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Whelen Mod Tour Stat Advance: Riverhead

Analyzing The Green Earth Technologies 200
By Jason Cunningham, NASCAR
September 10, 2013 - 12:10pm

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway for the Green Earth Technologies 200 on Saturday, Sept. 14. Below is a statistical look at the performance of tour and selected drivers at the track:

Riverhead Race Setup:
• NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour points leader Ryan Preece has four wins and eight top-five finishes in 10 career races at quarter-mile tracks. Three of those wins have come at Riverhead Raceway.
• Justin Bonsignore, Donny Lia, Rowan Pennink and Mike Stefanik all earned their first career NWMT victories at Riverhead.
• Of the 30 drivers on the projected Green Earth Technologies 200 entry list, seven have previously won NWMT races at Riverhead. The list features 13 drivers from Long Island, including seven that primarily compete in Riverhead’s weekly NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.

AT RIVERHEAD RACEWAY:
History
• Opened in 1951 as a dirt track and converted to asphalt in 1955.
• Held its first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race on July 10, 1985 during the NWMT’s first season. The inaugural race was won by Jimmy Spencer.
• Has held 52 NWMT races all-time, fourth-most among all venues.
• Is one of two tracks to play host to the NWMT in each of its now 29 seasons of competition, along with Thompson (Conn.) Speedway.

Notebook
• At .25 miles, Riverhead is the smallest track on the schedule along with Monadnock Speedway.
• This season marks the first time since 2005 that Riverhead has welcomed the NWMT twice in the same season. There have been multiple races in a season at Riverhead in 21 of 29 seasons of the tour.
• There have been four NWMT races that have been won by Riverhead NASCAR Whelen All-American Series drivers, the last of which was Ed Brunnhoelzl Jr. in 1995.
• Mike Ewanitsko experienced more success than any other NWMT driver at Riverhead during his days as a competitor. His 11 wins and eight poles lead in both categories.
• Mike Stefanik is the active wins leader at Riverhead with six while Ed Flemke Jr. has the most poles – four – among current competitors.

Riverhead Raceway Data
Race: #11 of 14 overall, #2 of 2 at Riverhead
Track Layout: .25-mile banked asphalt oval
• Race Length: 200 laps (50 miles)

Qualifying/Race Data
2012 Pole/Race Winner: New Event
Qualifying Record: Chuck Steuer (11.546 seconds, 77.949 mph, 6/10/00)

ACTIVE CATEGORY LEADERS AT RIVERHEAD:
Wins
1. Mike Stefanik … 6
2. Donny Lia … 4
3. Ted Christopher … 3
    Ryan Preece … 3
5. Jimmy Blewett … 1
    Justin Bonsignore … 1
    Ed Flemke Jr. … 1
    Rowan Pennink … 1

Poles
1. Ed Flemke Jr. … 4
2. Ted Christopher … 2
    Ryan Preece … 2
    Mike Stefanik … 2
5. Howie Brode … 1
    Ron Silk … 1
    Jamie Tomaino … 1

Laps Led
1. Mike Stefanik … 771
2. Donny Lia … 516
3. Ted Christopher … 494
4. Ryan Preece … 382
5. Ed Flemke Jr. … 201

Starts
1. Jamie Tomaino … 50
2. Ed Flemke Jr. … 37
3. Mike Stefanik … 35
4. Ted Christopher … 23
5. Donny Lia … 14

SELECTED DRIVER HIGHLIGHTS:
Justin Bonsignore (No. 51 M3 Technology Chevrolet)

• Has three wins, three poles and 30 top 10s in 56 career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour starts.
• Ranks ninth in points with six top-10 finishes, highlighted by a win at Monadnock Speedway.
• Has a win (2011), four top fives and an average finish of ninth in six career NWMT starts at Riverhead Raceway.
• Had a DNF (suspension) in this year’s first Riverhead race in June.
• Was the 2011 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track champion at Riverhead, where he has seven career wins in the Modified division.

Howie Brode (No. 96 Peter Clark Motorsports Chevrolet)
• Has a pole, five top fives and 15 top 10s in 56 career NWMT starts. The pole was earned at Riverhead in 2011.
• All five of his career top-five NWMT finishes and 12 of his 15 top 10s have been recorded at Riverhead, highlighted by a runner-up effort in 1998.
• The 1998 and 2013 NWAAS track champion at Riverhead, where he has 15 career Modified division victories, including four this season en route to that second title.

Ted Christopher (No. 3 Silver Dollar Construction/Cape Cod Copper Chevrolet)
• The 2008 NWMT champion. He has 42 wins, 24 poles and 179 top 10s in 331 career starts. His 42 wins rank third all-time and his 24 poles are eighth.
• Is seventh in the season standings with four top-five finishes in 10 outings. The runner-up finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway was his best result of the season.
• Is looking to end a 25-race winless drought. It’s his longest such streak since the beginning of his career when his first win came in his 94th start.
• Has three wins (2002, 05, 06), two poles, 14 top 10s, an average finish of 11th and 494 laps led in 23 career NWMT starts at Riverhead.
• Was spun out while leading on a late-race restart in the June Riverhead race and finished 18th.

Doug Coby (No. 52 Furnace & Duct Supply/Seekonk Grand Prix Chevrolet)
• The 2012 NWMT champion has nine wins, four poles and 64 top 10s in 140 career starts.
• Ranks second in points with two wins and eight top 10s in 10 races.
• Has two top 10s with an average finish of 16th in eight career NWMT appearances at Riverhead. Best finish there was fifth in 2011.
• Wrecked following his second qualifying lap in the June Riverhead race and was unable to take the green flag.

