STAFFORD, Conn. – It was one of the most improbable of victories Friday night, but that didn’t make it any less sweet for Jimmy Blewett.
The 35-year-old from Howell, New Jersey, took advantage of fuel issues by NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship points leader Doug Coby and Bobby Santos in the closing laps to drive away with the 26th annual Stafford 150.
“You’ve got to put yourself in position,” said Blewett, who has collected four top three finishes in nine races in the No. 4 Starrett/Mayhew Dodge. “We worked all race long to be in position to be there in the end, to have a shot.”
Friday marked the sixth career win and first since 2009 for the long-time Modified driver. Blewett sat out of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour the last two years before getting an opportunity to drive for Bob Garbarino’s historic No. 4 Modified.
Justin Bonsignore finished second and Brendon Bock earned his first podium finish. Chase Dowling and Eric Goodale finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Coby won his sixth Coors Light Pole Award of the season Friday afternoon, and was trying to join Ted Christopher as the only driver to win four straight at Stafford. Christopher won the Fall Final in 2001 and the first three races of 2002.
Coby appeared well on his way Friday night as he led 140 of the first 143 laps.
But he suddenly slowed on the track, opening up the opportunity for the field to capitalize. Santos inherited the lead, but he too had fuel issues on the restart and the ensuing melee brought out the race’s final caution. It also pushed the race to 157 laps.
Coby wound up 20th and Santos 17th.
Ron Silk finished sixth, followed by Max Zachem, Timmy Solomito, Woody Pitkat and Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Craig Lutz.
The late-race shakeup cut into Coby’s championship points lead. He now holds a 30-point edge on Bonsignore and 34 over Solomito. Blewett moved to fourth in points, 11 behind Solomito.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour has a quick turnaround, racing Wednesday at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, before heading to Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday, Aug. 17, for the annual combination race with the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour.
|2||51||Justin Bonsignore||M3 Technology||157||0.598|
|3||29||Brendon Bock||Meadow Brook Collison/Mosquito Free Organic||157||0.830|
|4||9||Chase Dowling||S&S Asphalt Paving/Dunleavy’s Repair||157||1.128|
|5||58||Eric Goodale||GAF Roofing||157||1.423|
|6||82||Ron Silk||Horton Avenue Materials||157||1.643|
|7||20||Max Zachem||LuMacs Package Store/VWS||157||1.835|
|8||16||Timmy Solomito||Diversified Metals||157||2.034|
|9||85||Woody Pitkat||Stuart’s Autmotive||157||2.198|
|10||56||Craig Lutz*||Lutz Mtspts./Morose Competition Eng.||157||2.422|
|11||99||Jamie Tomaino||Dunleavy’s Repair/Atlantic Sprinkler||157||8.782|
|12||46||Jeff Goodale||Riverhead Building Supply||156||1 Lap|
|13||24||Andrew Krause*||Supreme Manufacturiing||155||2 Laps|
|14||64||Rob Summers||Hoosier Tire East/Fast Track Elect/Hughes Motors||154||3 Laps|
|15||75||Shawn Solomito||Eastport Feeds||154||3 Laps|
|16||33||Wade Cole||Performance Engines/Kendall Oil||153||4 Laps|
|17||44||Bobby Santos||Tinio Corp./Dan Kelley/Curb Records||152||5 Laps|
|18||8||Donny Lia||Sypher Construction/Bardahl||151||6 Laps|
|19||26||Gary McDonald||Lakeland Landscaping/TRC Electric||150||7 Laps|
|20||2||Doug Coby||Dunleavy’s Repair/A&J Romano||145||12 Laps|
|21||89||Matt Swanson*||Spafco Race Chassis/FMR Racing||143||14 Laps|
|22||01||Melissa Fifield||Eastern Propane & Oil||121||36 Laps|
|23||36||David Sapienza||Frankie’s Towing/Wine Country||113||44 Laps|
|24||18||Ken Heagy||Buoy One Seafood||71||86 Laps|
|25||3||Rowan Pennink||Cape Cod Copper/Canto Paving||68||89 Laps|
Fastest Qualifier: Doug Coby, Time: 18.229 Seconds, Speed: 98.744 mph
Time of Race: 1 hrs., 4 mins, 13 secs Average Speed: 73.345 mph Margin of Victory: 0.598 Seconds
Caution Flags: Laps 70-77; 110-116; 146-149; 151-154. 4 for 23 laps.
Lap Leaders: Doug Coby 1-12, Eric Goodale 13-15, Doug Coby 16-143, Bobby Santos 144-149, Justin Bonsignore 150-151, Jimmy Blewett 152-157.
Total Laps Led: Doug Coby 140, Jimmy Blewett 6, Bobby Santos 6, Eric Goodale 3, Justin Bonsignore 2. 5 changes involving 5 drivers.
Top 10 Driver Points: Doug Coby 354, Justin Bonsignore 334, Timmy Solomito 330, Jimmy Blewett 319, Donny Lia 318, Max Zachem 311, Eric Goodale 306, Brendon Bock 302, Ron Silk 296, Rowan Pennink 291
Next Race: Thompson 8/10
* Denotes Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender