Penske team to face appeals panel

Penske Racing will present its case to the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel Wednesday morning at 9:30 a.m.

BOOGITY! BOOGITY! BOOGITY!

NASCAR is off to Talladega, which also hosts a Chase for the Sprint Cup race in October. On Sunday, the green flag will drop on the Aaron’s 499 at 1:19 p.m. ET, with coverage on FOX beginning at noon ET.

Prior to the Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway on April 14, NASCAR officials allege that both Penske Racing Fords violated Sections 12-1, 12-4J and 20-12 for using unapproved suspension systems and components and the assembly of those parts.

Penske is appealing the consequent penalties that were delivered three days later and include the loss of 25 owner and championship driver points for Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano. For crew chiefs Paul Wolfe and Todd Gordon, $100,000 fines for each, six-week suspensions and probation until Dec. 31. The car chiefs and team engineers for both squads along with competition director Travis Geisler are also facing six-week suspensions and probation until season’s end.

Roger Penske, who has been involved in racing for the last 55 years, seldom finds himself on the wrong side of the sanctioning body. Whether that will be taken into consideration with this appeal remains to be seen.

“In these types of situations you really just have to go through the process which obviously we’re doing,” Penske said. “To say you’re ‘optimistic,’ I don’t think that’s fair. What we’re doing, we want to be prepared and go through the process. Hopefully, when you sit down with people who have the responsibility to take on this ultimate rule or even an infraction or give us the opportunity to move on, we’ll have to deal with that.

NASCAR BAD BOYS

If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying. But you might get one of the all-time biggest punishments.

“As far as I’m concerned after listening to (NASCAR vice president of competition) Robin Pemberton (Friday), he talks about working in areas not delineated in the rule book. We feel good about our position. But at the end of the day, we don’t make those decisions, NASCAR does.”

Pemberton said that it was NASCAR’s “job to just regulate the rule book.”

“In the rule book there are different facets and we’ve put parameters in that are weights, measures, heights, dimensions coordinates to build chassis and bodies, and it’s in quite detail,” Pemberton said. “So the teams know where they can and can’t go, and there are areas that they can work in.

“Those are the areas between the measurements where we do give both ends of it, whether it’s high or low or heavy or light.”

In Penske’s defense, he insists his teams weren’t cheating, just working in the gray areas of the NASCAR rule book. It should be clear on Wednesday whether the panel agrees with Penske or NASCAR’s interpretation of the rules.

Regardless, with this latest offense, Penske takes full responsibility for the situation.

“I was fully aware of anything that goes on with the team,” Penske said. “I would have to say the buck stops with me. I’ll take whatever punishment or whatever the outcome is and move on.”

Penske team to face appeals panel
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Crew members suspended after fight

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP)

NASCAR has suspended the two Richard Childress Racing crew members arrested for fighting with Nelson Piquet Jr. at Richmond.

BOOGITY! BOOGITY! BOOGITY!

NASCAR is off to Talladega, which also hosts a Chase for the Sprint Cup race in October. On Sunday, the green flag will drop on the Aaron’s 499 at 1:19 p.m. ET, with coverage on FOX beginning at noon ET.

Thomas Costello and Michael Searce were both suspended for four Nationwide Series races and fined $15,000 each. They were also placed on probation until the end of the year for the altercation in the motorhome lot after Friday night’s race.

Henrico County police charged Searce with two counts of misdemeanor assault, and Costello with one count of misdemeanor assault. NASCAR cited ”actions detrimental to stock car racing. Involved in an altercation with another competitor after the race had concluded,” as reason for their punishment.

The altercation happened long after Scott and Piquet tangled on the track and then on pit road after the race. Scott approached Piquet, and Piquet shoved him and kicked Scott in the groin.

Piquet tweeted on Saturday night a friend of his hurt his shoulder in the fight with the RCR crew members, whom team owner Richard Childress claimed ”were walking to their cars and words were exchanged with members from another team, which led to an altercation.”

