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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will continue the 2017 season on Saturday with the running of the Miller Lite 200 at Riverhead Raceway in Riverhead, New York. Below is a statistical look at the race, including selected driver notes:
Miler Lite 200 Race Setup:
As the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour enters Riverhead, the fight for the championship is heating up with just four races left. Ryan Preece enters the race with a nine point lead over Doug Coby. Preece has five victories this season, including the last series event at Oswego Speedway on September 2. Coby, who is a four-time and reigning champion, has one win. Rowan Pennink enters third, 16 points from the lead, while Timmy Solomito has three wins and is fourth, 17 points out. Justin Bonsignore rounds out the top five. The series will visit Riverhead, then make a quick stop in New Hampshire before the season's final two races bring the drivers to Connecticut.
At Riverhead Raceway:
• Built in 1949, the high-banked quarter-mile Riverhead Raceway bills itself as one of the oldest asphalt tracks in the United States. It opened as a dirt track in 1951 and was converted to asphalt in 1955.
• Sitting one mile east of the Long Island Expressway, Riverhead Raceway is metropolitan New York’s only NASCAR-sanctioned facility.
• One of only two tracks to host the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in every season of the tour’s existence, joining Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
• Has hosted 59 Whelen Modified Tour races, including three in 1985, the first year of the tour.
• Former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular Jimmy Spencer won the first two Whelen Modified Tour races at Riverhead in 1985.
• Timmy Solomito won both the pole and the race earlier this season at Riverhead.
• At .25 miles, Riverhead is the smallest track on the 2017 schedule.
• In the last 25 Whelen Modified Tour events at Riverhead, the winner started inside the top 10.
Race: #13 of 16 overall
Race Date: Saturday, September 16 at 8 p.m. ET (approx).
Track Layout: .25-mile banked asphalt oval
Race Length: 200 laps (50 miles)
2016 Winner: Justin Bonsignore
2016 Pole Sitter: Shawn Solomito
1-lap Qualifying Record: 77.949 mph (Chuck Steuer, 11.546 seconds, June 2000)
200-lap Race Record: 57.754 mph (Richie Evans, August 1985)
Active Category Leaders at Riverhead:
1. Ryan Preece … 4
Donny Lia … 4
Justin Bonsignore … 4
1. Tom Rogers Jr. … 3
2. Timmy Solomito … 2
Ryan Preece … 2
Justin Bonsignore … 2
1. Ted Christopher … 11
2. Justin Bonsignore … 10
1. Jamie Tomaino … 22
2. Ted Christopher … 16
3. Ryan Preece ... 12
1. Justin Bonsignore … 580
2. Ted Christopher … 560
Selected Driver Notes:
Matt Swanson (No. 89 Starrett Tools Ford)
• The Starrett Tools driver has three top five finishes in 34 career starts, including a fourth at Seekonk this year.
• In three career starts at Riverhead, Swanson has a best finish of ninth in June of 2016. He finished 13th there in June.
• His fourth at Seekonk on August 26th is his best finish of the year.
Justin Bonsignore (No. 51 Phoenix Communications Chevrolet)
• Enters Riverhead fifth in the championship standings seeking his first career title.
• Has 12 wins, 52 top fives and 74 top 10s in 117 career Whelen Modified Tour starts.
• In 13 career starts at Riverhead, Bonsignore has four wins and 10 top fives, including a win in this race last season.
• Has finished a worst of fifth in his last five starts at the .25-mile bullring.
Doug Coby (No. 2 Mayhew Tools Chevrolet)
• Four-time Whelen Modified Tour champion enters the race second in the championship standings with one victory this season.
• Has 23 wins, 73 top fives and 112 top 10s in 200 career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour starts.
• Has no wins in 14 starts at Riverhead, but did finish third there earlier this season after starting fifth.
Eric Goodale (No. 58 GAF Roofing Chevrolet)
• Sits sixth in the Whelen Modified Tour championship standings entering Riverhead with four top fives in 12 races.
• In 12 career Riverhead starts, Goodale has one win and four top five finishes. He finished sixth there on June 24.
• His most recent series victory came at Bristol Motor Speedway in August of 2016.
Rowan Pennink (No. 3 Cape Cod Copper/JDL Environmental Chevrolet)
• Enters the race third in the championship standings with one victory in the first 12 races.
• Has three wins, 31 top fives and 76 top 10s in 153 career Whelen Modified Tour starts.
• Has one career win at Riverhead in 14 starts, but that was his only top five finish at .25-mile oval.
Ted Christopher (No. 82 Horton Avenue Materials Chevrolet)
• Has 42 wins, 133 top fives and 203 top 10s in 372 career Whelen Modified Tour starts.
• The 2011 series champion finished 11th at Riverhead earlier this season and has an overall best of third this year.
• In 27 career Riverhead starts, Christopher has three wins, with the most recent coming in 2006. He won from the pole at Riverhead back in 2002.
Timmy Solomito (No. 16 Starrett Tools Ford)
• Sits fourth in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour points standings with three wins this season, including the June 24 race at Riverhead.
• Has finished outside the top 10 in two of the last three races, but finished third at Oswego on September 2.
• Has two wins, five top fives and six top 10s in eight career Riverhead starts. He won from the pole there in June.
Max Zachem (No. 20 Anytime Realty/MPZ Motorsports Chevrolet)
• Has six top fives and 22 top 10s in 46 career Whelen Modified Tour starts.
• This season, Zachem has eight top 10s in 11 starts.
• In his career at Riverhead, the Connecticut driver has three top 10 finishes in five starts.
Ryan Preece (No. 6 TS Hauler Chevrolet)
• Enters the race as the championship leader in the Whelen Modified Tour by nine points.
• Preece has 20 wins, 68 top fives and 98 top 10s in 142 career series starts, including five wins this season.
• In his Riverhead career, Preece has four wins in 13 starts, with the most recent coming in 2013, his championship year.
Dave Sapienza (No. 36 Sapienza Enterprise Chevrolet)
• The Riverhead, New York driver has four top fives and 10 top 10s in 43 career series starts.
• Sapienza has three top five finishes this season, including a second-place run at Riverhead in June.
• In his career at Riverhead, Sapienza has two top five finishes in five starts.
Up To Speed:
• This is the 33rd season of NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour racing. The first event was held in 1985 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, won by Richie Evans.
• The 2017 schedule includes 16 points races at nine different tracks, across seven different states. It also includes two non-points events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway.
• Following the Miller Lite 200, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to the track at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sept. 23.