Monthly Archives: September 2020

Parker Kligerman of Westport, CT Wants to Chase Championship With Henderson Motorsports, Details Relationship With Team and Chris Carrier

Note: Parker Kligerman is also a part time reporter for NBC Sports

Source: Frontstretch Beyond the Cockpit By Michael Massie

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)


September 25, 2020

Three years ago, Parker Kligerman of Westport, CT pulled off one of the bigger upsets in Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series history when he won at Talladega Superspeedway. Kligerman winning wasn’t the surprise — he won at Talladega in Trucks for Red Horse Racing back in 2012. Rather it was the truck he won in this time.

Henderson Motorsports has been in NASCAR since it ran in the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity series races back in 1982 with driver Brad Teague. The team won three Xfinity races in the late 1980s with Teague and Rick Wilson behind the wheel. But Henderson then went 20 years without a top five in NASCAR before Kligerman’s Truck Talladega victory in 2017.

That win came in just Kligerman’s seventh start with the team. He failed to finish in the top 10 in just two of those starts.

“Back when I first went there [to Henderson] in 2017, we had a really competitive year, and actually on David Smith’s Motorsports Analytics, we were like the second best performer behind Kyle Busch that year,” Kligerman told Frontstretch.

The following year, Kligerman earned the small team another top five, finishing fourth at Bristol Motor Speedway. Henderson’s shop is located in Abingdon, Va., which is just 25 miles from the half-mile short track. The headquarters for Henderson’s company Food Country USA is also in Abingdon, which means running well there takes priority over all other tracks.

“It’s something we work really hard at because Bristol’s like the Super Bowl for that team. […] “Every Bristol race, that shop the week leading up, I call it we’re like the high school football team, because everyone who lives in Abingdon or knows the Hendersons comes through that shop to check out the truck. ‘Oh, what are you guys bringing to Bristol?’ It’s the funniest thing,” Kligerman said. “It’s just a huge deal for them to run well at Bristol.

“For myself, I love that racetrack, so it’s a great fit. And something that I think is really cool to see is a race team have that kind of impact on the local community and for them to feel like it’s something they can be a part of and feel like they’re behind. It’s not always the case with race teams, and it’s a shame. Because they’re all located in the same town. But the ones like the Hendersons that keep it in their hometown, it’s a cool thing.”

Two weeks ago, Kligerman repeated the performance, finishing fourth again at Bristol in the No. 75 truck. This time, Kligerman did so in a brand new truck, something they got earlier this year and saved until it was time for Bristol.

“It was cool, because the truck we’d been running was about, I don’t know, eight years old, an old Turner [Motorsports] truck,” Kligerman said. “And it felt like we could definitely run top 10 with it no matter where we went. We led laps in it, we could run the top five, but speed-wise, it was a little off. It was showing its age a little bit.

“So this truck was just a big step forward for us. It was obvious that we had top-five speed, top-three speed even.”

New equipment or not, the feat is impressive considering Henderson is doing so with two full-time employees and three trucks. The team was running well this season before pulling out the newest truck, as Kligerman had top 10s at Michigan International Speedway and the Daytona International Speedway road course.

“I think a lot it is just [crew chief] Chris Carrier,” Kligerman said. “He’s a very experienced crew chief. He and I have a great history together, and we really understand each other. We’re very relaxed about going racing. We don’t try to do anything more than the basics.”

Carrier has been a crew chief since starting in Xfinity with Harry Gant in 1990 and has won races in all three national touring series. He’s a Bristol native, so naturally he ended up working for Henderson. He was a crew chief for the team’s Xfinity car from 1995-96 before returning in 2015.

Between those stints, Carrier was the crew chief for Kligerman when he won nine ARCA Menards Series races and finished second in points for Cunningham Motorsports. The duo was also paired together in Xfinity from 2009-10 when Kligerman raced as a Team Penske developmental driver. Needless to say, the pairing has chemistry.

Kligerman admits Carrier is the reason he joined Henderson three years ago.

