ROLLS INTO THOMPSON WEDNESDAY NIGHT
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour rolls into Thompson
Speedway Motorsports Park on Wednesday night for the
27th Annual Bug ‘King of Beers’ 150. The event is
traditionally the most action-packed event of the
Thompson Speedway calendar and it marks the tours’
third stop to the 5/8-mile oval this season.
This year has seen a string of first time winners in
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series weekly competition
at Thompson and the Whelen Modified Tour has seen
some of that as well. Timmy Solomito’s Icebreaker
win was his first and led to a string of 3 wins this
season. Max Zachem used strategy and was on his way
to victory number one during the 125-lap race in
June, only to get passed on the final circuit to
come home second.
“When it happens it will happen,” said Zachem who
has successfully runs an independent team on a
shoestring budget. “Thompson is one of my favorite
tracks; I grew up racing at the Little T. We just go
for broke and aim for a Top-10 every week as the
only way we can keep up with (Doug Coby) and
(Solomito). Maybe the golden horseshoe will leave
the (Coby) car soon.”
Maybe it has.
After leading 140 laps during Friday’s event at
Stafford Speedway, Coby suffered a fuel delivery
problem in the closing laps finishing 20th. Last
season, Coby swept the 4 Thompson events, however in
the two races this year he has finished 4th and 11th
“The car we had could have won last time we just got
penalized, which put us behind,” said Coby.
“Solomito had us beat at the Icebreaker and we had a
fast car after the pit stop in June. Last year we
were dominant there. This year we have been dominant
at Stafford. Those guys stepped up their game a
little bit and they gained some on us.”
Coby and Solomito are the only two drivers to win
multiple races this season with three victories
apiece making them midseason championship favorites.
Solomito’s first career start came at the
high-banked oval just five years ago. Now in his 3rd
full time season, he has become a series veteran
looking all the wiser each time the car is on track.
“I work in the Hamptons and when I sit in traffic
during my commute all I think about is racing and
how we can improve in every area,” said Solomito. “I
think about how the car feels in certain situations.
After going to tracks for a few years now I know
where we need to be. We learn from that, apply it,
and get better for the next race.”
Three-time Thompson winner Justin Bonsignore has
quietly become a championship contender as well
after a second place effort at Stafford. Two of his
Thompson wins have come during this event. He now
sits only 20 tallies behind Coby in the point
battle, as he enters one of his best tracks with
Another driver planning on continued momentum for a
strong run is sophomore driver Chase Dowling who is
coming off his first top-5 finish of the season.
Dowling led his first laps of his Whelen Modified
career in last year’s Bud 150.
“Last year we played a lot of strategy,” said
Dowling. “This is a strategy race because you can
pit early or late, but you need a good car for the
first half of the race.”
The Whelen Modified Tour will be joined on Wednesday
night by the Northeastern Midget Association and
Thompson’s four weekly divisions. The grandstands
open at 3:30p with opening ceremonies slated for
For more information and the full event schedule
Theresa Condict / Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park
August 8, 2016