Pit Box: Whelen Modified Tour Hits NHMS For Two Events

(Press Release from NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)

Bobby Santos III celebrates victory in the Whelen Modified Tour Eastern Propane & Oil 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July2018 (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

Time for two in the Granite State.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour begins the second half of the championship points schedule at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, with the Eastern Propane & Oil 100. On Friday, the tour kicks off the racing weekend as select teams will compete in the only non-points, 35-lap All Star Shootout.

The series joins the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, NASCAR Xfinity Series and Monster Energy Cup Series for a full weekend of racing in New England.

Bobby Santos III is the odds-on favorite to visit Victory Lane on Saturday.

The Franklin, Massachusetts, driver may have no laps this season, but he’s teaming up with Dave Sapienza at one of his best tracks, and it’s hard to bet against him. Santos has won three of the last four at New Hampshire — all of them for Tinio Motorsports. The 2010 Whelen Modified Tour champion will step behind the wheel of the Tommy Grasso-prepared machine looking to continue his NHMS glory.

Eastern Propaneoil 100

The championship points battle turns towards the track with the largest car counts. One mistake could cut into Doug Coby’s 31-point cushion. The Milford, Connecticut, veteran has four wins in 31 career starts at NHMS, but has finished outside the top 10 in three of his last four. When he does win on the ‘Magic Mile,’ Coby is normally at the front of the field more than just the final lap. He’s led a combined 183 of 400 laps in races where he went to Victory Lane.

Off his third straight win at Riverhead, defending tour champion Justin Bonsignore jumped to third in the standings, and enters a place where he’s had success of late. Bonsignore has top-10 finishes in six of his last seven starts, including three straight of sixth or better. In September’s inaugural Musket 250, Bonsignore led 77 laps, and led the field into Turn 3 for the final lap before a crash sidelined him. If he wants to continue his climb back towards Coby in the standings, New Hampshire will be the prime opportunity.

Three drivers will compete in Saturday’s 100 lapper and Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race.

Roush Fenway Racing driver Ryan Newman has two wins at NHMS, with the most recent of them was in 2010. He won the pole for the Eastern 100 last year, and Preece, who won the All-Star Shootout in 2017, has no points wins at the 1.058-mile oval. Former two-time Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion Andy Seuss will also make his Monster Energy Cup Series debut driving for Rick Ware Racing on Sunday, but will follow his deep modified roots driving for his family operation in his familiar No. 70 on Saturday.


PLACENew Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, N.H.
DATESaturday, July 20
TIME1:45 p.m. ET
TELEVISIONNBCSN, Wednesday, July 31 — 6 p.m. ET
TRACK LAYOUT1.058-mile oval
2018 WINNERBobby Santos III
2018 POLERyan Newman
EVENT SCHEDULEFriday — Garage Opens: 8 a.m., Final Practice: 10-11:40 a.mSaturday — Garage Opens: 7 a.m., Qualifying: 9 a.m., Autograph Session: 10:30 a.m., Eastern Propane & Oil 100: 1:45 p.m.
HASHTAG#Eastern100 #NWMT



The starting field for the Eastern Propane & Oil 100 is 36 starters, including provisional positions.The first 30 drivers will secure starting positions through the qualifying process. The remaining six positions will be awarded through the provisional process.

Two consecutive qualifying laps will set the starting field. Faster lap determines qualifying position. Adjustments or repairs may not be made on the vehicle after the vehicle has taken the green flag at the start/finish line. NASCAR reserves the right to have more than one vehicle engage in qualifying runs at the same time. Vehicles will be impounded after qualifying. Vehicles must qualify on race set up. After qualifying all vehicles will proceed immediately to the impound area. Only minor adjustments will be permitted following qualifying.

The maximum tire allotment available for this event is twelve (12) tires per team. Four (4) tires must be used for qualifying and to begin the race. The remaining tire allotment may be used for practice and/or change tires during the event. The tire change rule is four (4) tires, any position.

A non-points showdown on the biggest stage.

Allstar Shootout Generic

As part of the Cape Cod Cafe Pole Day for the Monster Energy Cup Series, 20 selected drivers will compete in a 35 lap shootout for glory. The race will be broken up into two segments — with the caution scheduled to fall on or about lap 20. From there, the battle will be on.

With no points on the line, former series champions, former race winners and Rookie of the Year contenders, and additional points contenders from last year, will all compete in this special event.

Previously, Ryan Newman (2014), Woody Pitkat (2015), Bobby Santos (2016), Ryan Preece (2017) and Justin Bonsignore (2018) have been to Victory Lane in the race. No driver has been able to sweep the weekend in the five-year history of the race.


