Santos Wins One for Sully at New Hampshire

When it comes to racing a Modified at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, there are none better than Bobby Santos III.  On Saturday, Santos showed why he is always the man to beat at the 1.058-mile oval, notching an emotional victory in the 50-lap Tour-Type Open Modified feature at the Northeast Classic.

 

Santos spent the first half of the race feeling out the field and conserving his equipment – a tried-and-true strategy that has sealed him victory more than once before.  Ronnie Williams and Chase Dowling made him work for it, but at the end, Santos drove clear of the field to collect the $5,000 prize.

 

“It feels good, it feels good for Sully and the Tinio family,” Santos said.  “There’s a tough handful of cars here, so it’s always fun to get a good win at New Hampshire, and start the year strong is what it’s all about.

 

“We weren’t as good as we wanted to be, but I knew having the clean air on the front of the car would make a big difference for me, so I knew I had to get out front and stay out front, and they gave me what I needed to do that.”

 

Santos and the entire Tinio team were racing in honor of team owner Sully Tinio, who passed away in March.  The crew unfurled a Sully Tinio memorial flag in Victory Lane, and Santos was proud that he was able to get the win for his long-time Modified partners.

“I have to thank the Tinio family for being here without Sully, it’s pretty cool to get them back in Victory Lane. This is obviously for Sully, this win is for Sully. Some of our best moments as a team have been here [at Loudon], so to get Sully a win today is pretty cool.” – Bobby Santos

Chase Dowling drove the Ben Dodge Motorsports’ No. 9 to a strong second place finish.  He swapped places with Santos and Ronnie Williams for the majority of the last ten laps, but ultimately could track down Santos for the win.

 

“We were really fast in the heat race,” Dowling said.  “[We] missed it a little bit in the beginning, but we just dialed it and got it really close.  A little free, but overall a great day for our team

 

“We missed it by a spot, but it’s Loudon, pretty much anyone’s got a good shot at winning at the end.  Overall, good day.”

 

Williams was a force at the end as well, but ultimately had to settle for third place.  He was impressed with the car’s speed, though, but admitted there was not much he could do to catch Santos.

 

“We had a good car, just needed a little more,” he said.  “Santos could do something with his car that was, getting off of Turn 2 he could just cut it so well and get a nice drive off, and after I passed Dowling for second I really couldn’t catch up to him.”

 

Eric Goodale backed up his Martinsville win with a fourth-place finish, and Mike Christopher, Jr. took Tommy Baldwin’s No. 7NY to fifth place.

 

A full replay of the 50-lap feature will be available on Speed51.TV soon.

 

-Story by Ian Pettigrew, Speed51.com Northeast Correspondent

-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo

 

Tour-Type Open Modified Feature Results (Unofficial)

  1. Bobby Santos III
  2. Chase Dowling
  3. Ronnie Williams
  4. Eric Goodale
  5. Mike Christopher, Jr.
  6. Anthony Nocella
  7. Matt Swanson
  8. Sam Rameau
  9. Jeff Gallup
  10. Andy Shaw
  11. Joel Monahan

Santos Wins One for Sully at New Hampshire