Piquet also made light of kicking Scott.

”Afterwards on pit road, my first reaction was to defend myself. I had no intent to break the code,” he posted on Twitter. ”With that kick, no wonder I race cars and not play soccer. I look forward to moving on and racing again.”

Piquet and Scott are on probation, until June 26, for slamming their cars into each other on the track. Also on probation are Piquet crew chief Chris Carrier and Scott crew chief Phil Gould.

Crew members suspended after fight
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K&N West News & Notes: Stockton

K&N West News & Notes: Stockton

Pursley Credits Gene Price Motorsports Team With Momentum

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Greg Pursley knows the importance momentum can play in chasing a championship in motorsports. Two years ago, he started the season by winning six of the first eight events in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West and went on to cruise to his first series title.

After winning this year’s season opener, Pursley hopes to keep his momentum rolling and retain his early lead in points as the series returns to action with the G-Oil 150 at Stockton (Calif.) 99 Speedway on Saturday, May 4. The visit to the historic quarter-mile oval marks the second event of a 15-race series schedule and the first of eight short-track events this year.

“I think between the 26 and the 24 team doing so well, we all have momentum here at Gene Price Motorsports going into Stockton,” Pursley said in reference to his team and the No. 24 team of his GPM teammate, Cameron Hayley. “We’re pretty excited about going there. We did pretty well there last year.”

In addition to the 1-2 finish by the Gene Price Motorsports teams in this year’s season opener at Phoenix, the two teams dominated the UNOH Battle At The Beach preseason event at Daytona International Raceway in February. Pursley led a majority of the laps at Daytona before getting turned around, while Hayley took the win. 

Pursley credits the efforts of the team in being able to maintain momentum.

“I think it has to do with the team,” said the veteran West Coast competitor, who wheels the No. 26 Renegade/Star Nursery/Real Water Ford. “We’re working hard here to try to better our stuff all the time. It’s a matter of keeping the team morale up and testing and keeping everything going.”

With a break in the schedule after the season opener, everybody is anxious to get back to racing, Pursley said.

“We’re looking forward to everything starting up and getting after it,” he said. “I’m excited to go back to the race track and get racing again. For me, I like being in the seat all the time. It keeps you sharp. I can’t wait to get going.”

SCHEDULE | ENTRY LIST

FAST FACTS
The Race:
This race is the second of 15 events on the 2013 schedule for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.

The Procedure: The starting field is 24 cars, including provisionals. The first 20 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials. The remaining four spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 150 laps (37.5 miles).

The Track: Stockton 99 Speedway is a .25-mile paved oval with blended banking of up to 14 degrees in Turn 1 and Turn 2 and up to 17 degrees in Turn 3 and Turn 4.

Records: Qualifying: Dylan Kwasniewski, May 5, 2012, 13.735 seconds, 65.526 mph; Race: Dick Bown, May 13, 1972, 56.250 mph, 40 minutes. (150 laps)

History: The series has visited Stockton 99 Speedway 22 times, with the first event held in 1966.

STOCKTON RACE NOTES
Large Turnout Anticipated:
Thirty-two cars are on the entry list for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West event at Stockton. That would represent a record number of entries for a series race at the quarter-mile oval. Drivers on the entry list represent six states, as well as Canada.

Newcomers: More than a dozen of the drivers on the entry list are rookies in the series this season. Six of those drivers are set to make their series debut, including Giles Thornton of Whitefish, Mont.; Crystal Kennedy of Edson, Alberta; Bobby Runyan Jr., of Oakdale, Calif.; Cole Custer of Ladera Ranch, Calif.; Luis Tyrrell of Brisbane, Calif.; and Shane Golobic of Fremont, Calif.

Challenge For Pursley: If Greg Pursley wins at Stockton, it would mark the first time in more than a decade that a driver won the first two races in a season. Austin Cameron accomplished it in 2002. Prior to that, Bill Sedgwick achieved the mark to open the 1995 season.

