Analyzing The Sunoco-Town Fair Tire World Series
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will headline the racing action this weekend at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway in the Sunoco-Town Fair Tire World Series when it closes the 2012 season on Sunday, Oct. 14. Below is a statistical look at the performance of series and selected drivers at the track:
Thompson Race Setup:
• The champion of the 28th season of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will be crowned on Sunday at Thompson.
• Three drivers are mathematically eligible to earn the title: Doug Coby, Ryan Preece and Ron Silk. Coby or Preece would become the 16th different driver all-time to become a champion while Silk would become the first back-to-back titlist since Tony Hirschman in 2004-05.
• Ted Christopher’s last 17 starts at Thompson have included seven wins and an additional eight top-five finishes. He is one win shy of tying Mike Stefanik’s track record of 14 career wins and needs a win this week to extend his streak for consecutive seasons with a win to 14.
At Thompson International Speedway:
• Opened on May 26, 1940 as the largest and first entirely asphalt 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.
• Was an inaugural member track of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, now in its 31st season, and features weekly competition with six divisions. Ryan Preece has earned the 2012 track championship.
• Thompson has played host to 119 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races, the most in the Tour’s 28 seasons.
• There have been 32 different race winners at Thompson, led by Mike Stefanik’s 14 victories.
• There have been 40 different pole winners at Thompson, led by Tony Hirschman’s 13.
• Jamie Tomaino has competed in all 119 previous NWMT races at Thompson.
• Glen Reen won this event last year while Ron Silk, Donny Lia and Justin Bonsignore have been victorious in the first three points races at the track this year. Ted Christopher won the exhibition UNOH Showdown.
• The Sunoco-Town Fair Tire World Series is expected to have 10 drivers entered who have won at Thompson during their careers: Stefanik (14), Ted Christopher (13), Ed Flemke Jr. (4), Ron Silk (4), Donny Lia (3), Todd Szegedy (3), Bobby Santos (2), Eric Beers (1), Justin Bonsignore (1) and Doug Coby (1).
Race: #14 of 14 overall, #4 of 4 at Thompson
Track Layout: .625-mile asphalt oval
• Race Length: 150 laps (93.75 miles)
• Banking/Corners: 26 degrees
Qualifying Record: Bobby Santos (18.237 seconds, 123.376 mph – 4/10/11)
2011 Pole Winner: Ryan Preece
2011 Race Winner: Glen Reen
Active Category Leaders at Thompson
1. Mike Stefanik … 14
2. Ted Christopher … 13
3. Ed Flemke Jr. … 4
Ron Silk … 4
5. Donny Lia … 3
Todd Szegedy … 3
1. Mike Stefanik … 8
2. Ted Christopher … 7
3. Ed Flemke Jr. … 4
Ryan Preece … 4
4. Donny Lia … 3
Bobby Santos … 3
Todd Szegedy … 3
1. Mike Stefanik … 1,843
2. Ted Christopher … 1,723
3. Donny Lia … 497
4. Ed Flemke Jr. … 450
5. Todd Szegedy … 392
1. Jamie Tomaino … 119
2. Mike Stefanik … 104
3. Ed Flemke Jr. … 91
4. Ted Christopher … 78
5. Wade Cole … 74
• Doug Coby leads Ryan Preece by 17 points and Ron Silk by 18 points. They are the only three drivers in contention for the 2012 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship.
• Even with a win by Preece or Silk, if Coby finishes 13th or better in the Sunoco-Town Fair Tire World Series at Thompson International Speedway, he will become the 2012 NWMT champion.
• With a maximum 32-car field, if Coby finished last with no laps led, he could still win the title if Preece finished 15th or worse and Silk 14th or worse.
• This will be the first NWMT championship determined by the 43-to-1 points system where points are awarded by decreasing increments of one point per finishing position along with three bonus points for a race win, one point for a lap led and one additional point for the most laps led. The most points a driver could earn is 48 if they won the race with the most laps led.
Selected Driver Highlights:
Eric Beers (No. 45 Horwith Freightliner/John Blewett Inc. Ford)
• Has two wins, nine poles and 78 top 10s in 183 career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour starts.
• Is eighth in points with six top 10s in 13 starts and a best finish of fourth on two occasions.
• In 46 starts at Thompson International Speedway he has a win, a pole, 18 top 10s, an average finish of 15th. His win came in the September 2006 race.
