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Whelen Mod Tour Stat Advance: Stafford; Analyzing The TSI Harley-Davidson 125 At Stafford

Whelen Mod Tour Stat Advance: Stafford
Analyzing The TSI Harley-Davidson 125 At Stafford

By Jason Cunningham, NASCAR

TSI Harley-Davidson 125 Setup:
• The winner of the TSI Harley-Davidson 125 has gone on to capture the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour title in each of the previous five seasons: Bobby Santos (2010), Ron Silk (`11), Doug Coby (`12, `14), Ryan Preece (`13).

• Stafford native Woody Pitkat has won two of the last three races at Stafford. Prior to that Coby and Santos combined to win eight of 10 Stafford events from 2012-14.
• The TSI Harley-Davidson 125 will be the second of three scheduled events in 12 days, the busiest stretch of the 2015 schedule.
• The first three races this year have averaged 34 cars. The same three events last year averaged 27 cars.

At Stafford Motor Speedway:
History
• The Stafford Springs Agricultural Park opened in 1870. The current race track was originally used for horse racing, which gave way to automobiles after World War II.

• Stafford Motor Speedway became a NASCAR-sanctioned track in 1959 and was paved in 1967.
• Stafford is one of nine tracks that have been a part of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program in each of its now 34 years of competition.
• The inaugural NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Stafford was held on April 14, 1985. NASCAR Hall of Famer Richie Evans won the 80-lap race as part of the 14th Annual Spring Sizzler weekend.

Notebook
• The NWMT has held 115 races at Stafford since 1985, a total second only to the 127 events at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

• With four dates this year there will be multiple races at Stafford in 30 of the tour’s 31 seasons. The lone exception was 1988, when there were no NWMT dates at the track.
• There have been 32 different race winners at Stafford, led by Mike Stefanik’s 20 victories.
• There have been 42 different pole winners at Stafford, led by Stefanik’s 17. Ryan Preece set the track qualifying record in the 2012 Spring Sizzler.
• No driver has started all previous 115 races at Stafford. Jamie Tomaino has missed only one – the inaugural tour date.
• There have been seven races won in wire-to-wire fashion at Stafford, the last by Ron Silk in 2011.
• Ryan Preece was the youngest Stafford race winner at 18 years, 9 months and 14 days in 2009.
• Ted Christopher was the oldest Stafford victor at 53 years, 3 months and 28 days in 2011.
• The TSI Harley-Davidson 125 entry list features nine drivers that have previously won at the track: Christopher (12), Doug Coby and Bobby Santos (6), Donny Lia (4), Todd Szegedy (4), Preece (3), Pitkat (2), Silk (1) and Tomaino (1).

Stafford Motor Speedway Data
Race #:  4 of 15 overall, 2 of 4 at Stafford

Track Layout:  .5-mile asphalt oval
Race Length:  125 laps (62.5 miles)
Banking/Turns 1 & 2:  9 degrees
Banking/Turns 3 & 4:  7.5 degrees

Qualifying/Race Data
2014 Race Winner:  Doug Coby, Chevrolet, 73.446 mph, 53 mins. 6 secs.

2014 Pole Winner:  Bobby Santos, Chevrolet, 98.216 mph, 18.327 secs.
Qualifying Record:  Ryan Preece, Ford, 100.424 mph, 17.924 secs., 4/29/12

Active Category Leaders at Stafford:
Wins
1. Ted Christopher … 12

2. Doug Coby … 6
    Bobby Santos … 6

Poles
1. Bobby Santos … 9

2. Donny Lia … 8
3. Ted Christopher … 4
    Ryan Preece … 4

Top Fives
1. Ted Christopher … 29

2. Todd Szegedy … 22
3. Donny Lia … 14

Top 10s
1. Jamie Tomaino … 54

2. Ted Christopher … 50
3. Todd Szegedy … 29

Laps Led
1. Ted Christopher … 2,083

2. Todd Szegedy … 844
3. Doug Coby … 784

Laps Completed
1. Jamie Tomaino … 16,448

2. Ted Christopher … 12,667
3. Todd Szegedy … 7,743

Starts
1. Jamie Tomaino … 114

2. Ted Christopher … 89
3. Todd Szegedy … 49

Select Driver Highlights:
Justin Bonsignore (No. 51 M3 Technology Chevrolet)
• Has six wins, five poles and 43 top 10s in 76 career starts.

• Uncharacteristic start has him ranked 24th in points without a lead-lap finish in three races.
• Has a pole (2011 Fall Final), 11 top 10s, an average finish of 12.5 and a best result of second (2013 Spring Sizzler, June 2014) in 21 career starts at Stafford Motor Speedway.

Ted Christopher (No. 13 Mr. Rooter/Cape Cod Aggregates Chevrolet)
• The 2008 NWMT champion has 42 wins, 24 poles and 194 top 10s in 351 career starts. His 42 wins rank third all-time and his 24 poles are eighth.

• Is looking to end a 45-race winless drought. It’s the second-longest such streak in his career. His first win came in his 94th race.
• Has 12 wins, four poles, 50 top 10s, an average finish of 13th and 2,083 laps led in 89 career NWMT Stafford starts.
• Is a nine-time NWAAS track champion at Stafford out of the SK Modified division, where his 101 triumphs are more than double second place on the division wins list. Has a record 122 overall career victories at the track entering this week’s events.

Doug Coby (No. 2 Dunleavy’s Repair/HEX Performance Chevrolet)
• The 2012 and 2014 NWMT champion has 11 wins, five poles and 81 top 10s in 160 career starts.

