THOMPSON, CT---The Thompson Speedway
has hosted the most modified tour races than any speedway in the east coast
having opened their gates to NASCARís oldest division 119 previous times but
rumors are abound that the speedway might drop short track racing in 2013
altogether or run anywhere from 4 to 8 special events.
Thompson Speedway is in the midst of
redoing their road course and according to RaceDay CT.com writer Shawn
Courchesne; they are looking to make their road course a major part of their
racing in 2013 and beyond looking to make a 5 million dollar investment.
What that means for the modified tour
and weekly NASCAR racing, which has been a part of the Thompson Speedway is
now questionable. The Thompson Speedway and the Stafford Motor Speedway host
a total of nine of the 14 race schedule in both 2011 and 2012 and them
leaving the tour would be a serious blow to NASCAR and to the modified tour.
The Thompson 5/8ths mile oval is one of
NASCARís oldest tracks, which opened in May of 1940 following the Hurricane
of 1938 and 2012 wraps up their 31st season as a member of the
NASCAR Whelen All American series.
Teddy Christopher, who might have had
more rides during the 14 race modified tour schedule than Henry VIII had
wives as TC ended his horrific season driving a backup car to Todd Szegedy.
TC started the season with high aspirations but his car owner, Eddie Whelen
called it quits following the June New Hampshire race. Teddy then hopped
into the Boehler family #3 car and won the 50 lap, $20,000 to win race
during the North-South event at Thompson here last month but then was
involved in a vicious wreck at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway that
sidelined the car.
Teddy then climbed aboard his weekly
Riverhead Raceway ride owned by Wayne Anderson for a couple events before
ending the season in the backup car to Szegedy.
Christopher has won at least one race
each of the past 13 seasons on the modified tour. Christopher unofficially
has 98 career wins at the Thompson oval including SK modifieds and other
SONNY RICHARDS AWARD WINNER
For the past 11 seasons, one of the
most special awards always given at the World Series is the Sonny Richards
Memorial award. It is given to a person or persons who show a dedicated love
to NASCAR Whelen modified tour.
Sonny was one of the Goodwill
ambassadors of the modified series as well as modified racing in general.
Past winners of the award include Bob Garbarino, Ralph Solhem, Howie and
Mary Hodge, Don Hoenig, Art Barry, Jerry Marquis and Mark Mockovak. This
yearís winners were Dick and Mary Brooks.
FLEMKE COMPLETES 20 STRAIGHT YEARS
While the 2012 season will not go down
in the history of Eddie Flemke of Southington as one of the best of his long
modified tour career, it did mark 20 straight season of not missing a
modified tour race.
When Flemke took the green this
afternoon, it marked his 368th consecutive start since 1993. In
fact, the last time Flemke missed a modified tour race was at Riverside Park
Speedway in 1992, a track where he was a former Rookie of the Year.
During the time, the son of the
legendary Eastern Bandit, Eddie Flemke, Sr. won 17 times and is tied for
ninth with Todd Szegedy for the all time wins on the modified tour. Twice in
the time, he finished second in tour points.
This year also marked the 40th
year that Flemke has raced modifieds. When asked if he is calling it a
career, the co-owner of Race Works said just not yet and is thinking of
traveling to Daytona in February for the inaugural Battle of the Beach that
will take place at the temporary 4/10ís of a mile track constructed on the
back stretch of the Daytona International Speedway. That is scheduled to be
contested February 18th and 19th and is set to be
shown on Speed Channel.
All winners of either a Whelen modified
tour event in 2012 or a Southern modified tour event are guaranteed starters
in the event that will feature a 150 lap race.
COBY A CHAMPION
Doug Coby of Milford, CT captured the
2012 NASCAR Whelen modified tour champion with a sixth place finish during
the modified tour portion of the World Series at Thompson. Coby just needed
to finish in the top 13, regardless of what Ryan Preece of Berlin, CT or
Ronnie Silk of Norwalk, CT to secure his first touring title.
Doug was clearly the class of the
modified tour and is a deserving champion in NASCARís oldest series.