October 15, 2012


By Brian Danko                           

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 series.


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.


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.


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.