Whelen Modified Tour NHMS Notes: LFR Chassis Looks To Stay On Top At New Hampshire

(Press Release from NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)

Justin Bonsignore (Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)

In a span of just a few short years, Rob Fuller and his team at LFR Chassis have become one of the most prominent car builders in modified racing.

You would think winning the last three NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championships with Doug Coby would be enough to point out the success of the operation but that is just the beginning.

They have won various races — with multiple different drivers — all the way up and down the East Coast, and they have done it quickly.

This week, as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour hits the halfway point in the 16-race points schedule at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, LFR has a favorable chance of being in Victory Lane once again.

Friday, select competitors will run the 35-lap All Star Shootout — the only non-points event of the season — while Saturday, the Eastern Propane & Oil 100 championship points event is slated to take the green flag just after 2 p.m.

In four of the last six races at the ‘Magic Mile’ — including both events last year — the driver who rolled into the winner’s circle was driving an LFR car. Bobby Santos III used the bottom groove to complete the season sweep at New Hampshire last year driving for Tinio Racing, and he will be back looking to grab another trophy.

In the last six NHMS races, only Todd Szegedy and Justin Bonsignore have won while not driving LFR cars, and, oddly enough, since their victories, both have transferred and been behind the wheel for LFR.

Szegedy wheeled the No. 15 LFR house-car for three events in 2016 and finished second in two of the starts, while after an offseason jump to the LFR team, Bonsignore is off to a sizzling start. Behind the wheel of his No. 51 Phoenix Communications Inc. Chevrolet, Bonsignore has four wins in the first seven races, and looks to be on a roll that will be difficult for others to stop.

“It’s been a really good transition for us, Rob (Fuller) was very instrumental in getting us to move to LFR over the winter,” Bonsignore said. “Ryan (Stone, crew chief) was an LFR guy from the beginning. They both have a good relationship and they bounce ideas off each other. It’s been a really good team effort between everyone.”

Saturday, Fuller’s operation has plenty of chances to hold the trophy, led by Bonsignore, four-time New Hampshire winner Coby, Santos and Chase Dowling, along with others.

Dowling, a Roxbury, Connecticut, driver, has put together quite the start to the 2018 campaign running his third full-time season. Even though the 20-year-old hasn’t quite captured the checkered flag yet, he is second in the championship standings and has finished inside the top 10 in all seven races — becoming a master of consistency.

“Justin has won four races, we are fast, the No. 2 (Coby) is fast, they are just pretty dominant cars overall,” Dowling said of the LFR operation’s efforts so far this season. “When you unload, you have to be a top five car, and then you can tweak on it from there. It’s all in the preparation. The guys that we have with our cars… we are lucky to have the crew guys with us. It’s a big combination.”

Dowling doesn’t just drive the cars for LFR, but, he also helps build and wrench on them during the week, working as an employee. He’s fully invested in helping the company be successful.

“I like working on them, I’ve been working on cars my whole life,” Dowling said. “It was cool to help out Ryan Stone and the Ken Massa group over the winter and help be a part of putting their car together. It’s a good feeling when you can have the cars go out there and win.”

Even Bonsignore, who has been watching Dowling closely all season, is appreciative of the fact that one of his closest competitors actually has helped build the cars he is having success with this season.

“Chase works there, so when our cars were starting to be assembled, Chase, Rob and everyone were chipping in and going all hands on deck to make our cars were complete,” Bonsignore. “All of them were so willing to help get our program off the ground.”

Even though the LFR competitors are hoping to visit Victory Lane not once — but twice — over the course of the two days of competition this weekend, they know it isn’t a given. Competition is heavy on the Whelen Modified Tour, and one of the closest challengers is Troyer Chassis, led with a furious fight from Ryan Preece and Timmy Solomito, among others.

The success of the chassis department doesn’t just stem from the Northeast, either. Down south, veteran racer Burt Myers, who sprinkles in select starts with the car in Whelen Modified Tour action, has been dominant at Bowman Gray Stadium, and was one of the first to find the success the car has.

“I was basically the first guy to run the car, Rob had the first one, and my brother and I had the second and third. I won like nine of the first 11 races I ran with the car,” Myers said. “From 1998-2016, I drove the same car at Bowman Gray Stadium, and I won six championships, but the last two-and-a-half years, I’ve been racing the LFR car, and I have 13 wins and two championships so far. It was time for some new technology, and some of the designed features that they have, they were the new wave that came through in modifieds.”

