Anthony Nocella Looking To Break Through With Whelen Mod Tour At Seekonk

(Press Release from NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)

Anthony Nocella

Although his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour record might not show it, Anthony Nocella has plenty of experience racing Modifieds in New England.

The Woburn, Massachusetts, driver won the 2017 championship in the Valenti Modified Racing Series, and has countless wins driving his family-owned No. 92 in the class. He’s also been able to run at the front of the field in the Tri Track Open Modified Series — another one of New England’s stout Modified classes.

This year, Nocella is hoping he can break into Victory Lane in Whelen Modified Tour action. And he’s hoping the upcoming Seekonk 150, at Seekonk Speedway, is the place where it happens. He does have experience at the tricky Massachusetts third-mile both with the Valenti Series and Tri Track — and he’s going to be leaning on that some Saturday.

“We’ve been running well a lot of different places but Seekonk out of all the tracks on the schedule, it’s probably our best one. That’s where I am the most even with everyone. Some of the tracks, a lot of guys have a lot more laps and experience there, but going to Seekonk, it evens out for us,” Nocella said. “It’s our home track. It makes it a little bit easier on us and I have some confidence knowing that we should run well there.”

RACING-REFERENCE: Career Stats For Anthony Nocella

Two years ago, Nocella scored his best career finish in Whelen Modified Tour at Seekonk — grabbing a second-place finish to Doug Coby. Last year, he was running inside the top three when contact with a lapped car took him from contention.

“I thought we had the car to win it last year,” Nocella said. “It’s a key to unload quick and have a little bit of confidence going into the race and I think it will be a key to try and stay up front. When we ran second a few years ago, we came through the field from 13th, but last year, I felt like we had a much better shot starting up towards the front. You have to be able to save your tires knowing that you can’t change them.”

As Nocella points out, this is one of just a few races where Whelen Modified Tour teams won’t have the luxury of bolting on fresh rubber in the second half of the race. With the pit area at Seekonk outside the track itself, not in the infield, any teams that do pit will likely lose a lap. Saving tires and equipment until the final stages could be crucial.

“I like it. It’s something different and I think it benefits us with no change. We have the speed and we can run up front, it will fit my style a little bit more,” Nocella said. “I think running with the Valenti Modifieds, it taught me how to keep the tires on the car better than some of the other guys, since we can’t have a change there either.”

After Seekonk, Nocella’s plans are to run the majority of the remaining Whelen Modified Tour races in search of his first checkered flag.

“It’s definitely the highest in Modified racing. This is some of the hardest competition with some of the best teams. There are some big races to be able to win,” Nocella said. “We’ve been close a couple of times at different places, but I’d definitely like to win some of the NASCAR races. It’s something a little different for us to do, with a little bit more prestige.”

RACING-REFERENCE: Previous Whelen Modified Tour races at Seekonk

If you couldn’t already tell, he is looking forward to Saturday.

“I think we are gaining on it,” Nocella said.

“I’d love to win. I grew up watching races and going to the track, and I always thought they were exciting. There is so much prestige. We are getting closer and closer. I’d love to be able to do it for myself and my guys.”

Whelen Modified Tour News & Notes:

  • There are 32 cars on the entry list for Saturday’s Seekonk 150, and if all show to the track, it would mark the largest car count in the history of the Whelen Modified Tour at the third-mile. Right now, last year’s 31 car appearance is at the top of the list.
  • After nearly capturing his first series win at his home track, Andrew Krause is entered for the Seekonk event. Last year, Krause qualified sixth and finished 13th.
  • Chase Dowling returns to Whelen Modified Tour competition for the first time after nearly capturing the victory in the NAPA Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor Speedway on May 11. Dowling led 78 laps, but had to pit from the lead with rear end issues that sidelined him from the remainder of the event. Dowling finished second to Justin Bonsignore last year at Seekonk.

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