Statistical Advance: Whelen Modified Tour New England Cycle 161 At Waterford

(Press Release from NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)

Doug Coby (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Doug Coby (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour’s 2016 season will resume Saturday with the New England Cycle Center 161 at New London-Waterford Speedbowl in Connecticut. Below is a statistical look at the performance of the tour and selected drivers at the track:

New England Cycle Center 161 Setup:
• Doug Coby can match the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour’s all-time record for consecutive poles at six. Mike Stefanik set the mark in 1993.
• Coby is also the first driver to win four times in a five-race span since Donny Lia in 2007. The last to win five times in six events was Stefanik in 1998.
• Jamie Tomaino is set to become the first non-Sprint Cup Series driver in NASCAR history to reach 600 career starts in one national or regional touring series.
• Ryan Preece will compete in the NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday at Dover International Speedway and will not defend his 2015 Waterford win. His streak for consecutive NWMT starts will end at 61.

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 21 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 fifth annual New England Cycle Center 161 is a tribute to the late NASCAR Hall of Famer Richie Evans, who campaigned the No. 61 on his modifieds.

• The previous 21 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 active NWMT drivers have won NWMT races at the Speedbowl, including: Donny Lia (2), Doug Coby (1), Ted Christopher (1), Ryan Preece (2) and Bobby Santos (1).

New London-Waterford Speedbowl Data
Race: #3 of 17
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
2015 Race Winner: Ryan Preece, 1 hr. 18 mins. 30 secs., 47.293 mph
2015 Pole Winner: Donny Lia, 13.965 secs., 96.670 mph
Qualifying Record: Jerry Marquis, 13.618 secs., 99.133 mph, Oct. 8, 2006

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

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

Laps Led
1. Donny Lia … 350
2. Todd Szegedy … 279
3. Ted Christopher … 270

1. Jamie Tomaino … 21
2. Ted Christopher … 17
3. Doug Coby … 11
Wade Cole … 11
Donny Lia … 11

Select Driver Highlights:
Jimmy Blewett (No. 4 Starrett Dodge)
• Has five wins, three poles and 37 top 10s in 108 career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour starts.
• Has finishes of eighth and 31st (accident) in his first two events with Mystic Missile Racing.
• Has an average finish of 18th and a best result of 12th (2013) in three previous NWMT appearances at New London-Waterford Speedbowl.

Justin Bonsignore (No. 51 M3 Technology Chevrolet)
• Has eight wins, five poles and 53 top 10s in 90 career starts.
• Is just six points out of first after two races with finishes of third and fifth.
• Finished second, fourth and fourth at Waterford from 2012-14 before a 25th (accident) last year.

Ted Christopher (No. 00 Dunleavy’s Repair/M&T Enterprises Chevrolet)
• The 2008 NWMT champion has 42 wins, 24 poles and 199 top 10s in 362 career starts. His 42 wins rank third all-time and his 24 poles are eighth.
• Has a win (2002), two poles, 10 top 10s and an average finish of 11th in 17 career NWMT starts at Waterford.
• Is a winner of 41 feature races in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified action at Waterford, third in the division’s history. Has 45 wins overall at the track.
• Is looking to end a 56-race winless drought. It’s the second-longest such streak in his NWMT career. His first win came in his 94th race.

Doug Coby (No. 2 Dunleavy’s Repair/A&J Romano Construction Chevrolet)
• The 2012, `14 and `15 NWMT champion has 18 wins, 12 poles and 92 top 10s in 174 career starts.
• Has finishes of fourth and first through two races this year and leads the season standings by one point.
• Has a win (2012), seven top 10s and an average finish of 11th in 11 career NWMT starts at Waterford.
• Has eight career victories at Waterford, including four in SK Modifieds.

Chase Dowling (No. 9 S&S Asphalt Paving/Dunleavy’s Repair Chevrolet)
• The 2015 Sunoco Rookie of the Year has nine top 10s in 17 career starts with a best finish of third (Riverhead Raceway 2015).
• Has finishes of 11th and eighth so far this year to rank fifth in points.
• Finished 16th last year in his Waterford debut.

