Stefanik Adds Bristol To Wins List
74th Career Victory For 7-Time Whelen Modified Tour Champion
Bristol, Tenn. (Aug. 21, 2013) – Mike Stefanik says he is coming to the end of the road, but showed his old form Wednesday night at Bristol Motor Speedway.
The 55-year-old seven-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion took the lead from Todd Szegedy with 11 laps to go in the TitanRoof 150 and went on to collect his second win of the season in the annual combination event with the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour. The victory also extended his Whelen Modified Tour career record for wins to 74.
“I'm playing it cool right now, but I'm freaking out inside,” said Stefanik. “This is a huge, huge win in my career. This is right at the top of the list, if not the top.”
Szegedy settled for second place for his second runner-up finish at Bristol in as many years. Ron Yuhas Jr. followed in third which equals his best career finish first established at Thompson (Conn.) Speedway in 2007. Whelen Modified Tour points leader Ryan Preece finished in the fourth position with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competitor Ryan Newman just behind in fifth.
Woody Pitkat, Eric Goodale, Justin Bonsignore, Burt Myers and Jimmy Zacharias completed the top 10. Myers was the top-finishing Whelen Southern Modified Tour competitor, and was credited with a victory for that tour.
Coors Light Pole Award winner Donny Lia led the first 91 circuits but was involved in an accident on Lap 92 restart and was scored in 30th in the final rundown.
Preece assumed the lead after Lia tangled with then-third place Justin Bonsignore on that restart, and led until Lap 102, when he was overtook by Szegedy.
Szegedy then appeared positioned for the elusive Bristol win – and to halt a 26-race winless drought – but he bobbled a bit on Lap 125 and Stefanik was right there to take advantage and move to the lead that he would not relinquish.
The TitanRoof 150 triumph at Bristol marked the 17th different track that Stefanik has registered a victory at during his illustrious Whelen Modified Tour career. Although he's piled up the lofty career total, Wednesday's win marked the first time since 2002 that he's been victorious multiple times in a season.
A nine-time NASCAR champion overall, Stefanik has accomplished many things during his racing career, but he was almost giddy in Victory Lane Wednesday evening after adding Bristol to his wins list.
“This is huge. Bristol – are you kidding me? I can say I just win at Bristol,” Stefanik said. “Everyone knows Bristol Motor Speedway. It's the mega short track.”
The TitanRoof 150 had three lead changes among four drivers with 10 caution periods. The race was shortened from the scheduled 150 laps to 135 due to time constraints. The race was also delayed for 10 minutes at the start due to a passing shower.
In the Whelen Modified Tour championship standings Preece extended his lead on Doug Coby to 28 points with four races to go in the season while George Brunnhoelzl III leads Kyle Ebersole by 20 tallies in the Southern Modified Tour season standings with Burt Myers trailing at 21 points off the pace.
The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour is back on the track on Saturday, Aug. 31 for the Newport News Shipbuilding/Bayport Credit Union 150 on Saturday, Aug. 31 at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va., while the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway for the Green Earth Technologies 200 on Saturday, Sept. 14.
NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR / NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour
TitanRoof 150 Unofficial Results
At Bristol Motor Speedway
Lap length: 0.533 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (18) #22 Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Chevrolet, 135 laps, 57.744 mph.
2. (5) #2 Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn., Ford, 135.
3. (16) #64 Ron Yuhas, Jr., Groton, Conn., Chevrolet, 135.
4. (3) #16 Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Ford, 135.
5. (19) #7 Ryan Newman, South Bend, In., Chevrolet, 135.
6. (14) #79 Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Pontiac, 135.
7. (4) #58 Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 135.
8. (10) #51 Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 135.
9. (9) #1 Burt Myers, Walnut Grove, N.C., Ford, 135.
10. (21) #71 Jimmy Zacharias, Candor, N.Y., Chevrolet, 135.
11. (26) #72 Chuck Hossfeld, Ransomville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 135.
12. (24)#6 Ron Silk, Norwalk, Conn., Chevrolet, 135.
13. (25)#5 Kyle Ebersole, Hummelstown, Pa., Ford, 135.
14. (11) #28 George Brunnhoelzl III, West Babylon, N.Y., Chevrolet, 135.
15. (23) #25 John Smith, Mount Airy, N.C., Chevrolet, 135.
16. (7) #02 Tim Brown, Cana, Va., Chevrolet, 135.
17. (8) #3 Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 135.
18. (33) #18 Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Ford, 134.
19. (13) #97 Bryan Dauzat, Alexandria, La., Chevrolet, 134.
20. (32) #77 Gary Putnam, Concord, N.C., Chevrolet, 133.
21. (29)#26 Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn., Chevrolet, 133.
22. (31) #99 Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 132.
23. (6) #52 Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 130.
24. (20) #46 Eric Berndt, Cromwell, Conn., Chevrolet, 129, accident.
25. (15) #11 Andy Seuss, Hampstead, N.H., Chevrolet, 125, accident.
26. (35) #33 Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 111, too slow.
27. (36) 70 Jeremy Gerstner, Wesley Chapel, Fla., Chevrolet, 109.
28. (22) #15 Rob Fuller, Boylston, Mass., Chevrolet, 104, accident.
29. (27) #40 Luke Fleming, Mt. Airy, N.C., Ford, 102, accident.
30. (1) #4 Donny Lia, Jericho, N.Y., Dodge, 93, accident.
31. (30) #73 Cole Powell, Mount Brydges, Ontario, Chevrolet, 93.
32. (17) #44 Bobby Santos, Franklin, Mass., Chevrolet, 77, fire.
33. (12) #93 Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 76, accident.
34. (28) #14 Jason Myers, Walnut Cove, N.C., Ford, 32, accident.
35. (34) #21 J.R. Bertuccio, Centereach, N.Y., Chevrolet, 30, accident.
36. (2) #88 Bryon Chew, Mattituck, N.Y., Chevrolet, 9, accident.
Time of Race: 1 hour 14 minutes 46 seconds
Margin of Victory: 0.092 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: D.Lia (128.867 mph, 14.806 seconds)
Caution Flags: 10 for 49 laps.
Lead Changes: 3 among 4 drivers.
Lap Leaders: D. Lia 1-91; R. Preece 92-102; T. Szegedy 103-124; M. Stefanik 125-135.
NWMT Standings: Ryan Preece 406, Doug Coby 378, Mike Stefanik 358, Rowan Pennink 343, Ron Silk 334, Woody Pitkat 332, Ted Christopher 331, Donny Lia 330, Justin Bonsignore 325, Todd Szegedy 320
NWSMT Standings: George Brunnhoelzl, III 296, Kyle Ebersole 276, Burt Myers 275, Tim Brown 261, Andy Seuss 256, Jason Myers 245, Gary Putnam 244, John Smith 240, Luke Fleming * 237, Bryan Dauzat 220