in 1998 a young 13-year-old named Bobby Santos began
his career in full-sized race cars that today
includes a remarkable list of accomplishments. It
was at the Star Speedway, a quarter-mile track in
southern New Hampshire, that he first set a track
record. Where he first won a feature, then in a
Small Block Supermodified. Where he learned to race.
"It was the only place that would let me race at 13
years old," Santos reasoned. "That was pretty much
it. When we quit Quarter Midgets my dad was looking
into moving on. He didn't want to go Mini Sprint
racing. We didn't really want to do dirt racing. We
wanted to stick with the pavement, and that was
really the only place that would let us race. I'm
thankful to the Webber family for that.
"I can't believe it was 13 years ago. It was a lot
of experience and a lot of fun. I don't think I
realized how fast those cars were at the time. You
know, the speeds that I was going and what I was
learning there. But I felt like it was a great place
to learn for everything that I am doing now. I
definitely miss racing there week in and week out
like we used to."
On June 16, Santos will return to that special place
he called home on Saturday nights to compete in the
Exeter Decorating SBM 125 Modified Open, driving the
Tinio Motorsports #44 Tour Modified. While Santos
has run an ISMA Supermodified on two occasions since
he moved on to win races and championships racing
across the country, he has never driven a Modified
"It should be fun," Santos noted. "I enjoy going
there. It should definitely be different, but
typical Modified short track racing. I think just
the experience of the racetrack helps. I haven't
been there in a little while so I'm sure I will have
to get used to it again, but I think that most
racetracks usually come right back to you."
Santos used his experience at Star to help him gain
national recognition. He is the 2010 NASCAR Whelen
Modified Tour Champion, the 2011 USAC Pavement
Sprint Car Series Champion. He became the first
driver to win in all three National USAC Series
features in one year. Most recently, he "Smoked The
Field" as the headline read, less than one week ago
in the season opening event for the USAC Silver
Crown cars at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis.
"He showed great potential at an early age," Star
Speedway track owner Bob Webber Sr., reflected. "It
has always been a family operation for him. His
talent at the age of 13 was obvious. He was not just
good. He was really good."
On June 16, this homecoming for Santos will also be
one of his biggest racing challenges. He will drive
a Modified at Star for the first time against
seasoned champions from all ends of the Modified
world. Champion drivers Szegedy, McKennedy, Jarvis,
Stefanik, Pasteryak, Preece, Cantara and Hirschman
to name a few, will be his competition.
To understand Santos' ability to meet and beat this
challenge is something that Star Speedway fans know
all too well from having watched him race at Star 13
years ago. It's something that track owner Bob
Webber is looking forward to witnessing, maybe more
than Santos is looking forward to racing, at what
was his Saturday night home when it all began.
For more information on the Saturday, June 16 Exeter
Decorating SBM 125, and the availability of lap
sponsorship opportunities for this big event, log
onto the track web site at
www.star-speedway.com. For immediate
updates, check out the Star Speedway official
Facebook page, or call the track at: (603) 679-5306.