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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour




When the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to Stafford Motor Speedway on August 2nd for the 23rd Annual CARQUEST 150, one driver who will have some extra motivation to put his car into CARQUEST Victory Lane will be Bobby Santos, III. Prior to the start of the 2013 NWMT season, CARQUEST Auto Parts and Stafford Speedway announced a special bonus of $25,000 that would be awarded to any driver who could win all three CARQUEST sponsored NWMT events at Stafford this season.

When it comes to CARQUEST, Stafford Speedway, and big bonuses, Santos is well versed. CARQUEST and Stafford put up a $50,000 bonus back in August 2006 for any driver who could win the Midget portion of The Big One and then start last and win the PRA Big Car Series race. Santos won the midget race and then won the Big Car Series race to take home the $50,000 bonus from CARQUEST.

Santos and his #44 Tinio Corp. team won the season opening CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler to put themselves in the drivers seat for the CARQUEST Triple Crown bonus. Although Santos will have to win both the CARQUEST 150 and the CARQUEST Fall Final on Sept. 29 to collect the bonus, he is feeling confident about his chances.

"I think we're going to go about this race like we do any other race at Stafford," said Santos. "We definitely seem to have something figured out with the car. The guys seem to give me a really good car every time we go there and we seem to run really good so I don't see a reason to change anything. We're going to go back with the same thing we've had in the past and hopefully we'll have a little bit of luck. I'm very confident; I believe if we do everything under our control to run good that we'll have a good shot at it. I think we've had as good a car as anyone at Stafford the last two years and if we don't make any mistakes I feel like we have a good shot at winning, which will give us one more shot at the CARQUEST Fall Final. It's really cool to be eligible for the CARQUEST Triple Crown bonus. It means a lot and a big thanks to Stafford and CARQUEST for putting this on. It's pretty cool that our team is the one and only team that has a shot at winning the bonus."

Santos has reasons to feel confident about his chances of taking home the CARQUEST Triple Crown bonus. In the 14 NWMT races run at Stafford since the 2010 season, Santos has recorded 5 wins and 10 top-5 finishes along with five pole positions. Santos has won the pole at each of the first two NWMT races at SMS this year and he says starting up front will be a key factor in winning the race, but that ultimately it will come down to how the race plays out that will dictate who is in position to race for the checkered flag at the end of 150 laps.

"We've won the last 2 poles and we qualified second at last year's Fall Final," said Santos. "I'm confident that we have a pretty good qualifying setup and qualifying is definitely important at Stafford to have the track position at the start of the race. It's a big part of being up front and being one of the cars that can dictate the pit stops. I'm pretty confident we should be able to start the race in the top-5. It all depends on how the race falls. Last year in the Fall Final I felt like we were going to definitely put tires on and the way the race fell we didn't. It all depends on what direction the race goes and if we're going to stop or not."

With his stellar record at Stafford in NWMT competition, it's only natural for Santos to be feeling confident about his chances. But Santos remains faced with a tall task as he knows he still has to win two more races in order to claim the bonus.

"It's an honor to be eligible for the award but I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't be disappointed if we don't go into Fall Final with a shot at it," said Santos. "We have a great car with Steve Lemay working on it and Billy the Kid motors have been awesome this year. Stafford is one of the good motor tracks and that's a big reason why we've been so good at Stafford. I think it's the whole combination we have and Stafford seems to treat us really well."

Santos' quest for CARQUEST Victory Lane in the 23rd Annual CARQUEST 150 begins with Coors Light Pole Qualifying, which will begin at 6pm on August 2nd. The green flag for the CARQUEST 150 will be dropped at approximately 9:15 pm and tickets are available and on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $33.00 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating will be priced at $35.00 for all ages. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax.

For more information on the 23rd Annual CARQUEST 150, or to order tickets, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.

  Source: Scott Running / Stafford Motor Speedway
Posted: July 26, 2013

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