Reigning Mod Champs Take Part in Tuesday Test
Blending speed, nonstop action, and some of the best side-by-side racing in the region, the Whelen Modified Tour is always a fan favorite at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. On Tuesday, the series held a test and tune session at NHMS to prepare for the July 14 Whelen Engineering All-Star Shootout and July 15 Nor'easter 100.
Among those in the field for Tuesday's test defending July race winner Doug Coby and reigning September race winner Justin Bonsignore.
The Whelen Engineering All-Star Shootout has seen three different winners visit Sunoco Victory Lane since its inception in 2014. Santos beat Eric Goodale to the Granite Stripe by just 0.127 seconds in last year's third annual Shootout, while Woody Pitkat edged Ryan Preece by 0.078 seconds in 2015.
"That's a really cool event that the speedway puts on every year and I know the guys look forward to it," said Bonsignore, who has two top-fives and a seventh-place finish in the Shootout. "It's definitely a good thing to be a part of and I'm looking forward to it."
Bonsignore is also looking forward to trying to pick up his second straight win on the 1.058-mile oval. The native of Holtsville, N.Y., won last September's F.W. Webb 100 and finished eighth in July's New England 100. Coby turned in a third-place finish to end his win streak at two, but he's looking to pick up his third victory in his last four NHMS starts in July 15's Nor'easter 100.
"We showed up with the setup that worked for us last July and were able to tweak a couple things to make it even better for July," said Coby, whose won three of the last four Whelen Modified Tour championships and five of the last six. "We have a car that's going to be good in the draft and might even be able to break the draft in the right situation. … But everybody is going to be fast, so we're just happy we have a good, balanced car that doesn't necessarily mean we're going to win, but I'm happy with what we have."
Other notable drivers testing on Tuesday include Pitkat, Timmy Solomito, Eric Goodale, Ryan Preece and Todd Szegedy.
The Whelen Engineering All-Start Shootout will drop the green flag on Friday, July 14 at 2:10 p.m., followed by qualifying for the Overton's 301 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at 4:45. The Nor'easter 100 on July 15 at 2:00 p.m. will be the first race in a "Saturday Tripleheader" that includes the Overton's 200 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at 4:00 and the United Site Services 70 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at 6:45.