Analyzing The CARQUEST Fall Final At Stafford Motor Speedway
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will return to Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway for the fourth and final time in 2012 for the CARQUEST Fall Final on Sunday, Sept. 30. Below is a statistical look at the performance of series and selected drivers at the track:
Stafford Race Setup:
• Doug Coby, the season points leader, has won each of the first three Whelen Modified Tour races at Stafford this year.
• Ted Christopher is the defending winner of the CARQUEST Fall Final and the track’s all-time wins leader across all divisions and series.
• The Tour’s all-time wins leader, Mike Stefanik is also the Stafford record-holder for victories with 20. His last there came in the 2008 Fall Final, an event he has won six times, also a record.
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 105 races at Stafford since 1985. The NWMT has run there every year of its existence, except for 1988.
• The 105 all-time NWMT races at Stafford rank second only to the 119 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 three 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 and Preece again in August.
• The CARQUEST Fall Final entry list features 11 drivers that have previously won at the track, including: Stefanik (20), Christopher (12), Doug Coby (4), Todd Szegedy (4), 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: #13 of 14 overall, #4 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: Justin Bonsignore
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
Doug Coby … 4
5. 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
Ryan Preece … 3
1. Mike Stefanik … 2,165
2. Ted Christopher … 2,083
3. Todd Szegedy … 801
4. Doug Coby … 518
5. Ed Flemke Jr. … 482
1. Jamie Tomaino … 104
2. Mike Stefanik … 90
3. Ed Flemke Jr. … 87
4. Ted Christopher … 79
5. Wade Cole … 45
Selected Driver Highlights:
Eric Beers (No. 45 Horwith Freightliner/John Blewett Inc. Ford)
• Has two wins, nine poles and 78 top 10s in 182 career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour starts.
• Is seventh in points with five top 10s in 12 starts and a best finish of fourth on two occasions.
• Has two poles, 11 top 10s, an average finish of 12th and a best result of second (2008 Spring Sizzler) in 40 career starts at Stafford Motor Speedway. Has finishes of 24th, 13th and fourth there this year.
Jimmy Blewett (No. 76 John Blewett Inc./Ling Trucking Chevrolet)
• Has five wins, a pole and 31 top 10s in 97 career NWMT starts.
• Has five top 10s in 12 races this year to rank ninth in points.
• Has two wins, 12 top 10s and an average finish of 14.5 in 27 career starts at Stafford. Has finishes of fifth, ninth and second there this year.
Justin Bonsignore (No. 51 M3 Technology Chevrolet)
• Has two wins, three poles and 24 top 10s in 44 career NWMT starts.
• Since gaining his first NWMT win last year at Riverhead Raceway, he has finished in the top 10 in 16 of 21 events.
• In 11 races at Stafford he has two poles, five top 10s, an average finish of 15th. Those poles have come in the two previous Fall Finals.
• This year at Stafford he has finishes of sixth (track career-best), 10th and 10th again.
Ted Christopher (No. 3 Eastport Feeds Chevrolet)
• The 2008 NWMT champion, he has 42 wins, 24 poles and 175 top 10s in 319 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.
• Is eighth in 2012 driver points with seven top 10s in 12 starts. Won the exhibition UNOH Showdown at Thompson.
• In 78 NWMT starts at Stafford he has 12 wins, four poles, 43 top 10s, an average finish of 13th and 2,083 laps led.
• Won the Fall Final in 2001 and 2011.
• Has finishes of 22nd, seventh and fifth in the first three NWMT races at Stafford this year.
• 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 four wins and 15 top 10s in 16 starts.
Doug Coby (No. 52 Reynolds Auto Wrecking/Furnace & Duct Supply Chevrolet)
• Has seven wins, four poles and 54 top 10s in 128 career starts.
• Points leader has five wins and eight podium finishes in 12 races this year. Recorded two wins in 116 starts prior to the 2012 season.
• Has six wins and 20 top 10s in 29 starts with the No. 52 team since the end of the 2010 season.
• Has won each of the three previous Stafford races this year. No driver has swept all four events in a season at Stafford. His success this year marks the sixth time a driver has gained three wins at the track in one season.
• Overall, Coby has four wins, two poles, 13 top 10s and an average finish of 15th in 31 career starts at Stafford.
• Has 18 career NWAAS wins at Stafford across four divisions.
Matt Hirschman (No. 50 Heritage Wide Plank Flooring Chevrolet)
• Has two wins, three poles and 38 top 10s in 74 career NWMT starts.
• Finished eighth last week at New Hampshire in his first NWMT appearance of the year. He finished second in this car in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour race at Thompson on Sept. 9.
• Has a pole, 13 top 10s, an average finish of ninth and a best result of second (2008 Fall Final) in 18 career NWMT races at Stafford.
Donny Lia (No. 4 Mystic Missile Racing Dodge)
• The 2007 and 2009 champion, he has 16 wins, 16 poles and 63 top 10s in 125 career starts.
• Ranks fourth in points with a win, a pole and eight top 10s through 12 races with an average finish of ninth in his return to the NWMT this year.