Back On Track: This event marks a return to competition for the series, which opened its season in Phoenix on March 2.

Milestones: Two series drivers will celebrate career marks at Stockton 99 Speedway. Brett Thompson is slated to make his 120th career series start behind the wheel of the No. 61 RTTI/61 Logistics Chevrolet. The 35-year-old Jerome, Idaho driver made his series debut with a seventh-place finish at Rocky Mountain Raceways in West Valley City, Utah on Sept. 4, 2000. Travis Milburn, who drives the No. 14 Cooks Collision Toyota, is set to make his 40th series start at Stockton. Milburn – 20, of Eagle Idaho – made his first series start at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah on Aug. 2, 2008.

LAST TIME OUT: Phoenix
Third Phoenix Win For Pursley: Greg Pursley scored his third win at Phoenix International Raceway with a victory in the Talking Stick Resort 60 on March 2. It marked the 14th career series win for the driver of the No. 26 Renegade/Star Nursery/Real Water Ford. Pursley also set a track record in winning the Coors Light Pole Award for the event, eclipsing the mark he set in 2011. It was his 16th career series pole.

Strong Running Teammate: Pursley’s biggest challenger at Phoenix was his 16-year-old teammate at Gene Price Motorsports, Cameron Hayley. The second-year driver led six laps and finished in the runner-up spot. It was Hayley’s third second-place finish in a series race.

Another Top 10 For Kennington: D.J. Kennington notched his best career finish in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West with a sixth-place finish at Phoenix. It marked the third top-10 finish in four starts at PIR for the two-time champion in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1.

Series Debut: Several drivers made their debut in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West at Phoenix. Sergio Pe͂na and Brandon McReynolds – who both previously competed in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East – finished fifth and ninth, respectively, driving for Bill McAnally Racing. Gray Gaulding, who is slated to compete for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year title in the K&N East this year, finished sixth. And Rich DeLong III, whose father competed in the series, finished 22nd in his series debut.

NEXT TIME OUT: Brainerd
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will head to Brainerd International Raceway for its first of three road course events this season. The series made its inaugural visit to the Minnesota track last year, with a race that featured first-time winner Michael Self.

NASCAR Power Rankings after Richmond

Kevin Harvick came out of nowhere to win the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night, but it’s Jimmie Johnson who once again holds down the top spot in the FOXSports.com/SPEED.com Power Rankings.

This week’s list:
 

NASCAR Power Rankings after Richmond
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Santos Superb In Stafford Spring Sizzler

Santos Superb In Stafford Spring Sizzler

Gains 9th Career Win In Whelen Modified Tour, 5th At Stafford

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STAFFORD, Conn. – Bobby Santos dominated NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour action in winning the CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor Speedway on Sunday, giving him back-to-back wins at the historic half-mile track.

The 2010 tour champion from Franklin, Mass., led nearly all 200 laps – holding on in a dash to the finish after a late-race restart.

It marks the ninth career tour win for Santos, who had notched his ninth career Coors Light Pole Award in qualifying on Saturday. He was the Spring Sizzler runner-up during his title campaign and followed that with a win in the 2011 event. Sunday’s victory marks the fifth overall Stafford win for the No. 44 Curb Records/Brendan Kelley Music Chevrolet driver.

Justin Bonsignore finished in the runner-up spot – followed by Ted Christopher, Ryan Preece and Rowan Pennink. Doug Coby, Ron Yuhas Jr., Donny Lia, Jimmy Blewett and Mike Stefanik completed the top 10.

Sunday’s race featured two lead changes among two drivers, with Patrick Emerling leading briefly during the fourth of nine cautions.

The annual Stafford stop was the second event on a 14-race tour schedule. The next stop is Monadnock Speedway on May 11.

