When the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour comes to town, you can expect some of the best Modified racing in New England. At this tight third-mile, drivers know qualifying is crucial because track position is a must in order to save tires.
Saturday, we saw that play out once again. Five-time Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby started from the pole, and although he didn’t lead the first 15 laps of the race, he wasn’t going to let anymore laps slide by. He passed Matt Hirschman for the lead and led the final 135 laps of the feature en route to his third win of the tour season in the first six races. Justin Bonsignore was second, backing up his 2018 Seekonk win with a podium, while rising star Craig Lutz was able to put together a solid third-place effort. Our three NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions that were in competition also didn’t disappoint. In the Everett’s Auto Parts Late Models, it was time for Flyin’ Ryan Lineham to return to prime form, winning the 30 lap feature after a hard-fought battle with Mark Jenison. Lineham had struggled a bit in the first few weeks, and admitted in Victory Lane that the team was still searching for more speed even on Saturday. But, they found what they needed to return to the top of the class. Jenison continues to impress, and if he continues this speed under the hood, he will find his way to the checkered flag before long. After a few early season mechanical gremlins, Vinnie Arrenegado retuned to the podium with a third.
The Helger’s Southcoast Power Equipment Sportsman had everything you could hope for throughout the course of their Phil’s Propane Triple Crown Series opener. Steve Axon, a former champion, started fourth, and quickly found his way to the lead on the outside of Chad Baxter early. From there, it was just about holding off some top challengers on a final few restarts. It was the first win for Axon in a while, but continues to show that experience in this division does matter. Kyle Casper, who had won the week before, started deep in the field and made some moves throughout the race to finish second. Tyler Lallier put together another impressive finish with a third. And in the Seekonk Sports Trucks, Andrew Kun was able to capture his first career win. The former Pure Stock champion crossed the line second, but a technical inspection failure for Rob Bryant moved Kun into the winner’s circle. I think I even heard Andrew say in the post-race interview that his father, Mike, was at home and missed it. Boy, what a bummer! But I know his father was smiling watching the race.