Whelen Motorsports

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour News & Notes: Waterford

NWMT • June 18, 2013

Mr. Rooter 161 Up Next At The Speedbowl

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 17, 2013) – The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour’s return to Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl was one of the feel-good moments of the 2012 season. The grandstands were packed, the parking lot overflowed and the track produced the typical competitive Modified action that it has come to be known for through the years. This week they’ll get to do it all over again with the second running of the Mr. Rooter 161 on Saturday, June 22.

After a five-year absence from the .375-mile oval, the Whelen Modified Tour’s return was the most-anticipated event of the 2012 season. The history at Waterford dated back to the beginning of the tour in 1985, and the winners list at the track includes names like champions Ted Christopher, Donny Lia, Mike McLaughlin, Jerry Marquis, Jimmy Spencer and Todd Szegedy. Doug Coby then added his name to both lists as he took the checkered flag in the Whelen Modified Tour’s return to Waterford en route to the season title.

In an effort to marry the Whelen Modified Tour’s past with the present, Waterford even selected a specific lap count for the event: 161 in tribute to the No. 61 Modified that the late Richie Evans piloted to a career that landed him in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. That tribute will once again be put into play with this year’s Mr. Rooter 161.

Waterford has historically produced parity among the race winners, with 14 different victors among the 18 races. This season’s first three events have each had different winners as well. As the Whelen Modified Tour turns the page from last year’s event at Waterford, and from last week’s race at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway, there are plenty of drivers to watch.

Ryan Preece and Rowan Pennink have been top-five finishers each of the first three races this season, and while Preece won last week at Stafford, Pennink remains poised to break through for a checkered flag. Some of top other candidates to make it four different winners in four races include Justin Bonsignore, Christopher, Coby and Ron Silk, who’ve all had strong starts to the season.

RACE: Mr. Rooter 161
PLACE: Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl
DATE: Saturday, June 22
TIME: 9 p.m. ET
TRACK LAYOUT: .375-mile, banked asphalt oval
2012 WINNER: Doug Coby
2012 POLESITTER: Ted Christopher
EVENT SCHEDULE: Practice 1:15-2:30 p.m., Qualifying 5 p.m., Driver Autograph Session 7 p.m.
TRACK CONTACT: Brian Darling, (860) 442-1585, bdarling@speedbowl.com

The Race: The Mr. Rooter 161 will be the fourth race on the 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule and the lone trip to Waterford Speedbowl.

The Procedure: The starting field is 28 cars, including provisionals. The first 23 cars will have secured starting positions based on two-lap qualifying. The remaining five spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race is scheduled for 161 laps (60.375 miles).

The Track: A .375-mile banked oval, Waterford Speedbowl opened for auto racing in 1951. A NASCAR Whelen All-American Series-sanctioned facility, Waterford holds weekly racing on Saturday nights, and has previously held 18 Whelen Modified Tour events.

Race Winners: There have been 14 different race winners in 18 all-time events at Waterford, led by four drivers with two victories. Five active drivers have won at the track: Ed Flemke Jr. (2), Donny Lia (2), Ted Christopher (1), Doug Coby (1) and Todd Szegedy (1).

Pole Winners: There have been 11 different pole winners at Waterford, led by Tony Hirschman’s four. Active drivers Christopher and Flemke have each captured poles at the track. Jerry Marquis set the qualifying record in 2006 at 13.618 seconds (99.133 mph).

Preece, Pennink Keeping Things Tight: After two races they were tied in the standings, and now three races deep into the 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season only six points separate Ryan Preece and Rowan Pennink. Preece broke the tie last week at Stafford Motor Speedway with the victory and the corresponding bonus points, but Pennink finished third to keep things tight. The two are the only drivers to record top-five finishes in each of the season’s first three races.

Coby Looks to Defend Waterford Win: Although it was his third win of the season, the Waterford triumph had the feeling of a defining moment in what would eventually become Doug Coby’s championship campaign. As the Whelen Modified Tour returns to the shoreline oval, Coby will look to recapture the magic that marked the beginning of his 2012 season. As of that Waterford win, the fifth race on last year’s schedule, he had recorded three victories and four top-five finishes. He’s registered four top-fives in the 12 races since.

Season Hits High Gear: After a run of 50 inactive days between the second and third races on the schedule due to three rainouts, the Mr. Rooter 161 at Waterford Speedbowl will be the second of three-consecutive weeks of action for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. The tour is not slated to have more than 13 days off between a race from now until the crossover from August to September.

Speedbowl Secures Marketing Partners for Mr. Rooter 161: Waterford Speedbowl partnered with Coca-Cola and Henny Penny convenience stores for a promotional contest centered around the Mr. Rooter 161 Whelen Modified Tour race at the .375-mile facility. Fans and convenience store patrons are encouraged to look for an in-store display at participating Henny Penny locations for their chance to enter the Mr. Rooter 161 ticket giveaway. In addition, a promotional appearance will take place on Thursday, June 20 at the Henny Penny location at 973 Hartford Turnpike (Route 85) in Waterford from 5-7 p.m.

HOME TRACKS: Rocco Out Front at Waterford
The four-time defending NASCAR Whelen All-American Series champion in the state of Connecticut, Keith Rocco is using his success this season at Waterford Speedbowl to keep the streak going. Through the racing action on June 15, Rocco had forged a 16-point lead on Todd Ceravolo in the track’s headlining SK Modified division with defending champ Tyler Chadwick in third, 42 points behind. Combined with his efforts at Stafford Motor Speedway and Thompson International Speedway in addition to Waterford, Rocco was once again in the Connecticut state points lead in the latest NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national points update on June 9.

The third race of the 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season was contested at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway on June 14. Here are some highlights of the TSI Harley-Davidson 125 presented by G-Oil:
Ryan Preece earned his sixth career Whelen Modified Tour victory, and second at Stafford. The previous triumph at his home track came in 2009. The win pushed him into sole possession of the tour points lead.
Ron Silk led the first 106 laps of the event, but had to settle for a runner-up finish to Preece.
Rowan Pennink came home third. He’s finished in the top five in each of the season’s first three races.
Prior to the race, Bobby Santos captured his 10th career Coors Light Pole Award.

NEXT TIME OUT: Riverhead
The first of two dates on the 2013 calendar for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway will be up next. The Hoosier Tire 200 is slated to be contested on the venerable Long Island quarter-mile on Saturday, June 29. It will mark the first Whelen Modified Tour date at Riverhead in the month of June since 2005, which is also the same year that Riverhead last welcomed the tour multiple times. Ryan Preece was victorious from the pole last year at Riverhead.