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MODIFIED: Fast Times End Early for Mystic Missile at Thompson

8 April 1998

Thompson, CT: Event number two of the 1998 Featherlite Modified Series campaign took place Sunday afternoon with the running of the Polar Beverages Ice Breaker at the New Thompson (CT) Speedway. Saturdays qualifying saw Tim Connolly pilot the Ralston Purina/Tidy Cat Dodge to the third fastest time of the field. Sunday saw the Endicott (NY) resident choose the sixth starting position in the redraw for the top six starting spots. The competitive day for the Bob Garbarino owned team ended at the drop of the green flag when smoke appeared from under the hood of the Mystic Missile. Connolly brought the car into the pits to repair a broken oil line. Quickly rejoining the action several laps down, Connolly was able to finish the day without further incident, and was credited with a 23rd place finish in the event won by Mike Stefanik. Following the race Connolly said, It was an unfortunate situation. We ran the car quite a long time before the race. We scuffed the tires before the race, and NASCAR gave us a few laps to warm up our tires in the cold weather. We had a good chassis, good car, and the team was doing a great job all weekend. We were as prepared for that race as weve ever been. The green flag dropped as we came off of turn four to start the race, and the car just started smoking when the oil line came apart on us. It took us a few laps to get the line fixed and get oil back in it. It wound up being a very long day, but these things happen, and were looking forward to Martinsville. Looking back on the weekend, car owner Bob Garbarino said, What happened to us is from the largest chapter of all race books.. Things That Go Wrong That Shouldnt Have Happened. After burned arms and hands from repairing the oil leak, we were able to get back out on the track and make the best of a bad day. As disappointing as it was, I have to give a well done to the entire team, they never gave up!

Up Next: The Featherlite Modified Series will be in action April 18th at the historic Martinsville Speedway in Virginia. The Modified Series will be a part of Winston Cup weekend at the half-mile facility. For more information, contact the track at (540) 956-1600. The event is scheduled to be televised on ESPN.

Catch Us On the Web!: For up-to-date news, profiles, and information on Tim Connolly and the Ralston-Purina/Tidy Cat Racing Team, visit the Mystic Missile Web Page at