Analyzing The NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 At Stafford Motor Speedway
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 20, 2016) – The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is set to headline Stafford Motor Speedway’s 45th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler weekend. Below is a statistical look at the performance of selected drivers at the famed Connecticut oval in advance of Sunday’s NAPA Spring Sizzler 200:
NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 Setup:
- Timmy Solomito will look to become the first driver to win the Icebreaker 150 and NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 back-to-back to start a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season since Ted Christopher in 2009.
- Stafford native Woody Pitkat is the defending winner of this race. Five different NWMT drivers have earned consecutive victories in the event. The latest was Bobby Santos in 2013-14.
- Two-time defending tour titlist Doug Coby brings a four race poles streak to Stafford. Ryan Preece also earned four consecutive in 2011-12, as did Mike McLaughlin in 1989. Mike Stefanik is the only driver in NWMT history to record more than four straight poles when he began the 1993 season with six in a row.
- Christopher, the active NWMT wins leader at Stafford with 12, will vie for his 200th career top-10 finish.
- There are 34 cars on the entry list for 33 starting positions, per the official entry blank. The last time there were 34 or more entries for a NWMT race at Stafford was the 2010 Spring Sizzler (36). The last time more than 33 started a race there was the 2008 Sizzler (35).
At Stafford Motor Speedway:
- The Stafford Springs Agricultural Park opened in 1870. The track was originally used for horse racing, which gave way to automobiles after World War II.
- Stafford Motor Speedway became a NASCAR-sanctioned track in 1959 and was paved in 1967.
- Stafford is one of nine tracks that have been a part of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program in each of its 35 years of competition.
- The track welcomed the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East 29 times from 1987-2008. NASCAR’s top developmental series will return to Stafford this June 17.
- The inaugural NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Stafford was held on April 14, 1985. NASCAR Hall of Famer Richie Evans won the 80-lap race as part of the 14th Annual Spring Sizzler weekend.
- The NWMT has held 118 races at Stafford since 1985, a total second only to the 131 events at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
- Stafford has held multiple races in 31 of the tour’s 32 seasons. The lone exception was 1988.
- There have been 32 different race winners at Stafford, led by Mike Stefanik’s 20 victories.
- There have been 43 different pole winners at Stafford, led by Stefanik’s 17. Ryan Preece set the track qualifying record in the 2012 Spring Sizzler.
- No driver has started all previous 118 races at Stafford. Jamie Tomaino has missed only one – the track’s inaugural race.
- There have been seven races won in wire-to-wire fashion at Stafford, the last by Ron Silk in 2011.
- Ryan Preece was the youngest Stafford race winner at 18 years, 9 months and 14 days in 2009.
- Ted Christopher was the oldest Stafford victor at 53 years, 3 months and 28 days in 2011.
- The NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 entry list features 10 drivers that have previously won at the track: Christopher (12), Doug Coby (7), Bobby Santos (6), Preece (5), Donny Lia and Todd Szegedy (4), Jimmy Blewett and Woody Pitkat (2), Silk and Tomaino (1).
Stafford Motor Speedway Data
Race #: 2 of 17 overall, 1 of 4 at Stafford
Track Layout: .5-mile asphalt oval
Race Length: 200 laps (100 miles)
Banking/Turns 1 & 2: 9 degrees
Banking/Turns 3 & 4: 7.5 degrees
2015 Race Winner: Woody Pitkat, Chevrolet, 67.773 mph, 1 hr. 28 mins. 35 secs.
2015 Pole Winner: Ryan Preece, Chevrolet, 100.223 mph, 17.960 secs.
Qualifying Record: Ryan Preece, Ford, 100.424 mph, 17.924 secs., 4/29/12
Active Category Leaders at Stafford: Wins
- Ted Christopher … 12
- Doug Coby … 7
- Bobby Santos … 6
- Bobby Santos … 9
- Donny Lia … 8
- Ted Christopher … 4
Doug Coby … 4
Ryan Preece … 4
- Ted Christopher … 30
- Todd Szegedy … 23
- Doug Coby … 15
Donny Lia … 15
- Jamie Tomaino … 55
- Ted Christopher … 52
3. Todd Szegedy … 31 Laps Led
- Ted Christopher … 2,085
- Todd Szegedy … 844
- Doug Coby … 831
- Jamie Tomaino … 16,863
- Ted Christopher … 13,088
- Todd Szegedy … 8,167
- Jamie Tomaino … 117
- Ted Christopher … 92
- Wade Cole … 57
Select Driver Highlights:
Jimmy Blewett (No. 4 Starrett Dodge)
- Has five wins, three poles and 37 top 10s in 107 career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour starts.
