Statistical Advance: Whelen Modified Tour Mr. Rooter 161 At New London-Waterford Speedbowl

(Press Release from NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)

mrrooter1612014The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour’s 30th Anniversary season will resume Saturday with the Mr. Rooter 161 at New London-Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl. Below is a statistical look at the performance of the tour and selected drivers at the track:

Mr. Rooter 161 Setup:
• Bobby Santos won the Mr. Rooter 161 last year to give him career victories at all three Connecticut ovals.
• Donny Lia and Ryan Preece lead all active drivers in bullring victories with six apiece. Lia has two triumphs at New London-Waterford Speedbowl while Preece has one.
• Santos and Justin Bonsignore are the only drivers to finish in the top five in each of the three events since the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returned to the Speedbowl in 2012 after a five-year absence.
• Keith Rocco broke the Speedbowl’s all-time feature wins record last week in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action and will look for his first NWMT victory this Saturday.
• The Mr. Rooter 161 will end the longest idle period on the 2015 schedule at 33 days, and simultaneously begin the busiest stretch of the year with three races in 12 days.

At New London-Waterford Speedbowl:
• The facility opened to auto racing on April 15, 1951.
• Is a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series-sanctioned track with SK Modifieds as the headline division.
• The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour has held 20 races at the Speedbowl since 1985.
• The track has also played host to seven NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races during its history, and the former NASCAR North Tour visited twice.
• The 161 scheduled laps for the fourth annual Mr. Rooter 161 is a tribute to the late NASCAR Hall of Famer Richie Evans, who campaigned the No. 61 on his modifieds.

• The previous 20 races produced 16 different race winners and 13 different pole winners.
• There has never been a driver earn back-to-back victories at the Speedbowl.
• Ryan Preece is the youngest Speedbowl race winner at 22 years, seven months and 28 days in 2013.
• Jerry Marquis is the oldest victor at the Speedbowl at 49 years, six months and 13 days in 2005.
• Five current NWMT drivers have won NWMT races at the Speedbowl, including: Donny Lia (2), Doug Coby (1), Ted Christopher (1), Ryan Preece (1) and Bobby Santos (1).
• Four current NWMT drivers have won weekly SK Modified races at the Speedbowl, including: Keith Rocco (67-record), Christopher (34), Coby (4), Ron Silk (2) and Woody Pitkat (1).

New London-Waterford Speedbowl Data
Race: #3 of 15
Track Layout: .375-mile asphalt oval
Race Length: 161 laps (60.375 miles)
Banking–turns: 8 to 12 degrees
Banking–straights: progressive

Qualifying/Race Data
2014 Race Winner: Bobby Santos
2014 Pole Winner: Donny Lia
Qualifying Record: Jerry Marquis (13.618 seconds, 99.133 mph – 10/8/06)

Active Speedbowl Category Leaders:
1. Donny Lia … 2
2. Ted Christopher … 1
Doug Coby … 1
Ryan Preece … 1
Bobby Santos … 1

1. Ted Christopher … 2
2. Donny Lia … 1
Todd Szegedy … 1

Laps Led
1. Donny Lia … 304
2. Todd Szegedy … 279
3. Ted Christopher … 270

1. Jamie Tomaino … 20
2. Ted Christopher … 16
3. Doug Coby … 10
Wade Cole … 10
Donny Lia … 10

Select Driver Highlights:
NOTE: Bullring races defined as tracks .25-.375 miles

Justin Bonsignore (No. 51 M3 Technology Chevrolet)
• Has six wins, five poles and 43 top 10s in 75 career starts.
• Has three wins, 12 top fives and a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour-best 6.1 average finish in 16 career bullring races.
• Has finishes of second, fourth and fourth the last three years at New London-Waterford Speedbowl.

Ted Christopher (No. 13 Mr. Rooter/J&R Pre-Cast Chevrolet)
• The 2008 NWMT champion has 42 wins, 24 poles and 193 top 10s in 350 career starts. His 42 wins rank third all-time and his 24 poles are eighth.
• Is looking to end a 44-race winless drought. It’s the second-longest such streak in his career. His first win came in his 94th race.
• Has five wins, three poles, 42 top 10s, an average finish of 10th and 1,104 laps led in 72 career bullring starts.
• Has a win (2002), seven top fives and an average finish of 11th in 16 career Speedbowl starts.
• The 1992 Speedbowl track champion, he has 37 total feature wins there, most recently the SK Modified race on May 16 in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action.