Whelen Modified Tour News & Notes

Double-Header On Tap: Allstar Shootout Generic 200x100One for points, and one for bragging rights. Friday, select Whelen Modified Tour drivers will compete in the 35-lap All-Star Shootout, a non-points event that will showcase some of the top talent the series offers. Saturday, the Eastern Propane & Oil 100 will take the green flag as the eighth race of the season, marking the halfway point in the championship chase. In the last three July points events at Loudon, three different drivers have been to Victory Lane. Bobby Santos swept both events at the 1.058-mile oval last year, and will return to competition and make his third start of the season on Saturday.

Emerling Has To Be A Favorite: With one NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory to his credit at Bristol Motor Speedway last year, Patrick Emerling will be looking to add a second this weekend. And, in his career at New Hampshire, his numbers show he could be right in the thick of things come the final laps. In 15 career starts, Emerling has five finishes inside the top five, and has finished sixth or better in six of his last seven starts. Even though he runs a partial schedule, when he does unload at the track, he seems to be an immediate threat.

Preece Seeking A Milestone: Last year, Ryan Preece scored the victory in the All-Star Shootout, but, he is yet to capture the checkered flag in points-paying action at New Hampshire. The Berlin, Connecticut, driver has six top five finishes in 21 starts at the 1.058-mile oval, and scored his best career finish — a second — last September. He will have plenty of track time this weekend, as he runs his fifth NASCAR Xfinity Series event of the season for Joe Gibbs Racing on Saturday. Is it time for him to knock NHMS off his bucket list?

Silk Riding Momentum: The last time Ron Silk pulled out of New Hampshire Motor Speedway, he was holding a trophy. Although the victory came as part of a Tour-Type Modified race there last month, Silk is also coming off a win at Seekonk Speedway’s Open Wheel Wednesday — marking victories in two of the most prominent modified races in New England. During his recent NHMS win, Silk drove the No. 85 Stuart’s Automotive Chevrolet for the same team he will work with this weekend, as he looks for his third career victory at Loudon. Silk has 19 top 10 finishes in 28 starts, and has led 323 laps, the most among all active drivers.

Full Slate of Racing: The annual July weekend at Loudon gives fans the opportunity to watch a variety of racing in a short period of time. Following the All-Star Shootout and Monster Energy Cup Series pole qualifying on Friday, the Saturday slate includes the Eastern Propane & Oil 100, the NASCAR Xfinity Series & the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. The weekend will commence with the Monster Energy Cup Series Foxwoods 301 on Sunday.

TV Dates: Both the All-Star Shootout and the Eastern Propane & Oil 100 will air via a tape-delayed broadcast on NBCSN. The All-Star Shootout will be shown on Friday, July 27, at 6 p.m., while the points race will air on Wednesday, July 25, at 7 p.m.

Up Next: The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will move from New Hampshire to Connecticut, as the series hits the track for the Starrett 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday, August 3.


  1. Bill Realist says

    Prediction…. Dowling will win and be totally untouchable along the way. Those guys are going to put 200% of what they have into this race. They have access to the technology nobody else has and the way the 51 is running is starting to make them look bad.

  2. Bill. I agree. Except the making them look bad part. The boys at LFR have a company to run on top of chasing the championship. The 51 is just racing. Plus the LFR shop built the cars there so that was time not spent on their cars. Fuller is big on customers first and it shows. These guys should be proud of what they have with LFR. First class.

  3. Bill/Matt, how do they have access to technology that no one else has when the LFR camp claims they have an open book when it comes to sharing information? If they are all about the customer, including support and of sharing of information & technology, then ALL LFR teams should have access to the same information and technology. If not then everything Fuller says is smoke and mirrors and he is playing favorites. Not a good business practice when it comes to customer support and relations.

  4. Bill Realist wrote, “They have access to the technology nobody else has…” Really?

    What are you calling technology? Doesn’t everybody have access to the technology? The technology is for sale, just buy it.

  5. Mommy, what is technology?

  6. The winner will be a car with a new or refreshed motor.

  7. knucklesmahoney says

    Nope, not gonna happen. Going to be Preece, or Santos, or Coby.

  8. Bill Realist, what technology is LFR bringing to a CHASSIS that nobody else has. Go ahead… explain that. Make sure it applies to the bare bones LFR CHASSIS, not springs, shocks, weight, and other parts that everybody else has.

    Go ahead, step up to the microphone, speak slowly and clearly. Explain this technology that makes the bare bones LFR chassis so magical and mystical. This technology that applies to the bare bones chassis that only LFR has. Please, we are so eager to learn.

