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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour


No One Could be Writing the Script as the Drama Continues on the Track
by Denise DuPont

It was standing room only at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) as fans came to see the continuing competition between NWMT drivers Doug Coby of Milford, CT., Timmy Solomito from Islip, NY. Rowan Pennink from Huntingdon Valley, PA. and Ryan Preece of Berlin, CT. Drivers have won races at Thompson and they came prepared to add another win to their resume. Pennink set fast time in qualifying and started the race on the pole. Pennink brought the field around to take the initial green and remained in the top position until lap10 when Preece took over the top position.

Mid-point in the race a caution occurred and provided the opportunity for teams to pit for fresh tires. Most of the lead pack pitted. But Preece and Bonsignore both opted to stay out. Preece’s car was dominate from lap 7 and the team took the gamble to remain on track. Within ten laps though, there was a new Leader Bonsignore. Bonsignore’s reign at the top only last five laps before the new leader became Solomito. While all of this action was happening up front, Preece continued to lose position on the track. On lap 114, Preece’s ill handling car and tap to the rear bumper spun him in turn two. He quickly collected himself and pitted for tires. There were just over 30 laps to go in the ‘Bud King of Beers 150’ race and when the green flag flew the shootout began. Coby pulled into the top position on lap 127 and it sure looked like this was his day leading circuit after circuit. Then in the rear view mirror he saw Preece bearing down with his fresh rubber and a determine spirit to make it his race.

Preece pulled pass Coby with sixteen to go and the fight for the win began. Fans were on their feet and all eyes were on the front of the field as the front two contenders’ circled the track. Lapped traffic came into play and provided an opportunity for Coby to use them to his advantage. But Preece wanted a back to back win and protected the bottom. The white flag flew and the top two ran harder than they had all race. Then Coby’s bad luck continued as he had a right front flat and hit the turn one wall on the last lap. A caution was thrown but since the white flag was out, Preece had the win.

Then this is when the race outcome became confusing to me. Coby was able to pull away and cross the finish line. The top three – Preece, Ted Christopher of Plainville, Ct and Solomito were interviewed in victory lane. The Unofficial race results were published by NASCAR. Coby was listed as the second place finisher. I am not sure on the series rule that was applied, but the white flag had flown, caution was out and Coby was in the wall. If I were to guess the field went back to the positions drivers held when the white flag was displayed.

A later communication stated that the yellow flag froze the field on the final lap. NASCAR officials ruled that Coby maintained a reasonable speed under the caution given the track conditions so the runner up finish was his.

Post-race Preece expressed his need for speed and the wins. "Doug put a lot more pressure on me at the end then I thought he was going too," Preece stated. "I have to keep winning races. My career depends on that. We had a really good car tonight."

“I’m just riding the wave.” Expressed Preece when asked about his row of wins. “I’ve got to keep winning though. That’s the only way I’m going to stay relevant right now. If people keep seeing my name winning races, especially after that whole Iowa deal, that’s the only way I’m going to make a future for myself.”

Coby who was still absorbing the lost and the damage to the #2 modified and confessed: “I have nothing to say.”

Ted Christopher finished third, followed by Timmy Solomito, Bobby Santos. Andrew Krause, Rowan Pennink, Eric Goodale, Jon McKennedy and Woody Pitkat for the top ten

So with those word we will proceed to Bristol Motor Speedway next Wednesday and the next chapter in this year’s NWMT adventure.

Source: Denise DuPont / TheChromeHorn.com
: August 10, 2017

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