“We just had a great history together. […] There was an opportunity in terms of them wanting to get better and sort of hoping my experience could lead them in that direction,” Kligerman said. “We’ve been able to do that.

“For me at the time, I was driving the No. 92 truck part time, and a chance to be reunited with Chris was cool, and I liked the Hendersons, I liked the way they presented themselves, the race team. I knew if Chris was part of it that it was going to be successful, because he does things the right way, always. […] I knew right then and there it was something worth pursuing, and sure enough, it’s been a great relationship. And now, it’s a family team, but they’re like family to me. The Hendersons are so cool. They’re a great group. I love racing with them. It’s a cool vibe.”

The pairing of Kligerman and Carrier is one of the older and more experienced ones in the Truck Series. In a year without practice and qualifying, that is a crucial dynamic. Kligerman noted that he knew from the first lap and Carrier knew from the first green flag stint of this year’s Bristol just how fast they were when they unloaded.

“With that, we kind of lean on two things, which are his experience and my experience,” Kligerman said. “And I think it’s a unique thing to have in the Truck Series, right? Or even in NASCAR, to have two people who are really experienced at this and being able to show up when they want and how they want.”

Henderson has only entered eight races this year, failing to qualify for its first two attempts due to a lack of qualifying and owner points. This partial schedule allows Kligerman to continue to work as an analyst for NBC Sports and co-host of the TV series Proving Grounds. Henderson hasn’t competed full time in any series since 1992 and instead picks and chooses races they feel they can be competitive in.

“And that’s key, we don’t go to races we don’t want to go to,” Kligerman added. “If we’re going to a race, we’re thinking, ‘This is a race we think we can win.’ Outside of being in a full alliance with one of the bigger teams, we’re going to do everything we can to be in the best position we can be to win.

“It’s a fun way to go racing, and I think that’s where our success comes from. […] I tell people all the time, ‘Pit reporting is work, but when I go to the racetrack when I just drive the No. 75 truck, it’s like vacation because I get to just go have fun.’ And that’s literally what it is, I get to go try to win a race.”

The amount Kligerman and the team have raced this season is actually more than originally planned. The team only competed in three races last year and hadn’t raced at all before the COVID-19 break. In fact, before the pandemic, Henderson tried to get Clint Bowyer and Barstool Sports on board for a race to go after the Kyle Busch bounty.

But since racing returned in May, the team has shown up for eight of the past 16 races.

“I think to be honest it’s the no practice, no qualifying,” Kligerman said. “It was such an attractive thing to be able to be like, ‘Alright, we just show up and race.’ It’s amazing. We’re there one day, the cost is so much lower, the need for backup trucks is gone.”

Kligerman hasn’t raced full time since he was with Kyle Busch Motorsports in Xfinity in 2013, and the Xfinity arm of KBM folded the following year. He attempted to run full time for Swan Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2014, but that team closed operations just eight races into the season. Ever since then, Kligerman said he’s annually asked around this time of the year if he’ll take a full-time ride for the following season.

“I think for me, it would have to be an opportunity where I felt like it was going toward something. […] But just to go full-time racing for the sake of going full-time racing, just no,” Kligerman said. “I’m not interested in that. What you always have to do is value what the opportunity costs versus the sacrifices you’ll be making vs. the opportunity that lies there. I think that for some opportunities out there, it’s just not there, and the opportunity cost is too high and the sacrifice is too high to just hang around. Whereas I feel like I’m so intrinsically a part of this sport at this point through all the different facets that I’m a part of it that I don’t need that in that respect to be relevant and to be a part of the sport.

“It’s obviously something I think about, but we’ll see. I couldn’t say there’s anything on the radar right now in terms of that.”

While it seems Kligerman is content in living his dream being of part-time driver/TV personality — his two childhood goals were to be a professional racecar driver and part of a show similar to Top Gear, which Proving Grounds is — there’s always the potential he and Henderson could decide to push in all the chips one season and go for the Truck title.