  9. Chip fike says

    While I agree with what you all say 1 guy and 1 guy only will win the races this weekend Doug Colby

  10. Wouldn’t it be awesome if Preece got the double?

    Preece in the mod race. He has some scores to settle. If I were Colby, I’d stay far away from Preece. If I were any other car, I’d stay far away from Colby. Colby is a wrecker at Loudon. Highly unlikely Colby will survive himself.

  11. Darreal, Google fury race cars. There is an arcticle that was done by hot rod, which explains the technology behind LFR modified chassis. How this technology behind the bare bones chassis translates to winning races is beyond me. You can have the best of the best, but if you can’t get the setup right your not going to win races. My prediction for new Hampshire is a TROYER car will win.

  12. Fast Eddie says

    Is anyone going to run “way down low” besides Santos, Pennick, and Preece? My LFR pick is Santos, my Troyer pick is Solomito (way overdue), and my “None of the above” pick is Pennick. Darkhorse picks are Sapienza and Summers (check the crewchief listed). Bump draftin’ at a buck-forty! WAY COOL!

  13. Rob p., this from the article is crucial, “In fact, Eury Jr says there’s really no secret trick to his chassis.”

    B-O-O-M! Whoops, there it is! Whoops, there it is! Whoops, there it is!

    There was no discussion of bare bones chassis technology in that article. He stated a bit about chassis flexure, and that is no secret. Everybody knows that new pipes run better. And the rest of the article was about shocks, shocks, shocks, shocks, and set up advice. None of that has to do with the bare bones chassis. All chassis have to locate the wheels in the same places required by the rules, and can go through the same range of contact patch adjustments with any chassis.

    LFR can blather on about “technology” all they want, but they need to be specific, otherwise they aren’t saying anything. And if they are talking shocks and springs, that can also be used in any other chassis and does not apply. So I’m still looking for a specific answer that explains how an LFR bare bones chassis provides substantiated evidence to why they claim superior technology. It’s been a bunch of sales propaganda without specifics cloaked by “technology.”

  14. it will be a SPAFCO car that will win at nhms……..

  15. Fast Eddie, the SPEC pretty much did away with bump drafting as we knew it with the built motors. Now you NEED a drafting partner. The torque curve is very different and changed how the races are run. Watch them carefully. No car can go it alone anymore, everybody needs a dance partner. And that pretty much did away with the dive bomb move.

  16. Here we go, the claws are out and you got him wound up like a clock. I am going to sit back and watch this discussion unfold. Still would like to know where dareal gets his expertise from that qualifies him to be the resident expert on everything racing.

    My two picks 51 or 7ny…………..

  17. The team that best executes the 7 P’s will win the race.

  18. Sensing some dislike for LFR from someone. Any particular reason?

  19. Darreal, you must have read a different article. The one I read was all about how the chassis are CAD designed, and the tubes are all laser cut and CNC bent, and every tube is jig fixtured to the chassis, essentially making every chassis identical. Anyone who’s been around racing for any period of time knows that even with all the jig fixtures and so forth, no two chassis are identical as the charichteristics of the metal will tend to change the overall finished product. Plus as I said you can have the best money can buy, but if you don’t know how to set it up, your not going to perform.

  20. Rob p, that’s the article. But CAD design, jigs, laser cut, CNC bent and all that is not going to return a performance gain on the track, across the board for all that use it. All that stuff will reduce fabrication costs on a large scale, that’s it. All that stuff benefits the manufacturer. Like Eury Jr. said, there’s no secret trick to his chassis. SPAFCO and Troyer have been using jigs and such for years already, they don’t brag about it. No need to, it’s standard operating procedure for a good metal fabrication shop. Troyer dealers have the jigs for repairing the chassis. I’ve been around that stuff for decades, it’s nothing new. No two chassis are identical, even with all the advanced manufacturing techniques. The material and the welds induce variations that are not predictable or reproducible within a tight tolerance. It is chassis flexure that introduces the challenge to chassis setup and tuning. The flexure of the chassis makes it behave like a giant spring flat spring. That spring behavior affects the setup just as the spring nature of the tires affects the setup. Ideally, the chassis should be infinitely stiff so the only springs that affect the set up are the actual coils and the spring behavior of the tires. The spring behavior of the tires was so carefully and expensively pursued and developed that teams in NASCAR developed machines to measure the spring rate of each tire to fine tune the coil springs and shocks. That was so expensive and an advantage to the well funded teams that NASCAR banned tire spring rate machines.