- Finished eighth in the season opener at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in his first appearance with Mystic Missile Racing.
- Has two wins (Aug. 2008, May 2009), a pole (Sept. 2012), 15 top 10s and an average finish of 14th in 30 career NWMT starts at Stafford Motor Speedway.
Justin Bonsignore (No. 51 M3 Technology Chevrolet)
- Has eight wins, five poles and 52 top 10s in 89 career starts.
- Finished third in the Thompson opener with nine laps led.
- Has two poles (Oct. 2010, `11), 12 top 10s, an average finish of 13th and a best result of second (April 2013, June 2014) in 24 career NWMT starts at Stafford.
George Brunnhoelzl III (No. 28 Dunleavy’s Repair/Composite Technologies Chevrolet)
- Has a record four championships and 27 victories in NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour action. Also has 25 poles and 85 top 10s in 107 career starts in the division.
- Ranks second in the 2016 NWSMT standings on the strength of two wins in four starts.
- Has a pole (Riverhead Raceway 2010) and four top 10s in 16 career NWMT races.
- Recorded an average finish of 15th with a best result of ninth (May) in four NWMT races at Stafford in 2010.
Ted Christopher (No. 00 Dunleavy’s Repair/Jerry & Jerry Chevrolet)
- The 2008 NWMT champion has 42 wins, 24 poles and 199 top 10s in 361 career starts. His 42 wins rank third all-time and his 24 poles are eighth.
- This will be his first start of 2016. Did not participate in the Thompson opener.
- Has 12 wins, four poles, 52 top 10s, an average finish of 13th and 2,085 laps led in 92 career NWMT Stafford starts.
- Has a record five NWMT Spring Sizzler wins, and an additional triumph in 1988 when SK Modifieds headlined.
- Is a nine-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track champion at Stafford out of the SK Modified division, where his 101 triumphs are more than double second place on the division wins list. Has a record 122 overall career victories at the track entering this week’s events.
- Is looking to end a 55-race winless drought. It’s the second-longest such streak in his NWMT career. His first win came in his 94th race. His Stafford SK Modified drought also extends to June 27, 2014.
Doug Coby (No. 2 Dunleavy’s Repair/A&J Romano Construction Chevrolet)
- The 2012, `14 and `15 NWMT champion has 17 wins, 11 poles and 91 top 10s in 173 career starts.
- Finished fourth in the Thompson opener to end his three-race win streak.
- Has seven wins, four poles, 25 top 10s and an average finish of 12th in 44 career NWMT starts at Stafford.
- Won the Spring Sizzler in 2006 and `12.
- Has 18 career NWAAS victories at Stafford, including five in SK Modifieds.
Chase Dowling (No. 9 S&S Asphalt Paving/Dunleavy’s Repair Chevrolet)
- The 2015 Sunoco Rookie of the Year has eight top 10s in 16 career starts with a best finish of third (Riverhead 2015).
- Recorded an average finish of 15th across his first four races at Stafford last year, including a sixth-place effort in the Fall Final.
- Has eight career NWAAS victories at Stafford, including one in SK Modifieds.
Patrick Emerling (No. 07 Buffalo Auto Auction Chevrolet)
- Has two poles and 25 top 10s in 70 career starts with a best finish of second (New Hampshire Motor Speedway 2015).
- Finished 14th in the Thompson opener.
- Has a pole (Aug. 2015), five top 10s, an average finish of 16th and a best run of fifth (Sept. 2014) in 20 Stafford starts.
Eric Goodale (No. 58 GAF Roofing/Supreme Skylights Chevrolet)
- Has a win (Riverhead 2014), a pole (Monadnock Speedway 2013) and 45 top 10s in 102 career starts.
- Maintains the NWMT’s active starts streak lead, now at 100 races.
- Finished seventh at Thompson in the opener.
- Has eight top 10s, an average finish of 14.5 and a best result of fourth (April 2015) in 29 career Stafford races.
Donny Lia (No. 8 Sypher Construction/Bardahl Chevrolet)
- The 2007 and `09 NWMT champion has 17 wins, 21 poles and 88 top 10s in 170 career starts.