Kligerman said, “But I will say the one that would be cool, and we joke about it with the Hendersons all the time, it’s like, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to go run for a championships? I think we could really do it.’ And I’m like, ‘Eh, we’ll see. Maybe.’ I think that would be a lot of fun to do one year.”

As for now, just look for the No. 75 truck every once in a while when the team feels it can make a run for the win. Kligerman won’t be racing it this coming weekend at Talladega despite the pairing’s previous win there. That’s due to a crash in 2018 that took out their only superspeedway truck and the team not wanting to buy another since then.

“I agree with them because that’s a truck that can be thrown away in one race,” Kligerman said. “So for us to go superspeedway racing, it’s one of those things where we either need a reason or incentive to go, find a truck that’s a great price, that sort of thing. Because obviously, we won at Talladega together. But those are tough to find. So hopefully we’ll find one soon. We’re getting the itch to want to go superspeedway racing again.”

As of now, Henderson only plans to race one more time this season, potentially coming at Kansas Speedway.

“Our next race will be probably Kansas is what we’re thinking,” Kligerman said. “We want to take this newer truck that we raced at Bristol on a mile-and-a-half and see what it has.”

Kentucky and Chicagoland Speedways Will Not Host 2021 NASCAR Cup Events

Courtesy of Auto Week

BY MATT WEAVER SEP 29, 2020nascar cup series quaker state 400 presented by walmartROB CARR GETTY IMAGES

The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series schedule is expected to be released in full on Wednesday, but it will not include any races at Kentucky Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway.

Chicagoland Speedway track president Scott Paddock posted the following statement to its website late on Tuesday night:

“The move away from NASCAR racing at Chicagoland Speedway is one of many changes reflected in the 2021 schedule, and by no means a reflection of the support our fans have demonstrated. Rather, it is a desire and an important step for the industry to incorporate new markets and new courses into the schedule, and expand the variety of competition. … As far as NASCAR racing at the Chicagoland Speedway, it’s difficult at this time to speculate on what 2022 might bring. We will continue to work with NASCAR on potential future opportunities beyond 2021 and will keep you updated.”

Meanwhile, Kentucky Speedway is expected to lose its only date in exchange for a second date at Atlanta Motor Speedway — a property Speedway Motorsports Inc. is hoping to redevelop with a shopping complex and casino alongside the historic intermediate racing facility.

Kentucky Speedway president Mark Simendinger offered the following statement:

“We will evolve into a multi-use rental complex,” Simendinger said. “Kentucky Speedway is open for business and we have the potential to host special events, commercial television production, music festivals, other racing series & stand-alone RV rallies and camping events.

“Of course, we’re disappointed the Bluegrass State is not on NASCAR’s schedule for 2021, as the past two decades have been filled with memorable moments that will last a lifetime.”

Chicagoland Speedway hosted the Cup Series from 2001-19. It was on the originally published 2020 schedule but was moved to Darlington Raceway due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Alex Bowman won the 2019 race.

Kentucky Speedway hosted the Cup Series from 2011-20. Cole Custer won there in July.

The major new additions to the schedule are already known to be Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas and Nashville Superspeedway in Tennessee. Road America is expected to gain a date. The spring race at Bristol Motor Speedway is expected to be contested on dirt.
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‘Take It To The Bank—John Force Will Be Back in NHRA in 2021’

NHRA president sends a message to anyone thinking John Force is done racing.

Courtesy of Auto Week

BY STEVEN COLE SMITH SEP 29, 2020john force, nhraRON LEWIS

No question: The National Hot Rod Association has taken a beating this year, which means drag racing has taken a beating. The pandemic has caused one change to the schedule, then another, then another, then some good news: Despite shrinking purses, the union-like association of racers has pledged to finish the NHRA’s season, and a healthy extension to the Fox TV coverage was signed.Related StoryNHRA Sues Coca-Cola for Yanking Sponsorship

Then raining on that parade was the news that the Coca-Cola-owned Mello Yello, longtime chief sponsor of the NHRA’s national events, was pulling its sponsorship well before its contract was up, and that the NHRA was suing Coke to prevent that from happening.

