NASCAR season opens with Icebreaker at Thompson Speedway

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Thompson - posted Tue., Apr. 9, 2013

The 2013 race season and the opening round in the championship battle on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour begins April 13 and 14 at Thompson Speedway with Icebreaker Weekend. The two-day season opener will feature seven divisions of short track racing action.

The highlight of the weekend event will be the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, with 30 cars expected in the lineup. Five other NASCAR Whelen All American Series Divisions will race. They include: Sunoco Modifieds (30 laps), Late Models (25 laps), Lite Modifieds (20 laps), Limited Sportsman (20 laps), and Mini Stocks (15 laps). This year will mark the first appearance by the Granite State Pro Stocks in a 50-lap race on April 14.

If Doug Coby qualifies in Saturday's races, he will be defending his Modified Tour Crown in Sunday's race. Ryan Preece is the defending champion in the Sunoco Modified division. He will begin his title defense  with a 30-lap main event on Sunday afternoon. The 2012 Late Model champion Tommy O’Sullivan will be competing against 30 teams this weekend. Cam McDermott will defend his 2012 Lite Modified title against 15 teams. Scott Sundeen and Chad Baxter are defending champions of the Limited Sportsman and Mini Stocks respectively. Bobby Cabral will defend his 2012 Granite State Pro Stock crown.

Many of the race teams will be given the chance to compete in “The Best of the Rest” races on Saturday night. These races are specifically designed for drivers who did not finish in the top 10 in track points last year.

Director of Operations Russ Dowd called the event the traditional season opener for the Raceway. “What makes this special are the new race teams and drivers as well as returning veterans,” he said. “It's just like opening day at Fenway Park.” It's also a boost to the local economy Dowd said. “The hotels and motels from Auburn to Norwich are filled up,” he said. “We have a contingency of campers. It's good for the area. It's an economic shot in the arm.”

Dowd expects the event to draw 150-200 race cars. The draw will depend heavily on weather, but he hopes to fill the track to it's capacity of 13,000.

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