Mike Stefanik Chips Thompson Ice

Mike Stefanik takes the checkered flag Sunday at Thompson (Conn.) Int'l Speedway. (Dick Ayers photo)
Mike Stefanik takes the checkered flag Sunday at Thompson (Conn.) Int’l Speedway. (Dick Ayers photo)

THOMPSON, Conn. — The legend of Mike Stefanik added another chapter Sunday at Thompson Int’l Speedway as he captured NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory No. 73 in the season-opening Icebreaker.

Stefanik charged to the lead by Ryan Preece following a restart on Lap 141 and held off multiple hard charges from Preece, Rowan Pennink and Ron Silk to extend his tour career record for wins. The final margin of victory was just .229 seconds.

Pennink finished second followed by Preece, Silk and Ted Christopher. Jimmy Blewett, Doug Coby, Justin Bonsignore, Chuck Hossfeld and Timmy Solomito brought home the top 10.

Sunday also marked the 15th victory for Stefanik in Whelen Modified Tour action at the famed .625-mile oval — which extended a record as well — and was his third on the prestigious Icebreaker weekend.

Stefanik, from Coventry, R.I., captured the Coors Light Pole Award Saturday but Preece prevented him from leading the event’s first circuit.

Pennink, who led a race-high 79 laps, first took the lead from Preece on Lap 7. The pair swapped it two more times based on their pit strategy. Preece led 61 total laps.

The race was slowed by seven cautions for 33 laps with two red flags for track cleanup and repair.

The finish:

Mike Stefanik, Rowan Pennink, Ryan Preece, Ron Silk, Ted Christopher, Jimmy Blewett, Doug Coby, Justin Bonsignore, Chuck Hossfeld, Timmy Solomito, Woody Pitkat, Eric Goodale, Patrick Emerling, Ed Flemke Jr., Ken Heagy, Todd Szegedy, Jamie Tomaino, Bobby Santos, Cole Powell, Brian Schofield, Jimmy Zacharias, Richie Pallai Jr., Donny Lia, Gary McDonald, Bryon Chew, Wade Cole, Ron Yuhas Jr., Rob Fuller, Eric Berndt.