Eric Goodale (No. 58 GAF Roofing/Supreme Skylights Chevrolet)
• Has a win (Riverhead 2014), a pole (Monadnock Speedway 2013) and 45 top 10s in 103 career starts.
• Maintains the NWMT’s active starts streak lead, now at 101 races.
• Has finished seventh and 24th (DNF) in two events this year.
• Has an average finish of 17th with a best result of seventh (2013) in four career NWMT Waterford races.

Donny Lia (No. 8 Sypher Construction/Bardahl Chevrolet)
• The 2007 and `09 NWMT champion has 17 wins, 21 poles and 88 top 10s in 171 career starts.
• Has finished sixth and 15th in two races so far this year.
• Has two wins, two poles, seven top 10s and an average finish of ninth in 11 career NWMT races at Waterford.

Rowan Pennink (No. 3 Cape Cod Copper/Canto Paving Chevrolet)
• Has two wins and 60 top 10s in 126 career races.
• Has finishes of ninth and third in his first two events with Boehler Racing Enterprises.
• Has recorded an average finish of 9.5 with a best result of sixth (2012) in four career NWMT races at Waterford.

Woody Pitkat (No. 85 Stuart’s Automotive/Dunleavy’s Repair Chevrolet)
• Has three wins, four poles and 56 top 10s in 108 career starts.
• Has finishes of 10th and 25th (accident) in his first two NWMT starts with Kevin Stuart Motorsports.
• Has an average finish of 11th with a best run of fifth (2015) in three previous NWMT races at Waterford.

Bobby Santos (No. 44 Tinio Corp./Dan Kelley/Curb Records Chevrolet)
• The 2010 NWMT champion has 13 wins, 16 poles and 59 top 10s in 109 career events.
• Has an average finish of 13th in his last 11 NWMT starts dating to mid-2015.
• Has a win (2014), two top fives and an average finish of 8.5 in four NWMT races at Waterford.

Ron Silk (No. 82 Horton Avenue Materials Chevrolet)
• The 2011 NWMT champion has nine wins, nine poles and 87 top 10s in 146 career starts.
• Has finishes of fifth and 26th (accident) in his first two NWMT races with Danny Watts. The pair won their first NWAAS feature together at New Smyrna Speedway in February.
• Has an average finish of 17th with a best result of ninth (2013) in five career NWMT races at Waterford.
• Has two career NWAAS SK Modified feature wins at Waterford.

Timmy Solomito (No. 16 Diversified Metals/R.B. Enterprises Ford)
• The 2014 Sunoco Rookie of the Year has a win (Thompson 2016), a pole (Riverhead 2013) and 19 top 10s in 37 career starts.
• Has the win and a fourth place in two outings this year to trail Doug Coby by just one tally for the points lead.
• Has finishes of 21st (DNF) and 12th in two previous NWMT starts at Waterford.

Jamie Tomaino (No. 99 Dunleavy’s Repair/Atlantic Sprinkler Chevrolet)
• The 1990 NWMT champion has three wins, five poles and 246 top 10s in 599 career starts.
• Has started the last 97 straight races, and has attempted to qualify for all previous 604 events in NWMT history.
• Has finishes of 17th and 16th so far this year.
• Is the only driver to compete in all 21 previous NWMT races at Waterford, where he’s posted an average finish of 14th with a best run of second (Aug. 1985).

Other Driver Notes
• Rob Summers has six career feature wins at Waterford, including three in SK Modifieds. His crew chief, Ron Yuhas Jr., also drove to 24 SK wins there.
• Max Zachem recorded his best career finish in this event last year when he crossed the line in fourth place.
• A two-time SK Modified division winner at Waterford, Craig Lutz made his NWMT debut there in 2014.
• This will be Walter Sutcliffe Jr.’s second attempt to make his tour debut.

Up To Speed:
• This is the 32nd season of NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour racing. The inaugural race was contested March 31, 1985 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
• The 2015 schedule features 17 points races at nine different tracks across four states.
• Timmy Solomito earned his first career victory in the 2016 season opener, the Icebreaker 150, at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on April 10.
• Doug Coby won from the pole in the NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 at Stafford Motor Speedway on April 24.
• Following the New England Cycle Center 161 the NWMT will return to action on June 3 with the TSI Harley-Davidson 125 at Stafford.


  1. It should be 61 laps

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