SANTOS KEEPS ROLLING WITH MARTINSVILLE WIN
Three Triumphs In Four 2010 Races
Santos' dream season continued Sunday at Martinsville Speedway as he
captured the checkered flag in the Made In America Whelen 200.
Santos pulled away from the field on a green-white-checkered finish
to claim his third win in four NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races to
start the 2010 season.
"We had a really exciting day," said Santos, who led 38 laps and
picked up the Whelen Winner of the Race Award. "We just did our job.
We're sitting in Victory Lane because we didn't make mistakes. I
think that's the biggest difference right now. We're not making
mistakes and we need to keep it that way."
The race was extended to 204 laps by a late-race caution for a
Sunoco Rookie of the Race Justin Bonsignore had a career-best
second-place finish, followed by Todd Szegedy. Mike Stefanik, the
defending race winner, settled for fourth. Stefanik, who won the
Coors Light Pole Award Saturday, lined up on the outside of the
front row on the final restart but was shuffled back on the final
two laps. Burt Myers finished fifth.
The 24-year-old Santos, from Franklin, Mass., entered the season
with one career win in 29 Tour starts and had never run a full
season. Late in the offseason, he was picked to replace defending
champion Donny Lia in the No. 4 "Mystic Missile" Dodge when Lia
departed to run in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Santos has
responded with three Coors Light Pole Awards and three wins.
"We knew the competition was going to step up. We were very good -
spot on - at Stafford and Thompson, and we knew we weren't going to
be spot on all year," Santos said. "And we knew guys like Stefanik
and other guys that were really fast were going to hit it today.
"But we were confident we have a good team, a good car, and that we
were going to run good."
Szegedy came back from three laps down caused by a flat right front
"We came back through the pack, playing defense and avoiding all of
the wrecks, and got lucky on some of the restarts we had," said
Szegedy of his fourth top-five finish of the season."
The race was slowed 18 times for 119 laps.
"Everybody was just driving in over their heads. Every lap," said
Szegedy. "It was hot, we got agitated. What are you going to do?
None of us are perfect. Neither am I. I do the same stuff
Bonsignore also rallied back after losing a lap on a slow pit stop
early in the race
"We just avoided the wrecks the whole time," Bonsignore said. "We
had a good restart time every time. It always went."
James Civali, Eric Beers, Woody Pitkat, Richie Pallai Jr. and Wade
Cole rounded out the top 10.
Ron Silk appeared to have a car to challenge Santos. However, he
pulled off the track while leading under caution on Lap 174 and ran
out of gas on pit lane.
Silk wasn't the only fast car to encounter issues. Ted Christopher
started on point following post-qualifying redraw of the top 10
spots and led 43 of the first 91 laps before being sidelined by an
oil line leak. Ryan Preece led a race-high 48 laps before mechanical
issues cost him several laps while they were being fixed on pit
road. Pitkat picked up the bonus money provided by Clarence's Steak
House Mid-Race Leader Award and was out front for 45 laps. However,
he ended up fading back to eighth. He did earn the Coca-Cola Move of
the Race Award after starting 31st.
Civali, who was 27th in the previous race at Stafford (Conn.) Motor
Speedway on May 28, collected the Featherlite Most Improved Driver
With the victory, Santos has opened up a 89-point lead over Stefanik
(735-746). Szegedy is third at 640 followed by Christopher (591) and
Preece (554). Bonsignore, Jimmy Blewett, Richie Pallai Jr., Erick
Rudolph and Silk complete the top 10.
Santos finished second in the race he did not win. He is the first
driver in Tour history to win three of the first four races. Mike
Stefanik (1997 and '98) and Donny Lia (2007) each had four wins in
the season's first six races.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track Saturday, June
26 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, where the No. 4 team has won the
last three spring races with two different driver.
NASCAR WMT - Made In America Whelen 200
Sunday At Martinsville Speedway, Martinsville, Va.
Lap length: 0.526 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (4) Bobby Santos, Franklin, Mass., Dodge, 204 laps, 52.917
2. (16) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 204, $3,800.
3. (10) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn., Ford, 204, $3,000.
4. (9) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Pontiac, 204, $4,100.
5. (23) Burt Myers, Walnut Cove, N.C., Ford, 204, $1,950.
6. (28) James Civali, Meriden, Conn., Pontiac, 204, $2,900.
7. (3) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 204, $2,200.
8. (31) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Chevrolet, 204, $4,350.
9. (24) Richie Pallai, Jr., Yorktown Heights, N.Y., Chevrolet, 204,
10. (29) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 204, $1,900.
11. (20) Jason Myers, Walnut Cove, N.C., Ford, 204, $1,400.
12. (1) Frank Fleming, Mt. Airy, N.C., Ford, 204, $1,300.
13. (30) Danny Knoll, Jr., Buffalo, N.Y., Chevrolet, 204, $1,200.
14. (35) Jake Marosz, Middletown, Conn., Chevrolet, 200, $1,100.
15. (8) Ron Silk, Norwalk, Conn., Chevrolet, 198, fuel pump,
16. (6) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Chevrolet, 197, $1,550.
17. (17) Kevin Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 190, clutch, $1,425.
18. (2) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 189,
19. (33) Johnny Bush, Huntington Station, N.Y., Chevrolet, 173, $1,400.
20. (5) Andy Seuss, Hampstead, N.H., Chevrolet, 171, accident,
21. (27) L.W. Miller, Dushore, Pa., Pontiac, 162, power steering, $1,000.
22. (15) Chris Pasteryak, Lisbon, Conn., Chevrolet, 161, accident, $1,400.
23. (14) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn., Chevrolet, 161, accident,
24. (21) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 160, accident, $1,600.
25. (11) Chuck Hossfeld, Ransomville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 142, transmission,
26. (19) Renee Dupuis, Glastonbury, Conn., Chevrolet, 132, $1,400.
27. (12) Erick Rudolph, Ransomville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 126, accident, $1,500.
28. (36) Bryan Dauzat, Midland, N.C., Chevrolet, 108, accident, $1,000.
29. (7) George Brunnhoelzl, III, W. Babylon, N.Y., Chevrolet,
30. (26) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 100, accident, $1,500.
31. (18) Rob Fuller, Boylston, Mass., Ford, 91, suspension, $1,000.
32. (13) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 72, engine,
33. (25) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 47, oil leak, $1,000.
34. (34) Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Chevrolet, 43, power steering,
35. (37) Jonny Kievman, Deerfield Beach, Fla., Chevrolet, 33, accident,
36. (32) Glenn Tyler, Hampton Bays, N.Y., Chevrolet, 29, accident, $400.
37. (22) Zach Brewer, Winstom-Salem, N.C., Chevrolet, 27, fuel pump, $0.
Time of Race: 2 hours 1 minute 40 seconds
Margin of Victory: 0.207 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: M.Stefanik (99.386 mph, 19.053 seconds)
Caution Flags: 18 for 119 laps.
Lead Changes: 6 among 5 drivers.
Lap Leaders: T. Christopher 1-37; R. Preece 38-85; T. Christopher
86-91; W. Pitkat 92-136; B. Santos 137-144; R. Silk 145-174; B. Santos
Standings: 1. B. Santos, 735; 2. M. Stefanik, 646; 3. T. Szegedy,
640; 4. T. Christopher, 591; 5. R. Preece, 554; 6. J. Bonsignore, 516; 7. J.
Blewett, 484; 8. R. Pallai,Jr., 480; 9. E. Rudolph, 473; 10. R. Silk, 467.
Source: Jason Cunningham / NASCAR