For much of Saturday’s NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race, Bobby Santos was riding in the middle of the pack.
The Franklin, Massachusetts, driver began his charge with 15 laps to go and then took advantage of overtime to drive to victory lane at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
It was Santos’ 15th career series win and second at the 1.058-mile oval.
“It’s pretty awesome to win here at New Hampshire,” Santos said. “I’m really excited for my team – Tinio Racing and everyone that got us here. The guys gave me a great car. They put me in position. I had a great long run car there at the end and I had a good battle with Ryan Preece.”
This one came with plenty of late-race drama.
Santos was locked in a four-car battle for the lead with Doug Coby, Ryan Preece and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Newman. Newman and Coby got together with two laps to go when Newman tried to split the difference between Coby and Santos and take second. The caution pushed the race to 105 laps and gave Santos the opportunity to make a run at Preece, who won Friday’s 35-lap non-points Whelen All-Star Shootout.
On the final green flag, Santos’ No. 44 Tinio Racing/ImperialCars.com Chevrolet powered by Preece from the bottom lane and drove away in the final two circuits.
Santos led just those two laps. He started second, but dropped back early and had to work back through the traffic in the middle of the race.
Preece, who led a race-high 54 laps, settled for second. It was the fifth top-five in six races for the Berlin, Connecticut driver and helped him close the gap to just 39 points to the top of the championship standings despite missing a race.
David Sapienza also made a late charge through the field and finished third, giving him his second straight podium finish on the Whelen Modified Tour. Brendon Bock scored a fourth place finish while Chase Dowling rounded out the top five.
Andy Seuss was sixth, followed by Ted Christopher, Max Zachem, Rowan Pennink and Shawn Solomito. Timmy Solomito, who entered the weekend as the points leader, was involved in a multiple-car crash at Lap 20 that took him out of the race. Pennink moved into first by seven over Timmy Solomito, with Eric Goodale 22 points behind. Max Zachem and Justin Bonsignore round out the top five, while Preece is sixth.
There were 16 lead changes among four different drivers.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to the track at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday, August 4.
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
New Hampshire Motor Speedway – Loudon, NH
Eastern Propane & Oil 100 – July 15, 2017
|1||2||44||Bobby Santos||Tinio Racing/ImperialCars.com Chevrolet||105||47||4||Running|
|2||1||6||Ryan Preece||Simoniz Wax Chevrolet||105||44||2||Running|
|3||17||36||Dave Sapienza||Sapienza Enterprise Chevrolet||105||41||Running|
|4||18||29||Brendon Bock||Meadow Brook Collision Chevrolet||105||40||Running|
|5||9||15||Chase Dowling||15-40 Connection Chevrolet||105||39||Running|
|6||15||70||Andy Seuss||Rockingham Boat Chevrolet||105||38||Running|
|7||20||82||Ted Christopher||Horton Avenue Materials Chevrolet||105||37||Running|
|8||5||20||Max Zachem||Course Legend/Robert B Our Chevrolet||105||36||Running|
|9||7||3||Rowan Pennink||Cape Cod Copper Chevrolet||105||35||Running|
|10||22||48||Shawn Solomito||Eastport Feeds Chevrolet||105||34||Running|
|11||8||2||Doug Coby||Mayhew Tools/Dunleavy/AJ Romano Chevrolet||105||34||1||Running|
|12||19||21||Ronnie Williams *||Gershow Recycling Chevrolet||105||32||Running|
|13||23||46||Woody Pitkat||Riverhead Building Supply Chevrolet||105||31||Running|
|14||24||5||Kyle Ebersole||Ebersole Excavating Chevrolet||105||30||Running|
|15||13||58||Eric Goodale||GAF Roofing Chevrolet||105||29||Running|
|16||25||24||Andrew Krause||Supreme Manufacturing Chevrolet||105||28||Running|
|17||10||51||Justin Bonsignore||Phoenix Communications Inc. Chevrolet||104||27||Running|
|18||27||99||Jamie Tomaino||Dunleavy’s Repair/Atlantic Sprinkler Chevrolet||104||26||Running|
|19||28||39||Calvin Carroll *||Power with Prestige/Cruising w/Betty Chevrolet||104||25||Running|
|20||26||97||Bryan Dauzat||O.B. Builders Chevrolet||104||24||Running|
|21||21||64||Rob Summers||Hoosier Tire East/Fast Track Elect/Hughes Motors||104||23||Running|
|22||30||1||Melissa Fifield||Eastern Propane & Oil Chevrolet||100||22||Running|
|23||4||77||Ryan Newman||Curb Records Chevrolet||98||22||1||Accident|
|24||31||38||Dave Salzarulo||Perf Engines/Kendall Oil/Ryan’s Chevrolet||98||20||Handling|
|25||3||85||Todd Szegedy||Stuarts Automotiive/J&R Pre-Cast Chevrolet||69||19||Battery|
|26||14||7||Donny Lia||Bardahl Chevrolet||59||18||Engine|
|27||29||33||Wade Cole||Perf. Engines/Kendall Oil Chevrolet||45||17||Transmission|
|28||16||89||Matt Swanson||Starrett Tools Ford||43||16||Engine|
|29||12||16||Timmy Solomito||Starrett Tools Ford||19||15||Accident|
|30||11||00||Ron Silk||Brady Bunch Racing Chevrolet||18||14||Accident|
|31||6||07||Patrick Emerling||Buffalo Auto Auction Chevrolet||18||13||Accident|
Fastest Qualifier: None. Qualifying rained out.
Time of Race: 1 hrs., 16 mins, 27 secs Average Speed: 87.186 mph Margin of
Victory: 0.652 Seconds
Caution Flags: Laps 4-6 (Car #48/#70 turn 1 & 2, no FP); 13-16 (Competition caution, no FP); 19-22 (Multiple car frontstretch, no FP); 51-53 (Competition caustion, FP#15); 99-102 (Car #77/#2 turn 4, FP #24). 5 for 18 laps.
Lap Leaders: Ryan Preece 1-2, Ryan Newman 3-11, Ryan Preece 12-23, Ryan Newman 24-29, Ryan Preece 30-44, Ryan Newman 45-54, Ryan Preece 55-56, Ryan Newman 57-61, Ryan Preece 62-75, Ryan Newman 76-81, Doug Coby 82-84, Ryan Preece 85, Ryan Newman 86, Ryan Preece 87, Doug Coby 88-96, Ryan Preece 97-103, Bobby Santos 104-105.
Total Laps Led: Ryan Preece 54, Ryan Newman 37, Doug Coby 12, Bobby Santos 2. 16 changes involving 4 drivers.
Top 10 Driver Points: Rowan Pennink 276, Timmy Solomito 269, Eric Goodale 254, Max Zachem 247, Justin Bonsignore 243, Ryan Preece 237, Doug Coby 234, Dave Sapienza 224, Woody Pitkat 223, Matt Swanson 213
* Denotes Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender