Thompson, Conn. — Keith Rocco of Berlin, Conn. swept the Sunoco Modified Double feature night with back-to-back victories in NASCAR Whelen All American Series action Thursday night. Rocco’s win is his fourth in eight features this season at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. Rick Gentes won the Late Model feature while Corey Hutchings took down the win in the Limited Sportsman division. Dave Trudeau picked up the Mini Stock win.
Keith Rocco proved to be the man to beat in both of the twin Sunoco Modified feature races. Rocco took the lead from Ryan Preece for the final time at lap 20 in the first feature, and took it away from Todd Ceravolo in the second one. In both races, Rocco went to the checkered flag unchallenged.
Tyler Chadwick took the early lead at the drop of the green in the first 25-lap feature, but caution quickly emerged on lap two when Todd Ceravolo spun in the middle of turn one and two. Chadwick held off Cam McDermott on the restart, but a multi-car wreck on the backstretch put them under caution before the lap was over. McDermott took the lead on the restart and held off a three-wide challenge in turn four to keep it at the line.
On the following circuit, Preece drove up on McDermott’s bumper before dropping to the bottom groove to claim the lead in turn three of lap four. Kerry Malone moved into second and attached himself to Preece’s bumper. Rocco settled into third, but soon inherited the second position when Malone blew up on the front stretch at lap 14.
Preece and Rocco brought the field back to green with a tight door-to-door battle through turns one and two. In the middle of turn three, Rocco pulled ahead by a slight advantage, but lost it to Preece when they crossed the line. The battle continued and the duo swapped the lead several times before Rocco settled in out front at the wave of a caution flag on lap 17.
Preece cleared Rocco on the restart to assume the lead, but Rocco drove back out front in turn four. Preece reclaimed the lead before the lap was over, but Rocco wasn’t done and drove back out front on lap 20. This time, however, Rocco opened up a five car length advantage – the largest over Preece for the night. Rocco continued to pull away over the last couple of laps and took down the victory in the first of dual 25-lap features.
Rocco was again the man to beat in the second of the twin features. Rocco took the lead from Todd Ceravolo on lap 14 and never looked back.
Chadwick led the field to green and held off a challenge from Shawn Thibeault to stay out there. Thibeault, however, continued to challenge for the lead after holding off a three-wide battle for second. Todd Ceravolo charged to the front on lap five and took over the lead from Chadwick before Rocco got into the mix. The duo pulled away from the rest of the field by ten car lengths before Preece moved up to third. Caution tightened the field back up on lap 12.
Ceravolo drove back out front on the restart, but Rocco took it away coming out of turn two on lap 14. Ceravolo fought back, but couldn’t get a run strong enough to drive back by for the lead. The field settled in single-file as Rocco pulled ahead to a commanding lead that he would never relinquish.
Rick Gentes held off Jeff Smith in a late-race restart to take the checkers in dramatic fashion in the 25-lap Late Model feature.
Damon Tinio took the lead on the first circuit and held off Smith until caution came out on lap two. On the restart, however, Smith took over the lead and started to pull away by a commanding lead when a six-car crash evolved in turn one. The wreck forced Glenn Boss onto pit road where the crew was evaluating the damage and pulling off sheet metal when the race went back to green.
Smith used the inside lane to pull back out front. Tinio fell back by three car lengths and soon had to contend with Gentes, who was riding his back bumper. Tinio held him off despite the pressure and multiple inside groove challenges.
On lap 10, Gentes got a solid run on Tinio and the two went down the backstretch side-by-side. They were dead even coming to the line, but it was all Gentes coming out of turn two. Smith had a half-a-straightaway lead over the rest of the field, but Gentes was determined to close it up fast. By lap 15, he had chipped away the lead to ten car lengths. On lap 19, Gentes was within striking distance and made a bid for the lead coming out of turn four. On lap 20, Gentes took over the lead.
Caution flew on lap 22 and tightened the field back up for one final restart. Smith gave it everything he had on the restart, but Gentes emerged the victor from their lap-long battle to take the checkered flag over Tinio.
Corey Hutchings took down the win in the caution-filled Xtra-Mart Limited Sportsman feature. Hutchings and early leader Dwayne Dorr put on an exciting battle for the lead, but it was Hutchings who would command the second half of the race and take his No. 30 machine to victory lane.
Joe Coates took the early lead, but quickly lost it to Dorr after the first circuit. Dorr proved to be a serious contender early on as he pulled ahead to a ten car length advantage quickly after taking the lead. Hutchings, however, wanted to close it up as fast as he could and reeled him in by lap six. Hutchings used the bottom groove to get a run on Dorr, but caution came out and halted his progress.
Hutchings took the lead on the restart, but a spin in turn four brought out the caution flag and reverted the field back to their positions at the start of the circuit. Dorr held off Baxter on the restart, but a caution came out when Scott Sundeen spun on the front stretch just past the start/finish line.
Dorr and Hutchings battled it out on the following restart with Hutchings taking the lead in a race almost too close to call. The duo continued an intense side-by-side battle, but it was Hutchings who settled in out front. Further back in the field, Travis Jurcik collected Shawn Monahan in an incident that took both drivers out of contention for the night.
Hutchings resumed the lead on the restart and pulled ahead of Dorr by five car lengths. Ryan Waterman, Kevin Mason, and Diego Monahan rounded out the top-five. Monahan began pressuring Mason for the fourth spot, and was able to maneuver his way by on lap 14. Up front, Hutchings had extended his lead by half a straightaway before caution flew once again.
