Whelen Motorsports

Santos Returns To Victory Lane At Thompson

NWMT • June 16, 2016

Wins Thompson 125 With Last-Lap Pass

Thompson, Conn. (June 15, 2016) -- It had been long enough since Bobby Santos had been to Victory Lane that he was wondering whether he would ever get back.

It only took one lap Wednesday night at Thompson Speedway Motorsport Park to erase all that.

Santos drove the No. 44 Tinio Corp./Dan Kelley/Curb Records Chevrolet by Max Zachem on the white-flag lap to win the Thompson 125. It was the only lap Santos led on a night where he pitted multiple times early in the event due to a tire issue.

"There was a lot of doubting ourselves," Santos said. "We all know we can win. We won as this team before. We just need a little momentum and we can start winning races again."

Santos hadn't been to Victory Lane since July 12, 2014, at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It was a 25-race slump for the 2010 tour champion.

Zachem settled for second after coming within one lap of his first career tour win. The 23-year-old from Preston, Connecticut, was making his 23rd career start and led a race-high 43 laps.

Rookie Matt Swanson finished third, followed by Patrick Emerling and Jeff Goodale.

Zachem and Swanson were among a group of drivers who pitted early in the race. Leaders Ryan Preece, Doug Coby, Timmy Solomito and Justin Bonsignore stayed out until a Lap 77 caution. Santos came down with those four, but because he didn't take tires, he was first off pit road and restarted 12th.

From there, Santos was the first one to make it to the front of the field.

Preece, who is running NASCAR XFINITY Series full-time this season, came back to finish sixth. Rowan Pennink, Brendon Bock, Jimmy Blewett and Ken Heagy rounded out the top 10. Coby, who earlier in the day won his fourth Coors Light Pole Award of the season, wound up 11th.

With his finish outside the top 10, Coby saw his points lead cut to 19 over Zachem after five races. Pennink is third, 10 behind Coby but three ahead of Donny Lia and four in front of Justin Bonsignore. Santos moved up to sixth in points, just four behind Bonsignore.

The Thompson 125 will air on NBCSN on Wednesday, June 22 at 5 p.m.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to action on Saturday, June 25 at Riverhead (New York) Raceway.

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour-Thompson 125 Results
At Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park
Thompson, Conn.
Lap length: 0.625 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (7) Bobby Santos, Franklin, Mass., Chevrolet, 125 laps, 71.986 mph.
2. (18) Max Zachem, Preston, Conn., Chevrolet, 125.
3. (16) Matt Swanson, Acton, Mass., Chevrolet, 125.
4. (11) Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, NY, Chevrolet, 125.
5. (14) Jeff Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 125.
6. (3) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Chevrolet, 125.
7. (20) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 125.
8. (8) Brendon Bock, Franklin Square, N.Y., Chevrolet, 125.
9. (12) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Dodge, 125.
10. (26) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 125.
11. (1) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 125.
12. (13) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 125.
13. (25) Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Chevrolet, 125.
14. (6) Donny Lia, Jericho, NY, Chevrolet, 125.
15. (2) Timmy Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Ford, 125.
16. (4) Shawn Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Chevrolet, 124, accident.
17. (23) Andrew Krause, Holmdel, N.J., Chevrolet, 124, accident.
18. (24) Wade Cole, Hartland, Conn., Chevrolet, 122.
19. (28) Melissa Fifield, Wakefield, N.H., Chevrolet, 119.
20. (9) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, NY, Chevrolet, 111, accident.
21. (10) Ron Silk, Norwalk, CT, Chevrolet, 110, accident.
22. (15) Rob Summers, Manchester, CT, Chevrolet, 97, handling.
23. (21) Craig Lutz, Miller Place, N.Y., Chevrolet, 93, accident.
24. (27) Nick Salva, Prospect, Conn., Chevrolet, 92, accident.
25. (17) Chase Dowling, Roxbury, Conn., Chevrolet, 61, accident.
26. (22) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 35, suspension.
27. (19) Dave Sapienza, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 31, accident.
28. (29) Walter Sutcliffe Jr., East Haven, Conn., Chevrolet, 14, mechanical.
29. (5) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Chevrolet, 3, clutch.
Race Statistics
Time of Race: 1 hour 5 minutes 7 seconds
Margin of Victory: 0.330 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: D.Coby (119.281 mph, 18.863 seconds)
Caution Flags: 9 for 40 laps.
Lead Changes: 7 among 7 drivers.
Lap Leaders: D. Coby 1-6; T. Solomito 7-41; R. Preece 42-79; J. Bonsignore 80; M. Zachem 81-115; M. Swanson 116; M. Zachem 117-124; B. Santos 125.
Standings: 1. D. Coby, 206; 2. M. Zachem, 187; 3. R. Pennink, 177; 4. D. Lia, 174; 5. J. Bonsignore, 173; 6. B. Santos, 169; 7. M. Swanson, 168; 8. B. Bock, 168; 9. T. Solomito, 167; 10. J. Blewett, 167.