(Stafford Springs, CT)—Between the 2010 and 2014 seasons on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Bobby Santos, III was the driver to beat when it came to racing at Stafford Speedway. In the 20 NWMT races held during that time period, Santos won 6 times, including 3 NAPA Spring Sizzlers® and he won 9 pole positions. Enter the 2015 season and Santos and the #44 Tinio Corporation / Curb Records team saw their performance fall off at the Connecticut half-mile facility with a best finish of 5th. With the green flag in the 45th Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler® right around the corner, Santos is excited about returning to Stafford and looking to get back to his winning form behind the wheel of the #44 Tinio Corp. / Curb Records Chevrolet.
“We didn’t run as good as we wanted to last year, but all the guys on the team have done their homework and hopefully we’ve got all the pieces we need to get back to running how we feel that we should be running,” said Santos. “Hopefully we’re headed in the right direction. I think some other guys did their homework and got better while we weren’t as good as we needed to be. I’m excited we have all the same guys back on the team because after having a tough year we all still like each other and we want to work together. We’ve won races together in the past and there’s no reason why we can’t continue to win races together. Stafford has been good track for me in the past and I expect it to continue to be a good track for me.”
Santos has exhibited his mastery of Stafford while driving for two different teams. His run of good fortune began in 2010-2011 with Bob Garbarino’s #4 team and then continued his winning ways with the #44 Tinio team. Santos has won 3 of the last 5 NAPA Spring Sizzlers (2011, 2013, 2014) and he has a new chassis to work with as he chases his fourth career Sizzler® victory.
“We have an LFR Chassis for this season and I have to thank Ray Graham and everyone who helped put that deal together for us to have those cars this year,” said Santos. “Another Sizzler® win would be awesome. That race has always treated me well and it’s a race in New England that most drivers either want to win or wish that they could win. To be lucky enough to have more than one win in that race is pretty unbelievable and I’d definitely like to add to that. Doug [Coby] is an excellent driver and he has an excellent team but if we can be as half as good as they were last year with their LFR car, it should be a pretty good season for us.”
Although his race finishes from 2015 at Stafford weren’t up to the level that Santos and the #44 team were looking for, their qualifying were on point as Santos’ worst starting position was 7th. Santos is confident that he can have another good qualifying effort which in turn will make the race easier for him and his team.
“We had speed at times last year but in the overall picture of things the car didn’t last as long as we needed it to during the races and the handling went away,” said Santos. “Qualifying is always important but if you have a really good car and things go your way, there’s no reason why you couldn’t start in the back and still win the race. We obviously want to qualify well and start up front to make things easier, but if not, we’ll just have to make the best of the situation and do what we can with it to put ourselves in position to win at the end of the race. I think you’re going to have to put tires on the car during the race. With the 150-lap races, there’s a possibility you could go without taking tires, but with a 200-lap race you’re definitely going to need tires.”
Tickets for the “Greatest Race in the History of Spring” are on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $38.50 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating is priced at $42.00 for all ages. As always, Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available. All tickets are good for both Saturday and Sunday admission. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Discount Tickets are available at 57 participating NAPA Auto Parts stores throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. For a full list of the 57 locations, call the speedway office or visit us on the web at www.staffordmotorspeedway.com/participating-napa-auto-parts-stores.
For more information on the 45th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler®, or to order tickets, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.