    So Rob, bottom line, the article does not reveal any secrets because no secrets exist, just as Eury said. And as you said, no two chassis are the same, simply because of all the material and manufacturing variances and tolerances.

    I love reading these folks schilling for their favorite chassis. Makes no sense whatsoever. Totally laughable.

    Rob, the changes in chassis set up and tuning that resulted from changing from a built motor to the SPEC motor did far more for chassis tuning and handling than just about anything else in many, many years. When the 51 and 6 first ran the SPEC, the performance and handling advantage was obvious. Those SPEC cars sliced and diced the built motor cars in the TURNS, where horsepower doesn’t matter. There was a race at Thompson where the SPEC motored 6 and 51, the only SPEC motor cars, drove through the built motor cars as if they were traffic cones. It was that race that I realized built motors were finished. The SPEC car has weight advantages and weigh placement advantages that enable the improved handling. Interesting to note is that this same chassis setup advantage due to the SPEC applied to all chassis.

  21. Dareal. You are showing not only your ignorance but you complete admittance to failure by constantly posting in this thread. The facts are the facts. You have NO clue on why the LFR chassis is superior but deep down you know it is and the stats prove it. You claim the 2 had a special advantage and the 15 can’t run. Now the 51 who was NEVER a threat for a win let alone a championship makes the swap and BOOM. The 15 is now second to the car they built over the winter and guess what. Double BOOM. The facts are this. You were dead wrong with your BS on why LFR cars run good and the gig is up. Your line of BS is WELL exposed now and you are posting like a abused minor on why the world is to blame and you are still right. You are a COMPLETE bag of gas on here and we all know it now. The LFR chassis is the best for reasons that your dumb arse will NEVER know. Why don’t you ask the guy that designed it why it’s better and I’m sure you will get a education. AGAIN. Keep posting on here you useless POS. Sorry. Game, set, match LFR. Get over it.

  22. Dareal. Sorry bro. You sound kinda dumb here. This is a Nascar generated article basically saying that LFR is on top and looks to stay there. Then you chime in with your rediculous statements that try to not only take credibility from LFR but back up your nonsense you have posted here for years. The LFR chassis has dominated. Get over it. Your wrong bro. Sorry. Just don’t cry in my beer. Facts are facts. TBR team with the best average in any sport is number one. In the mods LFR is number 1. No matter how bad you want Troyer to be they are just not at the LFR level and the facts prove it.

  23. Here are the facts accept them or not. I personally know Rob Fuller and if this article was about Troyer race cars he would be at the shop right now at this hour working his butt off to make his car better. The fact is this article is not about Troyer race cars it’s about LFR chassis and their dominance since they’ve been in existence. Rob has not gotten where he’s at today by putting up with mediocrity. He will be working with his customers Day in and day out to make them all better as a group. The Troyer customers are left having to try to duplicate what LFR has produced. You can simply walk around the garage area today and look at the long track bars and the three links and the spindle adjustments that the Troyer customers have simply copied off of the LFR cars to try to keep up. Heck the hood is a LFR copy. The problem is it’s more than that. It’s not what everybody sees that makes these cars better it’s the behind-the-scenes work at the shop that I personally see day in and day out. It doesn’t matter if it’s a shock mount a three link or shock package, Rob is doing everything he can to make what he offers the best in the Business and nine times out of 10 he comes out on top. I’m very proud to know this man and super excited for what he’s done for this industry. Everybody in this industry should be appreciative of what he’s done. Complacency defined the modified garage area until LFR came about. Every chassis manufacture has had to work harder longer and more strategic to simply keep up which they’re not doing. Just my two cents boys. And to the dareal fake name loser… sorry. You do lose this one. Best of luck going through life hiding behind a fake handle like the fat truckers of old. Wow. You are a special kind of stupid.

  24. I’ve got something to add. If anyone here thinks that LFR or Rob Fuller care what this thread produces, you are more pathetic than I give you credit for. All the haters simply motivate guys like Fuller. Keep it up and he will win another 3 championships. I love this knowing that he’s probably sitting at home reading this crap knowing that the dareal folks of the world are psychologically diagnosed depressed homophobic imbosils. Google it while I toast his accomplishments. Bahahahahahhahahaha. It’s OK dareal. Maybe in your next life you can be someone who actually accomplishes something rather than someone who implicates what they can do and how smart they are behind a fake name. Momma must be proud. YAAFAH. Sound it out.

