Uses Overtime Pass To Return To Whelen Modified Victory Lane
LOUDON, N.H. — For much of Saturday’s Eastern Propane & Oil 100, Bobby Santos was riding in the middle of the pack. The Franklin, Massachusetts, driver began his charge with 15 laps to go and then took advantage of overtime to drive to Victory Lane at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
It was Santos’ 15th career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win and second at the 1.058-mile oval.
“It’s pretty awesome to win here at New Hampshire,” Santos said. “I’m really excited for my team — Tinio Racing and everyone that got us here. The guys gave me a great car. They put me in position. I had a great long run car there at the end and I had a good battle with Ryan Preece.”
This one came with plenty of late-race drama.
Santos was locked in a four-race battle for the lead with Doug Coby, Ryan Preece and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Newman. Newman and Coby got together with two laps to go when Newman tried to split the difference between Coby and Santos and take second. The caution pushed the race to 105 laps and gave Santos the opportunity to make a run at Preece, who won Friday’s 35-lap non-points Whelen All-Star Shootout.
On the final green flag, Santos’ No. 44 Tinio Racing/ImperialCars.com Chevrolet powered by Preece from the bottom lane and drove away in the final two circuits.
Santos led just those two laps. He started second, but dropped back early and had to work back through the traffic in the middle of the race.
Preece, who led a race-high 54 laps, settled for second. It was the fifth top-five in six races for the Berlin, Connecticut driver and helped him close the gap to just 39 points to the top of the championship standings despite missing a race.
David Sapienza also made a late charge through the field and finished third, giving him his second straight podium finish on the Whelen Modified Tour. Brendon Bock scored a fourth place finish while Chase Dowling rounded out the top five.
Andy Seuss was sixth, followed by Ted Christopher, Max Zachem, Rowan Pennink and Shawn Solomito. Timmy Solomito, who entered the weekend as the points leader, was involved in a multiple-car crash at Lap 20 that took him out of the race. Pennink moved into first by seven over Timmy Solomito, with Eric Goodale 22 points behind. Max Zachem and Justin Bonsignore round out the top five, while Preece is sixth.
There were 16 lead changes among four different drivers.
The Eastern Propane And Oil 100 will air on NBCSN on Thursday, July 20, at 6 p.m.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to the track at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday, August 4.
Bobby Santos drove the No. 44 Tinio Racing/ImperialCars.com Chevrolet to the win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Saturday. Mike Ivins/NASCAR