Analyzing The Stafford 150 At Stafford Motor Speedway
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will headline this week’s racing action at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway with the Stafford 150 on Friday, Aug. 3. Below is a statistical look at the performance of series and selected drivers at the track:
Stafford Race Setup:
• Doug Coby has won the first two NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races of the year at Stafford Motor Speedway and brings the points lead into this week’s Stafford 150.
• Ted Christopher is the defending pole and race winner of the Stafford 150. He is currently without a full-time NWMT ride, but has secured a car for this week.
• Bobby Santos has finished on the podium in seven of his last nine Stafford appearances, including a runner-up effort from the pole in the May night race.
• Leading NWMT Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Keith Rocco, who has 42 career NASCAR Whelen All-American Series wins at Stafford, was recently injured in a practice accident and will not compete in the Stafford 150.
At Stafford Motor Speedway:
• The Stafford Springs Agricultural Park opened in 1870. The current race track was originally used for horse racing, which gave way to automobiles after World War II.
• Stafford Motor Speedway became a NASCAR track in 1959 and was paved in 1967.
• Stafford is one of nine tracks that have been a part of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program in each of its now 31 years of competition.
• The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour has held 104 races at Stafford since 1985. The NWMT has run there every year of its existence, except for 1988.
• The 104 all-time NWMT races at Stafford rank second only to the 117 held at Thompson International Speedway.
• There have been 31 different race winners at Stafford, led by Mike Stefanik’s 20 victories. Ted Christopher is the defending race winner while Doug Coby has been victorious in the first two events at the track this year.
• There have been 40 different pole winners at Stafford, led by Stefanik’s 17. Ryan Preece set the track qualifying record in the first visit there this year while Bobby Santos earned the pole in the May race.
• The Stafford 150 entry list features 11 drivers that have previously won at the track, including: Stefanik (20), Christopher (12), Todd Szegedy (4), Doug Coby (3), Ed Flemke Jr. (3), Donny Lia (3), Santos (3), Jimmy Blewett (2), Ryan Preece (1), Ron Silk (1) and Jamie Tomaino (1).
Stafford Motor Speedway Data
Race: #7 of 14 overall, #3 of 4 at SMS
Track Layout: .5-mile asphalt oval
• Race Length: 150 laps (75 miles)
• Banking/Turns 1 & 2: nine degrees
• Banking/Turns 3 & 4: 7.5 degrees
2011 Pole Winner: Ted Christopher
2011 Race Winner: Ted Christopher
Qualifying Record: Ryan Preece (17.924 seconds, 100.424 mph – 4/29/12)
Active Category Leaders at Stafford:
1. Mike Stefanik … 20
2. Ted Christopher … 12
3. Todd Szegedy … 4
4. Doug Coby … 3
Ed Flemke Jr. … 3
Donny Lia … 3
Bobby Santos … 3
1. Mike Stefanik … 17
2. Donny Lia … 7
3. Ted Christopher … 4
4. Bobby Santos … 3
5. Eight drivers with … 2
1. Mike Stefanik … 2,165
2. Ted Christopher … 2,083
3. Todd Szegedy … 801
4. Ed Flemke Jr. … 482
5. Doug Coby … 416
1. Jamie Tomaino … 103
2. Mike Stefanik … 89
3. Ed Flemke Jr. … 86
4. Ted Christopher … 78
5. Wade Cole … 44
Selected Driver Highlights:
Eric Beers (No. 45 Horwith Freightliner/John Blewett Inc. Ford)
• Has two wins, nine poles and 75 top 10s in 176 career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour starts.
• Is up to 10th in current season points with three top 10s in six starts and a best finish of fourth at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
• In 39 starts at Stafford Motor Speedway he has two poles, 19 top 10s, an average finish of 12th, and his best finish was second in the 2008 Spring Sizzler.
• Has finishes of 24th and 13th in the first two NWMT events at Stafford this year.
