Thompson Whelen Modified Tour Race #9 Goes To Bobby Santos III
Santos in Victory Lane
Race Date 8/15/2013
The 44 Bobby Santos III of Franklin, MA set fast time and took off form his pole position to lead the first 111 laps and then go on to win his second WMT race of the 2013 season at Thompson Speedway on Thursday night.
It took overtime, but Bobby Santos collected his 10th career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win Thursday night with his victory in the Budweiser King of Beers 150 at Thompson Speedway.
Two green-white-checkered attempts stretched the race to 158 laps and Santos held off Donny Lia to take the checkered flag.
Eric Goodale finished third, followed by Doug Coby and Woody Pitkat.
Ron Silk, Jimmy Blewett, Jamie Tomaino, Todd Szegedy and Ron Yuhas Jr. rounded out the top 10.
Points leader Ryan Preece spun on the final lap and finished 13th. His championship lead – which was as high as 44 points four races ago – is down to 14 tallies over defending champion Coby with five races remaining.
The first 111 laps went pretty easy for Santos as the event went caution free from lap 26 to 109. On lap 109 the 11 of John Beatty Jr. of Merrick, NY spun coming off of turn 2 to bring out the caution, a much needed caution for the field to hit pit lane to change tires.
By that time Santos had oped up a straight away lead over the 2nd place runner of 2 Todd Szegedy of Ridgefield, CT. At that time the battle on the track was for 3rd thru 7th.
The trio of 52 Doug Coby of Milford, CT, 51 Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville, NY and the 58 Eric Goodale of Riverhead, NY were carving their way thru the field. Coby started 15th, Bonsignore 17th and Goodale 16th.
Bonsignore was putting on show and by lap 49 had moved into 9th and on lap 59 moved into 8th. By lap 90 Bpnsignore was in 6th and then took 5th on lap 100.
The top ten at lap 100 was the 44 of Santos, 2 Szegedy, 52 Coby, 16 Ryan Preece, 51 Bonsignore, 22 Mike Stefanik, 4 Donny Lia, 93 Rowan Pennink, 58 Goodale and the 79 of Woody Pitkat.
By that time Santos lead second place Szegedy by 4.651, third place Coby by 7.459 seconds.
When the caution flew for Beatty all of the leaders hit pit road.
When the pit stops were over it looked like this with the new leader 2 Todd Szegedy followed by 51 Bonsignore, 6 Ronnie Silk, 4 Lia, 52 Coby, 44 Santos, 3 Christopher, 58 Goodale, 64 Ronnie Yuhas.
Before the race John Sanford the crew chief for the 51 of Bonsignore told me they would pick up 4 spots on their pit stop and they did just that. Coming in 5th and coming out of their pit stop in 2nd.
Now the race started to get real interesting.
On the restart Bonsignore took the lead from Szegedy as the rest of the field battled to get to the front.
Lap 112 Caution: Multi car accident on the frontstretch, including 3 Ted Christopher of Plainville, CT and the 22 of Stefanik.
Stefanik would continue on.
Lap 128 - Caution: Preece spins out Turn 4. Has a flat tire.
Santos Blasted to the lead from his 4th restart position, but the lap wasn't complete before the caution came out.
Lap 132- Green flag: Bonsignore to the front again.
On lap 135 Santos went to the inside of Bonsignore going into turn 3 and put the nerf bars to Bonsignore sending Bonsignore way up the track and back to 9th position.
Santos had to survive 2 Green –White- Checkers to win the event.
On the first G-W-C the 93 of Rowan Pennink rolled over a couple on the home streatch of times before landing on all 4 wheels. Pennink was OK.
Santos was apologetic after the race.
“I screwed up, I stalled the car and lost us some spots, and I kind of lost my head a little,” Santos said. “I’ve got to apologize to my guys for that.
“I put a good move on Justin when we passed him the first time, then the yellow came out. I was a little frustrated and I knew I needed to get out front. I kind of moved him up the hill a little more than I should have, so I’ve got to apologize to him.”
“It means a lot to win at Thompson,” Santos said. “I’ve won here in the fall and I’ve won here in the spring, but I’ve never won here in the summer. This means a lot to add the Bud 150 win. It means a ton to this team. It’s [Thompson] home for all of us.”
“We really struggled throughout the day in practice, and I didn’t do such a good job in qualifying,” Goodale said. “But we talked about the changes we wanted to make and [crew chief] Jason [Shephard] made all the right calls.”
Santos in The Winning 44
NWMT Thompson 8/15/13
Bobby Santos III after winning the pole.