  25. Like it was yesterday says

    As a former employee of Troyer, I remember Rob at our shop for weeks on end constantly changing and re-designing our product. We all dig a little deeper when he was here. I also remember every time he walked across the shop you could hear a pin drop. I feel I know more than most on this topic and wish the outcome was slightly different than it was. It is what it is give fuller his props. Sharp dude for sure.

  26. Mazda. Jealousy breeds hatred.

  27. BobbyB, so you have no idea what the secret sauce is either? Hint: there is no secret sauce. Except the special paint. Oops. 🤭 🤫


    🤯 🤡 😝 🤣

    So BobbyB, tell us why the LFR, in your mind, is superior? What makes it superior? Tell us about these advantages for which you speak. Go ahead…

  28. Darreal, finally you get what I was saying. LFR’s advantage is, according to Rob Fuller, it’s simplicity. They designed a chassis that makes it easier to set up. This coupled with Rob’s open book policy, has given the LFR teams an advantage. Where TROYER cars are built by multiple builders, making each a little different, LFR cars are built in one facility which means they are a more consistent product even if you factor in metallurgy. Add to this the caliber of the teams running LFR cars and you get success. I’m not an LFR lover or hater but based on their success soley on the NWMT, I’d say they’ve come out with a good product, and predict you’ll start seeing more of them in the weekly ranks soon.

  29. This just in. A well informed friend has told me that Mike Paquette of Chassis Dynamics, and Joe Hamm Hamm’s Chassis are working, with help from a guy known to me as ” Rico” are working hard on what will most likely be the 2019 CD chassis. Rumored to be ” the best chassis out” will try to dig up more when I can. I would assume that this car will debut as a Stafford SK.

  30. Rob p. wrote, ” LFR’s advantage is, according to Rob Fuller, it’s simplicity. They designed a chassis that makes it easier to set up. This coupled with Rob’s open book policy, has given the LFR teams an advantage. ”

    Did you get that from Rob Fuller? Where did you get that?

    So now it’s simplicity. A couple hours ago, it was technology. Technology and simplicity are usually in opposition. So which is it? Technology is very precise and specific, and somebody should be able to express the advantage exactly. There has been no technical explanation. Simplicity makes it easier to set up? Wow!!! Didn’t realize there were so many lazy teams that wouldn’t otherwise put the effort in to set up the car correctly. So many lazy teams out there. So simplicity should also be easy to explain. Exactly what is simpler? What is that much more simpler to overcome apparent profound laziness? Make the list.

    “Technology” and “simplicity” as explanations are very vague, non-specific, imprecise, ambiguous, unclear, obscure and useless.

    So I guess that’s why Ryan Preece puts on the show. He’s not lazy and puts in the effort to set up his cars, no matter what it takes. That’s why he puts on the show.

    Watching the LFR fanboys shilling is like listening to someone hawking a time share. Any of you LFR fanboys are welcome to explain the technology and simplicity advantages. Go ahead, make the lists. LOL!!!

    Watch the 6. Stay away from the 2. The 2 doesn’t do well on real big racetracks. The 01 does much better on the real big racetracks. I hope the 3 wins.

  31. Darreal, that statement about simplicity was in fact the words of Rob Fuller, also Tony Eury Jr. Both stated that in various press releases and articles. Pay attention…you might just learn something, although it’s doubtful.

  32. Rob p., simply what????? What? WHAT????

    How is that recorded in the race notes?

    How does one setup simplicity?

  33. Dareal = Narcissist

    Don’t waste your breath Rob………

  34. Dareal. No one but Fuller knows what the sauce is you speak of. There is obviously something. If you can not admit that we can’t help you. Rob P. I sure don’t think that LFR is threatened by a out of date chassis company with a mysterious helper. You better tell them to get someone with serious credentials behind it and don’t let him hide behind a handle. Then go do some RnD and begin a proof of concept phase. When that’s complete pick the teams they want to work with. Give them a chassis and get it out there and if there not broke by then maybe we can talk. Until then it’s all nonsense. Dareal why one thing is better than another can be debated in every way imaginable. This is why god created stats. The stats say that the LFR car is better. Sorry buddy.

  35. Rob p., please teach me simplicity. I’m amazed simplicity was just discovered and invented. Absolutely amazed. So glad simplicity is now a part o the package. LOL!

    So Rob Fuller said it. Wundaful. How is it simple, how does it have simplicity? Please, enquiring minds want to know. Or at least I want to laugh at the response.

    How does one incorporate simplicity in the set up? How do I measure simplicity? I read the rulebook, I don’t see and rules covering simplicity.

    Breaking news: LFR chassis car took out the BRE chassis car. Shame!!!! Disgusting way to win.

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