LAP-BY-LAP RECAP | RESULTS | POSTRACE AUDIO: JUSTIN BONSIGNORE | POSTRACE AUDIO: TED CHRISTOPHER

http://motorsportsunplugged.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/bobby-santos_checkered-flag_nwmt_stafford_042813_700.jpgBobby Santos flashes under the checkered flag for the win in NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour action at Stafford. Alex Trautwig/Getty Images for NASCAR

NOTEBOOK: Strategy Yields Sizzling Finish

NOTEBOOK: Strategy Yields Sizzling Finish

Varied Pit Work Helps Get Drivers To Podium

STAFFORD, Conn. – After winning his ninth career Coors Light Pole Award on Saturday afternoon, Bobby Santos said that track position was more crucial at Stafford Motor Speedway than it is anywhere else on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule.

And after leading a whopping 197 of 200 laps in the CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler 200 on Sunday afternoon at the half-mile oval, Santos proved his point. Even over a handful of restarts in the final quarter of the event, Santos was able to steer away from trouble and win virtually unchallenged.

But he also made quick note that there was cause for concern on restarts.

“On those restarts, anything can happen. Especially with Ryan (Preece) outside of me, you don’t really want him out there. Anything can happen with him,” Santos said. “I think the biggest thing is just the equipment. I’m lucky to have really good equipment I’m driving.”

For others further back in the Top-10, namely runner-up Justin Bonsignore and third-place finish Ted Christopher – the all-time winningest Whelen Modified Tour driver in Spring Sizzler history with five victories – the restarts proved crucial to correctly playing their hand in the pit strategy game.

With passing so hard to complete on the track, gambling on when to make tire stops became especially significant.

“I would have liked to have pitted early (in the race), just for an adjustment,” said Bonsignore, who started 14th in the 26-car field. “But we had already gotten to like eighth or ninth early on, and you don’t want to give up the seven or eight spots that you already got to start the race. You’ve kind of got to do what the leader does when you’re in that realm.

“Santos was a little bit better than everybody, but even if he got off strategy, you’re not going to just drive through the field. Once you drive to the front, it’s pretty much going to level out. At a track like this, yeah, it’s definitely tough to go off strategy.”

Christopher, however, has made a habit – and a profitable one, at that – of late-pitting in longer races to capitalize on fresh rubber when it matters most. While virtually every lead lap car pitted for tires on a Lap 103 caution, Christopher pitted for chassis adjustments but held off on bolting tires on his machine.

His tire stop didn’t come until a Lap 143 caution period.

“You know what it is with these things? Restarts are so key, especially if you’re on a different cycle,” said Christopher, who has 12 career Whelen Modified Tour wins at Stafford and is the track’s winningest driver with 118 career victories across all series and divisions. “As soon as you run six or seven laps (of green), everybody evens out and there’s no passing. It’s just the way the tires are. Unless somebody starts to get in and gets a little loose, then you can get them.

“But it’s really hard to make inroads on them, even if you have newer tires.”

Christopher made the late restarts count, going from ninth to third across three restarts over the final 45 laps.

“It played out pretty good. I wanted to pit with like 35 to go, but I guess 60 worked out pretty good,” Christopher said.

EMOTIONAL WIN: Santos was moved to tears following his dominating performance in the Spring Sizzler 200.

Santos lost a young cousin in the days leading up to the second race of the Whelen Modified Tour season.

“I really feel like I had an angel riding with me all weekend,” Santos said. “This win means the world. I dedicate this win to my whole family. I lost one of my little cousins this week, and this is for my Uncle Jay, Alicia, and they’re whole family. They support every race for me.”

The victory was the second in this race for the 2010 Tour champion, and it was his fifth career Stafford win. He swept the top spots in practice, qualifying and the race – and he did it without his family in tow.

“They couldn’t be here because they were all at a wake today,” Santos said, “but this win’s for them.”