But the biggest challenge the NHRA has faced in 2020: No Force. No John Force, no Brittany Force. No Robert Hight, no Austin Prock. The entire Force circus folded its tents after the second event of the season, the Arizona Nationals in Phoenix February 21-23, despite being extremely competitive in the Pomona, California season opener February 6-9 where John Force went to the final round in Funny Car, and Brittany Force qualified her Top Fuel car in first.

brittany force, john force, nhra

The NHRA is short three champions on the grid this year with John Force Racing on the sidelines.(RON LEWIS Photo)

So the best news the NHRA can have as it goes forward: John Force will be back in 2021, starting with the season opener—wherever that may be. “I have every reason to believe” he will return, said Glen Cromwell, and an executive with insight into the Force camp was even more forceful: “Take it to the bank—John Force will be back in 2021.”

At 71, the fast talking Force is an unlikely hero, but the fan base he has, as well as his family and drivers, is unparalleled. The team has 280 victories and 21 championships total, but it is Force whose over-the-top, larger-than-life personality connects with NHRA fans.

He has remained visible with his Peak TV commercials, but otherwise, we’re told that he and his small team have kept their heads down and are building Funny Cars for 2021. There’s some evidence that the Top Fuelers of Brittany Force and Prock, seen by John as a future star, may not be part of the mix at first. Sponsorship is expected to govern that decision.This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Don’t expect an announcement, though, until maybe after the first of the year. With the SEMA show in Las Vegas canceling its November 3-6 event, there’s no obvious platform for Force and his manufacturer, Chevrolet, to properly sound the trumpets.

With four more Force-less events in the 2020 schedule—St. Louis this weekend, then the Texas Motorplex near Dallas/Fort Worth; then south to Houston Raceway Park, winding up at Las Vegas October 30-November 1 (the Mello Yello series has gone to a two-day format, from, technically, four), the NHRA needs no more bad news to add water to the boat.

When Force returns in 2021, those trumpets will sound—we just aren’t sure where or when.


Sep 26, 2020 |     



SEEKONK, Mass. — Joel Newcomb made it clear he wanted to visit Everett’s Auto Parts (Brockton, MA) Victory Lane — and parked it there at the end of the 15-lap feature. The driver of the No. 22 led from the drop of the green to the checkered flag, taking down his first career win in the Seekonk Grand Prix Bandolero Bandits.

With just three weeks left in the season, Seekonk race teams returned to the third-mile to continue the Everett’s Auto Parts Diamond Jubilee Series — with no fans in the grandstands due to COVID-19 regulations from the state of Massachusetts.

Although Newcomb led the entire 15 laps, he was constantly challenged. It was the No. 11 of Ryan Vanasse Jr. who tried it first, then Darren Krantz Jr. — but neither of them could get around. The race was slowed by multiple cautions, but Newcomb wasn’t going to be denied. A crash in turn four forced the red flag to fly early.

After a tough first half, the second half of the race went caution-free, with Newcomb rolling to his first career win. It wasn’t a bad race for Krantz either — who had to start at the rear of the field due to a penalty — and charged through to finish second.

Ethan Dion was third, closing the gap in the championship standings heading to the final two weeks. Richie Helger Jr., who entered the race as the championship leader, crashed in the beginning and failed to finish.

The Seekonk Grand Prix Bandolero Bandits return to the track with another 15-lap feature on Friday, October 2.


Sep 26, 2020 |     



SEEKONK, Mass. — Nick Chaber Jr. was finally able to taste victory at Seekonk Speedway. The driver of the No. 00 parked his Seekonk Grand Prix Bandolero Outlaw in Victory Lane on Friday, scoring his first career win.

With just three weeks left in the season, Seekonk race teams returned to the third-mile to continue the Everett’s Auto Parts Diamond Jubilee Series — with no fans in the grandstands due to COVID-19 regulations from the state of Massachusetts.

