Category Archives: NASCAR

Big Money On the Line in Bubba 150 Tour Modified Event at Riverhead

By: Kyle Souza / Photo: Noah Watts/My Race News

Riverhead Raceway isn’t messing around.

After the announcement of the cancellation of their NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race scheduled for September 19 due to COVID-19 fan restrictions, the quarter-mile in New York decided they were going to put some big money on the line that night no matter what. Little did they know how all of the racing community would get behind the race with them.

Track PR writer and announcer Bob Finan has been trying to keep up with the many sponsors which continue to pour in.

Without the Whelen Modified Tour, due to the cost required to bring them in and pay their purse, Riverhead is going forward with one of the biggest paying local modified races of the year in the region.

Riverhead is also permitted a small portion of race fans who can enter through the grandstands and watch the night of racing. Masks are required at all times by all patrons, including those in the pits.

The track will honor Bob “Bubba” Patanjo, a long-time Bill Park team member, who passed away over the winter with a 150-lap Tour Modified event this Saturday, September 19, along with five other of their weekly divisions. As of story publishing on Wednesday night, the race is already $2,900 to win, with bonuses provided by the Patanjo family and friends, Oval Speed Unlimited (race sponsors) and more.

Tommy Baldwin, a former Daytona 500 winning crew chief, and current NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour car owner, has also jumped in on the fun. Baldwin will provide the Tommy Baldwin Challenge Award, which places $750 to any driver who qualifies in the top-five, but elects to drop to the rear of the field and wins the race. If someone happens to accomplish the tasks, special bonuses awarded will be over $2,500, but they must earn the checkered flag.

A $1,200 hard charger award is on the line, with bonus money provided by Doug Ogiejko, Baldwin Automotive and the Patanjo family. Before the race even starts, drivers will compete in a qualifying time trial session, which pays $500 the polesitter. Sponsors of this award include My Race News, Natural Designs & Concepts, Spider Web Racing in memory of Spider Ligon, Brigandi Brothers Automotive of Nesconset, JTEC Electric, L.I. Poultry and Mike Farrell.

Riverhead Raceway will offer this race as part of their RiverheadRaceway.TV PPV package, with a ticket set for just $25 for the entire night of racing. Practice starts at 3:30 p.m., with qualifying taking the green at 5:30 p.m. Feature event racing will follow and the Bubba 150 is slated to be the second-to-last race of the night, with only an enduro following it.

Some additional awards have also been posted:

-$250 Late Place award: $200 from Ralph Beaver and $50 from Short Track Race Razzle

-$50 13th place finisher award from JTL Enterprises in memory of Ted Christopher

-$29 to 9th place qualifier in time for JB Fortin NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour team in memory of Ed Cahill

-$25 to the 5th place runner on lap 67 from Okula Motorsports

-$25 to 10th place car on lap 57 from Okula Motorsports

-Nicole Fortin will pay $25 to the leader of lap 34 & 84 and will pay $25 for the fourth-place finisher and $16 for last place finisher.

-John’s Fuel Oil is posting $84 for the leader of lap 84 and $16 for the last car on the lead lap at lap 34.

-Bobby Mason & Ace’s Landscaping have sponsored laps 60 and 98, with $100 to the leader of those laps.

-Eastport Feeds and Crescent Duck have posted a $500 bonus for the Bubba 150 — with $250 going to the second-place finisher, $150 for third-place finisher and $100 for fourth.

For more information on the race, or to provide bonus money, fans are encouraged to visit RiverheadRaceway.com.

Inside The Musket: Santos Becoming The Best at New Hampshire

By: Kyle Souza / Photo: Tom Morris/My Race News

Bobby Santos and New Hampshire Motor Speedway seem to be the perfect match.

After 12 months of not making a start on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Santos returned to competition in the Musket 200 presented by Whelen last weekend at NHMS and parked his No. 63 ThinkLite Chevrolet in Victory Lane.

Santos hasn’t been out of the seat in 2020 — competing in Sprint Cars and Midgets across the country — including a victory in the prestigious Little 500 just one week prior. But his tenure on the Whelen Modified Tour dwindled a bit the last few years, as he continues to build a family and race elsewhere. But, when he rolls into NHMS, it doesn’t matter whether he’s been on the Whelen Modified Tour lately or not.

He finds a way to win. Santos now has six victories in 28 starts there, including two in the prestigious Musket extra-distance event.

His six wins leads all active drivers, and has him tied for third in the list of all-time drivers at the ‘Magic Mile’. Only seven-time champion Mike Stefanik (8) and Tony Hirschman (7) have more. Santos’ most recent win tied him with Reggie Ruggerio.

