Sizzling: Ryan Preece Scores Pole For Whelen Mod Tour NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 At Stafford Speedway

Ryan Preece

Ryan Preece

STAFFORD – Ryan Preece showed Saturday at Stafford Motor Speedway that there’s always something good about that new car feel.

With a new ride making under him, Ryan Preece blitzed the field in qualifying Saturday on the way to winning the pole for Sunday’s NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler 200 at Stafford Motor Speedway.

Preece, of Berlin, toured the half-mile oval with a fast lap of 17.960 seconds (100.223 mph).

“We’re still learning, this our first northern Tour race with this car and we unloaded and we were really good [in practice],” Preece said. “We did a mock [qualifying] run and we were a tick free and we learned something and we kind of carried it over into qualifying and it worked out for us.

“There’s a lot of speed in this car. I’m really happy. I feel like, those 200 laps, it’s going to be a bit different of a strategy because we have a Spec Motor, so we’re probably going to have to stop twice for a fuel, but I really think in the end it’s going to be good. There’s plenty of power. I think we’ll be able to make that late restart if we need to.”

Woody Pitkat of Stafford, who was second in the Whelen Modified Tour season opening Icebreaker 150 on April 12 at Thompson Speedway and fastest in Saturday’s practice, was second fastest in qualifying at 18.047 seconds (99.740 mph).

“The car’s been good,” Pitkat said. “We came here and tested last weekend and found a few things that helped and came out today and we were really good. … We were maybe just a tick too tight to get the pole. [Preece] had a good lap. You’ve got to come in anyways with these [Spec] Motors, you’ve got to pit for fuel and do two pit stops for those. If you don’t get the pole it don’t really matter because you’ve got to make those stops anyway. You’ve just got to be there at the end.”

Rowan Pennink of Huntingdon Valley, Pa. was third fastest during time trials with a fast lap of 18.049 seconds (99.729 mph). It was a much better opening day for Pennink than during Icebreaker weekend when a stuck throttle destroyed his car just after the start of practice, forcing the team to a backup for the race.

“At least we got to get some practice with [the car] this week,” Pennink said. “Hopefully it will help out in the race. We’ll see where we are for the feature.”

Donny Lia of Jericho, N.Y. was fourth in qualifying, Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville, N.Y. fifth and Ted Christopher of Plainville sixth.

Bobby Santos III of Franklin, Mass., looking for his third consecutive Spring Sizzler win Sunday, will start seventh.

Timmy Solomito of Islip, N.Y. was eighth in qualifying, Todd Szegedy of Ridgefield ninth.

Keith Rocco of Wallingford, making his first start for Our Motorsports, was 10th. Rocco is filling in for the suspended Tommy Barrett Jr. in the ride.

Reigning series champion Doug Coby of Milford, who led practice, won the pole and led 127 of 150 laps on the way to victory in the Icebreaker 150, was 11th in qualifying.

Qualifying Results
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour – NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 Lineup
Race Sunday; Qualifying Saturday
at Stafford Motor Speedway
Stafford, Conn.
Lap Length: 0.5 miles

1. (6) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Chevrolet, 100.223
2. (88) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Chevrolet, 99.740
3. (93) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 99.729
4. (8) Donny Lia, Jericho, N.Y., Chevrolet, 99.393
5. (51) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 99.305
6. (13) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 99.267
7. (44) Bobby Santos, Franklin, Mass., Chevrolet, 99.141
8. (16) Timmy Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Chevrolet, 99.124
9. (4) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn., Dodge, 98.955
10. (22) Keith Rocco, Wallingford, Conn., Chevrolet, 98.771
11. (2) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 98.738
12. (07) Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, N.Y., Chevrolet, 98.457
13. (3) Troy Talman, Oxford, Mass., Chevrolet, 98.366
14. (63) Tom Rogers, Jr., Patchogue, N.Y., Chevrolet, 98.264
15. (58) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 98.205
16. (31) Steve Masse, Bellingham, Mass., Chevrolet, 98.114
17. (9) Chase Dowling, Roxbury, Conn., Chevrolet, 98.103
18. (29) Brendon Bock, Franklin Square, N.Y., Ford, 97.741
19. (14) Max Zachem, Preston, Conn., Chevrolet, 97.715
20. (17) Kyle Ellwood, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 97.371
21. (64) Anthony Nocella, Woburn, Mass., Chevrolet, 97.255
22. (46) Jeff Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 97.046
23. (18) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 97.035
24. (99) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 96.805
25. (36) Dave Sapienza, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 96.535
26. (79) Spencer Davis, Dawsonville, Ga., Pontiac, 96.380
27. (75) Shawn Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Chevrolet, 95.985
28. (19) Brandon Oltra, Alden, Pa., Chevrolet, 95.928
29. (37) Dave Salzarulo, Monson, Mass., Chevrolet, 95.801
30. (77) Gary Putnam, Vernon, Conn., Chevrolet, 95.395
31. (26) Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Pontiac, 93.434
32. (33) Johnny Bush, Huntington Station, N.Y., Chevrolet, 92.956
33. (01) Melissa Fifield, Wakefield, N.H., Chevrolet, 88.106

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  1. Congrats! Going to be a great show tomorrow! Support local short track racing!

  2. Where r the LFR cars?

  3. Steve,
    I’m guessing you’re referring to the Rob Fuller Motorsports team cars, which are essentially the LFR house cars. There were never any plans for those teams (with Corey LaJoie and Ron Silk) to run full-time. Select events for them. I think the plan is to run them at the Thompson events and the Loudon events and at Bristol. I don’t think there was ever plans to run either of the cars at Stafford events.

  4. How many of the top 10 qualifiers ran spec motors.

  5. Wow, the 01 was only 12.117 mph off the pole speed… And ONLY 4.850 mph slower than the mighty 33…you go girl!

  6. Shawn – Trying to figure how many top 10 qualifiers ran spec motors – is this a factor with mileage and built motors needing less fuel/pit stop tomorrow. What’s your opinion on this stratedgy?

  7. Pete D,
    I’m not sure right now. I know the top three are. I was told the Spec motors will need an extra stop for fuel.

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