PLACENew Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, N.H.
DATEFriday, July 19
TIME2:10 p.m. ET
TELEVISIONNBCSN, Thursday, July 25 — 6 p.m. ET
TRACK LAYOUT1.058-mile oval
2018 WINNERJustin Bonsignore
2018 POLERob Summers (via random draw for starting position)
EVENT SCHEDULEFriday: Garage Open: 8 a.m., Final Practice :10-11:40 a.m., All Star Shootout: 2:10 p.m.Saturday: Garage Opens: 7 a.m., Qualifying: 9 a.m., Autograph Session: 10:30 a.m., Eastern Propane & Oil 1001:45 p.m.



The maximum starting field is 20 cars, invitation only. A random draw will be held to determine starting positions for the special event. The order of the draw will be based off of the driver’s criteria to enter the special event.

The special event will be a thirty-five (35) lap race split into two (2) segments with a mandatory caution displayed at lap twenty (20) unless the caution is already out at lap twenty (20). The overall thirty-five (35) lap event will have a thirty (30) minute time limit. All caution laps will count except the period after lap twenty (20) until the race is restarted. Pit road will be closed during the entire event.

When the yellow flag is displayed at lap twenty (20), the race will be restarted by the car’s last completed green flag lap except for those cars involved in a random number selection that will determine the number of cars to be inverted for the restart. The procedure for determining the random number will be determined and announced to the teams during the Driver/Crew Chief meeting. Any car finishing the first segment of the race in positions one (1) through eight (8) will be subject to the inversion. Four (4), five (5), six (6), seven (7) or eight (8) will be inverted. No tire changes will be permitted during the event unless it is an approved Emergency Change Tire. No fueling permitted during the event.

At the twenty (20) minute mark of the event, if the first segment has no been completed, NASCAR will display the yellow and the random number selection procedure for the inversion will take place. Caution laps will not count during this period until the race is restarted. When the race is restarted under this procedure, the second segment of the event will be ten (10) laps or until the time limit expires.

At the twenty-five mark of the event, NASCAR will announce to the competitors over the NASCAR Race Control channel there are five (5) laps remaining in the event. If the yellow flag is displayed during this five (5) lap period the race will be restarted with one attempt at a green, white, checkered finish.

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  1. Went over to get my tickets yesterday. Must have been hundreds of campers there already. Race week in NH is here!

  2. Hey Shawn, this Pit Box series you do is pretty good, I look forward to it.

    I’m going with Chase Dowling here. It is time.

    Looks like 39 cars on the entry list, 36 start the race. Ouch.

    It’s gonna be HOT!!! 🥵 🔥

  3. Dress for the heat. Temps in the mid 90s. Track should be slick. Nothing us mod fans haven’t seen before at Loudon.

    That temperature controlled press box must be nice this time of year.

  4. Sharpie Fan says

    Thanks Shawn. Will print this out before we head up since half — correction — MOST of the time they don’t have the lineups printed for the Tour race.

  5. Going out on a limb here picking Bobby Santos to sweep. It was reported that both the 36 and 44 cars would be there. Most likely scenario is to run the 44 for the invitational, and the 36 in the race. But even if the 44 car is a no show, Sapienza always brings first class equipment. So baby for the sweep.

  6. Bobby not baby. Damm spell check.

  7. In a series that has trouble producing a full field at most tracks, it’s hard to believe that they’re actually going to send 3 cars home. I say let them run, maybe it’ll pay off down the road at one of the tracks where they don’t have a full field.

  8. Just so hard to have a favorite here. We all know how they end. If you are leading with 2 to go, watch out! Anybody’s race, just gotta be in position at the end, cause all heck usually breaks loose. Can’t wait! Enjoy everybody!

  9. wmass01013 says

    gee Rob P in the 8 races so far on the WMT cars have been
    MB 32
    SB 32
    TH 28
    ST 34
    WA 28
    SE 28
    TH 31
    RH 28
    sounds pretty full to me

  10. Jimmy Blewett, Facebook, 7/13
    “Thanks to Rob Fuller and everyone at LFR for a fast and comfortable car yesterday at Stafford Motor Speedway. Test and tune day with our new ride. Can’t thank Joe (Bertuccio) enough for all the support so far this year.”
    LFR’s follow up
    “Looking forward to Loudon and beyond with this group! Nothing better than bringing a race team to The Next Level!”
    You have to love the confidence.
    Blewett for the win in a shocker?

