Column By: KYLE SOUZA / NASCAR – THOMPSON, CT – In what has become a staple on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule for many years, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park will host another mid-week special on Wednesday night.
The 30th annual Bud ‘King of Beers’ 150 will mark the 11th race of the 16 in the championship points schedule, and will see one driver look to continue his historic streak at the .625-mile Connecticut oval.
Justin Bonsignore and Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park have been the perfect pairing.
In 35 career starts, Bonsignore has 11 victories — a number that leads all active drivers. He’s been to Victory Lane in the last six races at the track — the only driver in series history to accomplish the feat. In fact, Bonsignore is also the only driver to win five straight. In his six wins, he has started in either the first or second row — showing track position will matter on Wednesday night.
The defending tour champion will need to start rolling up the wins if he wants to get back in the title hunt – he’s currently third, 42 points out.
If anyone is going to knock him off the top at Thompson, Doug Coby, Ron Silk and Craig Lutz come to mind as some of the favorites. Coby leads the championship point standings by 24 over Silk, who has back-to-back wins in Whelen Modified Tour action at New Hampshire and Stafford. Lutz, who earned his fifth top five of the season at Stafford Motor Speedway, was the dominant car during the Thompson 125 in June.
The driver of the No. 46 Riverhead Building Supply Chevrolet led 73 laps, but was forced to settle for third after Bonsignore and Coby made their way by him.
Eric Goodale, who enters the race fifth in the championship standings, has finished inside the top six in both of his latest starts at Thompson. Jon McKennedy, who’s only run six races driving for Tommy Baldwin in the historic No. 7NY this season, is coming off his second straight top-five finish, and will look for his first Thompson win.
The Wednesday night showdown will also include Thompson’s five NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions and the NEMA Midgets. In NEMA competition, sprint car star Sammy Swindell will compete.
CREW CHIEF HANDOUT:
The starting field for the Bud ‘King of Beers’ 150 is limited to 36 starters, including provisional positions. The first 30 drivers will secure starting positions through the qualifying process. The remaining six positions will be awarded through the provisional process.
NASCAR group qualifying is in place for this event. Qualifying order will be determined by each vehicle’s fastest single lap speed from the official practice session. The number of groups for qualifying will be determined by NASCAR. Each group qualifying session will be five (5) minutes in duration and the fastest single lap speed of each vehicle will determine starting positions 1st through 30th.
Adjustment or repairs may not be made on a vehicle after the vehicle enters the track to begin the qualifying session. Vehicles may not return to the track or make any further qualifying laps unless directed to do so by a NASCAR Official or in the event of a caution. If a vehicle returns to pit road, the vehicle’s qualifying attempt is complete.
Once a vehicle’s qualifying attempt is complete, the vehicle must proceed directly to the designated impound area once it enters pit road. Vehicles will proceed immediately to impound after making a qualifying attempt. Vehicles will be impounded after qualifying/inspection. Vehicles must qualify on race set up.
The maximum tire allotment available for this event is eleven (11) tires per team. Four (4) tires must be used for qualifying and to begin the race. The tire change rule is four (4) tires, any position.