Hutchings held off Dorr on the restart and began to pull away. Diego Monahan moved into third as the battles behind him intensified. On lap 17, a three-car wreck halted the race. Gleason hit the wall hard in turn one after an intense battle for the fourth spot with Ryan Waterman and Kevin Mason.
Hutchings resumed the lead when the race went back to green for a three-lap dash to the checkers. Once again, he pulled ahead by a commanding lead and drove to the checkers unchallenged for the win.
Dorr and Diego Monahan were later disqualified from the top-five.
Dave Trudeau held off a bold last-lap challenge by Joe Baxter to take the win in the 15-lap Monster Mini Stock feature. Ed Field took the lead at the start of the feature after a difficult time getting a rhythm to the race. Two cautions slowed the pace before a single lap was complete. Joe Baxter quickly moved into the second position, and on lap two, used the bottom groove to get by for the lead in turn two.
Baxter held strong out front, but soon had to contend with the challenges of Dave Trudeau. Trudeau got on his bumper, and patiently waited for his opportunity. On lap 13, Trudeau got the run he needed and took over the lead. Baxter wasn’t about to give up the win that easily, and used the bottom groove to get up alongside Trudeau in turns three and four. The duo raced door-to-door to the checkers for a nail-biter finish that saw Trudeau claim the checkered flag.
-Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Press Release. Photo Credit: Speed51.com
Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Unofficial Results
Thompson, CT – September 4, 2014
SUNOCO MODIFIED FEATURE #1 FINISH: 1. Keith Rocco, Berlin, CT; 2. Ryan Preece, Berlin, CT; 3. Danny Cates, Chaplin, CT; 4. Cam McDermott, Scituate, RI; 5. Todd Ceravolo, Gales Ferry, CT; 6. Max Zachem, Preston, CT; 7. Tyler Chadwick, Ledyard, CT; 8. Shawn Thibeault, Plainville, CT; 9. Jason Sundeen, Douglas, MA; 10. Joe Gada, Salem, CT; 11. Ken Barry, Griswold, CT; 12. Kerry Malone, Needham, MA; 13. John Catania, Agawam, MA; 14. Woody Pitkat, Sturbridge, MA; 15. Andrew Charron, E. Greenwich, RI; 16. Troy Talman, Oxford, MA; 17. Joey Parker, Weymouth, MA.
SUNOCO MODIFIED FEATURE #2 FINISH: 1. Keith Rocco, Berlin, CT; 2. Todd Ceravolo, Gales Ferry, CT 3. Ryan Preece, Berlin, CT; 4. Shawn Thibeault, Plainville, CT; 5. Max Zachem, Preston, CT; 6. Danny Cates, Chaplin, CT; 7. Cam McDermott, Scituate, RI; 8. Tyler Chadwick, Ledyard, CT; 9. John Catania, Agawam, MA; 10. Ken Barry, Griswold, CT; 11. Jason Sundeen, Douglas, MA; 12. Troy Talman, Oxford, MA; 13. Andrew Charron, E. Greenwich, RI; 14. Joey Parker, Weymouth, MA; 15. Joe Gada, Salem, CT.
MONSTER MINI STOCK FEATURE FINISH: 1. Dave Trudeau, Mansfield, CT; 2. Joe Baxter, Pascoag, RI; 3. Ed Field, Deep River, CT; 4. Eric Bourgeois, E. Haddam, CT; 5. Mike Viens, Seekonk, MA; 6. Mike (Butch) Viens, Putnam, CT; 7. Nick Anderson, Oxford, MA; 8. Jeff Moffat, Smithfield, RI; 9. Larry Loomis, Jr., Moosup, CT; 10. Chris Ivory, Oakdale, CT; 11. Nick Matera, Warwick, RI; 12. Keith Ballou, Pascoag, RI; 13. Louis Bellisle, III, Lisbon, CT; 14. Steven Michalski, Brooklyn, CT; 15. Chad Baxter, Pascoag, RI; 16. Christopher Viens, Putnam, CT; 17. Natalie Perrault, Bellingham, MA.
XTRA/MART LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (TOP 18): 1. Corey Hutchings, Salem, CT; 2. Scott Sundeen, Sutton, MA; 3. Todd Dean, Danielson, CT; 4. Steve Kenneway, Lowell, MA; 5. Kevin Bowe, Pawtucket, RI; 6. Mike Palin, Dudley, MA; 7. Tommy Shea, Sr., New London, CT; 8. Scott young, Willimantic, CT; 9. Hank Stott, Medway, MA; 10. Tyler Cinamella, Willimantic, CT; 11. James Bendiak, Hopkinton, MA; 12. Glynn Roy, Sterling, CT; 13. Kevin Mason, W. Warwick, RI; 14. Ryan Waterman, Danielson, CT; 15. Jesse Gleason, Griswold, CT; 16. Michael Malbaurn, Sterling, CT; 17. Travis Jurcik, Chaplin, CT; 18. Shawn Monahan, Waterford, CT.
LATE MODEL FEATURE FINISH (TOP-10): 1. Rick Gentes, Burriville, RI; 2. Damon Tinio, Mendon, MA; 3. Jeff Smith, Old Lyme, CT; 4. Marc Curtis, Jr., Worcester, MA; 5. Jim Banfield, S. Glastonbury, CT; 6. Eddie LeClerc; 7. Larry Gelinas, Buxton, ME; 8. Chris Curtis, Rutland, MA; 9. Chad LaBastie, Uxbridge, MA; 10. John Materas, Voluntown, CT.