- Finished sixth in the Thompson opener. Has averaged a top-five finish in his last seven races.
- Has four wins, eight poles, 27 top 10s and an average finish of 11th in 44 career Stafford appearances.
Rowan Pennink (No. 3 Cape Cod Copper/Canto Paving Chevrolet)
- Has two wins and 59 top 10s in 125 career races.
- Finished ninth in the Thompson opener in his first race with Boehler Racing Enterprises.
- Has 20 top 10s, an average finish of 10th and a best result of second (April, May 2011) in 33 career NWMT starts at Stafford.
- Earned six wins in Stafford’s SK Modifieds last year to capture his first NWAAS track championship. Has 12 career triumphs in the division.
Woody Pitkat (No. 85 Stuart’s Automotive/Dunleavy’s Repair Chevrolet)
- Has three wins, four poles and 56 top 10s in 107 career starts.
- Finished 10th in the opener at Thompson in his first NWMT start with Kevin Stuart Motorsports.
- Has two wins (Aug. 2015, April 2015), 18 top 10s and an average finish of 12.5 in 30 Stafford NWMT races.
- Has 27 career wins in Stafford’s SK Modified division, where he won the track championship in 2013. His 74 overall career feature wins at the track rank second all-time behind Ted Christopher.
Ryan Preece (No. 6 TS Haulers/Riverhead Raceway Chevrolet)
- The 2013 NWMT champion has 15 wins, 14 poles, 41 podiums, 56 top fives and 79 top 10s in 124 career starts.
- Finished second in the Thompson opener with a race-high 91 laps led.
- Has five wins, four poles, 20 top 10s and an average finish of 11th in 34 NWMT Stafford races.
- Earned the 2011 NWAAS Stafford track title in SK Modifieds. Has 25 career wins in the division.
- Will head to Stafford from Richmond International Raceway where he will compete Saturday in the NASCAR XFINITY Series race. Will have to start the NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 from the rear (driver change).
Bobby Santos (No. 44 Tinio Corp./Dan Kelley/Curb Records Chevrolet)
- The 2010 NWMT champion has 13 wins, 16 poles and 58 top 10s in 108 career events.
- Finished 13th in the opener at Thompson.
- The active leader with nine poles at Stafford, where he has six wins, 17 top 10s and an average finish of 11th in 28 races.
- Won the Spring Sizzler in 2011, `13 and `14. Only Christopher (5) and Mike Stefanik (4) have more NWMT victories in the event. Rick Fuller also has three.
Ron Silk (No. 82 Horton Avenue Materials Chevrolet)
- The 2011 NWMT champion has nine wins, nine poles and 87 top 10s in 146 career starts.
- Finished fifth in the opener at Thompson in his NWMT debut for Danny Watts. The pair won their first NWAAS feature together at New Smyrna Speedway in February.
- Has a win (May 2011), two poles (May 2010, `11), 19 top 10s and an average finish of 14th in 37 career NWMT races at Stafford.
Timmy Solomito (No. 16 Diversified Metals/R.B. Enterprises Ford)
- The 2014 Sunoco Rookie of the Year has a win (Thompson 2016), a pole (Riverhead 2013) and 18 top 10s in 36 career starts.
- Breakthrough first NWMT victory came in the opener at Thompson.
- Has four top 10s, an average finish of 12th with a best run of third (June, Oct. 2015) in 10 career Stafford races.
Todd Szegedy (No. 15 15-40 Connection Chevrolet)
- The 2003 NWMT champion has 19 wins, 10 poles and 126 top 10s in 202 career starts.
- This will be his first start of 2016. Did not participate in the Thompson opener.
- Has four wins, two poles, 31 top 10s and an average finish of 9.5 in 52 career NWMT starts at Stafford.
Other Driver Notes
- This will be Jamie Tomaino’s 599th career start. He is the tour’s all-time record holder in the category.
- Nick Salva and Walter Sutcliffe Jr. will attempt to make their tour debuts in this event.
- Brendon Bock made his NWMT debut in this race last year and recorded his lone top-10 finish to-date.
Up To Speed:
- This is the 32nd season of NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour racing. The inaugural race was contested March 31, 1985 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
- The 2015 schedule features 17 points races at nine different tracks across four states.
- Timmy Solomito earned his first career victory in the 2016 season opener at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
- Following the NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 the NWMT will return to action on May 14 with the New England Cycle Center 161 at New London-Waterford Speedbowl.