Doug Coby (No. 2 Dunleavy’s Repair/HEX Performance Chevrolet)
• The 2012 and 2014 NWMT champion has 11 wins, five poles and 80 top 10s in 159 career starts.
• Career at bullrings includes one win, 14 top fives and an average finish of 14th in 33 starts.
• Has a win (2012), six top 10s and an average finish of 11.5 in 10 career Speedbowl NWMT starts.
• Has four career Speedbowl SK Modified wins.

Eric Goodale (No. 58 GAF Roofing/Supreme Skylights Chevrolet)
• Has a win, a pole and 37 top 10s in 88 career starts.
• Maintains the NWMT’s active starts streak lead, now at 86 races.
• Has a win (Riverhead Raceway-2014), a pole (Monadnock Speedway-2013) and seven top 10s in 15 career bullring starts.
• Has finishes of 24th, seventh and 25th in three previous starts at the Speedbowl.
• Held the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour points lead after three races this year, highlighted by a March 15 win at Caraway Speedway.

Donny Lia (No. 8 Sypher Construction/Bardahl Chevrolet)
• The 2007 and 2009 NWMT champion has 17 wins, 20 poles and 80 top 10s in 156 career starts.
• Has six wins, four poles, 16 top fives and an average finish of 11.5 in 41 career bullring events.
• Owner of two wins (2005, `06), a pole (2014), seven top fives and an average finish of eighth in 10 career Speedbowl starts.

Rowan Pennink (No. 93 Van Wickle Auto Supply Chevrolet)
• Has two wins and 56 top 10s in 113 career starts.
• Career bullring numbers include a win (Riverhead-2010), nine top 10s and an average finish of 11th in 18 starts.
• Has finishes of sixth, eighth and 16th the three previous seasons at the Speedbowl.

Woody Pitkat (No. 88 Buzz Chew Chevrolet/Elbow East Chevrolet)
• Has three wins, two poles and 43 top 10s in 93 career starts.
• Has five top 10s, an average finish of 13th and a best result of fourth (Riverhead-2013) in 11 career bullring starts.
• Has finishes of 22nd and seventh the last two years at the Speedbowl.

Ryan Preece (No. 6 TS Haulers/East West Marine Chevrolet)
• The 2013 NWMT champion has 11 wins, 13 poles, 29 podiums, 50 top fives and 66 top 10s in 110 career starts.
• In 19 career bullring starts he’s posted six wins, four poles, 13 top fives and an average finish of seventh.
• Has finishes of third, first and sixth the last three years at the Speedbowl.

Keith Rocco (No. 22 Canto Paving/Milton Caterpillar Chevrolet)
• The 2010 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion has eight top 10s in 23 career NWMT starts with a best finish of third in the 2012 Stafford Spring Sizzler.
• Has finished eighth the last two NWMT races at the Speedbowl. His only other bullring start resulted in a 10th-place finish at Monadnock in 2012.
• Earned Speedbowl NWAAS track titles in 2010, `11, `13 and `14 out of the SK Modified division. Broke the track’s all-time feature wins record last week, now at 108, including 67 in SK Mods.

Bobby Santos (No. 44 Tinio Corp./Dan Kelley/Curb Records Chevrolet)
• The 2010 NWMT champion has 13 wins, 16 poles and 51 top 10s in 95 career events.
• Has a win, seven top 10s and an average finish of 12th in 12 career bullring starts.
• The three previous Speedbowl events he’s posted finishes of 22nd, fifth and first.

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 22 career starts with a best finish of third at Riverhead in September 2013.
• Has a pole (Riverhead-2013), two top fives and an average finish of 13th in five career NWMT bullring starts.
• Finished 21st (DNF) in his Speedbowl debut last year.

Todd Szegedy (No. 4 Mystic Missile Racing Dodge)
• The 2003 NWMT champion has 18 wins, 10 poles and 117 top 10s in 189 career starts.
• Has four wins, two poles, 26 top 10s and an average finish of 11th in 44 career bullring races.
• Has a win (2004), a pole (2013), five top fives and an average finish of 10th in 10 career Speedbowl starts.

Other Driver Notes
• Jamie Tomaino is the only driver to compete in all 20 previous NWMT events at the track.
• Spencer Davis and Derek Ramstrom made their NWMT debuts in this race last year.
• Patrick Emerling’s best career finish is fifth, recorded four times, including last year at the Speedbowl.
• Four times previously the Speedbowl winner went on to capture the NWMT title that season: Jimmy Spencer (1987), Jerry Marquis (2000), Doug Coby (2012) and Ryan Preece (2013).
• NWMT all-time victories (74) leader Mike Stefanik won at 17 different tracks, but the Speedbowl was not one of them.
• Mystic Missile Racing has won twice previously at its home track: 2003 with Chuck Hossfeld and 2005 with Jerry Marquis.

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.

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