the Touring Modified Series' schedules have finally come to a close for 2010.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour had approximately 59 competitors, the NASCAR
Southern Modified Tour 35, the Modified Racing Series had
55 and the Race of Champions Series 37. This is
not too shabby for the full bore touring modified divisions. Overall racing
across the board was great in all series' and showed the full modifieds are
still the fans favorite.
The 2010 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour's schedule pretty much followed the
2009 schedule with Spencer dropping their date but Lime Rock and Monadnock
coming on board for 2010. I am still not sure on my feelings on having a
road course on the schedule. First off, if there is to be a road course, it
should be 3 races or none. Much work has to be done on race setups for a
road course and being modifieds are not perimeter chassis race cars, seems a
lot of work for just one race. Also the fact that modifieds do not use full
gear transmissions adds a bit of expense to the setup. Don't get me wrong as
I think Lime Rock Park is a beautiful facility, but just seeing this from a
race teams point of view, it just adds dollars and time for 1 race.
Monadnock coming on board was a nice addition. I have always been a short
track fan and with Riverhead dropping their 2 shows per year after a few
rain out years, it was nice to see a similar track back on the schedule to
fill that short track void we have had for a few years.
NWMT season started off with a new full time driver, Bobby Santos III, in
Bob Garbarino owned Mystic Missile. Many were skeptical as to how
Bobby would fit in with the team and running the full schedule, but after
the first 4 races, it was obvious that
all fit perfectly. Bobby and the #4
team secured 3 Coors Light poles and 3 wins and a
2nd place in the first 4 races! Bobby did not get another pole till the last
race at Stafford
or another win till the season ending Thompson race but still ran pretty
solid, 9 top 5's
and 11 top 10's
in the 14 race schedule. In fact consistent enough to edge Mike Stefanik
by 27 points for the 2010
championship. Santos showed his ability to drive in the full modified series
all year long. Kudos to Garbarino and the whole #4 racing team for
giving Santos the opportunity to show what he is made of. This was obviously
winning combination and a well deserved championship in the NWMT for 2010.
place point finisher, Diversified Metals #16 Mike Stefanik, had a stellar year himself. After his
2006 championship, 2007, 2008, and 2009 were just so-so years for the multi-time NASCAR Modified Champion,
finishing 7th in each of those 3 years in the championship points. 2010 showed that the multi-time champ still
has plenty of umpf to 'git-r-done'. Stefanik's 2010 season had 10 top 5's
and 12 top 10's. Stefanik finished out the season without a win, which may
have edged him over Santos for the championship. All year Mike stayed steady
and smooth, and looked many times to have a win in sight but it
just did not come. This plus the 27th place finish at New Hampshire's June
race, kept Stefanik from grabbing yet another Whelen Modified Tour
Championship. Mike and
the #16 team have got what it takes to be a champion once again and I think
be coming sooner than later.
place point finisher, Al-Lee Installations #36 Ted Christopher, had an
season for 2010. Christopher grabbed 1 Coors Light Pole Award and won 4
the 2010 season and had 8 top 5's and 9 top 10's. Even though Christopher
had 4 wins
in 2010, his 2-18's and a 30th kept him out of the hunt for the championship
by 78 points.
Ted ran 68 races so far this year between TQ's, SK Type and Tour Type
and knows how to get around any track his visits in any race car he is in.
In the last
7 years, Christopher has finished 1st, 2nd, 3-3rds, 4th and 5th in the point
standings between 2 different teams. I do not see this changing any time
soon as the #36 teams consistency will keep TC at the top of the field.
Ted's determination and the
#36 teams hard work will bring another championship in the future. There is
to count out Ted from winning in anything he races.
Ronnie Silk finished 4th for 2010 and had quite a good season. Silk
have any wins but was always mixing it up in the front pack, with 9 top 5's
10 top 10's, no matter where the race was held. Silk finished only 6 points
Christopher and 84 points out of the championship in his first year in the
modified after 2 years driving the Hill Enterprises #79. With strong runs at
Riverhead, Monadnock, Lime Rock and New Hampshire, it showed that Ronnie can
run at any type track and run up front, in any situation. Like Christopher,
Silk runs a weekly SK
modified and the added seat time can only help Ronnie keep on top of his
especially at tracks like Stafford and Thompson. I think the T.S. Haulers #6
grab a win or 2 at NHMS in 2011, he can run real strong there.
Silk is right on the edge of a championship.
place point finisher, Wisk/Snuggle #2 Todd Szegedy, also had an up/down year.
The 2003 NWMT Champion had 1 Pole and 1 Win with 7 top 5's and 8 top 10's in
the 2010 season. With 5 top 5's in the first 6 races, things were looking
Todd. Then the groove was lost. I feel that Szegedy is a very talented
not sure what fell out of sync for the #2 team. Even though Todd won 1 race
2 top 5's in the last 8 races, the bad finishes hurt his battle for the
Out of the last 5 years, Szegedy has not finished out of the Top 5 in points
on the tour,
which shows the #2 team is always a strong contender. A little bit of luck
go a long way. I am sure that the monkey will be off Todd's back and he will
running strong every race for 2011, his last 5 years point finishes attest
to that fact.
Rounding out the Top 10 were:
Ryan Preece - off year for Ryan, he will be back strong
Eric Goodale - outstanding year, and a win on the MRS tour
Erick Rudolph - 3 top 5's, 7 top 10's, with consistency watch out
Beers - deserves to be a NWMT Champ
Chuck Hossfeld - 6 top 10's, may be top 5's next year
Overall, I think 2010 was a great racing year for the NASCAR Whelen Modified
That's it for this round. Next week will be 'Part 2 - 2010 NWSMT'.
Have a great week.