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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour



Christopher Wins Race, Santos Leaves with 2010 Crown

Bobby Santos came home sixth to put the finishing touches on his first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship Sunday, while Ted Christopher continued his mastery of Thompson International Speedway. Christopher became the first driver in Whelen Modified Tour history to earn three straight victories in the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing, the traditional season-ending event.

For Santos, the Whelen Modified Tour title came in his first full-time season competing in the division. He gave the No. 4 “Mystic Missile” Dodge owner Bob Garbarino his third championship in four years. Garbarino, an owner in the division since 1961, did not win a championship until driver Donny Lia captured the crown in 2007 and 2009.

“This team is just great. It started awesome at the Icebreaker and they gave me a great race car,” Santos said. “They’ve proven the last handful of years that the Mystic Missile is the car to beat on this Tour.”

When Lia left the No. 4 "Mystic Missile" Dodge in February to run the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, it opened the door for the 25-year-old from Franklin, Mass. Santos proceeded to recorded four wins and four Coors Light Pole Awards during his title campaign and Thompson's finale was his 11th top-10 finish during the 14-race season. He became the first driver in the 26-year history of the Whelen Modified Tour to win a championship in his first full-time season behind the wheel.

Santos entered the event with a 37-point lead over Stefanik, and was able to keep the nine-time NASCAR champion in his sights throughout the race. Stefanik finished fourth behind Christopher, Ryan Preece and Doug Coby.

“It was a great finish to the season,” Santos said. “It’s been a lot of fun this year, and hopefully we can have some more wins in the future.”

Santos finished 27 points ahead of Stefanik in the final standings, and 78 ahead of Christopher. Ron Silk and Todd Szegedy rounded out the top five in points.

The 2010 season was Stefanik’s best since his last title in 2006. His 10 top fives and 12 top 10s were Tour highs, but it was also the first full-time season in a distinguished career that Stefanik did not record a win.

The World Series was Christopher's second win in three Tour races at the track this year in the No. 36 Al-Lee Installations Chevrolet and his fifth in the last seven events there. Christopher’s 38th career overall win was also his 11th at the .625-mile speedway, second only to Stefanik’s 14.

Christopher has now finished in the top five in the final standings nine years in a row and has won 10 of the 40 races contested since he turned 50 years old in 2008.

“I drove that thing from Lap 1 until the end as hard as I could drive it,” said Christopher, who led four times for 36 laps. “It was a pretty wild race … it was fun.”

Coby led 25 laps and settled for third due to late-race mechanical issues that caused him to lose the lead to Christopher on Lap 147. It was Coby’s best effort in eight races this year, and his first podium finish since he also crossed the line third in the 2009 World Series.

Silk led an event-high 45 laps in Sunday’s race and finished fifth for his ninth top-five in the season’s last 10 races.

Following Santos in sixth, Eric Beers, Eric Goodale, Rowan Pennink and James Civali rounded out the top 10 on Sunday. Burt Myers, who wrapped up the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified championship Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, finished 14th.

As the 2010 Whelen Modified Tour champion, Santos has earned a guaranteed starting position in the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown on Jan. 29, 2011 at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale (Calif.). Prior to that, his achievements will be recognized as part of the NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Awards Gala on Dec. 11 at the Charlotte Convention Center's Crown Ballroom in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

The Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing will air on VERSUS on Wednesday, Oct. 20 at 8 p.m.

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour-Sunoco World Series Unofficial Results
Sunday At Thompson International Speedway, Thompson, Conn.
Lap length:
0.625 miles

  (Start position in parentheses)
  1.   (3) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 150 laps, 79.300 mph, $7,000.
  2. (28) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Chevrolet, 150, $4,450.
  3. (18) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 150, $2,900.
  4.   (4) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Pontiac, 150, $2,700.
  5.   (6) Ron Silk, Norwalk, Conn., Chevrolet, 150, $2,378.
  6.   (1) Bobby Santos, Franklin, Mass., Dodge, 150, $3,400.
  7. (11) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 150, $2,100.
  8. (17) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150, $2,200.
  9.   (5) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 150, $1,750.
10.   (9) James Civali, Meriden, Conn., Pontiac, 150, $1,650.
11. (29) Richie Pallai, Jr., Yorktown Heights, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150, $2,525.
12.   (2) Eric Berndt, Cromwell, Conn., Chevrolet, 150, $1,200.
13. (21) Chuck Hossfeld, Ransomville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150, $1,675.
14. (14) Burt Myers, Walnut Cove, N.C., Ford, 150, $1,150.
15.   (8) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn., Chevrolet, 150, $1,525.
16. (24) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, Mass., Chevrolet, 150, $1,475.
17. (27) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 150, $1,450.
18. (25) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Ford, 150, $1,025.
19. (13) Erick Rudolph, Ransomville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150, $1,500.
20. (15) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn., Ford, 150, $1,475.
21. (20) Ron Yuhas, Jr., Groton, Conn., Chevrolet, 150, $950.
22. (19) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150, $1,350.
23. (16) Richard Savary, Canton, Mass., Chevrolet, 150, $950.
24. (22) Renee Dupuis, Glastonbury, Conn., Chevrolet, 150, $1,350.
25. (31) Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Pontiac, 147, $1,350.
26. (10) George Brunnhoelzl, III, W. Babylon, N.Y., Chevrolet, 112, engine, $1,350.
27. (30) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 108, suspension, $1,350.
28. (32) Jake Marosz, Middletown, Conn., Chevrolet, 75, suspension, $950.
29. (26) Glenn Tyler, Hampton Bays, N.Y., Chevrolet, 69, brakes, $1,350.
30. (12) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Chevrolet, 65, oil leak, $1,350.
31.   (7) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 60, accident, $1,350.
32. (23) Rob Summers, Vernon, Conn., Chevrolet, 27, suspension, $950.

Race Statistics
Time of Race: 1 hour 10 minutes 56 seconds
Margin of Victory: 0.321 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: B. Santos (120.263 mph, 18.709 seconds)
Caution Flags: 7 for 45 laps.
Lead Changes: 8 among 4 drivers.
Lap Leaders: E. Berndt 1-34; T. Christopher 35-37; E. Berndt 38; T. Christopher 39-53; E. Berndt 54-62; T. Christopher 63-76; R. Silk 77-121; D. Coby 122-146; T. Christopher 147-150.

Standings: 1. B. Santos, 2180; 2. M. Stefanik, 2153; 3. T. Christopher, 2102; 4. R. Silk, 2096; 5. T. Szegedy, 1957; 6. R. Preece, 1933; 7. E. Goodale, 1784; 8. E. Rudolph, 1753; 9. E. Beers, 1752; 10. C. Hossfeld, 1704.


  Source: Jason Cunningham/NASCAR
Posted: October 17, 2010

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