Chaber started from the pole position and led all 15 laps en route to the win — but he didn’t go un-challenged. Early, it was outside polesitter Stephen Bowden who looked for the top spot, but he couldn’t quite get enough momentum to find the way around. Just before the halfway point, Bowden and Reese Bogue locked bumpers at the end of the backstretch — and Bowden went spinning, collecting Brenden LaBelle and others.

After the green, Chaber held control out front — while Bogue tried everything he could to get the top spot. It wasn’t enough — as Chaber exited the blue No. 00 with the checkered flag, followed by Bogue and Isaiah Newcomb. Heading to the final two weeks, Chaber leads Newcomb by just six points in the championship standings.

Nickolaus Bulkeley and PJ Evans finished the top five. Aubrey Keller, Bowden, Olivia Dardinski, LaBelle and Joey LeMay finished the top-10.

The Seekonk Grand Prix Bandolero Outlaws return to the track with another 15-lap feature on Friday, October 2.


Sep 26, 2020 |     



SEEKONK, Mass. — For the second time in her Seekonk Speedway career, Crystal Murray was holding the checkered flag at the end of the Sport 4 feature. Murray, who started on the outside pole, dropped off the front row quickly, but slowly worked her way back to the top and never gave up the lead once she took it.

With just three weeks left in the season, Seekonk race teams returned to the third-mile to continue the Everett’s Auto Parts (Brockton, MA) Diamond Jubilee Series — with no fans in the grandstands due to COVID-19 regulations from the state of Massachusetts.

Murray took the top spot just before the halfway point, but the final 12 laps didn’t go without a major challenge. Murray had to fend-off upcoming driver Tyler Duhancik, Tyler Almeida and more of her competitors in the final circuits. While she jumped out front on the final restart, the battle was between Duhancik, Almeida and Lopes.

Duhancik inched away from the others, and Almeida and Lopes went forward with a slamming battle for third. It was Murray who sealed her first win of the year, followed by Duhancik, Lopes, AJ Manuel and Almeida. Dave Westgate was sixth, followed by Mike Lefort and Karlin Levesque.

Murray, who is spending her time at college, returned to competition at the third-mile and rolled into the winner’s circle.

The Sport 4’s return to the track with another 25-lap feature on Friday, October 2.


Sep 26, 2020 |     



SEEKONK, Mass. — Joey Morrissette looked to be headed for his first career Helger’s Southcoast Power Equipment Pure Stock win, but Greg Perry had something to say about it. Perry, who looks like he is about to give up his tenure as Pure Stock champion at the end of the season, picked up his second win of 2020 with a late pass.

With just three weeks left in the season, Seekonk race teams returned to the third-mile to continue the Everett’s Auto Parts Diamond Jubilee Series — with no fans in the grandstands due to COVID-19 regulations from the state of Massachusetts.

Morrissette started third, but when the green flag fell, the driver of the No. 77 pulled to the bottom of the track, went three-wide, and had the lead before they even completed the first lap. From there, it wasn’t easy. Morrissette had to hold-off recent winner Danny Massa first, battling side-by-side with him for multiple laps. Then it was Perry who took second, and charged to the bumper coming to three laps remaining.

Morrissette slid through the middle of turns one and two, going up the track, while Perry rolled the bottom, took the top spot, and drove into the sunset. Massa would clear to second, and set chase towards Perry, but with only one lap to go, it wasn’t going to happen.

Perry’s victory was his second of the season — and if it wasn’t for a bad night earlier in the year when his battery fell out of the car during the race — he might be in contention for the title. Doug Benoit heads to the final two weeks clinging to a lead over Massa in the championship standings.

Following Perry and Massa, Morrissette was third, with Mike Henriques and Benoit finishing the top-five.

A Thank you goes out to Lambert Brothers Racing and Peter Roda for putting up $200 first place bonus money.

The Pure Stocks return to the track with another 25-lap feature on Friday, October 2.