• Has an average finish of 13th in three races at Thompson this year.
Jimmy Blewett (No. 76 John Blewett Inc./Ling Trucking Chevrolet)
• Has five wins, two poles and 32 top 10s in 99 career NWMT starts.
• Has six top 10s in 13 races this year and ranks seventh in points.
• Has seven top 10s in 26 career NWMT starts at Thompson with an average finish of 17th and a best effort of second in the 2006 World Series and 2009 Icebreaker.
• Has an average finish of 10th in three races at Thompson this year.
Justin Bonsignore (No. 51 M3 Technology Chevrolet)
• Has two wins, three poles and 24 top 10s in 45 career NWMT starts.
• Since gaining his first NWMT win last year at Riverhead Raceway, he has finished in the top 10 in 16 of 22 events.
• In 10 career starts at Thompson he’s posted three top 10s with an average finish of 17th with five DNFs.
• Won at Thompson in September and has an average finish of 13th in three races there this year.
Ted Christopher (No. 82 M&T Enterprises Ford)
• The 2008 NWMT champion, he has 42 wins and 24 poles and 175 top 10s in 320 career starts. His 42 wins rank third all-time and his 24 poles are eighth.
• Thompson will mark the fourth-different team he has run with this year. Ranks ninth in points with seven top 10s through the first 13 races.
• Has 13 wins, seven poles and 42 top 10s in 78 career NWMT starts at Thompson with an average finish of 13th. His win total is one shy of tying Mike Stefanik for the track record.
• Has finished in the top five in 15 of the last 17 events at Thompson, including seven wins.
• Had a streak of 11-consecutive races at Thompson with laps led from 2008-11.
• Is a four-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track champion at Thompson out of the Sunoco Modified division, where he’s notched two wins so far this year.
• Has 98 career victories at Thompson, unofficially, entering this week’s event.
• Needs a win this week at Thompson to extend his streak for consecutive seasons with a victory to 14. Has an average finish of fourth in three races at Thompson this year.
Doug Coby (No. 52 Reynolds Auto Wrecking/Furnace & Duct Supply Chevrolet)
• Has seven wins, four poles and 55 top 10s in 129 career starts.
• Points leader has five wins and eight podium finishes in 13 races this year. Recorded two wins in 116 starts prior to the 2012 season.
• Is one of three drivers mathematically eligible to win the 2012 NWMT title. He’s 17 points ahead of Ryan Preece and 18 in front of Ron Silk.
• Has six wins and 21 top 10s in 30 starts with the No. 52 team since the end of the 2010 season.
• Has a win and 16 top 10s in 35 NWMT starts at Thompson with an average finish of 13th. His win came in the 2011 UNOH Showdown.
• Has an average finish of eighth in three races at Thompson this year.
Donny Lia (No. 4 Mystic Missile Racing Dodge)
• The 2007 and 2009 champion, he has 16 wins, 16 poles and 64 top 10s in 126 career starts.
• Has a win and nine top 10s through 13 races with an average finish of ninth. Is coming off of four top 10s in a row entering Thompson.
• In 28 career starts at Thompson he has recorded three wins, three poles, 12 top 10s and an average finish of 14th.
• Has an average finish of fourth in three Thompson races this year, including a win in the August contest.
Rowan Pennink (No. 93 Monk Mechanics Hand Cleaner Chevrolet)
• Has a win and 41 top 10s in 85 career starts.
• Ranks 11th in points this year despite missing a race. Has six top 10s in 12 starts.
• Has 14 top 10s in 23 career NWMT starts at Thompson with an average finish of 11th and a best result of second in the 2011 Icebreaker. Has top-10 finishes in 13 of his last 16 races at the track.
• Has an average finish of 12th at Thompson in three 2012 starts.
Woody Pitkat (No. 79 Hill Enterprises/Coors Light Pontiac)
• Has 25 top 10s in 63 career starts.
• Has five top 10s in eight appearances this season. Best finish came last time out at Stafford when he led a career-high 128 laps and was the race runner-up.
• Has three top 10s, an average finish of 18th and a best result of seventh in 18 career starts at Thompson. Has an average finish of 19th in two NWMT races there this year.
• Won four NWAAS Sunoco Modified races this year at Thompson.