“This place has been good to me, I just love coming here,” Santos said. “Good cars and good people around me giving me what I need and making the right adjustments. It’s about getting a feel that I like in the race car so I can race it. I want to be comfortable so I can maneuver and put ourselves in position. It’s also understanding that you have to be in the first couple of spots at the end of the race. If you are third, fourth, fifth on back, it becomes really hard to get to the front without doing anything drastic.”

New Hampshire’s style of racing includes drafting similar to what NASCAR Cup Series fans might see at Daytona and Talladega, but on a much smaller level. There are no large packs three and four-wide, but instead, a slight bump draft, or group or two cars chasing one, makes a difference.

It’s a major wild card of a race with the potential to be collected in a wreck high.

Saturday, Santos wasn’t much of a factor for the lead early, but was riding comfortably inside the top-10. He led his first lap on 169 of 200, and would lead a total of 24 before it was done — including the final one. It was in typical Santos fashion that he doesn’t show up to the front dance until it matters most.

In his six wins, Santos hasn’t led a lap before the 31 laps to go mark in any race. In fact, in all but one of his victories, Santos didn’t lead until there was under 10 laps to go.

He is always there when the big money is on the line, and this time, it earned him a $20,000 prize in the biggest paying Whelen Modified Tour race of the year.

“It was a long race, just trying to bide our time and put ourselves in position to be there at the end,” Santos said. “We just pushed as hard as we could.”

Santos swapped the lead back and forth with 2018 Whelen Modified Tour champion Justin Bonsignore countless times in the final laps.

His first four victories at NHMS were with Tinio Motorsports, but after they decided to step away, the last two have come with Dave Sapienza as his car owner. Sapienza, a competitor on the tour himself, tabbed Santos to drive his car in 2019 after Sapienza was injured in a tour race at Wall Stadium Speedway. Santos was involved in a wreck, earning a DNF in July of last year, but won the September Musket 250.

This year, he made it back-to-back. In those two Musket races only, he’s collected over $40,000 in winning prizes.

Sapienza also competed in the race on Saturday, but finished outside the top-10 a few laps down.

“I’ve been staying busy, racing my sprint cars and midgets, but at the end of the day it comes down to Dave Sapienza and his team,” Santos said. Tommy Grasso (crew chief) works so hard on the cars and prepares them so well. The team was so impressive this weekend — showing up with two cars and the guys bouncing back and forth. It was impressive the way they worked together and did what they could to accommodate me as the outsider and also understanding that it’s Dave’s team and giving him what he needs. It’s just an honor to be able to drive their car.”

If you look back at the history of the Whelen Modified Tour at NHMS, you can now argue that Santos might go down as one of the best drivers to ever run the track in a modified. The eight wins Stefanik has seems like a small number with Santos’ career still going full steam ahead.

Helliwell Puts Orange Crush on ACT Field in Full Throttle 75

Tom Morris / Myracenews photos

Loudon, NH — Dover, NH’s Wayne Helliwell Jr. reigned supreme at Loudon’s New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) on Saturday, September 12 by taking the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Full Throttle 75. Helliwell took the lead for good from Newmarket, NH’s Bryan Kruczek on lap 42 and crushed the competition down the stretch in his familiar orange #27NH to earn the 14th point-counting win of his ACT Late Model Tour career.

The three-time ACT champion was slated to start 10th for the main event but got a lucky break before the field even came to the grid when multiple cars, including scheduled polesitter Ryan Kuhn, flunked pre-race technical inspection. As a result, Helliwell took the initial start in seventh while rookie Derek Gluchacki of Dartmouth, MA led the field to the green.

Gluchacki led the first 10 laps after an opening-lap wreck that collected Tom Sheehan, Nick Johnson, and Jimmy Linardy. Center Conway, NH’s D.J. Shaw then took command, getting inside Gluchacki to grab the lead and pick up crucial bonus points in his championship battle with Jimmy Hebert.

Shaw’s stay on top lasted eight circuits before New Sharon, ME’s Dillon Moltz swung underneath him to pick up the point. Moltz spent the next eight laps pulling away as Shaw, Helliwell, Gluchacki, Kruczek, and others jockeyed behind him.

Helliwell was up to second when Stephen Donahue came to a halt near the start/finish line to bring out the second caution. On the restart, Helliwell got the jump to lead lap 32. Moltz hung tough, getting back alongside Helliwell before Kruczek dove three-wide entering turn three. After Moltz edged Kruczek by a hair at the line on lap 33, Kruczek took over the lead until a competition caution at the halfway point.

