Bobby Santos added another title to his racing resume Wednesday.
Santos, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion, came from the rear of the field to win the Third Annual NASCAR Champions/Media Showdown at Victory Lane Indoor Karting in Charlotte on Wednesday.
“It was a lot of fun racing with those guys,” said Santos, who started 13th in the 14-kart field. “It was interesting coming up through the field and made it a lot of fun. I want to thank NASCAR and all the media for putting this on, it was a lot of fun.”
The event is part of a week-long series of special activities in the Charlotte area for drivers and track representatives leading up to the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards Banquet on Friday, Dec. 10, and the NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Awards Gala on Saturday, Dec. 11.
Ryan Truex, the two-time NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion and last year’s event winner, made his charge in the final five minutes of Wednesday’s karting event to take second.
“I thought I might be able to catch Bobby, but I just ran out of time,” Truex said.
The championship race was a 15-minute session. The seven fastest media members started up front, followed by the NASCAR champions, inverted from slowest to fastest based on their best times during the preceding one-hour practice session.
Keith Rocco, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion, claimed third, followed by NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion Burt Myers and NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 champion DJ Kennington. Rocco was the first champion to make it to the front of the field. He led most of the race before being passed late by Santos and then fending off challenges from Truex, Myers and Kennington.
“That is the most fun I have had in a while,” Rocco said. “That was neat to race against the other champions.”
Champions German Quiroga (NASCAR Mexico Series) and Eric Holmes (NASCAR K&N Pro Series West) were sixth and seventh, respectively. Alex Hayden of the Motor Racing Network was the top media finisher in eighth. Kevin Wrenn of WGHP-TV (Fox) in High Point, N.C., and Ken Childs of RaceRap.com rounded out the top 10.
Rocco of Wallingford, Conn., will be in the spotlight at the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards Banquet, while the NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Awards Gala will bring together the series champions and top drivers from all seven of the NASCAR regional touring series.
Fans throughout the U.S., Canada, and around the globe, will again be able to watch the festivities from both nights via a live webcast on nascarhometracks.com. The Red Carpet Pre-Show begins at 6 p.m. and the banquets get underway at 7 p.m. each night.
Fans in the Charlotte area will be able to meet their favorite NASCAR touring series champion Thursday night at Buffalo Wild Wings adjacent to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Santos, Truex, Kennington, Holmes and Quiroga will be guests of Speed51 Radio from 6-8 pm. Bob Dillner, Matt "Duke" Kentfield and Elgin Traylor will serve as the co-hosts of the show. The NASCAR Champions Show can be listened to live by going to Speed51.com and clicking on the top story link to the broadcast. The show will also re-air on RaceTalkRadio.com from 8-10pm ET on Sunday, December 12th.
“I'm very excited that Speed 51 Radio will be doing this show,” said Dillner. “My roots are from the short tracks of NASCAR, so it means a lot of me to honor the NASCAR Touring champions. Each of the five champions that will be on the show battled and won on some of the toughest tracks of North America this past year and should be very proud of their accomplishments. To have the show come from the NASCAR Hall of Fame makes it even more special. I hope that the fans can come out and participate in this show by taking part in the Q & A part of it.”
The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards Banquet will feature the top drivers from NASCAR-sanctioned short tracks across the United States and Canada. Invited attendees will include the 2010 NASCAR national champion, U.S. state and Canadian provincial champions, track champions, the national/state/provincial rookies of the year, top NASCAR Finalist Recognition Program honorees, the 2010 Wendell Scott Trailblazer Award winner and many others.
The NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Awards Gala will include invitees from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, the NASCAR Mexico Series, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, and the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1.