Eric Goodale (No. 58 Riverhead Building Supply Chevrolet)
• Has a pole and 26 top 10s in 69 career NWMT starts.
• Ranks 11th in points with five top 10s in 10 races this year.
• Has three top 10s in five NWMT starts at Riverhead, including his overall career-best finish of second in this year’s first event there. Also led a career-high 35 laps in the 2012 Riverhead race.

Donny Lia (No. 4 Circle Track Magazine Dodge)
• The 2007 and 2009 NWMT champion. He has 16 wins, 17 poles and 69 top 10s in 137 career starts.
• Sits eighth in points after 10 events with five top 10s and a best result of second in both the August Stafford and Thompson races.
• Has four wins (2003, 04, 05, 07), seven top 10s, an average finish of 12th and 516 laps led in 14 career NWMT starts at Riverhead. Was 15th there in June.
• His four wins at Riverhead are more than he has earned at any other track, just ahead of three apiece at Stafford and Thompson.
• Has three career NWAAS Modified wins at Riverhead, and was the division’s Rookie of the Year in 2001.

Rowan Pennink (No. 93 Monk Mechanics Hand Cleaner Chevrolet)
• Has a win and 46 top 10s in 96 career starts. The win came at Riverhead in 2010.
• Ranks fourth in the points with five top 10s in 10 outings. Best season finish was second in the Thompson opener.
• Has that win, three top 10s and an average finish of 11th in seven career NWMT starts at Riverhead.
• Finished 11th in the first Riverhead race in June.

Ryan Preece (No. 16 East West Marine/Diversified Metals Ford)
• Has eight wins, 12 poles and 52 top 10s in 91 career starts.
• Is the season points leader with three wins and top-five finishes in eight of 10 races.
• Has three wins, two poles and an average finish of third in seven career NWMT starts at Riverhead. His first tour start there in 2007, in which he finished 10th, is his only result outside the top five.
• First Riverhead win came in 2009 followed by triumphs in the last two NWMT events there, including this June.
• Has five career NWAAS Modified wins at Riverhead, including the Richie Evans Hall of Fame 100 this year.

Bobby Santos (No. 44 Tinio Racing/Brendan Kelley Music Chevrolet)
• The 2010 NWMT champion has 10 wins, 12 poles and 40 top 10s in 76 career starts.
• Ranks 15th in points with two wins, four poles and four top-five finishes in seven starts. Did not attend the June Riverhead and Monadnock events.
• Has finished ninth in both of his previous NWMT starts at Riverhead in 2010 and 2011.

Ron Silk (No. 6 TS Haulers/Calverton Tree Farm Chevrolet)
• The 2011 NWMT champion has nine wins, eight poles and 68 top 10s in 120 career starts.
• Ranks fifth in points this season with a pole and seven top 10s in 10 events.
• Has five top 10s, an average finish of 11th and a best result of second (2008) in eight NWMT Riverhead starts.
• Earned the pole in the June Riverhead race and finished 20th after getting involved in an accident.
• Has four career NWAAS Modified victories at Riverhead.

Mike Stefanik (No. 22 Robert B. Our Co./Canto & Sons Paving Ford)
• The 1989, 1991, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002 and 2006 NWMT champion.
• Holds NWMT records for most titles (seven), wins (74), poles (48), top fives (223) and top 10s (298).
• Sits third in points this year with two wins and six top 10s in 10 events.
• Is the active leader with six career wins at Riverhead, the last coming in 2001. Has an average finish of ninth with 21 top 10s in 35 career starts at the track. Is also the active leader at Riverhead with 771 laps led.
• Finished fifth at Riverhead in June.

Todd Szegedy (No. 2 Delicacies Gourmet/Dunleavy Repair Ford)
• The 2003 NWMT champion has 17 wins, 10 poles and 109 top 10s in 177 career starts.
• Ranks 10th in points after 10 events with a best result of second last time out at Bristol Motor Speedway.
• Has an average finish of 13th and a best result of second (2011) in 13 career NWMT starts at Riverhead.
• Finished 19th at Riverhead in June, but was on the podium the two previous races there.

UP TO SPEED:
• The 2013 season is the 29th for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
• The 2013 schedule features 14 races at seven different tracks across four states.
• The competition season began with the non-points UNOH Battle At The Beach on the short track at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway on Feb. 19. The Modified feature was won by Steve Park.
• Mike Stefanik won from the pole in the season-opening Icebreaker at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway on April 14.
• Bobby Santos matched Stefanik’s feat from the opener when he won from the pole in the second race of the season on April 28 at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway.
• At Stafford on June 14 it was Santos on the pole, but Ryan Preece rallied from the rear for the victory. The race was postponed twice – on May 24 and June 7 – due to rain.
• Preece made it two-in-a-row when he took the checkered flag following a thrilling green-white-checkered finish at Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl on June 22. Todd Szegedy was the event’s pole winner.
• At Riverhead on June 29 Preece made it three victories in a row when he took yet another checkered flag. Ron Silk was the pole winner prior to the event.
• Doug Coby earned his first win of the season on July 13 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Jimmy Blewett was the event’s pole winner.
• Eric Goodale captured his first career pole and Justin Bonsignore earned his third career victory at Monadnock Speedway on July 27.
• Santos made it 3-for-3 in poles at Stafford on the year, but it was Coby who went on to take the checkered flag at the historic half mile on Aug. 2.
• Santos won from the pole at Thompson on Aug. 15.
• In the fifth annual combination race with the Whelen Southern Modified Tour at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 21, Donny Lia set fast time but it was Stefanik that drove to his first victory at the “World’s Fastest Half Mile.”