Jimmy Blewett (No. 76 John Blewett Inc./Ling Trucking Chevrolet)
• Has five wins, a pole and 29 top 10s in 91 career NWMT starts.
• Has three top 10s in six races this year. Had three top 10s across 16 races the two previous seasons.
• Has two wins and 11 top 10s in 26 career NWMT starts at Stafford with an average finish of 15th.
• Finished fifth and ninth in the first two events at Stafford this year.
• Also has a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified win at Stafford in the 2005 Fall Final.
Justin Bonsignore (No. 51 M3 Technology Chevrolet)
• Has a win, three poles and 19 top 10s in 36 career NWMT starts.
• Since gaining his first NWMT win last year at Riverhead Raceway, he has finished in the top 10 in 13 of 16 events.
• Has two poles and four top 10s in 10 career starts at Stafford with an average finish of 16th and a best result of sixth in this year’s Spring Sizzler. He finished 10th in the May night race.
Ted Christopher (No. 00 Sherm’s Towing/M&T Enterprises Chevrolet)
• The 2008 NWMT champion, he has 42 wins and 24 poles and 171 top 10s in 313 career starts. His 42 wins rank third all-time and his 24 poles are eighth. Has at least one win in the 13 previous seasons.
• In 78 NWMT starts at Stafford he has 12 wins, four poles, 42 top 10s, an average finish of 13th and 2,083 laps led.
• Finished 22nd and seventh in the first two NWMT races at Stafford this year.
• Had an average finish of 13th in six starts this year in the No. 36 with a best result of second in the opener at Thompson International Speedway.
• Is Stafford’s all-time wins leader across all divisions and series with 118. A seven-time NWAAS track champion in the SK Modifieds, he currently leads the division standings with three wins and eight top 10s in nine starts.
Doug Coby (No. 52 Reynolds Auto Wrkng/Furnace & Duct Chevrolet)
• Has five wins, four poles and 51 top 10s in 122 career starts.
• Points leader has three wins and five top fives in six races this year. Recorded two wins in 116 starts prior to the 2012 season.
• Two of his three wins this year have come in the previous two races at Stafford. He also won the 2006 Spring Sizzler there and has 12 top 10s in 30 career starts with an average finish of 15th.
• Has finished on the podium a career-best five races in a row. The previous best such streak of his career was two.
• Has 18 career NWAAS wins at Stafford across four divisions.
Donny Lia (No. 4 Mystic Missile Racing Dodge)
• The 2007 and 2009 champion, he has 15 wins, 15 poles and 59 top 10s in 119 career starts.
• Has three top 10s through six races with an average finish of 10th in his return to the NWMT this year.
• In 30 career starts at Stafford he has recorded three wins, seven poles, 17 top 10s and an average finish of 12th.
• His last NWMT win came in the 2009 Stafford Fall Final.
• In two starts at Stafford this year he has finishes of 14th and 20th.
Rowan Pennink (No. 93 Monk Mechanics Hand Cleaner Chevrolet)
• Has a win and 39 top 10s in 78 career starts.
• Has competed in five of six races this year with an average finish of eighth with a best result of fifth at Stafford in May.
• Has 11 top 10s in 20 career NWMT starts at Stafford with an average finish of 11th and a best result of second in the first two events there in 2011.
Woody Pitkat (No. 11 Spectro Performance Oils Ford)
• Has 22 top 10s in 59 career starts.
• A Stafford resident, he has posted seven top 10s in 16 NWMT starts at his hometown track with a best finish of seventh in 2009. He has finished eighth in each of the first two races there this year.
• Leads all NWMT drivers this year in average start-to-finish improvement at plus-10 positions per race.
• Has 61 career NWAAS wins at Stafford across three divisions. Currently leads the track’s NWAAS Late Model division standings with a pair of wins and top 10s in all nine starts.
Ryan Preece (No. 16 Diversified Metals/R.B. Enterprises Ford)
• Has four wins, nine poles and 37 top 10s in 73 career starts.
• In seven races with Flamingo Motorsports he has a win, four poles, three top 10s, and laps led in four of those events.
