Santos Continues Winning Ways

Claims Third Checkered In Four Starts With Whelen 200 Victory

By Jason Christley, NASCAR
June 6, 2010 - 4:29pm

MARTINSVILLE , Va. (June 6, 2010) Bobby Santos' dream season continued Sunday at Martinsville Speedway as he captured the checkered flag in the Made In America Whelen 200.

Santos pulled away from the field on a green-white-checkered finish to claim his third win in four NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races to start the 2010 season.

"We had a really exciting day," said Santos, who led 38 laps and picked up the Whelen Winner of the Race Award. "We just did our job. We're sitting in Victory Lane because we didn't make mistakes. I think that's the biggest difference right now. We're not making mistakes and we need to keep it that way."

The race was extended to 204 laps by a late-race caution for a single-car spin.

Sunoco Rookie of the Race Justin Bonsignore had a career-best second-place finish, followed by Todd Szegedy. Mike Stefanik, the defending race winner, settled for fourth. Stefanik, who won the Coors Light Pole Award Saturday, lined up on the outside of the front row on the final restart but was shuffled back on the final two laps. Burt Myers finished fifth.

The 24-year-old Santos, from Franklin, Mass., entered the season with one career win in 29 Tour starts and had never run a full season. Late in the offseason, he was picked to replace defending champion Donny Lia in the No. 4 "Mystic Missile" Dodge when Lia departed to run in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Santos has responded with three Coors Light Pole Awards and three wins.

"We knew the competition was going to step up. We were very good - spot on - at Stafford and Thompson, and we knew we weren't going to be spot on all year," Santos said. "And we knew guys like Stefanik and other guys that were really fast were going to hit it today.

"But we were confident we have a good team, a good car, and that we were going to run good."

Szegedy came back from three laps down caused by a flat right front tire

"We came back through the pack, playing defense and avoiding all of the wrecks, and got lucky on some of the restarts we had," said Szegedy of his fourth top-five finish of the season."

The race was slowed 18 times for 119 laps.

"Everybody was just driving in over their heads. Every lap," said Szegedy. "It was hot, we got agitated. What are you going to do? None of us are perfect. Neither am I. I do the same stuff sometimes."

Bonsignore also rallied back after losing a lap on a slow pit stop early in the race

"We just avoided the wrecks the whole time," Bonsignore said. "We had a good restart time every time. It always went."

James Civali, Eric Beers, Woody Pitkat, Richie Pallai Jr. and Wade Cole rounded out the top 10.

Ron Silk appeared to have a car to challenge Santos. However, he pulled off the track while leading under caution on Lap 174 and ran out of gas on pit lane.

Silk wasn't the only fast car to encounter issues. Ted Christopher started on point following post-qualifying redraw of the top 10 spots and led 43 of the first 91 laps before being sidelined by an oil line leak. Ryan Preece led a race-high 48 laps before mechanical issues cost him several laps while they were being fixed on pit road. Pitkat picked up the bonus money provided by Clarence's Steak House Mid-Race Leader Award and was out front for 45 laps. However, he ended up fading back to eighth. He did earn the Coca-Cola Move of the Race Award after starting 31st.

Civali, who was 27th in the previous race at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway on May 28, collected the Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award.

With the victory, Santos has opened up a 89-point lead over Stefanik (735-746). Szegedy is third at 640 followed by Christopher (591) and Preece (554). Bonsignore, Jimmy Blewett, Richie Pallai Jr., Erick Rudolph and Silk complete the top 10.

Santos finished second in the race he did not win. He is the first driver in Tour history to win three of the first four races. Mike Stefanik (1997 and '98) and Donny Lia (2007) each had four wins in the season's first six races.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track Saturday, June 26 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, where the No. 4 team has won the last three spring races with two different driver .

 

