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Bobby Santos Adds Musket 250 To His Winning Resume

LOUDON, N.H. — Bobby Santos III is no stranger to parking his car in Victory Lane at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Saturday, the Franklin, Massachusetts driver did it for the sixth time — but this one was the biggest of them all. Santos earned the win in the second annual Musket 250 presented by Whelen, taking car owner Dave Sapienza to Victory Lane for the first time.

It was the fifth championship points win for Santos at NHMS, who also has a victory in the Whelen All-Star Shootout. It was also the 18th career Whelen Modified Tour win for the former series champion.

In a wild 250 laps around the ‘Magic Mile’, countless drivers had the opportunity to lead the way. But when it mattered most, it was a battle between three modified veterans for the crown.

Santos, five-time series champion Doug Coby, and Jon McKennedy, who led a race-high 93 laps, were the three drivers at the front when the field crossed for the white flag. Off turn two, Coby would draw even with Santos for the lead — edging out as they approached the entrance to turn three.

However, Santos would drive deep into turn three, slide up, and hold off Coby and McKennedy across the line, while the two battled side-by-side for second. McKennedy would beat Coby to the line, but was .129 seconds behind Santos.

“It was a good run,” McKennedy said. “Tommy (Baldwin) and the guys gave me a great car. We led a lot of laps. Just one position short. As far as I’m concerned, Bobby is one of the best short-track drivers in the country.”

Before a crash racing for the lead, Ron Silk and Justin Bonsignore were dominating the late stages. The two drivers combined to lead laps 133-222, but when Silk and Eric Goodale split a lapped car, they made contact — ending both of their races early with damage.

Chuck Hossfeld, subbing for Jimmy Blewett, was fourth, while Bonsignore completed the top five. Matt Swanson was sixth, followed by Rob Summers, Chris Pasteryak, Gary Putnam and Craig Lutz.

Coby leads Bonsignore by 21 points with two championship points races remaining. Coby is looking for his sixth title, while Bonsignore is seeking his second straight.

The Musket 250 will air on NBCSN on Thursday, September 26, and 6 p.m.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track for the annual NAPA Fall Final at Stafford Motor Speedway, on Sunday, September 29.

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OBSERVATIONS: King of Beers 150 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

No matter where they go, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Series puts on a show. They once again displayed that with their Wednesday night special at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

With the top being the preferred groove around the speedway for the most part, it brings forth the question of who can make their car turn through the center to roll by someone on the bottom. Some drivers were able to be smooth, while others weren’t as much.

From the drop of the green flag to the checkered, there was action all the way around the track with drivers making their way forward, as others slipped back through the field. The high horsepower using up the 15-inch tires, and only one pit stop allowed during the event to change them, had drivers fighting for grip in hopes of being at the front.

The competition also proved to be close, as you did not know who was going to win throughout the event with different stars emerging. Bobby Santos III ultimately became the unsung hero in finding his way to the front late, but transmission issues on a late race restart burst those hopes. Craig Lutz also had a shot at his first career series victory, but he came up short after fading late. 

In a time when young faces are emerging as the ones to watch, the veterans are still proving they are the ones to beat in the modifieds with the final showdown being between Doug Coby and Justin Bonsignore. Bonsignore tried all he could, challenging Coby right down to the line, but ultimately came up short on hitting another win out of the park at Thompson.

The veterans have proved to be the ones to watch all season, and no doubt will be in the final five races of the season. Though you cannot count out possibly seeing Ron Silk join them in victory lane, as he was coming late until issues.

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