Sep 26, 2020 |     




SEEKONK, Mass. — Over the final half of the Nick’s Pit Stop Legends Cars feature, Jake Johnson and Giovanni Ruggerio put on a show racing for the lead and the win. The tale of the two drivers was completely different, with Johnson chasing his fourth win, while Ruggerio was looking for his first. In the end, it was Johnson taking the No. 15 back to Victory Lane.

With just three weeks left in the season, Seekonk race teams returned to the third-mile to continue the Everett’s Auto Parts Diamond Jubilee Series — with no fans in the grandstands due to COVID-19 regulations from the state of Massachusetts.

Johnson started deeper than Ruggerio did, with Ruggerio lining up to the outside of the front row, and taking the early lead from Jacob Burns. Ruggerio would comfortably lead a few laps, but Johnson closed to his bumper when the field was hitting the halfway point. Johnson would try the inside, and the outside, and the show was on between the two.

They raced side-by-side for much of the remaining laps, but in the end, it was Johnson who took his ride to the winner’s circle. Ruggerio, who is running his first full-time year in the Legends Cars, finished second — a career best.

Luke LeBrun was third, followed by Reagan Parent and Josh Parsons. In his return to the Legends Cars in 2020, after winning the 2016 track championship and leaving for a tenure touring in the Pro Stocks — Johnson holds the points lead heading for the final two weeks.

The Nick’s Pit Stop Legends Cars (Abington, MA) return to the track with another 25-lap feature on Friday, October 2.

Regaining control of Pro Stock class on Jeg Coughlin Jr.’s agenda

RGRob Geiger <>Tue 9/29/2020 6:37 PMTo:

Note: The NHRA National had to be cancelled due to the Corona Virus during the 2020 racing season at New England Dragway in Epping, NH. The sanction advises the race fans that they plan to return to the six-state area in 2021.
Source: Scott “Woody” Woodruff
Top Dragster’s Mike Coughlin turns attention to national rankings

ST. LOUIS (Sept. 29) — Considering the month he’s had, five-time Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. is one of the happiest drivers in drag racing as the NHRA tour heads to World Wide Technology Raceway for this weekend’s ninth annual Mopar Express Lanes Midwest Nationals presented by Pennzoil. 

Jeg Coughlin Jr.After leading the championship points for three of the first four races of the season on the strength of two victories and a runner-up result in his Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro, the 65-time national event winner has endured an uncharacteristic stretch of two first-round losses in as many events. A 44-point advantage over Jason Line has been replaced by a 34-point deficit to the new points leader.  “While you never like giving up points it’s been a bit of a blessing that things have fallen the way they have,” Coughlin said. “We haven’t been hurt too badly; it definitely could have been worse. “This just sets us up perfectly for a nice, big, fun rebound weekend in St. Louis. I’ll personally be making some test passes in Tulsa (Okla.) on Wednesday. After a pretty decent qualifying session last weekend in Gainesville, we had an ECU crap out on us in Round 1. It was an untimely event, for sure, but we’ll test as much as necessary to make sure everything is firing like it has been the last 12 months, where we’ve really enjoyed some great momentum.” Coughlin has enjoyed plenty of success in St. Louis. His five wins at this facility include collecting the Pro Stock title in 2002 and 2009, the Super Stock trophy in 1997 and 2003, and the Top Dragster hardware in 2010. He also was runner-up in Pro Stock in 1998, 2007 and 2010. “We’re assuming we still have four races left on the schedule but our mindset is that this weekend’s race could be the World Finals so we won’t be holding anything back,” said Coughlin, who plans to pull back from full-time professional competition at the end of the season. “We’re still having fun and racing this weekend with my brother Mikey and nephew Troy Jr. will be an adventure, as always.” Troy Coughlin Jr. will be competing alongside his uncle with his Ford Mustang, which also races out of the Elite Motorsports camp. This is Troy Jr.’s first year in the factory hot rod class and he’s already raced to a final round at Indy 3 where he was beaten by Jeg Jr. 

