The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will open the 2017 season on Saturday at Myrtle Beach Speedway in South Carolina. Below is a statistical look at the Performance Plus 150, including selected driver notes:
Performance Plus 150 Setup:
• This marks the second visit in NASCAR Modified history to the track, with the only other race won by Andy Seuss in 2009.
• Defending NWMT champion Doug Coby begins his quest for a fourth consecutive championship at the half-mile on Saturday.
• This marks the first race in the new modified era as a unified tour.
At Myrtle Beach Speedway:
• Opened in 1958 originally under the name of Rambi Raceway.
• Ran Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at the track from 1958-1965, as well as NASCAR XFINITY Series races from 1988-2000.
• The track is a member of the NASCAR Whelen All American Series, holding races on Saturday night. The track’s top division is the Late Models.
• Andy Seuss won the only previous tour race at the track in series history.
• This marks the first race of the Whelen Modified Tour season.
• Myrtle Beach Speedway is known for wearing out tires, forcing drivers to save equipment and think about their race strategy.
Myrtle Beach Data:
Race: #1 of 17; only stop at Myrtle Beach
Race Date: Saturday March 18 at 6:30 p.m. (approx.)
Track Layout: 0.538-mile semi-banked asphalt oval
Banking/Turns: 13 degrees in the turns, 4 degrees on the front, 3 degrees on the back
Race Length: 150 laps (80.70 miles)
2015 Winner: N/A
2015 Pole: N/A
1-Lap Qualifying Record: 95.918 mph; George Brunnhoelzl III (Sept. 2009)
150-Lap Race Record: 68.997 mph
Category Leaders at Myrtle Beach:
1. Andy Seuss ….. 1
1. Gene Pack… 58
2. Andy Seuss… 43
3. George Brunnhoelzl III… 28
4. Richie Kuiken, Jr. … 18
5. L.W. Miller… 6
Select Driver Highlights:
Doug Coby (No. 2 Mayhew Tools, Dunleavy Truck and Trailer Repair Chevrolet)
• Four-time NWMT champion; has won the last three championships
• Has 22 wins, 65 top fives, 104 top-10s in 188 career NWMT races.
• 19 career pole awards, which is 11th on the all-time list.
• Welcomes Mayhew Tools as primary sponsor for this season.
Justin Bonsignore (No. 51 Phoenix Communications Inc. Chevrolet)
• Finished second in the 2016 championship standings.
• Has 12 wins, 48 top fives, 65 top 10s and 5 poles in 105 career NWMT races.
• Captured four wins in 2016, including the season-finale at Thompson.
• Welcomes Danny Laferriere as new crew chief for this season.
Timmy Solomito (No. 16 Starrett Racing Ford)
• Has four wins, 15 top fives and 28 top 10s in 52 career NWMT races.
• Welcomes Starrett Tools as primary sponsor to his Flamingo Motorsports No. 16.
• Captured all four career wins in 2016, including his first career victory in the Icebreaker at Thompson.
Todd Szegedy (No. 85 Montanari Fuel, Stuarts Automotive Chevrolet)
• The 2003 champion returns to full-time racing after running just select races last year.
• Has 19 wins, 86 top fives and 129 top 10s in 205 career NWMT races.
• His last victory came in 2015 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Danny Bohn (No. 40 Dunleavy Truck and Trailer, Will I Am South Trucking Chevrolet)
• Has four wins, 27 top fives and 42 top 10s in 51 career races in NASCAR Modified competition.
• Finished inside the top 10 in all but one Whelen Southern Modified Tour race in 2016.
• His last victory came at Winston-Salem in 2015; Has lead 615 laps in his career.
Rowan Pennink (No. 3 Cape Cod Copper Chevrolet)
• Returns for a second season in the famed “Ole Blue” No. 3.
• Has two wins, 29 top fives and 66 top 10s in 141 career NWMT starts.
• His last victory came at Thompson in the 2013 season finale.
Max Zachem (No. 20 MPZ Motorsports, Lu Mac’s Package Store Chevrolet)
• Has three top fives and 14 top 10s in 35 career NWMT races.
• Best career finish of second at Thompson in June of 2016.
• Enters the 2017 racing season with a brand new car.
Ron Silk (No. 82 Horton Ave. Materials Chevrolet)
• Was the 2011 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion.
• Has 10 wins, 59 top fives and 95 top 10s in 162 career NWMT races.
• Captured one victory in 2016 at New London-Waterford Speedbowl in May.
Woody Pitkat (No. 46 Riverhead Building Supply Troyer)
• Has three wins, 23 top fives and 62 top 10s in 119 career starts.
• Finished third in the championship standings in 2015.
• Last victory came at Stafford in 2015.
Eric Goodale (No. 58 GAF, Heritage Millworth Chevrolet)
• Has two wins, 15 top fives and 54 top 10s in 118 career starts.
• Captured his last victory at Bristol in August of 2016.
Jamie Tomaino (No. 99 Dunleavy Truck and Trailer Repair Chevrolet)
• Has three wins, 91 top fives and 247 top 10s in 614 career starts.
• Has competed every year since the series started in 1985.
Ryan Preece (No. 6 TS Haulers, Riverhead Raceway Chevrolet)
• The 2013 series champion returns to full-time action driving for Eddie and Connie Partridge.
• Has 15 wins, 58 top fives and 84 top 10s in 131 career starts.
• Captured six top 10 finishes in eight races last season.
Up To Speed:
• This is the 33rd season of NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour racing. The first event was held in 1985 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
• The 2017 schedule includes 17 points races at 10 different tracks, across seven different states. It also includes two non-points events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway.
• Following the Performance Plus 150, the NWMT will return to action at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park for the Icebreaker on April 2.