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STAFFARD SPRINGS, CT - APRIL 29: NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Spring Sizzler at Stafford Springs Motor Speedway on Sunday, April 29, 2018 in Stafford Springs, Connecticut.  (Photo by Michael Ivins for NASCAR)
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to Stafford Motor Speedway this weekend for the 48th annual NAPA Spring Sizzler. (Michael Ivins/NASCAR)

PIT BOX: Whelen Modified Tour Headlines Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler at Stafford

After two weeks off, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour teams are back in action this weekend in Connecticut. The 48th annual NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 will take place on Sunday — but teams will practice and qualify on Saturday.

The Whelen Modified Tour helps begin another season of racing at the historic half-mile, as the five NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions also open their schedule. The visit is the first of three for the Whelen Modified Tour this season.


NAPA SPRING SIZZLER 200 AT STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY

Doug Coby may lead the championship standings after the first three NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races, but the rest of the field isn’t far behind.

2019 Sizzler Logo1Over his 17 year past, Coby, who grew up racing at Stafford and won championships in the weekly series before moving to the Whelen Modified Tour, has taken that success and run with it. In 54 Whelen Modified Tour starts at Stafford, Coby has 11 victories and three of them in the NAPA Spring Sizzler — including top 10 runs in over 60 percent of his starts. He won six consecutive poles at Stafford from October 2015 through April ’17, and has started from the top spot in nine races.

WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR: 2019 Schedule | Race Center

Fresh off his first win of the season in his effort to repeat as champion, Justin Bonsignore is entering Stafford looking to turn his previous luck around. With a best finish of second in 34 previous starts, Bonsignore has yet to master the half-mile, but did win the pole there last September en route to clinching the series championship that day. With crew chief Ryan Stone, Bonsignore finished seventh, eighth and 12th in the three races there last year driving the No. 51 Phoenix Communications Inc. Chevrolet, and he has admitted it’s one of the few tracks where he might need a bit of improvement.

With Burt Myers, who currently sits fourth in the standings, moving to the weekly Whelen All-American Series action at Bowman Gray Stadium, veteran Jeff Rocco returns to action driving the No. 1 Dunleavy Truck and Trailer Repair Chevrolet for Eddie Harvey.

Joey Cipriano, a regular in Stafford’s SK Modified division, will make his Whelen Modified Tour debut on Sunday, while Chase Dowling, who cut his teeth racing in Stafford’s Modified ranks, will return to action driving for Jamie Tomaino. Dowling finished second in the Whelen Modified Tour point standings last year.

RACE FACTS

RACE NAPA Spring Sizzler 200
PLACE Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford, Conn.
DATE Sunday, April 28
TIME 3:30 p.m. (approx.)
TELEVISION FansChoice.TV, 3:30 p.m. (live streaming)
TRACK LAYOUT Half-mile paved asphalt oval
2018 WINNER Ryan Preece
2018 POLE Chase Dowling
EVENT SCHEDULE SATURDAY: Garage Opens: 8:15 a.m., First Practice: 11-11:40 a.m., Final Practice: 12:20-1 p.m., Group Qualifying: 2:30 p.m., Garage Closes: 4 p.m.

SUNDAY: Garage Opens: 9:30 a.m., Driver Autograph Session: 11-11:50 a.m., NAPA Spring Sizzler 200: 3:30 p.m. (approx.)

TWITTER @StaffordSpeedwy, @NASCARHomeTrack
HASHTAG #NWMT, #NAPASpringSizzler

RACE CENTER | ENTRY LIST |SCHEDULE & TICKETS

CREW CHIEF HANDOUT: 

The starting field for the NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 is limited to 33 starters, including provisional positions. The first 27 drivers will secure starting positions based on the group qualifying process. The remaining six positions will be awarded through the provisional process.

NASCAR group qualifying is in place for this event. Qualifying order will be determined by each vehicle’s fastest single lap from the official practice sessions. The number of qualifying groups will be determined by NASCAR. Each group qualifying session will be five (5) minutes in duration and the fastest single lap speed of each vehicle will determine the first 27 starting positions.

Adjustments or repairs may not be made on a vehicle after the vehicle enters the track to begin the qualifying session. Vehicles may not return to the track to make any further qualifying laps unless directed to do so by a NASCAR Official or in the event of a caution. Once a vehicle’s qualifying attempt is complete, the vehicle must proceed directly to the designated impound area once it enters pit road. In the event of a caution, all vehicles must exit the track.

The maximum tire allotment available for this event is eleven (11) tires per team. Four (4) tires must be used for qualifying and to begin the race. The tire change is four (4) tires, any position.


MEDIA CENTER

NASCAR.com: Joey Cipriano Going From Stafford Victory Lane to Whelen Modified Tour Debut | Ryan Preece Returning To Whelen Modified Tour Action at Thompson

RacedayCT.com: Doug Coby Leads Whelen Modified Tour To NAPA Spring Sizzler at Stafford | Woody Pitkat Looking Forward Following Two Podium Runs at Thompson Icebreaker

Speed51.com: Historic Amount of Modified Racing at Riverhead | Mike Christopher Jr. Carrying on the Christopher Legacy

Short Track Scene: Bowman Gray Season-Opener Postponed by Rain | Woody Pitkat Running Sunoco Modifieds and Late Models in 2019