• Has three wins, seven poles, 17 top 10s and an average finish of 12th in 31 career starts at Stafford. Won the 2009 Fall Final and has finishes of 14th, 20th and 16th there this year.
Rowan Pennink (No. 93 Monk Mechanics Hand Cleaner Chevrolet)
• Has a win and 41 top 10s in 84 career starts.
• Ranks 11th in points this year despite missing a race. Has six top 10s in 11 starts.
• Has 11 top 10s in 21 starts at Stafford with an average finish of 11.5 and a best result of second, twice, in 21 starts.
Woody Pitkat (No. 79 Hill Enterprises/Coors Light Pontiac)
• Has 23 top 10s in 62 career NWMT starts.
• Has four top 10s in seven starts this year.
• Has eight top 10s, an average finish of 16th and a best result of seventh (2009 Spring Sizzler) in 17 Stafford starts.
• Has 64 career NWAAS wins at Stafford across three divisions.
Ryan Preece (No. 16 East West Marine/Diversified Metals Ford)
• Has five wins, 12 poles and 42 top 10s in 79 career starts.
• In 13 races with Flamingo Motorsports he has two wins, seven poles, eight top 10s, and laps led in eight of those events. Both wins and six of those poles have been earned this year.
• Is the first driver to record six poles in a season since Tony Hirschman earned seven in 2005.
• Has a win, three poles, 10 top 10s and an average finish of 13th in 21 career NWMT starts at Stafford.
• Set the track qualifying record in this year’s Spring Sizzler and finished second. Came home 11th and sixth in the two night races.
• Last year’s NWAAS track champion at Stafford, he’s currently fourth in the SK Modified standings with two wins and 13 top 10s in 17 starts. He has eight career wins in the division.
Bobby Santos (No. 44 ImperialCars.com/Tinio Corporation Chevrolet)
• The 2010 NWMT champion has six wins, eight poles and 33 top 10s in 66 career starts.
• Has a pole and three top 10s in seven appearances this year in a part-time role.
• Has three wins, three poles, eight top 10s and an average finish of 14th in 15 career starts at Stafford. Has finishes of 27th, second and 27th again in the first three races there this year. Was the 2010 Fall Final winner.
Ron Silk (No. 6 TS Haulers/Calverton Tree Farm Chevrolet)
• The 2011 NWMT champion has nine wins, seven poles and 61 top 10s in 109 career starts.
• Is third in points – 24 behind Doug Coby – on the strength of two wins and nine top 10s in 12 races.
• Has six wins and 33 top 10s in 44 starts with TS Haulers Racing since they first joined forces in 2009. He’s led laps in 20 of those races and has just five DNFs during the span.
• Has a win (May 2011), two poles, 11 top 10s and an average finish of 16th in 28 career starts at Stafford. This year he has finishes of fourth, third and 22nd at the track.
• Has four career NWAAS SK Modified wins at Stafford.
Mike Stefanik (No. 66 Canto & Sons Paving/Robert B. Our Co. Ford)
• The 1989, 1991, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002 and 2006 NWMT champion.
• Holds NWMT records for most titles (seven), wins (72), poles (47), top fives (219) and top 10s (290).
• Is 13th in points this year with six top 10s in 11 outings. Did not attend the race at Riverhead.
• Leads all active drivers with 20 wins, 17 poles, 69 top 10s, an average finish of eighth and 2,165 laps led in 90 career starts at Stafford. Last win at the track came in the 2008 Fall Final, a race he’s won a total of six times.
• Has finished ninth, 26th and 19th in the first three 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 105 top 10s in 165 career starts.
• Has seven top fives in 12 outings this year with a best finish of second at Bristol.
• Has four wins, two poles, 27 top 10s and an average finish of ninth in 43 career starts at Stafford.
• Will be looking for his first Fall Final win after finishes of 12th, fourth and third there so far 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.
• Coby made it three-for-three at Stafford in 2012 when he won the Stafford 150 on Aug. 3. Preece earned his fourth pole of the season prior to the race.
• Stefanik earned his first pole of the season and Donny Lia his first race win of the year in the Budweiser King of Beers 150 on Aug. 9.
• Silk was the driver to beat at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 22 when he sat on the pole and took checkers in the fourth annual combination race with the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour.
• Justin Bonsignore captured his first checkered flag of the season and Preece added yet another pole award in the Town Fair Tire Northern 75 on Sept. 9 at Thompson. Christopher followed that with a victory in the UNOH Showdown exhibition combo race with the NWSMT.
• Preece won from the pole for the second time this year when he took the checkers at Riverhead Raceway on Sept. 15 in an event that was rescheduled from a July rainout.
• Coby drove to his fifth victory of the season, and first of his career at New Hampshire, when he won at the “Magic Mile” on Sept. 22. Lia was the event’s pole winner.
• Following the CARQUEST Fall Final, the NWMT will close out the 2012 season with the Sunoco-Town Fair Tire World Series at Thompson on Oct. 14.
Sources: Jason Cunningham/NASCAR WMT PR