Troy Coughlin Jr.“Five races into my Pro Stock career and I’m definitely still learning how to drive these cars,” Troy Jr. said. “I’m also learning how to bounce back from mistakes and being with the best team in the sport has made a huge difference. These Elite guys are all about winning championships and races and it pushes me to stay on my toes and get everything right when I’m in the car. “This is an extremely competitive class and with the shortened weekends only allowing for two qualifying sessions instead of four, there just isn’t any margin for error. You have to make great runs right out of the trailer. Fortunately, having Uncle Jeg and (teammate and reigning champion) Erica Enders right there in the pits with me gives me a lot of experience to pull from. I want to keep progressing every pass.” Just one week removed from a big Division 3 Top Dragster victory at World Wide Technology Raceway, Mike Coughlin also has high hopes for the weekend. With D3’s schedule now in the books, Mike and crewmen Greg Cody, Tony Collier and Ryan Micke will be looking to improve on their current national ranking of third place. “We’ve got two national events left to claim so between this weekend in St. Louis and two weeks from now in Dallas, we need to be at our best,” Mike said. “We’re coming out of a triple-header weekend in St. Louis and we did get one win out of the three so we feel really good about our chances. It’s supposed to be nice and cool again so we’ll stick with this flawless tune-up the guys have put together and go have some fun. “We run as many races as we can, and some are on the divisional level and some are national level, but I look at them the same. The main difference is the national events give me the chance to cheer on Jeg and Troy Jr., and this year we haven’t had as many chances to do that as usual, so I’m extra excited.”
Mike Coughlin

About JEGS AutomotiveJEGS Automotive is a worldwide e-commerce leader in the mail-order, high-performance auto parts business, offering more than 1M individual items for purchase. Founded in 1960 by drag racing legend Jeg Coughlin Sr., JEGS remains family-owned to this day with brothers John, Troy Sr., Mike and Jeg Jr. in charge. The company’s corporate headquarters, massive 225,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center, state-of-the-art call centers, the family’s classic car and truck collection, Team JEGS’ research and development facility and the offices of the JEGS Foundation are all located in Delaware, Ohio. For more information, call 800-345-4545 or visit

About Team JEGSTeam JEGS, the official racing team of JEGS Automotive, is fueled by the legacy of one of the most successful families in motorsports history, the Coughlins. Led by JEGS founder and International Drag Racing Hall of Fame member Jeg Coughlin Sr. and his four sons — John, Troy Sr., Mike and Jeg Jr. — Team JEGS has claimed nine NHRA World Championships, 18 divisional championships and 128 national event victories. Meet the drivers, view the race schedule and keep up with the latest news and results at
Team JEGS, 101 JEGS Place, Delaware, OH 43015

Some 19 Touring Series Divisions Invading Sunoco World Series at Thompson Speedway will take place starting Friday, 9th -Sunday 10/11/20

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 The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour crowns its 2020 champion at Thompson Speedway on Sunday, October 11 with the Sunoco World Series 150. (Clarus Studios photo)

The NEMA Midgets are always a popular draw at the World Series. (Clarus Studios photo)

The ISMA Big Block Supermodifieds will appear at the Sunoco World Series for the 45th time. (Clarus Studios photo)

Thompson, CT – While 19 different divisions get ready to battle in the 58th annual Sunoco World Series at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, October 9-11, there is quite the group of variety of race cars planned for fans. There will be a mix of touring series divisions, local classes and open shows to make up three days of racing, with everything from Modifieds, to Midgets, Late Models, Mini Stocks and more.

Headlining the weekend will be the season-finale for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour — the Sunoco World Series 150. Although their 2020 season has been shortened due to COVID-19, they have put together nine races, including two at Thompson. In September, Ron Silk went to Victory Lane in the Thompson 150. For the Sunoco World Series 150, however, the story will surround the championship battle.

