Story By: THOMPSON SPEEDWAY MOTORSPORTS PARK – THOMPSON, CT – American-Canadian Tour (ACT) and Pro All Stars Series (PASS) officials announced today that they have made the difficult decision to remove the standalone Sunoco Modified feature from the July 7 program at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
The decision is the result of an SK Modified® tire shortage, which has left an extremely limited number of tires available for teams in the region.
Instead of a separate feature, Sunoco Modified drivers now have the option to compete in the Samuel Adams Wicked Hazy IPA Spirit of 76 for the Outlaw Open Modified Series. ACT and PASS are offering bonus awards to the top-five finishers in the $5,000-to-win main event who are running a legal Sunoco Modified car. These cars can use any carburetor when running with the Outlaw Open Modifieds.
The top Sunoco Modified finisher will receive a $400 bonus in addition to the regular purse, which includes a guaranteed $600 to start. There is also a $300 bonus for the second-highest SK Modified finisher, $200 for the third-highest SK Modified, and $100 each for the fourth- and fifth-highest finishers. Sunoco Modified points will not be awarded since several drivers in the division were already planning to compete using separate Tour-type Modified cars.
The nationwide tire shortage has already caused several other tracks in the region to alter their schedules, including New York’s Riverhead Raceway and Massachusetts’ Seekonk Speedway. With Thompson Speedway not racing weekly, officials determined that leaving the Sunoco Modified feature off the upcoming program — although disappointing to teams and fans — would be in the division’s best interests. SK Modified competitors at Stafford Motor Speedway and New London-Waterford Speedbowl can now use the tires that would have been used at Thompson, reducing the impact of the shortage on their weekly programs.
The next shipment of SK Modified tires for Northeast teams is expected to arrive in August. The Sunoco Modifieds will return to the Thompson schedule as soon as the tire situation is resolved.
“We hope to see Sunoco Modified teams run with the Outlaw Open Modifieds on July 7 and take advantage of the bonuses offered,” ACT managing partner Cris Michaud said. “We think it’s the best temporary solution we can offer until the tire situation is sorted out. As soon as the tire shortage is resolved, the Sunoco Mods will be back on the regular card. We’d also love to put on some sort of special event for the Sunoco Modifieds and their fans as a thank-you.”
“It’s a tough situation,” Michaud went on. “The Sunoco Modifieds have put on a fantastic show in their two events this year. Removing their feature from the July 7 schedule certainly was not something we did lightly or that we wanted to do at all. However, there simply are not enough SK Modified tires to go around right now. We think leaving the remaining tires for the tracks that race these cars weekly is best for the division overall.”
In other news, ACT and PASS officials announced on Tuesday that the Mini Stocks have returned to the July 7 program. Teams got together independently and were able to find enough commitments to promise a solid field, which led to them getting back on the schedule.
This keeps the program at a six-division card highlighted by the Samuel Adams Wicked Hazy IPA Spirit of 76. NASCAR’s Ryan Preece, June 16 Open Modified winner Keith Rocco, Matt Swanson, Jon McKennedy, Dave Sapienza, and Chris Pasteryak are just some of the racers confirmed for the $5,000-to-win event. It’s the third of six Open Modified events this year at Thompson, which culminates with the $20,000-to-win Thompson 300 on October 9-10 as part of the World Series of Speedway Racing.
The Thompson Speedway oval thunders again on Wednesday, July 7 at 6:00pm with the Sam Adams Wicked Hazy IPA Spirit of 76. The Outlaw Open Modified Series chase a $5,000 top prize as part of a six-division program with the Late Models, Vandi Auto Supply Limited Sportsmen, SK Light Modifieds, Mini Stocks, and a $1,000-to-win Street Stock Open.
General admission is $30 for adults, $10 for kids ages 6-12, and free for kids ages 5 and under. and under. Speed51.TV will also have a live pay-per-view broadcast for those who can’t make it to the track.