Once drivers returned to the track after getting fresh tires and adjustments, Helliwell again got a great restart to steal the lead back. This time, Helliwell showcased the true potential of his Bruce Bernhardt–owned Ford, leaving the field far in his rear-view mirror.

Things closed up one more time when Moltz spun out of the third spot with six laps remaining, drawing the fourth and final yellow. Although Kruczek mounted a brief challenge on the restart, Helliwell soon got the best of him and launched away from the pack for his second ACT victory on the “Magic Mile”.

Point leader Jimmy Hebert of Williamstown, VT came alive late, passing Kruczek on the final lap for second. It was Hebert’s third straight runner-up finish at NHMS dating back to the last two ACT Invitationals in 2016 and 2017.

Rookie Tom Carey III of Salem, MA was strong all day and finished fourth in his career-best ACT effort. Shaw took fifth while Bellingham, MA’s Woody Pitkat charged from the 24th starting spot to come home sixth. Moltz, Kuhn, Dylan Payea, and Jesse Switser rounded out the top-10. Unofficially, Hebert now has a 40-point lead over Shaw with one point-counting event remaining.

Many of ACT’s best will head to Barre, VT’s Thunder Road for the 58th Vermont Milk Bowl presented by Northfield Savings Bank on Saturday, October 3 and Sunday, October 4. Booth Bros./H.P. Hood Qualifying Day is Saturday with the three-segment Milk Bowl on Sunday. Eight other divisions are scheduled for action across three days of racing.

Advance tickets for the Vermont Milk Bowl are available now at http://happsnow.com/event/thunder-road-speedbowl. Visit www.thunderroadvt.com for the full event schedule, pricing, and camping details.

For more information, contact the ACT offices at (802) 244-6963, media@acttour.com, or visit www.acttour.com. You can also get updates on Facebook and Twitter at @ACTTour.

ACT LATE MODEL TOUR

NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY

FULL THROTTLE 75

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2020

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS

Pos., Start Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown, Laps

1. ( 10 ) Wayne Helliwell Jr. ( 27NH ) , Dover, NH , 75 Laps

2. ( 12 ) Jimmy Hebert ( 58VT ) , Williamstown, VT , 75 Laps

3. ( 11 ) Bryan Kruczek ( 19NH ) , Newmarket, NH , 75 Laps

4. ( 8 ) #Tom Carey III ( 5MA ) , New Salem, MA , 75 Laps

5. ( 4 ) D.J. Shaw ( 04VT ) , Center Conway, NH , 75 Laps

6. ( 24 ) Woody Pitkat ( 07MA ) , Bellingham, MA , 75 Laps

7. ( 13 ) Dillon Moltz ( 5ME ) , New Sharon, ME , 75 Laps

8. ( 1 ) Ryan Kuhn ( 72MA ) , E. Bridgewater, MA , 75 Laps

9. ( 7 ) Dylan Payea ( 7NH ) , Milton, VT , 75 Laps

10. ( 18 ) Jesse Switser ( 25NH ) , W. Burke, VT , 75 Laps

11. ( 21 ) Bobby Therrien ( 5VT ) , Hinesburg, VT , 75 Laps

12. ( 6 ) #Marcel J. Gravel ( 86VT ) , Wolcott, VT , 75 Laps

13. ( 20 ) Jamie Aube ( 41VT ) , Charlotte, VT , 75 Laps

14. ( 14 ) Mike Benevides ( 50RI ) , Westerly, RI , 74 Laps

15. ( 15 ) Matt Anderson ( 49NH ) , Andover, NH , 74 Laps

16. ( 2 ) #Derek Gluchacki ( 03MA ) , Dartmouth, MA , 73 Laps

17. ( 17 ) Gerard Giordano Jr. ( 15NY ) , Freeport, NY , 73 Laps

18. ( 25 ) Mark Jenison ( 22RI ) , Warwick, RI , 72 Laps

19. ( 16 ) Michael Lindquist ( 71CT ) , Sandy Hook, CT , 72 Laps

20. ( 3 ) James Linardy ( 21VT ) , Somerville, MA , 71 Laps

21. ( 5 ) Ben Rowe ( 4ME ) , Turner, ME , 64 Laps

22. ( 22 ) Christopher Pelkey ( 64VT ) , Graniteville, VT , 34 Laps

23. ( 19 ) Stephen Donahue ( 2VT ) , Graniteville, VT , 27 Laps

24. ( 23 ) Tom Sheehan ( 65NH ) , Bow, NH , 0 Laps

25. ( 9 ) Nick Johnson ( 6MA ) , Rehoboth, MA , 0 Laps