The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour held its annual Spring Sizzler race at Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford, Connecticut on Sunday and it was Bobby Santos who held off Doug Coby to win the race for the third time in the last four seasons. Santos captured the checkered flag in the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler 200 to record his 11th career win and sixth at the Stafford track.
Santos got the lead from pole sitter and rookie Tommy Barrett Jr on lap 115 and led the final 86 laps but it did not come without a lot of pressure from Doug Coby who would eventually finish second by 0.122 seconds. Rowan Pennink finished third, Woody Pitkat fourth, and Justin Bonsignore fifth.
Although Barrett started from the pole it was Pitkat, who started second that led until lap 7 when Coby passed him. Coby would lead three laps before Pitkat passed him back for the lead on lap 10. Their battle continued and on lap 26 Coby went back out front. Meanwhile Tommy Barrett Jr worked his way to the lead for the first time on lap 43 and he would lead until lap 50 when Rowan Pennink gained his first lead of the race. Barrett took the lead back on lap 114 but it was Santos who then made the move to gain the top spot on lap 115. He started in eighth.
The seven lead changes were the most at Stafford in a race since 2010. There were a total of nine cautions for 45 laps in the race. One red flag came out for five minutes for a crash on lap 171 between Jimmy Zacharias, TJ Zacharias, Gary Putnam, and Donny Lia. The final caution came out on lap 181 when there was an accident involving Ken Heagy, Eric Goodale, and Tommy Barrett Jr.
Finishing in the sixth position was Ted Christopher, Donny Lia was seventh, rookie Timmy Solomito eighth, Matt Hirschman ninth, and Ron Silk tenth. Tommy Barrett Jr finished 11th, Patrick Emerling 12th, and the last lead lap car was Jamie Tomaino in 13th. NASCAR Next member and 2013 Whelen Modified Tour champion Ryan Preece finished 24th of the 27 cars after having an engine let go on lap 170.
The Spring Sizzler was the second race of the 2014 season. Justin Bonsignore leads the points by two over Doug Coby and Woody Pitkat. Timmy Solomito is fourth, 10 points back. Bobby Santos and Ted Christopher are both 12 points back in fifth and sixth. Ron Silk is seventh, Eric Goodale eighth, Matt Hirschman ninth, and Rowan Pennink tenth. Ryan Preece is 17th.
The TSI Harley-Davidson 125 is the next race on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule and is also at Stafford Motor Speedway That race is set for Friday, May 23rd.
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