Justin Bonsignore, looking for his second series crown, leads by 27 points over six-time champion Doug Coby. The two drivers are no strangers to Thompson victory lane – with Bonsignore winning 12 events and Coby six on the high-banks. The two of them will be joined by a stout entry list to be released next week that will keep fans sticking around until the very end. The Whelen Modified Tour race will also air live on NBC Sports Gold, NASCAR’s TrackPass platform.

However, they aren’t the only invading division looking to steal the eyes of Thompson race fans.

On Friday night, the Senior Tour Auto Racers (STAR) are bringing two divisions – the Modifieds and Late Models – to give fans a look back in time. The cars that compete with STAR are some of the oldest but best-kept in the New England region. Many have competed in some of the top events in the history of Northeast racing. They will be joined by the Open Vintage Modifieds, another division that flashes fans back up to five decades.

On Saturday night, four other touring divisions will take the green flag. They are by the EXIT Realty Truck Series, which has quickly become one of the top tours in the upper part of New England. The Trucks return to Thompson with a championship battle on their hands. They will off a battle at Lee USA Speedway’s Octoberfest weekend, before heading to Thompson for their second-to-last race of the season. Winners this year so far include names like Randy Burr, Connor Souza, Duane Noll and Gerard Giordano Jr. The latter is no stranger to Thompson’s high-banks as Giordano picked up the big win last year.

The North East Mini Stock Tour has been busy in 2020, not letting COVID-19 slow down their championship battle. They have recently competed at Riverside Speedway, Star Speedway, White Mountain Motorsports Park and Oxford Plains Speedway with multiple different winners. As part of their current schedule, Thompson’s World Series 20-lap feature will be the last of the season, allowing them to crown a champion on the big stage.

The Pro 4 Modifieds continue their trend of World Series success with another 22-lap race on Saturday night, October 10. A former weekly division at Thompson, the Pro 4 group gives upcoming competitors a chance to dabble in the Modified ranks while also playing host to some veteran competitors looking to keep costs down. The race is the Harry Kourafas Memorial, remembering one of their longtime supporters.

The winged-warriors are also coming back to Thompson with three different winged divisions set to compete at the World Series. The ISMA Supermodifieds were recently added with another 50-lap feature for the fastest division of the weekend. The International Supermodified Association had originally planned on closing shop for the year after their race in September but have extended their schedule to include the prestigious Thompson weekend for the 45th time.

The NEMA Midgets and NEMA Lites are also headed back to the 0.625-mile oval with the NEMA Midgets running on Saturday and the Truly NEMA Lites competing on Sunday afternoon. Both divisions have a 25-lap feature race and are fan favorites.

On top of it all, the Pro All Star Series (PASS) returns to Thompson with their championship battle heating up. After a crazy, COVID-filled year, PASS is happy to add Thompson’s World Series to their schedule in 2020 as the second-to-last race of the year. PASS will crown their champion with a return to Oxford Plains Speedway the weekend after the Thompson event. Super Late Models will tour the Thompson oval for 75 laps at the World Series. Names like D.J. Shaw, Derek Griffith and Travis Benjamin will look to score the checkered flag in a stout field.

A three-day general admission ticket for the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing is $55 for adults and $15 for kids ages 12 and under. Advance tickets can be purchased by visiting–NO2QX. Pit passes will be sold at the track and are $75 for adults and $40 for kids ages 12 and under.

For more information about the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing schedule, contact the ACT offices at (802) 244-6963,, or visit You can also get updates on Facebook and Twitter at @ACTTour.

For camping information and general Thompson Speedway inquires, call (860) 923-2280, email, or visit You can follow Thompson Speedway on Facebook and Instagram at @ThompsonSpeedway or on Twitter at @ThompsonSpdwy.

For technical information concerning all PASS divisions, and for media or marketing questions, please contact or visit Don’t forget to “Like” the Pro All Stars Series on Facebook or follow on Twitter @PASSSLM14 to keep up with breaking news as it happens.

Source: American-Canadian Tour Media Director

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