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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will continue the 2017 season on Sunday with the running of the NAPA Fall Final 150 at Connecticut's Stafford Motor Speedway. This race marks the 15th of the 16 on the championship points schedule for this year. Below is a statistical look at the race, including selected driver notes:
NAPA Fall Final 150 Race Setup:
There are just two races left before the 2017 champion is crowned and the battle at the top of the championship is close. Four-time champion Doug Coby leads the way as he seeks a fourth straight championship in the series. He is up by 11 points on Justin Bonsignore, while Timmy Solomito is 14 points back in third. Rowan Pennink and Ryan Preece round out the top five. Preece missed the last series event to compete in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and sits 26 points off the lead with two races left to go. However, he did capture victories in the two races at Stafford earlier this season.
At Stafford Motor Speedway:
• The Stafford Springs Agricultural Park opened back in 1870, originally used for horse racing.
• Stafford joined NASCAR in 1959 and was paved for the first time in 1967.
• The inaugural NWMT event at the half-mile was in 1985, a race won by Richie Evans. The Spring Sizzler was an 80 lap main event that season.
• The track has also held 30 NASCAR K&N Pro Series races in history, with the most recent coming in June of 2016 -- a race won by Noah Gragson.
• There have been 32 different winners at Stafford, including Mike Stefanik, who leads all drivers with 20 career wins. In the NAPA Fall Final 150 last season, Doug Coby took his No. 2 into Victory Lane en route to the championship.
• There have been 44 Coors Light Pole winners at Stafford, led by Stefanik’s 17. Doug Coby holds the one-lap qualifying record with a time of 17.896 seconds, set at the Spring Sizzler in April of this season.
• Ted Christopher was the oldest Stafford winner at 53-years-old; Ryan Preece was the youngest Stafford winner at 18-years-old.
• No driver has started all 124 races at Stafford.
Race: #15 of 16 overall
Race Date: Sunday, October 1 at 3:15 p.m. (approx.)
Track Layout: .500-mile slightly banked asphalt oval
Race Length: 150 laps (75 miles)
2016 Race Winner: Doug Coby, 1 hour, 14 minutes, 52 seconds
2016 Pole Winner: Doug Coby, 96.738 mph
Qualifying Record: Doug Coby, 100.581 mph, 17.896 seconds, set on 4/29/17
Active Wins Leaders at Stafford:
1. Doug Coby… 10
2. Ryan Preece … 6
3. Bobby Santos III … 6
1. Doug Coby … 9
2. Bobby Santos III … 8
3. Ryan Preece … 3
1. Doug Coby... 1,686
2. Ryan Preece... 851
1. Todd Szegedy … 31
2. Doug Coby … 20
3. Ryan Preece & Donny Lia... 16
1. Jamie Tomaino… 55
2. Todd Szegedy... 32
3. Doug Coby... 30
1. Jamie Tomaino … 121
2. Wade Cole... 63
3. Doug Coby... 50
Selected Participant Notes:
Justin Bonsignore (No. 51 Phoenix Communications Chevrolet)
• Bonsignore enters Stafford second in the championship standings, 11 points back seeking his first title.
• In 14 races this season, Bonsignore has six top fives and 11 top 10s, but has yet to visit Victory Lane.
• In the first two Stafford races this season, Bonsignore finished ninth and third.
• Bonsignore has not won at Stafford, but does have five top five finishes in his 13 starts at the half-mile.
Doug Coby (No. 2 Mayhew Tools Chevrolet)
• The four-time Whelen Modified Tour champion enters New Hampshire at the top of the standings, seeking a fourth straight title.
• In the two Stafford events this season, Coby finished second in both.
• In 50 career starts at Stafford, Coby has 10 wins, 20 top fives and 30 top 10s.
• This season, in 14 races, Coby has nine top fives and nine top 10s. He won at Seekonk on Aug. 26.
Chase Dowling (No. 15 15-40 Connection Chevrolet)
• In seven races this season, Dowling has three top fives, including a best of third in the Spring Sizzler at Stafford.
• In nine career Whelen Mod Tour starts at Stafford, Dowling has a best finish of 3rd, which came in the Spring Sizzler this year.
• Dowling heads into the weekend second in the SK Modified point standings at Stafford, just four points from the lead.
Timmy Solomito (No. 16 Starrett Tools Ford)
• Enters Stafford third in the championship standings, 14 points from the lead.
• In 14 races this season, Solomito has four victories, along with eight top five finishes.
• In the first two Stafford races this season, Solomito finished 11th and fourth.
• Solomito has five finishes outside the top 10 this season.
Rowan Pennink (No. 3 Cape Cod Copper/USNE/JDL Chevrolet)
• In 14 races this season, Pennink has one win, three top fives and 11 top 10s behind the wheel of the No. 3.
• Pennink enters Stafford fourth in the championship standings, just 17 from the lead.
• Pennink has finished sixth and 17th in the two races at the half-mile Stafford this year.
• In 39 career Stafford starts, Pennink has 12 top fives, but no victories.
Ryan Preece (No. 6 TS Hauler Chevrolet)
• Has won both previous races at Stafford this season and has five wins overall.
• Enters Stafford fifth in the standings, 26 points from the lead.
• Preece has 11 top fives and 11 top 10s in the 12 starts he made this season.
• Preece has one win, a second and a fourth in NASCAR XFINITY Series competition this season.
Eric Goodale (No. 58 GAF Roofing Chevrolet)
• Goodale has four top fives and nine top 10s in the 14 races so far this season.
• Goodale finished fourth and 13th in the two previous Stafford events this season.
• In 35 career Stafford starts, Goodale has six top fives.
Dave Sapienza (No. 36 Sapienza Enterprise Chevrolet)
• Sapienza has four top fives and 10 top 10s in 45 career Whelen Modified Tour starts.
• This season, Sapienza finished 10th and seventh in the two Stafford events so far.
• He has a best finish of second this season at Riverhead in June.
• In 10 career Stafford starts, Sapienza has two top 10 finishes.
Bobby Santos (No. 44 Sully Tinio/Brendan Kelley Music Chevrolet)
• Santos has two wins this season, both coming at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
• In 131 career Whelen Modified Tour starts, Santos has 16 wins, 48 top fives and 70 top 10s.
• He is the 2010 Whelen Modified Tour champion.
• In 33 career Stafford starts, Santos has six wins, 14 top fives and 19 top 10s.
Up To Speed:
• This is the 33rd season of NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour competition. The inaugural event was held at Stafford in March 1985.
• The 2017 series schedule features 16 points races at nine different tracks across seven different states. It includes two non-points events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway.
• Following the NAPA Fall Final 150, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park for the Sunoco World Series 150, where the champion will be crowned.