Fin Str Car Driver Team Laps Points B/Points Total Award Status
1 4 4 Bobby Santos "Mystic Missile" Dodge 204 185 5 $7,000 Running
2 16 51 Justin Bonsignore * M3 Technology Chevrolet 204 170 3,800 Running
3 10 2 Todd Szegedy UNOH/Wisk/Snuggle Ford 204 165 3,000 Running
4 9 16 Mike Stefanik Diversified Metals/R.B. Enterprises Pontiac 204 160 4,100 Running
5 23 1 Burt Myers Capital Bank/Patterson's Brand Ford 204 155 1,950 Running
6 28 79 James Civali Hill Enterprises/Coors Light Pontiac 204 150 2,900 Running
7 3 76 Eric Beers Horwith Freightliner Chevrolet 204 146 2,200 Running
8 31 28 Woody Pitkat Ramar-Hall/Goodridge Performance Chevrolet 204 147 5 4,350 Running
9 24 39 Richie Pallai, Jr. * Bosch Spark Plugs Chevrolet 204 138 2,000 Running
10 29 33 Wade Cole Perf. Engines/Kendall Oil/Ryan's Oil Chevrolet 204 134 1,900 Running
11 20 74 Jason Myers Capital Bank/Trantham & Moorefield Ford 204 130 1,400 Running
12 1 40 Frank Fleming AutosByNelson.com/Jerry Hunt Autos Ford 204 127 1,300 Running
13 30 15 Danny Knoll, Jr. HJ Motorsports Chevrolet 204 124 1,200 Running
14 35 38 Jake Marosz Perf. Engines/Kendall Oil/Ryan's Oil Chevrolet 200 121 1,100 Running
15 8 6 Ron Silk T.S. Haulers Chevrolet 198 123 5 1,575 Fuel Pump
16 6 3 Ryan Preece Mizzy Const./Reynold's Auto Wrkg. Chevrolet 197 125 10 1,550 Running
17 17 50 Kevin Goodale Riverhead Building Supply Chevrolet 190 112 1,425 Clutch
18 2 36 Ted Christopher Al-Lee Installations Chevrolet 189 114 5 1,500 Running
19 33 68 Johnny Bush J.B. Stone Setters Chevrolet 173 106 1,400 Running
20 5 70 Andy Seuss Stuart's Auto/Rockingham Boats Chevrolet 171 103 1,400 Accident
21 27 30 L.W. Miller John Baker Plumbing & Utilities Pontiac 162 100 1,000 Power Steering
22 15 52 Chris Pasteryak Dawley's Auto Center/Sunoco Chevrolet 161 97 1,400 Accident
23 14 10 Ed Flemke, Jr. Ron Bouchard's Auto Stores Chevrolet 161 94 1,400 Accident
24 21 58 Eric Goodale JT's Lumber/Perimeters for the Home Chevrolet 160 91 1,600 Accident
25 11 59 Chuck Hossfeld Jerry Gradl Motors Chevrolet 142 88 1,400 Transmission
26 19 90 Renee Dupuis Union Insurance Group/SFI Chevrolet 132 85 1,400 Running
27 12 98 Erick Rudolph H.D. Segur Ins./Original Pizza Logs Chevrolet 126 82 1,500 Accident
28 36 97 Bryan Dauzat O.B. Builders Chevrolet 108 79 1,000 Accident
29 7 46 George Brunnhoelzl, III Cape Cod Aggregates/Sunoco Chevrolet 106  76 1,400  Running
30 26 14 Jimmy Blewett Ling Trucking/Atlantic Sprinkler Chevrolet 100 73 1,500 Accident
31 18 71 Rob Fuller Draco Spring Ford 91 70 1,000 Suspension
32 13 93 Rowan Pennink Monk Mechanics Hand Cleaner Chevrolet 72 67 1,500 Engine
33 25 99 Jamie Tomaino Supreme Manufacturing Chevrolet 47 64 1,000 Oil Leak
34 34 26 Gary McDonald Lakeland Landscape/TRC Electric Chevrolet 43 61 1,000 Power Steering
35 37 98 Jonny Kievman A Best Forklift Chevrolet 33 58 1,000 Accident
36 32 8 Glenn Tyler Sypher Construction Chevrolet 29 55 400 Accident
37 22 11 Zach Brewer Phoenix Pre-Owned/Triad Auto Sales Chevrolet 27 52 0 Fuel Pump

RACE STATISTICS
Fastest Qualifier: Mike Stefanik Time: 19.053 Seconds Speed: 99.386 mph
Time of Race: 2 hrs., 1 mins, 40 secs Average Speed: 52.917 mph Margin of Victory: 0.207 Seconds
Caution Flags: Laps 1-10; 25-30; 33-37; 47-52; 59-63; 84-92; 94-99; 100-108; 109-115; 120-125; 126-133; 140-145; 148-151; 152-157; 161-169; 171-178; 182-185; 198-202.  18 for 119 laps.
Lap Leaders: Ted Christopher 1-37, Ryan Preece 38-85, Ted Christopher 86-91, Woody Pitkat 92-136, Bobby Santos 137-144, Ron Silk 145-174, Bobby Santos 175-204.
Total Laps Led: Ryan Preece 48, Woody Pitkat 45, Ted Christopher 43, Bobby Santos 38, Ron Silk 30.  6 changes involving 5 drivers.

CONTINGENCY AWARDS
CLARENCE'S STEAK HOUSE MID-RACE LEADER AWARD: Woody Pitkat, 28 Ramar-Hall/Goodridge Performance Chevrolet
COCA-COLA MOVE OF THE RACE AWARD: Woody Pitkat, 28 Ramar-Hall/Goodridge Performance Chevrolet
COORS LIGHT POLE AWARD: Mike Stefanik, 16 Diversified Metals/R.B. Enterprises Pontiac
FEATHERLITE MOST IMPROVED DRIVER AWARD: James Civali, 79 Hill Enterprises/Coors Light Pontiac
SPARKS OIL/SUNOCO POLE AWARD: Mike Stefanik, 16 Diversified Metals/R.B. Enterprises Pontiac
SUNOCO ROOKIE OF THE RACE AWARD: Justin Bonsignore *, 51 M3 Technology Chevrolet
WHELEN WINNER OF THE RACE AWARD: Bobby Santos, 4 "Mystic Missile" Dodge

RACE PHOTOS

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