• Is one point back of championship leader Ryan Preece with an average finish of third through three events.
• Has six wins, two poles, 23 top 10s and an average finish of 12th in 41 career Stafford NWMT starts.
• Has 18 career NWAAS victories at Stafford, including six in SK Modifieds.

Eric Goodale (No. 58 GAF Roofing/Supreme Skylights Chevrolet)
• Has a win, a pole and 37 top 10s in 89 career starts.

• Maintains the NWMT’s active starts streak lead, now at 87 races.
• Has seven top 10s, an average finish of 14th and a best result of fourth (2015 Sizzler) in 26 career Stafford starts.
• Held the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour points lead after three races this year, highlighted by a March 15 win at Caraway Speedway.

Corey LaJoie (No. 15 15-40 Connection Chevrolet)
• Started second and finished 27th in his NWMT debut, the 2012 Stafford Spring Sizzler.

• Finished 28th in his only other NWMT start, the 2015 Icebreaker at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
• Has a win (2010 Atlanta quarter mile) and three top 10s in five career NWSMT appearances.
• Was the 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship runner-up behind a series-high five wins. Has made six NASCAR XFINITY Series starts and two more in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Donny Lia (No. 8 Sypher Construction/Bardahl Chevrolet)
• The 2007 and 2009 NWMT champion has 17 wins, 21 poles and 80 top 10s in 157 career starts.

• Owner of four wins, eight poles, 26 top 10s and an average finish of 10.5 in 41 career Stafford starts. Has finished in the top 10 in nine of his last 10 appearances there.

Rowan Pennink (No. 93 Van Wickle Auto Supply Chevrolet)
• Has two wins and 57 top 10s in 114 career starts.

• Has 19 top 10s, an average finish of 10th and a best result of second (2011 Spring Sizzler, May 2011) in 31 NWMT starts at Stafford.
• Has eight career NWAAS SK Modified wins at Stafford, including the inaugural SK 5K in 2014.

Woody Pitkat (No. 88 Buzz Chew Chevrolet/Elbow East Chevrolet)
• Has three wins, two poles and 44 top 10s in 94 career starts. First career victory came at Stafford in August 2014.

• He and Ryan Preece are the only drivers to finish in the top five in all three races this year.
• Has two wins, 16 top 10s and an average finish of 13th in 27 NWMT Stafford starts.
• Has 27 career wins in Stafford’s SK Modified division. His 73 overall career feature wins at the track rank second all-time behind Ted Christopher.

Ryan Preece (No. 6 TS Haulers/East West Marine Chevrolet)
• The 2013 NWMT champion has 12 wins, 13 poles, 30 podiums, 51 top fives and 67 top 10s in 111 career starts.

• Won last week at New London-Waterford Speedbowl to take the points lead by one over Doug Coby.
• Has three wins, four poles, 17 top 10s and an average finish of 12th in 31 NWMT Stafford races.
• Earned the 2011 NWAAS Stafford track title in SK Modifieds, where he has 22 career wins.

Keith Rocco (No. 22 Canto Paving/Milton Caterpillar Chevrolet)
• The 2010 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion has nine top 10s in 24 career NWMT starts with a best finish of third in the 2012 Stafford Spring Sizzler.

• Has two top 10s, an average finish of 17th and a best result of third in nine career NWMT starts at Stafford.
• The 2008 and 2010 NWAAS Stafford track champion out of the SK Modified division, where he ranks third on the all-time wins list with 41, and is the current season points leader.

Bobby Santos (No. 44 Tinio Corp./Dan Kelley/Curb Records Chevrolet)
• The 2010 NWMT champion has 13 wins, 16 poles and 52 top 10s in 96 career events.

• Has six wins, nine poles, 15 top 10s and an average finish of 11th in 25 career Stafford appearances.
• Won six of 15 NWMT Stafford races from 2010-14.

Ron Silk (No. 40 15-40 Connection Chevrolet)
• The 2011 NWMT champion has nine wins, eight poles and 84 top 10s in 139 career starts.

• Finished ninth in his only previous appearance this year, the Thompson Icebreaker.
• Has a win (2011 125), two poles, 19 top 10s and an average finish of 14th in 37 career NWMT Stafford starts.

Timmy Solomito (No. 16 Diversified Metals/R.B. Enterprises Ford)
• The 2014 Sunoco Rookie of the Year has a pole and nine top 10s in 23 career starts with a best finish of third at Riverhead Raceway in September 2013.

• Has an average finish of 11th in his first year with Flamingo Motorsports.
• Has an average finish of 15th and a best result of eighth (2014 Spring Sizzler) in seven career Stafford starts.

Todd Szegedy (No. 4 Mystic Missile Racing Dodge)
• The 2003 NWMT champion has 18 wins, 10 poles and 117 top 10s in 190 career starts.

• Has an average finish of 10th this year, his first season with Mystic Missile Racing.
• Has four wins, two poles and 29 top 10s in 48 career Stafford starts. His 9.4 average finish there is best among active drivers.

Up To Speed:
• This is the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour’s 30th Anniversary season. The inaugural race was contested March 31, 1985 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

• The 2015 schedule features 15 points races at seven different tracks across four states.
• Doug Coby opened up his title defense with a win from the pole in the Thompson Icebreaker 150 on April 12.
• Woody Pitkat earned the NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 victory on April 26 at Stafford Motor Speedway.
• Ryan Preece emerged victorious at New London-Waterford Speedbowl in the Mr. Rooter 161 on May 30.

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