  11. LFR, Facebook, 7/10 on setting up a Troyer then off to Stafford for a private test and tune with Blewett and who knows who else:
    “Getting reacquainted with the TA3 car this week as well. Thank you to Mike Murphy (64 of Rob Summers) and his group for allowing us to work with them during this process. Off to Stafford test then headed north to Loudon. Looking forward to learning all we can to be able to offer track support and parts sales to Troyer customers going forward.”
    Rob Summers for the win in an LFR prepared Troyer TA3?
    Can you feel the ground shifting under the entire modified landscape?

  12. Cmon NHMS ,start all 39 cars !!! Live free and race.

  13. Anything at louden is a possibility In my view Doug. However, Jimmy always seems to find some kind of trouble, or it seems to find him, unless it’s the Turkey derby. I know this will be an extremely polarizing comment, but I was disappointed to see him named as the driver of the 21. It was way more exciting to me, watching the 21 with Williams behind the wheel last year. But, that’s why I’m a fan, and not an owner, as clearly, the owner saw it differently. And that’s his right as an owner! Wish the 21 team the best with the LFR!

  14. Fast Eddie says

    I really like Rob P’s pick, but if Blewett has an LFR car, he should definitely be a contender. Years ago he did well if he wasn’t too impatient. I think his “dose of dirt racing” has really improved his driving overall. I think a late laps battle between 36 & 21 has definite possibilities!

  15. Crazy in NY says

    A 39 car entry list will make for a full field ( which I believe on the Tour is 36). Will they put three on the trailer? It’s likely NASCAR rarely deviates from their norm. Those who doesn’t qualify well will have to step up their game. It’s time to kick it up a notch.

  16. I don’t recall too many NH races that Blewett was in the mix at the end. Santos is only there for one reason. He should be a major factor. Emerling, Preece, Newman, Coby, JBon, Timmy S and on and on. This is going to be a good one. Can’t wait! Past history is usually a good indicator of who will run well.

  17. Williams finished the season with no tops 5’s, 5 top 10’s and two poles in 15 races. Blewett’s got two top 5’s, 3 top 10’s and no poles in half the season.
    Blewett’s in 9th place, Williams finished in 9th place.
    Nothing wrong with favoring one driver over another. Politics can be divisive. Favoring one driver over another is being a fan.

  18. 40 cars now entered. Pretty impressive, great to see all these cars. Would like to see Max Zachem have a good event.

  19. wmass01013 says

    Stafford let all 34 cars start the Sizzler when 33 was the posted start list. I am sure NMHS will start all 40 if they all show up, some may not as happens normally from the entry list! I think the track decides since that have to do the payout, NOT NASCAR! Tracks like wall, the head and Seekonk don’t have the track length to add starters, NMHS does

  20. Crazy in NY says

    C&P from Shawn’s article via NASCAR hometracks

    The starting field for the Eastern Propane & Oil 100 is 36 starters, including provisional positions.The first 30 drivers will secure starting positions through the qualifying process. The remaining six positions will be awarded through the provisional process.

  21. Preece just posted a pic of his Loudon car on Twitter… with a built engine. 🤔

    The SPEC is on a stand in the background.

  22. If it was during the time the Bahre family owned the track, I would agree they would start the extra couple cars. But I would not count on that happening now. They could do it using the money from the K&N field which going to be short.(only 18 cars entered so far) Thompson did that during the mid 90’s for a doubleheader. The Mod tour was at least 5 cars short of what they planned to start, so the track moved the money for those spots over to the Busch North race to start some cars that were going be sent home.

  23. Things are getting interesting. Blewitt in a used LFR car, which in his own words is totally different from anything he’s driven. Rob Summers in an LFR prepared Troyer TA-3. Throw in Preece in a CD prototype, and Ryan Newman in the 77. Should be a great race. It will be interesting to see how Summers performs, may result in more LFR prepared Troyer cars, which will eventually become the norm. Sticking with Santos to sweep.

  24. In 1981 Geoff Bodine introduced the cavalier body to Modified racing. In 1982 Maynard Troyer took it a step further with a newly designed Chassis wrapped in a sleek aerodynamic cavalier. Greg Sacks dominated the scene that year in Ernie Wilsburgs #5, with Jack Want power. In 1983 just about everybody ran that combination. Through the years modified slowly evolved until Rob Fuller came on the scene with LFR. First there was 1, Coby, then 2, now LFR Is it. Now Rob is invested in modified racing with the aquisition of Troyer. Who will be the next person to change the face of the sport? He’s out there somewhere. Hopefully we don’t have to wait another 30 years.

  25. Actually it was ’82 when Bodine introduced the cavalier. Adjust dates accordingly.

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