• Has a win, two poles, nine top 10s and an average finish of 14th in 20 career NWMT starts at Stafford.
• Set the track qualifying record in this year’s Spring Sizzler and finished second. Came home 11th there in May.
• The defending Stafford NWAAS track champion, he’s currently second to Ted Christopher in the SK Modified standings with a win and seven top 10s in nine starts. He has seven career wins in the division.
Bobby Santos (No. 44 Imperial Cars/Tinio Corp. Chevrolet)
• The 2010 NWMT champion has six wins, eight poles and 31 top 10s in 62 career starts.
• In 14 NWMT starts at Stafford he has three wins, three poles, eight top 10s and an average finish of 13th.
• Did not participate in this year’s Spring Sizzler, but won the pole and finished second in the May night race.
• Has finished on the podium in seven of his last nine Stafford starts, including all three of his wins at the track.
Ron Silk (No. 6 Reynolds Auto Wrecking/Schnitzer Chevrolet)
• The 2011 NWMT champion has eight wins, six poles and 57 top 10s in 103 career starts.
• Has five wins and 29 top 10s in 38 starts with TS Haulers Racing since they first joined forces in 2009.
• Has a win, two poles, 11 top 10s and an average finish of 16th in 27 career NWMT starts at Stafford.
• Has an average finish of fifth in his last eight starts at Stafford. Has finished fourth and third there this year.
• Has four career NWAAS SK Modified wins at Stafford.
Mike Stefanik (No. 66 Canto & Sons Paving/Willy’s Towing Ford)
• The 1989, 1991, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002 and 2006 NWMT champion.
• Holds NWMT records for most titles (seven), wins (72), poles (46), top fives (218) and top 10s (288).
• Won last time out at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Has won two of the last three races at that track.
• Leads all active drivers with 20 wins, 17 poles, 69 top 10s, an average finish of eighth and 2,165 laps led in 89 career starts at Stafford. Last win at the track came in the 2008 Fall Final.
• Has finished ninth and 26th in the first two races at Stafford this year.
• Has 14 additional career triumphs at Stafford, including a pair of NASCAR K&N Pro Series East victories.
Todd Szegedy (No. 2 Dunleavy Repair/A&J Romano Const. Ford)
• The 2003 NWMT champion has 17 wins, nine poles and 100 top 10s in 159 career starts.
• Has three top fives in six outings this year with a best finish of third at Monadnock Speedway.
• Has four wins, two poles, 26 top 10s and an average finish of ninth in 42 career starts at Stafford. Last win came in this race in 2010.
• Finished 12th and fourth in the first two Stafford races this year.
• Also has four career NWAAS SK Modified wins at Stafford.
Up to Speed:
• The 2012 season is the 28th for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
• The 2012 schedule features 14 races at seven different tracks across four states.
• Defending NWMT champion Ron Silk won the 2012 season-opener at Thompson International Speedway on April 15. Ryan Preece was the polesitter for the Icebreaker.
• Doug Coby joined a select group of multiple Spring Sizzler winners when he took the checkered flag at Stafford Motor Speedway on April 29. Preece set the track record in qualifying prior to the event.
• Preece made it 3-for-3 in qualifying as he took the pole in track record fashion at Monadnock Speedway on May 12 and made the top starting position stand up as he led every lap en route to the victory.
• Bobby Santos captured the pole and led nearly the entire race before Coby wrestled the lead away in the closing laps to take the checkered flag on May 25 at Stafford.
• In the NWMT’s return to Waterford Speedbowl following a six-year absence, Ted Christopher earned the pole, but it was Coby who stole the show to earn his third win of the season.
• Mike Stefanik earned his first win of the year when he edged polesitter Silk by .003 seconds at the line at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 14.
• The Riverhead 200, scheduled to be run on July 28 at Riverhead Raceway, was postponed due to rain until Sept. 15.
• Following the Stafford 150, the NWMT will return to action on Aug. 9 at Thompson International Speedway.