Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park
(Photo: Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)

PIT BOX: Whelen Modified Tour returns to Thompson for first time since 2020

For the first time since 2020, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Thursday, Aug. 18, for the running of the Phoenix Communications 150.

The 11th race of the 2022 season is also the 149th NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event held at the popular Connecticut oval, which hosted the inaugural Tour event on March 31, 1985.

Through the years, 36 drivers have earned trips to Victory Lane in NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour competition at Thompson. Topping that list is NASCAR Hall of Famer Mike Stefanik, who earned 15 of his 74 Tour victories at Thompson.

Many other legendary names have earned Tour victories at Thompson, including Ted Christopher, Jeff Fuller, Rick Fuller, Justin Bonsignore, Tony Hirschman, Steve Park, Doug Coby and Richie Evans, just to name a few.

Below is everything you need to know about Thursday’s Phoenix Communications 150 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

Phoenix Communications 150 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

What to watch for:

20141217085344 Thompson Speedway LogoWith only six races left in the 2022 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season, the battle for the series championship is as tight as it’s been all season.

Entering Thursday’s return to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, Ron Silk holds a four-point advantage on the Tour’s most recent winner at Claremont Motorsports Park, Jon McKennedy.

Statistically, Silk has the advantage on McKennedy at Thompson. He has made 55 Tour starts at the legendary oval, scoring five victories during that timespan. McKennedy has considerably less experience at Thompson, having made only 19 Tour starts by comparison. He also has failed to find Victory Lane at the track.

They’ll be two of the drivers to watch during the Phoenix Communications 150, but they’re far from the only contenders for the $10,000 winner’s purse that could grow even more with available bonuses.

One such contender will be Justin Bonsignore, who is the active Tour wins leader at Thompson with 12 triumphs in 39 starts. The defending and three-time Tour champion enters Thursday’s race fourth in the Tour standings, 29 points behind Silk and very much still in the hunt for the championship.

Another likely contender is Doug Coby, who is a six-time winner at Thompson in Tour competition. The two-time winner this year is slated to return to his own Doug Coby Racing No. 10 for Thursday’s race after piloting Tommy Baldwin Jr.’s No. 7NY in five events this season.

Cars race during the Sunoco World Series 150 for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Thompson, Connecticut on October 11, 2020. (Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)
Cars race during the Sunoco World Series 150 for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on October 11, 2020. (Photo: Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)

RELATED: Watch the Phoenix Communications 150 on FloRacing

Speaking of Baldwin’s car, Jimmy Blewett is set for another start in the No. 7NY. His last Tour start for Baldwin resulted in a victory at his home track, New Jersey’s Wall Stadium Speedway, on July 9.

The most recent winner in Tour competition at Thompson, Craig Lutz, will again be in action as he looks to improve upon his season-best finish of sixth in the opener at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway in February.

Donny Lia, a three-time Tour winner at Thompson, will again pilot the Ole Blue No. 3 out of the Boehler Racing Enterprises stable, and Bobby Santos III will return to the Tour aboard the No. 44 for the Tinio family. Santos is a five-time Tour winner at Thompson.

Kyle Soper, who triumphed in his last Tour start at New York’s Riverhead Raceway, will be back in action, as well. Other notable entrants include Tommy Catalano, Patrick Emerling, Spencer Davis, Tyler Rypkema, Timmy Solomito and Ronnie Williams.

The complete entry list for the Phoenix Communications 150 is available here.

RACE FACTS

Race Phoenix Communications 150
Date Thursday, Aug, 18, 2022
Track Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park
Layout 0.625-mile paved oval
Location Thompson, Connecticut
Start time 8 p.m. ET
Laps 150
Posted awards $94,763
TV channel USA (Delayed: Sunday, Aug. 26, 1 p.m. ET)
Live stream FloRacing (Live)

Schedule: Thursday, Aug. 18: Garage opens at 1:45 p.m. ET … Final practice from 4-5 p.m. ET … Single-car qualifying (two laps) at 6:20 p.m. ET … Race at 8 p.m. ET

Qualifying: Two consecutive qualifying laps. Fastest lap determines qualifying position. Adjustments or repairs may not be made on the vehicle after the vehicle has taken the green flag at the start/finish line. NASCAR reserves the right to have more than one vehicle engage in qualifying runs at the same time. Vehicles will be impounded after qualifying. Vehicle must qualify on race set up.

Tire allotment: The maximum tire allotment available for this event is 11 tires per team. All tires used for qualifying and the race must be purchased at the track and scanned by Hoosier, unless otherwise approved in advance by the Series Director. Four (4) tires must be used for qualifying and to begin the race. All qualifying tires must remain in impound until released by NASCAR Officials. The remaining tire allotment may be used for practice and/or change tires during the event. The tire change rule is four (4) tires, any position. To utilize the fourth (4th) change tire, the team will have to take a practice tire purchased at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park and turn in by the conclusion of practice.