NEW ATTITUDE: Bonsignore made a decision midway through the Spring Sizzler 200 that he was going to be a new driver.

After some bumping and banging in the back half of the Top-10, Bonsignore decided he’d had enough “take” in the “give-and-take” game of close-quarters racing.

“Some people like to dish it out, but they don’t like when you give it back,” Bonsignore said. “Then they give it back ten-fold. At that point, it kind of lit a fire under me.”

Bonsignore sits fifth in the Whelen Modified Tour standings through two races, having finished eighth at Thompson International Speedway two weeks ago in the season opener.

He’s decided he’s not going to let people wonder any longer if the cars are capable of more.

“It’s my fourth year (as a regular on the Tour), and at some point the owner might start to look at the driver (as the issue),” Bonsignore said. “I don’t want that to ever be the excuse. I want them to know that I’m here and I’m here to win races.”

The tide might finally be turning for Bonsignore, too. After being setback previously by things like practice crashes at Stafford, he ran out of gas coming to the checkered flag Sunday and preserved his runner-up finish.

A little good luck never hurt.

“Yeah, you’re not kidding, especially at this place,” Bonsignore said. “It’s been a long time coming. We’ve run well here in the past, just haven’t had the results to show for it.”

Kevin Harvick wins at Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (AP)

When the dust settled at Richmond, Ol’ Happy Harvick was the only driver smiling.

KEEPING TRACK

Don’t miss out on any of the Richmond racing action. PHOTOS

Kevin Harvick plowed through traffic on the final restart, driving from seventh to Victory Lane in a two-lap overtime sprint to the finish Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway. He did it with one of those head-scratching ”Where did he come from?” drives in which everyone was just hanging on.

”Just shifted gears, hit the pedal and hoped for the best,” Harvick said. ”They all went high and I went low. The seas kind of parted there. They didn’t get a very good restart, and my car launched.

”I was able to take it three-wide, those guys all drove it in hard, and I was able to get by the next two. I only had one to go by the time I got to the backstretch.”

It was Harvick’s first Sprint Cup win of the season – he opened the year with a win in the exhibition Sprint Unlimited at Daytona – and his 20th career victory. It put Chevrolet and Richard Childress Racing in Victory Lane, snapping a two-race winning streak by Joe Gibbs Racing.

”That was vintage Kevin Harvick right there,” crew chief Gil Martin said.

Juan Pablo Montoya was trying to hold off Harvick for his first win since 2010 when the caution came out with four laps remaining.

”I was like, `Really? Really?”’ Montoya said about the caution. He pounded his fist on the steering wheel when the yellow flag waved.

Montoya left the decision to pit or stay out to crew chief Chris Heroy, who gamely tried to calm the driver and convince him he could still win the race. He brought Montoya down pit road, a decision most of the field followed as everyone traded track position for tires.

Both Montoya and Harvick took four tires, which put them sixth and seventh for the final restart. Harvick teammate Jeff Burton was the leader after Burton, Jamie McMurray and AJ Allmendinger stayed on the track.

When the race resumed, the first three cars on old tires couldn’t hold off traffic and it created mayhem through the field. Harvick rocketed his way through the pack, dragging Clint Bowyer and Joey Logano with him.

Bowyer wound up second, Logano third and Montoya had to settle for fourth.

Montoya, who is off to a horrific start to the season with six finishes of 20th or worse in the first eight races, was comforted with his first top-10 of the season.

”That is what we needed,” he said. ”I felt like last week we had a top-five car as well, but not quite a car to win. I think this weekend, we came here and tested, and the guys did an amazing job, and we had a good car all weekend.”

Tony Stewart restarted in fifth, but was bumped out of the way by Kurt Busch and faded to 18th. Stewart angrily traded bumps with Busch on the cooldown lap, even trying to force him into the wall, before the two drivers headed to the garage. Once back at their haulers Stewart and Busch shouted at each other over crew members, with Busch claiming the final two laps ”were a free-for-all.”

