Spring Sizzler Belongs To Santos
STAFFORD SPRINGS, Conn. – No one needed to show Bobby Santos III the way to victory lane at Stafford Motor Speedway; he’s a frequent visitor.
The Franklin, Mass., driver won the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler 200 on Sunday for his 11th career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory, with six of those coming at Stafford, including three of the last four Spring Sizzlers.
Santos, who started in the eighth position, took the lead from rookie Tommy Barrett Jr. on lap 115 and battled with Doug Coby, who won the 2006 and 2012 Spring Sizzlers, down the stretch to record the win. Coby looked left, right, over and under for a way around Santos in the closing laps, but had to settle for the runner-up finish.
Rowan Pennink crossed the line third followed by Woody Pitkat in the fourth spot while Justin Bonsignore rounded out the top five. The remainder of the top 10 was five-time Spring Sizzler winner Ted Christopher, Donny Lia, Timmy Solomito, Matt Hirschman and Ron Silk.
Santos, the 2010 Whelen Modified Tour champion, led a group of five drivers with top-10 finishes to own at least one tour title. The others were Coby, Christopher, Lia and Silk.
Barrett claimed his first Whelen Modified Tour pole win on Saturday and finished 11th.
NASCAR Next driver and defending tour champion Ryan Preece was looking for his first Spring Sizzler victory, but engine problems spoiled his day and he settled for a 24th-place finish.
The event had seven lead changes among five drivers which is the most in a Stafford race since there were 10 on May 1, 2010.
Bobby Santos III, Doug Coby, Rowan Pennink, Woody Pitkat, Justin Bonsignore, Ted Christopher, Donny Lia, Timmy Solomito, Matt Hirschman, Ron Silk, Tommy Barrett Jr., Patrick Emerling, Jamie Tomaino, Eric Goodale, Wade Cole, Ron Yuhas Jr., Gary McDonald, Dave Salzarulo, T.J. Zacharias, Melissa Fifield, Ken Heagy, Jimmy Zacharias, Gary Putnam, Ryan Preece, Glen Reen, Keith Rocco, Richie Pallai Jr.