Analyzing The Whelen Modified Tour at Thompson
Daytona Beach, FL — The second of four races for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway in 2011 is on tap for Thursday, June 30 with the Budweiser ‘King of Beers’ 150.
Selected Driver Highlights:
Eric Beers (No. 45 Chevrolet)
• Has two wins, nine poles and 63 top 10s in 158 career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour starts.
• Is fifth in points with two top 10s in four races.
• Has a win, a pole, 15 top 10s and an average finish of 16th in 40 career starts at Thompson International Speedway.
Justin Bonsignore (No. 51 Chevrolet)
• The 2010 Sunoco Rookie of the Year.
• Has two poles and eight top 10s in 20 career starts.
• Is 13th in points with two top fives in four races.
• Has an average finish of 20th in four career starts at TIS with a best effort of fifth.
Ted Christopher (No. 36 Chevrolet)
• The 2008 NWMT champion … Has 39 wins and 22 poles in 297 career starts … His 39 wins rank third all-time and his 22 poles are eighth … Has at least one win in 13-straight seasons.
• Is third in points with top 10s in all four races and a win in the Icebreaker at TIS.
• Has 12 wins, six poles, 37 top 10s and an average finish of 13th in 72 NWMT starts at TIS.
• Has led laps in 11-consecutive NWMT races at TIS and 1,714 of the 9,428 laps in his career.
• Is a five-time TIS track champion out of the Sunoco Modified division – including 2010 – and has more than 90 overall career victories at the track.
James Civali (No. 79 Pontiac)
• The 2006 NWMT Sunoco Rookie of the Year.
• Has four wins, a pole and 32 top 10s in 61 career starts.
• Is 12th in points with two top 10s in four races this year.
• Has a win, a pole, seven top 10s and an average finish of 17th in 18 career starts at TIS.
Doug Coby (No. 52 Chevrolet)
• Has a win, three poles and 37 top 10s in 104 career starts.
• Is 11th in points with two top 10s in four races this year.
• Has 12 top 10s, an average finish of 14th and a best finish of third – twice – in 29 starts at TIS.
Matt Hirschman (No. 3 Chevrolet)
• Has two wins, three poles and 33 top 10s in 61 career starts.
• Is fifth in points with top-10 finishes in all four races this year.
• Has seven top 10s, an average finish of 16th and a best of second in 18 career starts at TIS.
Rowan Pennink (No. 93 Chevrolet)
• Has a win and 29 top 10s in 61 career starts.
• Is the points leader with three runner-up finishes and an additional top 10 in four races this year.
• Has 10 top 10s, an average finish of 10th and a best finish of second in 17 starts at TIS.
Erick Rudolph (No. 98 Chevrolet)
• Has a win, a pole and 22 top 10s in 39 career starts.
• Is seventh in points with three top 10s in four outings.
• Has three top 10s, a best finish of fifth and an average finish of 18th in nine starts at TIS.
Bobby Santos (No. 4 Dodge)
• Earned the 2010 NWMT championship in his first full-time season.
• Has six wins, five poles and 25 top 10s in 47 career starts.
• Is eighth in points with two top 10s in four races, including a win in the Spring Sizzler.
• Has two wins, three poles, 10 top 10s and an average finish of 16th in 18 starts at TIS.
Ron Silk (No. 6 Chevrolet)
• Has five wins, four poles and 43 top 10s in 85 career starts.
• Is second in points with three top 10s in four races, including a win at Stafford Motor Speedway.
• Has three wins, 14 top 10s and an average of 13th in 24 TIS starts.
Mike Stefanik (No. 16 Pontiac)
• The 1989, 1991, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002 and 2006 NWMT champion.
• Holds NWMT records for most titles (7), wins (70), poles (46), top fives (213) and top 10s (279).
• Is fourth in 2011 points with three top 10s in four races.
• Has a record 14 wins, eight poles, 61 top 10s and an average finish of 11th in 98 starts at TIS. It has been 21 races since his last TIS win – the 2006 Icebreaker – tied for his longest drought.
