Category Archives: NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour News & Notes: Stafford

Three Winners In Three Races Shake Up Standings

 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 1, 2016) – Doug Coby dominated Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. Until Timmy Solomito put an end to that.

The three-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion was able to return to Victory Lane at Stafford Motor Speedway, but Ron Silk made it three winners in three races the last time out at New London-Waterford Speedway.

So when the Whelen Modified Tour returns to Stafford Friday night for the TSI Harley Davidson 125, Coby will be among one of the favorites. After all, he has two wins and a runner-up finish in the last three Stafford tour races. But the Milford, Connecticut, driver will have plenty of challengers.

Four different drivers have netted two top fives in the first three races: Coby, Solomito, Silk and Justin Bonsignore. Max Zachem, 24, sits third in points after a runner-up finish at the Speedbowl. The shorter race distance — the Spring Sizzler is 200 laps and the other two Stafford events are 150 — will lend to varying strategy over the 125 laps. While Coby won this race in 2014, 10 different drivers have scored top five runs in the TSI Harley Davidson 125 over the last three years.

RACE:  TSI Harley Davidson 125

PLACE:            Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway

DATE:  Friday, June 3

TIME:   9:15 p.m. ET (approx.)

TRACK LAYOUT:         .5-mile, semi-banked asphalt oval

2015 WINNER:  Ryan Preece

2015 POLESITTER:      Doug Coby

EVENT SCHEDULE:     Practice 3-4 p.m., Final Practice 4-4:45 p.m., Qualifying 6 p.m., Driver Autograph Session 7:30 p.m.

TRACK CONTACT:       Scott Running, 860-684-2783, scottrunning@staffordspeedway.com

TRACK TWITTER:        @StaffordSpeedwy

EVENT TWITTER HASHTAG:    #TSIHD125

NASCAR CONTACT:    Jason Christley, 386-547-2469, jchristley@nascar.com, Twitter: @Jason_Christley

 Fast Facts

The Race:  The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to Stafford Motor Speedway for the 26th Annual TSI Harley Davidson 125, the second of four trips to the historic half mile in 2016. The TSI Harley Davidson 125 will be the fourth of 17 events on the schedule.

The Procedure:  The maximum starting field per the official entry blank is 31 cars, including provisionals. The first 26 cars will have secured starting positions based on two-lap qualifying. The remaining five spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race is scheduled for 125 laps (60.50 miles) and three change tires allowed for the event.

The Track:  A half-mile, slightly-banked oval, Stafford originated as a horse racing track in the 1870s. After seven decades as a horse track, the dirt oval started holding automobile races following World War II. Stafford became a NASCAR-sanctioned track in 1959 and was paved for the first time in 1967. Stafford’s 118 Whelen Modified Tour races are second all-time.

Race Winners:  There have been 32 different race winners at Stafford all-time, led by Mike Stefanik’s 20 victories. NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Ryan Preece is the defending winner of this race.

Pole Winners:  There have been 43 different pole winners at Stafford, led by Stefanik’s 17. Preece holds the tour’s track qualifying record at 17.924 seconds (100.424 mph), set during the 2012 Spring Sizzler. The last pole winner to win the TSI Harley Davidson 125 was Jimmy Blewett in 2009.

TSI Harley Davidson 125 Notes

Chasing Coby: While Coby holds the early-season points lead, eight points ahead of Solomito, the standings reflect the depth of the tour. Zachem and Bonsignore are tied for third, trailing Solomito by seven, and just 19 points separate the pair from three drivers who are tied for 11th.

New Talent: Solomito, 24, broke through with his first career win at Thompson to start the season and Zachem scored a runner-up finish at New London-Waterford. They’re joined in the top 10 by Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Matt Swanson, 16, who sits eighth in points. Justin Bonsignore, 28, in fourth and Brendan Brock, 19, in 10th make four drivers under the age of 30 in the top 10. Throw in Rowan Pennink, who turned 30 last September, and there is a strong core of young racers contending on the tour.

Blewett Gets Rolling:  After two rough outings to open the season, New Jersey’s Jimmy Blewett turned in a strong third-place finish at New London-Waterford. Blewett is in his first year with the Bob Garbarino’s No. 4 team and new sponsor Starrett Tools, and running the tour full-time for the first time since 2012. In that season, he had three top-five finishes at Stafford. Since 2010, Garbarino’s team has won seven times at Stafford.

Familiar Faces In Victory Lane:  In addition to Coby, who has seven tour wins at Stafford, Friday’s entry list has several other drivers who know their way to Victory Lane at the historic half-mile. Bobby Santos has won there six times, while Stafford native Woody Pitkat has a pair of wins and was second to Preece in last year’s TSI Harley Davidson 125. Donny Lia has four wins at Stafford.

taffoHome Tracks:  Pennink Out To Early SK Modified Lead

Friday night will feature a full slate of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing, headlined by the Division I SK Modified, which will run its 40-lap feature. Defending track champion Rowan Pennink has won two of the three SK Modified events this season and holds a six-point lead over nine-time track champion Ted Christopher. Woody Pitkat is the other race winner this season. The other NASCAR Whelen All-American Series races on Friday will include the Late Model (30 laps), SK Light Modified (20 laps), Limited Late Model (20 laps) and DARE Stock (15 laps) divisions.

