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09/06/06

Tour to Headline ďModified ManiaĒ Sunday At Thompson

    Modified fans will be treated to a full weekend of fenderless action on Sept 9-10 at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway. Sunoco Modified Mania will feature the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in a 150 lap event and a full schedule of support modified races.
    Itís a new format for the weekend traditionally held by the Thompson Sunoco 300. The new 150-lap distance will be similar in distance to the other four series events at Thompson in 2006. Thompson will once again host the most events for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in 2006. The 5/8-mile track also holds the distinction of holding the most events in series history.

    * The new format will feature five other modified divisions giving fans an opportunity to see up and coming modified drivers hoping to one day join the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Thompson International Speedway added an entry modified class, known as the TIS Modifieds to their lineup in 2005. Drivers now have an open-wheeled entry class to start their careers.
     * The Sunoco Modifieds, Thompsonís traditional Thursday night NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series feature class, are also on the Modified Mania card. Many of the current stars on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour honed their skills in cars similar to the Sunoco Modifieds. Doug Coby, of Milford, Conn., winner of the prestigious Spring Sizzler, started his career in cars like these. Current NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Sunoco Rookie of the Year point leader James Civali, of Meriden, Conn., was another driver who started his career in Sunoco Modifieds. Zach Sylvester, of Lebanon, Conn., also drove Sunoco Modifieds before joining the Whelen Modified Tour.

    With three other support modified divisions scheduled to be racing with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour not only will fans get a chance to see the current stars of NASCARís oldest open-wheeled Touring Division but maybe some of the future ones as well.

    The Whelen Modified Tour, know for close racing and closer championship points races, once again features a title race that could go down to the final laps of the season. Rhode Islandís Mike Stefanik, seeking his seventh Whelen Modified Tour championship, leads Connecitcutís Ted Christopher by just 35 points heading into Sundayís race. Two-time defending champion Tony Hirschman, of Northampton, Pa., is ranked third, 141 points behind Stefanik. Five of the past six Whelen Modified Tour championships have been decided by 50 points or less.

    Bud Pole Qualifying for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Saturday Sept. 9. The 150 lap feature event of the weekend is scheduled to begin at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 10.

SUNOCO MODIFIED MANIA 150 NOTES

* Posted awards are $86,753 for the 150-lap Whelen Modified Tour race. Bud Pole qualifying is scheduled for 2:30 pm on Sat. Sept. 9 to determine positions 1-31. Four provisional starting positions (two owner & two driver) based on 2006 Whelen Modified Tour point Standings and one past champion provisional are available for a maximum starting field of 36 cars.

* Sunoco Modified Mania is the fourth of five series events scheduled to be held at Thompson in 2006. Current Whelen Modified Tour points leader Mike Stefanik won the season-opening Icebreaker in April. Todd Szegedy won the New England Dodge Dealers 100 in June and Ted Christopher won the New England Dodge Dealers 150 in August

* Thompson International Speedway has hosted more Whelen Modified Tour races than any other speedway. There have been 89 series events at Thompson since 1985 including the first series race on March 31, 1985.

* The following active drivers have recorded Whelen Modified Tour wins at Thompson: Mike Stefanik (14), Rick Fuller (8), Tony Hirschman (8), Ted Christopher (6) Reggie Ruggiero (5), Jerry Marquis, (4), Eddie Flemke (3), Charlie Pasteryak (1), John Blewett III (1) Chuck Hossfeld (1) and Todd Szegedy (1).

* The series qualifying record at Thompson is 18.505 seconds (121.515 mph) set by Bob Polverari in 2001.

* Last week at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Jimmy Blewett joined James Civali and Doug Coby as first-time winners this season. Coby won at Stafford Motor Speedway in April, Civali at Stafford in Aug.

* NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Top 10: 1. Mike Stefanik 1,694, 2. Ted Christopher 1,659, 3. Tony Hirschman 1,553, 4. Eddie Flemke 1,525, 5. James Civali 1,510, 6. Todd Szegedy 1,503, 7. Jerry Marquis 1,383, 8. Donny Lia, 1,364 9. Chuck Hossfeld 1,334, 10. Dick Houlihan 1,109,

    Up next: The Whelen Modified Tour will compete at the New Hampshire International Speedway for the second time this season on Sept.15. Ted Christopher is the defending winner.

Source:  Mark Mockovak/NASCAR WMT PR
Posted:  September 6, 2006

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