”We were hoping to be on the right sequence at the end,” Busch said. ”Some guys had older tires. Some guys had newer tires. We were in the mixed. A green-white-checkered at the end, it is just chaos. Cars are everywhere. People are beating and banging and shoving each other out of the way. It’s pretty wild.”

Kevin Harvick wins at Richmond
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Piquet’s Groin Kick Made Headlines But Harvick Wins The Main Event in Overtime Fight

Kevin Harvick does a burnout at Richmond after he won the Toyota Owners 400. Harvick raced from seventh to first over a two-lap “overtime” period that ended the event.

In one man’s opinion, the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway was the perfect example of what short-track racing can be.

The scenario for great deal of drama was set up by a two-lap “overtime” period, which meant there would be a frantic, no-holds-barred chase for the checkered flag.

Sure enough, when the green flag fell there was beating and banging all over the place.

However, Kevin Harvick, who drives for Richard Childress Racing, shot through the mayhem without a scratch to win his first NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season.

Equipped with four fresh tires following the race’s last pit stop, created by Brian Vickers’ spin in the third turn, Harvick was able to charge from seventh place to first.

He led the last two laps of the race.“To be sitting there seventh on four tires and the only other guy on four tires sitting on the outside, I felt like if I could get by the row in front of me the guys on no tires were sitting ducks,” said Harvick, who has won 20 times in his career and is, to date, the only driver to win for Childress this season.

“It all worked out. We were fortunate to have it all line up.  I drove it in there, hoped for the best.

“Figured 4, 8, 12, whatever was on the outside tire‑wise would be plenty to lean on and by the time we got to the backstretch, everything had cleared out.”

As you might expect, tempers flared during the grinding, race-ending competition and in some cases, drivers vented their anger and frustration on the cool-down lap.

Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch – both of whom ran among the leaders all night – swapped paint while Busch got involved in another scrap with Tony Stewart.

Busch, who drives for Furniture Row Racing and is no stranger to on and off-track altercations, was upset with Kenseth, who moved him out of the way during the sprint to the finish.

The he had a door-whacking battle with an upset Stewart on pit road.

Juan Pablo Montoya scored a season-best fourth-place finish at Richmond and led the race for 67 laps.

“I don’t know why he was so angry,” Busch said of Stewart. “After all, it was a free-for-all at the end. Everybody’s slamming everybody.

“I’m getting hit from behind. I got shoved out of the way, too, by Matt.”

Busch finished ninth. Kenseth, who lead 140 laps only days after his Joe Gibbs Racing team was severely punished by NASCAR for an illegal engine part, wound up in seventh.

“If you ask me, Busch drove up there and knocked me into the marbles,” Kenseth said. “Just two laps left, everybody’s going to go for it – especially on a short track.

“We go for every hole we can get. That’s the best I could do.”

“I got hit every which way,” Busch said. “So did Kenseth, who moved us out of the way at the end. That’s why I was upset with him. We got a top 10 out of it but the biggest thing is our car didn’t have a scratch on it. Now it’s destroyed.”

Stewart was one of the drivers who remained on the track during the final caution period. He and four others were sitting ducks.

Busch nudged Stewart out of the way and sped ahead, leaving Stewart to drift from fifth to 18th place.

Busch and Stewart banged each other on pit road before Stewart drove away. He made no comment.

Michael Waltrip Racing’s Clint Bowyer, who led 113 laps as he and fellow Toyota driver Kenseth dominated over half the race, finished second.

“It really got wild there at the end – I was just lucky enough to be on the bottom,” Bowyer said. “They started making holes up there in front of me and the seas parted, and I just followed suit behind Harvick.

“It was a good run. Thanks to Toyota for coming on board to sponsor this race. Wish we could have won the Toyota race, but second’s not bad.”

