Bobby Santos III To Return To Whelen Mod Tour With Sapienza Enterprises And Tinio Motorsports

Bobby Santos III (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)

Injured NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour driver Dave Sapienza confirmed exclusively to RaceDayCT Thursday that Bobby Santos III will take over driving duties for his team beginning with the Eastern Propane & Oil 100 on July 20 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. 

Sapienza told RaceDayCT Thursday evening that his team will team up with members of the Tinio Motorsports team to field the car for Santos.

Sapienza said Santos will be driving his equipment for his team with assistance from members of the Tinio Motorsports team. 

“I talked to [Tinio Motorsports manager] Lawney Tinio and he said ‘How about if we just join forces?’” Sapienza told RaceDayCT. “Sounded good to me.” 

Santos has 141 career Whelen Modified Tour starts dating back to 2001, but has not made a series start in 2019. He had driven regularly for Tinio Motorsports since 2012. He won the 2010 Whelen Modified Tour title driving for owner Bob Garbarino. 

Santos made eight starts Tinio Motorsports in 2018 but it was announced before the 2019 that the team was taking a year off. Santos swept both Whelen Modified Tour events at Loudon for the team in 2017 and won the series event last July at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. 

Sapienza said the Tinio team had been preparing a car for Santos for Loudon, but they’ve decided instead to go with the Sapienza equipment. Sapienza said the Tinio family operation wanted to remain part of the Santos’ support team.

“They’re going to be on the sidelines, but they want a piece of the action so they’ll be there in full support,” Sapienza said.

A wreck filled night at Wall Stadium in the Jersey Shore 150 on May 18 came to an ugly end for Sapienza after taking the checkered flag. 

A full-contact battle for third place over the closing lap between Sapienza and Timmy Catalano ended with the pair crashing across the finish line and Sapienza’s car then hitting head-on with an infield wall just past the start/finish line on the inside of the track. Catalano ended up being scored fourth and Sapienza fifth. Sapienza fractured his L-1 and L-2 vertebra in the crash. 

Sapienza’s team will sit out Saturday’s Whelen Modified Tour event at Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway. The team will return to action with Burt Myers behind the wheel for the Thompson 125 next Wednesday at Thompson Speedway. 

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  1. Thank goodness!!!

    It will be great to see BSIII back on the track in a MODIFIED!!!

  2. Ray Skoglund says

    Great news!

  3. First Martinsville. Now this. What a week. Welcome back Bobby!.

  4. First let’s hope Dave is recovering from his injuries, and second thanks for staying involved and putting a great and fan favorite in your seat , hope your able to get back , till then Thanks

  5. Taking a year off but had been preparing a car for Loudon so not taking the year off?
    Aside from the obvious boost this gives everyone, Sapienza, TM,,Santos and fans there will be something else on display. Team chemistry. Expectations will be through the roof.
    Be good Dave. Working on the car can be as taxing as driving it……even more. Supervise!

  6. Fast Eddie says

    Horrible turn of events for one of my favorite teams! Dave Sapienza, get well soon!
    However, great to hear one of my favorites is back in action in a modified! Best of luck to the Sapienza, Tinio, & Santos team! I think STS Racing has a nice ring to it!

  7. Great to see Bobby returning, however the circumstances do suck. Get well soon Dave, and good luck to you both going forward.

  8. Of course, it would be much better if Sap was never sidelined, and BSIII came back too.

  9. Doug, I may be wrong but I think Tinio was planning to run New Hampshire because they are the defending race winner, plus they have the shootout.

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