Ryan Preece (No. 16 East West Marine/Diversified Metals Ford)
• Has five wins, 12 poles and 43 top 10s in 80 career starts.
• Is one of three drivers mathematically eligible to win the 2012 NWMT title. He’s 17 points behind leader Doug Coby and one ahead of Ron Silk.
• In 14 races with Flamingo Motorsports he has two wins, seven poles, nine top 10s, and laps led in eight of those outings.
• Has four poles, 10 top 10s and an average finish of 14th in 21 career NWMT starts at Thompson. He has been a runner-up at Thompson three times.
• Has an average finish of 12th in three NWMT races at Thompson this year.
• Is the 2012 NWAAS Sunoco Modified division champion at Thompson on the strength of 10 wins in 18 races.
Keith Rocco (No. 3 Cape Cod Copper/Silver Dollar Construction Chevrolet)
• Has six top-10 finishes in 12 career NWMT starts with a best finish of third in this year’s Stafford Spring Sizzler.
• Will clinch the 2012 NWMT Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award if he takes the green flag Sunday at Thompson.
• Has an average finish of 13th in four career NWMT starts at Thompson with a best result of fifth in 2009.
• Finished as the 2012 NWAAS national runner-up for the third time in the last four years and won it all in 2010.
• Also captured his fifth-straight NWAAS Connecticut state title this year.
• The 2007 and 2009 NWAAS track champion at Thompson, he had two wins in Sunoco Modifieds this year.
Bobby Santos (No. 44 ImperialCars.com/Tinio Corp. Chevrolet)
• The 2010 NWMT champion has seven wins, eight poles and 34 top 10s in 67 career starts.
• Won last time out at Stafford and has four top 10s in eight starts in a part-time role this season.
• Has two wins, three poles, 14 top 10s and an average finish of 14th in 24 career starts at Thompson. Wins came in the 2007 World Series and 2011 Icebreaker.
• Has an average finish of ninth in three races this year at Thompson.
Ron Silk (No. 6 Calverton Tree Farm/TS Haulers Chevrolet)
• The 2011 NWMT champion has nine wins, seven poles and 62 top 10s in 110 career starts.
• Is one of three drivers mathematically eligible to win the 2012 NWMT title. He’s 17 points behind leader Doug Coby and one back of Ryan Preece.
• Has six wins and 34 top 10s in 45 starts with TS Haulers Racing since they first joined forces in 2009. He’s led laps in 21 of those races and has just five DNFs during the span.
• Has four wins, 18 top 10s and an average finish of 12th in 30 career starts at Thompson. Has finished in the top 10 in 13 of his last 16 starts at the track.
• Won this year’s season-opening Icebreaker, finished second in the August race and 18th in September.
• Is looking to become just the fourth different driver to earn back-to-back NWMT titles. Jimmy Spencer was the first to accomplish the feat while Tony Hirschman and Mike Stefanik have each done it twice.
Mike Stefanik (No. 66 Town Line Farm/Cady’s Tavern 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 (291).
• Leads all drivers with 14 wins, 65 top 10s and 1,843 laps led at Thompson. Also has nine poles and an average finish of 11th in 104 career starts at the track. His last win there came in the 2006 Icebreaker, a drought of 27 races.
• Earned the pole at Thompson in August and has an average finish of fifth in three races there this year.
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 166 career starts.
• Has seven top fives in 13 outings this year with a best finish of second at Bristol.
• Has three wins, three poles, 19 top 10s and an average finish of 13.5 in 39 career starts at Thompson. Last win there came in September 2008.
• Has an average finish of 14th in three races this year at Thompson.
• Will look for his first 2012 win in the Thompson finale. In nine previous full-time seasons he failed to gain at least one win only once (2009).
Ron Yuhas Jr. (No. 64 Hughes Motors/Complete Const. Chevrolet)
• Has 14 top 10s in 48 career NWMT starts with a best finish of third at Thompson in 2007.
• Ranks 10th in the season standings with five top 10s and a best finish of fourth at Waterford.
• Has five top 10s and an average finish of 16th in 16 career starts at Thompson. Has an average finish of 14th in three appearances there this season.
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.
• Santos earned his first win of the season last time out at Stafford on Sept. 30. Jimmy Blewett was the pole winner.
Sources: Jason Cunningham/NASCAR WMT PR