 top 10s and an average finish of 14th in 35 career Thompson starts.
Rowan Pennink (No. 93 Van Wickle Auto Supply Chevrolet)
• Has two wins and 55 top 10s in 111 career starts.
• Competed in 11 of 13 events last year and recorded six top 10s with a best finish of third.
• Has a win (2013 World Series), 17 top 10s and an average finish of 11.5 in 30 career Thompson races.
Woody Pitkat (No. 88 Buzz Chew Chevrolet Inc. Chevrolet)
• Has two wins, two poles and 41 top 10s in 91 career starts. His poles came in last year’s Thompson Icebreaker and World Series.
• Finished ninth in points last year despite the first two wins of his career, which came at Stafford Motor Speedway in August and New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September.
• Has six top 10s, and an average finish of 17th and a best result of second (2014 Icebreaker) in 25 Thompson starts.
Ryan Preece (No. 6 TS Haulers/Calverton Tree Farm Chevrolet)
• The 2013 NWMT champion has 11 wins, 12 poles, 28 podiums, 48 top fives and 64 top 10s in 108 career starts.
• Finished as the 2014 championship runner-up thanks to season-closing wins in the Stafford Fall Final and Thompson World Series.
• Has a win, four poles, nine podiums, 16 top 10s and an average finish of 12th in 28 career Thompson starts.
• The 2012 and 2014 Thompson NWAAS track champion, where he has 14 career Sunoco Modified division wins.
• Won the modified division championship during the World Series of Asphalt Racing at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway in February and took the NWSMT checkered flag last week at South Boston (Va.) Speedway.
Derek Ramstrom (No. 35 Matthews Truck Service/Seekonk Grand Prix Chevrolet)
• Made his NWMT debut with a 20th place finish at New London-Waterford Speedbowl in 2014. His second and only other appearance was a 27th place finish in last year’s Thompson World Series.
• Is a three time titlist of Thompson NWAAS super late model division. Also has 11 career NKNPS East starts to his credit, with a best finish of fifth at Bristol in 2012.
Bobby Santos (No. 44 Curb Records/Tinio Racing Chevrolet)
• The 2010 NWMT champion has 13 wins, 16 poles and 50 top 10s in 92 career starts.
• Finished sixth in points last year with three wins and seven top 10s. The wins came at Stafford (April), Waterford and New Hampshire (July).
• Has four wins, five poles, 17 top 10s and an average finish of 14th in 31 career Thompson appearances. His first win came in the 2007 World Series, and he won the Icebreaker in 2010.
Ron Silk (No. 40 15-40 Connection Chevrolet)
• The 2011 NWMT champion has nine wins, eight poles and 83 top 10s in 138 career starts.
• Ranked fourth in points in 2014 with 11 top 10s and a best result of second in August at Stafford.
• Has four wins, 24 top 10s and an average finish of 11th in 37 career Thompson appearances. His first three career wins were earned at the track, and his most recent Thompson triumph was the 2012 Icebreaker.
Timmy Solomito (No. 16 Diversified Metals Chevrolet)
• The 2014 Sunoco Rookie of the Year has a pole and eight top 10s in 20 career starts with a best finish of third at Riverhead Raceway in September 2013.
• Ranked eighth in the overall 2014 standings with six top 10s.
• Has four top 10s, an average finish of 12th and a best result of fourth (2014 Icebreaker) in six Thompson races.
Todd Szegedy (No. 4 Mystic Missile Racing Dodge)
• The 2003 NWMT champion has 18 wins, 10 poles and 115 top 10s in 187 career starts.
• Competed in six of 13 races last year with a best result of second at New Hampshire in September.
• Has three wins, three poles, 23 top 10s and an average finish of 13th in 45 career Thompson starts.
Up To Speed:
• This is the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour’s 30th Anniversary season.
• The 2015 schedule features 15 races at seven different tracks across four states.
-NASCAR IMC Press Release. Photo Credit: Speed51.com photo