 

Coby Hopes To Continue Streak

Joseph Fernandes Photo

NASCAR Press release

Whelen Modified Tour Returns To Stafford For Popular Event

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

• Two-time defending NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby will try to make it three wins in a row at Stafford Motor Speedway, dating back to last year. The tour will visit the historic half-mile track located in western Connecticut this Friday’s for the TSI Harley-Davidson 125. Coby won the pole for this event last season and enters this race atop the standings by eight points over Timmy Solomito as he continues his quest for a third straight championship. If Coby can score his second win of the season at Stafford he would move into a tie for third-place with Reggie Ruggiero in the all-time win column at the track. An experienced field of drivers will join Coby with six former race winners expected to compete in the fourth race of the season. Previous winners joining the defending champion are Jimmy Blewett, Bobby Santos, Woody Pitkat, Ron Silk, Jamie Tomaino and Donny Lia.

NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR

TSI Harley-Davidson 125  at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway
Friday, June 3, 9:15 p.m. ET
Twitter: #TSI125, #NWMT

RACE CENTRAL LIVE | ENTRY LIST

Time Event
11:30 a.m. Haulers Enter
12:15 p.m. Garage Opens
3 – 4 p.m. Practice
6 p.m. Coors Light Pole Qualifying
7:30 p.m. Driver Autograph Session
9:15 p.m. (approx.) 26th Annual TSI Harley-Davidson 125

Silk Dominates Caution Plagued Night

Zachem Has His Tour Best 2nd Place Run

The New London- Waterford Speedbowl is the third stop for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. The tour has raced at this track for 5 consecutive seasons. The New England Cycle Center 161 is a tribute to the “Rapid Roman” Richie Evans. The grandstands were packed with cheering fans who were ready to see the premier drivers in the Northeast take the track.

Eric Goodale won the Coors Light pole award for the New England Cycle Works 161 at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl in Waterford, CT. (Photo by Stephen Furst/Myracenews.com)
Eric Goodale won the Coors Light pole award for the New England Cycle Works 161 at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl in Waterford, CT. (Photo by Stephen Furst/Myracenews.com)

After being the fastest competitor during the practice sessions, Eric Goodale won the pole during the time trials. This was the second career pole for Goodale, his first came at Monadnock Speedway in 2013. Starting on the outside pole by his side was Chase Dowling who is in his second season on the tour.

Caution comes out on lap 1 of the New England Cycle Center 161 at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl in Waterford, CT. (Photo by Stephen Furst/Myracenews.com)
Caution comes out on lap 1 of the New England Cycle Center 161 at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl in Waterford, CT. (Photo by Stephen Furst/Myracenews.com)

During the start of the race Nick Salva got loose and went high into turn 1 and rolling through the turn and down the track Melissa Fifield hit Salva.  Andrew Krause, Wade Cole, and Walter Sutcliffe Jr. were also involved in the wreck in turn two. The wreck caused a red flag to come out and stopped the race for 12 minutes. The next caution came only 4 laps after the restart when Bobby Santos and Tom Abele Jr., went into the wall between turns one and two.

The third caution of the event came out when Ted Christopher spun into the infield on lap 19. At the same time Christopher was spinning Rowan Pennink hit the wall between turns one and two, he was able to return to the race many laps down. On lap 39 Timmy Solomito spun 360 degrees exiting turn 4 after contact with Doug Coby and was able to keep the car moving, however the caution flag flew for the fourth time in the race.

Eric Goodale looked strong through the opening laps of the race jumping out front on the restarts, but Ron Silk was soon on his bumper pressuring him for the lead.

Jimmy Blewett and Max Zachem battle for position during the New England Cycle Center 161 at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl in Waterford, CT. (Photo by Stephen Furst/Myracenews.com)
Jimmy Blewett and Max Zachem battle for position during the New England Cycle Center 161 at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl in Waterford, CT. (Photo by Stephen Furst/Myracenews.com)

Ron Silk was able to take the lead away from Eric Goodale on lap 50 of the race. The 5th caution of the race came out on lap 73 when the Dowling machine had a right front tire go down and he hit the wall on the front straight away. The 6th caution came out only 13 laps later when Craig Lutz had a right front tire go down.

The 7th caution came out when Dave Sapienza got into the wall in turn 3 after getting hit by Solomito. On the restart the 8th caution comes out for Doug Coby who spins into the turn 2 wall. Goodale also left the race after not having a good restart, Goodale will not return to the race.

The 9th caution flew when Solomito lost a tire and pushed Pitkat up and Pitkat hit the wall in turn 2, Pitkat wouldn’t be able to return to the race. The 10th caution came out on lap 150 when Solomito got spun and hit the wall in turn 4.

Ron Silk captures the checkered flag to win the New England Cycle Works 161 at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl in Waterford, CT. (Photo by Stephen Furst/Myracenews.com)
Ron Silk captures the checkered flag to win the New England Cycle Works 161 at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl in Waterford, CT. (Photo by Stephen Furst/Myracenews.com)

After taking the lead back on lap 50, Ron Silk was able to hold off Max Zachem and Jimmy Blewett through many restarts and never gave up the lead to win the New England Cycle Center 161.

Max Zachem also had his strongest performance since joining the Whelen Modified Tour full time in 2015, bringing home a second place finish at his home track. Max was able to hold off strong pressure from tour veterans such as Ted Christopher and Jimmy Blewett much of the night.