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FIRST TIME: Bobby Santos III Earns First Career Whelen Modified Tour Pole At New Hampshire

Friday, August 12, 2011
Photo: Getty Images/NASCAR

For all of the things Bobby Santos had accomplished in his brief NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour career, a pole at New Hampshire Motor Speedway was missing.

Not anymore.

Santos covered the Magic Mile in 29.858 seconds (127.564 mph) on Friday afternoon to earn the pole for Saturday's Granite State Classic. It was the sixth Whelen Modified Tour pole of his career.

"We were close last year. I think we got second," Santos said. "Ryan (Newman) beat us for a pole, so that felt pretty cool to get a second here to him. To finally get a pole here means a lot.

"It's one of those tracks that all the Modified guys look forward to coming to. This is our Super Bowl. A win or a pole here would mean a lot to any of us."

Santos is still searching for his first New Hampshire win. The Franklin, Mass., driver has just two Top-5 finishes in nine career starts at the track.

Eric Beers qualified on the outside pole, while Todd Szegedy, who was credited with the win here in July after Newman was disqualified in post-race technical inspection, will start third.

"I gave it all I got," Szegedy said. "I'm not sure what I could have done to go any faster. We started third here the first time (in July) – so maybe we can repeat exactly what happened here the last time... Minus the DQ."

Justin Bonsignore and Rowan Pennink, who is just one point out of the series points lead, rounded out the Top-5.

Points leader Ron Silk qualified 13th.

– TB