Joey Logano’s third-place showing was a salve for his Penske Racing team, which will appeal penalties enforced by NASCAR on May 1

Juan Pablo Montoya finished fourth, the best run of the season for him and Chip Ganassi Racing.

“We had a great car. Same as last week, we had a great car,” said Montoya, who was leading the race before the final caution. “The pit crew redeemed themselves tonight. They did a great job all day, no mistakes. That is what we needed.”

And victory is just what Harvick and Childress needed. Harvick, who has now won three times at Richmond, will not be competing for RCR in 2014.

But when it comes to winning, being a so-called “lame duck” means nothing.

“I feel like our cars have performed well,” Harvick said. “I feel like we’re getting better with some things coming down the road.

“It doesn’t feel like it’s any different for me than any other year has been, other than you know at the end of the year everybody knows what’s going on.

“In the end, we all have big egos and we want to be competitive and we want to win races and do the things that it takes to go out there and fulfill that feel that you like, whether it’s in victory lane or anywhere else.”

 

 

 

 

QUALIFYING: Santos Scores Sizzler Pole

QUALIFYING: Santos Scores Sizzler Pole

Ninth Career Coors Light Pole For Whelen Modified Tour Veteran

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STAFFORD, Conn. – Bobby Santos has the inside track in his quest for back-to-back NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victories at Stafford Motor Speedway after earning the Coors Light Pole Award Saturday afternoon for Sunday’s CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler.

Santos, from Franklin, Mass., laid down a fast lap of 18.082 seconds (99.547 mph) in qualifying at the historic half mile for his ninth career Whelen Modified Tour pole. It marked the second time he’s captured the top-qualifying spot for the famed Spring Sizzler weekend, and fourth time overall at Stafford.

Todd Szegedy will join Santos in the front row for Sunday’s 200-lap Whelen Modified Tour feature after he registered a quick lap of 18.084 (99.536). The second row will consist of Rowan Pennink (18.087/99.464) and Chuck Hossfeld (18.101/99.442).

The rest of the top 10 qualifiers included Mike Stefanik, Bryon Chew, Ryan Preece, Eric Berndt, defending race winner Doug Coby and Donny Lia.

Ted Christopher, who has a Whelen Modified Tour-leading five wins in the Spring Sizzler, qualified 15th.

CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler activities are set to get underway on Sunday at 11 a.m., with the CARQUEST Belts & Hose Pit Party followed by NASCAR Whelen All-American Series features. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is slated to take the green flag at approximately 3:15 p.m.

QUALIFYING RESULTS

PRACTICE: Santos Leads At Stafford

PRACTICE: Santos Leads At Stafford

Fastest In Whelen Modified Spring Sizzler Session

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STAFFORD, Conn. – Bobby Santos picked up right where he left off in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour’s last visit to Stafford Motor Speedway when he led CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler practice Saturday afternoon.

Santos, winner of the CARQUEST Fall Final last September at Stafford, posted a quick lap of 17.938 seconds (100.346 mph) during the 75-minute practice session. A winner of the Coors Light Pole Award three times in his career at Stafford, Santos’ lap was just behind the track qualifying record established by Ryan Preece in this event last year at 17.924 (100.424).

Santos was followed on the speed chart by Justin Bonsignore at 17.946 (100.301) and Donny Lia at 17.971 (100.161). They were the only three to top the 100 mph mark.

Santos, from Franklin, Mass., will look to regain the record that he held prior to Preece’s run a year ago in qualifying later today.

Rowan Pennink, Todd Szegedy, Eric Berndt, Eric Goodale, Mike Stefanik, Ron Silk and Jimmy Blewett rounded out the top 10.

Defending race winner – and tour champion – Doug Coby was 12th-fastest. Ted Christopher, the record-holder for the most Whelen Modified Tour Spring Sizzler wins with five, ranked 19th.

Coors Light Pole qualifying is set to begin at the historic half mile at 2:30 p.m.

PRACTICE RESULTS

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