Bobby Santos, the 2010 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion, is currently without plans to compete in a Modified during the 2017 season. Santos told Speed51.com powered by JEGS on Tuesday that Tinio Racing, the team he’s raced for since 2012, is not committed to running a full schedule next season.
“They’re up in the air on their plans,” Santos said. “They told me if I find something else I should do it because they aren’t in the position to commit to anything. It’s for multiple reasons, I don’t think it’s for one specific reason.”
Driving the No. 44 Modified for car owner Sully Tinio during the last five seasons, Santos scored eight of his 14 career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour wins. The duo picked up wins at New Hampshire, Thompson (CT), Stafford (CT) and Waterford (CT) during their time together.
“I have a great relationship with them,” Santos said. “I have enjoyed racing with them, we’ve had a lot of success together. If Sully comes to me and says he wants to run a partial schedule, I’d be open to that. But it hasn’t been discussed, it’s anyone’s guess on what they’re going to do. I think he wasn’t ready to commit to anything.”
On Tuesday, LFR Northeast – the chassis manufacturer for Tinio Racing last season – posted a pair of the team’s chassis for sale via their Facebook page. Speed51.com reached out to Tinio Racing team manager Lawney Tinio for comment, but those attempts were unsuccessful.
Although silly season for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is officially in full swing, Santos isn’t in any rush to solidify his plans. With many drivers and team owners awaiting more information about the plans for the merged NASCAR tour, he doesn’t plan to pound down any doors.
“I think everybody wishes that it would be known sooner; it’s hard for everyone involved from NASCAR to the teams and drivers to make commitments,” Santos said of the merger.
“I’m just kind of waiting to see what comes along, it’s tough all the way around right now with the car owners, and there’s not a whole lot of them out there right now. Just going to play it by ear and see what happens.”
Despite not currently having plans to race a Tour-type Modified, Santos still be behind the wheel of a race car next season. He will continue to compete in USAC Sprint Car and Silver Crown races throughout the country with DJ Racing.
“Nothing’s changing there,” he said. “Still racing for the same team and doing a similar schedule of what I’ve done the last two years.”
This story will be updated with more information once it becomes available.
-By Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com State Editor (CT, MA, Long Island)
-Contributions made by Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor
-Photo credit: Speed51.com/Rick Ibsen