Todd Szegedy (No. 2 Ford)
• The 2003 NWMT champion.
• Has 15 wins, eight poles and 88 top 10s in 141 career starts.
• Is ninth in points with a pair of top 10s and a win from the pole at Monadnock Speedway.
• Has three wins, three poles, 15 top 10s and an average finish of 14th in 33 starts at TIS.
Ron Yuhas Jr. (No. 64 Chevrolet)
• Has eight top 10s in 29 career starts.
• Is 10th in points with a pair of top 10s in four outings.
• Has four top 10s, an average finish of 17th and a best finish of third in 12 starts at TIS.
Miscellaneous Driver Notes:
• Ed Flemke Jr. will attempt to extend his record for consecutive starts to 343 races.
• Jamie Tomaino will attempt to extend his record for overall starts to 530. He has started all 113 all-time races at TIS.
• The last two races have been won flag-to-flag by Ron Silk and Todd Szegedy. The last time that happened was by Jeff Fuller at Martinsville Speedway (4/28/90) and at Stafford Motor Speedway (5/25/90), and just the third time since 1989 when lap leaders started to be recorded consistently.
• Six drivers have completed all 650 laps run so far this year: Eric Beers, Ted Christopher, Matt Hirschman, Rowan Pennink, Mike Stefanik and Ron Yuhas Jr.
Up to Speed:
• The 2011 schedule features 16 races at eight tracks across four states. The NWMT will make its international debut this year with a race at Delaware (Ont.) Speedway in Canada.
• Bobby Santos broke his own track record in qualifying for the season opener at Thompson International Speedway while Ted Christopher took the checkered flag in the Icebreaker on April 10.
• Doug Coby was the pole winner at Stafford Motor Speedway for the Spring Sizzler and Santos took home the checkered flag on May 1.
• Ron Silk won from the pole at SMS on May 27.
• Todd Szegedy followed Silk’s example as he captured the pole and led all 175 laps en route to victory at Monadnock Speedway on June 26. The race was postponed a day due to rain.
At Thompson International Speedway:
• Opened on May 26, 1940 as the first all-asphalt racing surface in the United States, and the largest track in New England at the time.
• Has one of the oldest NASCAR affiliations in the nation.
• Held NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in 1951, 1969 and 1970.
• Has played host to 113 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races, the most of any facility in the Tour’s 27 years of competition.
• There have been 29 different race winners at TIS, led by Mike Stefanik’s 14 victories.
• There have been 39 different pole winners at TIS, led by Tony Hirschman’s 13.
• Features six NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions as part of the “Thursday Night Thompson Thunder.”
• The Budweiser ‘King of Beers’ 150 race date has moved from August in recent seasons to the June date in 2011.
• Ted Christopher is the defending pole and race winner of the Budweiser 150 and he has won six of the last eight overall races at TIS, including the 2010 Icebreaker.
• The preliminary entry list for the Budweiser 150 features eight drivers who have won at TIS during their careers: Stefanik (14), Christopher (12), Ed Flemke Jr. (4), Ron Silk (3), Todd Szegedy (3), Santos (2), Eric Beers (1) and James Civali (1).
Qualifying Record: Bobby Santos (122.163 mph, 18.418 seconds – 4/11/10)
2010 Pole Winner: Ted Christopher (120.812 mph, 18.624 seconds)
2010 Race Winner: Ted Christopher (94.228 mph, 1:02.05)
NWMT Active Win Leaders at TIS
1. Mike Stefanik … 14
2. Ted Christopher … 12
3. Ed Flemke Jr. … 4
4. Ron Silk … 3
Todd Szegedy … 3
NWMT Active Pole Leaders at TIS
1. Mike Stefanik … 8
2. Ted Christopher … 6
3. Ed Flemke Jr. … 4
4. Bobby Santos … 3
Todd Szegedy … 3
Sources: Jason Cunningham, NASCAR WMT PR