Ron Silk, driver of the #85 Stuart's Automotive Chevrolet,  during practice before the Virginia Is For Racing Lovers 200 for the Whelen Modified Tour at Martinsville Raceway in Martinsville, Virginia on April 8, 2021. (Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)
Ron Silk, driver of the #85 Stuart's Automotive Chevrolet, has won two of the last three NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour races at Connecticut's Stafford Motor Speedway. (Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)

PIT BOX: Whelen Modified Tour Set To Sizzle

It’s an entirely different half-mile format for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour this weekend.

After opening the season at Martinsville Speedway, and being subjected to the long straightaways and tight turns of the Virginia track, the tour returns to one of its most hallowed venues for the 49th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler (5 p.m. ET, TrackPass) at Stafford Motor Speedway.

NOTE: Impending inclement weather postponed the race from Sunday, April 25, to Friday, April 30.

It will be one of three stops the tour makes at the Connecticut track.

RELATED LINKS:

Paddock passes are available for Stafford (buy tickets), while General Admission ticket sales are paused due to Covid-19 capacity limits.

Fans can watch the race live on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.


NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:

2021 Sizzler Logo

You may have heard this before: Justin Bonsignore hasn’t won a tour race at Stafford.

Since 2011, he’s 0-for-34 with 12 top fives and 23 top 10s.

Bonsignore is certainly tired of hearing about it.

The 33-year-old from Holtsville, New York, is a two-time tour champion thanks to his success at Thompson Speedway (12 wins in 36 starts since 2011, 33% winning percentage) but also EVERY other track not named Stafford (17 wins in 77 starts, 22% winning percentage).

He hasn’t been bad at Stafford- three top 10s with two Mayhew Tools Pole Awards in four starts in his 2018 championship season and a third-place finish in the lone event there last year. and he’ll get a chance to add a 10th track to his win resume with Sunday’s 150-lap event.

The flip side of that, the drivers looking to challenge Bonsignore for the 2021 title have been very good at Stafford.

Six-time champion Doug Coby has a dozen wins at his home track, while Ron Silk has three wins — including two of the last three races — and Eric Goodale and Craig Lutz each have one.

Max McLaughlin, who was fourth at Martinsville in the opener, returns in the No. 77 and was fourth at Stafford in last year’s Fall Final. And 2018 Fall Final winner, Kyle Bonsignore, is coming off a fifth-place run at Martinsville. Tyler Rypkema, the 2020 Sunoco Rookie of the Year, closed out the season with four straight 10th-place finishes (including Stafford) before starting 2021 with a runner-up finish in Virginia.

RACING REFERENCE:

RACE FACTS

RACE NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler
PLACE Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford, Connecticut
DATE Friday, April 30, 2021
TIME 8:30 p.m. ET
TV/LIVE STREAM TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold (live) / NBCSN – TBD
TRACK LAYOUT Half-mile paved oval
LAPS 150
MILES 75
EVENT SCHEDULE Friday, April 30: Garage opens: 1 p.m. ET; Practice: 3:30-4:30 p.m.; Qualifying: 6:30 p.m.; NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler: 8:30 p.m.
TWITTER @NASCARRoots, @StaffordSpeedwy, @_TrackPass

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CREW CHIEF HANDOUT: The starting field for the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler is limited to limited to 32 starters including provisionals. The field will be set by qualifying (1-26) and provisional process per the entry blank (27-32) for the NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler. In the event that qualifying as stated on the entry blank does not take place for any unforeseen circumstance, the field will be set in accordance with the 2021 NASCAR Touring Series Rule Book.

QUALIFYING: Two consecutive qualifying laps. Faster lap determines qualifying position. Adjustments or repairs may not be made on the vehicle after the vehicle has taken the green flag at the start/finish line. NASCAR reserves the right to have more than one vehicle engage in qualifying runs at the same time.

RACE PIT STOP: Live pit stop procedure – Teams may not take tires and fuel in the same stop. Maximum five crew members over the wall.

The maximum tire allotment available for this event is as follows: The maximum tire allotment available for this event is eleven (11) tires per team. All tires used for qualifying and the race must be purchased at the track and scanned by Hoosier, unless otherwise approved in advance by the Series Director. Four (4) tires must be used for qualifying and to begin the race. All qualifying tires must remain in impound until released by NASCAR Officials. The remaining tire allotment may be used for practice and/or change tires during the event.

The tire change rule is four (4) tires, any position.

QUALIFYING AND SPECIAL AWARDS

$400 Phil Kurze Halfway Leader Award presented by Josten’s per event award to the race leader at the halfway point of the event, regardless if the race is running under green or yellow.

$600 Hoosier Tire “Lap Leader” per event award to the eligible car owner whose driver leads the most laps in each event. In the event of a tie, the award will go to the highest finishing car in the event.

$500 Hoosier Tire “Hard Charger” per event award to the highest finishing eligible driver who advances the most positions during the course of the race. In the case of a tie, the highest finishing driver will receive the award.

$500 Hoosier Tire “Most Improved” per event award to the eligible new team/organization whose driver improves the most positions during the course of the race. In the event of a tie, the award will go to the highest finishing car in the event. If money is not awarded during this event, funds will rollover to the next event and will continue to rollover until an eligible new team/organization claims the money.

$1,000 Mayhew Tools Dominator Pole per event award to the driver with the fastest qualifying time eligible to participate under the Manufacturers’ Prize Money Conditions.

$550 Sunoco Spec Fuel award divided: 1st-$300 5th-$150 10th-$100.

$3,500 Whelen Engineering “Winner of the Race” award to the winning driver.

Whelen Non-Starter award will be paid to the first 15 competitors throughout the season who pass inspection, practice, attempt to qualify, but fail to make the feature event.